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Hobbies and Staying Busy

A while ago one of the comments I received was for me to write about “A day in the Life” living here. I felt, unless I did something exciting, nobody would be interested in my average daily life.

Over the years, my time at work and leisure revolved around computers. When I lived in California, from 1979 through 1997 I played golf and volleyball. In the last 8 years there I got into the “Country” life doing a lot of horseback riding, trail rides and Country Western dancing. For 2 years I worked weekends during the summer as labor for a Rodeo Stock Contractor.

When I moved to Florida I spent a lot of time at work to improve my profession and I worked many hours and weekends. I also did it to improve my economic conditions too. After all the years in California, I had trouble relating to the attitudes of the people I met in Florida. Because of this I spent my little free time at home. Also with some back problems it restricted me from some of the more active hobbies.

So, what I am trying to say, from work and life, my hobbies fell short and interests relaxed. Now here and unemployed I do not have many hobbies to rely on to spend my time.

Most of the time, I get up, have my juice and coffee, watch CNN news and/or Good Morning America and the go to the computer. I check emails and answer any comments from this site.  I then visit some of the blogs I read on a daily basis. Then I check the sites of any ads I have running and check my stats for the site. Then I look at news and other information sites.

I have started to learn some software to better develop my skills and abilities. One I have been learning is Adobe PDF Forms, which is part of Adobe Acrobat. A lot of PDF forms available online, especially from the Philippine government agencies can only be printed and filled out with pen and then mail or scan to send it. With this software you can make it so you can fill it out on the computer and then print it or email it.

When I filed for Residency here I did that to the form but just used basic features. What I have learned is how to auto populate, or take information that might be needed in different places and set the form so you only have to fill it out once. Maybe someday I can make money designing forms.

Someday I would like to learn how to design and make Websites. I have worked on computers for a long time, and used to love to learn different software but over the years as an Architectural Project manager, and all the hours I worked, I mainly worked and learned the advanced uses of AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop.

I guess it is time to get back to the point of this article. If you’re planning to move to the Philippines and you do not have a job or business to run, you need to have things to keep you active. I used to joke in America that I could not picture myself retired because I did not have a lot of things to keep me busy. An old boss said it well; he said “I want to buy all my Toys so I have things to keep me busy once I retire.”

Life is not the same as in America, but you still need things to keep you busy, active and interested. If you are married to a Filipina, she will spend a lot of time with her family or taking care of the house and taking care of you. For you, you need hobbies. The weather here is pretty constant so if you like gardening, there are many plants and flowers to grow and decorate your yard or even balcony.
If you’re more active there is golf, bowling, tennis, snorkeling and scuba diving. Also most local areas have basketball courts and many Filipinos to always there to play since it is considered the National sport.  Another sport that is very popular here is Badminton. There are also many places to play Billiards.

One of the things which I guess could be a hobby is meeting and getting to know Filipinos and through this learning their culture. Also since I smoke, when I sit outside the malls for a nicotine fix, I enjoy watching people. Watch their daily movement, how they react to their friends, how the guys stand behind Jeepneys calling and dancing to attract riders to their Jeepney. I like to watch how they react seeing a foreigner.

To close this article I am trying to convey, if you have not moved here yet, you should think about what interests you have and how you will keep your days full and busy. If your already here and are a foreigner, how do you spend your days. If your Filipino, I would like to learn how you spend your free time and what you enjoy doing.

20 Responses to “Hobbies and Staying Busy”

  1. twopenneth says:

    Hi Bruce, though I am a Filipina living outside the country, we basically share the same daily routine since I also just arrived in Holland. Although I have the housework to keep me busy most of the time, but generally Dutch houses are very clean so I dont need to devote as much time.

    Just keep on discovering things, and there are a lot in the Philippines. One of the best thing to start doing is sports activities esp water sports. You can start with snorkeling. I heard Davao seas are great as well.

    • Bruce says:

      Twopenneth,
      Wow, Holland. I have relatives there, somewhere near Amsterdam, and I always wanted to visit them.

      I was never much of a swimmer. I had dreams of learning scuba but to pass the test, you needed to be able to put on the equipment under water and clear your goggles. I never learned, if it is something taught, is once under wter to stop the water from rushing up your nose, down your throat and not gagging. Also I am watching spending so I am not willing to spnd 1,000 pesos (+/-) to play golf.

      Maybe you can start growing tulips. 🙂

  2. grayspirit says:

    I agree. I will be moving to the Philippines in about two months. Have already started on my hobbies. Retirement should be an adventure in doing new things.

    And BTW, I’ve visited Davao and really liked it. Am still deciding between Cebu or Davao. LOL … definitely not Manila though.

    • Bruce says:

      Grayspirit,
      I have never been to Cebu, so I cannot comment. I have only been to Manila, Kidapawan, General Santos and of course I live in Davao.
      I moved to Davao because Elena lived here. From what I read and what I experienced on visits is Davao is safe which is something a foreigner needs to consider. No matter where you live, in the Philippines, around the world, or even in his home country, there is good places and not so good. Most important is safety and if you will be comfortable living there with your own needs in mind.

  3. ken spanskie says:

    morning bruce- liked your thoughts and ideas about hobbies and spending time. of late have been spending a great deal of time at mc donalds. my current hobby is measuring thed french fries for length , width and aerodynamic qualities.

    do you think theraphy would be a good option ??

    • Bruce says:

      Ken,
      I do not think french fries will ever fly. About therapy, I do not think it would help in your case. hahaha

  4. Chinaren says:

    Interesting blog you have.

    One thing I noticed is you’d do a lot better on your Project Wonderful ads if you took the minimum bid off. No one is going to bid 1USD a day when you’re only getting a 100 or so unique daily hits!

    • Bruce says:

      Chinaren,
      Thank you for enjoying my site. About Project Wonderful, I have gotten ads and sometimes the bidding has brought it up to a higher amount. I have noticed if you remove a minimum bid, you give away ad space for free. If I can find an advertiser program that worked for my site, I would drop the ones I am not earning. Unfortunately I got banned from AdSense. Even though you do not get rich with them, they had the best of all.

  5. Hi Bruce. I moved myself 8 years ago within Sweden at age 31. I left all my friends and relative up there in the north. Just to get this job I have as a programmer. Economically it was a good descision. I enjoy the little bit shorter winters here too. Up to around 20 I had always done football and icehockey. Then 10-15 year with no particular hobby I started to run with a lot of goals in mind in february 2007. I had some injuries along the way, but recovered. Knee and some other smaller things. I can tell you my life has changed. If i ever move to the Philippines I hope I can live somewhere I at least can continue my running. It made me stronger, I have a lot more strength after work and particularly after work. I feel and probably look 10 years younger (according to others). It started at work with a colleague asking me if we should run Stockholm marathon. It surely has changed my life for the better. I know running is not everyone’s cup of tea. But it is worth a try. It is cheap too! So Bruce, the first step is to quit smoking, then start little by little with longer walks, then jogging and finally running!

    • Bruce says:

      Stefan,
      Unfortunately for me I have a few problems medically that limits my exercise. Since childhood I had a condition that caused shortness of breath, then I have flat feet and bad knees. Then there is arthritis at a vertebra where I have to be careful not to cause back spasms. Yesterday Elena visited an indoor Badminton court and are looking forward to playing that sport.
      I also have some weights to exercise my arms.

  6. maria says:

    hi bruce
    my husband and i are not marathoners like stefan. we run 4 to 5 days a week with our dog. i wish i would have taken up running when i was younger. my husband and i enjoy running together while talking, we can actually carry on a conversation, (yes, we cant believe it). this has greatly helped our breathing. have you noticed runners there where you are or is this not common to see or do because of ? (ex: smog, leud cat calls at women, safety, uncontrolled dogs, local people perceptions, streets just not exercise friendly, filipina women attitude at seeing other filipina women exercising, you know, that jelousy factor) my husband and i prefer running outside (not at gym) and he especially likes to jog to the coffee shop in the mornings for his english breakfast of bangers and eggs, LOL. of course our dog likes it too because he gets sliced turkey from the help in the coffee shop, LOL.

    maria

    • Bruce says:

      Maria,
      I have seen some runners and remember one morning there was a 10k in Davao. I have seen the parking lot of a local mall where there are joggers, and other exercise groups using the parking lot before the mall would be opened for business.

  7. don m. says:

    They tell me some of the best for you is plain old walking. I cant fault you as I dont do enough of it. I have lost 48 pounds since I started my diet in early Feburary. I like the sound of playing bandmitin. In school I had four quarters of coed badmition. It was a favorite of mine next to swimming. Sorry but my spelling is not geting better with age!!! The stock market is going up but my other retitment acounts are having issues. I wish I could give you some ideas on making more money as me and my wife hope for your good forture. We really enjoy your writing style and subjuct matter.

    • Bruce says:

      Don,
      I played badminton as a kid in the backyard, but never on a court. It looks interesting.
      Thank you for your support of my site, maybe if the market goes up real high you can give financial support. hahah (joke)

  8. Dan2vero says:

    Hey Bruce,

    Kamusta ka? As far as exercise goes, walking is very good for you. Especially with the problems you mentioned, also you being a smoker still, taking little walks, then longer walks eventually will help. Of course on these walks you can always take a camera, you never know what shots you may see on your journeys.
    I smoke too, and don’t want to sound like a hypocritical person, but quit, I know it is hard, I plan on quitting soon myself. When I first moved to Florida 12 years ago, I quit for 5 years. But with my job came stress so I picked up that bad habit again. But to be honest, I felt so much better when I quit, I also walked a lot each day, and lost so much weight, is just something I got in my head that I wanted to do, so I did it.
    Also, another reason for wanting to quit smoking again, is when I get to the Philippines, I want to be able to keep up with my little 7 year old girl Chesca. So I want to be good and healthy for her and Rose, and our future children as well.
    When I get there to Philippines, I will be working so that will be another form of exercise for me, and also keeping my time occupied.
    Rose says when there is downtime there, there are plenty of things for us to do and see, never a dull moment as she puts it.

    Salamat kaayo,
    Danny 🙂

    • Bruce says:

      Danny,
      I have smoked since I was 13, making it 42 years. Over the years I tried every way to quit, cold turkey, patches, pills and both. A year before I moved here I used Chantex. It worked and I stopped for 8 months. Then, 2 weeks before I moved here, all was done and I was figity with nothing to do but wait. I was talking to a neighbor and had one cig, the next day 2 and then I was back on. I wish I was busy enough to keep the smoking down and try to quit again. I hope I will. Look forward to meeting you once you move here.

  9. don m. says:

    Maybe we can take you out to dinner sometine if we ever make it that far south in the PI. Dont hold your breath it may still be a few years!!! We are about the same age so we could compare our old sixtys notes. I could bore you with my years on Captiol hill and my years as a realestate agent in Sacremento.

    • Bruce says:

      Don,
      Dinner sounds good, I know some nice and expensive restaurants here (joking)
      Capitol Hill, were you an elected official or maybe an intern. hahaha
      Real Estate in California… I guess repos is good business now.

      • don m. says:

        I was an senate intern for one summer and a senate staffer for three years back in the middle 70s. Prices in california were going up and up in the late 70s in california. Also worked on a number of campaigns in ca. back in the 70s. They say the realeste market is leveling off now. My stocks had a very strong day yesterday. Always try to make the money work hard for you as we know we worked hard enough to make it in the first place. I like good food and am willing to pay the price if the quality is there. no joke there! We eat out a lot. I just try to eat less now!!!!

        • Bruce says:

          Don,
          If you like better gourmet type foods, you might starve here. hahaha
          Good luck in the market, if you do well maybe you can finance this site so I can continue to eat too. (joke)

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