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APPLYING for dual citizenship in the Philippine Consulate General’s Office in New York City is easy and quick.

But the adjustment of retirees in the old country is daunting and difficult.

An advertiser in the Filipino Reporter once wrote an article captioned: “Idyllic Old Country has changed beyond recognition.”

In his article, he warns future retirees that people may sometimes probably discover that the idyllic old country has changed beyond recognition — old friends have passed away like more than half of my classmates at law school at San Beda College, or relocated and/or no longer available like many of my co-workers at ANSCOR because of old age and/or other physical infirmities.

He further wrote that the old country simply ceased to exist.

It has changed with the times in their absence such that upon one’s return, one has virtually become an alien paradoxically in his own country of birth.

Others like Bert Garcia and Joe P., my former colleague at ANSCOR, in Makati do have this utopian plan of spending half of the year inside and outside the Philippines until it becomes impractical to do so — financially and physically.

Of course, there are additional benefits for retiring in the Philippines as enumerated below:

1. Helpers are easily accessible at reasonable price from $70 to $100 a month.

2. Abundance of homemade food.

3. Affordable resorts, beaches and vacation places.

4. Exposure to lots of fresh air, free from pollution.

5. Free from snow and cold weather.

6. Availability of local therapists, “hilot” and masseurs.

7. Reasonable costs of entertainment and nightlife.

If retirees have plans of participating in the elections, retirees should renounce their U.S. citizenship and run for public office as allowed by the Local Government Election Code of 1991.

However, if retirees are disqualified to run for any elective local position if they remain as dual citizens under Section 40 of the Local Government Election Code of 1991.

Dual citizens are also disqualified to be appointed in the judiciary, in constitutional commission and as Ombudsman or his deputies.

Handouts to relatives

The most daunting task of retirees is the incessant pleas of cousins and long lost relatives for handouts.

If I ever show up in my ancestral town of Macalelon, Quezon, with half of the town’s population remotely related to me, it would be a disaster if I venture into town.

I am only a few months away from returning to the Philippines and already two cousins from a distant barrio in Gumaca, Quezon have written me letters asking for doleouts feigning imaginary hospital stay and imagined sickness.

How I wish to just hide in the boondocks in the jungle of the Sierra Madre and live a hermit’s life as our family did during the closing days of the last World War.

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