Our 2014 Philippines Christmas Party

  It started simply enough. One day, while mowing our rather diminutive lawn, I noticed that some kids had gathered outside our gate.  Thoroughly Filipino, they were a curious lot, and the first question they had for me was “Are you sick?”  Not feeling particularly ill, I realized they had asked this question because I had no hair, which is an …

Incurring the Wrath of the Filipino Collective Consciousness….

What do Clare Danes, Teri Hatcher, Justin Bieber, Dan Brown and the Beatles Have in Common?   Answer: They’ve all incurred the wrath of the Filipino collective conscious… I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and talking to Filipinos about some aspects of their cultural identity, specifically that of hiya (“embarrassment/shame”), amor propio (“love of self”) and utang na …

Extreme Noise Pollution in the Philippines

In weighing out the pros and cons of making a permanent (or even temporary) move to the Philippines, one always has to keep in mind the pollution.  And I’m not talking here about just the garbage that tends to congregate just about everywhere in the cities nor am I referring to the great plumes of black diesel exhaust and smoldering, …

Finally! SCUBA Diving Certification at Harold’s Mansion, Part 1

  OK, so after being in the Republic for over a year and promising myself time and time again that I would get my SCUBA (Open Water) certification, I finally took the time out of my “busy” schedule to actually get it done.  Shopping around a bit about town, I finally settled on Mares Dive Shop in Harold’s Mansion, a …

Super typhoons, Christmas carolers, and the occasional middle finger….

  Well, our little slice of heaven successfully rode out super typhoon Hagupit/Ruby, with the only indication of it passing being a small rise in the wind levels on Friday evening, an event that prompted yours truly to rush out and batten everything down.  Of course, by the time I was done with my battening, the wind had already died down, …

Our November 2014 Monthly Philippines Expense Report

  We get asked quite a bit about how much it costs to live in the Philippines.  Truth be told, the answer is pretty much “It depends.”  If you are expecting to translocate your Western lifestyle over to South East Asia, it’s going to cost quite a bit.  Steaks and other imported foods are very expensive here, “Western” style homes …