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One Day to Go – My Last Day in Davao

Well all, it is Monday, May 4th and I have one night left in Davao City. I have packed, organized, adjusted and now waiting for my flight tomorrow in early evening.

Friday evening one couple Elena and I am friends with invited us to their house for dinner. I felt bad we never got to socialize this way in the two years I have lived here and known them. I realize a lot of the problem is his wife was in Germany a few times for months at a time assisting a friend with her business.

I have tried to say goodbye to as many as I could. One of the groups I had trouble seeing for the last time and saying goodbye was to the kids at Agdao Market on Sunday morning. They all had tears in their eyes as I did when we talked about me leaving.

Then in true Filipino tradition, they wanted me to take photos of them and us together. As I looked in their cute little faces, I wished I were rich and could adopt and bring them all to America and give them a better future.  These kids, who I have discussed in the past, are from poorer families. They go to public school during the week and on weekends work at the market selling calamansi or carrying the bags of shoppers to earn a few pesos at a time. They use this money to cover the cost of the meals during the week and help with some expenses of their families.

This just made me think of my childhood where I would cut lawns or shovel snow for neighbors to earn some money. This money was for my own use. These kids work to assist their families. Even though they joke and play with each other and vendors at the market, they do not have the time to just be kids.

We then went to the mall and I said goodbye to everyone I had known and touched my life. Over the two years, I have gotten to know the guards and many employees at the mall. I thanked them for their kindnesses and friendships.

In some cases, these friendships with Filipinos was better than some of the Expats I have gotten to know here in many ways.  Many of these foreigners have their own agendas. Then need to feel important and control long. I know it is the same in your home country as had seen in America but there you get to turn and find another American. Here you do not have as many to choose from.  Many here have lifestyles I just do not enjoy. Some that I played bridge with upset me so much last Wednesday, I just got up and told them what I think and walked off. They are more experienced then I and will always point out my mistakes. The problem is they do not stop. Since I enjoyed the game, I would just let them talk. Well this time I got up and said I am leaving in a few days and do not need any more of their insults.

Then on Sunday night some of Elena’s friends with their Expat husbands got together with us at a local restaurant for a going away get-together for me. The funny part is I hardly socialized with these men in the two years and now they want to get together. Maybe it is just an excuse to have dinner out.

One of the upsetting this is this; shipping boxes to the Philippines is reasonably cheap and shipping from here to America is expensive. Thinking I would live here for the rest of my life I shipped 17 boxes. I brought good cookware, corning ware and any other things. Now going back I will have to leave most behind.

Well, from this site, you have learned about me, my life, my experiences and my observations. In the future I will journal how my life will change being back in the States, and my survival there. I will write about the filing for Elena’s spousal visa and then getting her to America. I will continue with the cultural differences Elena will experience and how we deal with it. Then with the help of Rob and others that I hope will contribute, I will be able to keep this site going. We will see. I thank you, all my readers for visiting and enjoying my site.

28 Responses to “One Day to Go – My Last Day in Davao”

  1. John in Austria says:

    I for one am very pleased to have met you Bruce. Glad my time in Davao worked out so that we could meet before you left. I will miss your tales of the town, but will also look forward to hearing what you have to say about going home. You never know, I could be in your shoes one day. Good luck!

  2. John in Austria says:

    PS – What are you going to call your blog now? 🙂

  3. Seth says:


    Be safe in your travels back to the States. I pray that all works out for you and Elana. She will be in for some cultural shocks just like Ginalyn, but overall I believe she will be happy with the change. Gina always tells me that there is to many choices here in the States. Well God Bless you both and take care in Vegas.


  4. Thanks for all the work and time you put here Bruce. Many nice experiences to read about.

    The financial crisis still left me without work here. But I have never given up easily. I hope that if I ever move to the Philippines I will be able to meet you. If you ever move back to the Philippines again, that is.
    Good Luck in your home country!

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for your appreciation of my site. Maybe one day you will try your luck in Vegas. I do hope we can meet sometime. Good luck to you in your search for income and contentment.

  5. Caesar Erel O. Macahilig says:

    Have a safe trip dear friend, Bruce. It was a pleasure knowing you during your stay here in Davao. Thank you for putting a spark in me to do the Cebuano lessons. I will continue working on it until I come up a complete module. Maybe then, we can work together to make some money out of it, don’t you think?

    Take care of yourself Bruce.

  6. don m. says:

    best wishes to you and your wife be sure and call when you get settled in in vegas. Hope to hear from you soon.

  7. JakeB says:

    Hey Bruce,
    Have a safe trip and best of luck. Please keep us informed on your future adventures in Vegas!

  8. maria says:

    safe journey, bruce. i hope you do continue to write. im excited and nervious for you at the same time.

    i hope it works out for you and your wife in the u.s. i hope elena does not turn materialistic on you and become a typical americanized women.


  9. David LaBarr says:

    Dear Bruce,

    I will miss seeing you at Gaisano. Mezalin, me, and the children are scheduled to be in Davao January thru May 2011. Things are not good here in the US. Best of luck to you and Elena.

    God Bless You Both,

    Dave L.

    • Bruce says:

      It was good knowing you. Enjoy your next visit to Davao and have a cup of coffee for me there at Chicos. I hope if Elena and I work hard, we will be able to do ok.

  10. Tom says:

    Have a safe trip Bruce. Good luck in Las Vegas. 🙂

  11. Gene says:


    From Viol, Ynna, and from me, we wish you the very best and at the same time feel sad that you are leaving.
    So many people that I talk to and email as well, all tell me that there is no other Philippines expat site like yours. And with them I must agree. Although most of us don’t know each other, it seems and feels like family.

    And a personal observation, you are to Davao what Harry The Horse is to Angeles City.
    An informative beacon into all our lives and homes.

    The Philippines has a funny way of drawing us back no matter what the reason is we leave here. And I have a feeling that in time, you will be back to stay

    We will be looking forward to your next post as soon as you can and are caught up on sleep.

    Take good care my friend and Mabuhay,

    Gene and family…

    • Bruce says:

      I am glad you see the value of my site. I do not know what the future will bring, right now looking to get myself productive and then with Elena at my side, us working to a better life.

  12. Ed says:

    Well my Friend. your finally on your way!! Ya know my home phone, and I hope you use your Malic Jack and give me a call as soon as you get here (Las Vagus) I’ll be here till end of May. Nori comes over the week of the 15th. No ticket yet!! lol,lol. Last minuate!! Just in case…(707-422-5541) home….(916-267-1954)cell phone. Is flight going streight to Vagus?? Well my friend let chat when ya have a few minuates, ok? Ed

    • Bruce says:

      I will call you as soon as I get up and running in Vegas. I will purchase a Magic Jack there to make calls an will call you. My flights are from Davao to Manila, Manila to Korea, Korea to Las Vegas.

  13. Randy says:

    Although we had shared only a few e-mails, I was looking forward to meeting you this coming December as my wife and I are planning on going to Davao.
    Of course we wish you all the best in your new adventure returning back to the US and who knows. Perhaps one day your path will bring you back to the Philippines and we will bump into each other.
    For everyone else on this site my wife and I would be interested to meet up with anyone who may be in Davao during December and January 2010-2011.

    As a last piece of self advertising my wife and I do have a 2 bedroom condo that we rent out for weekly and monthly stays.
    Anyone interested in details we can be contacted at or by landline in Canada at 1-819-777-2443

  14. Tom Martin says:

    I am sitting reading your blog and feel tears coming. I wish we would have spent more time together. I enjoyed the last fews days when we met for coffee and lunch, but knew I would miss you. Bruce, I texted you and told you that you were my friend and I sincerely meant that. No other expat in the Philippines can say they are my friend. They are only acquaintances. You said I was own your butt a few times and I was. I tell friends when they do something I do not like. Acquaintances I do not care what they do or say because they mean little to nothing to me and I just walk away. I will be praying that only good things happen for you back in the States. One of the greatest things I can say about Bruce is he will always be there day or night if a friend needs help. You should have not waited until you were leaving to tell some of your DAVAO EXPAT FRIENDS to kiss you butt. You should have done that a long time ago.

    • Bruce says:

      I wish we spent more time together too. I enjoy listening to your stories and enjoy that you will listen to ideas other than your own and discuss them instead of a self righteous attitude of many.
      I hope we can spend more time together when you move here too. 🙂
      Since the Expat community there is small, I felt it is easier to ignore people that insulted or caused trouble than to start a war.

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