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Living in the Philippines May 2011


This month living in the Philippines has been pretty typical month.

Starfish at Bantayan IslandI returned to Bantayan Island this month. My first visit in almost two years. The falling dollar played a part in that but even more so is that I have just not been feeling well. I said to heck with it. I thought, maybe I’ll feel better if I get out more. I am sitting at Tristan’s Bantayan Island Beach resort as I type this article.

I’m watching the tide roll in and shooing the flies off my breakfast.  They were bad this morning for some reason.  Before breakfast, I went for a swim. I saw what I think was a krate, its tail protruding from a rock on the beach. They are deadly so I decided to not find the rest of it. It may have been some kind of giant slug. Or it might be a sea cucumber though I don’t think those are normally found ashore.  I’m not sure what it was. Decided to leave it alone.

Saw one baby sea urchin while in the water and a large red starfish. Many animals that are red or have other brilliant colors are poisonous. I don’t know about this one. Jessie scraped the urchin up with her shoes. I surely do not wish to step on one of those. But then, only an idiot would.

I also booked a flight to Palawan in May. The trip will occur in July. I have booked a resort now too but I’m not at all set on it. They have a tour to the Palawan underground river but it includes an overnight stay on the monkey trail. I would love it but I don’t think I’m up to that.

Which leads me to try to start walking again. I’m really not feeling well though. Even standing, I feel like I’m trembling. Not a good feeling at all. I’m very weak lately. I plan to go to the hospital soon to get a full check up. Something I planned three years ago but ran short of the cash to do it. I probably have more than enough cash but I can’t be sure until it is over and then it is too late.

My insurance has a $100 per day deductible for the room for the first five days but the room is less than $50 a day. The insurance said that’s for room and nursing care. The doctor told me there is no extra charge for nursing. I don’t trust insurance companies much, so I almost expect them to try to apply that other $50 to something else. I haven’t been in a position to commit to a possible $500 hospital bill. I’m not a rich expat.  Many of the expats living in the Philippines are rich though.

In the news this month were two Swedes getting sentenced to life in prison for human trafficking. Sending a grime warning for those awaiting trial. They were running webcam den where men paid by the minute to interact with Filipina. Not a good idea. They claim they are scapegoats and while there may be some truth that the Philippines wanted to set an example of them, they still did something I would never do. After learning of the human trafficking laws in the Philippines, I thought such activities were just plain foolish.

Living in the Philippines has enriched my life considerably. If you’re in good health it can do even more for you.  So many come just for the excitement of Angeles City. Though I would love to visit there, I didn’t come here for that. Most of what goes on there I’m not interested in.

I follow various forums that have Angeles City as their primary focus. Most of the people that visit those sites are not living in the Philippines. Some do live here though. The people that frequent those sites tend to have a much more jaded few from those of us living in other areas of the Philippines. I do wish they’d get out into the province and see how most Filipino live.

I love living in the Philippines. I wish I could take up diving. One day I will. That is something I could never afford to do if I lived in the USA. I could probably even learn to fly here. I’ve looked at the prices and I could afford it. I don’t know if I could pass the physical. I know I can’t in the USA.

Well, it is time for me to pack up my bags and head home. The sea is at high tide and lapping upon the resort steps.  A charter plane is flying overhead. It is possible to take a charter flight from Cebu City to Bantayan Island. I live too close for that.  It takes me less than 2 hours to get to Bantayan Island, including the ferry ride from Hagnaya.

If you’re retired and have even a thousand dollars a month, you might want to consider living in the Philippines to spice up your life.


I am back home after a visit to Bantayan Island.

A typhoon is headed to the Philippines and is assaulting Samar with tropical storm winds now. It looks like it will mostly skirt the Philippines.

Living in the Philippines — The Exchange Rate

The dollar improved for a bit and the dollar to Philippine peso rate is still holding its own. Slow housing starts didn’t help the situation. When the dollar falls, expats living in the Philippines have less money to spend. Well those of us living in the Philippines on fixed incomes. Some, it has little effect on.

Do you want to live in the Philippines? It really isn’t very hard to do. Sometimes the fear of change that most humans have can lead to many excuses. When I got here, I so often though, I wish I hadn’t put it off for so long. You can start living in the Philippines too.


My Internet slowed to a crawl. Lots of data loss when I ping my Internet service provider. This happens too often on the weekends lately. Someone needs to go to the office and reboot a server or a router. I’m guessing at that but support even told Jessie once that it would have to wait until Monday when someone was in the office. Happens usually on holidays when no one is in the local office for several days. It is almost 8am so I’m hoping things will return to normal soon.

I’ve been trying to upload a 20 second video but You Tube indicates it will take more than 3 hours. LOL It wont upload at all. I’m also trying to upload a picture of a sea urchin to Facebook, it won’t upload.

And I tried to upload a gallery of pictures related to my recent visit to a Bantayan Island beach resort but that’s just impossible with my internet the way it is.

One of the downsides of living in the Philippines, is the too frequent brown outs and Internet slow downs. In December of 2009, my Internet was down for two weeks!

I took the time to work on a video of the trip to Bantayan Island. The video is ready now but my Internet connection is not. Since it is 11 minutes long, I don’t even dream of trying to upload it right now.

End of the Month Wrap Up

Nothing much more happened this month that I can recall.  Jessie is bothered because her son’s friends are coming into the house and eating our food so she put locks on the kitchen cabinets and installed a new lock on the door so her youngest son wont let them in when we don’t know they are here.  I guess the kids are hungry but they depleted our groceries half way through the month.  Gonna have to stop this activity.  If she can’t do it then I’ll have to risk scaring the daylights out of them with some good old Southern charm I suppose.  Awwww, the trails of living in the Philippines.

Managed to finally get a room booked in Palawan for our upcoming visit.  Looks like it is pretty firm that we will be staying  at Microtel. Jessie read some complaints from guest of the hotel that the beach is actually a mangrove swamp.  That is not exactly what I had in mind.  I hope I’m able to find a tour to the Underground River and Estrella Falls.

Amazingly we didn’t have a brownout the entire month of May and I’m impressed.  May is usually the worst months for brownouts due to it usually being the hottest month in the Philippines.  Good job Cebu Province for keeping the lights on!

That wraps up this month of living in the Philippines.