Six months ago I arrived in Dumaguete Philippines. A small town on the southeastern tip of Negros Oriental.

It’s certainly been an interesting ride thus far. Here are my random thoughts and events over the last 180 days:

  • It takes 6 months to get a feel for any new place.
  • I fractured both ankles after falling in a roadside water canal in May.
  • It’s October and my ankles are still swollen. As you get older it takes more time to heal.
  • There’s a huge difference in fracturing one ankle vs. both.
  • Fruit and vegetable vendors are plentiful and everywhere.
  • Dumaguete is known as The City of Gentle People for a very good reason.
  • The locals are extremely friendly and giving souls.
  • Housing costs are very reasonable. You can rent a two or three bedroom home for under $300 a month plus utilities.
  • I know expats who rent a modest home for $150 a month
  • Food prices are the same or even more than the states.
  • Medical and dental fees are significantly less. My girlfriend had two impacted wisdom teeth removed for$208 each. The other two regular wisdom teeth were extracted for $14 each.
  • My emergency room visit following my roadside accident set me back roughly $150.
  • I feel very safe living in a foreign country.
  • My orthopedic surgeon initially charged me $41 for a consultation and the ankle cast. For two follow up visits the fee was $10 per.
  • Dining out is almost cheaper than cooking for yourself at home. Dinner for two at an average restaurant with beverages is roughly $10.
  • Public transportation is a bargain. Fares range from .21 cents for a trike to anywhere in town. A jeepney or bus for a longer trip can be .37 cents for a half hour ride to $3 for a 3 hour bus ride.
  • I miss the ability to call up friends or family and have an impromptu lunch.
  • The one food I miss the most? A Wegmans Submarine sandwich!
  • Clients admire the fact I’m living my endgame. This inspires them to begin, keep going, or put in the time required to achieve their own goals.
  • People here are the same as people everywhere. They want to be loved, have fun, and live in peace.
  • Security guards all carry. They’re everywhere. Malls, supermarkets, department stores, etc.
  • If you pay with plastic, expect the process to take five minutes or more for the vendor to swipe your card, print four receipts, and manually enter a bunch of other numbers to complete the transaction. Early on it was painful. Over time I’ve surrendered to the fact that this is how things work in a developing country.
  • I’m having a ball taking my Advanced Scuba Diving certification.
  • When I first arrived, I was told you don’t have to worry about the locals. However, be on the defensive with foreigners. Spot on.
  • Dove to 100 feet for the first time in August. What a rush!
  • Dove at night for the first time. Wow!
  • At a minimum, two showers a day is a must. Only if you’re as vain as I am. Hehehe.
  • You can have your clothes washed and dried for less than $1 a kilo.
  • When you move to another country, your immune system needs time to adjust to the local bacteria.
  • I’ve been sick several times with fever and viral infections. Not fun.
  • I love the daily temperatures which hover in the high 80’s.
  • I miss the cool October weather of Central NY.
  • It’s vital to have a local support system comprised of foreigners and locals.
  • Observing the poverty here puts everything in perspective. I’m so grateful.
  • Lots of beggars. Children will walk up to you and sing Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away” and extend their hand for a donation.
  • Mother’s leverage the innocence of their young ones to beg for money. Heartbreaking actually.
  • Need medicine? Pharmacies on every street counter akin to Starbucks on every block in Seattle.  Open air types and traditional.
  • You can purchase lots of meds without a script.
  • I’m swimming again doing one mile in about 45 minutes.
  • The water is my sanctuary.
  • McDonald’s tastes the same here as it does in the states. However they modify the menu to include local fave eats such as spaghetti, rice, and fried chicken.
  • I’m enjoying learning the local language. Filipinos appreciate my efforts. That goes a long way to building relationships on a local level.
  • I drink and cook with only purified water.
  • Exploring new surroundings is a daily serotonin hit.
  • You’ve got to be a little crazy to be doing what I’m doing. I’m sure some of you might agree.
  • I miss my own bed.
  • I miss taking a bath. They’re nonexistent here in the Philippines.
  • Average pizza is everywhere.
  • A man haircut is P40 or .83 cents. I tip well.
  • The saltwater in the Philippines makes you super buoyant. I can snorkel for hours without much effort. Love.
  • I’m looking forward to exploring other countries. It’s an adventure!

 

 

 

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