It’s a Wet World

Last Monday morning I was thinking about the rain we are getting here on the Island of Luzon. There have been a few dry days this month but not many of them. I was scheduled last Friday to meet some friends at the Sit-“N-Bull bar/restaurant for lunch and adult beverages. I was looking forward to Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Corn. It was a stormy day, but then we only hang around at places with a good roof.

That morning we had a brownout, so I fired up the old reliable Honda Generator and was burning gas providing power to the house. Because of my daughter Ymir Thea and our Grandson Jayden, it dawned on me that I had to stay at home as nether she nor the boy, knew how to work the Generator, or shut it off when and if the power was restored. So I had to phone and text my friends and explain why I could not make it. Oh well, they’ll be other times and since there is no shortage of San Miguel beer on Luzon I’ll survive.

Manila flooding
Manila flooding

So a few more brownouts over the weekend, and I stayed at home listening to the rain, and reading and napping quite a bit. So that Monday morning Mayang asked me if I was bored. I thought about it and replied; “No my love, this is just like being on a ship.” I saw the odd look come over her, and I explained that most people spend their whole working life coming and going from work to home, running out to the store shopping, or to grab a bite to eat. Whereas those, whose jobs were on ships, understand that out to sea we pretty much have to stay in our small self contained world for weeks at a time. I guess people in prison have that same type of restrictions on them also, but with the added benefit of that guy named Bubba to help them pass the time.

School Girl walking in flooded street
School Girl walking in flooded street

So it dawned on me, that staying home, and not having to drive out in that foul weather, on flooded mud packed roads wasn’t really that bad a thing. I keep our freezer full of the foods I like, and our other two refs’ are stocked the same. The beer ref, has only gone empty during parties, but was restocked right away, and I have a dozen bottles of various types of good Rum, plus a well stocked bar for those who don’t prefer Rum. Yes I’ve found those people do inhabit our world also, if you can believe that.

There are a myriad of other things that you can do at home on a cool rainy day, that pass away the time in a most pleasant manner. I’ll refrain from going into details, and let your imagination figure out what I’m talking about.
The satellite Dream TV system goes on and off during the rain, but I’m not that much of a TV person, again I refer back to Living on those ships. But I keep a supply of thirty books unread in the house at all times, and a book is one of my clandestine pleasures. I have stockpiled 700 Kindle books on my “Puter” but have not bought a Kindle yet, my friend Tommy, is still out there sailing, and will pick one up for me and bring it back next time he’s home. So that’s a future thing I look forward to.

My advice to those contemplating moving to the Philippines, and residing on the Island of Luzon, keep in mind the limitations that the monsoon presents, learn to embrace it, or at the very least accept it as a way of life.. The rain will come, and Typhoon’s will blow, but our greatest blessing is, it will never snow!

I was watching the local NEWS and of course Manila has flooded again, why its news anymore I’m at a loss to figure out. The formula is simple; Manila plus Rain, equals flooding. It makes me wonder, Manila is over 500 years old, during those 500 years the Rainy Season shows up like clockwork every May. I would have thought that by now someone would have come up with a solution by now?

But then I remembered a Pinoy named Elmer that I sailed with on one of the Merchant Ship’s. Elmer was telling me that for the last 7 years his house in the Santa Rita section of Olongapo City has flooded out every year during the Rainy season. I suggested that he sell the house and move to higher ground. He stated that he couldn’t do that, as he was only renting. Now I understand Manila.

My niece Shay-shay has had two days off from school this week due to flooding at her school in Olongapo. On the weekends she is a regular at our house and now we get to see her during the week. If she moved into a spare bedroom I’d be happy, as she is more than welcome to be here with us.

I know I’ll get comments from Kano’s that live on Mindanao who will brag that they don’t have a rainy season down there blah, blah, blah. But I had seen plenty of flooding from there too, so what’s the difference.
The kids will be out today splashing in every puddle in the street, my roof is strong and it’s dry inside, so let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Post Author: Paul Thompson (309 Posts)

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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  1. donna west says

    Fun to read article, Paul. Here I sit in dry, dusty, drought ridden Missouri and envy your rainy day experiences there on Luzon. I am truly jealous of the raindrops hitting your roof and not mine. I am really very ready to grab my brightly colored umbrella and do a little Debbie Reynolds “singing in the rain” scene out on my deck. Please dont give any more rain visuals on this blog….its just far too painful for me ….WAIT. I cant believe this….is that really raindrops I hear hitting my tin roof? by golly IT IS. thanks for the blogging “rain dance”. You are very good at that. keep em comin.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Stop with the rain dancing until your aim improves, I want you to have it, as we don’t need it. There is a typhoon hitting south of us now and we’re back to more rain. If there was just some way I could FedEx it all to you…

  2. Paul Thompson says


  3. Don says

    On Saturday, rode up to La Union and down the west side of Luzon. Was a great ride until about 1pm and then the rains came down. Had drinks at SitnBull with Ron, but still rained. I rode all the way back to Manila on flooded EDSA, took 3 hours from Subic. Total distance 750 km. I am still drying out. Still raining on Monday as I type.

    BTW, the VFA in La Union is moving locations next Sat 4 Aug. and having a Mexican buffet for I think p300 for any one interested and in the area.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Quite some trip in the rain, I’ve been trying for two weeks to get to Sit ‘N’Bull to eat and yak with Ron and everyone. Yup, it’s raining now as you said and no school in Olongapo again due to flooding. The VFW in the Barrio moved and we’ve not found it yet. (lol) I’ll wait until it’s dry before any long trips up to La Union. I’m glad you made it with only a slight delay. Towel off and have a beer!!

    • Paul Thompson says

      Quite a trip in the rain, I’ve been trying for two weeks to get to Sit ‘N’Bull to eat and yak with Ron and everyone. Yup, it’s raining now as you said and no school in Olongapo again due to flooding. The VFW in the Barrio moved and we’ve not found it yet. (lol) I’ll wait until it’s dry before any long trips up to La Union. I’m glad you made it with only a slight delay. Towel off and have a beer!

  4. Scott Fortune says

    “My advice to those contemplating moving to the Philippines, and residing on the Island of Luzon, keep in mind the limitations that the monsoon presents, learn to embrace it, or at the very least accept it as a way of life.. The rain will come, and Typhoon’s will blow, but our greatest blessing is, it will never snow!”

    Paul, I loved reading these words!! As far as I am concerned, if the water isn’t frozen as it comes down, I’ll be fine and happy!!!

    Thanks for the article!

    While you bring up the topic of rum, which is your favorite that is easy to get there for not much money? I mentioned before I’m not a beer drinker, but I do like whiskey, rum, vodka, and some mixed drinks.

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      Scott, in my barrio of Salaza (Palauig, Zambales) my tagay buddies, either as a show of machismo or just plain preferred taste, like to drink their vodka straight up, no garnish, undiluted, and water on the side. I don’t remember how much a bottle of vodka sells from Neneng’s sari-sari store, but I remember it was cheap. If memory serves, it was called, “Marka Demonyo” (Mark of the Devil).

    • Paul Thompson says

      Tanduay 12 year Superior Rum, easy to find and less than $6.00 per bottle, there is a 15 year also, but harder to find. I’ve drank rum all over the world and 12 Y/O Superior is as good as the best rums in the Caribbean, and I lived there for over 10 years. Frozen water goes great with rum. Just one rule, I live by, if its spelled RHUM don’t buy it and for sure never drink it.

  5. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Hahaha, Bubba? Your mention of Bubba reminds of ole Jerry Sandusky, poor guy. LOL Seriously, though, Paul, you’ve just delivered a nostalgic description of life in the province as I remembered it when the rain comes! It’s as if I was there living through it all, looking out of the window of our house in Salaza, watching the thick green foilage of my Mom’s yard bend with the strong wind and listening to the rain hit the tin roof like rapid gunshots. It would rain for days on end, but it was always a welcome relief from the heat and humidity. Then we would sit around a dulang in the dark while the storm rages outside for a supper of malunggay and chicken, the malunggay leaves having come from the malunggay tree reachable from the batalan. After supper and after the dishes are put away, I would grab the kinki (a kerosene filled beer can with a lighted wick) and retire to my papag (hard bed made of bamboo) to be lulled to sleep by a symphony of lightning, thunder and rain. :)

  6. Paul Thompson says

    I am one of those Kano’s that likes the rainy season because you can relax, chill out and shut down the A/C for a few months. You’re so right everything is a rich shade of green again; all the brown plants are alive once more. The grass is growing and it’s too wet to cut it. Albeit I do have to pump out the fish pond every morning, but the fish are all smiling? My roof is slab cement so I don’t hear the rain that much, but enough to make my naps come quickly every afternoon. It is a great time of year, unless you live in Manila. My niece is here today as school is canceled due to flooding in Olongapo.

  7. Hudson says

    Most people have forgotten the pleasures of reading.

    On a seperate note, I used to live in Washington state. You know what happens after two days of rain there?… Monday. Thats right, It would rain every weekend. the first year I was there I would cancel my plans, not mow the grass, etc. because it was raining. After about a year, I had an epiphany. Why let the rain spoil my weekend. so, I got a little wet, and I mowed the grass in the rain (just be careful of the slimey slugs). And I had fun doing it.

    • Paul Thompson says

      If if’s drizzling rain I’ll go out and walk Coco the Flying Labrador in the morning, but during the frog choking rain we’ve been getting all of July, she’s stuck with the yard. Mowing the grass with an electric grass trimmer? I’ll give that a pass. I figure a good hard rain will flatten the grass down just fine, I’ve heard that in Washington state the folks don’t tan, they rust.

  8. Mitch says

    @Paul Good reading…. Question.. Can you count on rain in the afternoons or mornings on a very reqular basis…? Wife and I land at 6am and are going to Cavite to visit family…. Was woundering if we should plan to stay there the night, before heading out to Olongapo, and getting a hotel room….. The thought is to miss driving (safety) in the rain if we were to travel in the afternoon. Or is it truly just to unpredictible?? When I lived there (Navy) in the eairly to mid 80’s, I think I remember a pretty regular rain fall in the afternoons/evenings, of course just when we were ready to head to town for a few cold ones. I remember one time wearing my green govenment rain coat and rolling up my shorts to where the raincoat just covered the shorts…. making it seem as though I was just wearing a rain coat…. and flipflops….. funny looks from all!!!!! See you all soon, wheels up in 405 hours, but who’s counting….. Take care..


    • Paul Thompson says

      If there are no tropical storms or typhoons in the area, which we’ve had all month and the rain has been all day and all night without let up. But, by the middle August who can tell, my best advice rain or shine is travel during the day and avoid after dark, people think they are saving gas by not turning on their headlights. But the weather might be better in a few weeks, where we only get that cloud burst anytime during the day and an hour later it’s sunny again.

  9. corjo says

    I remember the brownouts of 20 years ago,nearly every day the power would drop out, back then it was because of lack of generating capacity but that was solved under Rammos and now there is overcapacity but the poor old Phils is now suffering from antiquated and unreliable distribution networks.Problems like rotten wooden poles ,which fall in typhoons, are being replaced by concrete but it takes time.In my area the pole replacement is scheduled to be complette in 100 years. Thats not bad when you consider its a cooperative and that the budget is very limited.Believe it or not the reduction in the number of brownouts is one of the indicators used to demonstrate the progress the Phils has made in the last 20 years.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Lack of brownouts, where? Not here in Bataan, if Manila loses power they divert ours to Mega Manila as they are by far the most important. Since Manila has been flooded this month (July), we’ve had more brownouts than usual. The year 2012, and no problems with the power? I’ll keep my generator gassed up.

      • dans says


        corjo was probably referring to blackouts and not “brownouts” during the cory regime, where we suffer from an 8~12 hours of blackouts everyday and DST was actually implemented to compensate the office/working hours during day time and it lasted for years.

        • Paul Thompson says

          A couple of years ago after a typhoon we had now power for 10 days here in Bataan, and the Newspaper and TV News called it a brownout. So someone will have to explain the difference to them. (LOL)
          I know blackouts from living on Puerto Rico, but never in my time in the RP have I ever heard it called anything but a brownout here.

  10. RandyL says

    Good write Paul. You described the rains so well it made me want to take a nap….and I just woke up (going on 8am). Maybe you could throw (paint) some “haze grey” on a few things around the house to help you feel more at home (sea).

    • Paul Thompson says

      Look at some of my old stories and you’ll see that the Man Cave out back is Haze Gray, but not underway! I was thinking of painting patches with red lead and really feeling like I was back on a ship. But I do non-skid the table tops so my beer won’t slid if I take any rolls.

  11. Ron says

    Considering that I am one of many Americans living through a drought with temperatures daily having three numbers I envy you. Then again I have always thought that you have carved out your paradise for which you have my respect. I love rain as you don’t have to shovel it.

    • Paul Thompson says

      I’ve been watching that on the NEWS, I believe that Al Gore is somehow responsible for it but I can’t prove it. All kidding aside I’ve been hearing from many friends in the states about the drought and all the problems it’s causing. If there was but a way we could send out extra rain to places around the world that need it. Maybe someday they’ll have an answer.

  12. Mark G. says

    Paul the asawa and little boy have been stuck on the inlaws island for three days now as there is no ferry due to the typhoon. No electricity, no running water…the LGUs generator is having issues with the rain too I guess. Thank Chairman Mao for Chinese genrators! I’ve been in that house during heavy rains. It’s a tin roof that leaks in certain spots, like over the papag we used to share…You can’t hear each other speak over the din of the rain falling on the tin…some beneifts to that by the way! It’s more fun in the Philippines.
    Mark G.

    • Paul Thompson says

      And they’re worried about China taking over the Philippines, it’s pretty much already happened economically. I can hear the rain hitting a tin roof, albeit on my neighbor’s house, and I also get to hear the fruit when they hit its roof, that scares the crap out of one of my dogs. But I hope your family gets back safely, and then they can tell you all about their adventure. Can they fly back, as I just don’t trust any ferry here in the Philippines. As a merchant marine, I boarded one with my family, looked around at the overcrowding and lack of safety equipment, and we left the boat and went to the airport, no refund of course.

      • Mark G. says

        Well Paul I spoke with the missus last night. Her two day visit to her parents island has turned into a week and a half. Due to the typhoon there have been no ferries running and won’t be until Saturday. Thank God there are many kids and her sisters there as I’m sure she didn’t pack a lot of clothes for her or the little boy. They’ve only had spotty electricity and are down to dried fish and rice because there is no fresh produce on the island (other than bannanas, mangoes, coconuts and pappayas, lol). Fortunately they are on the East side of the island and half way up a mountain so they are not under water.

        • Paul Thompson says

          That’s some good news and I’m glad they’re both safe, but now you know why a sailor like me lives on a mountain, and not the beach. I hope they get home soonest.

  13. Bruce Michels says

    Great comparison between a rainy day and shipboard life Your confined to the boundries of the ship and in the case of rain your house if you don’t wish to get wet.
    I guess that’s when I became a avid reader through boredom and that was the only way to escape. Over herew in J-ville we get a week of rain then get roasted for three. And man the mosquitos are as big as helos around here.
    I’m also glad you brought up flooding because we were talking about buying land in the Subic/Battan area and I believe the best time to look is during rainy season to see if it flood or not.
    I’ve heard alot about the Sit and Bull from my friend were going to have to try it out. Heard they have a mean hamburger.

    • Paul Thompson says

      I was taken to look at a piece of land that was 4 feet below the road in front of it, and the owner told me it never flooded. That was properly true a dry day. The top of hill are really good for flood proofing, as gravity is a Constance factor in life.
      All the food at Sit ‘N Bull is good; Chef Roger was trained by Tom Dryden, the man who ran the best restaurant in this area and they were smart to hire him and pay him well. But the best burger here will always be the “Bubba Burger” at Texas Joe’s. It is to die for,
      I figured a sailor would understand the comparison between living on ships and rainy days, most others won’t. But with prison they do, oops, Bubba again!
      This would have been a great month to look for land, as if it’s not flooded today, it never will be.

      • Bruce Michels says

        Bubba’s in jail are no longer they are Barbies Got to be Politically Correct Now.

        By the way Detroit is Playing Boston in this next series Good luck. Can you catch the games on tv or your puter?

          • Bruce Michels says

            Most of the time when we say your going to be locked up with Bubba they understood that it was going to be and interesting night. And most likely they might be well violated. Now a days these so called Bubbas are very open and non discreat on their preference. In fact they take on a feminine generic of their real name. Oh yea the closet door is wide open in the jails. Thus Bubba / Barbie.
            Got luckey last night against my Tigers. :(

      • PapaDuck says

        Paul, Bruce
        The rainy season will be over when we arrive in Oct i hope. I will always get plenty of good sleep when it rains. I will make sure i have plenty of indoor things to do to keep me busy during the monsoon season. Bruce we’re in the same pattern as you 1 week of rain and 3 weeks of stifling heat. Wish we could get in the pattern of afternoon showers of the past. The Sit’N Bull sounds like another good place for chow. Let me know when you guys want to get together in Subic. I will just rent a car and hire a driver for the drive from Cavite. Take care and have as good as day as possible in the rain.

        • Bruce Michels says

          Where in Cavite are you going to be staying. Will be in Silang Cavite by Tagaytay where her family stay for a while?

          • PapaDuck says

            Will be staying in Kawit, near Imus City and Bacoor City when were not traveling around. Thats good we’ll be pretty close, not too far away. Let me know when you want to get together.

        • Ricardo Sumilang says

          Papa Duck, none of my business, but why not take the bus from Cavite City to Subic Freeport, instead of hiring a driver? For the cheap fare and enjoyment of raw Pinoy culture, nothing beats a bus ride through the city and the provinces. That’s what I would do, if I were you.

          “Two bus lines namely Victory Liner and Saulog Transit plow [ply] the route Manila-Subic. The former leaves an hour apart from 4 am to 6 pm from four different terminals in Pasay, Caloocan, Sampaloc, and Cubao going to its Olongapo terminal. The latter, on the other hand, has trips leaving one hour apart between 2 am to 2 pm from Cavite City.”

          • PapaDuck says

            Thanks alot for the suggestion. Will keep it in mind. Don’t know what our schedule is going to be like going up to Subic and plus we may visit a couple of other places too, so a car may be the better option. It’s much appreciated though. We will taking a bus up to Baguio for a few days. So that should be enjoyable. Take care and thanks again for the info.

            • Ricardo Sumilang says

              Oh, sorry, Papa Duck. I thought you were going to Subic alone to meet up with Bruce and Paul when you said, “I will just rent a car and hire a driver for the drive from Cavite.”, that’s why I suggested a bus. In that case then, yes, a hired car would be much better especially if you are planning to visit other places as well. Enjoy your trip to Baguio, as I’m sure you will. A trip to Baguio from Subic by bus, you have no choice but to take the Victory Liner all the way to Santa Cruz, the northernmost town of Zambales, passing almost all of the towns the entire length of the province of Zambales. Heck, you’d be passing through my barrio of Salaza then. The provincial highway traverses the barrio, located between the towns of Palauig and Masinloc. If you’re interested in what my barrio looks like, best to ask the bus conductor to notify you just before you get there, or you’ll miss it. The bus would breeze through Salaza in the blink of an eye.

        • RandyL says

          PD, that’s what we did…rented a van and driver from Mariveles, Bataan and brought the entire family to Texas Joe’s and had lunch with Paul and his wife. Of course we made an entire day of the trip to Olongapo with shopping and things. Paul is right about TJ’s having a good burger. The SM is cold also. Just remember to pick a day when Paul isn’t on generator duty (GenDuty).

          • Paul Thompson says

            I seem to remember that, anyway I saw the pictures on FB of your tour of Olongapo. I enjoyed meeting you and yours.

        • Paul Thompson says

          The rain should be close to over by October, although we have had storms into January, but that is rare. I’m game, rain or shine to meet with you guys.

  14. Terry says

    Do most stay indoors during the rain, or are there adventurous guys that brave the weather and go out anyway for a beer and card game – dominoes – pool – ?

    • Paul Thompson says

      Absolutely we go out on rainy days, but as I said we only go to juke-joints that have a good roof. Staying in depends on the severity of the storm as sometimes it’s raining so hard your windshield wipers can’t clear the glass so you can see where you’re going or if you take a Jeepney or Trike, you better bring dry clothes in a plastic bag. But during normal rainy days we pay no attention to the rain and do what we always do, except we don’t do it outside. Some days the market is flooded, so we give that a pass. Some days the road is flooded and you can’t get to where you want to go. But for 95% of the time life just goes on in a normal fashion just like any rainy day where you live. But today, I’m staying in as it’s coming down in torrents, I’m lazy and nothing is that important to make me want to go out, so I’ll stay home and play with the wife. There is always bukas (tomorrow) it’s up to you and your group of friends.
      That’s why they invented texting. (lol)

  15. John says

    Hi Paul! I really enjoy your Monday post (I make it a habit to visit the site on Monday to read your writings).

    Just want to past on an experience: I ordered my Kindle from Amazon.Com and it cost me US$100.00. It took two weeks to get here and I paid 500pesos customs tax. Amazon will NOT ship the latest Kindle which has color overseas but the Kindle I got, which is black and white, is perfect to read books on. I don’t know how I lived without it. It is really great! Just wanted to pass on the info.

    • Paul Thompson says

      From what I been told and since my internet connection is shaky at best, I have no need for the fancy-smancy color one, but wow, a hundred bucks is well worth it for all I want it to do, (READ A BOOK!). My buddy will be coming back soon with mine and we both know the pit falls of the color one. Thanks for the info, and I’m looking forward to reading with larger fonts.

      • John says


        I really appreciate the ability to size my fonts larger. The basic Kindle (black & white screen) can be used outside in the direct sun where you can’t do that with the color screen. Also, the black and white is $150.00 cheaper. BTW, you can add PDF format books and magazines on to the Kindle. It, also, has capability for MP3 for audio books or just nice background music while you read. I only re-charge once a month. Book reading AND music – how better can it be!!

        • Paul Thompson says

          Recharge once a month? That’s fantastic. I also didn’t know about reading outside, that’s great to hear. Now I want mine now! But I must wait, but I have a stack of books left to read now. Again thank you for that information!

  16. Ron LaFleur says

    Paul go to (site deleted, see note below for correct link) The writer of that blog has some great information and articles about Kindles, ordering books, etc… from a Philippines perspective. Ron

    [Editor’s note: Ron, I have deleted the link, because you linked to the wrong URL. In fact, the URL you gave does not work at all. I believe that you meant to link to Bob Hammerslag’s site, which is: – MindanaoBob]

  17. Mitch says

    Paul, Thanks for the tip about drivers without headlights….. Boy do I got to get my mind reprogrammed for life in PI…lol…. But I hope I’ll enjoy the wet weather compaired to living in the desert 60 miles east of Los Angeles, without whole house A/C, It broke and I “ant fixen it”, we are leaving and I just got a small unit in the master. Wheels up in 354 hours!

    • Paul Thompson says

      In the Navy when leaving a ship we’d carry a “Short timers Chain” and every day remove a link, do you do that only with the hours vice the days? (LOL) When I moved here I owned nothing, as I was on ship’s most of the year for ten years, so if I needed something I’d rent it. I had a small storage locker in Florida with things I had collected over the past 40 years and shipped it here, in two LBC boxes. Those hours will pass quickly, and you’ll be here before you know it. Have a safe trip.

    • messtime says

      Ha Ha, You must be close to where i lived for a long time . . . San Bernardino, Riverside area . . . San Bernardino just filed for bankruptcy, i understand . . . Nowadays a bad area to live in, in my opinion.

      • Paul Thompson says

        I heard about San Bernardino on CNN, is it true that it’s being sold to China to help pay down the debt? (lol)

        • messtime says

          Actually, San Bernardinos problems started quite awhile ago, maybe like i am guessing 12 to 15 years ago or more when there was a sudden collapse of the economy. One event that happened during this time frame was the closure of Norton Air Force Base from which the town received a fairly good chunk of income, i guess. From what i gathered by talking to one guy in ‘Berdo – the city leaders were trying to brainstorm and come up with income generating ideas and from what this guy told me – many of the ideas were way out there (desperate times require desperate measures type thinking) – and he was laughing at their ideas like crazy. That was when the mess started (probably 12-20 years ago) and probably what has happened is they just threw in the towel. It used to be a very nice place to live like in the 60’s & 70’s, good weather conditions, and infrastructure, etc. But now, lots of crime and other social problems. San Bernardino was famous for being close: To the mountains, the beach (pacific ocean), & the desert. It’s too bad really, but i do not think it will ever return to it’s former glory like many places around the world in decline.

  18. says

    For the longest time I loved my vacation home because there were no whites. You develop a minority mentality when you are the only white in 100000 people.
    This trip has been different. There is a half dozen Krauts, Yankees and a solitary kiwi in my adopted hometown.
    I tell my friends back home (eastern KY, USA) that I live in the “hillbilly part of the Philippines” (western Negros Oriental) I only say that when my wife ain’t around. I don’t mean it as a slam but she takes it as such. If she had a higher view of hillbillies perhaps shed feel different.
    I love it here and soon it will be permanent. I’m much healthier and happier here. I go back to KY in late August. I dread it.

  19. Paul Thompson says

    In the Navy I served with guys from every section of the United States and found they all had something to offer and later in life I found it’s the same in the world. It was good for me to learn that the way we did it in Boston wasn’t always the right way. The Philippines has a way of getting under your skin, I’ll never leave. I hope you can get back here soon.

  20. Mitch says

    Thanks Paul for the travel wishes. We have sold all the furniture, and have “mailed” 38 LBC boxes of the things we just cant part with. Sold over 8k on craigslist and garage sales. Maybe 10 more boxes on the 14th, then a limo ride to the airport, and then the dreaded LONG flight….. Hardest part is leaving the kids…. Oldest 28yo joined the Airforce 10 months ago, now stationed in Las Vegas, youngest 19yo joined the Airforce 7 months and he just got stationed at McChord in Seattle, and the middle child 24yo is “getting by” in Palm Springs. Those 3 are the only things that pull on my heart string about going…. But thanks to skype and majic jack, I hope to keep in touch quite a bit…. maybe to the point they will be sick of us……haha. see ya’ll soon….. Wheels up in 338hr, no chain, just a calculator haha…. we use to have a freedom bird picture on the wall (a plane) with each step going up to the cabin door as a day…… seemed to take for ever to get on that damn plane….

    • Paul Thompson says

      I have two sons that are career Army, raising families and living their life. I moved away from my folks when I was young. The boys are just doing the same, only this time we were the ones moving. Love has no distance.
      The other thing is LBC, who’s Bank failed last year and really needs the business, I think they’ll have you on their preferred customer list. Their next ad will have a picture of you in it.

  21. sugar says

    Hi Paul – Is it sunny in Bataan now? Manila all week is just wet wet wet! Haven’t seen the sun shine yet…and just keeps on raining and if it rains for like 3 hours, expect floods and traffic! I heard some parts of Bataan got flooded. And the bad news.. new storm looming. And for me…stockpile of Oreo’s. He he!

  22. Paul Thompson says

    Sun, what sun? If I didn’t live on a mountain I be in bad shape, the lowland and Olongapo are flooding everyday. Oreo’s; got milk?

  23. Jeff Bain says

    Hey Paul

    You do not know me. I have been reading your post for the last week or so….. The one I just read was from July 2012. I am a reader of books and ebooks and Love my Kindles. Did you ever get your Kindle? If not, We will be in Manila for a few days from 29 May until ? LOL Anyway, I have a couple spare 2nd gen Kindles, IF you can think of a user for them……………. maybe we can meet up before We fly to Cebu.


    • Paul Thompson says

      What a kind offer, I thank you very much. But I picked up a 9inch Android and I’m as happy as a clam, wow adjustable font size, Doubleday should have thought of that. Enjoy your time here and again thank you.

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