Ask Michell and A Plague of Boils Upon You!!

Well, someone mentioned that Michell is getting more comfortable in front of the camera, so I asked her if she wanted to do her own video, and she replied to the affirmative. Actually, it’s common knowledge that Filipinos tend to be pretty comfortable in front of any camera. (Bit of an understatement, that.) We were shooting a comedy video surreptitiously on the boulevard the other day – I was holding the camera down by my side and shooting candid footage. Despite these measures, 9 out of the 10 Filipinos that we secretly tried to video actually noted the camera – it’s like a sixth sense with them….

So, we are doing an “Ask Michell” video. We put it up last night, and my better half thought that no one would be interested in asking questions. Today – and with boatload of comment/questions already posted – she seems to be a bit intimidated by all the work that she will have to do. There was actually one guy in the comment section who took a shine to answering most of the questions that other subscribers were putting up for Michell. A bit of a hijack there, but it’s all good. I am sure that Michell will be able to come up with a number of answers on her own. I just told her that I will probably have her do the video by herself, that way she can list out all the replies to the most asked question: What’s the most difficult thing about living with an American. Heck, we’ll probably have to break that down into a multi-part video series. 🙂

I went to the hospital today, forgetting that it’s a national holiday (The Day of Heroes.) Needless to say, the doctors were out of stock, so I will have to go back tomorrow. I am dealing with a rather nasty staph infection in my right armpit. Yep – boils. It started with one a month ago but it went away with a 7 day course of Cephalaxin. About five days ago, it returned with a vengeance and I now have six of the little bastads growing in there. One was painful enough – I can’t imagine how six are going to feel. Last night I did the hot compress with sea salt thing then slept overnight with castor oil-soaked cotton balls taped to the area. Waking up this morning, I again put hot compresses on it. I am also taking Cephalaxin again (on the fourth day now), and so far, they haven’t turned into giant freaks of painfulness. I will repeat the sea salt/castor oil thing today and keep my fingers crossed. Safe to say I can now appreciated plagues of boils being cursed upon people in the Bible. It’s pretty bad.

I also realized today that I pretty much spend my time around the house in my boxer shorts. It’s a bit hot and humid here in the Philippines, and loose undies and a wifebeater (tank top) are about as heavy as I go when I am home. I have a rather colorful collection of boxers, so it’s not like I am lacking for style or anything. Of course, it’s a pain in the butt when visitors come over, but I soon think I might be at a state of mind where I am not even going to care about that.

Well, gotta have dinner. Michell cooked up pinakbet (with chicken and NO shrimp paste), and it’s time to sit down and have a pleasant supper. After that, we’ll probably hop onto the PS3 and save Pandora from the evil machinations of Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2. We’re level 23 now – I’m a Soldier and she’s a Mechromancer.

We sooooo bad!

Take care, ya’ll.


  1. Hello Michell, my first question is.. Have you come across any cultural habits of Ned or other American that you think are strange or endearing?

    Next is.. If you can advise other filipino/a on being with an expat what would it be?

    I am personally interested in the job market for tech workers in the Philippines. So my general question is can I work…..and how difficult is to find work there?

    Again thank you both for given us a small look into your lives in the Philippines.

  2. Question for Michelle
    I’m noticing that my wife get’s very upset whenever something she wants and expects doesn’t work out as planned. Most recently, we’ve been planning to build a house on a lot her mama gifted her. We’ve done all the preliminary work such as permits and fees, blue prints and so on, but since my funds are limited we’ve been waiting for detailed list of materials needed from the contractor, which we finally received. Turns out cost’s are higher than anticipated, so I prepared 3 options for her to consider. She was shocked and couldn’t decide and asked for time to consider, which I agreed to.
    Today she tells me she was felt hurt and disappointed with the options and rather than discuss it with me, she went and announced the project was cancelled to friends and relatives. Truth is she really wants that house, but now she’s pouting and passively aggressive with me. Today I told her that I don’t understand the hurt, this was not something personal from me, it was about numbers, cost, income, and time,
    and this is a family activity, she should have come back to tell me what she thought before making announcements and cancellations on her own. She said can’t blame her because she was hurt and in a bad mood.
    We’ve been married going on 2 years next month, and I’ve seen the same behavior several times in the past when plans didn’t work out, usually it’s about money.
    I’m wondering if this behavior is culturally based or is more personal. I don’t get angry with her, we just talk normally, but she get’s very upset and has to get off the phone or off Skype to cool off and it takes her 2 – 3 days to come back. To me this seems to be adolescent behavior, and I’m starting to think that it can become a big problem for the relationship especially after I return early part of next year. I always try to communicate as much as possible before and during any project we plan, but sometimes things don’t work as planned, to me it’s life, and not a big deal, but to her it’s hurtful and melt-down time. I’m really troubled by this behavior.
    Anything you can offer or suggest is appreciated. Thanks….

    1. Hey Frank. Michell basically says that your wife just needs to grow up – that you are right, and she is being passively aggressive. As we noted in the video, they are not very good at the subteties of this, so it’s pretty obvious when it is happening. Personally, I see a whole lot of warning signs here, and even though most couples have disputes over money, this example is pretty extreme, especially since you are paying for the house and she is going off on 2-3 day communication blackouts when she doesn’t get her way.

  3. okay so my question is how do I deal with the really bad jealousy of the girl that I’m talking to currently in the Philippines. every time a Filipina wants to add me she gets very upset if like I hit except by accident instead of cancel and not even realizing I just did. also we have talked of marriageand it has been a tissue about whether to have a expensive waiting which apparently cost 5000 dollars us. or just have a simple wedding with family. actually she is the first girl that I have talked to over there and also the only one.should I talk to other Filipinas for a while? She is a very nice girl though and I do really like her but she is levelling me she loves me and we have only been talking for 3 weeks. Is that normal because it is not in the States. Also do y’all have any good ideas about companies for me to make money on the internet with. I have some college experience currently in school . Thanks Jeff Dye

    1. You can get a very nice catered wedding with a beautiful venue to seat 100 people for P80,000 to 120,000 . I personally do not understand getting all crazy about a wedding… get all crazy about the marriage instead, after all it will be around longer than a day. 😉

  4. A question for Michell. . .
    While I am planning to, eventually visit/move to the RP, my lovely filipina, who lives in Caloocan, is having much trouble finding a decent job. She is educated, with a degree in computer science, but has only been able to find menial jobs which provide little income. I am aware of the difficulties in finding employment anywhere, especially in the RP.

    She says that age discrimination if practiced overtly in the RP and that her age (she is 41) precludes her from finding, really, any gainful employment. Needless to say, this is putting something of a strain on our relationship and on her ability to feed herself and her son and provide the basic necessities of modern living.

    My questions to Michell are, is this true? Is age discrimination commonly practiced? Is it culturally acceptable? What steps, if any, are being taken to combat this?

    In my opinion, if this is commonly practiced, the RP is depriving itself of a vast reservoir of knowledge, skill and experience. I realize the allure of youth to many, but age, and its acquired wisdom and experience, have much to offer.

    Any thoughts Michell? Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Kind regards,


    1. Hi Sam! Michell here. Sad to say but it is true. Here in RP, it gets harder to find a job as you gets older. One of the reason is, it is usually cheaper for companies to hire someone with less experience. Second, most of this companies want someone flexible- someone they can assign everywhere. I’ve seen a lot of flyers saying willing to be transfer to a new branch, etc. Hence, a woman of that age is expected to be married and have kids and companies see that attachment she have over her family a hindrance. I’ve seen it happened to my sister and she’s only in her mid thirties! You can go to Department of Labor and Employment but not so sure if they would do something quickly about it. Most of the “older women” I know try to put up businesses. Or try to find “backer” (ask your wife/gf about what this means) in a company to insure she’s gonna be hired.

    2. My Asawa has talked on this a few times. Just the other day we were talking about “when we move to the Phils” what would she do… her first response was she would need to start a business as no one would hire her (being over 30 is almost a cure for working and marriage it seems, and approaching 40… yikes)

  5. Hi guys, love your videos. My question is straight forward. What do you consider the best site for a retired person to meet , on line at first, a Phillipino woman. I have tried Facebook but that seems a bit creepy, trolling profiles and sending unsolicited messages. Thanks for any help.

    1. You might be a little better off on the paid sites, like Filipinocupid or something like that. Michell and I met on Date in Asia which is a free site, so there is no real “go to” site. Just take your time, watch out for warning signs like money requests, sick family members, “I love you” after two days, etc. etc.. Just make friends first, tell them EXACTLY what your intentions and expectations are (kids/no kids, marriage/no marriage, family money requests, etc). Even with all that up front, it’s still going to require a good amount of work. Again, just take your time.

    2. Dating sites are fine if you are watchful, like said by many there are scammers out there. I met my wife on filipinacupid.

      One rule to follow out of the gate – IF the person asks for money.. MOVE ON. They may seem nice and have worked their “magic” to get your affections for they flowing, but if they start asking for money… move on. If you “feel the need” one thing to ask yourself is “what did they do before you came along to handle this situation?”

      After that be very open and honest with the woman and expect the same from her.

      There are many of us “old farts” who have found a wonderful Filipina, just take your time. And be careful. (I too am retired)

  6. Dear Michell,

    Thank you very much for your answer. . .I was afraid of all this.
    Oh well, I knew she was poor when I met her and we will just have to tough it out. When you love someone and care about them, you will do most anything for them. And so I will continue to make sure she has the essentials until I can come to the RP for good. It is what it is as they say.

    Thank you for your consideration and effort.
    Be well.



  7. Thanks for the reply Ned and Michelle. Also thanks for your comments Hank. I appreciate it. I have lived the pass three years in Thailand and Cambodia, loved them both. This did, however, give me the chance to spend more money than I should have, the life of a newbie! Given that, I still enjoyed my time there. I am now looking at spending some time or “eternity” in the Phillipines! One never knows. So thanks again, Michelle if there are any friends looking for older men you can pass on my e- mail! Still loving your post. Some more road trips would be nice Ned.

  8. Yeah my gf told me about the age description that occurs, She is 34 and said it is difficult for her to find decent employment, especially any that pays well because she is over 30 years old. I found that difficult to fathom just like so many other strange things she has told me, continuous days of brownouts, water turned off by the municipality at times, being held hostage by hospitals until making payment for services, buying and selling of votes during elections, etc. as Ned has a habit of saying, “and what not”, lol.

    1. Nearly every salesperson who works at the malls is 20-something, slender and attractive. There are no real discrimination laws here. LOL – yeah, those strange things are true. You have to use “bahala na” (whatever) a lot here. Lot’s of “and what not….” 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *