Almost three years ago, my wife Lily and I decided we should spend
more time in Manila, so we moved into a high-rise condo wed bought earlier. We now visit with our kids and grandkids in the States for the Christmas holidays. What do I do to keep busy?
Four things, mainly: to keep in mental shape, I put in my own hours at
my own pace as Senior Consultant at SearchBank, a regional executive search firm youd probably better recognize as Boyden Global.
To pay back, I do volunteer work for the American Association of the Philippines, which provides assistance to destitute Americans and those of American lineage here.
I sit on the Board; serve as Chairman of the Membership Committee
and as Editor-in-Chief of its quarterly newsletter, Yankee Doodles.
The association is the owner-in-trust of, and maintains, the American
Historical Collection made up of about 10,000 books and 20,000
photos of the American era in the Philippines, between 1898
and 1946. The collection has been declared Unique by the Library of Congress
and is arguably the largest in the world.
To pay back further, Im currently spearheading efforts with my high
school and college classmates to raise enough funds to construct a
village of 20 houses for the Filipino poor, through Gawad Kalinga,
a charitable organization providing housing and livelihood training
for the less fortunate segment of the Philippine population.
And lastly, I serve as the incumbent Esteemed Loyal Knight of the
Manila Elks, http://www.manilaelks.org/mambo/index.php, one of only
two Elks lodges outside of the US and her possessions — the other
one being in Panama. The Manila Lodge is referred to as the Lodge
in Exile, and serves as the American Club in the Philippines.
And to plug whatever time holes there may still be, I get involved with
selected projects of the American Chamber of Commerce and the
European Chamber of Commerce.
For a retired geezer, Id say I keep a little busy.