Living In Marinduque, Philippines (2005)

I am also not from Cebu. I have visited Cebu, but I spend most of my life on the Tropical Island of Marinduque. There are some very nice websites about the island on the internet. We are 100 miles for Manila, 60 or so by land and 40 by water. We have scheduled boat service in fair weather and during foul (weather) the service is often cancelled. Boats travel from the island to Lucena, and return to any of four ports on the island. There are boats large enough to accommodate you and some large enough to drive your car on. The larger boats are cheaper, but take longer. Travel time ranges from 1 3/4 hours to about 4 hours. The boats are reasonably clean and efficient. Seats can be obtained that are open air or air conditioned.

We have a nice tropical island paradise on Marinduque. How many Americans grew up without a vision of a tropical island paradise? Now I am living that dream, over half the months of the year. I love the slow pace and gentle smile of the island and its people.

Many from the list may be from Cebu, but many more are from other areas, for which we have cut a home into the islands and made a way of life for our families and ourselves.

Marinduque is quite rustic as other island accommodations go. We lack classy restaurants and eateries; we lack 4 and 5 star hotels, and have simple beaches and a few adequate resorts. Our life is simple and slow pace. We make the news once a year at Holy Week when we host the Moriones Festival. During other times of the year, out 217, 000 try to provide three meals a day for their families inspire of poor economy and a lack or regular jobs.

Life is beautiful for us. We have minimal stress and problems. I was once told that the worst shore duty is better than the best sea duty. I am enjoying shore duty, almost every day. The people respect me and I in turn respect and learn from them. I am an American, and proud of that fact. I would never give up my citizenship that some of my relatives in the revolution fought so hard for. I would never give up citizenship that my forefathers obtained after leaving Ireland behind in the 1840's. I would never drop my citizenship in favor for any other, but I am able to use my wife's dual citizenship for a beautiful life on our tropical island paradise. I enjoy life on our tropical island that I often dreamed of when I was a young boy. I am finding out what life is all about. Knowing the meaning of life and the beauty of this island and it people, I hope other guests on this site are as happy as are my wife and our family. Not all is perfect in paradise, but it is so far ahead of other places, including the rat race of the American workforce lifestyle that we count our blessing every day. If I were called tomorrow, I would have been blessed to have lived on the island of Marinduque and to have been counted as one of its people.

My last medical test transpired today. I'll visit with my college age daughter for a week or two, and after she departs for California, I'll make my slide back to the heart of the Philippines.

James Claire, from the List, 5/17/05