A Week In The Life Of My Philippine Retirement
Before I moved here the question was “what will you do?” Since arriving the question has become “what do you do?” The meaning is essentially the same – you can’t just do nothing.
I took an early retirement for a lot of reasons, one of of which was to be with my asawa, another was because I was tired of where things were going with my recent jobs and all that was related to that. Which for the most part was everything. I moved here to slow down and live a simpler life. So how has that worked out?
Unlike before I moved and was still working, my days and weeks here don’t have much routine. I had figured that if anything I would probably have more routine here, as I eventually fell into more time with my blogs, yoga, meditation, food preparation, bisaya lessons, etc. It hasn’t worked out that way.
Here’s how my last week went:
We got up early as “the crew” was coming again to continue the work on our floor tile project. At least it started out as just a floor tile project. It quickly morphed into a mini upgrade as we also had the cement fence extended, a sink installed, outside faucet split, mango tree cut, roof patched, and probably a couple of other things that I’ve already forgotten.
This was the third day for “the crew” to do their thing, so I had a good idea of what to expect. I helped move things, got various tools as needed, and made a couple of trips to pick up missing supplies. One was to the small town near us for a P trap, and the other into Davao to get the remaining tile and adhesive that they apparently miscalculated originally.
The day went quickly as they were fed when the arrived, fed lunch, and then again when the day was done. They were able to complete all the work that day which was great but left us with quite a bit of rearranging and clean up.
We found enough time to watch the Many Pacquio fight, though delayed. I had followed it on my laptop so we knew the result prior to viewing. They really enjoyed getting a chance to watch some of it between their work, but they were really intent on getting the work done that day as our agreement was for a set fee, so the sooner they got it done the better for them.
I got up early again (soon to become a common theme). I had lab work scheduled at Alexian Brothers from a visit the previous Friday. I didn’t know exactly what to expect but I knew enough to allow the entire day for the lab work, results and consultation. I wasn’t disappointed in that estimation.
I arrived at Alexian Brothers shortly after 7:00am and was quite surprised to see the number of patients already there. I proceeded to the Ultrasound area where I proudly presented my referral. Without hesitation I was asked if I had paid yet. With my tail between my legs I headed off to Billing.
Billing sent me to the Cashier, who in turn sent me to Information. Information had me fill out a form, and told me to “wait for awhile, sir.” Unfortunately this was not the “wait for ahwile” that means “wait for a minute.” After waiting for many whiles, the Cashier called me up. I gave her my money and she said “wait for awhile, sir.” Sat back down and waited for not quite as many whiles. Soon Billing called me up and gave me my approved documents and I was off to Ultrasound and Pathology to get my tests scheduled. The scheduling was quick, but they both told me to have a seat and “wait for awhile.”
Pathology called me up first and I was in and out in a few minutes. I was told I could have the results in a hour or two. Ultrasound was shortly after. That didn’t go as well, as when they got to checking my bladder I was told it wasn’t full enough. Of course, I had just left that sample at Pathology. The wanted me to go eat and drink as much water as possible and come back no later than 10:30am to complete the test.
I headed up to the Canteen and ate quite a bit, drank several bottles of water and headed back. Still not full. I sat in the office and drank more water. This time I was OK. I was told I could have the results in an hour or two. I decided to head to SM to kill some time and get a few things done in the meantime. Thankfully I ran into my friend Bob Martin at Starbucks, who was meeting with another friend of his. I was able to pass the time with good conversation. A quick lunch, and I was back to Alexian Brothers.
I picked up my results without incident and proceeded to my doctor’s office to have them read. He was at lunch, to return by 1:00pm. That was only a half hour, so I waited for awhile. 1:00pm came and went. 1:30pm came and went. 2:00pm came and went. Around 2:10pm the doctor strolled in. By 2:30pm, I was the third patient, I was out of there and on my way. All in all, not so bad really. I was home by 4:00pm.
This was more of the type of day I had originally envisioned. I didn’t get up particularly early.
I spent the day doing household chores like cleaning the bathroom, laundry, fixing a few items broken during the tile install, making salsa, working on my blogs, studying my Bisaya, etc.
I also got a chance to watch the replay of the Minnesota Vikings – Chicago Bears game. It’s always great to beat Da Bears. I enjoyed that.
I got up very early this morning. I had set the alarm for 4:30am, but I awoke before 4:00am. I needed to be at the Martin’s house by 6:00am, as they were headed up to Compostela Valley to give goods to those affected by Pablo.
I had offered my services earlier to Bob Martin, but he was not sure whether they would have the room for me. As it turned out they needed to rent a larger truck due to all the donations they received, and I got notice from Bob that they would indeed have room for me to come along.
This was definitely the highlight of my week. I’ll not go into great detail into all we did, as Bob has written a nice article on it all ready, I am dead tired, but a lot of people have food & water. I’ll just repeat that I was very thankful to have gotten an opportunity to help out and it was a very troubling but rewarding experience to see the devastation, desperation but at the same time thankfulness of these people.
It was an exhausting day all told. I was really looking forward to getting home and sleeping in the next day, but I received a text along the way. We were going to Digos the next morning.
We got up early this morning, as we were catching the shuttle bus in Ulas in route to Digos City.
My wife works for the DepEd and as such works long hours and often weekends. So when opportunities arise for me to join her in one of their activities, I usually oblige, even if it’s not something that I’m particularly excited about.
The next few days were Regional Fun Days for Region XI, and this year the activities were taking place in Digos. My understanding is that they rotate that throughout the different cities within the Region. I had only been through Digos once before. After my attempts to find lunch there failed, I’m not sure I’ll be making any efforts to get back any time soon.
It took about 1 1/2 hours to get to Digos and the school where they had been assigned. Various check-ins and meetings took up the rest of the time before they broke for lunch. We took off around 1:00pm to the mall, looking for some food for me. I couldn’t find anything so we spent the next hour or so going around town looking for a supposed Italian restaurant. That was never found so I settled for Pizza Treat. The pizza there could only be described as Filipino pizza, which is what they used to serve in the Philipines before real pizza arrived. It wasn’t good.
After checking back in with the school we were free to head home again. We caught another bus, and after a couple of transfers arrived home by early evening. Somewhere during this time I was informed that we were going to Buda that weekend as her older sister had arrived from Australia and we were to visit Tatay.
Normally I have my Bisaya lesson on Saturday morning, and from there we do my weekly grocery shopping and have lunch somewhere. As we would be out of town this Saturday my teacher Bebe was kind enough to reschedule for Friday afternoon instead. This worked out great as it also allowed me to get my grocery shopping done as well.
I had a little time in the morning before I needed to leave for my lesson. I spent most of this working on my studies, as my week had gone such that I hadn’t spent the time that I had hoped working on it.
My lesson didn’t go so well. I was still feeling quite badly (this has been ongoing for 5 weeks at this time, and the reason for all the lab work). We spent part of the time discussing that and she made some offers to see other doctors.
I got home early evening. I didn’t stay up too late, as I felt like I needed the rest and…
It’s a good 1 1/2 hours up to Buda. I’ve heard some say 1 hour, but I don’t see how that could be accomplished. For us it was much more. Multiple stops to pick people up and adjust seating arrangements slowed things quite a bit. The fact that one of the vehicles broke down, and we had to circle back and help them added to it. There was a good hour by the roadside figuring out the plan of attack on that. We got to Buda around noon or so.
Immediately upon arriving the ladies set into making lunch. After lunch we spent time checking out the shack that we own. That gets more dilapidated every time I see it. I once thought we could fix it up and eventually live there. Now I’m not so sure. I still like the area, so options will be explored when the time comes.
I was coerced into stopping by the German Doctor’s Hospital to get another opinion on my illness. It didn’t help what so ever. Conflicting advice is not doing me any good. I appreciated their free help and kindness though.
From there we stopped by Father Frank’s place, which is right next door to the hospital. Father Frank is an Italian priest that also has a business making sauces and such. He has a restaurant on site, but it seems to be more of a scheduled thing than a drop in. Anyway he was busy preparing for the German doctors that were to arrive for a meal, so we did not stay long.
We watched some movies, had dinner and I was ready to call it an evening at 10:0pm. What was I thinking? About an hour into my quasi sleep the karaoke started. After a couple of hours I gave up and got up. Though they tried, I did not give in and sing. I endured for a couple of hours and went back to bed about 3:00am. Somewhere just before 4:00am the noise subsided. I found out they had gone to early simba (worship).
The next morning we had breakfast, visited old friends of my asawa, and proceeded to get ready for the return trip. But that’s Sunday already. How quickly a week goes by.
When I get asked what I do, now I can refer them to this post, but more likely I’ll just tell them “nothing, I’m retired.”