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  1. PatO

    PatO DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Marines

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    It has been 5 years since I had a pretty serious stroke. I have been providing annual updates which may assist others.
    I feel like I have reached the end of my improvement which leaves me around 60+% normal functionality. I continue to walk about 45 min. daily (with someone by my side) and go to the gym 5 times a week but my balance is still a problem and my right side remains partially paralyzed. The atrophy in my right leg and arm ( I am - was right handed) has wasted away much of the muscle required to walk normal and use my right hand. Still, everything else seems to be working so I can’t complain. I have to take meds for the rest of my life and I watch what I eat and drink. My advice to others is get a blood test and check your blood pressure. A stroke is catastrophic and changes your life forever. And if do survive a stroke, do not give up, life is still good,
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  2. alex

    alex DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked… “Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

    After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

    By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

    There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

    “Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she asked. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

    She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

    She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing”, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.”

    “Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

    “It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly…

    “Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

    I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued in a soft voice… “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

    I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

    “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

    For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

    We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

    Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

    As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

    We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

    Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.They must have been expecting her.

    I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

    “How much do I owe you?” She asked, reaching into her purse.

    “Nothing,” I said

    “You have to make a living,” she answered.

    “There are other passengers,” I responded.

    Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

    “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

    I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life…

    I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

    On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

    We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

    But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

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  3. Mark K

    Mark K DI Member

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    Only since quarantine have I spent much time on this forum, and I have been astonished how much moaning, whinging, bickering, point-scoring, boasting, and one-upmanship there is here. I am assuming (and hoping) that this is due to the strains of the current situation, but I do find it rather disappointing and depressing.

    Anyway, to balance the scales somewhat, I thought I would start a thread where we can share positive thoughts about why life is great here.

    If you have any negative comments, snarky comments, or want to prove to everyone how intellectual you are, be a good fellow and click on another thread please.

    I have lived more than half my adult life in Asia (many different countries and cities in Philippines), and I think Dumaguete is my favourite. Here's some of the reasons I love it here:
    • Almost every time I am out on my scooter I ride around with a big smile on my face because of the natural beauty, clean air, sunshine, trees and flowers, and general relaxed feel.
    • Almost every time I go shopping for anything or pay for services, no matter what they may be, I think to myself "wow, it's cheap here".
    • I never get the feeling I'm being outrageously ripped-off.
    • The sun seems to be shining almost all the time!
    • The ocean is on our doorstep.
    • Outside downtown there is hardly any traffic or noise.
    • Nobody seems to care how you dress or what labels you have.
    • When I smile, make conversation with a local, make a joke or flirt a little, I ALWAYS get a positive response.
    • It's the most easy going place I have lived in Asia.
    • I can get almost any type of food or drink that I want here at very reasonable prices.
    • Everyone understands at least some English.
    • And perhaps most importantly of all, local people make me feel welcome and happy that I am here!
    Who else wants to join the love train?
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  4. TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    This one will be interesting. As technology reduces the need for bottom in seats, call center jobs are going to get hit hard. Call centers are one of the few industries (like manufacturing) which can employ a large number of people to handle relatively simple jobs.

    The article describes how people can adapt, but it's describing a specialization which can only work for fewer number of workers. This is how tech reduces jobs. People have to adapt and move higher up the skills ladder. They have to figure out how to spot opportunities which are up for grabs in the changing landscape. Unfortunately, this is difficult for most people to do. Just look at the businesses lined up along any street here, they are all the same.

    While the Philippines might be able to adapt by throwing more technology at the problem. This will only further inequality. Money may still trickle in, but that money will employ less people. As China becomes less viable for manufacturing because of rising wages and other factors, the Philippines may grab some of those jobs. But tech is set to destroy manufacturing jobs as well.

    In other threads we have talked about why the Philippines should be open to expats. This is a good reason why. The Philippines needs a consumer class to generate domestic demand and move past exporting cheap labor. While expats may not have much money, they are still a consumer class. They still generate demand for goods and services which the bottom can't afford. Expats aren't looking for handouts and social benefits. Maybe the Philippines should make our stay here easier.

    Tricky times ahead for everyone, especially the Philippines.
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  5. expatron

    expatron DI Forum Patron

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    To stay in line with this thread I have a new story.

    A good American friend travels back and forth by boat and buss to Cebu at least once per month. A few days ago he was loaded down with bags of stuff and heavy tools, after he arrived at the Sibulan port he realized he lost his wallet on the fast craft, frantically he forced his way back on the boat loaded and ready for departure in a panicked state. Not one person would raise their head because of his panicked loud voice and body movements.

    The next day on his return he heard a lady's voice calling Sir Sir! As he turned around she came running up with a plastic bag with his wallet (she recognized him from his drivers license pic), everything including his cash was there!!! His heart almost stopped.... She said a young man had found it and was too shy to speak up, but turned it in to the boat crew and went on his way.

    Although, I just lost my cell phone through an unknown hole in my pocket and it hasn't come back, I also have had several positive situations dealing with very honest people.....
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  6. danbandanna

    danbandanna DI Senior Member Veteran Marines

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    If you have enough money to not worry about paying your debts and feeding your family then you can concentrate on whatever makes you happy... therefore money does buy happiness :smile:
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  7. silverbullet

    silverbullet Ring Ring. Who's calling? Showcase Reviewer

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    I first heard about the airport proposal in 2014 that it was to be built in Combado, Bacong. In 2015 it appeared in the Negros Chronicle as a news headline that said: "New international airport at Bacong has been officially approved". Late last year I went to the Bacong town planning office and spoke to the city engineer and as far as they were concerned it was being surveyed and going ahead. They even gave me a photocopy of the proposed site and location of the runway (on a scrap piece of A4 paper printed out of Google maps, don't ask me to upload it). There was a small concern from one independent surveyor about the wind being too strong and that the runway could not run parallel to the mountains. I don't know if they may have changed the runway direction since. In the last few months new rumors have emerged that say it is going to be built in Siaton and even Bayawan but they are just wishful thinking. I have also been told by a few brokers that many landowners in Combado, Bacong have been approached by government officials for the buy back of their land. So, in summary, it is still going ahead with building to commence in 2018 in Combado, Bacong. However, we will never be sure until heavy equipment starts to clear land there. If it does go ahead you can expect to see Bacong become the next Dumaguete and house and land prices will increase for sure. The widening of the southern national highway is being done for a reason, and it's a much-needed improvement.
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  8. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    The Philippines can be very frustrating at times to say the least but you have to remember that they have their ways and nothing you say or do is going to change that. Best thing to do when you feel the urge to slap someone (and we have all felt that way at some point) is to talk slowly, smile and work with them if they don't know how to help you. Nothing good can come from being confrontational or making them feel ashamed...doing that really only assures your day will be much more difficult. I really wonder what these assholes are thinking they are going to achieve when they act like that. (Even in our home countries those attitudes won't get you far.)

    One thing I actually like about the Philippine culture is that if you are kind most people will go out of their way to help you. Some people really need to learn how to make this part of the culture work for them.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
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  9. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I note a few more replies to comments that IMO are a bit too unnecessarily severe - can we not just be civil to each other in this time of crisis, when everyone's life has suddenly changed, their daily routines have been upended and people are under stress,

    By all means, correct false and dangerous information or advice, debate favourite topics - but can't we all try to do it in the most positive way, rather than succumb to the negative.

    99.99% of people on the Forum are nice people - it may even be 100% now that ON has gone (sorry to break my own rule but he was rather nasty), so can we accept that everyone is trying to help everyone else and just be pleasant.

    And, no, this is not an April Fools' joke.
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  10. Jack Peterson

    Jack Peterson DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Air Force

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    :facepalm: I am not a Great Shopper and when it all gets rushed I like it less but a Funny ( well peculiar really) thing Happened on Saturday Evening.( this was at Hypermart)
    Azon had taken the Wrong Handbag. We were Standing at the checkout and she was As usual talking to a friend and the Girl zapped the articles and the Boy was packing. Then Horror, she has no Purse.
    So it is Jack, Card Please. UH! UH! babe I gave it back to you this Morning when you went Polaris Remember? OH! Yeah I forgot. ( I had Borrowed my own card to buy her something as a surprise)
    So standing there with about 350 peso in my Pocket and Little in my Wallet Ashamed and Embarrassed is not the Word.

    So Having all the Goods now gone through the Till we got a problem. The Girls said I will have to call the Supervisor to clear the Till so we can put the Stuff back.
    OK Up comes the Floor manager who as per chance is a quite close neighbour of ours and after a Chat with her and Azon ( about what I am not sure because nothing was Happening on the Till and the Queue was getting edgy. OK so another manager type appears with a pad. Sir? yes? Do you have your pass port? NO? why? well what I/D do you have. only my ACR card I say OK that's good as it has your Address on it. I asked what is going on? Well sir the Director asked if you were known to us and was told OH Yes! they are Regular Customers and known Personally by xxxxxxxx [ the other Supervisor] OK all done I sign for the 2.490 shopping and they Keep my Card ( which I got back when we Paid the account Yesterday) So off we go home with the Shopping to many Stares on the way Out. No Receipt of course but our copy of the debit slip. [ You know how the Guards like to Tick things.]

    OK Folks, reason I am telling this although it is a little Embarrassing, is to illustrate that we, as Foreigners can get Help if really needed by Local Business. ( Being a Model Foreigner helps as well) Whilst sometimes we hear reports of the ACR card being useless here is an example of the need to have one. and Carry it.
    Of course, some would say don't let her have the ATM card at all then you will know where it is but That's they way we are. My card and I just Borrow when I need to. Usually it all works well. Every one has Hiccup days This was ours and it all turned out Good.:thumbsup:

    Jack :wink:
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