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Semi Retirement on Samal

I have decided to make a try at real retirement since I am now 65. So far my retirement is on the Garden Island of Samail near Davao City. I will remain active in two ways, both in Alcoholics Anonymous and also in counseling single mothers on their rights under the law.

Alcoholism or at least excessive drinking are cited by single mothers as a reason that the father got them pregnant or left. There are certain cycles that feed one another, don't know what else to call them. The link between poverty and population growth is one link. In the Philippines it is a tradition for one or more children to become the primary supporter of the whole family, especially the parents. Often this supporting offspring works abroad because the wages in the Philippines are very low, usually between five and twelve dollars a day. Of course the reason the wages are low is because there are so many people competing for the job....because parents are having so many kids! The parents have more children simply for security. Alcohol use enters in yet another way, besides simply consuming income. One smart mother had ten children. When asked why, she said she only wanted three but every time her husband got drunk he demanded his wife fulfill her "duties" and, since he got drunk a lot, she ended up with ten.

Another cycle is noise. Visitors note that the Philippines is the noisiest place they have been to. This is caused by many things, over population and Filipino machismo being two (they take the baffles out of mufflers so that their motorcycles are louder...like the harley owners in the USA). Once the streets are packed with loud motorcycles, everything else gets louder....people talk louder, play music louder etc.

Even when you find a idyllic paradise like mine on Samal, on the weekend it fills with people from the overcrowded city and they have drunken, karioke duels.

I have started Samal's first AA meeting but so far none of the drunks want to get sober!:>)

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