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Goodbye, Guimaras. Hello, Iloilo City [Flashback* 10.07.2011]


My mother-in-law and my asawa were having a loud exchange outside our home in Goodbye Guimaras the other afternoon. I’ve wisely learned to not attempt to intervene in any such disputes. I didn’t reach the age of 59 by becoming involved in domestic disputes. Reruns of COPS always have law enforcement officials stating that those are the most dangerous calls to go on.  Truth be told since they were arguing in their native Ilonggo language, I didn’t have a clue what was going on, but that’s my normal state around here. If ignorance is bliss, I’m truly living in paradise. DSCWhen my wife walked inside I mistakenly asked what was going on. That triggered a reaction rivaling the string of tirades Ralphie’s father in A Christmas Story launched after the old man knocks a hubcap from Ralphie’s hands, spilling the lug nuts into the snow, where they instantly disappear. Yeah, I should have let it go, and let my asawa tell me what was going on when and if she wanted to. You’d think I would have learned something after 11 years of marriage.  Sigh.

Seems my mother-in-law, The Feared Giant Lizard Killer, had left the water running in our tubig tank, and the water was overflowing, spilling onto the ground. Since lola (grandma) is almost deaf, my spouse had to shout at her to get her mother’s attention. I can guarantee you that you absolutely DO NOT want my wife yelling at you. There are unconfirmed reports that The Sainted Patient Wife, when angered, can be heard above the din of weekend SM City shoppers in Iloilo City.  Iloilo is a 25-minute jeepney ride to the Jordan Wharf in Guimaras and than another 15-minute pump boat ride to Ortiz Dock. Hop on a jeepney, and it’s around another 30 minutes to the shopping complex. You get the picture.

When my 77-year-old, 75-pound mother-in-law leaves the light on in a room, my standard reaction, which she never hears anyway, goes like this: “IS SHE GOING TO PAY THE NEXT ELECTRIC BILL?” In the case of the water incident, I merely asked:  IS SHE GOING TO PAY THE NEXT WATER BILL?”

I guess my sister-in-law, Alida, was walking outside her classroom located in the rear of our compound, and heard my remark. She said something to my wife to the effect that I should not be talking to their Mother like that. It’s OK if  my wife and her sister talk to Lola like that but not me. To be honest, I have no idea where The Lizard Killer was when I make my aforementioned statement. My wife, God bless her, stuck up for me. This prompted a verbal battle worthy of any Manny Pacquiao fight.

You have to understand that my wife and I have been supporting my mother-in-law, and a niece and nephew for over the past 11 years. We were also supporting our twin nieces for almost 10 years. Everyone we support has been staying at the home in Guimaras that my wife paid for during her years as an OFW, Overseas Filipino Worker. It is normal practice in the Philippines to help the family and is expected. However, though my wife has eight other siblings, none seem inclined to send any money to support their own mother. Some of them are capable of helping. Some are not, and we understand that. 

But my sister-law-law launched into a tirade and expressed her displeasure with us staying there, though, as mentioned before, the house and property are all paid for and in my wife’s name. She screamed at me and said that I look down on them because they have no money. In the over two years we have lived in Guimaras, I have absolutely NEVER thought that or acted like that in ANY way. 

I respect my sister-and-law brother-in-law and know they are doing the best they can. I dearly love my sister-and-brother-in-law’s children. My asawa told her sister that if that is how she feels we will move to Iloilo City.

In fact, we are moving next week, and my asawa has begun to pack. That’s what she wants. She has had it.  My wife is thoroughly disgusted with what she says is the ungrateful behavior of her youngest sister and mother and can’t wait to move out.  Me? I’ve been ready to move to Iloilo City for a long, long time and always listen to my asawa. Just unfortunate that it has had to be under such circumstances. We have already located a house to rent, and our good friend, Paul from Iloilo is going to help us find a jeepney to rent there for the move.

We weren’t planning to move to Iloilo City for about three years.The extra money for our month’s rent in advance,  along with a security deposit,  is going to put a strain on our budget for the month along with our moving expenses to haul our stuff from our Guimaras. Have to hire a private pump boat and jeepneys to our new location.  We’re leaving our two-year-old refrigerator behind for the family, and will need to purchase a new one along with a cooking appliance since our new house is not furnished. I estimate our new fridge and moving expenses will run around 20,000 pesos, or 460 US Dollars.

16 thoughts on “Goodbye, Guimaras. Hello, Iloilo City [Flashback* 10.07.2011]

  1. I for one am going to miss you guys but if I ever need to stay in the city over nite I might have a sofa to sleep on now. Guimaras won’t be the same! Dave we need to buy a pumpboat! I’m just sayin”

  2. Sorry to see you leave Guimeras under the circumstances, but happy your making the move to Iloilo. I took in all the relatives when I moved here too with the same result.

  3. Hi Dave.

    I am a bit conflicted as to whether to say I am happy or sad for you. I feel like I understand your situation and applaud your wife standing up for you. I am fortunate in that I know that my wife would do the same for me. We had a situation recently where a brother that was in charge of growing commercial corn for us was caught selling the fertilizer and then complained that his share of the harvest was too small. Well duh! If you don’t apply the fertilizer then the yeild is small. It is like shooting yourself in the foot and then complaining that you have a limp. He did not complain to us but rather engaged in a campaign trying to label us as greedy and unfair. It turns out that others knew what he was doing and finally exposed him. His defense was that he needed money for rice so it was his right. My response was that he is too ashamed to ask for help but not too ashamed to steal. I have sent you some money to help a brother in distress. I am happy that at this time I was able to do so. Let me know if you recieve it as I am not sure if the Paypal is connected to my old business account that I closed or a current one. I understand that this might delay your visit to us but I am still looking forward to it. If you don’t mind me asking do you still plan on supporting the ingrates? Just count yourself lucky that you are not married to a child bride that succumbs to the pressures of the family without consideration of right and wrong. Take care my friend, I wish you the best.

    1. hi dave and tom
      my husband is 17 years older than i and when we married, i already had a life, i was not a child bride so i brought in more than just cute to the marriage. my husband says im the prize and YES, I AGREE LOL.
      dave, i’d take all the appliances and i would probably take the support money with me too. afterall, they cooked somehow before you got there.

  4. Dave it looks like it is the season for domestic troubles. Irish and I had a terrible fight last night. I bought her a 50,000 peso ring a year ago and she told me last night that she had to pawn it because her family needed money. I have helped many members of her family to the extent I am able with food, and money. I am coming to Iloilo on Sunday, originally planned as a week holiday, now I just may stay permanently. I am so angry I am getting out of the house today, I will go to Makati and watch the rugby at an ex-pat bar. I feel like I am the victim of what Tom Ramberg said in his second to last sentence.

  5. Guess I’ll count myself lucky for now. My Shih – Tzu’s had 3 pups last night :).
    Will be at the airport to fetch you Muzz, with a cooler of SMB on Sunday. If you decide to stay will help you find a place after we get Dave and his SPW settled in :).

  6. Dave…sounds good to me….sure you and your wife will be a lot more happy in a few months and not have to put up with so much, that you have both put up with.I give you both tons of credit and tons to you Dave…..I could never do it……live like you have there and I know it and so would never try it..Mother in laws in the west can be a big pain in the hind end also and create much discord and etc if one is not carefull…I know that from years ago and so would never do that again. My self I belive if a man and woman get married then they need to have their life and both are number 1 to each other and all the rest comes if both want it….by that I mean helping other members…but if the man and woman have to go with out and have a stress filled life together just to try and help out other family memebers then not worth it to me….so…now those that you and your wife helped out for a long time can learn how to stand on their own 2 feet and figure out how to take care of their selves and etc….just hope you and your wife now have made the choice you just made stick with it!! Hope it all works out in the comming days and weeks a there…..

  7. Hi Dave, im sorry your move had to arise out of family turmoil but sometimes things like this happen for a i told you before i shall be moving to iloilo in a few months and look forward to meeting you and your that your there it be much easier to meet..Dave you mentioned you know a real state lady that found a rental for you?..maybe she could help me find a decent house to rent?. if i could have her contact information that be great!,if you need my e-mail address or anything please let me know, thanks. I wish you both luck in your upcoming move, take care.

  8. Dave,

    I support you fully in your move to Iliolo. It’s sad all that you did for them to get disrespected and treated like you have been. I really applaud you asawa for standing up to them and supporting you fully, but really i wouldn’t have expected anything else. Good luck and looking forward to your new start in lliolo. Take care.

  9. I also want to help dave, though not financially, since I’m not capable. However, I can connect you to another expat who rented a house for two years in iloilo, in the molo district. Maybe you can have his former place. It has a garden and its peaceful. I don’t know about roosters though since he hasn’t mentioned anything of that sort. Are you interested?

  10. Paul,

    I hope all works out. It just seems that the in laws seem to have most everything, house, compound and furnishings while the two of you have to pack up and leave. Are you too going to try to sell the place as I dont think the in laws would pay rent.

    In the end, peace is worth more.

  11. Hi dave, sorry to hear your having family problems after all this time. I am 50 and my wife is 28, and married 4 years ago. I have helped out her family several times. the last time was when i went there for 6 months. Her brother HAD to get married, supposedly getting his gf preggy. I wasnt told til well after the marriage that she lost the baby. so for his “mistake” I had to give up 2 pigs, spent 5000 ph for food that her sister and bf were supposed to provide and also other money that i just forget about. So while I was there, I had THE chat with my wife. I told her, before i came along, her family built a house, had stereo, tv , raised or raising 6 kids and still provided for themselves. their only set back was her mom having a heart problems and medical bills. That I understand and have sympathy for. I told her I am not working my ass off to support everyone. Her brother decided to get married so it is HIS responsibility for his wife and kids. ( they did have 2 babies since then) Her sister and bf did work and pay me back some money for what i spent. But when I left, i sat with her family and told them, that when i go back to canada; ALL loans are forgiven and forgotten, but in return there will be NO loans again. they can borrow from someone else and pay the fee. I am not a bank, and have limited resources myself. I am getting older and my own health is not that great. I love my wife and care about her and her family alot. but I hate the feeling of being taken advantage of. So i just stop it from the beginning. I am planning to move there early next year and have already made sure she understands that we have to be frugal til our piggery gets going steady. I will give money as a loan for a business for someone that wants to be self supporting, but it is just that. Your wifes family should be lucky that they still have the house to live in, and am sure they will be fine, using you and your wife as excuses to get money from other siblings. good luck in the move. and yes you need to invest in a boat if your living in paradise!!.

  12. Dave Starr and Dave,

    You are absolutely right. I never thought of the cituation with being an OFW and supporting people back home. The attitude of family of the SPW is that they hit the lottery when she married the kano. I suspect that it gives other siblings of the SPW the excuse not to help support their mother (even if they never supported their nanay before.) I know filipina that getting really mad when they cut corners here to send money home and the money gets wasted and not used for the intended purpose.

    I am curious to see if the SPW will forgive her mom and sister in law (Forgiveness is a nice trait. Plus guilt will still be there). I am taking bets that you will be covering the expenses of 2 families still.

  13. You guys are bumming me out, but I am still sure i am going to chase down the pinay of my dreams even if it means having to go through the same headaches and disappointments as the rest of you. All Kidding aside, hope nothing but good things come to you and your wife in this new chapter of your lives. Side note, domestic violence calls kill more or about the same cops as police shootings.

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