Learning Life’s Lessons

Be Prepared

There are many hazards one may encounter while living in a distant land. Many Expats know this. Almost just as many learned of them first-hand through personal experience. Your humble scribe is no exception. Learning is a daily experience at the very least. For me, and perhaps many others, it's more of a minute-to-minute affair - encountering different scenarios and … [Read more...]

WHINERS? — Can’t Stand ‘Em!


I can't stand whiners. I cannot take hearing a whiny voice regardless of what content it articulates. I especially can't put up with the attitude that usually accompanies a well-practiced, super whiner while he or she is plying his or her trade. To me, whining is a hideous means of psychological torture. Its well-versed practitioners are truly throwbacks to … [Read more...]

UPDATES? More, Please.

Dog Days

It's a lazy kind of Saturday afternoon, and I'm sitting outside with my tablet checking in with the world-wide web (the Internet, for the un-indoctrinated). It's sunny and cooler than it has been all week - thanks to some afternoon thunder showers yesterday - and life in the real world is oh, so pleasant. In the virtual world, things aren't as good. I tried to catch … [Read more...]

U.S. EXIT TAX – It’s Real!


There are many unhappy people in this world. Unhappiness has many, many causes - almost as many as there are those suffering its doleful effects. Unhappy people sometimes do things that they wouldn't normally consider, all in an effort to relieve themselves from their personal angst. They often don't consider possible consequences, they just want relief. Lost in the … [Read more...]



Bulad - even saying it can cause sour faces. For those who don't know, it's dried salted fish, and to some, stinks to high heaven, but to others, it smells good. I'm one of the latter, I love the stuff, and is currently the only seafood I eat. Bulad is a lot like durian, the first time you smell and taste it, you either like it or hate it, and by hate it, I could be one … [Read more...]

UPDATE — First Month Back

Ham Station

Well, it's almost been a month since Baket ko (Asawa ko) [my Wife] and I have returned home to our beloved Pasuquin. Who'd want to quibble over a few days plus or minus? Enough has happened in the past few weeks to provide enough information to compose an "update" article. I can't get over just how much has transpired in such short time. I'll try to pack as much of … [Read more...]

Excitement, sadness & happiness rolled into one!!!

Aaron and I during his graduation

As everyone of you know already here that Aaron is going to the States next year. In God's grace and glory. My gosh, I am so excited for him that he already has the confidence to travel there. But at the same time my heart is aching a little bit each day. To tell you the truth I am sad too. My kids never been away from us for a long time. So this is really the first time … [Read more...]

The heat is on!

Our new Hot Water Heater

About a week and a half ago, a friend showed up at our house.  He is from General Santos, his name is Jun Jun, or Jun2.  Jun Jun is a carpenter.  Actually, he is much more than a carpenter.  He is an all around fix-it guy.  He can fix anything, and he does it to very high standards.  He can not only fix things, he can build just about anything you could imagine. We have … [Read more...]



There are many things we take for granted. Sunrise, sunset, pleasant breezes, gentle rains, … the list is endless. Among them, however, are some "creature comforts" that we don't think about until they go missing. This past "Holloween" (October 31), we in Pasuquin and other cities and towns in Ilocos Norte were visited by "Mother Nature" dressed up in costume. She came … [Read more...]


Freddie Aguilar with 16 year old girlfriend

Have you guys been reading or hearing on Philippine news TV? Regarding one of the big celebrities here in the Philippines wanting to marry his girlfriend. Why would that be a problem? The guy, he is 60 years old and the girl is 16 years old. To be honest I think if the girl was over 18 it might not cause a lot commotion here. I think one of the reasons why it makes some … [Read more...]

The Newest Member of the Family


As I mentioned in my last article, there was plenty of change awaiting Baket ko (Asawa ko) [my Wife] and me upon our return to our beloved Pasuquin. Things are still changing day-by-day, too. One of the more notable changes was the additional welcoming we received on the canine front. Just about a month before our arrival, our female dog, Pauline (a name provided by our … [Read more...]

Inevitable Change


"Change" -- a word with very few definitions, but a word that can have significant effect on your life. There are many clichés that use the word, too. So I'd guess that the word "change" is an important word. "The more things change, the more they remain the same," is but one example. Another one, that better fits in with this article's topic, is "The only thing that is … [Read more...]

Can you learn something from a dustpan?

Jean helping the maid with sweeping the driveway

Over my years of living here, I have experienced a fair amount of learning.  I have learned things that have helped me live a happier life.  I have learned that sometimes pride can get in our way of being happier, and even being smarter.  One thing that I feel I have really learned is that we are not always as smart as we think we are. One thing that I have learned is … [Read more...]

New Adventure = New Habit?


Whether you know it or not, I do have an adventurous streak that runs through me. I like trying new things, going places where I've never been, and doing things out of the ordinary routine. I must also confess that there's another streak coursing through my veins - thrift. Those two streaks come into conflict at times, however. Big adventures sometimes cost big bucks. … [Read more...]

The Expat Enigma

Expat Enigma

Have you heard of the Expat Enigma?  Don't worry, I haven't either, in fact, I just made it up.  It is, though a very real thing, something that just never really had a name until now. Firstly, what is an enigma?  Some people might not know, especially if English is not your first language.  An enigma is something that is a mystery, puzzling, generally something that is … [Read more...]