Mission Accomplished!


Remember when you were a young child and Christmas was so anticipated that it just never seemed to come fast enough? Well, in the case of the “future” expatriate, it’s like waiting for that special day only now the clock never seems to move or nothing ever seems to get accomplished.  I can remember back when we first made the decision to move to the Philippines. It came after many months (years) of talking and wondering about what it would be like to finally live in our chosen paradise. Once the decision was made and the dream was alive, it was like longing for that special holiday to come, and things seemed to move very slow – slower than rush hour traffic in Manila. That’s because there is so much planning and preparation that goes into getting ready for a move of this magnitude. I guess for some it may come a little easier, but for us, we had a home, cars, two businesses and 28 years of collected “stuff” to consolidate. And to make things more complicated, we had pets. For those who consider themselves minimalistic or, who are fairly mobile, and can send all their personal belongings in balikbayan boxes, it will be much easier and they will be able to reach their goal more quickly. Once we set things in motion though, it was full speed ahead and no looking back.  In our case, it literally took almost two years to liquidate, get everything in order, and we were ready to roll.

One of the many sunsets in Tomaligues
One of the many sunsets in Tomaligues

I can remember during the last few months while waiting to close the sale of our home, fellow online acquaintances (ex-pats) would constantly remind (sometimes chide) me about hurrying up and get here! Well, know this…you can only move as fast as the Laws of Murphy will allow and sometimes anxiety can get the best of you. I would get news or read someone’s blog, and even get updated photos almost daily of life in the Philippines and it would always make me that much more anxious and envious.

Signal or No Signal...it don't matter!

These days, I can say to those who are waiting for their time to come….hurry up and get here, what are you waiting for?  Of course, I only say this in jest, and hope that everyone’s transition to paradise will come as soon as possible.  Life here in the Philippines can definitely be worth the wait for those who are prepared and know what to expect. This morning, after having coffee with my early morning entrée, and while the family eats their second round of breakfast, I relax with my computer and look forward to simple contemplation about what and how much I should eat for lunch. And this afternoon maybe I will take my bike out for a ride along the coast, head back and have an afternoon swim, inspect the days progress on the new house, then catch the sunset with a cold beer…or two. Tomorrow will be another day and it all begins anew.

So for those who seem to be forever waiting, remember it’s just like waiting for Christmas Day…it will come eventually, and when the day finally arrives, it will be like receiving the best present ever!

For us, it’s Mission Accomplished. Finally!

14 thoughts on “Mission Accomplished!

  1. Randy, I’ve got approximately 22 more months in CA, then it’s off to Calbayog. Just like Christmas, I can hardly wait, but unlike Christmas as a child, there’s no peeking under the tree…lol. So my peeking is reading your updates (and UJ’s), hearing about what’s going on in my soon to be city of retirement.

    Yup, I am JEALOUS

  2. Hey Richie, well I had to go jealous for a couple years but your day will finally come. Any idea where you are looking to settle in the Calbayog area? If you haven’t picked out a spot, I would definitely recommend the west side of Calbayog around or past the airport. I see all the growth going that way.

  3. I really appreciate all the expats posts…..
    I’ts like making all of us that we have dreams and hopes to be in some place around the world to settle very far from all the rush and big cities, I have posted every were in my place the pictures of my rice fields in Luzon and in my mind to set my feet for first time there one day soon.
    thank you Larry for all your updates, you just makes me the waiting for my Christmas more desirable….. keep having fun

  4. Good Morning Randy,

    I am pleased to see that you and your wife made the big trip. We experienced pretty much everything that you did and I am so glad that is a distant memory. Take care and good luck with the retirement thing.

  5. We bought property in the Carayman area, Southeast Calbayog, near the Trans Co Power Station. The new highway cuts through our property. We plan on building our house on the hill over looking the rice fields and ocean view.

    I believe we’re not that far from UJ, but my wife has an Aunt who’s up in your area, oh, and her husband (Phil) is retired Navy. They’ve been in Calbayog for several years.

  6. Thanks Tom, good to hear from you. I’m also glad the trip was a one way proposition. Like you, I bought me a Honda 150 to make retirement more fun. I still wear the flip flops when I ride though.

  7. Hi,

    I’ve been living in Olongapo City since April of 2006. I’m currently in Phoenix, though, taking care of family issues. I’ve come back to the states four times since moving to the Philippines and every time, I can’t wait to return. This trip is probably the longest I’ll be away (returning the first half of 2014).

    I love living the retired life in the Philippines!

  8. Hi RT, I’m gonna agree that life here is so much better (minus a few luxuries like reliable electricty) and I have no desire to return to the States. Although I have two sisters in California and two brothers in Texas, there is little back there for me. If you have read through my blog you will know that I was bitten by the tropical Asian bug in the middle 70’s and have never recovered from that affliction. As I type this reply, I can look out my window and see the ocean (a small part but the ocean nonetheless) and can easily literally walk there within seconds. I could never have this in the U.S. nor could I live as comfortable as I do here. I literally don’t have to even take out the garbage if I choose not to. Living in the U.S. would require a lifelong commitment to working for wages, something which I no longer wish to do. Not that I mind working, I now only do it on my own terms and when I feel like it. I was in Olongapo last year and visited with my wife’s sister from Bataan and I also met with Paul T. who we shared a dinner with (and a few San Mig’s), then returned to Samar. If I ever have another dream it will be to own a condo in the Olongapo area for a winter home, he he. Hope you make it back soon.

  9. Hey Ritchie, I recently took a drive down to Carayman to look for Samelco (Samar Electric Cooperative). It was a nice drive on my motorcycle and is only about 5 minutes from UJ’s place in Bagacay. Make sure you let us know when you will be arriving.

  10. I have a couple of hundred dollars going to my PNB account still – saving to buy a good generator when I get back (70-80,000). If I have enough left over, I’ll be getting a gravity tank put up as well.

    Those two things should take care of the unreliable utilities.

  11. RT, when a extended brownout occurs, I usually just head to the beach or pool. I guess in the future though, the idea of having a generator just to protect our refrigerated/frozen items will be worth having. How about sending some of those dollars to my local account, he he.

  12. great to see comments guys..i depart Wednesday for pH….i am so excited..it will be a brutal and long flight, but i know its so well worth this..anyway, if i see any of you, the beer is on me!! ..best to all!! dale

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