Wedding Plans, Clomid, Money Exchange and Computer Gaming in the Philippines

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.  

Wedding Plans
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.  🙂

Clomid
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.  

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Clomid = High Score on Hammer of the Gods

Money Exchange
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.

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Gaming
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. 

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Living in a Digital World

Animal Companions
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…..

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furry ice cream thief

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Men’s Furnishings??

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Michell in her natural habit…

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!

 

philippines wins pornhub time on site

Comments 45

  1. Well done. The only thing not mentioned is Michell going with you this time back home to Boston when you go ( before the wedding in December).

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  2. Ned did you visit your home when you were playing Fallout 4?
    May be they can hook it up with googlemaps street view

    The Pornhub ratings, does that mean the longer you stay the better lover you are or does it mean the biggest w@#$%rs come from those countries.
    I notice Oz is right up there with the best of them.
    I think I’ll take it as a compliment. lol

    Glad you have got that ray of sunshine in your life.
    Good luck for the future for the both of you.

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      Hahah – I tried to find it but it wasn’t exactly to scale. I did find the buidling where I lived for a year that was just off the Boston Common, though – that was kind of surreal.

      The Pornhub viewing rates I just found funny. Either Filipinos reallly 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!

      Thanks, Martin and be well!

  3. Watch out with the Clomid! I took it and got a blood clot in my lungs. Not sure that’s what caused it but it’s the only thing the doctors could explain.

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  4. Well you talked me in to getting Fallout 4. I play an MMO ( Elder Scrolls Online) the offshoot of Skyrim. My 74 year old neighbor and former college professor from many years ago bought it for me because she wants me to run around and kill stuff with her as a group. Fun. I enjoy the way it makes me think and use strategy. She complains because it is not easy to understand. I explain that is why it is a game. DUHHH!!! Anyway I will get it on Steam. I just sent Anna $2,500 to pay the attorney for the annulment ( that is going well by the way) and got a great exchange rate and am sending more nowfor the trip in June. Kind of nice to have pesos sitting there when you arrive so if you have someone you trust send the money and then have it waiting if you are visiting. Just a tip from a somewhat experienced traveler…..hehe not experienced Philippine native like Ned. Congrats on the wedding. You deserve each other ..in a great way and I mean that as a compliment.

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      Thanks, John. I played Skryim a bunch of times on PC and it was a great game – still is, actually. I think I am going to play Fallout New Vegas next with a whole slew of mods to make a great game even better.

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  5. How did you get USD in the Philippines? I realize this is a rather personal inquiry. PM me if needed. I will be in country for the month of April…any requests?

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      I have two Philippine bank accounts – one in pesos, the other in US dollars. I transfer US dollars here by writing a check from my US bank and depositing in my Philippines bank US dollar account – it takes about a month to clear. Then, I either exchange with the bank if they give me the Forex margin rate or I withdraw the dollars, exchange them for pesos and redeposit them in my Philippines bank peso account.

  6. I got excited when I read wedding and Clomid. I thought Michell was taking it! Oh well, glad it worked for you. (You have plenty of time to make cute babies.)

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      LOL – We will probably have our first next year. We’ve talked and only want two kids – a boy and a girl. If we have a boy first, we will adopt a girl and vice versa. Looking forward to it!

  7. Congratulations on the engagement Ned and Michell! I don’t know if you plan to have kids but I want to let you know how gorgeous bi-racial babies are (I have a niece, nephew, 2 god daughters, and a few cousins as living proofs). Ha haaa! BTW – Ned, weddings are grand affairs in the Philippines, especially in small towns. If it’s not too intrusive, are you planning to have a big wedding (BTW — you don’t have to answer that — just curious)? In my old hometown (Cagayan Valley), they had traditional wedding customs. I haven’t lived in the Philippines for almost three decades so some of the traditions may be gone. Does Michell have a wedding tradition that she would like to keep? Wedding customs are regional and I suspect they have their own practices in Mindanao.

    Happy for you,
    Dee H.

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  8. Been watching YouTube videos for a year or so and really enjoy them. Salamat!!! Arriving in Manila 4/1 gotta spend a few days there and visit my uncles graveside in American cemetary in fort bonafacio. Was thinking of checking out Dumaguete. The impression i get from you two and Bud Brown it seems like a pretty nice place. Can you recommend a few hotels? Will gladly repay your advice & kindness with a Sox, Bruins, Pats or Celtics hat and tee!!! Better yet I think a nice Dorchester ensemble may be in order LOL!! Please PM me with size and preference for Michell I know your probably XXXXXXL after all the time at gym LOL. Thanks again.

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      LOL -thanks Ed, but don’t worry about the T’s. Three hotels we have heard good things about are Hotel Essencia, Bethel (back rooms so you don’t have to listen to 5 AM zumba on boulevard) and Novotel. Friends have all stayed there and been very happy.

  9. First off Congrats to you both!!! I enjoy following ya’lls (Texas, we like to simplify things) adventures. I have a question I hope you find time to answer as best you can. I am 50 and have been forced into early retirement. I have traveled for work the last 30 years and I am going to apply for a retirement visa when I decide where I want to live, Phillapines is a consideration. Q: I have 2 DUIs from 13 and 18 years ago, back when I thought partying all the time was fun; Can that stop me from getting a retirement visa in the Phill?

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      Hmmmm – good question. When you apply for SRRV visas, they do want you to provide a police clearance from your home country. To see if your DUI’s are still on your record. just get a criminal history check at you local police or sheriff’s department. Staying here on tourist visas, you don’t have to worry about it. Hope that helps!

  10. What a nice end to read through most of your blog during the past few months Ned.
    My congratulations to you and Michell both on the wedding plans (and on the blog of course).
    I can say you have been instrumental in my decision to come check out Dumaguete as a potential first option to settle down in the Philippines. I will be there from early May and hopefully find a suited rental within a few weeks (I know, you have been searching for a long time, I must have a thick skull to think I can do it in a few weeks lol).
    If you have enough time on your hands to sit down for a chat and a beer or dinner then we would be happy to invite you
    and Michell once we’re there. I would be grateful if you could assist with some do’s and dont’s as far as househunting in Dumaguete goes.

    kind regards,
    Paul & Melanie

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      Thanks, Paul! Finding an OK place to stay is easy enough. Finding the “perfect” place to live is a bit harder. And yeah, just let us know when ya get here and I will give you our phone number. Good luck and go slow!!

  11. Here’s a twist for you, you seem so knowledgeable on this stuff I thought I would ask you as part of the research – I have been dating a Philippine girl for 3 years now, we both live in Canada she has dual passports Philippine/Canada I have British/Canada. We plan to settle in the Philippines in a couple of years or so but plan to get married here before arriving there. I’m sure there is no problem with her returning but any idea what my status would be and issues I would have getting in and staying.

    Appreciate any help or light you can shine on this for us.

    PJay

    PS: I’m a business blogger here in Canada – love your style and content…

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      Thanks, Pjay. When you both come to the Philippines, you can come in under “balikbayan privilege” just so long as you enter the Philippines together and you have your marriage certificate. BB is good for one year and is free. While here, you could then file for a marriage visa. Actually, I just re-read your post and realized you are not married. Instead of the above, you could come in on a regular tourist visa which costs a bit over a dollar a day. Hope this helps!

  12. So happy to hear that yuz guys are getting married. You will be happy together. The only adjustment is the sure and steady erosion of your former bachelor freedoms as your wife/boss assumes more control in the relationship… ????

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      I guess it’s all a matter of give and take. Yeah, you might have to give up some of those freedoms but what I get in return is well worth it. Michell definitely makes my life a lot better just for being in it. 🙂 Thanks, Steve.

  13. Love your YouTube stuff, planning on a subscription soon.
    You probably already know you are expected to pay for the wedding, but I gave my Filipina bride her dream wedding in Pagadian City 3 years ago for under 40,000php. in 2012, including the food. This included all the folks who showed up uninvited at the venue and were fed. My wife is from a small town, San Miguel, about 30 minutes from Pagadian. 90% of the village is related to her, so people invited themselves…I imagine you can do as well, especially if Michelle has one or two close friends to help coordinate the event.
    Congratulations, and best wishes!

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  14. Ned and Michell,
    congrats, on living from the heart. No matter what people say, it’s a stepping stone for growth.

    A single man in Thailand: 6 years now; left USA at 58 years old to a simpler life-style. No need to explain that. Undeniably came with visions of pristine water, beaches, warmth and simplicity. An artist retired, more reclusive than most, I figured Thailand may be a place where I could also connect more easily with meeting a possible lady partner in relationship.

    I have lived many places in Thailand and have visited the Philippines, on vacation with friends there…

    Having watched your videos of you and Michell, plus other bloggers in Phil.with lady along side…there is one very distinct difference I witnessed in videos, relative to each country.

    Generally speaking, the Philippine woman is more thoroughly engaged with their man in relationship than most thai women are with their western lovers. The difference is shocking, its not only the english language that ties us, but there is a deeper understanding or familiarity from Phil. women as to what we are and how we think as westerners.

    To a large degree, Philippine behavior mirrors America or western culture. Thai behavior mirrors Asian cultures more so than western culture. Both countries are bound to family connection, but the concept of, “love connection” appears to be more genuine in the Philippines. It comes across big time in most all videos.
    In Thailand there is a distinct disconnect due to language and culture habits of behavior. Sadly, in groups, many thai ladies sit quietly, as suitcases along side their partner…un-engaged. This leaves a thai lady with less connection and an understanding in mind that they are more involved for benefit of family or money, and opportunity. I admire the thai women, she runs and carries Thailand in so many ways.

    I am researching Phil. again for living,…both countries are very similar, but pictures (the videos) and experience of mine tells me one thing…love still endures against the scammers attempt to deceive the heart.

    My research is not only mine, but of many other westerners I have met in Thailand and Philippines. Many will disagree with my comments: opinion is an illusion and mine as well should be taken with a grain of salt. Positive intention creates positive results…go where… passion leads

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      I have spoken with a large number of other foreigners living in Thailand, and they basically say the same thing – some are so disillusioned that they even refer to Thais as “lacking souls.” I have never been there, but I do know that Thai is a tonal language and very difficult to learn. And as you also mentioned, culturally they are definitely “more Asian” than Filipinos seem to be. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this up – it is MUCH apprceciated! Cheers!

  15. 47 years ago married a girl from Paco Manila . She was working on Clark AFB. Best thing I ever did. At that time the Military took a dim view of it. It may not work for everyone but my life has been enriched everyday.

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  16. Congrats on your upcoming Marrage Ned & Michele . I Wish you the best of everything And a long & Happy Marrage. I Found my Woman in the Phillippines as well . She is a real wonderful Woman & Lover . IM Shure you found the right Girl for you. I’m Coming back to stay in a year . & We are moving to Naga City. I Couldn’t get her to go any further than that as she’s from Manilla.

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  17. Wow congratulations you guys! I have watched all your videos in YouTube, some videos I have watched few times ???? I believe I am now your number one fan. I’m happy hearing you guys getting married and thinking of babies soon, I’m sure you will make beautiful Amerasian babies. Vlogs about your wedding and your future babies will be another think to look forward to your vlogs.

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  18. Congratulations I am happy to hear it!
    I think you both found it .
    What everybody looks for.
    Enjoy ! Life is short.

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  19. Ned you probably already know about the fiancee visa before you get married there it used to take much longer if you married there first,seems it changes her status to Immigrant and in 2000 when we were married We were warned to go the fiancee visa route first because we networked with others and were told by some it took almost 2 yrs as immigrant spouse if you married there first before you obtained the visa.A million best wishes to you and yours.Our family love all your videos and your commentaries.Morning coffee and Philippine Dreams.Starts my day:-) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Argao overlook(almost finished)then coffee overlooking THERE:-) 🙂 🙂 🙂 :-)Instead of Jakin Georgia on Lake Seminole .Again ,a million happiness’s

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      Thanks, Leonard. I don’t plan on living full time in the US for quite some time, so we will simply have to go through with the conventional marriage visa. I like the Argao area – especially the coastal side of the highway where all those houses are perched right on the edge of the cliffs. Sweet!

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