Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017, the first day of the rest of our lives… Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift – that’s why they call it the present!
Or so they tell me….
Brought to you this week by brand name knockoff sunglasses that you can buy of nearly any street vendor in the Philippines for a dollar. Yes, for only 50 pesos lang you too can style and profile in the latest designs by renowned Chinese designers Huchi, Provda, Nulce and Cabana, Say Ban and – of course, my personal favorite – Hoakly. At only a dollar a pop, be sure to stock up – especially considering the need for cutting-edge Chinese ultraviolet protection during the upcoming total solar eclipse coming on August 21st.
[My PhilippineDreams warns readers not to actually look at an eclipse with sunglasses of any sort. You WILL go blind.]
Weather – It’s raining here in Dumaguete, and the moisture is playing havoc with my PLDT DSL internet line. It’s still rainy season, but despite this, the past week has been mostly sunny skies with temperatures averaging about 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Not so bad…..
Last week’s trivia question: Continuing on the previous week’s topic of science fiction and fantasy: This British author is known for his “grimdark” take on conventional fantasy. He, too, is one of my favorite authors of all time and his series featured a yellow-eyed half-demon, a self-loathing torturer and a rather likeable nine-fingered berserker who also unfortunately happened to be an unwitting child killer.
The correct answer was Joe Abercrombie and Peter D. and Josie G. were all sent a free copy of my ebook, Chasing Your Philippine Dream: An Expat’s Guide to the Philippines.
This week’s trivia question: You can see examples of this skin discoloration on the leg of nearly every Philippine citizen. After a foreigner has been here for a while, they tend to suffer from the same malady. And no, I’m not talking tan lines here. First two correct answers emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org gets you a free copy of our book, a $10.95 value at any of your local book retailers.
If any still exist…
Tuesday Morning Q&A: Special thanks to Rory, Chris, Jesus, Tim and Kent for joining in on a Google Hangout yesterday morning. Once my self-induced technical difficulties were sorted out, we had ourselves a discussion on various topics including renting vs owning, the ongoing fighting in Mindanao, getting medications from the VA, and why Ned isn’t smart enough to find the power switch on his microphone. Unlike my announcement last week, you DON’T have to be a supporter in order to access the Hangout: It will simply be open to any and all who want to join and constructively add to the ongoing discussion of living, working, studying, retiring or just simply playing ping-pong in the Philippines.
And speaking of supporters – don’t forget that I do have a Patreon site – the link (as always) is in the video description box. If you think the content of my work is of any worth, consider ponying up to the Patreon bar and offering your support. Even a dollar a month makes for a nice cold Pilsen…
Thanks again to everyone who has supported this site – both financially and with continued positive (or constructive negative) feedback. I sincerely appreciate it.
FREE GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINES!!
Galaxy Science Fiction magazine recently made most of its extensive collection available for free. If you are a sci-fi fan, you can find 355 issues available, running from 1950 to 1976 at the Archive.org site. Available formats are PDF, epub, MOBI and many others.
If you’re interested (I already downloaded the first five issues), just click HERE.
First Subscriber Question comes once again from one of our longest subscribed viewers and a true friend of the channel – the one, the only Aaron Wilson.
Q: Aaron Asks “Ned, thanks for answering my question last week. That said, I now seek your most valuable insight on my present situation. I am a gay man who is presently taking an extended vacation in Thailand. I met a wonderful ladyboy at a party hosted by Kev-in-Thailand, a local vlogger, and I am now considering marrying her. Would it be best to get married first and bring her to the United States on a spousal visa or would I be better off bringing her into California on a K-1 fiancé visa?
A: Thanks once again for the question, Sir Aaron, and congratulations on finding that special someone! Both of your options are doable under present US law. Living in California – which allows same sex marriage – you could bring her in under the K-1 fiancé visa and marry within the stipulated 90 day period. The only issue facing a spousal visa for your lovely lad(y) would be where you would be married prior to applying for a spousal visa. As you probably know, same-sex marriage is not legal in Thailand, so the closest option would be New Zealand, which does allow same-sex marriage. You could conceivably apply for NZ tourist visas, get married there and then apply for a US spousal visa. I hope that answered your question Aaron and congratulations again!
President Duterte Admits Challenges to Controlling the Drug Problem
The Philippines firebrand of a president, Rodrigo Duterte, recently admitted that the harsh campaign against his drug-dependent constituents is more of a challenge than he originally thought. Speaking before a group of medical clinicians in Davao City, the president noted that the nation has thousands of miles of coastline and insufficient resources in which to monitor them. “We don’t have the equipment,” he was noted to say. “It’s not enough.”
He also once again brought up the United States, and noted the Americans’ inability to deal with its own drug problem. “Others can’t do it. How can we? These drugs….we can’t control it.”
When elected, the populist president promised to end the Philippines drug problem within six months – if he couldn’t, he would resign. He later changed that pledge after realizing just how severe a problem long term methamphetamine dependency is.
On a related note, the President seems to have pivoted towards eradicating corruption in government, which he likened to a ‘cancer on society.’ He also pledged that if corruption charges linked to his son were proven true, he would resign from his presidency.
Aaron Wilson asks:
Q: “Ned, thanks for addressing the issue of contaminated water in last week’s Livecast. I appreciate the answer, but I am actually more concerned about parasitical infestation from the uncooked vegetables that you consume. I actually had to move from the Philippines to Thailand because of my fear of being infected with roundworm, whipworm or the like.
A: Aaron is referring here to what is commonly called soil-transmitted-helminths or STH’s, which are parasites transmitted either through direct contact with poop-contaminated soil or ingesting food that is grown and/or exposed to poop-contaminated soil. It is a HUGE problem throughout all the developing world and is the most prolific parasitic disease known to man (and women). About two BILLION people are infected and another four billion are at risk. Many nations – including the Philippines and Thailand – have yearly deworming clinics conducted through the local school systems. So, Aaron, you really didn’t need to move to Thailand, as it is also a hot zone for STH’s. For those who do eat uncooked vegetables and fruits, you can have your doctor write you a prescription for a single antihelminthic pill that you can take once or twice a year to deworm yourself. I do it once a year – mebendazole costs two dollars USD for the single dose, and I haven’t noticed any side effects. Well, except for a few wormy poops.
Deworming – it’s more fun in the Philippines!!!
Ceiling Surprises in Cebu City
The owner of a home in the sleepy little barangay of Guadalupe in Cebu City was growing concerned over the suspicious disappearances of a number of his puppies. First one disappeared, then another and as each day passed, another again. Finally, after the sixth puppy disappearance, the home owner was driven to investigate and shortly thereafter discovered that a 20-foot-long reticulated python had taken up residence in his ceiling. The local constabulary was summoned, the snake was captured and bagged and transported to the City Command Control Center. (I have no idea what a frikken City Command Control Center is or why they send large snakes there.) Once fingerprinted and photographed, the snake will then be turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Of the six missing puppies, there was no sign, and the twenty foot long serpent is reportedly not cooperating with the authorities. Hearing about this, an inebriated American hanging out in Mango Square was reported to say, “Hey – it’s Cebu City, party capital of the Philippines. You’ll find tubular surprises in the most unlikely of places here. Happened to me just last night, in fact.”
Hey, it’s a true story. Embellished a bit, but true nonetheless!
Tricare in Dumaguete
For any US veterans in Dumaguete, Timothy noted that you can actually get Tricare in teh City of Gentle People. The provider is Dr. Henry Tan at Holy Child Hospital.
And finally, the battle against ISIS in Mindanao continues, the US is still contemplating assisting with the protracted, near-civil war, North Korea is considering ICBM missile tests on the tiny island of Guam, and neo-nazi’s in the United States are now being referred to as “disaffected youth.”
Time to get another Pilsen delivery….