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It Just Will Last a long Time

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Over the years I’ve written about how things you buy last forever here in the Philippines. I have no idea if products lasting that long is normal, or was it because I was single most of my life and moved before anything ever wore out.

When I moved from San Diego CA. to Luquillo Beach Puerto Rico not much of my Stuff came with me. I sold or gave away most of my furnishings as I had no idea where I’d be living when I got there, I brought all my Military collection of plaques and awards (For the I Love Me EGO Wall)

49 Ways to Make a Living in the Philippines

I arrived in Puerto Rico and lived in the CPO Barracks which had a bar in the lounge and some of the greatest Chief’s (Male and Female that I’ve ever met) We were the single folks and on most bases, the married CPO’s lived in Navy Housing and didn’t get out much.

The Navy told me I had to live on base; I contacted my Commanding Officer in Jacksonville FL. And he called the Base CO and got me permission to live off base. So I bought a Penthouse Condo (In the 1980’s it was only $55,000.00) the building had 22 floors, with 10 condos per floor except for the top (Penthouse) only had five large condos.

The FAN

The FAN

Now I had to go shopping to furnish it was expensive but fun, and after retirement, the Navy paid to move stuff I didn’t need to my brothers in Massachusetts.

I found that my $460.00 (Mortgage) per month mostly paid by housing allowance so I now owned it and it could be rented to tourists at $600.00 per week. I moved to a house on the beach with my friend as a roommate. I owned nothing there as it was all in the condo. Hurricane Hugo requested I leave Puerto Rico.

Now I’m in Largo Florida and rented and then bought a house. Off again, buying stuff. I was bored living on the dirt and applied and was hired to go back to sea with Military Sealift Command out of San Francisco. Sold the house fully furnished, and put all my Military stuff I put in storage with my Jeep.

Union Home Appliances

Union Home Appliances

Now for years I was living on ships while working, and taking Vacations at 5-star resorts around the world, Again I lived nowhere and again owned nothing…Well, I still had my stuff in storage back in Florida. I also got an outrageous offer on my Condo in Luquillo Beach Puerto Rico. Yes, I took it.

My father referred to me as the wealthiest homeless person he had ever met.

I took the money from Puerto Rico and flew straight to Manila and banked it. My lawyer said it was legal as long as I didn’t stop in the US. Then I told my wife to build her house.

Furnishing the house, I required all items be purchased here in the Philippines and was shocked that 15 to 20 years later we still owned most of those items still in good working order

1998 I flew in from Singapore with my payoff money in my pocket. On the way home, we stopped at the Clark Duty-Free and Mayang said she needs one of those water Heaters you see in every kitchen in the Philippines. It was “Buy one Take One” so I gave the extra one to my father-in-law. 10 years later at his house, I noticed he was boiling water and refilling it. Since I know that no box for an appliance is ever thrown out. In the box, we found the electric cord and shocked Tatay. Mine still outlasted his! My wife used it this morning. The Rice Cooker only lasts 5-6 years as they run 24-7-365 I refer to mine as the Eternal flame because that little red light never goes out.

Ref, microwaves, freezers stereos, now I’ve replaced 3 stereos but nothing was wrong with the old ones; I just wanted a new one. Members of our family still use them, well one Brother-in-law sold his.

Yes, I buy a lot of Filipino made products, and now my newest Smart Phone is a Pinoy my/phone. If it works well and lasts I’ll but it. My wife will buy knockoff purses from China. (They don’t last long, just like their tools)

If you been here for a few years take a look around at the appliances you take for granted and ask your wife how long you’ve had it. You might be surprised! BTW ask her where she stores the boxes your appliances came in.

Paul Thompson

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!

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W. A. MillerBob MartinJohn ReyesDale HardelPapaDuck Recent comment authors
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Paul Thompson
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I forgot to add my Condo in Puerto Rico to the pictures I sent to Bob.

Rahina Abdallah
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nice picture

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Rahina;
A great place to live.

Luke Tynan
Guest
Luke Tynan

Paul,
Great article, Thank you. And you are right here things do not seem to be retired/tossed out much. Other than the rice cooker. We have gone through several in the 10 years Kat and I have been married. The A/C in our bed room is 6 years and I asked the service guy if it was time to replace it. His comment was no it will last for many years yet (parts are still available.) Strange in the US it seemed washers, dryers, tvs, radios, refrig. and freezers all died like regular clock work. Thanks again…

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Luke;
I think the reason is some where in every town there is a gifted repairman that can fix anything. I had one AC that lasted 15 years, and when it failed I just bought a new one. My brother-in-law asked for it and him and a friend got it running again and still is.
Rice cookers in my house last about 5 years, but in the storeroom is a brand new one so the light will only flicker before there is rice cooking again, and the replacement will be in the storeroom the next day. (LOL)

Jay
Guest
Jay

Hi Paul,

I suspect two factors on things lasting longer in the Philippines is that if something breaks it is cheaper to fix as labor costs are lower than in the USA where it may cost close to if not more than buying a new whatever. The other factor is that Filipinos are for the most part good at do-it-yourself repairs. Enjoyed the read!

Peace

Jay

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Jay;
For sure they can repair anything, but they last forever prior to needing repair…As I told Luke above. In the states it is toss it and go to Walmart and get a new one way of thinking. I like the way it is here!

Alan
Guest
Alan

Paul, yeah, throwing an empty appliance box away is hard here. Heck, throwing anything away is hard! I sometimes wait for my wife to leave the house and then sneak items into the trash cans across the street. Then I cover them up with other trash so they can’t be seen. Ha ha, I win! (I know my wife won’t read this). Al

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Alan;
Living in Puerto Rico gave me a hint to the female mindset:. “Don’t just say “Throw those boxes out!”
This is what I did: Honey Ko are you planing on leaving me? Listen to her response telling you she’s not. Then ask why all those boxes are still here if you don’t plan to run away? It worked for me, but the boxes were sold to the guy with the push cart.
Then open a beer and smile!

Ed
Guest
Ed

Wow Paul, you have much better luck with appliances than I. Back on the other side of the planet where I lived my first 50 years, I used to buy GOOD-not-cheap appliances to last a lifetime. Here, not so much. My previous ‘brand-name’ electric fan lasted almost one year, good buy! These last few years I find myself replacing the rice cooker every 9 months or so. The most recent rice cooker died 2 days after purchase and unfortunately no one deemed to mention it to me before the one-week-super-warranty expired, so I had to pay yet another 300 just… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

ED; Both comments brought tears of laughter to my eyes; have you ever thought of writing for Bob Martin? You’re a natural. Since you seem to live outside the megalopolis known as Davao, that might be the reason for the poor parts supply. Albeit I have a repair guy whom I believes makes his own parts or has a few old ones he cannibalizes . The cell phone story I’m the bad one as I’m on a quest to find one that I can read and hear in the same unit. Whereas my wife is quite good about her three… Read more »

Ed
Guest
Ed

Thanks Paul. I’ve written a few articles in my years, but since Bob requires a regular schedule that I can’t reasonably commit to, better I just reply (or somehow submit) the occasional item as circumstances may dictate and permit, presuming my reply-to-the-list privilege doesn’t again evaporate for a year. The one thing I miss is the ability to specify a proper “Subject” (title) as the revised topic should sensibly have. I’ve also learned to avoid submitting things too controversial for this forum, no matter how true they are. I am holding various important information items to post once things work… Read more »

Ed
Guest
Ed

Paul wrote, and I forgot to comment on this last but really should: “If you been here for a few years take a look around at the appliances you take for granted and ask your wife how long you’ve had it. You might be surprised! BTW ask her where she stores the boxes your appliances came in.” No surprise. Here our youngest, now 3 years old, is older than almost all our daily-use appliances. Our 10-year-old would be the great-great-grandparent of generations of all except one of our daily-use small appliances. LED light bulbs last longer than small appliances these… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Ed;
Scroll up to what I told Alan about the box conundrum. It might be a help to all guys on this site, or you can blame it on me…

PapaDuck
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PapaDuck

Paul, I will take a Philippine appliance over Chinese anything any day. Anne also has a Philippine smart phone, Oppo. I don’t own a phone. Really no use for one. The only appliances we have replaced are to get bigger ones. Washer and frig went to family in Angeles. Oven went to niece in Laguna as she needed it for school as she is a baker. Some of our small appliances are from the US as we have a transformer for them. Some of the appliances from the US have never been used in 5 years. We have a room… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Papa Duck;
I went through the duel voltage for about six months, after they were repaired a few times because of plugging 1115 into 220 I went to local made 220. The boxes, read my reply to Alan above. (LOL)

Dale Hardel
Guest

“I took the money from Puerto Rico and flew straight to Manila and banked it. My lawyer said it was legal as long as I didn’t stop in the US. Then I told my wife to build her house.”

Puerto Rico is part of the US. 🙂

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Dale
So is Guam but Puerto Rico has different as I found out by living there all those years. I paid taxes to the US only on my Military retirement, and to Puerto Rico on my two bars. How long did you live there?

Jay
Guest
Jay

Hi Paul,

One thing I have wondered about is my wife’s mother was born in 1938 in the Philippines which at the time was part of the USA and yet she was not, is not and has never been a US citizen. I don’t exactly understand it, but I guess some l lawyer or bureaucrat or historical scholar could explain it. Maybe some reader or you understand and can explain.

Peace

Jay

John Reyes
Guest
John Reyes

Hi Jay –

1938 was a commonwealth year. See if you can find the answer to your question by reading up on the Philippine Commonwealth, 1935 – 1946.

However, if I can venture a guess as to really why, it’s racism, given that as far back as 1862, the U.S. prohibited immigration of Chinese people to the U.S. by law in an attempt to preserve homogeneity.

Jay
Guest
Jay

Hi John,

Thanks for helping me further my education! I was unaware of the Philippine Commonwealth before WWII. I looked into the Philippine Commonwealth and have gained better understanding of Filipino history. I will look further when time permits.

Peace

Jay

John Reyes
Guest
John Reyes

LOL Bob, not anymore. This was in the 1930s, when Filipino migrant workers in California’s agricultural fields called “manongs”, were being discriminated against by white men who felt threatened by the “manongs” successes with white women.

Manong (singular), btw, is an Ilocano honorific term reserved for older persons.

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

John
I thought it was guys from Mexico wearing those Zoot Suits with their hair slicked back getting all the girls. Who copied who?

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

John;
This conversation sounds like it was on CNN yesterday with all those privileged racist white men being bandied about. The Chinese were imported for the building of the railroad as the ones here were already working. The owner of the Western railroad sent recruiters to China to get them.. Back to CNN for the rest of the story (LOL)

Bob Martin
Guest

Manong is used in many regions of the Philippines, including here in Davao.

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

John;
And yet the Chinese Workers were part of the Gold Rush in 49 and and were instrumental in building the US Cross Country railroad.
They were prejudiced against the Irish on the East Coast, and Polish and Italians Germans and all other new immigrants. They were assholes back then.
A commonwealth or a territory in 1938? Commonwealth would imply citizenship. But my knowledge is sleight on that piece of history.

John Reyes
Guest
John Reyes

Hi Paul – Filipinos were nationals, just not citizens of the U.S. since 1899 right after the Spanish-American War of 1898. Nationals but not citizens. Can you imagine if they were citizens since then? First off, there wouldn’t have been a Philippine-American War if they were U.S. citizens. Secondly, if they were citizens, can you imagine hordes of Filipinos flooding into the U. S. mainland given the prevailing mood in the U.S. at that time? At the urging of racist Americans (nativists, to PC enthusiasts), the U.S. Congress enacted the Asian exclusion law, that forbade citizens of non-white countries countries… Read more »

Bob Martin
Guest

Interesting that the California Judicial system classified men on their skills at being a lover. Do they still do that? Did they hold demonstrations with a judging panel? LOL

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Jay; We supervised the Philippines similar to Cuba without making them a territory, but the Philippines was asked by the US if they would like the same Status as Puerto Rico (At the end of WW-II and the people voted to be an Independent Nation..The choice was theirs. I think they made the correct choice. But better we ask a Filipino. My father and mother-in-law were in the same situation as yours I remember flying here to pick up an East Coast ship, and had to wait here three weeks, and promised my self that like Dug Out Doug, I… Read more »

Jay
Guest
Jay

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the good explanation!

Peace

Jay

John Reyes
Guest
John Reyes

Paul –

I think the Filipinos copied their suaveness from Clark Gable. LOL

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

John,
Now that I will believe!

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