Alex Maskara

Thoughts, Stories, Imagination of Filipino American Alex Maskara

Book Reviews

Book Reviews


Visons of L

Short Stories

Short Stories



Flash Blogging

Spontaneous Thoughts



Novel in Progress


Barrio Tales

Old Time Tales

Barrio Tales

Four Students

Four Students

Four Students



Understanding my unique Self on my way to Retirement

I am back to my personal journey and today was no different from the weekends I used to have. I woke up after last night’s heavy downpour watching the flash flood and feeling sympathetic to the cars that got stranded. It was a mess. This early, I needed to come down to the condo unit I am planning to rent to tenants and pay the guys who supposedly cleaned and prepared it for showing. I did a few rearrangements of the new appliances myself. I had to call my property manager about the blinds that did not get installed. The rejected microwave wasn’t picked up by the delivery guys from Home Depot, now I have to return it myself.

Since that had been resolved, I am now back to my home, quietly sitting here and meditating through journaling. I want to feel good but with the gray skies and impending rains again, it is hard for me to do that. The weather is beyond my control so I can probably resort to other means to make me feel less depressed, like brightening up my room with good lighting that mimics the day. I just did that.

I cannot forever resort to the Internet to help me cope up with the downsides of life. There are other ways I could do this. Read a book, write a blog, code a new computer project. Of course, it is tempting to have the transitory escapes offered by tik tok and reels unless I really need an escape from mental anguish, like on those days when my sister was sick or when I dealt with the heavy stress of managing the HOA and building, or work-related crises. But on ordinary days like today, it’s a Saturday and it feels alright, I just need to stick to the original plans I used to follow - read 1 book a week, follow it with a book review. Blog more on my other websites, feature more learning stuff about programming on my web dev page, start the videos I have been planning all along to build my health website. It is easy to miss those goals because I tend to be lackadaisical, bordering on procrastination.

Obviously, I am gearing for self-fulfillment when I talk about goals. And that is what I should aspire for. I don’t want the end of day regret of failing to do this and that, these usually happen during my working days. Today is the weekend and as I mentioned in my previous blogs, this is the moment to prove to myself that my retirement is more fulfilling and joyous than wasteful. What depresses me more is watching the little news about current US politics and when I go to the news about the old country, they have nothing to show except a few decent news interspersed with the kind of gossip sharing about people I don’t even care about. Still, they stimulate my curiosity which begins with: ‘Who are these people they talk about that’s worthy of my attention?’ And when I find out, silly me, I have already spent a copious amount of time checking them out. An ordinary event or person in the US would never land on newspapers like they would in the old country.

Oh well, I need to hear some good music. This will set the environment I am desperate to have around me. I cannot forever rely on silence all the time. It is time to put life into my world. I turned on some classical tunes.

Since yesterday, I have gathered my wits as far as travel on retirement is concerned. Do I really need to spend nearly 2k dollars to walk alone somewhere around? Would seeing a new place be wonderful for me? I have done that before, and I was not happy in the end. The only happiness I felt was reading a book at the airport while waiting for my flight back to Manila. Or when I studied the concept of object programming throughout the flight on my way to San Francisco and got 96 in my C++ exam. Yup, I should know my true self by now and I don’t know why I still compare myself with people whose source of happiness is through travel. They have families, partners, spouses to share their experiences with. I have none of those and I better choose what kind of joy uniquely fits me. It is not solo traveling unless I am super cool and good looking and full of energy and the poster child of extroversion. All I know is - it is not by way of copying how others do their enjoyable experiences. The other sad truth? I am in my 60s.

So at this time, the most viable retirement plan for me is to keep doing what I sporadically enjoy doing in my brief spare times. Reading and blogging and programming. They don’t need a new place like an expensive resort somewhere or a new city, to indulge in them. I would just spend my time reading and maybe meditating, the things I enjoyed doing in my last Manila visit.

On my last Manila visit, I enjoyed going to my old hangouts. Something else I enjoyed that surprised me - going to an open bar where there was great music. Maybe one day, I can do the same in a nearby bar and just sit there to listen with my beer. It is very important for me to understand my unique self now, given that I will have to pick and choose the things I would like to do when all the free time is given to me. The sexcapades were not bad either but whoa - too expensive and too close to diseases and crimes. I would probably stay away from those.

The walking in Manila Bay and checking out the places I used to visit were also finely experienced, but these are probably ‘once in a while’ kind of ventures. The main gist is the moment I spent reading a book and writing in my nearly empty room was better than most of my adventures outdoors.

The thing is, there is a big likelihood I can spend my days this way while staying in my old place (minus the sexcapades) without spending an extra dime. I could go to a nearby park, sit on my chair and read. I can stay in my comfortable chair and desk and keyboard my life away. Instead of picking up my food in a nearby food store, I can cook my own thing. The overall picture is a better prospect that going to Athens or Mexico City. I don’t want to waste money going to those places alone and regret it or worse, where I get damaged by stupidity.
2024-03-23 14:38:09

Lazaro Sembrano

Manila in the Dark

Boy Luneta

A Night at the Luneta Grandstand

Migratory Bird (circa 2005)

Manila Travel 2022

On Bad Blood (Part 1)

Understanding my unique Self on my way to Retirement

Intramuros 1

Pasig River


A Visit to Quiapo with El Fili2

Visiting Quiapo with El Fili

The Very Thought of You


Visions of St Lazarus 1

Popong 9

Diary of A Masquerade


Brother, My Brother (Ben Santos)

Popong 8

F Sionil Jose

Four Students - 2

Popong 7 - Meditation

Popong 6 - Meditation

Friday Night Thoughts

Current Interests

Bulosan Syndrome

Maid of Cotton

Popong 5

Popong 4

Current Readings 2

Popong 3

Reading: Name of the Rose

Current Readings

Popong 2

Web Projects

Getting Back in the Game – Technology

Four Students


Last of the Balugas

Introduction To Popong