Sunday, March 29, 2009


The reference "AngloBoy" came about nearly 12 years ago as I and my wife's family walked into the church yard of the Catholic cathedral in Lapu-Lapu City one Sunday morning. Of course, I towered head and shoulders above the sea of Philipinos gathering within the walled-in church yard as we approached the church entryway.

As we passed by the balloon vendor -- yes, I said Balloon vendor, he entices and tries to sell large balloons with images of Jesus looking out from the inside, to all parents and children walking to Mass -- other vendors, by the way, sell peanuts, candles and various other religious items in a carnival-like atmosphere outside the cathedral before and after each Mass.

Now, up to this time I had become accustomed to hearing "Hey Joe!" as I had walked down the Philipino streets. That is another Filipino reference to saying "hi" to an American, or any male Europeans or caucasians, for that matter, seen passing by.

As we passed by the balloon vendor, I heard in good English, "He-e-y-y An-glo-Boy! L-o-o-K every-body, we have an An-glo Boy here! How 'bout buying balloons for your family?

Referring to Anglo-Saxon, of course, this "Boy" was probaly twice the vendor's age. At any rate, He said it with a big smile, knowing he was putting me on the spot. I told him "maybe after Mass" as we headed on into the church. I just couldn't see any of us sitting in church during Mass, holding a balloon of Jesus floating over our heads.

Ever since then, many in my Filipino family laughingly refer to me as "AngloBoy".


OK, here's the plan. We know three couples who have packed up during the past year and moved to the Philippines to live full time. One couple built a new house. One couple bought an existing house. And the third couple constructed a beautiful houseboat and live that lifestyle. We, my Filipina wife of 12 years and I, plan to take the plunge as soon as I am able to retire within the next two years. My in-laws are sent out to look over areas and property each time we find some listing of interest. We seek a small farm or a parcel of flat land with a small house that my father & brothers-in-law can add on to as time goes by. By planning this far ahead we hope the transition takes place smoothly. We have worked out the pros & cons of selling or renting out our USA home.; the benefits of renting for 3-4 months in the islands until we actually find the property we are are seeking; the best procedures for selling-off our stuff here in the states and steps for returning to the USA to work for a year or two once we get the place established in the islands -- to refill our back account with what was spent.

All the details are being worked out as we plan, such as our 17-year-old neice planning to work as our live-in housekeeper and my body-guard brother-in-law working as driver & care-taker.
Even details of room, board and monthly salary are worked out assuming the economy of both countries remain close to present-day values; otherwise re-negotiations and adjustments will become necessary when all becomes reality.

Our property interests on the islands have been found on various (Phil) local realtor websites, private owners' listings on the internet --"Craigs lists" of private property has been a prime source of privately-held, decently-priced listings, -- and of course when my family hears about property becoming available in their vacinity. In fact, we have already made several good deals on purchases of lots in their neighborhood using this latter method.

Luckily my in-laws are good at construction and remodeling and can take any basic structure and add rooms and various other needs as long as someone (namely me) can finance their construction supplies. Fortunately, their labor cost is figured into their "personal satisfaction of seeing a job well-done," being properly fed and cared for and a little spending money. I couldn't ask for a better trade-off.

We are currently looking for fairly flat land having a small one or two bedroom house and a few coconut and mango trees in the half- to three-quarter-million peso range.