I don’t know if martial law is coming to the Philippines but I think it is more likely than not. It all stems from the new President, Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. He is not a “do nothing” president that is for certain. He is bringing changes within the Philippines and doing it in a very short time.
The Philippines is more laid back, that is good for me. I’ve learned to be a little more laid back but right now, I’m not too laid back ha ha. I’m okay really but a bit irritated. This time of the year it is not uncommon for my doctor to be gone for a month or more at time. We ask him every time we go, “Will you be out of the country next month.” Sometimes, he is and I know to go back and get my Xanax prescription early or later. Sometimes he says no but then he’s gone anyway. That’s what happened this month.
I hate to hear those words. No it’s not how we did it in the USA but the obvious response is, “I’m not in the USA.” Why be here if you want to do it like your home country. Sometimes, I feel it too. I don’t say it out loud but today I thought it to myself.
“Do not excessively annoy and do not be easily annoyed.” Long before there was an Internet we had what we called Bulletin Board Systems or BBS. There were two major networks, FidoNet and Alternet. Fidonet had one rule and it is stated in the first sentence of this article.
As of yesterday, February the 8th I have lived in the Philippines nine years. Even with life’s problems it has been the best nine years of my life. Jessie has been a big part of that and things are better between us. Though this morning, I was really stressed out because her kids need to be here and that’s just not possible due to financial constraints that I will go into later. Like I said, life has problems to conquer no matter where you are.
On the second of October 2015, I sent myself money from my USA bank account to the Philippines. Just like I have been doing for the last seven years. The last six, have been to my bank account. Everything appeared to be normal but there was one early warning sign. I usually get notices on my phone that the money has been received. I never got that notice. I did get an email and my Xoom account showed the money transferred within 30 seconds which is also routine. My trip to the bank though, it was anything but routine. I tried to withdraw the money from my account and only got a message “Your transaction could not be completed.” I’ve never seen that message before. I checked the balance, Jessie was with me and she let out a gasp. I had sent myself almost 70,000 pesos and my balance was zero. What is worse, I have only 400 peso or about $5 USD in my pocket left.
If you’re an American or probably from most other Western nations, you are probably not going to like the way bills are paid in the Philippines. In short, you pay your bills in person. Not only are they not usually paid via postal service, you get up and go to each utility company and the bank to pay your bills. There are indications that things are improving. Things do often get better here. When I first arrived here in 2008, you could not use a foreign credit card at most stores. Now, at the larger retailers and many smaller shops you can use them. Often with a 5 percent surcharge but you do often have the option.
Paying your bills electronically, either via your bank or the providers website is practically, if not totally, unheard of. Even when you order something online you have to go withdraw money from your account and deposit it in their account. Then contact the seller and give them the information so they can verify and process your order.
Filipino street children, those that are homeless and live on the streets are unavoidable in any city in the Philippines, at least those that I have been too. They can be a source of irritation for most but there is some joy there. After all, they kids even if they are street kids. Last night I met a street kid that could speak English. So far we have not talked much I did gain a little insight into his situation and what it is like for him is likely to be the same for many more. I do not know if I will continue to try to talk to him though. You will see why. I want to share what I have learned so far.
He and others hangout at a nearby Filipino quick service hamburger joint. A Fast food business named Angel’s. It is not a full service one like Jollibee, McDonalds or Burger King. I can get four tongue rash causing cheese burgers for 72 pesos which is less than $2. Not quite as cheap as the ten cent burgers we use to get at McDonalds or Krystal but very close to it. I prefer to get Hungarian sausage though because I get less sugar filled bread that way. The hamburgers are rash causing, to me yes. It may be just a yeast infection but I do not think so. The buns are full of sugar, a problem for any diabetic in the Philippines. The bread is generally very high in sugar here. The burgers are spicy too so that might be causing it, I do not every add spices. It likely would not happen to you. A yeast infection is a problem for some diabetics as well as people with compromised immune systems but that usually shows as white covering on the tongue. Can be quite painful if it gets to that point. What I have happen is red spots and streaks and a sore tongue. I have been eating a lot of them and I do not react as strongly to them as I first did. The first night I got them, I ended up eating eight of them as I was very hungry at the time. Plus they were good. haha
Foreigners love to talk about scamming Filipina but rarely do they discuss the evil intentions and lying of Foreigners living in or visiting the Philippines. Probably if there were more women bloggers that would change. Maybe not, I wonder if Filipina would be willing to disclose their own personal experiences. I think that most would not. I wrote a lot about the less that golden women lately so here we go with an examination of the guys. There are plenty of scamming men in the Philippines and many of them are foreigners living in the Philippines.
Many of them take advantage of naïve Filipina. Young women that don’t have much experience with men. Many girls, especially out in the provinces don’t have any boyfriends until they are 18 and even then they tend to be scared to death of men. Some will sneak around and have a boyfriend at a younger age. A lot will. That’s completely normal. But generally, it is not accepted in most families until the girl is 18. There was a policeman that caught his daughter in a shed with a boy in Bogo City. The boy ended up dead. I don’t really get that, he was just behaving like a normal young man.
One of the most difficult things about living in the Philippines is funding medical expenses. There is good and bad though. The good part is that the cost medical care in the Philippines is low. The troubling part is that in most cases, you will be required to pay for your medical cost before you check into a hospital or get outpatient treatment. It is up to you to file your insurance claims. I was probably seriously sick a few days ago. The symptoms were serious and if I had been in the USA and alone, I would have had to call an ambulance. What did I do here when I got sick in the Philippines? Nothing.
When the first symptoms showed its ugly face, I was not worried. Now when it happened the first time I was very worried. It was about ten years ago, maybe more. A large circular object formed in my vision. Unlike what many people get, this “floater” blocked most of my vision and didn’t go away in a second or two.
Most people think stroke, I know I did. Doctors at the ER told me “I don’t think this is in your brain but the blood vessels behind your eyes”. My eye doctor freaked out. Told me to call him anytime that this happens. My primary care doctor at the time treats me like a hypochondriac and told me there is usually no long term damage. In doctor speak that means virtually never.