Terence’s take on it

So we’ve been here in the Philippines for 2 weeks. It’s been surreal. It was great of my Tita to come home and meet us. She is the matriarch of the Nava family at 85. She has graciously allowed for us to stay at her condo. I appreciate her and her all the historical information she has on my family.

So what have we been doing. Pretty much going to out eat it. There is a reason why Filipinos are know of their food, cause it’s pretty damn good. Been hitting up a bunch of malls to see family, which is btw a Philippines past time. You can pretty much get all your household goods, appliances, and groceries at a mall. Along with other normal mall stuff.

I’ve also been working. I’ve been keeping a 9pm to whenever I get done hours. It will change slightly when I get back in August. Time adjustment was a little difficult cause I had to add work in there. Also the first week seemed like we were going and going. Did I say my mom is here too? She’s was going and going and of course I tagged along too.

Since the we moved into the van in 2018 my workout regime and bike riding went way down. I put on a little bit of weight. So about 2-3 weeks before our move I decided I would do a full marathon. Why? Cause I can. Haha. My buddy Joe did a full iron man in which he did his 1st full marathon. I figured if he could do it, my fat self could do too. Since then I’m sure I’ve dropped some weight with running, the heat, and the heat. Did I tell you about the heat. It’s hot and muggy I love it.

So we got here then Almie and Tara left for Greece like 5 days later. They sure have had a kick ass time. It was Tara’s graduation present as well as her 18th bday present. What sucks is their flight to and back to PHI were changed. I leave Tuesday back to Seattle at 11:30 pm and they arrive at 800pm. They were supposed to arrive in the morning. So I haven’t seen them for 11 days and won’t likely see them till late July.

Terence why in your right mind would you leave your family for a month at time? Moving to the Philippines was a choice Almie and I made for a few reasons.

1) I don’t want to live with regret. The door was open for us to move. I would hate 10-20-30 years down the road for me to say damn I wish we would have moved.

2) The cost of living here is very very low compared to the US. I want to use this time to save as much money as I can. This is part of the 8 (now 7) year plan. When I’m 50 I want to bank enough loot to be able to decide to work or not. To not have to work, but to choose it. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my current job. They have allowed me this opportunity. The work is good and it suits me.

3) I missed growing up here. My mom made a hard choice after my birth father died. I want my kids to get a chance at “living Filipino”. For them to experience the culture, the food, the traffic <–I’ll save that for another day.

No pictures on this post because I pretty much didn’t use my phone while out because I didn’t have a load. Plus it got me to be in the moment while being out with family.

PI update!

Tara and I have spent the last 2.5 months in the Philippines. To say it was an amazing experience would be an understatement. It was an unexpected trip but one that has given us the chance to validate our decision to make the move!

To recap our journey here…

Tara was invited to participate in the Philippine Women’s National Soccer Team Camp in preparation for the 2nd round of Olympic Qualifiers. She of course accepted! We were en route to Manila two weeks later.

A big thank you to our Aunty Emy who opened up her condo in BGC for us to stay at. Tara ended up boarding with her teammates in Rizal giving me plenty time to reflect, plan and prepare for an overseas move.

Tara trained for the entire month of March then we were off to Qatar for 10 days for the tournament. It was a good run for the girls, they played hard, with heart and represented our country with Pride. Though the road to Tokyo has ended they still have plenty opportunity for future tournaments.

And here we are, spending our last couple days relaxing and preparing our trip back to Seattle.

I’m going back with a bigger appreciation of what we have and not so much of what we don’t. Granted we have lived in the BGC bubble the last couple months but have also seen what life is like in the “real” parts of the Philippines. No matter how rich or poor, people in general are pretty happy and pretty content of where they are today. I’ve met people from all walks of life and having conversations centered around family, Filipino culture and country pride.

Pride and Proud. I want to touch on this real quick. There’s something to be said about how much Filipino’s love their country and to lend support when called upon! We saw this in Qatar. Terence had reached out to all the local Filipino businesses, radio stations and the Philippine Embassy in Qatar, sharing the news of the team playing in the tournament and asking to spread the news and for all to come cheer the ladies on. The first game was primarily attended by friends and family…after word got out, we had triple the amount of people attending the 2nd and last game with the radio station in attendance! People came with the PI flag and cheered the girls on. It was amazing to see so many people come out to watch with zero connection to the players. The connection here was the representation of their country and being part of something special. No matter how many goals we scored or got scored on, the pride and proudness could be felt in the stadium. ❤️

The day to day. There are definitely things that are significantly different compared to what I’m used to.

Traffic. If you think traffic where your at is bad, you have yet to experience what it’s like to go 5km. Sometimes 30 minutes, sometimes an hour. But you get used to it and plan accordingly.

Pace. While we live in a world of instant and now, I’ve grown accustom to waiting, lines and it will happen eventually. It’s a much slower pace and with that I’ve been able to practice patience and being present…key word if practice. It’s tough sometimes but what can you do other than have another glass of wine and enjoy life, right?

Crosswalks. Pedestrian’s usually have the right of way but what I have learned is first come, first walk. It was a shit-show at first, afraid of being ran over by a car and dying but I noticed if you simple walk (still being mindful of moving vehicles) and politely gesturing you are crossing, cars will stop eventually and let you cross, mind you, a foot or so from you!

Life. It good living in the Philippines. A constant 80+ degrees here. If you don’t mind the humidity, it’s LOVELY. Not to mention the sunshine.

Cost of living. It’s generally less expensive to live here…when you are spending USD. With our move happening quickly, I’ve adapted to look at things from a piso standpoint. It’s shocking at how things become more expensive when you look at it that way. With the typical average salary being 500P/day, spending 2000P+ on dinner and drinks would be a splurge. Home cooked meals for sure.

Overall, it’s been a great trip.

Teren got to visit his future school, meet his classmates and teachers, and get a little taste of what’s to come in June.

Next 2 months will be a bit nutty with preparing for our move, Tara’s graduation, family coming to town and focusing on my training for my half Ironman in June!

Life is good for the Shelton-Borromeo clan. Vanlife kickstarted our adventure and look forward to the rest of 2019!


Where are we?

Tara and I are still in the Philippines, today marks 24 days! After the first week of settling in and getting over the jet-lag, we were on our way. Of course, it would be a proper trip if soccer wasn’t involved…after all, most if not all our travel has involved soccer! As Terence mentioned in the last post, we are here because Tara was invited to the Philippines Women’s National Soccer Team’s training camp. The team made it to the 2nd round of the Asia Olympic Qualifiers and puts Tara one tournament closer to potentially playing in the Olympics! The idea still shocks and amazes me…to think back when to when she was 4 learning soccer basics through Lil’ Kickers, that time she wore pink cowboy boots to her first soccer practice in kindergarten for St. Matts, then playing club ball, making varsity as a freshman at Holy Names and soon ending her senior year getting into PLU with a Presidential Scholarship and playing soccer for them (ugh, I know, that was a super long proud mom brag.) Who would have thought she would make the PI Women’s U-16 National team back in 2016 and play her first international tournament and today…MAKING IT on the PI Women’s Senior National Team with the prospect of advancing through to play in Tokyo 2020! Blows my mind. We are Qatar bound on April 1!

2019-03-14_21-11-08_267Tara and her teammates

Terence and Teren will be making their way to Manila next Thursday and as a family, traveling to Qatar to cheer our Tara on! We’re there for 10 days so if any of you have any recommendations on things to do, let us know!

I’ve been living solo in the condo (Thanks Aunty Emy) since Tara is boarding with her team. BGC (Bonifacio Global City) is super nice and have found my bearings. Everything is relatively close and walkable, there is Grab (which is like Uber and I think Uber owns them) which makes is convenient when you don’t want to walk in the blazing heat. Living is pretty easy and chill here and can’t wait to be here on a more permanent basis!

Here are some pics from our trip so far! If you follow me on IG you may have already seen these! Enjoy and until next update!

img_6897DTF is here!

img_6894DTF is super thoughtful and make these purse/bag holders available!

img_6893F1 Hotel – Had to come back! Tara and her teammates from the U-16 spent a good 3 weeks here before the official training camp back in 2016 for the AFC Championship Tournament

img_6892Massage time! The one at F1 Hotel is hands down the best one I’ve gotten here!

img_6889Fun Benches in BGC!

1dd753ed-3293-47fa-8d2d-555dd8d11811img_6876Pretty convenient to have a gym in our condo building

img_6868My view when i wake up, window is literally right by the bed, love it and don’t mind waking up to this!

img_6864Training Camp – Rizal Memorial Stadium

img_6861I have yet to ask but we see this in metro areas, roosters and chickens tied up to the trees which are in the middle of the roads sometimes!


img_6838Balai Isabel Beach Resort

img_6806Just palm trees and sun

img_6800img_6792img_6782Been doing more matcha lattes vs. my usual lattes 

img_6774This is Burgos Circle and people still do Pokemon GO?!?!

img_6770img_6763A staple, daing bangus, rice and eggs

img_6740Spin! The instructors are great and the workouts are amazing!

img_6747Watched the President’s state of the union speech of sorts…he dropped so many f-bombs and putang inas on public tv. My takeaways: if you sell and do drugs, you will be punished (and possibly killed), he doesn’t like the casinos, and that was it…granted I only watched like 5 minutes of itimg_6730Thank goodness for technology, get to see my other baby 

img_6700Infrastructures, madness, a Borromeo running for council, and a meat store

img_6699Not in BGC anymore. What the girls walk through to get to the stadium.

img_6695$74 Pesos

b75fc189-cd2c-42ed-84f6-75ea019483e4img_6648Before getting the wifi and internet set up in the condo, spent a ton of time at starbucks drinking lattes and free wifi

img_6645Not only a gym in the building but a swimming pool perfect for swim workouts

img_6623Fresh pandesal, all day

662dbb54-f378-409e-a8de-b7a547c36d9dimg_6552img_6545img_6547Shake Shack coming soon

img_6542Halo-halo, a favorite filipino dessert

img_6507img_6506So I have a gym and swimming pool in the building and this super nice walk/run path! 3 miles out and back, so perfect for quick run workouts and intervals


4fa7be9f-ae28-404b-8d03-c4f9e1ee1f39img_6469img_6467img_6457Another mall 

img_6437Cockroaches are gross but what can you do but to kill them

img_6438Goodnight view.



How quickly it comes and goes…

So last entry was Valentine’s Day. Almie was working in Austin Texas. That evening Uncle Butchie reached out to me on messenger asking if Tara was interested in trying out for Philippine Women National Soccer Team. I let Tara know and she started mulling it over.

The next evening we pick up Almie from the airport, along with 3/4 of our neighbors-The Cari clan. That evening we were also picking up Uncle Professor Rod flying from Hawaii.

So the days leading up to today it was decided that Tara was going to try out back home. I am saddened, because Almie will be the one going. Haha. Wishing I could go! Such an exciting moment in Tara’s soccer life. 2016 was so pivotal for my whole family. It gave Almie (twice) and Teren a chance to go home for the 1st time. Gave Tara a summer stay in the PI and to play soccer in China. Gave me a chance to go home and rekindle the longing I have had so likod ng puso ko (back of my heart) to go back to my birthplace. While we were it amazing, sadly it was quick and it came and it went.

While Uncle Rod was here I got invited to watch the Bambu show. I seen him like a long long time ago. Geologic made an appearance. This show was pretty dope. It got me to think about agendas, lyrics, political issues, and listen to some good music. Also got me to question my own meaning of being Filipino. Rod dropped knowledge about being the 1.5 generation. I guess my whole life I’ve known it but never put a label to it. Probably why I was angry when I was young. 1.5 are those that were not born here, but moved here at a young age where they didn’t experience the “whole” growing up in the Philippines. I need some self reflecting. Next day we got to see Ruby Ibarra. No words..but wow and dope.

Back to the comings and the going’s. Tara today interviews at PLU what would be potentially be a full ride. Only 5 out of 106 will get it, but to be able to be on the list is still an accomplishment. Her high school life is almost over which has blown right by and soon she will enter the college life which will come and go…in a blink of an eye.

Just want to remind you if your reading this like in that one song “we are not promised tomorrow”. So love yourself and those close to you like you going to lose them. It goes by fast…

Kindergarten, she had already been doing soccer for about 2 years at this point

Age 9. First club team try out. Made it.

2016. Age 16. Interview with Tara and team at CNN Philippines

My little dude has been going to soccer for a long time. I think this is the old little kickers building.

Lute life

Didn’t really take any pictures but this. Was enjoying th.

Dear diary…

I told my family I would start my next blog post with some dear diary shit. So it’s been a month since the last post. We’re settled in at our friends basement apartment, the Cari’s. Fuck for real it has been really really good. Their kids and our kids get along. I can’t say enough how grateful I am the universe put us here. Took a bad situation (leaking roof on van) to a place where we all feel at home. We’ve had 3 Sunday dinners in row and oh my there has been food a plenty.

A mutual friend of ours has recently received news of cancer. If it wasn’t for him introducing us a few years back on a bike ride we wouldn’t have met the Cari’s. I am thankful!! Another friend is having troubles with their marital situation. I hope and pray that these folks find peace and comfort in their situation that they are in. My take from all this is life is short, live it well.

Snowmaggedon. Seattle has been hit with an unusual weather spell. It’s almost over, it has been cold. We ate too much. Got cabin fever. But the kids had a good time playing in the snow.

The van is doing great. I have some reservations about the engine but nothing too crazy, it will get fixed. Leak is fixed. Thankful for that. We have decided to put the van up for rent.


And RVshare, but I can’t find the link right now.

Here are some pics from the month.

Karaoke at the new spot

Found a printed pic. Circa 1998

The van aka big boy at his new home.

CC and I saying good bye to 1D poster before it goes to recycling

Got to go on a longish bike ride

Started at a church open gym b-ball

The homies playing in the snow

School closure snow

Late night tour of green lake

Sending selfies to Almie while she’s on a work trip

Beating street fighter 2 on Xbox