Home.. Away From Home

“There’s no place like home.”
“You can never go home again.”

Each of these sayings is true.  I’ve spent the last 6 years living abroad in the Philippines, and now I am embarking on a slow-tour of Southeast Asia in a few weeks.  But right now I am visiting my parent’s home in California, USA for the holidays.

In one sense, this 2-acre property is a special place, for me, unlike any other 2 acres on the planet.  Lots of memories for me here from my high school years.  My Mom has long since made this place a welcoming home, a comfortable place to relax and always enjoy a fantastic meal or enjoy one of the patios on the property.  She has her antiques, her doll collection and porcelain gifts from all over the world.  This place is full of memories for her spanning over the last 40+ years.

So, in that sense, I “can” go home again.  It’s improved over the years but the same comforting, peaceful vibe is there.  But in other ways, it’s not ‘my’ home.  My home is wherever I lay my head to rest somewhere in the Philippines.  Six months on the island of Mactan.  A few weeks in Moalboal.  A year in Dumaguete, then Bacong, then Lahug, then uptown Cebu and places in-between the last 6 years.  My concept of ‘home’ travels with me as I travel.

I mentioned that some things have changed.  A few things for the better, a few things have gotten worse.

online-ordering-theftIn the last two weeks, I’ve made four purchases online.  I rarely did online purchases in the Philippines.  Delivery was a bit hit-and-miss each time.  While the service from Amazon and other shippers has been great, it’s the issue of local thefts of packages that put a damper on the whole thing.  As I track my package online, when the day of delivery arrives, I find myself constantly checking for my package, not wanting some predatory passer-by to steal it while it waits unattended.  There have always been thieves throughout history, but the very concept of theft really irritates me to no end.  So, I have to be vigilant if I want to take hold of my delivered packages.

Another thing that changes as I return to visit for the holidays in the USA are the prices of everyday things.  What is known as ‘sticker-shock’.  Despite expecting this, mentally, before arriving it still surprises me after a year of living overseas where the dollar goes further.  When I left the Philippines recently the exchange was 53.50 pesos to the 1 US dollar.  I could go to the movies there for about $6usd.  Eat lunch for about $5.  Get a haircut for less than 1 dollar.  Get two bags of groceries for about $25.

(great) Burger, Onion Rings and drink.. $17 on Coronado Island, San Diego, CA.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I stopped in for a few things totaling just 3 bags and it came to just over $90.  Welcome back, indeed.  The movie theater will be $12.50 and some decent lunch will run about $14 unless I opt for fast-food and grab a bite to eat for $7.50+.

I have maybe one high school friend who still lives in California.  All the rest have long since had their fill of the politics, cost of living, high-taxes and moved to either Nevada, Arizona, Idaho or Texas.  Which makes me appreciate the few expat friends and family I do still have in California all the more.

Each year I visit ‘home’ I have the same itinerary in mind.  To spend quality time with my Mom, my kids and meet what friends I can nearby.  I enjoy the foods and franchises I can’t avail of overseas.  There’s just nothing like a real, south-western Mexican Breakfast Burrito for me.  And a chili-bar with salsas and spicy-pickled carrots and chilis on the side.

I don’t waste time going to the usual California tourist attractions.  I’ve had my fill of that over my first 49 years living here.  I’ll still visit the beach to hang out with a good friend or visit the mall for coronado-beachsome food and people-watching.   I do enjoy driving around with some great music on the radio, a nice California sunset outside my window.  Until I notice a highway patrol car nearby.  Then the groove is gone since it doesn’t take much to get a ticket in these parts.

I go to the stores but because I know I will be packing soon I am very selective about buying anything for myself.  ‘Stuff’ is dead-weight when you’re mobile and traveling around.  I prefer just one medium-sized piece of luggage and a backpack for living from place to place.  So if I buy something I plan on either leaving it behind, gifting it or I don’t bother to get it.  I’d rather spend my money getting groceries to do some cooking or enjoy dining out with my family and friends.

I like knowing this place exists for me to return to.  I feel fortunate to have my Mother still alive that I can visit with.  And she has long ago accepted that I find my bliss far from the ‘nest’, exploring new places and experiences.  She enjoys the photos I send for her to pick up locally.  She’s not a tech person by any definition, so I have the photos printed out on paper for her.

In my case, this physical place in California is a version of ‘home’ for me.  But as I stated in a video I did a while ago, for me ‘home’ is somewhere in my future.  Maybe in the Philippines.  Maybe Thailand, Vietnam or some other place I wander into over the next few years.

And therein lies the adventure.  Finding ‘home’.


travel safe backpack theft proof valuables keep retirement philippines asia thailand vietnam

Author: Reekay V.

Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam.

Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures.
— Reekay


  1. Thanks for your blog.
    I too have been living in Philippines for 6 years, my “home” country being New Zealand. Currently living in Dumaguete. I think more happens in Philippines, whether for the better or worse. I go back to NZ for holidays.
    Keep up the good works.

      1. Hi Reekay.
        Just arrived in Philippines three weeks ago with my wife and two children, seven and three years old.
        We will be here in visayas for three-four years. I want the children to be with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
        Waiting for our household goods to arrive in Cebu around December 10.
        Life is good here and being with family even better.
        Are you close to Cebu?

        1. hello ali… i am currently in usa/california. then i will be in southeast asia in january for about 1-2 years. after that i’ll likely return to the PH. as far as i know.

  2. Home will forever be Calbayog City, Samar now, but Guam is a nice respite… for many reasons and things that the Philippines cannot provide. We have learned to be more content with moving between our two chosen paradises.

    1. it’s good you’ve found two places that give you what you want. i feel the same way about cebu and duma. i like each, but for different reasons. i could probably live in either.

  3. It’s probably beneficial that you still have a connection to the West; just knowing that can be helpful (and it attracts the babae). For example, if you got really sick you have Medicare, etc. In the Philippines it’s all about Filial Piety. This is why finding that “lasting lover” without being a human caribao and walking ATM is impossible. If they can’t get visa papers to work OFW and/or have children to raise to earn money for them (human farming / 401k plan) there is no “love”. I think you’ll find this same problem throughout E Asia. Sure, some TradCon simps have convinced themselves they want a family in the West and will work 80 hours a week for a mortgage and let the babae send money home and sponsor relatives. But, without that, there would be no “love”. Most E Asian ladies don’t want “fun” and can never put the spouse above blood family. You can play a cat and mouse game of pretending to be a TradCon and talk of marriage, but that’s a lot of hassle. So is dealing with hustling bar-girls on the billable hour. It will be interesting to compare the Philippines with the other SE Asian cultures. But, wherever you go, it’s just your Capital One (and green) Card that matters to them. What’s in your wallet?

    1. much truth to that. i’ve seen a lot, done a lot, in the PH with regard to relationship scenarios. spoken with hundreds of expats about their relationship woes and successes.

      but within all that, i have met happily married couples who truly do love each other. some returned to their homeland and were still able to make it work there. most remained in the PH where the social dynamics encouraged the filipina to be “good to her man” in all things related to a relationship.

      the successful relationships, unless you hang out with them and know them in person.. they are largely invisible to the social media sphere. nobody passes on ‘great stories’ about happily married couples. it’s the millionth guy who got scammed by a bargirl story that makes the youtube and facebook circuit.

      as i’ve said to so many guys coming to the PH, “whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in the PH. it’s what you find first that can distract you from that.”

      1. I’ve noticed most “successful” expats are married and have kids and are living the TradCon, white knight, provider lifestyle. But I was never into marriage and family and I have an aversion to filial piety and displays of religiosity. A few young, tall and handsome guys may get some free action (gene grab strategy), but they would likely do better back in their Western country. Finding a compatible live-in lover is the hardest and gets quite expensive because they don’t want to waste their youth and there’s a lot of high paying red-zone activity for them to earn money to give to their parents; especially with more E Asian male tourists roaming around these days. That’s my observation having gone there multiple times for stays under six months (I can’t tolerate it too long there). Keep up the good work. Perhaps, other SE Asian countries with differences in religion may be more refreshing, but you’ll always be a Western foreigner. I was too young to enjoy the PH at it’s heyday when Subic Base was operational. All relationships everywhere eventually boil down to male provision. What’s in your wallet. Peace!

  4. I I was wondering what happened to you it’s been a long time since I heard from you or seen your posting do you ever hook up or married a girl that was spending the weekends with you and if you ever come by Chicago stop bye it’s cold here now today was sporty and the parties know it’s going to be 30s from now on it’s no fun here in Chicago and I do miss the PI I’m thinking of either the PI or go back to card to Hannah in February when it’s a little warmer because that’s only time I can get away from my rentals plus I don’t like spending summers in another country where now I got three months I’ve been here so if you canCall me ifIf you can my number is 219-730-3370 you cannot text me leave me a message and I hope you’re watching what you eat because I got to be careful when you get older you get a heart attack nowadays for almost anything for this one small cans another and stress is at third and ammonia I got it for an ammonia but I’m still alive still up and going and I Qume I miss the PI talk to you later we care and I got your Eminem is another bag

    1. yah, i’ve been focusing on video for quite some time. but i hope to begin writing again now that i will be roaming around more of southeast asia for the next year or so. which i could not do in all practicality had i gotten married. so for now i will remain unattached so that i can roam at will on my own itinerary.

  5. that’s for the well vocalized note here Reekay. Currently in Duma/Valencia for the past 2 months , then off to , Thailand, Viet, and places belong for a few months , then back home for the summer. Too bad we have not have a chance to cross paths yet . I trull hope we get to talk in person at some port or point. Maybe at Pasta King, Bogarts, or “Minh Tran Mens Business club” in district one , Vietnam ! HA!!! Love it there …but I wont dwell on that being a gentleman!:)
    Bob has a point , the women are becoming more tainted as their exposure to western media rises in the RP . You can still find villages where people( usually 95% women) don’t have their high powered cell phone pressed to their face with multiple fake FB entities ( the RP is really bad for this now). I think you will enjoy Vietnam/North Thailand and places beyond. The RP has some truly nice places , but the economy is crumbling , Corruption is rampant, and the women tend to be all about money….just in different ways than the west! HA!! I still would NOT touch a western women and the other Femanazi ilk there, with a ten foot pole , they( 4th wave feminists in the east) are bad for men’s health and the family unit in general ! But Filipina’s have a natural flare for the “Long Con” game – which is not too good either. They are SO patient; but stop their allowance or gifts for a month , or test their intent and honesty in devilish ways , and see the REAL motives for being with you rise to the surface.Newbies , best be warned! Im NOT saying all Filipina’s are not honest and are “Long Con” players , but a good majority of them are ‘deal makers’ around money and things. The internet scams and female e-mail tyrants in the RP are impossible and bothersome at times complete with their multiple fake names and identities ! Vietnam and Thailand and beyond is a good break from the nonsense in the RP !
    Being a ‘foodie’ of sorts, I just love northern Thailand and Vietnam – so much more selection than the RP’s slop !. The fruits and fresh vegetables will blow your mind ! Drinking fresh brewed French roasted coffee in the shade of a Dragon Fruit tree , with real cream and thickened cane sugar in a small village off the Northern reaches of the Ho Chi Mihn trail is wonderful . Women are MUCH more gentle here- what a relief !!! , and less focused on money and the “Long Con” game .The streak of nationalism building in the RP is interesting too, whereby “foreigners” are feeling less and less welcome here I think(from talking to newbies). They are loosing tourism by the droves I think …at least the right tourism . Dont get me wrong, the USA and Canada could learn a lot from the RP, especially in the area of a ban on ALL foreign ownership of residential properties. North America is awash in dirty money , mostly from China, Korea,India and Iran inflating home ownership for the next generation – making it unaffordable and not within reach. The RP has it right here, along with New Zealand, Switzerland , et al .
    Safe travels my friend ! Merry Christmas !

    1. things are definitely not as they were in the PH six years ago when i arrived. it’s not even my perception, it’s measurable in pesos and the 3-month barrier for any new relationship. for those who have patience and can read the writing on the wall, good women are still there to be found, on any island. (maybe more difficult near angeles or manila)

      but for any guy who is lead by his emotions and lacks patience or discernment.. some filipina will gut him like a fish. the good ones are worth taking the time to find.

    2. James, I find your insights encouraging to try new horizons, such as Vietnam. I’ve heard others with similar sentiments but I’ve not been there. I’ve lived where there are a lot of Vietnamese and they are pretty heartless IMO. No matter where I am, I have a disconnect in the dating arena as I’m not willing (and don’t pretend) to be a provider, protector and baby maker (but MGTOW does not mean being a monk). The West is too gynocentric and the East has too much filial piety (all about the family and male utility). So, it’s little like jumping from the frying pan into the fire going to the East. I’ve been trying to play an “interval love” concept, when a woman’s love hormones, such as PEA and dopamine, are rising as she hopes to capture and control you. And age is not as important in the East when finance is everything. But, it was never easy for me and seems to be getting harder in the PH. The Pinay seem tired of being “horse #23” on the cock carousel of thirsty male samplers. They want that ring, baby, OFW opportunity to send money home, visa petitions for family back home, etc. When you say “no”, which is my favorite word, the “love” instantly ceases. This is why I would never commit. Nature is that which selects, and women evolved to capture resources from men and perceive it as love. I would appreciate any additional feedback or link suggestions. Mabuhay!

      1. It was interesting to read your take on Filipino women.
        I thing most big city or urban area girls are very materialistic specially nowadays.
        I got married 15 years ago to a girl from visayas in a very rural and provincial Barangay.
        Her family was poor but she had put herself through college and gotten her degree.
        She worked good jobs in US and never lost her faith in family and children and occasionally sent some money to her family from her own earning. She would never let me send the them money even in Christmas times.
        She’s truly an angel. Good hearted, faithful and loyal.
        She hasn’t changed one bit during theses 15 years in US, even though she worked with #metoo scheisters and feminazis.
        We have come to philippines now to stay for a few years so the children can be with family for a few years.
        I didn’t want children first but we decided to have two after nine years.
        My son is six and my daughter is three years old.
        They enjoy the company of their aunts, uncles grandmother, great grandmother and many cousins.
        It’s true that most Filipinos love free money but some with humble and modest lives have a lot of pride too.

        1. Ali dabiri: Good feedback; but I believe many men “think” they want marriage and family because they don’t want to accept the truth that they are just utilities (see my reply to Chaz).

          There were rare sightings of unicorns in the barrios, but I think they’ve all been hunted into extinction. And, they had to be chummed with promises of things like visas and children. If you made it crystal clear you only intended to be their lover in their country and have a vasectomy, you couldn’t land any (without paying by the billable hour). Do you know of any that unicorns living long term with no kids in the PH? It actually happens in the West if the man is young and attractive. Peace.

          1. Thanks.
            My always told me if I wanted kids she’s ok with it and if I didn’t want any kids she’s ok with that too.
            There’s an old saying in West Virginia that says all the good ones are taken.

            1. Abi Dabiri: Good point. I’ll add that I’ve met many lalaki (young men) with Pinay chasing them and having sex (often unprotected) just like girls in the West who ride the cock carousel. But, I’ve never seen it, unless there is money or expectation of marriage, with a Westerner. This I find an interesting paradox that is not discussed much, especially in light of the baloney talk of wanting mixed race babies to earn more for their retirement plan. I’ve seen many young Western men strike out, myself included when I was younger. But I could score with Western women. At the same time, I’ve seen 80 year old men with 18 yo virgins lining up to marry them because the man was promising marriage and a monthly stipend to the girls family. So, I believe it’s all about utility if you’re from the West. And, I’ve been on the receiving end of some horrid scams in the PH; and lucky to be alive to write this. Make sure you’re worth more to them alive than dead. I was naive at first and there were no blogs like Reekay has provided to educated newbies. Peace.

  6. Dry insightful Bob. You are obviously well schooled man, and a bit of a sociologist as well. I concede, your right . Capture and control means a lot, as well as ownership of a man and his goods

  7. Missed your blogs. Love the Visayas and Dumaguete. Last time in RP I went to Bocolod too. First time in Negros Occidental. We have a quaint house and property in Negros Oriental and going to Dumaguete (2 hours away) is always a fun day for all.
    Didn’t go “home” this year. After having a family and parents here, going home is becoming too cumbersome and expensive. I feel me and mama (mother-n-law) are the only ones to fully appreciate our trips back so I just live vicariously through your and others blogs.
    I see the other commentators mention that how money hungry the Filipina are. That is true to an extent but anytime you have a large age gap between the man and woman you are gonna find opportunists. I can’t help but feel like a “mark” when I travel. I’m not too handsome. Short, fat and have a horrible personality that doesn’t translate too well to any language or nationality. Even my only selling point is my sense of humor and that is completely un”sensed” in the Philippines to all but only my nearest family.
    Come to think of it I have very little to offer to anybody. This whole comment has made me very depressed.

    1. Chaz, it’s hard to accept that women don’t actually love men, only our ability to provide, protect and help them procreate. Most men live in a bubble of delusion to accept this role and call it “love”. Natural selection gave us lower brain instincts and cognitive modules, including the one to puff up our chests in the presence of the female, like all primates, and compete for women and give meat and bananas. So, when you awaken to the Red Pill reality, it’s pretty rough; like actually accepting that “god” is nothing more than a personification of your super-ego / psychological “self”. Few can ever accept these truths because delusions provide copious quantities of narcissistic supply; they would have a psychological melt-down facing it. Yes, it’s hard and you’re feeling it, but you’re not alone! Anyway, If you’re an ordinary guy and say to a babae: “let’s have fun in your country and I’m snipped”, see how long they “love” you (zero seconds). If you say, “I want marriage, a family, to give you and your family permanent visas, I and I have great income and assets”, see how much they “love” you then (you’ll have virgins lining up). So, nearly every man is an “incel” if he faces reality. It’s all P4P, one way or another, including marriage. So, the question is, where can you get the best ROI and venue? That’s all that needs to be discussed, but is so heavily repressed by the powers in control. The only guys I know having “success” with Pinay are making promises while having a stealth vasectomy. I have not played that game, but from what I see, it’s the only one that works (unless you’re a 6’6″ movie star waiting for MeToo). Peace.

  8. Reekay,
    Excellent writing. keep up the good work. Enjoy your travels. I followed your links on youtube for awhile, I missed your presentations lately. I am from Budapest, Hungary, and I was interested visiting and maybe spending time in the Philippines. But based on the comments I just read from others sharing their stories. That part of the world is becoming like western Europe and America (USA, where I spent 20 years). I have a pilot friend in Vietnam who makes stupid money ($10K/month) he is single and saves money like crazy..rotates girls on a monthly bases…he said that Vietnam major cities are becoming more Western metro cities..need to move to the country to find real women for real relationship if that’s what your after.

    Keep writing, looking forward to your next adventure.

    take care


Comments are closed.