I retired to the Philippines with my Filipina wife almost three years ago. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some expats that have read my website, PhilippinesPlus, and have been encouraged to move to our area, Iloilo, in Western Visayas. Amazingly, they have decided to stay even after meeting me and sharing a “few” bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen with me at the local talabahan in our barangay. That’s one way to pass the time in the Philippines if you’re a retired old geezer like myself.
But a guy can get bored just hanging out with his expat buddies and drinking beer. No honestly, that’s true! Plus it usually doesn’t endear me too much with my asawa, either, if I do this too often. She’s been known to keep a sharp bolo nearby and she knows how to use it.
As a way to beat back barangay boredom, I began my first blog in August 2009, a month after moving to the Philippines in Guimaras, my wife’s home province. A 50-foot tower in our front yard enabled me to get a signal from Smart Bro. I would have gone absolutely loco loco (more so than I already am) wihout that “hobby.” There’s only so many trips a guy can make down a muddy, cow poop-laden subdivision road to the local Sari Sari Bakeshop for some freshly baked pan de sal before boredom sets in.
A move to the big city of Iloilo, a 15-minute pump boat ride from Guimaras, last October helped. We’re fairly close to a large SM Mall now and with our twin nieces currently living with us, I don’t have to spend all my time feigning interest in any shoe or purse purchases my wife is considering at the local mall. My nieces can stand for hours alongside their tita and do that for me now. I’m relieved.
As a way to fight boredom, one French Canadian expat friend, married to a Filipina, took up publishing his own website and travels extensively on our island photographing historic churches and writing about them. That, along with a “Honey Do List” from his spouse, keeps him occupied.
Another expat friend, a Hoosier, spends his free time being a Dad to his two young children. He scurries all over our home base of Iloilo City taking his kids to school and running errands. His asawa has plenty of places for him to go. There’s one particular hot spot she tells him to go when she’s angry, but I’ll let that go. He also organizes bi-weekly meetings for expats that meet at a local hangout. We have been known to throw back a bottle or two of our favorite brew when we meet.
A new arrival from the States just dropped in. He’s a single guy. He’s busy being a celebrity. The guy is approached by cute Filipinas constantly. It’s either his good looks or charm attracting them or perhaps some of the pretty pinays approaching him might think he has “ATM” stamped on his forehead.
Point is, you need something to fight boredom once you move to the Philippines. I highly recommend a legal recreational hobby. I retired after almost 30 years of working at AT&T. I do absolutely nothing because no one lets me do anything. I don’t mind them “enabling” me. I have no problem being lazy and sitting in front of my computer monitor for hours at a time. That is, when I’m not visiting with my expat friends and quenching my thirst.
But be prepared. Unless you have definite plans on opening a business in the Philippines (get Bob’s book) or sitting at the back of some sari sari store drinking Red Horse all day with your expat buddies (beginning to see a pattern here?), having some kind of plan before you move to the Philippines is a good idea. Remember, it may be more fun in the Philippines but you still don’t want to be bored, do you?