This month I wanted to share my thoughts on relationships. Being my own feeling and thoughts some will not agree but say what I have to say and decide for yourself and see if it also applies you in some ways.
Every relationship has it problems for various reasons, how we deal with them will determine how long the relation will last or if it is time to call it quits and just move on.
One of the most important things in any relation is communication, if you canít talk to your mate about things that are on your mind or bothering you about them and you canít tell them then what future will you have?
Trust has to be the equal to communication. To be able to trust your mate no matter what will keep that relationship going but if that is broken all is lost for the most part. Trust can be regained but it will take time, a lot of time!
People can change
Once they reach the moment in their lives where they have to choose between two things and at that moment when they realize what their lives would be like without someone in their life it make the choice easy if they truly love their partner.
For me that moment came a year ago, I made some wrong choices in my life and knew I had to clean up my act to keep my woman and I did. I knew what was most important to me and I was not going to lose them, them being my girlfriend and our baby, I could not picture my life with both in my life.
Understanding each other
It take years to truly learn about you partner for most people. Some people pick up things quickly about the others while others it takes a bit longer. Added to that are personalities, ways of thinking, temper, age and the willingness to listen but not just listen but also to understand what is being said. Now for men and women this will take totally different approaches.
Myself, I donít get in to argument with anyone, no point, I remain as calm as I can and let the other person blow off steam. Too many bad decisions have been made when we have been mad; people have been killed in a fit of rage so by remaining clam I will not hurt anyone with my actions or my words to them.
I learned back in grade school, ďSticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt meĒ and they donít, if someone calls me names they I know are not true it is like water rolling if a ducks back, donít mean anything but if the words are true, ok I know that so whatís your point?
Something else I learned from my mom, ďIf you donít have anything nice to say, donít say anything at allĒ and I wish everyone knew this one simple saying, it would save so much pain and sorrow. Too often people say things they wish they hadnít but when you talk out of anger all you want to do is hurt the other person with your words.
No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, we all have a past that others donít know, we all have problems in our lives we donít share and they form the way we are to some point. Others will not understand this if they donít know you full pass. At the same time many people in a relationship will say, ďI donít need to know your passĒ, but if you donít know what a person has been though how you can you know the person in front you now? This is all part if truly knowing your partner, understanding them, and loving them for all they are both good and bad. We all have some dirt on us, we donít tell others because of fear of rejection and loosing those we love or maybe just that we may think they will not be able to handle it. How will you know if you donít bring it out and talk about it?
We all seek that love from another, that feeling that is so over powering that we canít thing straight, do still things, and makes us make major changes in ourselves for them. We give all we can to them to make them happy and we feel sad when we think we have fallen short of doing that. All we do is think of their happiness and how we can reach that point to bring the joy into their lives. The caring, attention and nursing we all do is sometime unbelievable but that the love we have for them.
Loves dark side
What is that song, ďHow deep is your loveĒ, you want to find out, tell your lover your deepest darkest secrets and see how they respond and then you will know how deep their love is!
My life after 2 years in the Philippines
These past 2 years have had many ups and downs with more ups then downs but the downs have been really hard but they were short lived and I managed to get pass them all in pretty good shape.
I have a beautiful daughter that is my life and some one that I will always hold to my heart and love for always just like my other daughter from my first marriage, all I love so much even if things didnít turn out like I had hoped with them.
Spending all my time with our baby is great. Seeing how she is learning more and more each day is beyond word. We play together and have a great time together.
My girlfriend and I have our differences yet we make it pass them every time which is good all of the problems we have had was because of me sad to say but I am always trying to be a better man for her and out daughter and will continue to do better for them.
Since I donít get I have few friends (people I know) here of my own. One of my best friends from the states I thought would be moving here since he has a girlfriend here in Subic is planning to marry her and take her to the states after the baby is born in August. Another friend has moved his girl to Sweden already so it will be a long time before I see them again. One other is waiting him to start to get his social security so that is years down the road if he sticks to his plan on moving here which I have learned doesnít always happen because life is different in the states and we love what we have there in the way of life style and things to do when retired.
Overall I have been totally happy here and that is the truth. While I may not be doing much of anything I am happy. Soon
Soon will be in our new house that is being build and that will be our home where our little girl will grow up, this make me happy beyond words. I hope we can move in by July (next month). My girl wants a beautiful house as I do, for her is something special and I know something she thought I would never be able to do for her but making her happy is all I want to do.
Living in Baloy Beach
Since I have live here I never had a problem with anyone or had a problem at my house. Many donít like living the area because things cost a bit more like rentals and the flooding that happens each rainy season but I find it a great area to stay if you are not in the flood zone area that is. I am at the far end of Baloy Beach and it has yet to flood here. During the rainy season the road does get deep at spots but noting that you get pass if all else fails just take a walk up the beach. I donít have a vehicle so if the road isnít washed out what is the big deal?
The only bad part I can say about living in Baloy is when you want t to buy grocery you have to travel into Barrio Barretto or head for Subic City or Olongapo City. Lucky Mikes in Baloy is an option for some times but their prices are a bit high when compared to the markets along Nation Highway.
If you love living by a nice beach in Subic then Baloy will be your place to stay.
Finding a good girl (part 2)
I got damn lucky when I found my girl so I canít tell anyone how to find a good girl when in the Philippines, it is all a hit or miss kind of deal as least with the girls in the Subic area Angles City I donít know since the last time I was there was back in 1991.
Look at it this way, no matter where is from or what work she is doing you can find a girl that will be true and hones you and treat you great. I feel it all depends on how your relationship develops. Knowing when to let someone go and move on is important since many girls are only looking for guys with money to support them along with the other guys that are doing the same thing for them. What is that old saying, ďWhen the cats the way the mice will play!Ē but finding that one that will not play around while you are gone is the trick.
If you meet her in a bar then you have to understand her job and why she is working there. There are several reasons why she is working there some are there because this is the only way to support the family while others are there just for the fun of it all and these are the one you need to watch out for.
So called ďnormal girlsĒ (non bar working) can be just as bad some bad girls due to the reputation that Subic Bay has. They know any Expat in the area is a walking ATM and some will do all they can to empty the account as fast as they can. Remember the Navy was in Subic Bay since the Early 50ís and the city that grew around the base was based on Bars and sex for fleet. So many of the mothers of the girls you meet may have at one time worked in a bar or just visited Olongapo when the fleet was in. This was a major source of income for those living the area and was seen and no big deal, again just supporting the family.
Back the days if the Navy in Subic 15,000 girls worked in the bars on normal basics when the fleet can in it jumped as high as 50,000 so you do the math!
Olongapo City Bar Girl action
It is a far cry of what was back in the day, while there are still bars it is totally different then before as you can guess. Cost in Olongapo is much higher in the bar than it is in Barrio Barretto which is the closest thing to the old Navy day in the way of bars.
During the day time there are no girly bars open that I have found, with most of them opening about 6 or 7pm.
2 June 2014
Shopping time - Getting ready for the house
Time is quickly getting closer for us to move into the house I am hoping that in July we are able to move, if that is the case I think we will make the move at the end of the month since I will have paid rent in my present location for the month. This will give us the 15 day house inspection time without rushing it and being sure everything is right before we move in.
There are a few things I want to have done also by a contractor to make the house really good to go. One thing I plan is to have a Nipa hut along the side of house to have some place to kick back and have a few beers outside. In time weíll have a fence build since we are on a corner to keep people from taking a short cut across our lawn plus it will add a level of protection which is always good to have.
We stopped by a furniture store to see what they had and what prices were like over all I was surprised but how cheap everything even for brand name items like the LG 8.5 refrigerator and 32 inch LG TV which we may upsize to a 39 inch seeing how the price was so good and the store is going to give us a big discount if we are paying cash which we will be.
Items we are getting cost 71,000peso (before discount)
Refrigerator (8.5cf 2 door frost free)
TV and stand with mount for TV (glass with 2 shelves)
Sofa set (three pieces)
Coffee table (glass)
Dinner table with padded chairs (six people)
2 beds with mattresses
So that takes care of most of the big items so along with the items we already have for the most part the house will be done. There will be some nickel and dime stuff we need to get but the big items will be out of the way.
Come delivery day the store told us if you come by in the morning and pay for everything that afternoon they will delivery it, more great news J
Moving to Subic City
I think the move to Subic City will be good for us in some ways, first it will give us a lot more alone time not that we have visitors all the time but when we do they just show up unexpectedly being family or friends, while I donít mine the visitor but at least give me a heads up you are planning on coming in case we have plans. Sometimes family members will stay for a few days but that is ok since my GF can catch up on what is happening at home and have someone else to talk to. Me, Iím uses to days of being a lone so no matter to me one way or another.
Living in Subic City we will be a bit further away so I think the visitors will fade off over time added to that being away from the bars I think will make my GF rest easier too. The less tension there is going on the better life will be for everyone and I donít any more problems in my life, I just want to have a happy home with my girls.
June 4 2014
2 years in the Philippines now and what and interesting time it has been too. Moving over here and having a girlfriend waiting for me made the move really easy since she was able to show around to places I didnít know to save me on prices of everyday things. We moving to a new location it is hard at first to find the things you need because you are use to the way stores are set up from where you are from which may not be the same in other countries, well from my experience it has never been the same.
Food shopping I think is the biggest headache, finding what you need to cook your food with the spices you like can be a challenge. Finding a crock-pot to slow cook sauces shouldnít be that hard but it is, so mail order is the only option you may have. Or you can always have someone back home mail you what you need from time to time.
When you are looking for house hold items plan on spending the day in Olongapo City shopping from store to store to find the best prices.
The Malls, SM and Harbor Point have a good selection but their prices are a bit higher on some items and a lot higher on others when compared to out in the city. Harbor Point has a lot of America food places which is good if you have that craving for my Burger King, Dairy Queen, Wendyís or TGIF to name a few places, sad to say no Taco Bell yet!
Living on 1500 US$
Yes you can live here on that much, I have been doing for 2 years, now if I was living on my own it would have been a lot easier on my but still I manage each month just fine. The trick is not go crazy while bar hopping here meaning not clubbing every night and spending your money foolishly. We all like to have a good time when we go out but the bars and girls will suck you dry in to time short if you donít watch it. It is easy to drop 5k to 10k a night here, so you can see how in a week you can find all your cash gone for the remainder of the month if you are on a limited income.
I spend about 15k a month on food eating at home, another 15k for rent, electricity 2k, cable/ internet 1,600p so you see half my money is just for the basic items to live, the rest goes for dinning out and stuff like that.
My point it you can do it easy on 1,500 US$ if you want to, I pay a lot for rent people tell me, some pay as low as 4k for a house in Barrio Barretto, Baloy will always cost you more!
Another factor is how you set you live style, if you want to bring your home style to the Philippines then you will be spending a lot more and that is just the way it is. You want that big house and fancy stuff ok fine, plan to pay for it big time.
I am not a rich man and my move here was made on a lifelong whim. I can with my last paycheck from work and a few hundred in my bank. For those that have saving and are planning their move to the Philippines then life will be much better for them than it is for me. When I moved here I wanted that simple life and to fit in with the locals which I feel I have done pretty well for the most part.
The past 2 years have tested our relationship too, we have had out falling outs but each time we were able to recover from them and keep moving one. It is hard when you figure the age difference and couture differences but we always made it because of your love and that is all that matters. We have I hope learned more about each other so in the years to come we will not have the same problems like we have had before and any new problems we have hopeful we can deal with much better.
Here Barrio Barretto
More bars, new hotels and new places to eat, it is all good here and the best part it the area still has that kick back feeling and being very relaxed.
The problems with trouble in the bars is still very low unlike in Angels City (AC) with the raids that take place there but Subic and AC are two different places and you canít really compare one to the other in my book. AC is the Wild West, while Subic is just a nice place by the ocean and over my 2 years here not much as changed to change that feeling the area.
Time passes so fast
It feels like just yesterday I arrived here, like so many others at first it was party party all the time with my girlfriend and I but now with our baby being 15months old that has cut out the party time, but from time to time we still hit a few places in the day time where friend work to say hi and have a few drinks.
I miss my friends that were here had hanging out with then plying pool and drinking. Before I didnít mind going out alone but now I just feel a bit different about it, may because I know my GF will better if I am with some while out but that is ok too, whatever keep peace in the house I am all for 100%.
The rainy season has started
On 9 June it started raining late in the afternoon and to date (13th) it is still raining off and on.
My Gf when home on the 9th to be with family for the day but due to the rain she could not get home since she had our baby and didnít want to take the chance of her getting sick while waiting or on the rid in the Jeepney. So it ended up that for the next 4 days she would pretty much be trapped and unable to get home.
Here at home there were 4 brownouts with only one lasting a long time with the others only being about 15 to 20 minutes long.
The rainy season it one time I really wish I had car because using a trike to go to the store to get food is really a hassle if you live in Baloy Beach since some times when it rains you can find one on the mail road. The wise thing to do is to get a driverís phone number that you trust and just call him when you want to get picked up, oh yeah, Iím not wise, ha ha, even after 2 years I never got a trike driverís number, maybe because I never found one I really trusted enough. Funny part is; most of the drivers know me and call me Mr President or Obama when I walk down the street.
Good part for me is I always have food in the house, you never know what is going to happen here so best to have some food stored up just in case. So items like can goods, noodles, tuna and crackers I always have around. I canít store too much meat because of the power should out of a few days I could stand to lose 1000p in food which isnít really isnít all the much chicken and pork. Beef here can get expensive so I donít eat much anymore but I hear that is healthy too.
On the down side when it rains you canít really do your laundry since most people (99%) do not have driers so if your hang outside they will never dry and only attack mosquitoes, which you really donít want to happen.
Well it look like the rain may be stopping at last. Blue skies can been seen mixed in with the clouds so hopefully tomorrow will be a great day and I really hope so since I plan to have a BBQ, drink a few beers and enjoy some music while sitting outside.
Postal Service in the Philippines
Getting your mail from overseas can be a bit tricky and can in some cases take a long time too.
First thing you need to do is get your correct address and zip code. If you live in a city this should not be a problem but if you are living in one of the smaller area well you may not have a street name and the closet Post Office can be a 30 minute ride away or farther if you are in a really remote location.
I received a letter from Vancouver Canada and it took 30 days to reach me. When I got the letter on the back it showed they tried to deliver it on 3 other dates, well the funny or sad part depending on how you want to look at it is that on each of the dates I was home. So no real attempt was may to get the letter to me quickly.
For important documents I always use FedEx, over the 5 times I have used them my letter got in delivered on time if not before it was schedule, tracking your package is easy and accurate. While the cost is high for the quick delivery you get what you pay for, right? I had a letter sent to me from the California by USPS international and while it did arrive in Olongapo city at the Post Office I was given notice until 5 days later and I had to go to the post office to collect while it should have been delivered to my house and to top it off I had to pay 50p, WTF is that for?
As far as I know there is no DHL office in Olongapo but there is and FedEx office that is easy to find.
LBC which is a local shipping company is ok if you are mailing items with in the country but when you want to ship over seas the cost gets high along with any of the other companies. For them to mail a 25 pound box to California would cost 22,000p (502.00 US$ at 43.72 to 1$)
There are other ways to get your mail while in the Philippines but it is something to keep in mind if you plan to live here. It may be a good idea to have your banking address in your home country of a family member, that way if when you get your credit card or AMT card they can FedEx to you and so can rest easy that you will get it. Thief in the Philippines is high so having it mailed to you could be a headache you donít want to have, trust me!
June 18, 2014
Today as I was walking from Baloy Beach to Barrio Barretto I thought to myself how different is it living here outside of a city area. So it so unlike home back in the States and so very different from life in Singapore where I spent 11 years before moving to the Philippines.
Iím not living in the county side but in the city too, it is a mix here in the Baloy / Barrio Barretto area. Some parts of the area are developed while others are not. Here in Baloy the road is paved in some area while not that many and the rest is just a dirt road with pot holes and flooding when it rains.
But here is something to think about; in the city of Olongapo it floods and that is pretty well developed for the area, or so you think.
So for anyone planning to move here a word of advice:
1. Look for the high water marks on walls to know if the house you are looking at is in a flood zone,
2. Try to get a place on higher ground if you can.
3. Ask the others in the area where is a good place to rent/buy
4. Take you time to find a good place in a good area Ė this could be the hard part because you never know what and area is lie until you move in sad to say. Another thing that will make a difference is how much you plan to pay for rent each month. If you can afford 600+ US$ then you may want to look at house on SBMA (the old base housing which is really nice) but to live there you will surely need a vehicle of some kind to get around due to the location of the housing areas. Motorcycles run about 70,000p for a 135cc and a used car in good shape about 150,000p and up.
Houses on SBMA
5. Internet Connection: You have several choices, 1) cable, 2) mobile broadband, 3) telephone line/fiber (in some areas)
Speed will vary between the 3 choices from 2mbph to as high as 10 keeping in mind the faster the speed the higher the price. For the lowest speed it will run about you 1,300p on a cable line or you can go with mobile at 4 to 7mbph for 1000p and up. The internet company that covers SBMA will charge you a lot more to get on line as everything on SBMA in the way of services will cost you more.
6. Banking Ė most ATM will only give out 10,000p per transaction with a limit of 2 transactions. BPI will give 20k per transaction, I am not sure if you can pull more than 1 time since my bank as a 600US$ per day limit on their accounts. ATM transactions cost 200p, here just so you know so that is something to keep in mind when setting you budget. Some banks will take direct deposit from overseas banks but you will need to check to see the bank here and in your country can work together, if they can that is great for you since it will save you in transaction fees and make it able for you to write cheques.
7. How long can you stay in the Philippines - Starting this year non-visa visitors can stay up to 3 years in the Philippines. The Main Immigration office is Manila can issue you a 6 month pass for just under 12,000p while the local office will only issue 2 month passes at the time of this writing, hopefully that will change soon.
Well that is all I can think of now to tell you so I hope what I have here will be of some help to you an your plans to move to the Philippines.
June 27 Friday
Buying the new house continues
It was back in March of this year we signed up for the new houses being built in Subic City, the gated community was still under construction so we looked at the model home and picked the one we wanted with the understanding that within a few month (September being the latest) we would be able to move in.
So we called at the beginning of June and we were told that the tiling was being done with the walls and painting to follow and the company hoped that by July or August we would be able to move in.
Having done construction work I know how long it take to build and house and get the interior done so had my hopes up that by the start of July we could move in.
Called back to the company today asking for a move in date and after a lot of reasons the final answer we that they will call us in September to give us a date which to me could mean we may have to wait a few more months which really pissed me off, but what to do, right?
So our next step was to call our realtor and ask were the house is to be being completed? She tells us the walls are getting plastered and painting soon to follow but who knows what that means as to the move in date?
It seems who ever the building contractor is does not or is not held to completion date for the different section of the community. For us Expats this can be a bit of a pain the ass not have a set date on when things will be finished, while for the locals it is just another way of life here so no big deal. Iím sure a single dwelling home it would be a lot different but since I am not dealing with kind of home so I have reason writing about what I donít know, right?
Next week we make a trip to the house and I plan to get pictures of the area and the construction going on there for everyone to see.