The Great Migration, Part 1

Today, I would like to welcome aboard a new writer here on LiP, Scott Fortune!  Scott is not yet living in the Philippines, but he is going through the process of preparing to do so, and he will be focusing on that process.  For anybody who wants to move to and live in the Philippines, there are preparations that need to be made, and Scott is going to let us go through that process with him.  Welcome aboard, Scott, we are happy to have you here!  MindanaoBob

My name is Scott Fortune.  My wife, Joanne, and I have been married for 2 and one half years now.  We were planning on moving to the Philippines when I turned fifty-one, which is when I would have been able to retire with a full retirement.  However, last year fate steps in, as we all know it does, and altered our plans.  With a back injury, the pain is pretty bad, but it is much worse here in Michigan where we currently live.  So, we have decided to make the move to a warmer climate for my health.  And why not do what we were planning on doing when I turned fifty-one, now!?  So, while my back keeps me from doing much manual labor, my brain is at full functioning capacity. While I might not have been born with a V16 brain(motor-city reference) I do feel I have at least a small V8 capacity, and it works like a champ.  Well, as good as a 40 year old engine does.  As you can tell, I like to joke around, and don’t have a problem being the brunt of the jokes, as long as I’m the one telling them.

Article continues below images. Click on the image to see a larger view.


Anyway, my brain has not stopped working.  I eat, drink, and sleep the Philippines now.  It’s become my passion, and my way of life, despite the fact that I am 8,000 miles away.  You may have read some of my forum questions about various topics for the Philippines.  That’s because I crave information.  I don’t like to go into a situation unless I have as much information that I can possibly have prior to beginning a venture, quest, job, or in this case retirement.

I will say that it is difficult for me to come to the realization that my body is unable to do the things that it once could.  It is difficult to know that I need to rely on others for help doing some of the simple tasks.  So, what to do?  Well, for one, I’ve got to have warmer weather.  This past winter has certainly proven that to me.  And I am probably going to need a support group(family/friends) to rely on for things should my condition get worse.  This is also where the Philippines comes into play.  I have never seen the kind of family support , love, and unconditional help that the Filipino family provides one another.

We are making this move at my request, and my wife has generously agreed to the move.  She misses her family, and I am sure that she will love seeing them again, as she has not seen them since she came here in 2009.  But, I am hoping that this move will be one that not only brings us closer to each other, but helps us to become a closer family with hers she left behind for the sake of love.

My articles will first be of our process of preparing to move to the Philippines, and then our adjustment to our move, and finally our continued life in the Philippines.  I look forward to each of these articles, as each one means that we have taken one more step to our Philippines destination.

Post Author: Scott Fortune (65 Posts)

At the time of this writing, I am 42 years old. I’ve been married to my Filipina wife since December 2009. She is from the Province of Pangasinan, Philippines. I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area in Michigan. I’ve worked in many fields throughout my short career, mostly in Architecture, computers, and law enforcement. I’m medically retired from the U.S. Government due to a back injury and look forward to our move to the Philippines. My interests here were yard work, guns, and hanging out with friends. But because of my back injury, I’ve had to shorten what I can do to just hanging out with friends. Not a bad thing when you’re retired, right!? Also, I’m sure I’ll find some new interests when I get to the RP. We don’t yet know where we will be moving to exactly, but I expect it to be on the main island of Luzon. I look forward to moving there, getting healthier, and experiencing island life.


  1. Miss August says

    Welcome to LiP, Scott! My husband is eligible to retire in September 2013 and we are planning to retire by January 2014. We are making our home based in the Philippines and I have been doing my research and planning for the move.

    I’m looking forward to reading your articles and hope to learn from your moving adventures!

    • ScottF says

      Thank you for welcoming me to LiP. I’ve been a long time reader, and poster on a few forums, but this is my first attempt at an article.

      I wish you the best in your retirement! Wether it happens as you want, or by some other plan of God’s, take what you’ve been given and do the best with it. The Filipino people have certainly done that from what I can see!

  2. RandyL says

    Hey Scott, your truck looks exactly like our truck! lol We have a house to sell first and then will begin our process of moving. I have to tell you that I also suffer from back problems and during our last visit back in April, after about 1 week, there was a noticeable difference in my discomfort level. I know it was the combination of the warm weather and cold San Miguel! Good luck on your move.

    • ScottF says

      I noticed a HUGE difference in my pain level once winter was gone and the heat increased. The aircon being on too much seems to hurt me and cause me troubles though. I’m looking forward to spending as much time in a breezy terrace or “man-cave”. My wife also tells me trips to the beach would be helpful for my back, so I’m sure we’ll be making our runs there to try it out. If that works, I’ll be singing praises!

      And I know that I might lost some friends with this next comment but, I don’t drink beer. Wait!! Don’t drop me yet! I do like hard liquor so I think I’ll have to get used to the rum there. :)

        • ScottF says

          I’m hoping the pain management will become less necessary when I make the move there. One more crappy and cold winter here, and the dream will be SO MUCH CLOSER! It’s not even mid summer and I’m dreading winter!

  3. Ron says

    Hey Scott

    Thanks for your article. It looks like there are alot of us with the same plan. I will be turning my company over to my daughter in October of next year, sell the house and move to Roxas City on the island of Panay in January 2014. My wife’s family live on anay and she has been here since 2006 when we were married. We have a seven month old son named Jaeden Reez and we look forward to raising him there. We have been back to the Philippines three times since then. I look forward to your articles helping all of us to prepare for our moves.

    • ScottF says

      I will do my best to keep my articles full of information that can be found helpful, or comedic, and possibly both. Congratulations on your impending retirement!!! You, your wife, and young son will enjoy the Philippines, I am sure. I too hope for lots of time to enjoy life there, and learn as much as I can about the locals, as well as those from other areas. We’d like to travel some to check out other possible areas for retirement, but think we will most likely stay on the main island of Luzon.

  4. donna west says

    Hello Scott, I too thirst for knowledge about the Philippines. I too plan to move there soon. On the top of my retirement bucket list I have Philippines Or Bust 2012 and the year is passing quickly. I wrote that bucket list three years ago and I have to change the year as they roll past me all too rapidly. I am hoping i am not mired down here and will be able to remove myself from the quicksand of America very soon. Next on my bucket list is to see my 37 year old son at the alter with his beautiful pinay wife (he is coming with me along with our 4 little dogs) and it is difficult on him to wait for his love so far away. third on my list is to watch my new grandchildren grow there in the Phils and in very small print almost not noticed on the list is my seemingly impossible dream which i barely gave much thought to when i wrote it on my list. “marry handsome pinoy man and live happily ever after”. well it is funny to think I met one online this week and we are corresponding. Now i have moved it up on my bucket list and it is noticably easy to read now. Maybe nothing will come of it but maybe, just maybe, he has can rescue me from the quicksand. looking forward to the rest of your articles as I need help getting ourselves there.

    • ScottF says

      Donna, I think you really hit the nail on the head for me about the U.S. I too feel like living here, and trying to raise a family is much like doing so in quick sand. With each struggle you make to pull yourself up and out, the sand just seems to suck you back down.

      I hope that your retirement comes quickly for you. Remember, if you want this badly enough, you need to do everything you can to make it happen. I also hope that your son and his fiancee will live a long and happy life together.

      As for your recent connection… congratulations! Things seem to happen when you least expect them to, and when you are seemingly least ready for them. But, take the bull by the horns and wrangle him in. If it is meant to be, it will happen naturally. If not, there are a lot of nice guys looking for a loving woman. Good luck!

  5. Paul Thompson says

    Hello Scott:
    Welcome, welcome, and welcome again. Pangasinan, is a nice area of Luzon and close to 100 Islands resort area. But whereever you decide to hang your hat I know you’ll find friendly folks to hang around with. Keep a smile on your face and adjusting to life here will go smoothly. Looking foeward to reading more.

    • ScottF says

      Paul, I read all your articles, and really find them both humorous and informative. I thank you for the kind welcome!!

      Pangasinan is the primary objective area, but we may venture out a little more. With all the looking I’ve done online, I’d also like to check out La Union, Bataan, and maybe around Pampanga. We’ll check the areas out and see what they have to offer. While my wife is from Pangasinan, she didn’t travel much, so she too needs to check out the other areas.

      • Paul Thompson says

        La Union is very nice and there is a fair sized foreign community, hidden away by the South China Sea. Zambales, Bataan and Pampanga are all within a short distance to each other and with the new highway system I can be at some of the best shopping outside of Manila there is on Luzon in 30 to 40 minutes and again a high population of expats.
        Sound idea you have to look each place over to find the one that fits both you and your brides needs. Happy Hunting!

  6. Mark G. says

    Hi Scott,
    Welcome to LIP! I’m another ‘bound to retire’ in the Philippines guy. I’m married to a beautiful Filipina with a young son. I’ve traveled there quite a bit and really like it. I’m curious to see what transpires with your move and look forward to your future installments. Thanks for letting us peek in on your adventure.
    Mark G.

    • ScottF says

      I haven’t actually traveled to the Philippines a lot. Only my 10 day stint when I met my wife in person. You’ll read in my next article about my stay there. I do hope that this venture turns into one for the story books, as they say. But, we are preparing in the event it doesn’t work out. As Bob did with Feyma, we are setting a timeline for us to commit to staying. If it doesn’t work out after that time, we can simply move back to the U.S. Somewhere warm though, like Florida. Detroit will NEVER suit my needs again.

  7. Henry Lamkin says

    Have you made extended visits to the Philippines? The climate will be warmer no doubt but other considerations need to be soberly considered. Many times we hear what we want to and proceed as we wished in spite of sound counsel. The process of moving to the Philippines is a journey through a cultural landscape. The Philippines has a thin veneer of westernization on the surface but below in the seas it’s Hollywood meets the Spanish Inquisition. Catholicism swimming with paganism in an ocean of poverty. This is not a critical perspective but one of understanding that we can never truly internalize the minds and hearts of a culture that we weren’t born into. What we can comprehend is our love of the country and it warm hearted people. Until you live with your extended family you can’t know the true sense of belonging to a sum greater than the whole of its parts. Happiness is not measured by western standards or how much you love but by how much you are loved. I am not sure you can truly prepare to move to the Philippines. You just experience it. It is a bold step to take and one we all hope will bring you and your family happiness.

    • ScottF says

      Henry, I appreciate your concern about packing up and moving to the Philippines without a lot of extensive visits here. I do know there will be MANY differences here, and actually look forward to them. I’m tired of Detroit, and the constant running that people force themselves to endure day in and day out. It’s become, as I said in an earlier reply, like running in quicksand. It simply will not due. Simply put, this is being done partially out of necessity, and partially because my wife wants to spend some time with her family again. The other obvious reason, is because I feel the Philippines is a beautiful place, filled with beautiful people and I intend on enjoying their company and lifestyle as much as possible. Culturally, there are HUGE differences. I intend to study them, and blend in with them as much as possible. I believe the hardest adjustment will be to the extreme climate difference. While I will NOT miss the cold and snow, the heat my prove too much for me. I expect to have a aircon room to make retreat in the hottest part of the day. I was surprised that during my short stay, I was adjusting to the extreme heat pretty quickly. I was there in May 2009 and they told me that it was even hotter than usual when Iw as there. So… if I can adjust to even hotter than usual temps in a short amount of time, I pray my extended stay(maybe lifetime) will prove to be nothing but a small obstacle in the remainder of my life.

      • Henry Lamkin says

        I am a fairly large guy at 6′ 5″ and lets kindly say over 280 pounds. I found myself adjusting fairly quickly to the the heat so I wouldn’t really worry about that too much. I am a neighbor of yours living in WI so I know snow and cold also. I won’t and don’t miss either one. I have retired for the second and final time. We built a house in Ilocos Sur, near Vigan 10 years ago and have visited every year for approx 2 months each time. We are going to the RP Sept 10th and will be there until May 3rd this year. So I am excited to spend an extended period of time in our home on the China sea. Over the years I have been exposed to the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I love it there. I feel incomplete when I return to the states and literally dream about spearfishing. I have a 6 and 10 year old that I will put in private school but will home school as well. You will experience culture shock at first but then you either make the transition or become a grumpy whiner lol.

        • Scott Fortune says

          Thanks for the additional information, It helps to know that I won’t be alone there with the acclimitization process. I know many have, but knowing others will be doing it when I do, will help. There should be some sort of group therapy for it! LOL!!

          You’ll be up in the same area as me then, maybe a little further north though. I’m thinking of going as far north as San Fernando City, but not any further… I don’t think. I”m trying to leave myself as open as possible. I can’t think limiting myself at this point would be good, since I have never been to so many areas. I might fall in love with a completely different area.

          Grumpy? The only time I get grumpy is when I’m hungry, tired, or thirsty. I think I’ll find time for all of those things to resolve my grumpiness.

  8. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Scott, welcome to the Philippines in advance. If I may offer an unsolicited advice, you may wish to consider retiring to the province of Laguna, in a town called Pansol, to be near the hot spring waters believed to have therapeutic properties that may or may not help you deal with your back problem. In Laguna you will find yourself in a different world so unlike the urban blight of Detroit, and one that probably has never heard of Ndamukong Suh. :)

    • ScottF says

      Ricardo, My wife and Iw ill be looking around for a place to rent when we first arrive. Perhaps we will check out the area you are describing. I will admit I had to find it on the map, and it is in one of the areas I was considering. Thank you for your kind words.

      Also, I’m actually from NEAR Detroit, not in it. We actually live in the country. 15 minutes from the nearest store by car. Which is 11 miles or 17 Kilometers.

  9. says

    Hi Scott – Welcome on board the good ship LIP. For what its worth with your bad back and all it takes no effort to sit and chat with friends with whom I have no doubt you will meet plenty and drink a few cold SM’s. Little effort plenty pleasure but since your only 40 just make sure you take your time as over the years that will add up to lots of beer.
    Kind regards.

    • ScottF says

      Jim, thanks for the welcome to LiP! You would think that sitting down with a bad back would be good. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it is horrible. This back condition forces me to lay down throughout the day to relieve pressure on my spine. But, once it pops back into place, I’m good for a couple more hours of sitting time. Standing is limited to about 10 minutes. I’m hoping getting the Philippines and sweating and eating healthier food will help me reduce my weight, and relieve a little more pressure from my back. I look forward to finding some friends nearby and sharing some coconut water, and maybe wash it down with some tanduay rum!

  10. Neal in RI says

    Welcome to ya from the big state of RI. I look forward to hearing your your plan of attack for moving the the RP. I am deep into the process of moving to the RP myself.

    • ScottF says

      Neil, Big state of RI, huh? Did you guys join with another statehood or did you start reclaiming ocean? LOL!!! Thanks for the welcome!

  11. Tuner A Goforth says

    Hi Scott,
    Hope things go smoothly with your move! I myself plan to go meet my girlfriend there in Famy Laguna the first of august? I want to also retire , being 63 years old! I Quit my job again July 31st. I must come back after my 21 day stay to plan my retirement there if all things go well? Met my girlfriend online about 6 months ago by accident (no dating site) and it was God that brought us together! We are truely in love! The most warm hearted people in the world! I am looking forward to meeting my new large extended family! We will have alot of difficult hurdles to jump , my girlfriends husband left her pregnant 16 years ago with a son and the unborn! She did a great job raising them! It will take alot of money for the no divorce culture for us to get a annulment for her? God brought us together and I trust him to guide us through the ordeal! What ever it takes, its worth happiness for both of us!

    • ScottF says

      Tuner, 63 is nothing, and it’s never too late to be happy! I have several friends I met through the filipina friends of my wife. Older guys, marrying again, and they have NEVER been happier! Some even having more children, and loving every minute of it!

      My advice is to be careful, go slowly, and trust your instinct. The Filipino people are the most warm and loving people I have met, and welcomed me into their lives quickly.

      I hope that your trip will be the best you could hope for and that your girlfriend is as wonderful in person as she is through your communications.

  12. says

    Hi Scott – Welcome aboard. Happy to see you here on LIP. Looking forward on seeing your journey on moving here. What part of the Philippines you guys are moving to?

    Good luck on your move and enjoy your stay here in the Philippines.

    Again, Welcome to LIP!!!!

    Cheers and God bless!

    • ScottF says

      Feyma, Joanne and I are going to primarily concentrate our search for a home in Pangasinan, but I am also very interested in La Union and even Bataan and Pampanga. Though, Pampanga is on the bottom of my list. And the only reason is that it seems too populated for me, and also too close to Manila. I grew up in what was considered the country. By the time I was an adult, all trees were cut down and condominiums were up. SO, I moved to the country, where I live now with Joanne. She doesn’t like not being able to easily grab a tricycle or Jeepney(as they don’t exist here), so we are going to try to find a middle ground where we can both be happy. Possible some land near a market or other malls. We’ll see when we get there.

  13. says

    Hi Scott
    Welcome to the website. I think you should consider Pangasinan as that is where my wife and I have a home. The rest of the time we stay in Laguna which is considered city. If you need any advice about any of those areas please get in touch.

  14. ScottF says

    Dan, Pangasinan is exactly where we are considering to move!! I’m not sure exactly where yet, but look forward to making many trips around the province, and other provinces, to explore and decide on where we might live. La Union is also a possibility. I’d like to be near a nice beach for retreats to the ocean.

    • dale says

      hey scott, i’ve been following this website for about a month now and guess what..i’m from your wife’s province – Pangasinan! It would be really nice if you ever decide to live here and i get to read your observations/experiences about my province. we got nice beaches in the capital Lingayen, and also in San Fabian town which is near La Union. but the best beaches are found in Bolinao to the west. i’m from Calasiao/Dagupan area which is the urban part of Pangasinan. you’re gonna enjoy it here i promise.

      • Scott Fortune says

        Dale, I’ve been reading this site for a long time. I can’t say exactly when, but it was around the time I met my wife, so around 3 years ago. This site has proven to be a wealth of knowledge and insite to me in determining why things are the way they are in the Philippines. Culture is EVERYTHING. I’ve been to Dagupan City, Calasiao, Mapandan, and I’m sure a number of areas in between. We went to baguio when I was there, and the colder temp for the day was a nice retreat from the heat, but it’s NOT where I want to live. I want palm trees, mango trees, and other things tropical. I can always visit Baguio. I’m considering Alaminos since they are supposed to be building an International airport there. But, I’ve been unable to find an recent news on the development. I’d really like to know if we will be able to get a flight from Japan there for travel back and forth to the U.S. I prefer trips with as little layovers as possible, and they usually run from Detroit straight to Japan. Tokyo or the other main one Nagoya(sp?) I look forward to running a bunch of articles on the area of Pangasinan, and my determination to try all things Filipino. I might even get some balut!

        It’s good to hear from your Dale! I hope you will find my articles informative, and help you to remember some of the places and things from your area.

        BTW – Where are you now?

        Take care!


        • dale says

          hey scott, I’m in Calasiao right now. I think the Alaminos airport will open within the year if I’m not mistaken. It’s just a domestic airport but will be upgraded to an international airport by 2017.

          • Scott Fortune says

            Dale, Calasiao and puto! I understand they make the best. I’ll have to try it when I get there. I have read so many things about the airport, I thought delays were causing lots of problems with getting it open. Funding, politics, etc. I’d like to be able to fly out from there if possible. It’s a lot closer than Manila. And I’m sure there are a lot of other expats in the northern area of Luzon that might find it easier to fly too.

  15. says

    Scott, I made the move 2 months ago. I’m still loving it, although I think I moved a little too close to the inlaws……

    There are hot springs all over the islands, not just in one location, the humidity is rough at first, so an AC unit on one of the bedrooms should give you siome relief until you get better acclimated.

    Good luck on your move, and ask if you have any questions.

    • chasdv says

      “although i think i moved a little too close to the inlaws”.
      Mike, if i had a dollar for everytime i’ve heard that statement……………

    • Scott Fortune says

      Thanks Pita Mike! I’m looking forward to meeting some new people, and maybe even some of your Kano’s! Aircon is amust, at least as aback up plan to trying to acclimate cold turkey. Although, I think it might be HOT turkey in the Philippines. Lather me in butter and call me done for dinner. LOL!

  16. Mitch says

    Well Well, you and I seem so much in the same boat….. with the back and all. My wife and I are “on the plane” in 4 weeks! I’m retired Navy, with a back disability from the service. As far as picking a final destination… we learned (should say reenforcecd) our need to live atleast 2 hours from family from a friend who moved over there 5 years ago. He and his wife made the mistake of building a big house in the “middle of family”. Jelosey kicked in, and in about a year, a family member came to their house and shot them both in the leg! Needless to say they were on the next flight out after the hospital stay!….. My wife and I plan to start at a hotel “on” the old naval base, for maybe a month or two, while shopping for a 1 year rental. The old (refurbished) Subic base housing has really caught my eye. We lived on base in the eairly 80’s for a couple years. We like the idea of “Western Style” housing. Yep just 675 hours to GO!

    • ScottF says

      Mitch, I too have heard about the need to stay away from family when you move there. I’m keeping that in mind. I think we’ll see the kind of jealousy you’re talking about when we move there, but we will see. We’ll be renting for a couple of years at least before we buy, so it won’t be too difficult to move around if necessary. Thanks for the tip. I don’t want to be knee capped or anything. I already have a hard enough time gettign around.

  17. PapaDuck says

    Good luck on your upcoming move. Looking forward to your future articles. I will be visiting the Philippines in October and making the permanent move in July 2014 when i retire. Will be living in Cavite which is not too far from Laguna. I grew up not far from Detroit near the Toledo, Ohio area. Was just up there in the beginning of July visiting my parents and family. Had to deal with that 100 degree heat most of the time there. It really hit me getting off the airplane at Detroit. Hotter there than in Florida where i live. Will be flying out of Detroit when i make my permanent move in 2014. Take care and be safe and who knows maybe we will meet someday.

  18. Paul Woeller says

    I know most Americans want to live it the south but I chose to live in Banna . And haven’t been sorry yet most of the time. I love peace and quiet, and in Caestebanna we are protected from almost all sever weather. I miss not having friends around but thats life. My wife and I have a 2700 sqt ft house 5 hectors for a back yard that is now half fruit trees such as grape fruit, Calif oranges, apples, lemons and limes also the normal PI fruit. The other half is becoming our own park.

    • Scott Fortune says

      Paul, it sounds like you have what I want. Maybe in time I will be able to have the fruit trees as well. I’d like to be able to get some fresh fruit my my own yard. I used to garden, but not anymore. Of course, in the Philippines I am sure I could hire someone for a reasonable price. Thanks for sharing Paul, and good luck with your fruit trees and personal park!

  19. Bob New York says

    Hi Scott and welcome to ” LIP “. I look forward to your future articles. I have been learning about The Philippines for about 7 years now and have visited five times so far in person. I visit via internet just about every day. I have posted some articles here on ” LIP ” descriptive of the highlights of my visits and look forward to returning. This, and some of Bob Martins other websites are an online treasure trove of information as I am sure by now you have discovered. Best of luck to you Scott and your adventure will be well worth following on this website.

  20. Gary Wigle says

    Hi Scott,

    Having a broken back in 1995 put an end to working for me. Years of pain meds and the cold Michigan winters just killed me. Snow a meter deep for a couple of months at a time didn’t help. Aircon??? Unthinkable! I like the heat, it makes the bad back feel so much better. All I have is a fan. Looking forward to reading more and I hope your move is as smooth as mine.

    I live on the wonderful island of Mindanao in Tagum City just 55 kms northeast of Davao City. The weather stays the same most of the year. Get in the water as much as you can. That really helps the back. Lose the weight. Enjoy life here!!! 😛

    • Scott Fortune says

      Gary, sounds like what I was thinking for my back! Weight loss is the most important thing for me right now. Trying to lose some now, and lots more when I get there! I’m thinking Aircon might be necessary for the first major heat wave. But then, who knows. I might be loving it! A fan is a MUST though!

  21. Scott Fortune says

    BOBNY, Sugar, and Chas,

    Thanks for the welcome! I look forward to writing many more articles.

  22. says

    Hi Scott,

    Gary Wigle is tougher than me. I suffered my first ten months in the Philippines without an air con. Once the warmer weather hit in March, April and May, I was getting grumpier every day until we bought that Carrier air con for the bedroom. Been here three years now with my beautiful Filipina wife living in Iloilo, the Western Visayas. Love the Philippines. I’m sure you’ll make the adjustment. Doesn’t happen overnight, but if a 60-year-old redneck geezer from Central Illinois can do it, I have no doubt a young guy like you can.

    • Scott Fortune says

      Thanks for the pep talk Dave! I’m sure I’ll do fine. But, and aircon is always nice to have as a back up in case I sissy out. :)

  23. says

    I’ve been very fortunate to marry my Filipina in ’97. I went here in ’96 and fell in love with her (and everything else). I love the culture, the landscape, the climate. We bought a hectare of oceanfront and built a nice little house on it. As much as we would both like to live here the jobs just don’t pay enough. She was an engineer here. She is currently the best nurse in KY (USA). I’m a tax accountant so 8 mos out of the year here isn’t out of the question.
    Our Filipino trip this year was longer than most (2 mos) so I thought it may be interesting to try something. My whole life I’ve been plagued by severe allergies and asthma. I noticed here in the past it didn’t seem to bother me as much. This long trip here I’m gonna try to do the whole trip cold-turkey, off all my meds. I’m halfway through my trip today and I must admit I have never felt healthier in my life.
    True, I am living in a rural part of the Philippines. In the states I live in the hillbilly part of KY. I tell people back home that I live in the hillbilly part of the Philippines much to my wife’s chagrin. She has too much pride in belittling her hometown. Little does she know if she didn’t look down on our home in KY she wouldn’t think of it as degrading. I love eastern KY but not as much as I love watching the sunset from our southfacing beach in Negros Oriental.
    I’m proud to be the hillbilly in Negros. lol
    For those interested in my med-free accomplishment here just e-mail me. I’m kind of concern too. I played tennis for the first time on this trip on clay (ie dirt). I didn’t even have my emergency inhaler. That is IMPOSSIBLE in KY.

  24. Jamie says

    Chaz, Allergies have been a concern for me too. I am prone to upper respiratory infections, and pneumonia if I don’t nip it in the bud. I use an allergy nose spray and sometimes need an inhaler. I have wondered if the philippines would be better for my allergies. Seems like constant rainfall throughout the year might keep pollen from floating around in the air all the time. Thanks for sharing Chaz. I’ll be interested to hear how it goes for you and your allergies.

    • Scott Fortune says

      It’s funny you mention allergies, because my wife NEVER had them prior to moving to the U.S. She got here, and was having all kinfds of skin irritations, sore throat, itching, you name it. After we tried everything from switching detergents, or changing shampoos, etc to hypoallergenic, she was still having issues. So, to the doctors we go. Allergies… oh boy, does she have them!! TO just about every tree pollen, mold, dog, and cat! And then some! So, she’s been on a allergy shot regimen for a while. 2 shots a week for over a year. Then down to two shots every two weeks, and now she’s on two shots every three weeks. She should finish right about when it’s time to leave to go back to the Philippines!! One shot in each arm, and they aren’t small or painless. She’s a real trooper!

  25. Jamie says

    Yes, my wife has also experienced allergies since coming to the U.S. But they Don’t appear to be as serious as your wife’s allergies. I wonder what the effects will be of eating radioactive tuna in the philippines, from the Japan meltdown.

  26. Larry Saum says

    Hi Scott. Here’s wishing you a good transition to living in the Philippines. My wife and I were married there almost 40 years ago. We have been thinking of living there for a number of years, but with commitments to helping take care of our grandkids we are still here in Indianapolis. We have a family home in Gamu, Isabela that is roomy and all equiped. All we have to do is close out our home here in Indy and go.
    The cultural problem I have had when we have made our several visits there is the language barrier. I have found it to be a difficult problem, as you will encounter their use of several languages mixed together. My wife uses Ybanac, Tagalog, and is also fluent in English. I often find myself left out of local conversations, which I find frustrating. Often the younger people want to talk with me to exercise their use of English and are curious about the US.
    My wife also has problems with allergies with the pollens in Indiana. When she is there they disappear. They also don’t cause her problems here in the winter, but she hates wearing coats, etc.
    Again good luck with your transition.

    • Scott Fortune says

      Languages… wow, you aren’t kidding Larry. When I was there I was learning what i could, and then found out that they were using three or even four languages in a single sentence. That’s why i told my wife I would learn one language first, Tagalog, and then try to learn the provincial dialects nearby. I figure I’d have my best chance at communicating with most people with the national language. While I am sure that won’t be the case with the older generation, I should at least be able to discuss a purchase or travel to a driver, etc. I’ve already started my language learning, but really need to speed it up since our trip, while a year away, can close in on me really fast.

      Thanks Larry for the comments, and I wish you the best in making your move as soon as you are able!!

  27. Alan Hettinger says

    Thats great Scott! The great thing about moving to the Philippines is that you always learn something new. Even when yuu think you’ve seen everything something comes along and surpises you. Wish you the best of luck on your plans!

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