Why I will be returning…

Provinces and regions of the Philippines
Provinces and regions of the Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

                                 Reply to:    Living in the Philippines 

1) Why did you initially come to the Philippines? – Physical Therapy that was affordable, and the
fact that the Philippines were the third largest English-speaking country in the world, and of course, the insanely low cost of living.

 2) What was your first impression of Manila? – The polluted air while waiting for a cab

English: Map of La Union showing the location ...
English: Map of La Union showing the location of Bauang (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

outside the airport.  The abject, miserable poverty; etched in my memory are the children walking between cars begging as they went. 

3) What made you decide to live here? – A trip to see friends in Cebu and then a day trip to Barili Province.   We gingerly stepped down the steep hillside to sea level where older Filipinos worked on their boats (mga banca), toddlers played in the sand washed by the gentle waves, teens played volleyball farther inland on the grassy area as the anties cooked lunch on the porches of Nipa Huts.  I told ‘Nita right then and there, “This is where I want to live!”

Then while living in Bauang a city on Luzon Island.  I enjoyed the walks along the beach as a part of my therapy,  I loved the pandesal deliveries each morning, mighty tasty breakfast bread.

Well I spent about five years in the Philippines, but mostly on the big island of Luzon.  I did a lot of traveling during those years but returned to America in 2004.  I meant for it to be a two-month stay so I could show our baby to my parents, but that Filipina refused to return and caused me so many problems that I have just now recovered enough to go back to P. I. minus the asawa but with daughter who was born in the province of Bataan. 

I look forward to hearing some fun, interesting stories from any and all, Salamat…



Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.


  • I am saddened by your wife not wanting to return 😦

    on a lighter thought, i am pleased to know you stayed in Bauang. My family is 3 towns away from Bauang as i also am from La Union. Be happy sir!


    • Yes me too, but it is what it is and nothing can change that. I will continue raising our daughter singlehandedly which I have done since she was three and Stephanie is now twelve. She is a straight “A” student and is scheduled to be in the “Honors English Program” when she begins the seventh grade. She leads the class now at her karate lessons that she attends four days and evenings per week She brought home a second place trophy in sparring at her very first meet. Do you recall Michaela’s on the beach? That was probably my favorite place in that area.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wow. there goes your greatest accomplishment perhaps as a father — a talented and academically-inclined daughter, Kudos to that sir. Hope she continues to grow up even more beautifully and that she may always make you proud.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I think you are right, Stephanie is my redeemer; at least that’s my belief. We are both lucky and I think…blessed to have each other. Where are you from in sa Pilipinas?


Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s