[Diary] – May, 2013; Time Flying, Pretty Women & Turkey-Lurkey

my life in the philippinesMonth of MAY- 2013  This is one page per month devoted to the more personal experiences related to my life in the Philippines.  I’ll toss in some photos & video links as needed for emphasis so.. no telling what you’ll encounter here.
—  Henry ‘Reekay’ 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. 


(in reverse chronological order.. that means, most recent stuff is here on top.

[05/31/2013] —  (3:06am)  Well, it’s been a busy day and it looks like it’ll be an even chicago joes - mactan philippinesbusier extended weekend coming up.  I’ll be Cebu-bound for a few days to meet up with a reader (David) from Ireland and also catch up with a few other people in the Mactan/Cebu area I haven’t seen since moving to Bohol back in March.  Also looking forward to taking David out for a night at Chicago Joe’s after all these hours spent tapping away at the keyboard here in the jungle.  Should be fun and it’s been months since I was last there.

Meanwhile, back in the jungle.. I think I’ve walked to town and back almost every other day for the last 2 weeks.  Getting some good exercise and seeing some awesome lightning at night on the way home.  I’ve been carrying a wooden stick/baton with me for the night walks.  Haven’t had a chance to use it yet.  And ever since the neighbor kids started pulling bamboo off my gate, now the local dogs are visiting my yard every morning out of sheer curiosity.  I looked out the window to see five of them sniffing around.  I went out and calmly, but firmly, explained that they were welcome to browse around but I didn’t want them tearing stuff up or crapping in the yard.  Later that day one of them decided to wander into the house through the open front door to see what was going on.  He’s just a four month old puppy so I didn’t get too upset with him.  But I’m not looking to have a dog so, I told him he needed to go and he promptly headed back out without giving me any hassle about it.

free roaming chickensThe chickens seemed to have passed the word along that it’s okay to visit my place.  Throughout the day they take shifts sifting through the leaves looking for bugs and cobras.  Again, I don’t mind.. saves me the expense of buying and feeding my own chickens.  And once again I got a ride into town from a passing neighbor.  Except this time he took a different route through the jungle roads to get to town, which brought us out near the bus terminal, just across the street from mall.  Difference is that on this route we passed through some houses I’d only seen maybe once or twice before.  After a productive day at the net cafe, I walked outside into the dark as I usually do for my walk home.  I figured I’d try the new route to get home since I pretty much knew the way watching when we came in.

But after getting near the terminal and coming to a fork in the road.. I looked to my left and what I saw was a sketchy area of town followed by a long string of houses where I didn’t know anybody there.  To my right was the usual jungle road which is unlit and pretty much not a soul out there.. just trees and sky.  After a bit of deliberation I decided I’d be safer taking the usual forest route rather than take my chances where there were a bunch of humans.  I enjoyed the lightning show as I walked home in the dark, moonless night and got home without incident.

But as I walked home tonight I began to reflect upon the fact that it’s now been 10 months that I’ve been in-country.  In about six weeks it will have been a full year that I’ve been here so that gave me some things to think about.  For one thing, the last ten months has gone by so fast that I feel like I’ve only been here maybe 2 or 3 months.  Time seems to slow down here.. until you look at a calendar.  I thought about the various lessons I’ve learned while here and how it’s kinda re-shaped my perspective on life as a whole.  The people I’ve met and spent time getting to know has been interesting.  It’s as if some layers of life were stripped away and, here, you deal with life in a very raw and realistic manner.  It’s a life completely detached from any routine I had back in the States.  It really is, as I’m oft to say to others.. “a whole other world here”.

I thought about some of the things I’ve seen here.  Living conditions I’d heard about, but here are a regular part of daily life for many.  As I passed a dark street a few blocks from the mall tonight, I saw two kids less than six years old just keeping themselves busy on a slab of concrete while their parents got some sleep on a pile of cardboard a few feet away.  I’ve seen families that live in a shelter along the outskirts of the city which only had a roof and a single wall along the back.  Not even four walls to call home.  The only consolation is that it never gets cold here.  More often than not there is nearby such places a small fire of burning leaves to ward off the mosquitoes during the night. 

I’ve seen a lot of genuine joy and hope in people here despite such conditions.  You can hear them singing in their Nipa huts and see the excitement in their faces when they meet each other by happenstance in public.  Not everyone, though.  Some, they look as if they’ve seen too much of life in their old age and they just sort of observe silently the world rushing around them.  

All my life I’ve had the same question running through my mind that I’ve wanted an answer to and it was this;  “Why do people do what they do?”  Whoever they are.  Men, women, priests, prostitutes, zealots, murderers, politicians, scientists, philosophers, inventors.  It’s a never-ending puzzle that just constantly fascinates me and living here in the Philippines has had my mind working double-time with everything I see.

I thought about how the paradigm of male/female relationships here are so different from back in the States.  Back home, it was the most normal thing to have female friends.  Platonic (99% of the time) and just good buddies to hang out with for a meal, movie or short road trip.  But here I’ve only known one young woman who fits that bill, and she’s a rare exception here.  For the most part, there simply is no such thing as male foreigners and female Filipinas being ‘just friends’.  The factors in play almost always push it into a predetermined syndrome where the issue of a life-mate is the only thing on the table.  Women here want security and foreigners here want love, sex or both.  The idea of being ‘just friends’ does not fit into this predetermined exploration to answer the question, “Are you available to be my soul-mate?”  Things move quickly when it comes to dating and getting to discussing the ‘big’ issues here.  Just ‘hanging out’ as friends, no thought is given to that here.. it’s an alien concept.  It’s all about ‘dating’ and getting married.  That takes some getting used to when you’re a guy like me who is accustomed to female company without all the issues of marriage popping up within 72 hours of meeting for the first time.

But this much I do know.. I know I made the right choice in coming here.  I know I’ve enjoyed every day and night here, no matter how foreign it was to all I’d ever known.  I know I want to stay.  I also know that despite all the things I’ve seen so far, I am much happier here than I’ve been in a long, long time.

[05/21/2013] —  (12:55am)  It’s been awhile since my last entry, about 3 weeks.  Between rarely knowing what day it is, let alone the date.. and some random event changing my daily intentions, time has just been flying here.  I’m still here in Bohol and I’m still loving the jungle life.  Every so often I pretend I’m stranded alone on this island and have it all to myself.  Most times it’s very quiet here, just the sound of bugs and some distant thunder from the frequent storms that pass by for an hour or so.  It’s interesting to be in the baking heat during the morning and then suddenly around noon, it’s overcast and pounding down rain only to be back to a nice sunset at the end of the day.  Speaking of thunder.. a huge blast of thunder just shattered the evening silence.  Sounded like a giant boulder rolling slowly out of the sky.  Wow.  Thunder just keeps on hitting and hitting.  Might lose power (again) tonight.  But I have candles and flashlights ready.

I love my life here, despite it being a bit different than the usual expat experience.  Many expats come here, meet a lovely Filipina and next thing you know they’re married with a baby on the way after their first year here.  That’s cool and all, but that’s not why I personally came here.  Yah, it started with a Filipina but I told her from the get-go that my “No Babies” clause was non-negotiable.   After much honest conversation.. she and I have a better arrangement now.  For the time being, she needs to live her married life to her husband and I need to live as a Single guy until circumstances change in our favor.  As the Rolling Stones put it so succinctly,You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes.. you get what you need.

Speaking of getting what you need, it turns out there’s no immediate need to get my own chickens for entertainment in the yard.  I mentioned getting some in my video tour of theturkey-lurkey in my yard area here a while ago, but since then the neighbor chickens and Turkey-Lurkey have been jumping the bamboo fence on a daily basis to hang out at my place.  In fact, I just checked outside to see the lightning and it looks like Turkey-Lurkey decided to spend the night.   It’s all good with me because the chickens scratch through the leaves to get the bugs and eat up the rotted fruit that falls from the Tambis tree in my yard.  Tambis is that Rose-Apple fruit I may have mentioned before.  It tastes kinda like a pear with no sugar, sorta like Jicama and the local kids are just nuts for it.

Every day I feel more at home here.  I don’t have a mental ‘home’ anywhere else in my mind.  I know that I’m welcome to visit my folks back home anytime, but the house here in Bohol is essentially my ‘base’ home for the next few years, if all goes well.  Little by little I’ve been meeting more of the neighbors here locally.  They are kinda scattered around the jungle so the one place I run into them is either on the road or at the larger sari-sari store where ‘Nin’, an older woman has a nice patio with about 14 chairs she makes available for people to congregate.  (Rain just started pounding down now.  Wow.. really coming down hard.)

I bought nylon nets for the two basketball hoops the kids use here, just in front of the sari-sari store and apparently that helped my reputation a little.  As I’ve mentioned, people have been wondering ‘how’ or ‘why’ a relatively young expat/foreigner is choosing to live alone, unmarried with no live-in mistress out in the jungle.  When they couldn’t figure it out, the rumors started.  The latest one I got via a neighbor who told it to my landlady who passed it on to me is that I’m hiding out from the authorities, a fugitive from the law.  Then the locals found out I knocked a guy unconscious in Cebu (in self-defense) a few days ago.  My guess is that by next month they’ll have it figured I killed a guy back in the States.  As long as  they don’t congregate at midnight with torches and pitchforks outside my gate.. they can think what they want.  Rick Blaine didn’t seem too concerned with sharing his reasons for not returning to America, neither will I.

I’ve also decided to do an almost-daily video segment as often as I can.  So expect to see more here at the site, but I won’t be posting all of them here to this site, so to get a notice of new videos you’ll need to Subscribe to my YouTube channel.  I have more stuff on my mind to share than I have time to type out and I figured video was another outlet to share with you.  Sometimes it’s nice to just click a short video and kick back when you’re not in the mood to read.  In my case, when I feel like that I end up watching videos of chimps.. always a good laugh to be had watching chimps, gorillas, Capuchins and that whole crazy bunch.

I’m also expanding my mobility, despite no vehicle.  Walking to town and going to the ICM mall was for starters.  Now that I’m in shape and comfortable with that, I have begun to take the jeepney to the BQ mall a few times.  It only costs me 8 pesos (about 17 cents) to get from ICM to the center of town so.. not a bad deal.  And the jeepneys are lined up right outside the mall so.. easy-cheesey.  I also found out the other day, while hanging out with the local men at Nin’s patio the other night during a power blackout last week.. that I can catch a jeepney from the mall to Alona Beach for just 30 pesos each way.  That’s like, 75 cents each way to get to a beach the tourists have to fly across the globe to reach.  Again, not a bad gig so I see more beach bumming in my near future.  I also want to take some random day and just jump on a jeepney and go to the northern end of the island.  Loon and central Tagbilaran seem to be about the biggest ‘metropolis’ (if you can call it that) the island has so I want to check it out.  One issue though is that the jeepneys here don’t seem to return from Alona after 6pm so, I either have to return by then, ride a hubble-hubble (motorcycle) or spend the night.  Loon is probably filled with cheap places to stay, but most of Alona is priced-up due to the heavy tourist draw it gets.  But even so, cheaper than getting a hotel in Southern California.

Coming up in a few weeks I plan to make perhaps a 2-day stay either in Cebu or Mactan.  A reader of the blog here, from Ireland, wants to meet up.  It’s also been more than 2 months since I’ve been back to Mactan so I’d like to visit with Kristine for some lunch and Kristine - just chillaxingget caught up.   I might even end up at Chicago Joe’s, no real itinerary planned.. just gonna get there and make it up as I go.  That usually works best rather than making some elaborate plans.  It’ll be good to see Kristine.  She’s different from every other Filipina I’ve met.  She’s not interested in a relationship, is laid back, chill and easy to talk to.  Around here, that’s a nice break from all the game-playing that seems to go on with random, new Filipinas you meet here and there.  In the States I had several female-friends I could just chillax with, no expectations.  Here, that’s almost impossible to find so.. definitely gotta catch up with her when I get to Mactan.

Meanwhile, in town I’m slowly meeting some of the same people who work there.  I usually go out of my way to keep a low profile because I know foreigners are kinda under the microscope as it is.  Always someone watching it seems.  You kinda gotta get used to losing what privacy you had back home.  I never was a really big privacy nut until I got here.  But I did meet Frank, many of you expats visiting Bohol have probably met him too. He’s the owner of Frankie’s Cafe in the ICM.  He’s a friendly guy who serves up American, Italian & Mediterranean food at some fairly decent prices considering it’s a mall.  Some good sandwiches, pancakes, pizza.. good old comfort food from back home.

Frankies Cafe‘ has this whole Frank Sinatra motif going.  The employees are kinda dressed Sinatra style with vests and a grey Sinatra-style hat.  Frank is a friendly guy, came to visit me at my table my first time there.  Also stopped by to talk to me about some questions I had about places to visit in town.

Aside from Frank, I kinda-sorta met this security-guard girl who works at the mall.  I’d noticed her back in March and took notice of her every time I go there.  It’s because she looks like she could be Kristine’s twin that somewhat intrigues me.  From a distance you almost couldn’t tell them apart.  Same personality as well.  But I always figured she was working so I never bothered her.  People get in trouble easily here if perceived to be goofing off while working.  But I always opt to let her frisk me when I enter the mall.  (and yes, I’ve entered the mall repeatedly on the same day.. I’m such an idiot, I know.)  But last week for the first time she gave me a nod and smile from a distance through the crowd.  I returned later that day but she’d already finished her shift and left.

However, the other day I was sitting in Jolllibee.. just minding my own business, really, when I looked up and noticed she was taking her lunch behind a desk just outside the Jollibee window.  Again, I’m mostly intrigued than anything else.  I stopped by and made about the most stumbling explanation as I gave her my number and left.  She sent me a few texts later in the day, mostly out of curiosity I think as there was no rapport between us at all.  It’s not like I’m looking for a date or anything.. I just can’t get over how she could be Kristine’s stunt-double.  Haven’t heard from her since so, that’s probably the end of that with Neome, the security-guard girl.

Now.. the girl that works at the cinema; oh-my-gosh.  That girl, she’s about 21 and just gorgeous.  Seriously.  I see lots of ‘pretty’ and ‘cute’ women around here daily but this one should be modeling or acting, or both.  She’s just.. an elegant knockout.  The kind of woman who literally stops you in your tracks.  Beautiful, yet humble.  Sometimes she’s behind the ticket counter, other times at the door as you enter the theater.   I have no idea what her name is and, honestly, right now I’m just not looking to start anything.  I have my reasons and the whole ‘no-baby’ clause is a big part of it.  I mean, let’s face it.. what young woman isn’t going to want a baby at some point?  Right now I’m feeling kinda fatalistic to be honest about any ‘real’ relationship on a serious level.  And this girl is the sort of girl you’d have to go in ready to do whatever it takes to marry the girl.  She’s what we call ‘a keeper’.  And I don’t want to be the guy who messes up her bliss so, I just smile as she takes my ticket and off I go into the movies.

One thing I do know is this; when I do get married I want to just get married and make that woman happy the rest of her/my life together.  The way I figure it, here in the Philippines there are SO many women available that if you still gotta go sample around.. then don’t bother getting married.  While I’m still Single, I’ll keep my options open.  I’ll do what single-guys do in the Philippines.  I don’t know that any guy really gets it “out of their system“, ever.  But I do think a man reaches a time in his life when he says, “Okay.. I’ve run free as a stallion in the wild plenty enough, time to settle down and really love a woman the right way.”  I’m not quite at that point to make that commitment yet.  Especially in a country that doesn’t allow for divorce.  But I’m also in a bit of a quandary due to my ‘no-baby’ clause.  I know plenty of guys here marry young Filipinas with kids, or have kids in the later part of their lives.  That’s wonderful, but it’s not what I want to do.  Just a personal choice of mine.  But it obviously comes with a bit of a problem since most (all?) young women here will WANT that baby at some point.  And that’s usually the beginning of the end, the way I see it.

So.. for now I’m just kinda taking stock, being a bit reflective and deciding my next move.  I haven’t quite figured out all the angles yet for my situation, but I’m working on  it.  Like I said, I’m kinda just figuring this out as I go along.

Henry ‘Reekay’ V.
www.lifebeyondthesea.com

 

Author: Reekay

After 49 years living in Southern California, USA, I decided to move to the Philippines despite never having been here before. In July, 2012, I took a leap of faith and transplanted myself to the amazing Philippines. I am a single man taking an honest look at all that the islands here have to offer, one day at a time. I hope you find my LBTSea site informative, entertaining and hopefully a bit of each. 🙂 Be sure to visit the Forum and other parts of what the site has to offer. Browse around and be sure to sign up for updates via email. Enjoy!
— Reekay

36 comments

  1. If that’s the case, I think you are going to have a hard time looking for a young woman to marry, Henry. Every young woman has a dream of having babies when they get married, that includes me. haha. But I’m still young and have no plans of getting married yet. All right, this isn’t about me, this is about you. So If you really have no plans of having babies in the future then it would be practical for you to find a sterile woman. Well, that’s just my opinion Henry. I’m not trying to offend you in any way. But if you did find a young woman like that, well, lucky for you. You don’t have to worry anymore,right? I wish you all the best, Henry! You’re like a friend to me now. And I always want my friends to be truly happy. 😀

    1. I agree. Believe me, I’ve spent hours in front of the bonfire at night and watched the pretty girls go by as I sat in the mall.. always coming to the same conclusion. Even a sterile woman has the hope she’ll adopt one of her nieces or nephews, especially if she’s doing well financially with a foreigner. And no matter what a young woman says to me ‘now’.. down the road that bio-clock is gonna alarm and she’ll want that baby. Worst case scenario is, after several years of marriage, she simply gets pregnant from some other guy and, well.. at that point I’d tell her to go live with that guy so ‘they’ can raise ‘their’ child. And that’s not the scenario I want to set myself up for.

      I have met a woman with older kids who will be independent in a few years. She’s wonderful, smart, beautiful, kind.. and married to someone else. Just my luck. But in the meanwhile, it’s good to meet new people. Just not sure what’s gonna happen relationship-wise in the short-term.

  2. You are not thinking this through man. Easy peasy problem to solve. I agree that a young woman 19-24 most likely will want a baby. Don’t fight that losing battle 🙂
    Just find yourself a nice 35 years old whith almost grown up kids. A few years with a teenager or two in the house and then you and the missus are free and set for life. Do NOT make the mistake of marrying someone who claims she does not want babies. Her biological clock will start ticking like crazy once she hits 30-35 and you will be the one she blames 🙂

    Come on, you are 50, you don’t NEED a virgin of 21 🙂 Most of us guys here in the salt mines would kill for a woman 15 years younger than ourselves.

    Take care

    1. You’re totally right (see previous reply I made to Kristine C.) And I did find a woman with exactly those specs.. except she’s married. Yah, the young girls are super pretty and lots of fun. For now, the ones who want something short-term are fine. As Bob Seger wrote;

      “And we’d steal away every chance we could
      To the backroom, the alley, the trusty woods
      I used her she used me
      But neither one cared
      We were getting our share.. Workin’ on our night moves”

      But there has to be a long-term game-plan eventually. As for the married woman I found, her husband is about 84 and, he could be around for who knows.. another ten years for all I know. And I’ve kept an eye out for other women in that range. Not a single one catches my eye. Like I’ve said even in the States, “There has to be that spark and magic, or it’s no-dice.” So.. just gonna keep my eyes peeled. But I’m not in the baby-making business anymore, so that makes marriage with the younger girls a bad road to take, despite the immediate allure. Now.. if any are just interested in ‘pretending’ to make babies for some short-term entertainment, I’m a pretty safe option for them. 🙂

        1. This dude, the husband, has had two heart attacks.. Parkinson’s.. ulcer.. diabetes.. 2 pacemakers.. a stent… and this mean old b*stard is still ticking. Like they say here in the PH, “It’s the bad grass that dies last.” ha!

  3. Yah, it is not easy to find a young sterile woman. Older woman 40 plus may be possible. But do you like wrinkle…hihi. Life is give and take. You squeeze a balloon then it pop out somewhere else. If I can have the cake and eat it too then I am missing something that will come back to bite me in the rear and front. I can have a cake but I need to share with my better half. This is to make sure that I am not nickel wise but dime foolish. It is all about compromise. Old age will catch up with you. You cannot survive by yourself when you get old. A trusted partner is absolutely a must when you get old or you will suffer a great deal. I have elderly parents so I know about the difficulties during old age. Time is passing you quickly. It won’t be long you and I will be 70 years old. I am planning ahead now. I am still single at 52 but not forever. I am not that brave to stay single to the end.

    1. I hear you on that. I don’t want to go it alone in the latter years. But I don’t want to get stuck in a bad marriage rushed into out of desperation either. Between the two, I’d rather hire someone to care for me than get stuck in a bad marriage. I know a guy who I met on Mactan, he’s in his late 60’s and been traveling for over 15 years here in Asia. He’s literally been EVERYWHERE out here.. just bouncing around with two suitcases enjoying the women and travel. For an old guy, he’s currently in pretty good condition. But nobody can last forever. One car accident can jack you up in your old age pretty quick. He’s had several live-in romances in China, Singapore, Kuwait and Japan.. but none that lasted more than a year and he was off traveling again. Hopefully he settles down sometime soon or else the only women who will take an interest in him will be the ones looking to cash in on his vulnerability.

  4. Well, let’s not worry about that much anymore. I’ll just continue reading your upcoming posts. I can’t wait for your next adventure. There are so many places I wanted to visit but I have more important things going on right now. Plus,I can’t afford all the expenses. But someday I will. Haha! Your posts really feed my hunger for traveling and that’s why I keep myself updated. 😀

  5. well Henry, all I can say is……you cant analyze true love. when it comes along you will know it. dont forget my son has been online to pinays for 6 years now and thought he had the right one several times only to find out women are women no matter what country they are from. but there are some exceptions to the rule. there are those one in a million people who just have to find each other. and it will happen at the right time. for my son, it is different than you. he is 38 and has never been a dad. so finding a pinay who wants children is a necessity to him. if they are career orientated or really stuck on providing for their parents and siblings…..on to the next. and he has some baggage not all women can accept…..ME…..his mom…… who he swears he will always keep close to him. From the time he was 4 and his dad walked away I was always there for him and I wouldnt have ever left him alone. so now he says there is no reason for me to be alone. so he tells the girls right off the bat…….my mom comes with the deal as long as she needs me. i love my son so much and I would have had 10 more just like him if I could have. A fugitive huh? well they just dont understand the minds of great writers…..it is all about privacy and deep thoughts. most ppl dont understand that…..but what the heck. just keep on being a good neighbor and they wont form any lynch mob.

    1. I guess everyone has to find their ‘right’ one. Many Filipinas here have worked very hard to land a good job so they can provide for their own parents, and simply will not quit their job to be a girlfriend. For the same reason as your son, love/loyalty. But most are looking for a good husband, children and a better life. Me, I can’t give them kids. There’s one girl I texted with for a bit, totally amazing girl with a child. Very tempting, she’s so sweet. But, nope.. I know that more kids for me is just not part of what I’m looking for.

  6. Henry, of all the time I have spent in the Western Pacific region and the Philippines, my reasons for wanting to live there the rest of my days are numerous…and “misinformed” (Bogart) is definately not on that long list! I have been married now for going on 28 years and we have never had any children, but at this late stage in life, some days I wonder how different things would be with children in our lives. Perspectives change, as well as wants and needs, so never rule anything out (though at 50+ the exception would be newborns). For me, it looks like I can fill the no children void with nieces and nephews once we are there. Life will be good!

  7. That “no children clause” will eventually bite you in the end brother. Life is about taking chances and if you’re not willing to take the plunge and be open to more responsibilities then stay single and accept the consequences including possibly a single life and a household with only an occasional guest or friend here and there. Tough choice but there is always an exception to the rule and who knows your stars may lined up correctly and get your wish in what, 10, 15 years? I hope you don’ t have to wait that long. Just look at the odds and do the math.

    1. I know the odds of finding what I’m looking for are slim.. but I’m just done with new babies. I’m all for taking chances, but I’m not gonna sign up for something I don’t want. Moving to Mexico would be taking a chance, but I don’t want to live there. ha! I believe it will all ‘work out’.. I’m an optimist. And if by some chance it means I do live my life single, I’m okay with that too. Truth is, I’ve had a pretty wonderful life overall and everything I get from this point on is ‘gravy’. I’m a lucky guy and willing to take the chance that if I stick with what I yearn for.. I will know it when I see it. 🙂

  8. Henry

    I can certainly appreciate your point of view. This was exactly my point of view when we married seven years ago this Friday. My wife was of the exact sentiment. She was 37 when we married and I was 51. She had never been married, I was her first therefore had no children and no real desire. I had four daughters and faced the end of my family name as nobody eligible produced a son to carry on the family name.

    And then it happened. The unexpected, the unplanned, the unwanted and the biggest mistake at that time. My wife at 42 and me at 56 conceived a child. The next two months were filled with regrets, crying and fear. We just knew we had all our bases covered. How could this happen?

    Fast forward nine months, my wife is 43 and I am 57, Reez is born, son and wife are fine, and dad is on top of the world, against all odds I have a son and the family name is saved. He is a large blessing from God given to two parents that were not looking in that direction at all. How thankful we are and we love him more everyday that goes by.

    You just never know what the future holds and how you will react to it.

    Ron

    1. You’re totally right. There’s always that “unknown variable”. Or as they said in ‘Jurassic Park’.., “Nature will find a way.” As for me, when my original plan of 2 children turned into a surprise 3rd son, I got a vasectomy back when I was about 24 years old. After years of field testing and a double cauterization with a 2nd surgery (just to be sure), the Doc said that after all these years I wouldn’t even be producing swimmers anymore. So, I’d say it’s pretty safe to figure I’m outta the business. But I’m glad it worked out for you two. That is quite some surprise! And Congratulations. 🙂

  9. I definitely feel where your coming from. I am 45 and I’m planning on moving out there for a few years to see what the philippines has to offer. If i had my choice of female companions, she would be in her early thirties and have no kids. Altough i will admit a companion in her 20’s sounds fun, her true motives would always be floating in the back of my head. But if i do date women with kids, i decided the kids have to be boys. My thinking is that if she, my future wife, has a girl or girls, i can see i would most likely be supporting or asked to care for any kids her daugthers might have in the future. Definitely not what i am looking to do in retirement.

    1. You’re doing the right thing.. thinking about and defining what kind of life you want to have BEFORE you get here. Once a guy gets here.. the dazzling array of exotic beauties can really make your head spin. ha! As a single guy, as long as no promises are made, dating here and there for some fun is all fine and good. I’m not for breaking girl’s hearts with false intentions. Plenty of girls here just want a good time with no commitment, not bar-girls either, but working girls who just want to let off some steam after supporting their parents all week at work. But when it comes time to picking a long-term relationship.. yah, gotta know what you’re looking for. For the guy who is willing to start a new family, wow.. there are SO many lovely women here wanting that with a foreigner.

  10. Hi Henry, another interesting piece and one that has me thinking as well, I am no spring chicken and really don’t want any more children so I suppose will just have to go down much the same path as you are, I did find your comment about no promises interesting and I will be following this to the letter, more about just having some fun and just being honest with any lady that I happen to meet. I will say that all of your articles have been a great source of information to me and I have learnt so much just reading them, I hope I can put into practice when I arrive there. I have booked my ticket so see you for that beer in 3 weeks, take care.

    1. Awesome, looking forward to meeting up and answering any other questions you might have. I can meet either in Cebu, Mactan or Bohol. I’m meeting with a reader from Ireland (Dave) next week. A lot of fun can be had, without “leading a girl on”. Telling them up front, “I just got here, I plan to travel around and while I’m not ready for any commitments.. I am looking for someone to enjoy time with.” Now, some girls will just write you off. But a LOT of them will figure “enjoy it for now” and you’ve got a no-strings arrangement. Maybe in the back of their mind they’re thinking they can change your mind.. but that’s where travelling light comes in handy. 🙂

      1. Thanks Henry, I plan to visit Bohol, so maybe can catch up there, again good advice as always.Yes I think if you are straight up with the girls makes for a better time and no-one has to be hurt. Always travel light, only have a back pack with me.

  11. man, all these people telling you not to stay single….your golden years will be lonely. What about getting a dog? It doesn’t talk back and it will love you no matter what! 🙂 I plan on staying single. Maybe have a live-in but never marry (UNLESS SHE IS A POWERBALL WINNER lol)

  12. Hey Henry, I sure enjoy reading all of your material, I just moved to P.I. couple of months ago and I sure relate to most of the stuff you write about, I also enjoy it here very much even more than I thought I would, as for me I moved to Dumangas Iloilo City I have a pardner in life we are close to the age she is 5 years younger (63) but we have been with each for the past 19 years and she enjoys being back home and that makes me happy also…just keep up the great article…

  13. Sorry just got to comment..hey you're a real nice guy! And I really mean that! I have only recently found your blog/site and the first thing that struck me was how much we think alike. It's almost 'scarey' haha! I'm a Kiwi [New Zealander] and have had an 'association' with the Philippines since 1983…[includes marrying a Filipina which ended in divorce here in NZ..she found someone with more money]. Anyway enough of that..I have been on/off deciding to retire there in my special island paradise at the end of this year. Just let me say that you have made my mind up definitely that this will happen! Thanks for that! You have given me the confidence that I can do this thing. I have been soooo worried about trying to do it as a 'single guy' and as a 'Tourist Visa' holder on a permanent basis. OMG just realised I gotta stop here 'cos I could go on for hours…haha! I will follow your blog from here on in and have the hope/wish that one day we might meet up for a good chat session. If I may I would love to comment on some of your 'exploits' past and future? Thanks again and regards… Stephen Waters.

    1. Thanks, and so glad to be of any help. Definitely when you get down here contact me online and I'll PM you my local text-number so we can meet up. Feel free to comment any article or use the 'Ask Henry' page to contact me via email. Wishing you all the best in your plans!

  14. Hi Henry,
    I’m glad to see that you’re enjoying life so. Just keep doing what you’re doing–things have a way of working out here. It’s all about enjoying the ride.

    1. I agree. “One day at a time.” is my motto here. I just found out today is Saturday. ha! It was Wednesday the last time I checked. They say rainy-season is coming or here.. I LOVE lightning/thunder and rain. And here the rain is so warm you can just get out into it or sit on the porch as it pours down. I love it. Except for when it knocks out the power, that’s not as good. ha!

  15. Henry, There are quite a few options out there for you. I am engaged to a Filipina who is fine with my Vasectomy, in fact many of them understand what that means. Funny thing is her next younger sister has been married to a Scottish guy with a vasectomy for 8 years, and her youngest sister is engaged to an American who has been fixed also. The only other sibling she has is her older brother who is happily married with two daughters. My fiancée is 34 years old and I am 39. She has never been married and has no children. They are out there and they are out there without all the baggage, you just have to look the right way…Just my two pesos for what it is worth…J

    1. Thanks, I’ll keep my eyes peeled. For now I’m just enjoying being single. I figure I’m here about 15 years ahead of schedule from when most guys arrive, so I’ve got some time to just chill and see what happens. 🙂

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