In The Philippines – We Are Moving On (Part Two)

In my “previous post,” I indicated our decision to sell our home and leave Samar with the primary reasons centering around Family and Lifestyle. It’s been a wonderful experience for Teri and I, getting to know her family up close and personal after so many years being away. Through good and bad, it was a great overall experience that could never be traded for anything else worthwhile. There were some good times and great memories indeed.

Gone Fishing!

While I discussed the dissolution of family previously as being one factor in our decision making process, I also touched upon lifestyle. Moving to Samar was good for both of us just coming into our retirement, but has not been without a new set of “stresses” showing up. It’s not the same variety of stress most of us leave behind in the western world, but different in the sense that these stresses are associated with all the adjustments that expats must make when settling in the Philippines, or any foreign country for that matter. For many expats, moving abroad can actually increase their levels of stress. When living in a foreign country, culture and language can initially contribute to that stress. So when you move abroad, you are essentially exchanging one set of Stresses for another. A good article to read on that is “Combating the Stress of Moving Abroad.” While this post is not about stress itself, it relates somewhat to stress management though staying active.

Dissolution, Lifestyle, and… ?

Because I lived in the Philippines for over 3 years back in the mid 80’s, I basically knew what to expect prior to moving here in 2013, and that was not to come here with a suitcase full of expectations. “Always Expect the Unexpected” is how I’ve always described the correct mindset in choosing to live here. But these last few years have been pulling on me from a different angle… the perspective of managing the differing stresses with a diminished active lifestyle. In the beginning, I would swim, bike, play tennis, do some occasional hiking, and then swim some more. Most of that activity was self-prescribed and self- motivating. Then, for whatever reason, I lost that motivation. I was slowing down, I thought. Someone even told me that is what is to be expected with old age! LOL Then, we moved to Guam. (Remember the reason? “I’ve Got Something To Tell You!”) With the move to Guam, not only did we re-establish our residency, we re-established a very similar lifestyle to that which we left behind when we choose to retire (the Pacific Ocean was a bonus). We quickly realized that we really weren’t all that ready to grow old and decrepid. Once on Guam, we started back with a bowling league. Teri returned to her Zumba and kick-boxing workouts. I picked back up on racquetball where I left off (albeit a little slower). I’m swinging my golf clubs again and I’ve done some “real” fishing (I’ve never really caught anything in Samar). I’m diving and snorkeling and enjoying the ocean again. And we take in a real cinema movie now and then. In other words, many of the things we are doing on Guam are things that were not available to us in Samar. Samar is for retirees… we just weren’t as ready to retire as we thought.

Home in Samar province and not much else to do.

So at this point all you readers are still wondering… so where the heck are you going? If you’re guessing a return to the U.S. mainland… Ha, you have certainly missed the entire dissertation of this 7 year-old Blog. Absolutely not! If you’re thinking Guam, you’re partially wrong. While we may keep a footprint on Guam for travel purposes (military space-available flights), and Medicare reasons, the Philippines will still be our choosen paradise. Just not Samar. Because we still intend on traveling internationally, we also intend to see more of the Philippines. And it has become difficult for us to accomplish that from our current location in Samar. Like I said, Calbayog City is a great place to retire to, but it is not the place to be for active travelers, in our opinion anyway. With family now spread out to points north and south in the Philippines, we need to focus on a more convenient place to live. A location that allows for more freedom and flexibility to come and go more easily. A place where we can continue the active lifestyle we have re-established, or one that simply provides us with more options.

… Consolidation

One other factor in our decision process that I have not mentioned is “consolidation.” Since setting up our residency in Guam, we have grown to really enjoy condominium living. There is no yard to mow or garden to tend to. There’s no plumbing issues to repair, and there is no painting and upkeep to worry about. And I don’t have to clean the pool – I just swim in it! We have come to love the abundance of free time we have acquired by shedding all the time-consuming responsibilities of owning a home. We are at that stage in life where we don’t want to be a slave to the house. If we had our own children, things would be different. One thing we realized since adopting the condo lifestyle, is that we have more time to participate in the activities we enjoy most, with more time to rest and enjoy life in-between. So, as a consequence of choosing to fulfill these new lifestyle choices, we will sell our home in Calbayog City and take up condo living elsewhere… in the Philippines! Please don’t misunderstand me, we love the home we have built, but it has become our albatross. There is some more research to be done before we decide for certain exactly where we will drop anchor again, but we are leaning towards Cebu. The Southern Pampanga region is also not out of the question either. Whichever locale better fulfills the majority of our wants and needs (including medical), this will be the place that wins the re-settlement nomination.

Somewhere in the Middle… Maybe?

Will we miss Samar? Absolutely. Our Samar family? No doubt. The beaches and natural beauty of the province? Yes. If there is one important thing I have come to learn in my 64+ years on this planet… it’s that you just can’t have your cake and eat it too! And there is no denying I have tried.

Home For Sale – If anyone is interested in our home for sale here in the Calbayog City area, feel free to contact me by email at via this site’s contact page located in the header. You can also see more of this home by clicking on the link “Samar Home For Sale” on the main Menu Bar on this site. Don’t forget to watch my “Expanding Paradise” series and other videos on my YouTube channel.

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8 thoughts on “In The Philippines – We Are Moving On (Part Two)

  1. I know a Pinoy Anesthesiologist here who spends his time split between 6 months here (making his millions) and 6 months there in the PI. He is getting on to our age and he is telling me that Angeles City has become the new “go to” area. It has become very modern, good medical facilities and much new construction with decently priced houses and condos. Also he said outstanding entertainment there. He added that the highway and traffic between there and Manila is not bad ( He added though once in Manila … there always will be no hope LOL ). He said he looked into Cebu City area (and my Jo is from there and agreed) he told me though it does have a lot to offer … but it is becoming closer as living and with the problems of the Manila, Makati, Quezon area with people and traffic.

  2. Have only read a couple of your blogs. Each area of the Philippines is a lot different, in respect to what amenities are available; deciding on what you want or need. Crowded or more remote? mall or no mall. Baguio is nice, but for me, its gotten too crowded; QC and NCR too crowded; southern Leyte…cheap but too remote; I do like Dumaguete and we will prob settle there. I have friends in Santa Juliana, and several in Dumaguete/Valencia area. Cebu City…is too crowded. If you lived there in the 80s for 3 years? sounds more like you were stationed in Subic??? and staying in one area of the Phils, is not like seeing how each area is different from others. El Nido is great….to visit but not to live there…not a mall for 4-5 hours away. Doesn’t sound that appealing once you think of those things. My wife grew up in Manggahan area of QC. We own a condo there but I won’t move there. We will be treking Mt. Apo next year. We climbed Mt Pinatubo and Pulag also. We might consider Batangas area, or Tarlac/Capas, but we seem to like Negros better, less crowded. good luck finding your Right spot. Angeles is a nice area also. I bought my LC 60 and drove around Angeles last year. We bought it just for camping and hiking.

  3. Thanks for that. I am finding out pretty much the same thing you are telling me. The New Clark City is the “go to” area, supposedly, and we are looking into that. I especially like the Clark-Subic-San Fernando triangle where driving on the “newer” freeway systems are a breeze. Only one problem for me – NO beaches or ocean to occupy the mind when needed! While we love living in the Visayas, I guess ye just can’t have it all!

  4. Thanks for the insights John. Yes, I lived in Olongapo while stationed at Cubi Pt (and where I met my bride). We have traveled allot around the Philippines and like most other expats, chose to settle in the area where the family resides. It’s not always the smartest move, in retrospect. While it was good for her to catch up with family, and good for me to meet and get to know the extended family, that location did not satisfy our lifestyle needs. We really are leaning towards southern Pampanga where pretty much all those needs can be met. If I need some beach or ocean time, there is always the Subic Bay area or the west coast, or we will simply wait until we return to Guam to get our fix, where the beautiful, clean and uncrowded beaches are unbeatable in my book. While Dumaguete might serve the social needs of many expats, it still falls short in many other areas, especially with not being a travel hub. Angeles City in my opinion has become a peso trap (expensive) and you are right about Cebu… it’s crowded and becoming more so. Rural Cebu is still under review though. I have never considered Batangas and it probably deserves a look, I’m sure. I would never consider anywhere north of that in the Metro Manila area. Baguio and Palawan… too isolated, but great places to visit. Again, thanks for your comment!

  5. Some very precient thoughts and I will be curious to see where you end up. For my 2 pesos, you may want to consider the area just south of the NCR…around Laguna and Cavite. You are close to the shopping and medical care Manila has to offer and also just a couple hours from the diving and recreation on the Mabini peninsula and the beaches of Mindoro. I’m curious as to why you don’t want to settle in Guam…can be living a tropical lifestyle with American comforts. Good luck where ever you end up.

  6. Well Randy I guess this means we will no longer be down the road neighbors anymore. Hate to hear you and Teri decided to leave the neighborhood. The wife and I always looked forward to our get togethers when we could plan to be in the Country at the same time as you and Teri. The wife and I wish you and Teri Happy Trails at where ever you decide to move to. Lets stay connected and maybe we can plan get togethers if ever you and Teri wants to visit Samar again.

  7. Sorry you guys didn’t make it back this trip. Larry J. said a “Cruise Ship” got in your way? Anyway, We’ll be around (coming and going) at least until we sell the house. Teri still has some family there so we will be visiting from time to time, especially from our new location… wherever that may wind up being. Hey to Nila!

  8. Thanks for the suggestion John. I really never considered the southern NCR region, but am not opposed to looking around before we make a decision. We still have our home in Samar to sell so we will take it slow. And Guam… we intend on keeping it our “official” residence as we will maintain our condo here. Guam really is a paradise compared to the Philippines, but it does come with a bit larger price tag! Come visit anytime!

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