Life for a foreign expat in the Philippines is pretty good and most days it truly is “sunny skies and pretty Pinays.” Yes, there are moments when the unrelenting heat, plumes of burning trash and columns of diesel fumes get too be a bit much, but overall, life in the Philippines is pretty durn good.
After knowing Michell for three years and living together for the past two years, it’s now time to get married. Having never been married before, the process is unfamiliar to me, but seeing as how a bunch of other folks have done it in the past, I am sure we can figure it out. We will probably get married around December of this year and will have start putting some thought into the venue. I am leaning towards a simple ceremony somewhere around Negros Oriental with just her immediate family. I wouldn’t mind doing something at a beach resort down around Dauin, but I have to talk to Michell to see if that is OK with her family. After all this time, I still can’t believe how much I lucked out in meeting her – she really makes my life so much better for simply being on it.
She truly is more than I deserve. 🙂
As some of you know, I started taking clomid (clomiphene citrate) about four or five months ago because I was feeling lethargic all the time. The drug – which is a female fertility drug also used by bodybuilders to boost their body’s testosterone production – doubled my test levels in three months (410 to 840) and definitely helped with the lethargy. It also had a substantial impact on my time in the gym with all of my lifts going up. The downside is that it worked TOO well – I gained a lot of body mass (most of it muscle) but I really didn’t want to gain that much weight, so I stopped taking it about a month ago. I have lost some of the weight I gained since stopping, and in another couple of months I will get another blood test to see how and if my testosterone levels have changed.
To take full economic advantage of living in the Philippines, it’s best to exchange your dollars for pesos when the dollar is strong. Luckily, the US economy is doing pretty well and as a result, the exchange rate last month reached 47.75. My personal policy is to wait til the rate is good and then exchange a good chunk of change. Last month, I converted $5,0000 USD at XChange at Robinson’s Mall. In return, I received 238,750 pesos, turning a short pile of US bucks into a tall stack of Philippine pesos. I am expecting the dollar to continue to strengthen, so if and when it hits 48, I will exchange more – and if goes to 49, I will do so again. When I first arrived in the Philippines, the rate was down to 42 and the Euro was exchanging much higher. Now, it’s better to be an American (exchange wise) and the Euro (and many other Western currencies) has taken a pretty bad hit against the peso.
I enjoy gaming – it’s something I have been pretty passionate about ever since I was a kid. The Fallout series is one of my favorites, and I had been anticipating the release of the Fallout 4 for quite some time. I purchased it upon release (on Steam) and started playing the next day. For those who care nothing for computer (or console) gaming, Fallout 4 is set in post apocalyptic Boston, Massachusetts, and I got to tell you, wandering about my nuke-ruined home town and fighting off super mutants was a pretty surreal experience. Overall, it was very similar to Fallout 3 and I was initially put off by this. I got deeper into it, though, I came to appreciate the enhanced gameplay and deep crafting system that Fallout 3 didn’t possess.
Plus, it’s always cool to make your character look like you – check out the screenshot I took of my “toon” after the creation process.
Angel the askal is the latest addition to the Philippine Dream Team. “Askal” is a Tagalog conjunction of “asong kalye” (street dog) and we kidnapped her after one our Filipino neighbors (our landlord actually) moved to a different neighborhood and just left her behind. She had been wandering the area ever since she was abandoned, and after talking with Michell, we decided to adopt her. And it seems to have worked out – After luring her into the yard with a trail of chicken bones and giving her some scratches and promises of steady meals, she agreed to stay. Since then, she has been great – our own little four-legged alarm system that thankfully doesn’t chew up shoes or rip through our garbage. She is also getting along well with The Cat, although there was one instance when Angel growled and bared her fangs when The Cat got to close to her food.
Feral dogs and cats are very common in the Philippines. Here’s a shot of a semi-feral cat hanging out with Michell and I at Gabby’s Bistro – she was trying to steal our ice cream…..
And finally, here’s a tally of countries that spend the most time on Pornhub, one of the biggest porn sites in the world. Continuing its tradtion of excellence, the Philippines once again comes in first place!!! Either Filipinos really, really like porn or it just might be an indication of how bad the internet here is – waiting for porn to buffer is a national tradition!