Planning to Retire Soon!

If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Monday, May 25, 2009

Is there a Caste System in the Philippines?


The Philippines is not India or Pakistan. But better believe it, there is a caste system in the Philippines. The caste system exits between the rich and the poor, between educated and uneducated, and to some minor extent between the mestizos and the "browned-skinned and flat-nosed" Filipinos.

Let me start with the clash between the rich and the poor. It is well known that the Philippines is not really a true democracy but an oligarchy. Oligarchy is defined by Webster as a form of government in which the supreme power is place in the hands of a small exclusive class. This exclusive group are the rich. If you live in the Philippines, you know or have heard of a few families that run our country as well as our business. And what about the poor? They just suffer and accepts what is handed to them, good or bad!

The second item is the clash between the educated and uneducated. The educated usually had comfortable lives, excellent social status, travels, eats in five-star restaurants and also sends their children to excellent schools. The uneducated have lower social status, do the menial jobs and if lucky can get jobs as farming tenants, personal maids, or drivers of the rich and educated Filipinos. In Marinduque, there are hundreds of tenants who work for the rich landowners. These folks were raised as Roman Catholics, but only go to Church twice a year, during Christmas and Easter. When invited to your house in town, they will not enter your front door. They enter the back door. Entering the front door is bad manners. They will not eat at the same time with you, even though you invite them. They will wait until you are finish before they eat.

On the last item of heritage, spanish mestizos versus brown skinned Filipinos. Today, this is not so blatant. But during my grandparents and parents time, the mestizos feel they are superior in terms of social standing and race. They speak fluent Spanish as well as Tagalog and are the elites of society. The mestizos would look down on the non-mestizos or even the Chinese Filipinos. In Marinduque, a few decades ago, if you are Filipino-Chinese, you are not invited or included in the social activities of the "socialites", even though you are doing well as a businessman. It is only today, that it is no longer a social taboo to invite the non-mestizos to your home for a socialization. During my grandparents time, it is also a taboo to marry outside your social class. Children of the rich, are discourage to associate with children of families that resides in the "other side of the river" ( similar to American expression of the "other side of the railroad track").

Comments anyone?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Do You Garden by Mouth?










Have you heard of the phrase " gardening by mouth"? I heard this phrase just recently from one of our guests at the beach house. He told me that a good friend of his loves to garden by mouth. I was curious what it meant. He later informed me that his lady friend had a personal gardener. So all she does is tell the gardener what to do in the garden. In my case, even though I have two full time gardeners in Marinduque, I am still strong enough to do "actual gardening" as one of my "exercise activity", besides walking along the beach in early morning or late afternoons. I still love to do a little weeding, watering, transplanting , pruning and fertilizing. The major job of mowing, pruning, weeding and spraying is done by mouth.

The above photos ( orchids, hibiscus, bougainvilla, bird of paradise, euphorbia, heleconias) are the fruits of my actual and mouth gardening. I hope you enjoy the flowers. If you also garden by mouth please let me know!
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