Life in Caramoan.
Having left my job in Kuwait and came to the Philippines to live with my wife Kristine; I would have to say it was a pretty wise move. While in Kuwait I was getting up at 5 am to go to work on the US Army Base and not getting home until almost 9 pm, 6 days a week. I had no time for cooking, my wife was busy with her job as well, so she did not always have the time to cook, we also did not have enough time for each-other. Almost every day I was buying my meals from a fast food joint or from the frozen microwave section in the store. A very bad unhealthy diet of Sodium and GMO supplied food and I knew it. I weighed up to 137 kg (302 Pounds US), at least that’s where I caught myself one time. I was starting to have very high blood pressure. Walking 3 flights of stairs made me feel like my heart was gonna jump out of my chest and the pain in my back and shoulder was unreal. Work stress and lifestyle was taking its’ toll on me.
Being in Caramoan, Philippines has maybe saved my life, well, not maybe… I am sure it has. I am living healthier. I am eating Organic vegetables, seafood, and not too much fatty Meats raised on hormones. I have time to walk around and to spend time with my wife and her family. I can relax as I want or spend time in our Garden. I been here 10 months now. I have gradually lost weight. Most of it within the first 4 months of being here. I am now 108 kg (238 pounds US). My blood pressure is normal now. Stairs are no longer a problem. My goal is to get between 95 to 100 kg. (210-220 Pounds). I now climb Mount Caglago occasionally to a monument of Mother Mary, Over 500 steps without suffering. I am definitely sweating a lot, It is quite a workout, but my heart is not jumping out my chest.
Occasionally we go to the beaches or Island hopping here. It’s a very beautiful place to be. Caramoan does have a tourism industry but it is very small. It is not over taken by foreigners like Boracay or Palawan. The people here are friendly and hospitable. The kids are behaved and not so much for trouble making. I like to hop on my motorcycle and just cruise from one side of the Peninsula to the other. Motorsycle’s are the primary mode of transportation around here and I had to get me one. I have a 2015 Kawasaki Rouser 200 NS.
In town there are a variety of shops; meat shops, hardware, vegetable markets, souvenir shops, and General trading shops. There is a very nice and old Spanish Catholic church. There are no Mosques here which is great. Keeps it peaceful here. Transportation is easily accessible and traffic is not insane.
Buses run daily from Naga City, Bicol to Caramoan and vice versa. You can also come by boat which is very scenic as well. It has a great view of the Mayon Volcano from across the Lagonoy Bay. To do that you must take a white UV express van from Naga City to Sabang port really early in the morning. I recommend leaving Naga City around 4 to 5 AM. From Sabang you will get on a Harry boat. It will take you to Guijalo Port where tricycle drivers, jeepneys, or the Hotel/resort driver will transport you to Caramoan proper or to what ever destination you require here. I have even seen some diehard back-packers foot it in.
If you are traveling on a budget I recommend the Istaran Hotel. It is a 2 star. Rooms start around 1000 Philippine Peso. It is centrally located down town, WiFi, Air conditioning, friendly staff, kitchen with a dining area in lobby. They also have a Generator for during times of Brown outs. They can arrange local trips for Island Hopping and snorkeling. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or see their WordPress site at istaran.wordpress.com. I am not getting anything for putting them out there. I just personally know some of the staff and I would recommend them.
I have taken up some hobbies since being here. I am growing vegetables like Squash and variety of Chili Peppers. I tried tomatoes but they never do well for me. The one breed of tomato that did grow well happened to be a favorite for birds, they keep eating all the blossoms. I started some seeds from Cacao pods (chocolate). I now have about 30 Cacao trees growing. I did the same with Papaya.
I also thought I might try writing some books. So I decided to start this blog as writing practice, to better perfect my craft in writing. Feel free to read my other posts, be a critic and let me know what you think and how I am doing. If you have an Idea for a blog subject throw it at me.
Food here is great. I really love to eat! There is nothing better than being able to eat what you want and not feel bad for it. I love the natural rice, Adobo’s, Sinigang, Tinola, Fried Fish, and Pancit. There are no GMO or fast-food chains in Caramoan which is good for me, not even a Jollibee… I love cheese burgers and pizza; the lack there-of has helped me to stay healthy. Everything around here is fresh and tasty. Fruit is growing everywhere. If you are someone who is Over-weight and unhealthy, I feel this is a good place to recover yourself without the use of Dietary supplement or drugs. I refused Blood pressure meds in Kuwait because I did not want to become dependent on them. Now I am down to normal, no need. Big Pharma does not create cures, just more Patients.
Take time to visit Caramoan. I love this place. It’s my home away from home. I can not Imagine living anywhere else right now.
David Lee Martin
Functional US Army Veteran