Michell Answers Viewer Questions, the Weather, and Staph Infections…


Michell Answers Viewers Questions
Michell is taking some time on our Youtube channel to answer some questions posed by our subscribers, many of whom are thinking about retiring in the Philippines. It’s one thing for my (mostly) ignorant ass to spew off advice based on my “experiences” (or – as I see them – misadventures) in the Philippines, but it’s quite another to ask someone for insight who has spend nearly 28 years living in the Philippines. I asked her if she was up for doing it last week, and she said she was game. It’s not easy for her to do them as English is not her primary language and she basically thinks in bisaya – so translating those bisaya thoughts into English can be a bit awkward. I can only imagine myself trying to do the same in Spanish… So, props to her for doing it. I might have said before that I really enjoy doing the videos, and they are even more fun when Michell is taking an active role in them. Looking at the footage while editing always makes me laugh as I watch our interplay and see how many times she actually rolls her eyes at me. Good stuff!

The Weather
Unsettled weather abounds here in Dumaguete. It has been raining off and on all day (it is, after all, rainy season), but a few hours ago we got a torrential downpour like you only hear about. I checked the seedlings in the back yard, and all but a few seemed to have weathered it well. The three that didn’t – well, we’ll see if they are able to climb back up to the vertical and continue on. One good thing about all the rain is the cooler weather that it ushers in, especially in the face of the torrents. You can actually tell when it is going to come down heavy as refreshingly cool winds will blow through the windows right before it hits. Right now, it is a very pleasant 84 degrees, and I don’t even have the fan on. Lovely….. I am hoping that the rainy season will continue on more or less, bringing us in some cooler weather, because the last three weeks have been simply too hot. Ugh….. And don’t forget the hot weather requiring air conditioning and the high cost of electricity! If you are on a small pension and looking to retire here, it’s something to keep in mind!




The Monthly Budget
I totaled up our spending for the month of August yesterday (the 30th) and was quite pleased to see that we had only spent $800 US (about 35,000 pesos). Pretty frikken good. I then ordered 3500 pesos of protein mix off Lazada and today we spent about 1500 pesos more at Hypermart, bringing the total for the month to about $915 (40,000 pesos). The protein powder wasn’t an essential expenditure – I would just like to regain some of the muscle mass that I have lost due to the staph infection I have and assorted bouts of colds. I will post up the video and blog post on our final costs tomorrow. Probably.

The Staph Infection
Well, my little infection (multiple staph boils under my right armpit) are not fully clearing out. I am finishing at 10 day Cephalaxin course today and that – in addition to warm compresses and castor oil – seem to be keeping them barely in check. Tomorrow I am off to see the doctor again and see what he has to say. I am hoping to god that it isn’t MRSA and that it’s just regular staph. I had one boil under that armpit about five years ago and have not had a problem until now since. The little guys hurt like a bastard…..




Medical issues are something to seriously consider if you are considering retirement in the Philippines. Medical exams are cursory here and they don’t even take the time to check your vitals and get much background medical history. Ah, well……

Wish me luck, loyal readers!

Looking to visit a distant, sun swept shore? Is retirement approaching? Got a steady income or pension and thinking of the Philippines? Subscribe to our site and get updates on the pro’s and con’s of life here amidst the roosters, palm trees and jeepneys!



  1. i hope you get your skin condition under control and back to normal real soon. i dealt with what the doctor called contact dermatis for a month and a half last year never had it in my life. i had it under my armpits too, i was so puffed up there my pours very visible starting to ooze. also on my chin. i got it under control taking a round of antibiotic and prescription skin cream. ive had bouts of reoccurrences but got them under control with the skin cream. its taken a year for my skin to settle down.
    you say you’ve had this before, what do you think triggered your skin condition there? how did you get it in the first place?

    1. Thanks, Maria. I only had a single boil under that armpit about four or five years ago. At this time, I have about 7 or 8 and they hurt like a bahstad. I am going to the doctor in about an hour for a follow up. Ugh……

  2. many thanks michelle nd ned .. we are preparing to retire in Bacolod soon .. so we really enjoyed your videos esp.if you are together .. looking forward for more fun stuff from both of you .. ex: a wedding ..hee hee .we will attending … joke .. but again maybe not .. thx again ..lol

  3. Hi y’all! Just finished watching the videos. Michelle, you did a great job and I really appreciate your willingness to share your insights. One question that wasn’t discussed; do either of you feel that living your relationship publicly like this makes things more difficult? I’d ask this on the YouTube channel comments but my Firefox security settings seem to conflict with what Google wants for commenting.
    By the way Michelle, Ned’s directness comes mostly because he hails from the Boston area. Whenever Texans like me talk to someone from that part of the country we feel like we are being interrogated and yelled at, and with a really weird accent too! Haha.
    Thanks again for all the great info, y’all take care now, ‘heah!

    1. Our relationship is pretty strong. We have worked through most of the difficulties we had early in the relationship, and I am very happy with where we are now. I don’t think talking about things on Youtube hurts our relationship and sometimes it helps by underscoring some of the things we both still need to work on.

  4. Ned, sorry to hear about the skin condition, especially if it’s painful for you. My last trip there I unknowingly picked up a parasite and had a burning fever and lost a lot of weight. The drugs we got from the pharmacy helped manage the fever, but could never knock it out, I got over it after returning to the states and then discovered the parasite after seeing a doctor about my weight loss. At first it was kind of fun, I could eat anything and never gain weight, anyway I digress…. the point is you might want to consider taking a trip up to Cebu to Chung Hua Hospital, they’re world class, and I believe you can get a more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment there… although the trip will cost, it may be cheaper and safer in the long run for you… just something to think about, I love your videos, very helpful, I admire your spirit.

    1. Thanks, Frank. I have heard many good things about Chung Hua from a number of expats. The antibiotics I am on right now are working very well, and I am hoping that it will be enough and I won’t need surgery. Egads, I hope I don’t get a parasite – I have already lost too much weight here.

  5. Thank you for your videos. I really enjoy watching and subscribe to your channel. Sorry that you are having a problem with the boils. I had a similar condition on my forearm that was MRSA. It took two rounds of an antibiotic called Bactrim DS and a topical ointment called Mupirocin Ointment USP, 2% to cure. Take care and God bless you.

  6. Hi Ned and Michelle, My wife and I have been watching you both for some time now and subscribed a couple months ago. We also know Henry and actually ran into him at the BQ Mall on Bohol last yr. around Oct. 12th, a few days before the nasty 7.2 earthquake hit Bohol. We’re planning on coming back again in Dec. to spend some time in Dumeguete checking things out. I am interested in your dentist you highlighted in a recent video, and I have been studying dental care in your area and the rankings are actually pretty good compared to other countries, even the U.S. Do you think your dentist is fully equipped to do crowns? I need several of them and I was quoted $1,300 each here in Nevada. Also, we would like to meet up with you guys at some point along the way. I met my wife on the island of Bohol and we have now been married for 8 yrs. All is good and we share a 17 mo. old daughter together.
    Also, I would like to chime in here regarding your infection and suggest avoiding foods that are very toxic to the body…If you don’t mind me saying, you should avoid all sodas because they are extremely toxic and offer absolutely no nutritional value or healing to your body’s natural pharmacy. You don’t need your body fighting off the toxins from sodas when it could be applying its own antibodies toward fighting your infection ( same with cigaretts ) . I know soft drinks are commonly ordered at almost every meal in restaurants in the PHL and I see Henry ordering them all the time too and he also gets sick all too often. OK, enough said and we love your videos, mostly.

    1. Sorry for late reply, John! I am sure that they do crowns – if she can’t or won’t do it, she refers people to another dental surgeon who does. The dentist in the video is well regarded by the expat community. I also agree on the diet piece – my diet sucks and the soda doesn’t help. Thinking of switching to just water with kalamansi juice for flavoring. The smoking sucks too and I need to quit that. Thanks, man!

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