[Diary] – Jan, 2014; Heartbreak, Hope and Bargirl Music

my life in the philippinesJan – 2014  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.)

[01/29/2014] —   I am now officially “counting the days” to my return to my beloved island of Bohol.  As of today, only 30 days left and then I am getting the hell outta Dodge.  ‘Dodge’ being Southern California for the time being as I’m finishing up my visit here for the holidays and my Mom’s 80th birthday.  After that, I’m back to the land of lush greenery, clear water beaches, warm evening air and scooter rides under the stars after some bbq chicken along the side of the road.

I gotta admit, despite the many hardships and pains I’ve had in my life (and there have been a few that almost did me in).. I still live such a charmed life.  A better life than I deserve, I will tell you that much.

On the one hand I’m happy to visit with my Mom and see my children, all of whom are doing excellently.  In fact my oldest was just accepted at the college of his choice for a continued degree program in nano-technology so, all my sons and I will be out celebrating that in San Diego this weekend with an evening of bar-crawling and late night shenanigans.

But as they say, “to every garden some rain must fall”.   On the other hand, quite honestly, my heart has been ripping into shreds these last few weeks and it hasn’t been easy.  Not even close.  As you my remember, I first went to the Philippines in hopes of seeing more of the woman I loved, a Filipina.  Well, after 3 years together we’ve decided to part ways.  I won’t go into all the messy, horrid details, but it was fueled by circumstances beyond our control and the distance, even island to island, was just too great a strain.  We could not live together (she is married) and the strain of rarely seeing each other finally took it’s toll on both of us.   Neither of us wants to see the other in pain so, there you have it.

People tell me, “..but there are millions of other Filipinas across the Philippines.  You should know by stages of griefnow that you can have another woman in no time there.”  True, sort of.  Try telling a couple who has lost their child that they can always adopt or make another one.  Each relationship is unique.  Each person is unique.  There’s just no getting around that.  I’ve revisited the stages of grief and at this point have come to the acceptance of it all.  I don’t like it, but I accept it.  That’s the only way I can get up and move forward again.

Officially we broke up in March of 2013, but we still kept trying to find a way to make it work.  To no avail, obviously.  In August of 2013 I happened to meet a Filipina who has been a good platonic friend for the months until November when I left for my visit here in California.  We’ve kept in touch and have agreed to “test the waters” in order to see if perhaps we get along well for a relationship.  She’s a wonderful, top-shelf woman and comes highly recommended by all in her barangay as a good woman.  She’s sweet, kind and attractive.. a good businesswoman in her own right as well.  So far we know that we ‘like’ each other.  That’s enough for a decent start.  But real love takes time, and neither she nor I are in any rush.

But for me, there’s a huge chasm to cross in getting from ‘liking’ someone to Loving them as your own flesh.  Someone you’d take a bullet for, gladly.  Someone you can have what I call, “spark and magic” with no matter what you’re doing or where you are together.  Even in silence.. you just ‘know’ you’re with the right person.  I’ve had that before and it’s impossible for me to settle for anything less.  So.. we’ll see how things progress with this new woman in my life.  I’ll give it an honest chance.  I’ll be open to what may be there for me.  But if after a period of time I find that either she or I just aren’t really at “that place” of commitment, in all fairness she is just too good and fine a woman for me to be wasting her time.  I respect her too much to just pass the time.  But.. who knows what the future will bring?  Certainly not me.  I’ve been surprised all through my life so.. I’m keeping my eyes open until things are a bit more clear.

On a whole other note.. I was driving around this evening and this song came on the radio that I’ve taken a liking to.  You might want to play it in the background, it’s a mellow little tune by a new artist and it got me to thinking about various Filipina girls I’ve gotten to know over the last year and a half..

In the lyrics of this song, the girl does what she can to get ‘near’ the better, luxurious life.. but has no real dreams or hopes that it could be hers.  I’d say that is the opposite of many young Filipinas I’ve met.  They do believe a better life can be had, even a ‘luxurious’ life by Philippine standards anyway.  What we may call the standard middle-class, track-home in the suburbs is a big step up for many of the girls I know.  Now, I can guess what you may be thinking.. the idea of ‘gold-diggers’ chasing after rich foreigners, marrying them without love just for the sake of obtaining this better life.  But that’s not the kind of girls I’m thinking about.

Now, granted, as I myself have warned every new expat I can.. there is no shortage of conniving, lying women in the Philippines who would not think twice to swindle you with some lies and a loveless marriage.  They are out there and you better keep one hand on your heart and the other on your wallet if you plan to survive your stay in the Philippines.

However.. there is a whole other portion of Filipinas, beyond that stereotype.  I know them because I’ve spoken with them, spent time with them and listened to the stories of their life.  I’ve visited their homes, in some cases what we’d call a shanty home.  These are good women.  They have hearts of gold and are some of the most good and virtuous women against all odds that I have ever had the pleasure of calling my friend.  They spend their time looking for work, to provide for their parents who are aging.  They gofilipinas studying for a better opportunity to school and into college with hopes to obtain that ‘better life’ for their brothers and sisters.  I know one girl, for over 3 years she was the sole breadwinner for her parents and two siblings.  That’s a lot of responsibility for a young woman.  Her sister, after looking for work for more than a year now also contributes as well.  I know another who is finishing up high school and her passion is teaching guitar to local kids as she encourages them to stay in school.  I know another who runs two small businesses to provide for her son.  I know two others, cousins, who are putting off any ideas of relationships or marriage so they can finish college that their Aunt in the U.S. pays for.  And some of those bargirls you always hear about?  Trust me, not all of them are there because it was their first choice.  Yah, they ended up there, but when a young girl has 3 kids to feed an no husband, with a sick father.. then you see a bit more of the back-story.  Not all of them have a rich Aunt who can put them through nursing school or tech college.

If you’d sat in some of the shanties I have and seen the surroundings they face every day, I think then you could really begin to fathom what massive amounts of hope and heart it takes for them to face each day and believe that a better life IS available to them, somehow.. someway with some schooling, networking and hard work.  They take jobs overseas, far from their family and even their own children at times.  They don’t live a life of night-clubs and dating foreigners, there’s no time for that.  They have their nose to the grindstone and their ear to the ground for any opportunity to work for what they want.

I have to tell you, meeting this sort of person is a truly humbling experience.  You feel very shallow at times if you’re at all honest with yourself at how decent many of these women are.  And it’s a bit heartbreaking along the way as well.  It’s not like you can be the “white knight” who comes in and makes all their dreams come true for all of them.  In marriage that is a wonderful thing.  But as I’d look out over the streets below from the upper-balcony of the Grand Mall in Mactan, seeing the people bustle about in the traffic below.. counting their pesos as they came in to buy that day’s groceries.. it puts ‘paradise’ into perspective for you if you have any semblance of a heart.  I know I can’t “be there” for even all the ones I do know, let alone the many I see on the streets below.

So, as I was listening to this little tune above, I thought of these particular Filipinas back ‘home’ in the Philippines.   They’re doing the best they can.  And as I’ve told them before, nobody can ask anything more than that.

The Philippines is a place of many realities.  Some women take the easy route and are borderline criminals as they reach out for that brass ring.  Some women hold to their dignity and come hell or high water they will stay the course with their chin up and a smile to greet the day as they step out from the muddy streets of their homes and put in yet another day of honest labor.

I suppose this is why I take it as a personal offence when people who have never been to the Philippines paint the women there with one simple brush.  “They’re all gold-diggers.”  Really?  Based on what?  A few 2nd-hand stories of guys who were too stupid or horny to patiently build an actual relationship before trusting a total stranger with marriage?  Those men got what they had coming for being so foolish and rushed.  To believe something so patently condemning, there’s no way such a person has seen or met the kind of honorable women I’ve met over the last year and a half.

Well, lately I’ve been visiting various Starbucks until 10p and then scooting over to an all-night Santana’s santanas mexican foodMexican food place for high-speed wi-fi.  I have T-mobile but it seems after I use 2.5Gb of my 5Gb plan.. speeds crawl way down, lower than even what I was getting in the province jungle areas of Bohol.

Two years ago a friend of the family dressed as Santa Claus and came to our house.  I haven’t seen my Mom so happy in years.  She was beside herself, just smiling like a little girl, amazed that Santa had come to the house.  Tomorrow she and I go to the wake-service of that same friend, he passed away a few days ago.

Such is life.  Very transient.  What is heart-breaking and seemingly unbearable, it comes and then ebbs away like a wave returning to the sea.  What is joyous, we should embrace and enjoy in the moment because it too will transition.  Whether a person ever moves to another country or not.. life really is an adventure.  Every day.

Henry ‘Reekay’ V.

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. Amigo – NICE! I can relate. I have been “humbled” many times, by my little friend in Lapu Lapu…..I so can relate to this. Hard working, sweet, and responsible. As always, you have drawn the picture with the utmost clarity. Tick, tick, tick……..5 days!!!! 🙂 Call ya soon!

    1. Another 30 days and I’ll be absorbing that warm, tropical air as well. 🙂 I can’t wait to get home to Bohol. Wishing the both of you an excellent time together.

      1. Filipinas are taught from an early age to get whatever they can however they can. Its a dog-eat-dog country, even among their own relatives. They are always trying to prove that they aren’t the dullest tool in the box. Henry, your 1st wife was married? What part of that or their culture as it relates to divorce did you not understand? And where were your ethics? Yes the majority DO lie, “its a secret”, its in their nature. And yes your new love will have all her friends and the bgy people say good of her, they have to. Not sure how long you have been here, but you have a lot to learn about the women. There 10-1 bad vs good stories about filipinas, some have met the right one, the majority have not and will not. Its not painting a broad brush to say most are scammers, because they are, only those desparate for love fall for lies that everyone else sees clearly. Good luck

    2. You write real well I understand all you were saying . it’s a sham that probably 10 % of the people in the world think they know how and why the other 90% live and why

  2. well said Henry…as usual u r frank, honest, and well balanced and I feel like I could personally call u a friend. I am watching u and listening to all that u say and do. I started online chats with filipinas in 2009, and had different online relationships, many of which I thought were sincere but ended up not being so. Never-the-less, I learned a lot about women there and the cities and geography of PH. I also like learning the history of Spanish and then US involvement in that country as my dad was on a ship during WWII plying the waters around the Philippines. After I thought I had really found the love of my life, I came to Cebu as my gf was from Mindanao near there. I soon realized that she was not as serious as I had hoped, and our days did not last for long. However, for 3 weeks in Jan. of 2013, I had the best time of my life and I am 64 and never married and no kids…..I knew the country well before i came and yes I flew direct from Dallas to Seoul on Korean Air and then direct to Cebu/Mactan.. I had a first rate hotel close to Ayala mall and had a 3 day reserved beachfront suite in Bohol. I will semiretire in Bohol of Siguijor as neither are that far from Cebu by boat. I figure lying in a hammock with a sweet filipina to assist me during old age beats the hell out of a rocking chair in some nasty nursing home and a whole lot cheaper to boot. I do not know why it took me 60 years of my life to realize that filipinas are the most beautiful and sexy women in the world. Thank God they say…”Age does not matter”……….because thats certainly the way I feel. and I seldom feel that I am now 64. Take care henry and hope to meet one day in person my friend.

    1. Absolutely look me up when you get to Bohol. As for Filipinas, yes.. there are a few bad apples in the bunch, no different than the expats who get off the plane. But by and large, lots of good and decent women to be found in person once living there. Too often the girls who leave their home province and move to a big city like Cebu are the ones who lose their good values and begin to use the internet to woo money from expats online. But, in person.. the girls with ties to their parents from the smaller cities and provinces are among the finest women I’ve ever met, both in character and beauty.

    2. Hello Henry, I’ read your letter in your Websites. and I didn’t like some words. that you said all the Philippines
      woman is called Gold – diggers. you judged it but you didn’t see it .Me, been married a Canadian man. 18
      years I spent my life to taking care of my husband. and I am from Philippines. part of Visayan Island .
      But my husband never say a word that a Philippines women is like that. sadness and happiness we ‘re together because we love it’s other. We didn’t value of the money my relationship to my husband.
      and God given me a loving husband kind to the Humanity here in Canada Montreal. Take care hoping you find
      a good loving person in your life is a Destiny.

  3. Excellent article Henry as usual. I think you hit the nail on the head. The more I read about life in the Philippines the more I realize how blessed I am to find the lady I did. She lives in an agricultural community and works 7 days a week 10 hours a day (half a day off on sunday for church) Her priorities in life are her Faith and her family. She is remarkably beautiful but is to humble to acknowledge it. We have spoken twice a day on skype for 14 months, In that time she has never once asked me for a single thing. Often I will ask her if theres anything, anything at all she needs or wants, food, medicine, anything at all, she has never once asked for a thing. Ive done research to find out whats hard to come by there and I sometimes send her care packages, but never once a single request for anything on her part.

    After we chatted for a few weeks I sent her some pics of my small town and my very VERY modest home, I later felt like a heel when I found out she has 2 sisters a brother and her mom, all living in a 2 room house. Even more astounding I found out they are not bad off by Philippine standards, her cousin lives near her with 8 kids in a shack made from rusty tin nailed to coconut trees. We have no idea how we are blessed in America, I sent those 8 kids some trinkets and penny candy for Christmas. I later found out it was the first Christmas present they ever received.

    I dont tell anyone about my sweetheart anymore because as Americans we've become quite jaded. When I tell someone this woman has no guile in her nature, or that she has a fierce adherence to her simple Christian values and posses a child like beautiful Faith, they just assume that I'm a dope or she's a con artist, but I'm old enough to judge by actions and ignore words. I guess you get what your looking for. If you want wild sexy party girls, you can find plenty in the Philippines you can find plenty, but if you want a simple loving woman with a true heart and a sincere Faith, you can find that too.

    1. Absolutely. The woman I’m about to date is sweet and kind. I’ve been around the block a few times and I know the whole fake-cute thing when I see it. What you say is true.. men can find what they’re looking for, good or bad.

      1. i have met a filipina that works abroad, we video chat every day. She is deffinantly one of those women you explain, that help all of her family. i have chatted with all of them, very nice people. they dont ask for anyting from me. i have talked to her for 9 months now, but unfortunately, i must save a long time before i can get to PH. she is willing to wait for me. she feels like the one. i love watching your videos and they keep me on my toes with the descions i am going to make when i make it there. keep the videos comming very relaxing to watch. have you herd of ASMR you would be great for that.

  4. beautiful words Henry straight from your heart to mine. knowing and loving the people of the Philippines is indeed a very humbling experience. I haven’t even been to Philippines yet only through the internet and knowing the people I have met through technology has changed my life forever. Please don’t feel discouraged with your new relationship. you just need more time to spend together. your trip to America is just a small bump in the relationship road and when you return home you can resume where you left off and with a little more insight for both of you as you have experienced feelings of being apart and missing each other. and you will have many things to share with her when you are together again.

  5. Great articles you have here, Henry.I always enjoyed reading them.I’m a Filipina but now live in France and when you talked about my country, the people and it’s culture is just so accurate!The fact that you now live in the Philippines, you know the true Filipino values.It’s sad to say that on the net, people more talk about Filipina scams and prostitutions.Of course, there are many there but not everybody is like that-putting everybody on the same basket is just unfair… I like your being fair, honest and your sincerity when giving your opinions.I also enjoyed watching your youtube videos-very informative and resourceful.So thanks for sharing.By the way, I also shared your videos to my family, my sisters back home and they find your videos interesting too!

    1. Thank you, Kathy, for your kind words and sharing the videos with your family. I hope to continue seeing and sharing much more of the Philippines over the years to come. 🙂

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  7. Hey Henry, looking forward to your getting back “home” and reading your stories. This SoCal stuff is boring! LOL. What I’ve found over the years is that things are rarely as good as we think they’ll be and they’re rarely as bad too. I like you’re attitude because it takes that middle road while remaining optimistic.

    Sorry that you and D. are breaking up for good. The love of my life was married as well and we knew it just wasn’t going to work. That was 20+ years ago and I still think of her and hope she’s well. That said, J. seems like a nice woman who fits your optimistic personality. Even if “true love” never blooms ‘tween you it should be a nice friendship.

    Have a safe trip back. Look forward to your reports from the field.

    1. It’s been something of a dry-spell for me.. a ‘haitus’ if you will from doing what I love over on Bohol and surrounding areas. I had thought of doing videos/articles on the SoCal areas of interest for my PH friends, but aside from that not being the focus of my site here.. I’m just kinda played-out on the whole SoCal thing. My joy and heart is there in the Philippines. I’ll be returning there end of this Feb (2014). As for the breakup, it’s harder some days than others but, after countless hours/days/weeks of trying to find a solution, one just isn’t there to be found. So, I’ll just take it one day at a time and look forward to returning to the PH. 🙂

  8. Objective observation of the sociological condition of the people in the islands I am familiar with. To be happy in the Philippines an expat must already be happy at the start.

  9. Hi i am sending this why im noy to shore but feel i have got to know you lol (well)a bit i have watched a lot of if not all your vids and about workbusiness and dating all of which i have seen from you the way of life and just want to say thanks for all you are doing for guys like my-self thinking of living in the ph i have a girl well its a sister of a friends hes wife she is a ph woman they both are and so nice but i have been on the back foot and will stay there for sometime to come but i now see thing better and have a better understanding of the pepole that in it self is priceless and you have i think just been very honist in your vids and your chat room like i said just wanted to say thanks say close to god
    Kind Regards
    Dave (the scotsman)

  10. Henry, I thank you so much for sharing your story. This is actually the first time that I am visiting your site. I know you only through watching your Youtube videos. But you are now one of my favorite people in the world. This article alone shows me where your heart is. And I will always be a fan of yours. Thanks again for a year of enjoyment.

  11. a very interesting website, with even more informative video’s on you tube.yes. I’ve did a lot of researching on the phil, local customs, scams before I visited there. so I was prepared, for anything and everything. I had a great visit there. all I can say is, is that home is where the heart is.as to myself moving to the Phil, I’m only thinking about it at this point but haven’t made any concrete decisions yet.
    my views are probably the same as most of yours, yes I just think that there are both good and bad in each country.there are honest and dishonest people everywhere. I think its great for hear from an American, who is actually Living in the philipines, and from an American point of view.its really refreshing..

  12. I think we Americans could learn a lesson from the Filipinos. What we take for granted is a shame, compared to what these people deal with on a daily basis. Harsh survival. I have done much research on the Phils, and the stereotype girls that guys label, are usually met over the internet, or girls chasing foreigners. But I have also learned that there are many good women with hearts of gold that would make a wonderful wife and companion. You just have to have the patience to find the right one. I hope to meet one someday, if I am fortunate enough to adapt to the Philippines, when I am ready to go there.

  13. Ive been following your story Henry , i take a lot from your well balanced view of the Philipines , its very much in my mind to move to PI after august 2014 , its the old story of getting divorced , kids have all grown up etc and im tired of working 55-60 hours a week , money should not be an issue for me after the house is sold.
    What gives me encouragement is your references to the friendly people and to the bad people , i can see me out there with a girlfriend , a small boat , living in one of those jungle houses , living the simple life. Ive got a few loose ends to tie up here first and i cant see me being able to move untill the second half of the year ,

    keep up the good work , and i feel for you , im going through the same heartache at the moment , you have good days and bad days, the bad days are fewer the longer that it goes ,

    Hope to buy you a beer one day henry

    1. Sounds awesome and keep in touch. I’m usually visiting Cebu once a month or you can always visit Bohol with just an $8 ferry ticket. There’s always a room around for about $20/night. 🙂

  14. basically the PI is the only place in the east where western people can easily adapt into because the culture itself quite westernized(classical education, anglophonic, latin influence) to the grassroots extent, which you can never find in other asian countires which brand themselves “westernized” like tokyo or seoul ..as long as you are not a royalty lifestyle kind and willing to immerse yourself to reality without an ethnocentric mindset before the ordeal of moving here for long time immersion or expatriation.. then the PI is the place for you.. it could give you a good new perspective in life, a whole new panoramic view of you picturing yourself thinking outside the box…that could never be fathomed in the western plane of existence

  15. I enjoy each and everyone of your articles. You write so well and straight from the heart. I wish you all the best in your journey in the Philippines!

  16. I’ve been going to the PI every year for 12 years now. I love the people and the country.They always smile no matter the obstacles. I would love to move there.

  17. Great read Henry. This is so true. To condemn these girls and paint them with the "brush" is just not fair. I to take it personal and offensive. They have really never met a woman in the US that has the heart of these girls so they have no concept of what you speak. It must exist in the US but I have never met her. Worse yet are the men that come to the PI to get a new toy. They really don't even think that these girls have a heart at all let alone a heart of gold. They chew them up and spit them out. I take much more offence at these men. The good girls you talk about will literaly give you their heart, mind, body, soal and forever devotion. All while asking what we would consider very little in return.

    1. As I’ve said in video before, “There is no ‘All’ about much in life.” In any group there are different scenarios and motives that apply to any individual in that group. Take career professions for example, the reasons why someone becomes a police officer, nurse or attorney may have some general common denominators.. but ask 100 teachers why they became teachers and there will not be one same reason for each of them. Or the homeless. I’ve worked with the homeless in the past and I can tell you.. what got them there and keeps them there is not a cut and dried answer. Some choose to be there, they really do. Others fell through the system. Others had no family to count on. It goes on and on. Bar girls are no different. Some choose it and like it. Some regretfully do it and hate it.

  18. yes thanks for the info henry ,i just came back from bangkok ,had a great time but heading over to the Philippines i have a mate in boho island i hope to catch up with .i have watch a lot of you youtube clips ,there very good info thanks old son i hope all is still well were you are at the moment ,keep on traveling and posting its all good ,

  19. I do not know how you can be so gifted with your thoughts on things around you and put them in writting like you do. Hery, your very gifted.

  20. Honestly, it’s largely the culture of the Philippines. There’s just so many “show off” mentality going on.

    1. Being married to a foreigner is “status symbol” — especially among the poor and lower middle class. In which, the response by middle middle class and upper middle class to the upper class is met with disdain and disapproval.

    2. Most Filipinos do not spend money wisely — once they have quite an amount in their hands, they don’t spend it wisely.

    Which is why, we ask the “Chinese question”. Post WW2, Many Chinese immigrants to the Philippines were dirt poor but from the 70s onwards, they manage to be part of the upper middle class or the upper class. Chinese people save, think of the future. Filipinos tend to “show off”.

    So, no, I don’t really have much sympathy for the “gold diggers” especially when there are other ethnic groups in the Philippines that are just as dirt poor but won’t sell themselves or their kids to “foreigners”.

    Kalinga, Apayao, Ifugao, Abra, Bicol are among the poorest provinces in the country but “hunting” for a foreigner husband is almost not a thing in these areas. As in poorer than many Visayan and Eastern Mindanao provinces

    Filipinos blame the government for their situation but never asked who voted for the politicians who despite not having really done anything other than attracting media attention.

    And there’s a joke in the Philippines — Matandang Mayaman, Madaling Mamatay…which translates to “Rich old fart, soon to die”…which I think some women in the Philippines took to heart. LOL

  21. When you take the time to smell the roses, its a wonderful world.

  22. I would caution you in the thinking that simply 'being careful' would in some way protect you from a determined scamer woman.

  23. Hi all,

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The title of a classical spaghetti western directed by Sierra Leone.
    Starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach.

    Using the title as a metaphor it is easy to find this anywhere.
    The Philippines is not an exception nor is it the rule.

    I have been in the Philippines for some time. I came to the Philippines for the first time last century
    before some of you were born. Being in the military at the time I was stationed at the Subic Bay Naval Base.
    My stay was of short duration, less than 6 weeks. In that time I got to meet many Filipinos. From the bar girls
    to the young man who helped me build a model car in the on base hobby shop.

    Then as now the range of types and personalities left an impression on me. Some bad, most good. Then as
    now many of the bar girls were in the bars out of desperation not desire. There was a rumor floating around
    that many fathers raped their own daughters before turning them over to the mama-sans. Was it true?
    I do not know.

    In those days Olongapo already had an international reputation as wide open, wild west type of town.
    If I remember correctly Playboy or Hustler or some such men’s type of magazine did an article about
    Olongapo. It was something like “Olongapo: The Pleasures and the Perils”.
    If you want it, you could get in Olongapo.

    Bars, hotels and short time hotels rooms were sprinkled up and down the two main streets.
    Bar girls, mama-sans, Lady’s drinks and bar fines existed then as now. All virtually unchanged except for
    the numerical cost of various services. In those days the exchange rate was US1$ = P8, gives you an idea of how
    much the Philippine government has screwed over their own people.

    Since most of us were naive young men we were warned of the “Perils”.
    Do not carry or flash large amounts of cash.
    Do not wear a fancy watch. The street boys do not care if they break an arm to steal it.
    Do not wear a ring. They will cut your finger off to steal it.
    Always use a condom.

    In pursuit of our pleasures we were restricted to the two main streets in town.
    Do not go anywhere else we were told, you could be mugged or even murdered for your pocket full of cash.
    And the street boys loved to flash their “butterfly” knives as the young military men strolled up
    and down the sidewalks.

    Me, I only wanted to see what it was all about. When I was in boot camp in 1967 our drill instructor
    brought his wife and young child out to see us practice close order drill one day. His wife was a lovely Filipina.
    I’m not sure what the others thought at the time but I was captivated by her beauty.
    So you see things are not much different today.

    I came to the Philippines at the urging of friends I met in South Africa in 2008. She is a Filipina,
    he Australian. They had been married for nearly twenty years at that time. Their daughter lived in Oz and
    was in the Australian Navy. They said I should come for a visit. I said sure, I would love to. A number of
    years later I did just that.

    Was she a “gold-digger”? Not really as my friend was a near penniless vagabond at the time of their
    initial meeting. They have however built a wonderful life together and spend most of their time in the

    My friend’s younger brother, after a financially disastrous divorce in Australia, came to the Philippines
    at his brother’s urging. He and his much younger Filipina wife now have a delightful little boy and the
    two brothers have a successful business in the Philippines.

    I have had experiences with the good, the bad and the ugly during my stay in the Philippines. I have made
    many of the mistakes that you have read about. Except for the online stuff. However being generally frugal
    my mistakes have not cost me too much, certainly no where near the thousands other have lost.

    Since I was already in country all my meetings have been face to face. Something I much prefer. I am still here
    and do not plan to leave. Like many I have been actively looking for the “right one”. After a number of
    years and a couple of false starts I think I have finally met with success. Time will tell.

    Like Henry has said many times, take your time, something I often did not do.
    I remember having a discussion with the pastor of one potential candidate. I told him as I told her.
    I believe in a long “engagement” period. He was a bit taken aback when I told him I would not make a
    marriage commitment for two years.

    It takes that long* spending all your time with someone to really see who they are AND for them to
    see who you really are. He was a bit upset because we would be living in sin during that time.
    I figured then as now, better a little sin(root meaning of this word is mistake) now, than a big mistake later.
    *In reality six months will give you a pretty good idea but the two year requirement will weed out many with
    a get rich quick mentality.

    As it turned out it was a wise choice on my part. The relationship did not stand the test of time.
    Being a “gold-digger” had nothing to do with the demise of the relationship. In fact the lady in
    question often chided me about my extravagant ways. She was much happier shopping for new clothes
    at the city markets than going to the fancy dress shops in the big mall.

    Do you know the meaning of the word incongruent? It is a favorite of mine. It is something
    I have explained to all the ladies I meet. I put it this way. Tell me anything you want.
    I will a first give you the benefit of the doubt and believe what you say. Then I warn them
    that I have a very good memory. So if what you tell me and your actions do not agree then
    I know you are a liar. And actions always speak louder than words.
    If the violation is severe enough I leave without looking back.
    I am more than willing to be held to the same standard.

    Take care, have a good time while here in the Philippines and be careful out there.

  24. You are an excellent writer, good sir. Great “conversation” style that gives the reader an instant feeling that you are speaking just to him/her, as a familiar acquaintance. Great read, deeply informational. – Byron/Florida/USA

  25. Hi there I think all you guys that have been in the country for awhile and are matched up, should have a list of your better halves friends, interview us newbies and do a first match for us! I am joking but not completely. I lived in Cambodia for almost two years, had a friend and I think by the time I left I could have helped other expats just arriving, with intros!

  26. Would you like your friends to read the comments YOU post Jeff? Let's see what YOUR friends and followers think of this, shall we? — 44 minutes ago
    Jeff Brown posted – "LOL, how much money have you raised so far you con artist? I suppose a good set of tits would get you a few quid…"

  27. Would you like your friends to read the comments YOU post Jeff? Let's see what YOUR friends and followers think of this, shall we? — 44 minutes ago
    Jeff Brown posted – "LOL, how much money have you raised so far you con artist? I suppose a good set of tits would get you a few quid…"

  28. Would you like your friends to read the comments you post Jeff? Letv see what your friends and followers think of this, shall we? — 44 minutes ago
    Jeff Brown posted – "LOL, how much money have you raised so far you con artist? I suppose a good set of tits would get you a few quid…"

  29. Would you like your friends to read the comments you post Jeff? Letv see what your friends and followers think of this, shall we? — 44 minutes ago
    Jeff Brown posted – "LOL, how much money have you raised so far you con artist? I suppose a good set of tits would get you a few quid…"

  30. JEFF, you've done a complete U-Turn on the BS you were first peddling from Mucky and his co-horts at Kent KKK attacking Seven. You have NOTHING of substance to attack Seven with. You're a Fool who listens to idiots and Liars and accepts their BS stories, because you're lazy and don't have the intelligence to do your own research. Don't tell me to watch videos that YOU promote! I've done the research and know who to ignore!

  31. Well Henry those of us with much experience in the PR are all sympathetic to your feelings. I myself have been married to two different Filipinas but we divorced after some years in marital bliss. Sometimes life just isn’t a bowl of cherries, things happen that no one can predict. I hope that when I arrive there next month we can meet for a beer or a cup of coffee. You are exactly right that the women of the Philippines are unbelievably strong in the face of monstrous adversity. One can only admire them and do everything in our power to assist them. Its a real situation where one feels love not only for an individual, but for the whole spectrum of delicate angels that are the Filipinas.

  32. Reekay, I have watched most of your vids and now started reading your thoughts and I must echo the comments of all your many fans – great insights, very informative and I feel like I know you like an old friend! I plan to come to Bohol to shoot some underwater videos and you are my main source of information – and now – INSPIRATION!
    I hope I can buy you whatever your favorite tipple might be when I arrive- sounds like you’re a beer guy but ….?
    I just split up with my GF of 12 years because I couldn’t handle her insecurities and dissatisfaction with life in general and my inability to make her happy in particular! Your writings have opened my eyes to the reality of life in the Philippines! I am not sure I could handle the humidity & heat to live there permanently but everything else sounds rewarding and exciting. When I was young, I spent 2 years in Brazil, sat on totally deserted beaches in Bahia and lived in the Amazon jungle on a moored old steam boat that used to ply the waters of the Amazon river. Working in Sao Paulo as a young photographer, I had a gorgeous 17 year old girlfriend who sat at my feet with her guitar, serenading me with Bossa Nova songs! They were the happiest days of my life and I regret to this day leaving there! Now my life has come full circle and I wonder if, as a still fairly energetic, still mentally youthful, but wiser adventurer, I could once again experience that magical wonder of discovering the diversity this world has to offer.
    Totally against my better judgement, I joined a dating site to meet PH women for love and marriage – purely out of curiosity (right! who am I kidding). On seeing so many 18 -24 year old beauties ready at the drop of a mail to offer me their everlasting love, my mind screamed SCAM!! No way, can’t be for real! I was 100% right 5 or 6 times.
    Then disaster struck! I received an interest from a 28 old real beauty – not glamorous or sexy, but a pure madonna in the classic sense of the name. Huh, I said its a fake! Gotta be! I’ll invite her to video-call on Skype and that will once again be the end of that! Minutes later we were video skyping and I catch a glimpse of the girl in the photo, now live, saying ‘hello Roy how are you?’ (lip-synching perfectly) before the connection drops. We try for 30 minutes to get together again, she trying to connect over and over. No luck. then at my suggestion she gets ‘whatsapp’ and we’re exchanging text and photos and undying love non.stop! And she says ‘lets try Skype again I wanna see you again’! she sends me pics of her with her 2 year old daughter, (adorable) and wants to know if I can visit her, no requests 4 money (yet). She says she is religious. It looks >>>>>too good to be true!
    But if I can establish on a video call without doubt she is the girl in the pics and still not asking 4 money I know I am going to want to check her out more. Though I still suspect its a scam, the hopeless romantic in me says ‘well, maybe but you gotta find out for sure, or you might miss-out on the girl of your dreams’!
    So, can I do any other tests before actually meeting her (she lives in Banos, Laguna)? Short of hiring a detective! Henry V., anybody, got a life-savor for a drowning man? I don’t think I can walk away until I am sure its a scam! What do you guys think the percentages are? I have told her I’m not rich which, by western standards, is true, and I will never send money to any girl before I know her and her family. (Please forgive the long post) Update: I promised to call her 9am her time (3.30am mine)and she says no, you need to sleep! Now she comes online at 4am her time to txt: ‘don’t forget I’m yours’ and we agree to Skype at a time good for both. and she says she’s going back to sleep and she’s offline again. Surely, the scammers are not that clever? (its definitely a PH #). Or am I a stupid fool?? I’ll update you on the SKYPE call!

  33. Update: she’s real! We are going to meet when I arrive in January! We plan to take it slow from there! She could be the one! Let’s see, for now we’re talking up a storm!

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