What Very Little I Know

On Christmas day we admitted my wife to the North Pointe Hospital on Subic Freeport, Let me explain she is home now and just fine. She had an infection starting in her foot, and while there they found a kidney stone and admitted her for a few days.


Our daughter was the one who wanted to stay by her mother’s side and bed sit during her stay. This is a brand new hospital and has a fully stocked pharmacy and the need for the bed sitter has long passed, but traditions still remain.

Mayang, YoHanna and the Old Guy on Christmas Eve
Mayang, YoHanna and the Old Guy on Christmas Eve

Due to the care of the Dog Army and the safety of her house I was sent home. This is where it hit me, I had no idea which keys opened which lock and there I was, by myself using the light of my cell phone trying every key in every lock and combination thereof. Twenty minutes later I’m inside with with a new problem, there were outside lights to be on’ed, and of course I knew not where those switches were, as in 13 years I’ve never done it before.


Also this was the very first time I’d spent a night in our house without my wife, and I really didn’t like it one bit. In the morning I figured out how to off the lights, and even make a pot of coffee, something I’ve always known how to do, but was rusty at doing it.

Then at 06:00 AM Mayang’s twin Claira and my niece Shay-shay were at the gate, (who knew it had to be unlocked also, I had just learned about locking it) She was contacted the night before to get to our house early before I burned it down. Shay-shay was happy to be there as I fixed her Blueberry Pancakes and sausage for our breakfast and the Cartoon Network is on 24/7.

Normally Shay would not come with her mother that early, but to prevent gossip about Mayang being gone and… Hell, you know what the petty minds will dream up!

At 06:45 I left the ladies at my house and returned to the Hospital, where all was going well. Mayang was being well cared for and was doing fine. My daughter Hanna and I left to do a speed run to Mac-Do’s for breakfast, as if anyone of our readers has ever tasted hospital food anywhere on earth, you know why.

Sure it looks just like this
Sure it looks just like this

Alright tiny medical people came and went, medicine was administrated. Even a doctor showed up, and explained that Mayang’s treatment would be over at noon on Tuesday with her last IV (That is not to be confused with the number 4 in roman numerals) All had gone perfectly until, the top doctor in charge decided he was not coming to work during Christmas week. So then at 15:00 (3 PM), I asked the desk when my lady was being discharged? The reply; “Sir, we can do nothing until we can find the doctor. I replied; “Who is looking for him? Then I found that they were afraid to bother his exalted ass about something as trivial as that. I smiled and told them to prepare the bill as we were departing within the hour, and nothing short of armed men could stop us. I stayed smiling and non-confrontational during this inter-change but let them know that it would come to pass. They located the doctor at 16:00 (4 PM) and released my lovely wife to my care.

I was directed to billing, and was promptly told to take a seat and wait. I smiled and explained that I was happy to stand in front of her window and wait. The young lady was waiting for me to go “Ugly Foreigner” but instead, I just kept smiling and speaking politely about what I needed. Then with my son-in-law Chrisanto watching, I started joking with her about anything that came to mind. She was working on my wife’s file and then joking back at me. I told her for fun she should go to the girl at the information booth and ask how far it was to Paris? She seemed to enjoy that and twenty minutes later all my paperwork’s was completed, my wife was cleared from the hospital and I was at the cashier joking that her three day stay cost the same as my new flat screen TV.

Not even close
Not even close

While at the cashier I was informed that I could pay using my Visa debit card, which I did, then she informed me that the doctors must be paid in cash. Don’t even ask me why, as I was also confused. I said; But, I have no cash, but she forgot about the PHP 5,000.00 (Cash) I put up as a deposit Sunday night. The doctor’s charges came to PHP 4,980.00, and I wondered if that was pre-planned? Then the young lady saw the envelope that I pointed to that held my deposit and smiled as she had found the cash she needed.

In wrapping this up, first be it known, that my wife is better and in good health once more, and all came out well. We both feel that the hospital and its staff acted with the highest degree of professionalism and courtesy. Any problems we ran into were caused by antiquated procedures set up to justify some petty administrator’s little fiefdom, and not by the wonderful staff that I dealt with.

So once and for all, I will freely admit, that without Mayang to lead me through the day to day routine of living in our house, I’m lost. As of now I’m going to start paying more attention as to where things that I took for granted came from, things like food, toilet paper and such. Did you know that our bird had to be fed on occasion?

So now I’ve learned just how little I know about how my house works, which after 30 years of bachelorhood that I had forgot so much about what it takes to run a house. Thank you Mayang, my Mahal for the seemingly effortless way you get all the hard work done and make it look easy! BTW, I never want to do that again!

Post Author: Paul Thompson (313 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!

How to Move to the Philippines Manual


  1. Ron says

    Paul happy its nothing serious, happy you now know a little bit more about your domicile, happy that all is well that ended well, and just happy because your happy. Ron

  2. joe says

    Paul, I am so glad your lovely wife is safe and sound. You may wear the pants, but she is the fabric that keeps them together. Take care, Joe

    • Paul Thompson says

      I only wear the pants (shorts because she insists that I do. (lol) And thank you for your kind words!

  3. PalawanBob says

    Water filter + UV light is a must in Philippines unless of course you collect rain water.
    When I arrived here two years ago, in early 2010, I had three consecutive UTI’s and a small kidney stone that went away by itself. That prompted me to take precautions and now during the whole year in 2011, I was fine and healthy, no more problems.
    Do you have a water filter?

    • Paul Thompson says

      We only drink bottled water, and my wife has lived here her entire life and this was her first time. But I know you’re right with your advice and recommend it to all Kano’s! I’m glad to hear it’s working for you, as friends have told me it’s a most unpleasant experience.

  4. says


    Glad all is well now….your dealings with the hospital mirror what I have seen and heard here. Amazing how the doctors cant be located when it’s time to go home…:D

    I can understand how you feel about the house….at times I have to force Joy to let me do some things that I have been always accustomed doing before we met….I tell her I have to do it….”It’s a man’s job”……she then gives me a grumble about being a man’s job. I think if I did nothing at all she would be very contented, but then my guilt creeps in. It would be interesting to hear how others deal with this, or is this unique to certain marriages.

    Oh she does let me barbacue:D

  5. Paul Thompson says

    Down to washing the car even that has been taken away from me. So I’ll risk
    putting my- foot-in-my-mouth and dare say it’s normal here I am allowed to pick out what book I want to read and when I want a cold beer. Both are important to me and I won’t relinquish that. But then I remember my first wife 40 years ago, and just will not complain!

  6. Paul Thompson says

    I was thinking about it but then I remembered that those people just work for a living and didn’t deserve that kind of treatment, plus they treated Mayang so well. Now if I’d found their boss…

  7. Jim H says

    So does she have to go back to the hospital once the doctor has decided to resume work then, or is it all done and dusted?

    Glad to hear you kept the “Ugly Foreigner” at bay. And Glad Mayang is well and healthy too.

    • Paul Thompson says

      No that was the part that jacked my jaw. Her next appointment is in February! The Ugly Foreigner would have been dancing in the halls if I could have found a boss. But the regular people did nothing to earn my ire, as a matter of fact they were great.

  8. Hudson says

    Hey Paul,
    I’m glad things worked out well. And, having to make your own coffee, and survived. What if there was no beer?…OMG!!!

    • Paul Thompson says

      A dear friend of mine shared a house on the beach in Puerto Rico, and he’d brew coffee in the morning, but would have a beer while waiting. He’s passed on now!

  9. big p says

    You set a good example for us all in handeling yourself with class at the hospital. Hope I can do the same if ever I am in the same circumstance. Sad thing, Mayang not being home for Christmas after all the work she did, but now that she is home you can make up for lost time and sign her a few love tunes with the new vidoke and the big screen. Wishing you both a very happy new year. loren & merced

    • Paul Thompson says

      Big P;
      We have our party on Christmas Eve and recover Christmas Day. So she got to partake in all the Reindeer Games. All the kids at the hospital were great and they all agreed with me. It’s hard to get angry with people who are just doing their job!

  10. Papa Duck says


    I’m happy all turned out fine with Mayang. All you can do is smile be respectful to the staff at the hospital. They are doing the best they can for not much pay, so it wouldn’t be fair to them. One thing it did was make you appreciate your asawa even more and how much she really is the glue that holds everything together. But i’m sure she wouldn’t have it any other way. Thats the way most filipinas are. Hope you had a nice New Years celebration and a wonderful 2012.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Papa Duck;
      She is the wing-nut that holds my life together, I don’t think I could appreciate her anymore than I already do.

  11. says


    Happy New Year to you and your family! I’m glad that your wife come through both her infection and getting rid of the kidney stone with flying colors. I dealt with those blasted stones myself back in August.

    – Greg G

    • Paul Thompson says

      I’ve never been affected by kidney stones but I’ve been told they are no fun. It could be the beer that knocks them out as they form. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • Paul Thompson says

      Water? It’s the first step in brewing beer, that’s the extent of my knowledge on that subject.

  12. Bob New York says

    Happy New Year Paul. Glad to read things worked out OK for all of you. Sounds like you have well crafted the ” art ” of being patient in some of the situations that one can easily find themselves in there. I have learned it a little each time I visit and my Filipino friends can sense when I am approaching the boiling point. In some situations I mentally remind myself ” I am not at home in the USA “. More times than not, by not being an ” ugly Kano ” these situations have ended up to be more favorable than first anticipated.

    • Paul Thompson says

      You are so right, I agree with you. A better outcome will always result when you are smiling and pleasent. That also applies back in the states, people want to help a nice guy, it’s human nature.

  13. james says

    Hi Paul , I got a hernia in Khandahar and took my vacation at home in the Philippines, I went to the Asian hospital outside of Manila, I received 5 star treatment, at an affordable price, and the room was great, they even let my wife sleep in the room.

    • Paul Thompson says

      That’s my point, there is great medical care here. But sometimes administrators will get in the way. I could have stayed in my wife’s room but my daughter and granddaughter sent me home.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Thank you for your kind wishes, any year that I wake up here with my wife beside me will be a great year!

  14. says

    Hi Paul – Glad to know the Missus is back in the land of the living and your ordeal of living alone is over. Its something I would dread myself, being on my own. Its not that I cannot cook as I can manage a fried egg sandwich with the best of them. What I would fear most is my little dog looking at me as if to say what have you done with her, why is my Mam not here? Since I don’t fancy being accused of doing eveil deeds even by the dog I will look after the wife a little more carefully from now on after having read your article.
    Best wishes.

    • Paul Thompson says

      You’re right I was looked at oddly by the dogs, I could see that burning question in their collective eyes; “Where’s the food lady?” She has her special dogs and I have mine. They were all happy to see her come through the gate. I found that I could manage on my own, and at the same time I found out I didn’t like it. I missed her.

  15. mars z. says

    Hi Paul, glad all is well, well, except your frayed nerve maybe? Ha ha , maybe it’s time to breakout that old Qual Code Checklist for Mayang to initial and certify for completion. Let’s see, A-1–Lock-unlock front gate, check….A-2–Locate all light switches–ha ha.

    Just glad everything turned up okay. Happy New Year again.


    • Paul Thompson says

      She is writing up a House Operation Manual as we speak, When I’ve got all my Qual’s signed off I’ll receive a little Monopoly House to pin on my hat. BTW: She wears a Monopoly Hotel on her hat.

  16. Neal in RI says

    Great to hear that all is well with your Wife, kind of makes you realize how much it would suck not having her around.
    I know just what you went through, I had to fend for myself at home for 11 days when my Wife almost died 2 years ago from a burst appendix and antibiotic resistant infection.
    I have to be honest and I probably would have gone “Ugly American” at the Hospital as I have a bit of a temper. Props to you Paul for being one of the good Ambassadors to the USA.

  17. Paul Thompson says

    I remember when your wife was ill, and am pleased it all turned out well for her. I knew if I went ballistic nothing would come out of it, and I’d feel bad about it when I was finished. It’s not worth it.

  18. Larry Saum says

    Happy New Year Paul;
    Your stories about not knowing what to do in your house make me happy that sometimes I try to do things myself here in Indianapolis. I think it is a common do-it-yourself attitude in America. Sometimes I even have her go visit her family in the PI with me at home alone, even for as much as a month at a time. I can do some cooking, put laundry in the washing machine, and grocery shop on my own. We often share tasks, partly because I want to be somewhat capable on my own when necessary, and sometimes she loudly insists.
    Glad she’s OK, and again Happy New Year.

  19. Paul Thompson says

    Larry, and a Happy New Year to you!
    I was married to my first between age 21 to 24, then saw the error of my ways and stayed single until I met Mayang in my late 40’s. I’d owned condos houses and night clubs and did well on my own. No one told me what time I could stay out till, when or when not to ride my motorcycles, until I decided I’d had a great run and it was time to settle down. In the last twenty years Mayang has spoiled me and believe me I love it. This part of my life has also been a great run, albeit in a completely different. I was ready for this new phase of my life and would not trade it for any other part. If this is marriage, we could open a school in the states and decrease the divorce rate in the USA.

  20. Brian ronin wolf/ FB says

    I had kidney stones many times boy it sucked. Onetime was on the er waiting room floor one in each side !!! Was at another er hospital for my mom and talking to a lady there. Her husband loved ice tea but had to stop due to stones. I found Mountain Dew is the worse for stones and all colas. Water, cranberry juice, beer ( dark, not light though I rarely drink ) flush the kidneys the most. I’ve had surgery 2 times where they use sound waves to break them up then you pee blood and clots out then you go home and relax the rest of the day. Anyway just my 2 cents

    • says

      Hi Brian – The local cure for kidney stones is Buko juice (Coconut milk) it works a treat.
      Just drink a glass or two each week to flush the kidneys.

      • Paul Thompson says

        The reason I know you’re spot on with that advice, is because my wife was instructed to drink a glass of buko a day by her Doctor.

      • says

        Hi Jim – Just want to clarify, not trying to be critical, but just confirming. For us in this area, Buko Juice is not coconut milk, it is coconut water. The juice (clear but murky) from a young coconut. Coconut milk is pure white and looks like milk, and is squeezed from the meat of a mature coconut. Buko juice (the clear, young stuff) is certainly used for kidney cleansing, but I’ve never heard of coconut milk being used for that purpose. Can you confirm is we are talking about the same thing when it comes to “coconut milk,” or are we really each talking about coconut water from young coconuts? Thanks for any clarification you can provide.

        • Paul Thompson says

          Hi Bob;
          Here on Luzon Coconut Water (Buko or coco de aqua) is clear. But both here and in central America and the islands in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico) I’ve often heard that same item referred to as coconut milk. That’s what I think I know about that, but I might be wrong.

            • Paul Thompson says

              Albeit it’s not an accurate term and I’d not use it. But I know what goes in to a Pina Colada. (Plus the RUM) at my bar in Puerto Rico we’d mix it in a young coconut for the Gringo Tourists, (they were so easy to please) (LOL)

  21. Paul Thompson says

    Thank you for those images you’ve placed into my head! (lol) But you’re right I checked with friends and Mayang who all agree they suck. It those items you drink work for you than I say: “Don’t Stop!” I hope the last time truly was your last time!

  22. Bruce Michels says

    Senior: It just proves the saying that behide every man their is a greater woman.
    I wonder who had the greater tramatic experience. I’ll bet you did and your Awasa and daughter were having a little fun with this at the hospital betting on how long it would take you to get into the house and find your way around.
    It just proves the man of the house is just a title. What we really are is the chauffeur, financier, bag boy, honeydoer, poop scooper and sounding board.
    And we say we run the show. Yea Right!!!
    But I’m like you Paul we need them and wouldn’t trade the for anything in the world. Heck she is the reason why I’m alive today. But that another story.
    Boy did You and I get luckey.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Hi Bruce;
      Yeah they more than likely got a good laugh out of my confusion. I might have gotten lucky but by the same token so did she, I mean she married an easy going non-controlling guy. So we’re both better off with each other.

  23. mike says

    LOL! And they let you vote in U.S. elections? Great article, Paul, glad to hear your wife is fine, again. Now I understand the level of stress Republicans have on the maid’s day off!

    • Paul Thompson says

      Democrats would never give a day off to a maid, but they also would expect someone else to pay the maid.
      When my wife got home from the hospital she started cleaning as no one does it as well as her! So I knew she was fine.

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