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There is another way to get here aside from flying, as a matter of fact, my first seven visits to the RP in the early 1970’s was by sea.
Yes, it takes a bit longer, but great meals and a good night sleep every night, and if there was a layover it lasted for a few days in Thailand, Hong Kong or on the Island of Borneo. Next, there was the anticipation of the first buoy as you entered Manila Harbor then turned to port and passed Grande Island as you steamed the channel into Subic Bay. And no traffic filled trips lasting hours getting anywhere from the Manila Airport.
Disneyland for the big kids and we were all tall enough to ride the rides. The price of beer fluctuated from as low as .65 Centavos at a Sari-Sari to a few pesos in a bar. (8p to 1$ my first trip) You picked a Jeepney by the music and how many stainless steel horses were on the hood. They were things of beauty then, each and everyone not so much anymore.
A few years passed, I was promoted and then sailing in Europe again (My first time was in the 1960’s), don’t get me wrong, the Mediterranean Sea was fun, and then there was Great Briton, Norway Denmark Holland, and Kiel Germany. There were no EUROs and it was cheap there and fun figuring out the money.
Then the Navy sent me to Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory) while there for few months a Master Chief and a fellow Senior Chief decided a speed run to Angeles City would be a worthwhile endeavor. But the Navy knew nothing of the trip (But the Royal Navy was in on the plot with the US Air Force) we flew in secret on a US AF C5-A to Clark Field in the Philippines. We bypassed customs (Both Ways) and had a wonderful four days off the Rock visiting the Philippines. BYW that was my first airplane ride, to the Archipelagos and very comfortable as we were the only passengers and they have crew rest bunks to sleep the whole trip in comfort. Damn it is a big plane and was my first time on one. When the first C^-A landed in Charleston SC the press was on board along with a Senator L. M. Rivers the friend of the US Military in Washington, when two tires blew and without a hitch, the monster landed safely. The press (Fake News) looking for a story shouted at Senator Rivers; “Did you see that?” He smiled and said; “That’s why there are so many tires on the landing gear. Take the time to count them.”
Next San Diego, then Puerto Rico, where my Navy time ended with me retiring, with five years owning two beach bars in Puerto Rico, a hurricane named Hugo asked me to look for a new line of employment. So I was off to Treasure Island Florida where I worked a couple of years and then signed on as a merchant seaman, sailing in the Pacific with our Office in San Francisco (Long before it started smelling)
I sailed my first ship to Guam, the Philippines and then Australia where we worked with the Australian Navy out of Darwin back and forth to the (East Timor) islands. I was paid off the ship and they flew me from Alice Springs Australia to San Francisco. Now tell me about that long flight from the states to Manila!
In 1993 I met my wife and 1994 moved here full time. (I did fly out and back every six months to work on ships somewhere in Asia. But my employer paid all my airfares and flew me on business class on flights of over 14 hours.
Work for six months then two to three months vacation and do it again. Oh, also many of the ship’s I worked on also made stops in the Philippines pretty often. Throw me into that Briar Patch.
We were in Hong Kong for a few days when we were told we had a large piece of equipment that needed to be delivered to the US Embassy in Manila, Oh the humanity of it all. There we were tied at pier five behind the Manila Hotel for six damn days. It took five hours to offload the cargo. I called my wife and asked her to meet the ship in Manila and we got a room at the Manila Hotel, the MacAuthor Suite was not available so we were forced to stay in a lesser room..
Okay so now I was flying in and out of Manila with the occasional trip by sea. Again from Guam to here is about a thousand miles or five days at sea, sailing on where you work, collect overtime, go to your stateroom to read, watch movies and sleep. No jet lag when you hit the pier at Subic Bay. And see your wife and your car waiting for you.
In 2000 I retired again, this time from the merchant marines, and have left the Philippines once to fly to Guam to cash in $35,000.00 worth of E-Bonds that were gathering dust in a safe at our house. And can only be cashed in a US Bank that has US federal funds deposited (Like the bank of Hawaii in Guam)
Since then I’ve had no reason to leave the RP, and never will. Bob Martin and I have figured out we like it here, me up North, and him down South. It’s been a great life and just gets better! I’ve been from 1993 to 2018, so far so good. (LOL)