We are living in interesting times. The world we felt rather comfortable with has temporarily disappeared. It’s been over one hundred years since the last pandemic of such devastating power hit our world. It’s a respecter on no country, culture, religion, political belief, or economic structure. It has silently, effortlessly moved with impunity, across all borders.
The reaction of individual countries has been interesting. It seems countries that trust their government does better in fighting the virus because of an inherent belief its people have in the power structure. The reactions in countries where people don’t has led to civilian and social unrest with frightening outcomes.
Perhaps that’s why, at Retire Dumaguete, we have been receiving, and continue to receive, more inquiries than ever from Westerners living primarily in Canada, the United States, and some European countries, about relocating to Dumaguete.
Why is this? We’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a quality of life issue. They are fed up with the seemingly never-ending confrontations
between left and right in America, between ultranationalist and leftist ideology in several European countries, their individual government’s
reaction to the virus, and the actual impacts on us all resulting from non-sociability.
Much can be learned from foreigners “stranded” here in Dumaguete because of the C19 restrictions. And importantly, perhaps more so, from those who had been confined here, but decided to take advantage of the “sweeper” flights to repatriate them.
When asked to discuss their experiences since they returned to their country of origin, almost all we spoke with regretted returning home.
Several are from Melbourne, Australia. They describe the difficult , bordering on impossible, daily life they now face with strict lockdowns and
movement restrictions. When arriving home, they were escorted by armed npolice to stay for two weeks in quarantine in a place, not of their
choosing they had to pay for. That was mild compared to what subsequently happened.
On August 2nd In 2020, stage 4 restrictions were placed in Melbourne. That meant a total curfew from 8 pm until 5 am every day. Movement outside their homes are restricted to going for medications, safety reasons, or work. They are on close to total lockdown.
Americans who returned have faced a country that seems as if it’s about to explode from not only C19 restriction issues but also because of social unrest. As the presidential elections come closer, and indeed after it, American society is in an unarguable perilous situation.
Canada is, predictably moving at a more civilized and predicable Canadian pace to work through its problems.
Now consider the situation for individuals, almost all males, who returned to their countries, and compare it with their lives here in Dumaguete and also of those who decided to sit out the C19 problem here rather than returning home.
The research we’ve done has been highly revealing. Those men who stayed and those who left had enjoyed similar experiences here. They all had enjoyed a comfortable tropical climate and the warm sensibilities of the people of Dumaguete. Their restrictions on movement were minimal. They’d play a round of golf early in the morning, then go to the French Cafe for coffee and pastries, then on to Dauin and snorkel in the warm waters before going to Sans Rival in Dumaguete, or heading up to Café Groove in Valencia for a leisurely afternoon.
On the occasional time they might have been stopped by local police, they were treated courteously and with respect. All the police were concerned about was to be sure the foreigners had not recently traveled from another island and possibly brought the virus with them.
These foreigners were often fortunate to have met lovely locals with classical Pinay beauty and sensibilities. Their daily existence had an almost dreamy quality only the most fortunate could ever have hoped for. And they were living inexpensively and were at peace.
Yes, there are always some foreigners who are incapable of being happy. They remain irritable, unhappy, and discontented regardless of where they may be. If in heaven, they would complain. But almost all other foreigners understand their good fortune! They realize how lucky they are to be here in Dumaguete and not being torn apart by the daily conflicts elsewhere.