guya open


In these islands the vegetables and fruit are a real treat for the palate. I didn’t know that the vegetables could have a personality so marked before I came here and didn’t know many fruits that have become true cornerstones of our daily diet. Already knew and loved the mango and papaya but I had never tasted such a starapple or the lanzones, delicious treats provided by nature. But my absolute favorite is the fruit guyabano. Apart from the phenomenal content of vitamins, protein and mineral, and forgetting that is considered the most powerful killer of cancer cells existing in nature, for me he just tastes sublime, unattainable. The fruit is green, lumpy, large: we can say it isn’t a beauty. It should be eaten as soon as it reaches maturity because it is very perishable and acidifies rapidly but is an experience that I recommend to everyone.



We Westerners have a strange relationship with water. If we exclude some areas particularly ungrateful, in most cases we have plenty to the point of considering it a problem only at risk of flooding. Since childhood we were allowed to use the water, as well as personal hygiene, to play and have fun. I remember for example that I filled the tub to play with the boats of wood or paper. Growing up then who among us wasn’t enjoying the pleasure of an invigorating shower at the right temperature remaining far more than necessary under the jet ? Well, in these islands if there is a blackout of 24 hours no one cares (which we would get crazy ..): the only concern is the water. In families, that here are very numerous, are the children of 8-10 years who are in charge of a daily basis to the water supply: there aren’t aqueducts that bring it home, but you have to go and pick on various containers every day. Sometimes the first well is available a few kilometers away! The lucky ones have found water in their soil and during the dry season they use it carefully. We have had to learn how best to use our reserves: we have a well that the first year we dried quickly. Later, having figured out how not to waste water stupidly, went much better. In our home Country we used to see a rainy day as something sad and wistful. Here, when it rains, everyone becomes more serene and so do we.


Some time ago I made a post with the same title and concerned our direct experience, explaining what we did and how we did it. Now I feel the need to return to the subject because more and more often receive requests for advice, suggestions, and (why not?) help, from people who plan to start a business here. Each of these places me specific questions that require knowledge beyond my. Many trust me to have a certain amount and ask if this is enough to take a certain type of business. Unfortunately, money is indispensable everywhere. It ‘s true, here you need less than elsewhere, but still serves, and must also have a safe reserve from which to draw in the start-up phase and possibly in times of crisis. Also, decide which activities to start is probably the hardest thing to do: on this it depends the success or not of the investment. I do not presume to be able to teach something to these people but a tip I would give it: wherever in the world you choose to invest don’t do anything without having acquired direct knowledge of the place, the costumes, the bureaucracy and the tax system. All this is only possible by going in person on the spot and staying there for all the necessary time, and this is also part of the cost-investment.


The people of these islands have always build by themself their homes. The more ‘minimal are simple huts without a floor and without glasses. The materials used are wood and bamboo. Normally have available within their properties’: they call “the man of the saw” and say how many and which trees break down (usually palm trees or mahogany) and how many bamboo. Once felled starts cutting axes: anyone who sees it for the first time remains fascinated by the extraordinary ability’ with which the agreed measures are obtained by working freehand with a heavy chainsaw. The roofs are made with a wooden frame and a cover of nipa (palm leaves tied with patience in a certain order). All materials used are therefore envir eco- friendly: beautiful, but when I hear the noise of the saw in action I always think that they are killing a piece of this island and I am very sad. In recent times it isn’t rare to see a house under construction with columns and walls in concrete. Probably got tired of rebuilding the house every time a typhoon strikes. I understand them very well but it certainly does not have the warmth and charm of wood and bamboo.


As you can imagine in a country such as the Philippines jagged communications are a serious problem. Accustomed to the ease of access of Western cities to adapt to this reality is not so immediate. If we exclude the big cities like Manila, Cebu, etc., where, however, we rely on the 3G / 4G and where there is no connection with optical fiber, the rest of the islands can have internet only where the telephone signal is sufficient. It happens so that we can “work” only patchy as 50m away make the difference between signal-ok and no signal. For those who, like me, are permanent residents have the option of placing a satellite dish. With this you can opt for a subscription with signal shared or dedicated. The costs are in any case very high and hardly locals can afford. Only the purchase and installation of the dish has a cost equal to a beautiful motorcycle (which here is the main means of transport) and having to choose …… So the hope of all is that the two Telcos go to improve the distribution of the signal in a short time to give way to all, locals and tourists, with little expense, to join the network.

pollution ???

              pollution ???

As I have already mentioned several times the Philippine islands are more than 7000 and are not all equal. The Philippines extend vertically over the Pacific for almost 2000 km and the differences in vegetation are evident. In addition, each island has its own characteristics that differentiate it from the other even if adjacent. The sea is beautiful everywhere and in every island you can find backdrops suitable for diving and snorkeling, but inside is the difference. Tablas is very green and has a hilly course very sweet. Make bike rides inside is extremely relaxing and satisfying to the spirit. In this regard, my son has made a video that can be seen on youtube at this link:

It serves only to give an idea of the variety of existing vegetation but to enjoy also the perfume is essential to experience first hand: it’s worth it!


Since I moved here I had the opportunity to meet many foreigners. Who expatriate like me, who in ” exploratory ” travel in order to realize if the country is right for him or not , and who , the greatest quantity, simply on vacation. To the latter category belong so many different types as groups , couples, singles, young and old , from all parts of the world. Among those who impressed me the most are my fellow countrymen old, retired people. They have all the time to choose a warm and exotic place to spend the cold winter months . Often, the disposable income is not high so they need to carefully consider besides the cost of the trip even that of keeping on-site, in the Philippine Islands is actually quite content. So , once established that it is feasible , and are booked . Some that for the first time must be in this type of countries are surprised of things that should be known , such as the movement of the tides that having variations of more than 2 meters in a few hours , during low tide discovery leave a large portion of the seabed that some have called ” disgusting slosh “. But back to the fact that the cost of living here is quite low , this should be allowed to think that the lodging industry is still at the beginning and then with obvious shortcomings. I heard with my own ears people complain about the lack of umbrellas and lifeguards ! Other complain about the unavailability of nutmeg ! Dear sirs, of the 7100 islands of this Country very few are seriously equipped for tourism but are also the most expensive places with prices typically Western . If you are not willing to face lack of electricity even for a few hours , lack of water during the dry season and so on , do not stay in the Philippines , or at least not in the lesser known islands or you may be disappointed and ruin your vacation. The benefits and the pleasure of being here does not consist in comforts but in the landscape, the beauty of the sea, in the contact with nature, in the kindness and cheerfulness of Filipinos. On this I guarantee !