Monday, February 02, 2009

In A Fog: What To Blog

Having wrenched myself away from the secure comforts of home and hearth in Northern California, I am now three months into another extended sabbatical in the land of my birth, immersed again in a life rendered quite removed and different from three decades of living in the adopted country.

Though eternally busy in dealing with all the ennui of the arcane chores of daily living in the old hometown, certain precious times are still available for eking out moments of quiet introspection and reflection into the profundities of life.

Like the eternally relevant and mind-challenging question:

What the hell am I doing here when I should be scouring the pleasure spots of the world trying to find pleasure, what else, in the kind of life most of us work very hard all our productive lives to aspire for and attain?

Or the trite and more mundane query into:

Why does the unbearable heat, humidity really, of the tropics not frustrate enough the people here to want to move to a more temperate climate – like in the mountains or to another country?

Search me.

I am not a wise man neither am I a fool, as one of Elvis Presley’s’ songs goes. Thus, But what I am the way the good Lord made me, the song intones further.

First, sedentary retirement is not an option. In my quaint vocabulary to re-tire is likened to an automobile tire given new life, a retread. Retread for a more useful life. Retread to add more life to one already spent.

And beyond the sublime and surreal, there is the gaping need to try to recoup losses in physical resources such as a home and retirement resources such as pensions and 401ks which both have been equally decimated by the fortuitous onset of the global economic crisis.

So to the first question, everything is on hold. This would be the more appropriate option. And the old homeland still not reeling too much from the rippling effects of the global crisis would be a decent alternative in trying to generate some revenue for any business undertaking, or compound yields for financial assets that can be invested there.

Re the climate portion, indeed why do not people move? There are enough highland areas still uninhabited where heat-challenged people can ease in and enjoy life more, rather than constantly be warring against and always losing in the process with the irritating, debilitating, and paralyzing effects of intolerable heat especially in city or urban lowland living. Filipinos are indolent if this charge is factual for a reason. The heat can wreak havoc to the most industriously diligent human being. Man only takes so much heat. Try measuring the time one can bear to hold one’ hand over a lighted candle against the same action but this time with ice or anything cold. There is no contest.

As once proud residents of the San Francisco-Bay Area in the West Coast, we always prided ourselves on our sweater-weather climate. Any resident or guest desiring to spend time outdoors can almost always count that wearing a sweater would be sufficient enough apparel whether in the thick of summer or the throes of winter. Average temperature is almost always mild and changes are hardly perceptible.

But the sun in the tropics can beat on you mercilessly, whether sans apparel or wearing layers of clothing for protection. There is no escaping the intolerable effects of the hot and humid climate. Whether in the way it burns your skin or the resultant incessant sweat oozing out of our bodies. And this whether in the thick of summer or throes of the most wet wet season.

So there you go. Another abbreviated reflection session terminated, to live another day.

And I still live and the world around me continues to exist and spin.

Give due thanks to the Grand Designer.


  1. Looks like we've been lucky up here in Pampanga. I spend much of my time either in my garden, in my trees, or on my porch. I've got three oscillating wall fans to keep the air moving, but its been fairly cool anyway. Right now, out on the porch, its downright chilly. I can see the fish in the aquarium out there actually shivering as the water cools down. Poor little guys.

  2. Good for you, Phil. And I am now in the middle of a very bad allergy attack occasioned I believe by heat and dust.

    Our revived aquarium used to be outside under the roofed annex. Had to move it inside since moss appears to thrive in the environment outside.

    Now, isn't an aquarium a neat thing to maintain? Vendors in the wet markets sell fish for as low as twenty pesos a pair.

  3. 20 pesos! Now THAT is a reason NOT to live here. This place is expensive! The high costs here alone are enough for me not to recommend this as a retirement spot for most pensioners.

  4. Indeed, Phil:

    And during these difficult times cost of living is crucial.

    I already mentioned elsewhere about our cheap bread. And for 48 pesos one can dine in air-con ambiance, located right next to our bakery. And cheaper still in other places where comfort is sacrificed a bit.

    Of course, there are expensive places. The malls would be one of them.

    Real estate with more secure surroundings would be another. But one can live farther out and get better deals.

  5. Sir Amadeo,

    There is someone who would like to meet you with regards to your mention of Marcial Borromeo in my blog entry about dapitan:

  6. Thanks, Inkblots:

    Have replied to Rene. Seems he forgot my real first name.

  7. You mean its NOT Amadeo! Darn. Such a cool name.

  8. It is, Phil.

    But most of my relatives and acquaintances know me by my funny nickname.

    Now, which Filipino do you know does not have a funny nickname?


  9. You mean like Bong or NogNog? grin.

  10. Gaw,

    gusto ko mag email sa imoha unsa man nga email add ako gamiton

    bobby neri

  11. Gaw,
    Mao ni ako email add ko i contribute sa imoha bahin sa bohol branch.


  12. Hi, Bob:

    Wow, you are in Saudi!

    Anyway, first a correction. It is Felipa Neri Pelaez, mother to the illustrious Maning Pelaez.

    And believe it or not, I was fortunate to have had a one-on-one conversation with your grandfather, Eustaquio, when I was assigned in Gingoog in the 70's. Among other things, he related how the Neri's of Bohol got to the island of Mindanao, landing in different parts of the big island.

    You may use this email address:


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