Welcome to My Site

If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life in the Philippines without a Driver and a Maid

Last March during our snowbirding sojourn in the Philippines, Miko, our pet dog( see photo above) was our only companion, 24 hours a day except when our laundry lady and two temporary workers are here in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines to do their duties. Our driver/caretaker and cook/housekeeper(husband and wife team) were on their two weeks paid vacation and two weeks of paid sick leave. Thus, I got to feed Miko every day as well as exercise him in the beach every afternoon 15 minutes before sunset. Miko understands both English and Filipino commands such as sit, move and let's go as well as "kain na"( eat), alis( get way) etc.... Miko loves American food and leftovers. His favorite is Chicken Macaroni salad and Italian Spaghetti( not the sweet Filipino spaghetti). My other duty was to drive Macrine to the public market in downtown Boac. This is the job, I really do not enjoy, because the public market stinks, specially the FISH section. The open market is always crowded and not many parking spaces. Luckily, I have to do this only once a week. Speaking of driving in Marinduque: Driving here requires that you toot your horn more often. It also teaches you how to expertly maneuver overtaking the slow tricycle drivers as well as carefully passing jeepney drivers who drop and pick up passengers in the middle of the road. In addition to the inconsiderate jeepney drivers, you have to watch out for pedestrians, small children, dogs and chickens crossing the national road without any warning. However, after driving to downtown Boac (10 KM one way) and to downtown Gasan (12 KM one way) for one month, I feel more at ease, thus, do not missed the services of our driver. On the otherhand, Macrine really missed the services of our housekeeper and cook. Macrine does not mind cooking, but hates washing the dishes. We do not have a dishwasher here( we do have a washing machine), so dishwashing have to be done manually. Macrine hates the grease and oil that sticks on the plates, so she has to boil water to rinse and clean the dishes every time. At the end of the month, our Driver and Housekeeper returned to their normal duties. We feel we are back in Paradise. But, remember that there is no perfect place on earth. Paradise only exists in your heart and mind. But to my mind, Marinduque is paradise when you have help in your daily activities, such as cooking, cleaning the house, driving, gardening and other errands. This is indeed close to perfect living especially when you compared it to our daily activities in Northern California-our primary residence. Here in Northern California, Macrine and I do all the household duties, driving, gardening, grocery shopping, since we can not afford the services of a personal driver and housekeeper and cook. Occassionally we hired a cleaning lady to clean the whole house. Note: If you have been following my blogs, we are called "snowbirds". We have a new friend from Toronto, Canada who commented when he learned of our lifestyle. "So you are "snowbirding" every year"? I am envious of your lifestyle. Yes, Indeed and we loved snowbirding and if you are envious, we understand why.

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