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The Lonesome Guy

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The Christmas Season, a time of joy and sharing with family and friends, visiting and being visited, parties and get-togethers mirth and merriment and least we not forget our Patron Saint “San Miguel.” Which is always there to be our social lubricant, for it is Beer that maketh glad the hearts of men, and eases a troubled mind

Inaana’s (God Children) coming to the door, to see their Ninong and Ninang, nieces and nephews, brother and sister-in-laws, assorted little anaks whom you have no idea who they are so you greet them warmly anyway because, well, they’re kids and they’re cute.

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A very lonesome man

A very lonesome man

Our daughters and son’s in laws, plus our Granddaughter and Grandson will also be in attendance, the house will be full, and laughter and smiles will rule the day, food in voluminous amounts will be consumed, presents will start to pile up under the Christmas tree. Hey what more could any man want?

There is one tiny little thing missing this year, all my buddies are gone! Not gone in the permanent sense of the word but not here in the Philippines this Christmas Season. My Kano neighbors like Carlos, Bob (Not fearless Leader Bob) and Don are all back in the USA this year for Christmas. My buddy Tommy is out to sea as he’s a Merchant Seaman and had to work. My buddy Loren has departed this week to winter over in Colorado because he doesn’t like warm weather? Gone they are, all gone and I’m by myself. Last year everyone was here at Christmas and the parties were endless.

But not this time, I have many acquaintances but it’s not the same as friends or “BUDDIES”. Oh well I’ll survive, and they’ll all be back sometime in 2014.

So if you’re driving by Dinalupihan in Bataan, and you see a Kano wandering along the road with his Chocolate Labrador the leash in one hand and a beer in the other, give a wave, shout an obscenity, or just throw something at him. But don’t feel too bad for him as his dog still likes him.

Very lonesome

Very lonesome

Well that was one hell of a pity party, don’t cha think? Bored or lonesome, not really, as Mayang will be dragging me to every market and mall within a 200 kilometer radius from our house shopping and spreading the wealth to retailers galore. The store owners will be my new friends, greeting me warmly as I enter their store. Wishing me a Merry Christmas and waiting for Mayang to fill her shopping card.

Over the years I’ve read that at my age you’ll end up with just one friend, I’m not buying that dribble for a minute, as I have quite a few, albeit they are not here right now, but no matter how far they travel they are in my thoughts. And there is more beer and rum left for me.

So as Charismas draws nearer, let me wish, all my friend and family plus all my friends on LiP, a most happy Christmas Season, and a Great and prosperous 2014.

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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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john.j.
john.j.
8 years ago

Was a bit worried about you drinking water!!!!! in Jays article last week lol. Have a good xmas and new year all the best to you.

bigp
bigp
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

In my experience making lots of water comes after drinking lots of beer.

Axel
Axel
8 years ago

Wait – i have to wipe the tears from my eyes, before i can see the keyboard 😉 Even we are surrounded by a lot – say a LOT – of family here, it’ is a little different from buddies / close friends. I have a few really close friends, but they are all in Denmark. No one has moved here – and never will. I have “only” been living here for almost 2 years, and i have not got what i would call “real close friends” here. Family, yes – sweet, nice caring people, yes, but not close friends… Read more »

Timothy J Thurmer
Timothy J Thurmer
8 years ago
Reply to  Axel

Hi Axel! I guess you are a Dane! From what I can read. I am also a Dane! Although been living in Norway for 39 years! To many! Now I am here in Ilocos norte, Solsona while it is cold in Oslo (he, he) I am living with my wifes family as I do plan to move here nearby, most probably Laoag or nearby. In some years when I am retired. As I am divorced and I am living alone in Norway I prefer to be here even though the Filipino xmas is not the same as in Scandinavia, like… Read more »

Timothy J Thurmer
Timothy J Thurmer
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi, Paul, greetings! Nice to hear that you visited Bergen! Norway is another place now since 1974, it’s among the richest countries in the world due to the oil wealth flowing in to the economy and also because of good administration by the elected politicians. Among the lowest when it concerns corruption. When it comes to my family here they can afford a roast pig and before they raised their own pigs, but have now given up that business for reasons that it is to much work and input and little outcome. I have also been reserved myself as to… Read more »

Timothy J Thurmer
Timothy J Thurmer
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Yeah, I know of what you mean about the people from the northern cold countries! I’ve been to the Dominican republic several times as my last wife was from there (if it was not for her, then I would have stayed there, but the Caribbeans are more temperamental than the Filipinas and therefore more difficult to live with.) There in the Dominican rep. it is similar climate and people also more easy about not to hurry so much, as you said: “food grows all year round”… So, yes, it’s better to enjoy life more than running around freezing your butt… Read more »

Timothy J Thurmer
Timothy J Thurmer
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi again to Paul, Pete and John! It seems to be that all of us have visited the Caribbean have good memories from the Island of Hispaniola, the Island Cristobal Colon liked the most! And when you have been there and here in the Philippines you see many similarities in climate and peoples. The indigenous people of both places were called: Indios – indians! And of course are not! They introduced the Catholic religion and Spanish customs. Only here in the Philippines they later chose English instead of Spanish to be the national language. Even though today Spanish is still… Read more »

John Reyes
8 years ago

Timothy – You sound like Ferdinand Blumentritt, one of Rizal’s closest confidants, in your assessment of Filipinos. An academic from Austria, Blumentritt had never been to the Philippines, but, through literature and, of course, through his close professional relationship with Rizal while the latter worked on the Noli while he was studying in Europe in the 1880s, he (Blumentritt) was an acknowledged expert on the Philippines. Your observation about the Filipino being outgoing and avoiding confrontations is correct; however, the Filipino could easily lose his temper just like his Latin and Asian counterparts when provoked. Even more so if he… Read more »

Timothy J Thurmer
Timothy J Thurmer
8 years ago
Reply to  John Reyes

John Reyes, thanks for your comment! And comparison. I had not been thinking of that. I’m just a person that likes to do observation and study other peoples way of being. Nevertheless you’re most correct in that about when a Filipino does go into an angry state! But I myself can get annoyed here many times while going around in town, being bogged by sellers and the trike drivers offering me a ride when I’m not in the need or I just want to see what sort of articles they may have for sale, it could be that I would… Read more »

John Reyes
8 years ago

Timothy – Yes, it can be very annoying at times to be swarmed by Filipino shop keepers and sales clerks at department stores the moment you step inside when all you wanted to do was to casually browse through the store’s offerings in peace without someone following you around looking over your shoulder. Your wife is right about the agressiveness being a part of their sales training, plus the fact that a white foreigner inside the shop is seen by many shop owners as almost always guaranteed sales. It might surprise you, though, that you may actually find yourself yearning… Read more »

John Reyes
8 years ago

Paul – if your bars still stand or some other structures have taken their places, tell me where they are located and I will do my best to pay them a visit in your behalf. And, maybe run my hands along the wall for you LOL in a nostalgic remembrance of the good island life you were enjoying until Hurricane Hugo came along. The sheer mass of the old Spanish fort in Intramuros has always held me in awe everytime I visited it. We will make sure to visit the twin forts in Old San Juan for comparison. I didn’t… Read more »

Cordillera Cowboy
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

It took me a little while to figure that out. Since our place is out in a rural area, I spent hours & hours looking for ways to preserve and store food in a tropical environment. I was getting frustrated by not finding very much. Then I took a few steps back and looked at it academically, rather than as a farmer. Why preserve and store large quantities of food when the harvest time is year round. Simply stagger your planting times. Since keeping livestock is my primary interest, the first thing that hit me was that I am free… Read more »

John Reyes
8 years ago

Paul, you mentioned Puerto Rico, I have never been there, but soon will be. This Christmas and New Year’s holiday, my wife and I will be on a 10-day sea cruise in the Caribbean aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas sailing out of Baltimore on Christmas eve. It’s sort of a year-end tradition we have been following the last 3 years to escape the cold and celebrate New Year’s at sea. Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten are among our ports of call. We have been to St. Thomas and St. Maarten a number of times in… Read more »

Axel
Axel
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

My new motorcycle give me a very easy way to find, and stop at watering holes 😀 My car is different, when i go around, behind tinted windows… My tears in the start was not because of me myself – it was for your “lonesome guy” headline…

Axel
Axel
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Yeah – as a motorcycle driver here, you have to be very, very careful. Car’s just ignore – or don’t see motorcycles and surely motorcycle drivers (goes for cars too) really need to learn traffic rules, but a lot of people here get their license just for a few Peso – no school – no tests – no nothing. No wonder it is like it is… Police like to stop foreigners, so as a foreigner everything must be correct, but Filipinos do not get stopped that often, unless there’s a checkpoint. I guess i just need a plastic surgery to… Read more »

Loren Pogue
Loren Pogue
8 years ago

And a very Merry Christmass season to you Paul. Yes since I have been here in Colorado I sit inside with my heater going full blast, looking through my frosted windows and wondering to myself “What are you doing here you old fool?” I got my Cable TV, internet, and phone conected yesterday morning. Around noon the TV picture was gone in the whole area around us with a message on the screen, not to worry, be back on soon. The TV came back and I waited for Internet and telephone to come back to no availe. Called them and… Read more »

PapaDuck
PapaDuck
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Paul, Our plans got changed for Christmas. We were supposed to be in Australia, but Anne’s uncle had a work commitment out of town for the holidays. We will be going there in March now. Now we will be spending Christmas in the cold like Loren. Flying to Ohio on the 19th to spend Christmas with my parents. They are both 80 and don’t know how many more Christmas’s they have left, so we decided to make the trek to the States earlier than planned. Anne has never seen snow before so she is excited. I don’t think she has… Read more »

Scott Fortune
Scott Fortune
8 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

My wife was excited about the snow until about five minutes of being on the parking deck at DTW airport. She hated the cold, which of course, MUST come with the snow. 🙂

We’re both looking forward to a warm Christmas next year!!

Enjoy your family during the Holidays Paul! Soak it all in! It’s a great time to be with family.

Mark G.
Mark G.
8 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Papa Duck it’s 18°F and snowing in Cleveland as I write this. I’ll be spending Christmas in Ohio with my oldest boy, working to support my lovely wife and youngest boy, who will be spending Christmas in the PI. I keep telling her I’m her OFW! If you time it right you should be seeing plenty of snow. The forecast is for cold and snow for the next 10 days or so. I know your wife will love it until she steps outside, lol. Paul you must miss those Christmases in Dorchester I’m sure. 😉

Bob New York
Bob New York
8 years ago

Best of the Christmas Season to you Paul but with friends like Coco the flying lab and a good stock of chilled SMBs, I am sure seasonal decorations galore, not to mention, family, it sounds like you will be in good company for the festivities of the season. Thanks for all of the comments on operating a Motorcycle in The Philippines. On the last couple of visits I have been very tempted to rent or borrow one from someone I know there but that has not happened yet. From reading the comments maybe it is just as well. I have… Read more »

Dave C
Dave C
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

Hi Paul …This will be my first Christmas in Davao RP. I have been here back and forth many times but finally made the big move in Oct 2013. I am sure you will not be lone some as things will get busy real soon. For me everything falls in Dec. wedding anniversary/wife’s birthday and of course Christmas. To tell you the truth I have been so busy just getting our house up to speed we have barely had time for the holidays. I do know what you mean about missing close friends, as we do miss our friends back… Read more »

Axel
Axel
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

Hi Bob. About driving Motorcycle here: It’s not that bad, and you are the one to take precautions, just think that anything can happen at any time. Here it is normal with small bikes, even a 250cc would be considered as a “Big Bike”. I drive every day on my motorcycle – Honda CB110, and as long as i am looking out and expecting that anything can come from anywhere, there’s no problem. Speed here? No, mostly you can’t find places/streets to pass 40-50Km.h. (guess it would be something like 20-25 mph). If you like biking, rent one, take some… Read more »

Lenny
Lenny
8 years ago

DITTO !!!!!!!!!

louie
louie
8 years ago

Hi Paul, The depiction of men on these photos is exaggerated. I can’t help but smile upon seeing your article. Not that I underestimating what you feel on the absence of your friends (I know the feeling). I smiled because of the thoughts playing in my mind that if there’s one person who would best fits the description of these men in the photos–that’s got to be me. I lost in the last election as Kagawad. Savings drained because of this. And most of all I resigned from my work in the government. It’s only now, two months after the… Read more »

louie
louie
8 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Yup Paul, it dawned on me much too late that even in the barangay level dirty politics is the name of the game. Sticking to the golden rule has no place in the election. Betrayal, manipulation, and massive vote buying are the best tools to get elected. I should have won, if I had succumbed to this kind of politics. There were obnoxious offers, but it’s just not my cup of tea. The election is over. The new set of barrio officials were installed and have assumed their positions. I wish them good and hope they serve the barrio well.… Read more »

Terrence Michalski
Terrence Michalski
8 years ago

Merry Christmas Paul to you and your entire family, from me and mine.

Larry Saum
Larry Saum
8 years ago

Hi Paul;
This evening I and my wife (asawa – Pacita) got to enjoy seeing two of our grandchildren sing in a Christmas show at their school. At ages 9 and 8 the boys did quite well. Temperature outside here is 19 degrees F. and there is snow on the ground here in Indianapolis. Merry Christmas to all.

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