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SAMAR - Once you visit, you'll want SAMORE

Still Here and Still Kicking

Still Here and Still Kicking

It’s been so very long since I have made a new post, way back in July, 5 months ago.  As usual there is no excuse for being so lazy.  I just felt like making a post today and I actually have plenty to say.  I have not written anything down so I may forget some things but it should still be an interesting read.

We are still here in the Philippines.  Still in Calbayog City on the island of Samar.  Our physical address may be changing soon though.  It seems that SM Mall is back and wanting to make a brand new mall and our house is right in the middle of the property they want to purchase.  They were going to build before and changed their minds because too many people refused to sell their land.  Well, they are back and it looks like they are going to get what they want this time.  

We really do not want to move from our current location but we may not have a choice the way things work around here.  It’s not the money because we are going to turn a hefty profit from selling.  The price of property has greatly increased, especially in our area.  I assume with a giant mall coming in the price will go up even more.  Ironically it’s not the mall people that will be purchasing our land but the same guy we purchased the land from.  It seems that he still owns all the land around us and if he owned this part again his profit from SM Mall will be greatly increased.  It’s a smart business move.  

We are in the process of looking for new land, hopefully not too far from here, to build our new house.  Since property prices have gone up quite a bit since we first purchased this land it’s not so easy to find a place like we need.  We have very few options if we actually get everything we want out of the new property.  One thing good about it is that when we build the new house we know a few things that we wish we would have done with our current house and we will be sure to incorporate those things when the new one is built.

One of our options is to just move back to Texas.  This is a strong option as we are not getting any younger and the medical back in Texas is much better than the medical that is currently in this area.  It would be tough to move back even though we really, really miss being there.  Life here is still at a much slower pace although this city is starting to get a little bit westernized.  I have a plan that could mean the best of 2 worlds.  I’m not exactly sure how to make it work yet but if we had a place to live and vehicle back in Texas it would definitely work.  I wish we could find a place in Texas that we could rent 4-6 months at a time or month to month would be best.  A vehicle I can get while there, no problem.  

Of course when we make our final decision it will be what we think is best for us right now and for in the near future.  The far future we don’t worry about much because we don’t even know if we will have a far future.  Just as long as we make it easy to adjust whatever plans we do make, we should be fine.  Right now our #1 option is to move just down the road from our current location.  We would not be buying any land but we would get like a 50-year lease on some property owned by one of my friends here.  The house would be ours and if we decide to pull up stakes and head back to Texas, I’m sure he’d buy the house from us and rent it out.  He already has other places he rents out now.  Right now that looks like our best option although that option does not allow us to have everything we want, it’s the closest for the price we are going to be able to afford.

I really will try, again, to post again very soon.  I always want to but then I get lazy.  I do need to mention a few things about Mango Lounge and Happy Treats.  Two of reasons I like being here, for different reasons.  I’ll try to get more into detail about those things in my next post.  Hopefully it will give me a reason to post sooner. 

Until next time.

Salamat Y’all


  1. Howdy UJ,
    Long time no hear !! I kinda agree with you moving back to Texas maybe around the Belton area or one of the smaller towns around the outskirts of Temple. I fully retired this year and we had seriously thought about moving there full time, but with all my V.A. disabilities and limited V.A. health care strictly located there in Manila, we decided against it. Plus didn’t want to deal with the banking hassles and all the cost of travel back and forth to the states which I know will pop up. One benefit there in the Belton / Temple area is some of the best health care through Kings daughters Hospital there. MY folks had signed up for senior plan they had and paid nothing else for healthcare along with their medicare, so that might be a good thing to think about as well. As for us, we decided to stay here in Moore, Oklahoma, and when we want to visit the Philippines, it’s so much easier to plan and travel from here which we plan on doing later next year after all this covid stuff goes away. Plus we’re bringing our grand daughter who’s never seen the Philippines so i’m sure it’s going to be wonderful. Stay safe my friend and hope your decision to move back stateside or stay there comes easy. John D.

    • Medical is so much easier in Texas. One big problem we have with that is that Lita (my wife) never signed up for Medicare. She turned 65 about 6 years ago (her birthday is next week). We have been here over 10 years already. Since we could not use Medicare here, we never signed her up for it. I hear we still could but it would cost more, or something like that. If I could sign her up now with no or a small penalty I would do it for sure. I guess I should be asking someone online about it. Of course she could still go on-base if need be. I now know that when I turn 65 to sign up for the Medicare (Part A I believe it is). Moving back to Texas would be a hassle but could be worth it in the long run. We’ll see what happens. Both places have their advantages and I/we do not have any VA disability/medical problems to deal with. I don’t have any banking hassles so I don’t know what you mean by that. COVID stuff to go away. That would be great. We are long overdue for a visit to Texas and our son and one of my cousins would like to come here for a visit. None of that is possible under the current conditions.
      I’ve resorted to playing the lottery more over here in an attempt to be able to have 2 houses. One here and one in the US so we can, at least, do 6 months in each location. The best of both worlds. Naturally I’m not relying on it happening but spending only about $2 (P100) for 5 tickets is a low enough chance for me to take.
      Thanks for continuing to read although I sometimes take so long to write posts.

      • Howdy UJ,
        Your some what right as far as Medicare is concerned, but she can still get Medicare and also have TriCare for life which is Medicare part B. The part B as they call pays for the TriCare for life and cost a little bit but is taken directly from your monthly social security and runs about $140 to $150 a month. That being said, it’s damn good as we’ve had a couple hospital visits since i retired and we’ve had zero out of pocket cost to date. As TriCare for life pays for what ever Medicare does not. It was confusing as hell to me initially bur once everything kicked in, it ran pretty dang smooth. As for VA disabilities, I had none either till i hit about 60, then starting going down hill health wise. Another retired GI (airforce matter of fact) told me to go see the VA rep for the state which i did. Several months and about a dozen doctors later I’m now rated at 80% disabled through the VA and bring home an additional $1,657 a month from the VA tax free. And that’s on top of my military retired pay. Plus ALL my health care is now free through the VA as the secret number to get is 50% disability or higher. And in Temple one of the best VA hospitals in the country is there along with a few VA clinics around the area. Just a bit of info you might stash away for the future if you decide to make to jump back home. John D.

        • Today I tried to pay for the new TRICARE thing, but I got confused so I had to send them an email. I hope to get that figure out soon. I seriously doubt I could make it to 50% disability but I suppose that if we do go back (and sometimes we think about it) it would be worth the trouble to give it a shot. I’m no where near an expert on disabilities so you never know until you try. I knew the Temple VA was one of the best and I was always happen for that. I’m more concerned about healthcare for Lita though so that is why I figure I should continue the TRICARE as much as I’m able. I forgot to mention in the email I sent that she is already over 65, but maybe they will ask about that (or already know). I’ll be sure to mention it to them the next time they contact me. I still have 2 more years before I hit 65. I’ll be sure to sign up for Medicare. I suppose I need to contact Medicare and ask them about Lita and getting her signed up also. I’ll keep you in touch on that.

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Texan in the Philippines