Today, I am interviewing my friend Tommy Krizka. Tommy visited the Davao area several times before making the choice to move here. I was able to meet him during his visits, and always enjoyed his company. Tommy later decided to return to the States, let’s find out why!
What is your name, and can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Tommy I am 53 currently living in Florida US. With my filipina wife of 5 years now no kids but a beagle and a odd eye white cat.
How long did you live in the Philippines?
I lived in southern Mindanao in Tagum City for 1 year.
What did you like or dislike about living in the Philippines?
Living there was quite an experience for me I loved the people there always friendly and curious I disliked the accessibility there as I use a wheelchair/scooter for mobility.
I can understand your feelings on that, as the Philippines is not really a “wheelchair friendly” place.
What made you decide to leave to the Philippines?
I moved back to the US to find housing and prepare for my wife to come to the US to work and study here.
I hope her work is going well!
Did you encounter anything unexpected when you moved here? What was your biggest surprise?
Not really unexpected by was surprised by the separation of class as far as either you are wealthy or poor not a big middle class it seemed to me.
Believe me, though, the middle class has grown a lot since I first came to the Philippines in 1990. Things are moving in the right direction.
Where did you live in the Philippines?
I lived in the capitol city of Davao del Norte in Tagum City.
Lots of people tell me how nice Tagum is and how much they like it. I have been there many times, but never lived there.
Were you happy there?
I loved the adventure there the people were so curious about my “motor” the electric mobility scooter I used I almost felt as if I was held to a higher standard because of my skin color but also vulnerable to being a frame victim should someone be on the less scrupulous side.
I can only imagine some of the looks and funny faces you must have gotten when you buzzed by on your scooter. Those are unheard of in a place like Tagum!
Did you have any regrets that you can share with us?
Regrets? No, life is an adventure. I only learned from my experience there I miss being there but I am most comfortable in a more developed country.
I can understand that, Tommy. Living here takes adjustment for any westerner. Throw in mobility issues and I can imagine there would be plenty of problems.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about your life in the Philippines?
The Philippines is a must visit country. It will continue to become more developed, but living there kinda reminded of living in the US in the 50’s with the vendors selling everything from peanuts to vegetables to handyman services that was awesome. I look forward to another visit there someday.
Tommy, thank you very much for doing the interview! I appreciate your time, and I am sure plenty of people will enjoy reading about your experiences, and may pick up a tip or two that they can use for themselves. Take care, my friend.