Month of MARCH – 2013 This is one page per month devoted to the more personal experiences related to my life in the Philippines. Daily life and the strange adventures that come up every so often. I’ll toss in some photos & video links as needed for emphasis so.. no telling what you’ll encounter here. — Henry V. Oh, subscribe using the E-mail box along the right-side of the site to know when I update with a new entry. Many of the photos here enlarge if you click on them.
[03/06/2013] — What a busy week it’s been. Preparing for the move, getting my license and bidding a slow farewell to Basak, Lapu Lapu as my home. It was a great place to make my landing, get my bearings and meet some wonderful people. But now Bohol is waiting for me and I’ll be loading my big stuff onto a ship first thing in the morning. I defrosted the fridge, bought a mosquito-net and renewed my Net access for the next month at the mall down the street (Grand Mall). I spoke with a (married) Filipina in line since it was moving exceptionally slow. Very lovely woman. After a bit of conversation she mentioned that her husband is out working in another country. At that point the line moved and she was on her way while I paid for my groceries. I then made my way to the main lobby of the mall and just sat down for five minutes, making one last observation of the mall.
A lot has changed here at the mall, to me anyway. Seven months ago I walked in here absorbing it all in. The nutty gang of Filipinas, ladyboys and gays that first befriended me are all gone.. one by one they finished their contract and were not re-hired. Haven’t seen them since October around here. Except for Linda, I ran into her at Chicago Joe’s around December, she managed to get her bartender job back there again. Even Michelle and Denz seem to be missing.. the ‘Pink Daisy’ duo who first caught my eye in their hot pink mini-skirts when I walked in the mall my very first day. We had a great time going out together but now, they are apparently gone too. A different Michelle is working there now, she’s the girlfriend of a Frenchie I met at Chicago Joe’s. I had stopped by the day before to chat with the original owner of the Pink Daisy, an Iranian-German guy who is great conversation. He sold the place to new owners two months ago. He’s now selling shares in his international school for English on the other side of the island.
From the second floor I saw two ladyboys take the escalator down to the ground floor as they window shopped on the other side of the lobby. Never seen them before. I guess I’ve been here too long if I already know which ladyboys are new to the area. As I mentioned to my friend, Delia, later this evening, “It’s a strange thing when you have to admit that most of these ladyboys have nicer looking legs than some of the real women.” She agreed.
I figured it was time to take my last walk out of the mall. I’m sure I’ll be back sometime in the future for a visit. But this would be the last time I’d be here as a local. The security guard did his usual marking of my receipt with a red chalk-stick as I exited the mall and who should I happen to see there on the steps waiting?.. the married lady I’d spoken with in the grocery line. Her back was to me and she seemed to be taking her time getting a taxi, there were at least six of them ready to go. She didn’t see me and for a moment I considered making some small-talk with her. But I quickly nixed the idea. For one thing, she’s married and seems to have a good thing going with her husband. I’m a lot of things, but home-wrecker is not on my resume. Besides, I’m skipping town in the morning and the odds of things taking a dramatic turn are just too high for this scenario so I turned to the left and made my walk home into the night.
With the fridge defrosted I decided using what was left in there to make up some pasta was the best route. But what to do with these remaining four eggs? I knew I wouldn’t have time to cook them in the morning before breakfast so.. I hard-boiled them. I figure I can then take them as a snack in my back-pack while I’m on the ship to Bohol. It’s only a 4-hour trip so that and the book I’m reading, “The Cay” (a favorite of mine from my childhood) will help pass the time. Unless I just fall asleep, which is just as likely to happen.
I must admit, despite meeting many, many people here.. the two I will be missing the most are Delia and Kristine. It’s not like they’ll be all that far away, from Bohol to Cebu is only 90 minutes on a fast-ferry. But, setting my emotions aside, I think this move is going to be good for all three of us. Me, I’ll be able to focus on my lifelong dream of writing all day, with some adventures every now and then to stir up the creative process. Delia and I will be staying in touch and since I need to return to Cebu every 2 months to renew my Visa, I’ll stay a few days so we can visit. Kristine.. well, you know how that goes. It won’t be long before someone else notices how sweet she is. She’ll fall in love and there’s no room for a platonic friend like me once that happens. But, I’ve resigned myself to that inevitability. That’s life and it would be selfish of me to delay her that next chapter in her life. So.. I believe it’s gonna turn out okay for all of us in the end.
Well.. it’s 11:34pm and I’ve got a big day tomorrow. I’ll pack up the remaining things, get some shut-eye and start my new adventures out on the tropical paradise of Bohol. As usual, I’ll keep you posted. Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already so you get notified of the new stuff soon as it’s posted. And now, for some “farewell to Basak” theme music as I finish packing. This one’s for you, Sirk!
About Me.. In 2011 I made the decision to move to the Philippines within a year. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
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