A while back I remember Bob wrote a story about how Manila pretty much thinks of anything outside of Manila as the province. In Cebu City, its different. For those living in Cebu, they don’t think of themselves as living in the province. They live in the city but everyone outside of Metro Cebu is lives in the province.
Living in the Province
I live in Bogo, the supreme court removed its City status sometime back but its still the province. I think even those of us that live here think of it as living in the province. I know I do.
There are some down sides to that. If Metro Cebu City needs more power, they cut the power to the province! For me, that just stinks to high heaven!
There was an article in one of the papers back a few months ago that promised no more brownouts in Northern Cebu. Some manufacturer had worked out an agreement with the power providers. The manufacturer would generate its own power at times to avoid the brownouts. The electric company would reimburse the manufacturer for the additional cost they incurred for producing their own energy.
Since that agreement, we’ve seen fewer brownouts but we saw one today. I was hacked off when I found out my power was being cut so some plant could keep operating. I was glad it wouldn’t happen any more. I think that was about four months ago. Well, all of Northern Cebu had its power cut twice since then.
When the lights go off early in the morning, usually about 8am on a Sunday, we know that means a very hot day with no Internet, TV or even a fan. I can take the heat if I have a fan, I can’t handle it without a fan.
I woke up for good about 10am with my head soaking wet. I thought I’d try to tough it out and just stay home but I soon tossed that and said lets go to Jollibee’s.
Making The Most of it.
In a rare moment of Jessie feeling like exploring, she suggested we go check out a beach resort near Bogo. I’ve wanted go to out there but I was waiting until I had the money to spare to join the club. When we got there, we found it was closed to the public. A group of Korean’s had rented the entire place out.
There was a new resort just up the road so we checked it out. Its not fully operational yet but the grounds and the view was more impressive than I expected.
So what’s my point in all this? I think to be a successful expat, that is one that is happy living in the Philippines, you need to be able to go with the flow. Parking that control freak side of you at the exit port from your home country can go a long way to being happy here or for that matter, happy where ever you are.
I’m convinced that being happy here is 90% your attitude. I know a guy that just loves it here. He’s so poor that he’s had to sleep on a boat and at times had no place at all. He still loves it here and he’s slowly getting himself established here. He’s working here now. Not making a lot of money but enough. I doubt I could have been as open minded as he did. He’s kind of a free spirit, too much attitude, got kicked out of the marines because of that attitude kind of guy.
If you want to live here, you can. If you can’t let go of the way of your home, I don’t think its going to go well. If you can look around and say all these other people are able to live like this and decide you can too, you’re gonna love the Philippines. You’ll also likely get a lesson about what is important in life.
You might find it a bit easier to live in the larger cities than the province though. You know yourself better than I do. There’s far less crime and pollution in the province. There are a few less conveniences too. The story of the City basically shutting of the power to the province so it has all the power it needs, might give you a bit of an idea on that.
The Philippines is a place where the electricity might not be as stable. When the line man shows up to work on the lines, he may have his ladder on the back of his motorcycle. It is a place where water heaters hang on the wall, if you have one at all. Its also the place of some of the best people you’ll ever meet and the most loving women probably in the world.
Rusty Ferguson is an American Expat living in Bogo, Cebu.