J. I. T.

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“HUH?”  “J.I.T.”?  “Whazzat?”  “Did you spill your morning coffee onto the virtual keyboard before having your first sip?” “Ain’t all the keys on yer keyboard a-workin’ anymore?”  “Iz dis a trick, or sumptin’?”  “Wake up, Paul.  Did you fall asleep at the keys, again?”

Oh, I’m just sitting here and imagining some of the not so probable questions that have a slight chance of being uttered or being poked into the “Comments” section.  I felt the need to get things started, so it’s “throw something out there and see if anything’s biting.”

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Before I forget, “J.I.T.” = “Just In Time” (not to be confused with “J.I.C.” [“Just In Case”] or “JEET” [“Did You Eat, Yet”]).


Or, quite possibly, it’s about time – this article, that is – or it’s just about time. thThat funny, little intangible of human thought that’s given such intense attention in the Westernized Industrial world (as witnessed by such creations as cesium-beam atomic clocks to train time tables) or that’s just accepted as being there but not quite so important to rule one’s life (does the phrase “Philippine Time” come to mind?).

To tell you the truth, I don’t quite know where this is going “at this time.”  This meandering has come on as a result of my being inundated with the alleged importance of time.  Seems as though Mr. Chronometer has made it his mission to square away the cuckoo in my mental clock.  And, it’s a little overwhelming.

Let me give you some examples of how old Father Time is beating me with his time stick.


As most of you, dear readers, are aware, I’m a “Taxman.”

Yes, I pick up a nickel here and a peso there (I may have the locations reversed) helping clients with their tax return compliance needs.  One reason why these clients come to me is based on time – or, should I say, their lack of time to go through all of the motions of paying taxes on their own.  To most, “time is money” and there are better ways to spend it.

oct-15So, here we are. It’s October 14th as my fingers wander all over the keys. Tomorrow, the 15th, is one of the Big Tax Deadlines.  It’s the “drop dead” limit in time for filing individual (and a few other types) tax returns for which taxpayers requested an extension of time to file them.  Even though an additional four to six months of extended time was granted to them, there are those who value their time and their ability to procrastinate.  They’re not quite ready yet, but they’ve found time to call out to me for help in getting their tax returns filed “on time.”

For me, it’s “crunch time.”


It’s getting to be the end of the “rainy season” here back home.  Somehow, there was a noticeable shift in Old Man Weather’s timing this year.  Though the early “-ber months” should be drying out, getting ready for the arrival of our “December Breeze,” It’s not.  The annual, year-end phenomena of enhanced winds has arrived a little early, too.

windpalmsIn talking about all of this with the Lolos and Lolas, only one thing comes to the forefront of our conversation.  That “thing” is an extended typhoon season. (Oh, the irony of a taxman receiving yet another “extension.”)

There’s a good-sized tropical storm named “Koppu” heading our way right now.  As soon as it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR),it will be dual-christened “Lando.”  I don’t really enjoy the selection of that name.  Though storm projections see the potential super typhoon brushing by extremely northern Luzon, I don’t trust those prognostications.

1524-00Late in the season storms tend to be the worst storms we endure in the Ilocos Region.  They somehow have the strength and stamina to break through the natural barrier of the Cordillera range to pay us a visit.  The only time that I was truly thankful for building our house at a meter’s additional elevation from its surrounds was during and in the aftermath of a late season typhoon.

Here we sit now, in the direct path of an intensifying tropical storm.  Will it swerve to miss us, or will it “Lando” on top of us?  If history is a teacher, then it’s time to prepare for an adventure.


While back in the States, something deep inside told me that it was time to get prepared.

mreIt was time to restock the MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat) supply via the Balikbayan Box logistics train.  Our “typhoon locker” is now full of hot meals awaiting nature to sever us from the all-too-relied-on creature comforts.

Too, the supply of batteries in the various sizes and the instruments that use those batteries were checked out, augmented, and if need be replaced. If ever there is a time for a dysfunctional flashlight or portable radio to make their presence known, it’s during the time that you truly need to depend on them.

battBatteries have a special way of spoiling your day.  Allegedly just sitting there in the cupboard, gathering dust, and awaiting the call to glory, time (or someone in the household) has a way of turning new, full-strength little power houses into useless blobs of electrical nothingness.  I keep from blaming time for this one. I’ve flashturned over flashlights resting “business end” face down only to see the last remaining flicker of light woefully blip-blip-blipping the final “juice”  from the batteries.

Time doesn’t forget. It doesn’t forget to turn flashlights off, and it doesn’t forget to remind you that others in your household do forget.


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Paul is a CPA and a retired tax accountant, having served companies and corporations of all sizes, as well as individuals, in public accounting practices. Prior to what he refers to as his "real job," he served a 24-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer. It was during this career that he met and married his OFW spouse of 40+ years, Emy, while stationed in London, UK. (Though he pleaded for the assignment, Paul never received orders to the Philippines.) A "Phil-phile" from an early age, Paul remembers his first introduction to the Philippines in the primary grades of a parochial elementary school where, one week each year, children donated their pennies to purchase school supplies, food and other necessities for Filipino children in need. That love for Filipinos continues to this day. Calling Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte--in the far northwestern part of Luzon--home (just about as far away from Davao as one can be while still being on one of the major islands) Paul prefers a more relaxed provincial life style, and willingly shares a different view of the Philippines from "up north"!

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Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
7 years ago

My “Storm Locker” consists of nothing other than extra fuel for my generator that will power the freezer and Ref, and the most valuable “Beer Ref” the machine was purchased in 2000 from Honda Corporation it just celebrated it’s 15th birthday during our three day brownout here in Dinalupihan Bataan. Being prepared is my motto (I took on extra beer just before the Typhoon came to my neck of the woods.) I hope all is normal again in your area, me, I’m meeting 3 couples tonight for Mongolian BBQ in the Barrio.

7 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

All’s quiet on the Northern Front. Koppu never quite hit Lando near enough to us to cause anything out of the norm. I will admit that the whole situation was eerie – a big storm, that inflicted considerable damage to the South and East of us, sneaked its way passed us overnight. No blip-blip-blipping of rain on the driveway, no whistle of an overhead wire or rustle of foliage in a dead calm environment, and no signs of a typhoon turned tropical storm passing close aboard at 75km to our West. Wasn’t until the storm was 2 days out from… Read more »

7 years ago

Hi Paul, I guess you were a boy scout when you were younger.:) Could you indulge us, and describe what’s in your “Typhoon Locker” Inquiring minds want to know! Seriously though, I hope that your area was not affected too severely from Lando. When I look at areas in the path in regions of Luzon during a storm or typhoon, I think of writers and former writers and contributors from this site, and wonder how you are all doing. The storm really brought a lot of flooding to many areas I heard. It was business as usual here in Cebu–our… Read more »

7 years ago
Reply to  queeniebee5

Hi Queenie – As mentioned in my comment to Paul T., above, the “Big blow” turned into a “non-event” with the storm tossing us a bone to gnaw on (weather-wise) 2 days after it left. Typhoon locker contents include: — Ready-to-eat, self-heated meals – enough to feed Baket ko (Asawa ko) [my Wife] and me for seven days (or until we tire of them, whichever occurs first); — Bottled, purified water (the large, water dispenser type bottles) in sufficient quantity for those seven days; — Four “never to be used outside of calamity” flashlights / lanterns / battery-powered lighting devices… Read more »

7 years ago

I am with Mr. Paul Thompson on this one. I picked up extra fuel for the generator and beer. Luckily the mountains broke up the storm and we didn’t get hit hard here in Paoay. We were only without power for about 18 hours because of a downed power line in the barrio.

7 years ago
Reply to  GaryM

Hi Gary – We continue to dodge bullets up here in Pasuquin, but still have to keep an eye on ancient power line cut-offs that continue to serve well beyond their certified lifespan. Their job is to protect the “pole pig” power transformers and customer grids by opening up the connection between the HV service lines and the transformers’ primary inputs, in times of overvoltage or current surges, Unfortunately, a hefty gust of wind from the right direction will blow these “well-worn servants of the power co-op” physically open, causing a brown-out that’s isolated to just the customers connected to… Read more »

7 years ago

Hi Paul,

This our first year of living in the Philippines (Cebu). I’m searching for a CPA to do our 2015 U.S. And Pinoy income taxes. Please reply back to me with your contact information.



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