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

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I want to Go Home Now! It is Hot in Here!


The whole province of Marinduque is now celebrating the Moriones Festival. The weather is hot and humid. So a few minutes ago Macrine gave a sigh of yearning, "I want to Go Home now, it is hot here and I missed my rib-eye steak". I immediately replied that we have less than 3 weeks of snowbirding left and she should be patient. I then ask what she really miss in US. Here's her list.

*Cooking in an air conditioned kitchen

* Our weekly trip to the Casino and Dinner Out

* Our weekly visit from Carenna and Ditas

The food that she misses are rib eye steak, roast beef, beef stroganoff, and Dungeness Crabs.

In my case, I really miss my 24-hr internet availability using my 48" PC personal monitor. I also missed the tender and juicy steak from Raleighs and the Chili Relleno from El Torito. Besides the above, what else will we miss when we fly back to US in three weeks?

I will miss my Garbens, Orchids, Fruit orchard, the gentle sea breezes and the lovely sunset.
I will miss the papayas, chicos, bananas and mangoes
I will miss my daily walk and exercise along the beach and inside the compound.

Here are a few things that we will never miss in Marinduque

The crowing of the roosters as early as 3:00AM

The barking of the pack of dogs in the middle of the night

The crazy and inconsiderate jeepney and tricycle drivers

The dogs,pedestrians, children and chickens crossing the national road without any warning

The electrical power brown outs and lastly

The heat and humidity of the summer months of April and May

But next year we will back to get away from the winter chills of US ( our main reason for snowbirding)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

No Mangoes this Year, But Plenty of Chicos and Papayas



Chicos and Bananas
Due to the frequent rains in the month of March, most of the mango flowers have rotted except in a couple of trees. However, my other fruit trees are prolific starting with my papayas and pomelo( native grape fruit) trees. I have several varieties of papayas. My favorite variety ( see photo above) is the dwarf. Since December last year and until now we averaged harvesting 2 papayas per week. Our most prolific trees are the pomelos. I have two trees. One is the sweet variety and the other the sour variety. We have harvested more than 100 fruits per tree since last year. We have to give away some of the fruits to neighbors and relatives. The pomelo has even reached to the nephews and niece of Macrine in Manila.

The next tree that was productive was our star apple tree. However, we were able to enjoy only about 2 dozen fruits, most of it was eaten by the fruit bats before we could harvest it. Our big tamarind tree is also loaded with fruits until now. No body wants the fruits and it is just rotting in the ground. Occasionally, one of our temporary gardener picks up some of the fruits makes it into a jelly. It is delicious, but very laborious.

The other tree that is very productive are my chico trees. We have already harvested more than 200 fruits. Some of the fruits are huge, close to the size of a peach. In general chicos are about the size of plums or apricots.

My favorite fruit tree is the jackfruit. We have three trees. One is a native variety and the other two are from Thailand. It was a gift of Gen Recaredo Sarmiento- our local fruit grower expert.

My other trees that are loaded with flowers are the cashew and avocado trees. Oh, yes I have 7 pineapples plants and three of them have already fruits. Too bad when the fruits mature, we will back to US by then.

I have two guayabano trees, three ates ( custard apple0 AND ONE SANTOL TREE. They looked green and healthy, but no signs of flowering.

My two rambutan trees have recovered from the typhoon last year. Unfortunately, my two lanzones and durian trees never recovered from the heavy rains and winds last year.

I am indeed a happy man. My dream in my childhood years to live surrounded by fruit trees had been attained.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is Snowbirding Really Great?

Photo taken at the Balanacan Cove Convention Center with David III and Frank Irlandez, March, 2011
You bet it is! This lifestyle is fantastic if you hate the cold temperatures in the US on winter time. But why are there not too many Filipino-American retirees snowbirding?

My guess is that it just too expensive, maintaining two households. In addition, one must have personal resources to take care of your house in US (abroad) while you are in the Philippines and vice versa. In our case, we are lucky to have a son who is single and has the time to take care of our residence in US while we are in the Philippines. On the other hand, we are spending a lot of money hiring a caretaker/gardener/housekeeper/cook to take care of our second home here in MDQ when we are in US in the spring and summer months.

Just recently, we almost lost our Caretaker/Housekeeper. But after 1 month of vacation and sick leave, they decided to return. It would have been ideal, if we have another relative here in MDQ to take care of our second home when we are in US, but I guess that is asking too much.

I hope that our current arrangement will continue as long as we have the energy( that is healthy enough to travel back and forth) to maintain this snowbird lifestyle.

Here are the highlights of our 2011 Snowbirding Year

1. Catholic Wedding of Elaine Lazarte and Alex Chaplain
2. One week of MI, Inc Medical Mission in Marinduque
3. Valentine Dinner and Dance and an overnight stay at the Bellarocca Resort & Spa
4. Attended several parties including Macrine's 75th birthday, Blessing of Bob and Elisa Howard Cottage in Laylay, Dinner with Rene and Genny Nieva at the Amanah Forest Preserve
5. Dinner with Steve Sosa in his beach house in Quatiz, Gasan and
6. Holy Week and Moriones Festival Celebration

Is snowbirding in your future plans after retirement? If so, please feel free to ask me if you have questions anytime. After all we have been snow birding since 2002 and we have a lot of experience and knowledge on this subject. Cheers!

Note: I believe the word "snowbirding" is not yet listed in the Webster dictionary.
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