Today’s guest column is from LiP Reader, Henry Lamkin. Henry is a School District Superintendent in snowy Wisconsin. He spends time dreaming about the warm weather in the Philippines, understandably. Thank you for submitting this article, Henry.
Many is the foreigner that has dreamed of retiring in the Philippines but wanted for the income to do it. The question oft arises can I find employment in paradise to supplement my meager income to sustain me. The sages that have preceded us caution that wages and opportunities exist not for the local Filipino much less the rich Kano’s who neither worked nor toiled in his homeland.
After careful consideration and analysis of my transferable skill set I have arrived at two possible choices for post retirement employment here in the Philippines. I informed my asawa that I will either be a tricycle driver or a fisherman. She suggested that since I am 6′ 5″ tall and weight 280 pounds there would be little room left in the tricycle for paying passengers. So I am left with my alternate choice of being a fisherman.
Perhaps you have doubt as my qualifications or the rationality of my choice. Maybe you question the clarity of my understanding as to the actual logistic of bringing home fish to the dinner table. Let me rewind and explain that we have a home on the China Sea in Ilocos Sur. I have four brother-in-laws that are all fisherman.
I have been an active diver for over 25 years and have over 400 logged dives to my credit. Having said that I must qualify my expertise by declaring that I had not been fishing since I was 12 years old with a bamboo pole in Wisconsin.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Four years ago I purchased a pole spear on the Internet and brought it with me so I could fish along side my brother-in-laws. The sad fact was I have no idea how to use one and provided much amusement for the locals as I slowly, using trial and error, honed my skills to the point where I actually caught a few small fish the were edible.
The next year I returned with a Riffe spear gun that increased my kill zone from 24 inches to about 8 feet. Each day I returned from the gagac my sister-in-laws would be waiting on shore with a plate to hold and examine my catch. I soon raised my status from novelty to provider. I must admit I felt a certain pride in presenting my catch, which embodied skill and self esteem to me, it literately meant lunch was more than just rice to my family.
This year we return in Feb, and I have a new Wong 55 hybrid carbon fiber spear gun that will shoot approximately eighteen to twenty feet. I have high expectations of reaching out to larger fish and becoming a local legend. Should my prowess assert itself then I will have in fact defined my job for retirement.
I share my catch with neighbors and relatives alike. I usually bring in twenty to thirty pieces a trip. I get up at 5:30am and fish to about 11:00am. The locals mainly use nets of course but there are a few homemade spear guns, fisherman use once nets are in place. I am free diving without tanks. The nearest filling station if five hours
If you come my way put in your order and I’ll try to catch it.