Greg is a retired manager having worked in his country for over 40 years. He and his wife are new residents living in the Tagaytay area.
My Wife and I
Living A Retiree's Life, Sort of
Having worked for 40+ years, I really had no idea what to do once I retired. Visions of fishing still haunt me occasionally, and so does playing the perfect game of golf. However these visions quickly dissipate when I wake up in the morning and I realize that there is no way I am leaving a warm bed and a picturesque breakfast to sit on a hard boat bench for hours and sizzle in the sun while wretchedly holding a fishing pole or to stumble for several kilometers on arid or muddy ground looking for a wayward golf ball that refuses to be found. I suppose a retiree's life is meant to be one of choice, in which case I chose to be lazy and wait for fate to drop the next bombshell on me . Luckily for me, my wife approved.
This was not my wife's choice as she dived into her passion for oil painting which had hounded her for years. After she graduated from a university of Fine Arts at age 20, she always felt incomplete having chosen a career as a fashion designer rather than as an artist. I have to admit my guilt in influencing her decision, as it was my sagely advise as her manager that turned her head away from her first passion; I remember telling her that while fashion designers became rich without earning the fame, most artists achieved their place in history and starved in the process. Yvette chose fashion design as she had a family to feed.
My Wife As An Oil Painter
Yvette's second career did not start immediately upon our decision to retire in Tagaytay. Even before we made that fateful choice, Yvette was already struggling with her life's dreams, particularly after our only son, Kevin, left for Germany to continue his education. It was at this point in our lives when we faced our future as "empty nesters", that Yvette found something fulfilling, both spiritually and personally.
I encouraged Yvette in her decision to choose painting as her means of self-expression, we had gone through so much together as a couple struggling to make ends meet while raising a family and a business, I felt it was time for her to venture on her own path now that we were capable to some extent of freely choosing our next stage in life. Even as "empty nesters" , we still found many other opportunities in our lives to take part in. At this period, I surprisingly became involved with the Church as a lay minister. Yvette joined me in several of my duties, and together we gathered a whole new world of friends and places while learning more about spiritual matters. We have retained these friendships and our closeness to the Church over time, even after our move to Tagaytay.
Paintings from her passion
In Tagaytay, Yvette Found Herself
Two years after Kevin left for Germany, we made the fateful move to Tagaytay. Yvette and I immediately fell in love with the peaceful environment that we found here, away from the distractions of Manila. No more do we worry about the traffic, noise or the pollution in the city. When we need a break from our present lives, we take a short ride into the neighboring towns to explore the treasures that they may offer to tourists and to other visitors. So far, it has been an exploration full of joy and smiles.
We fixed up our house, a bit more to reflect the paths we have chosen in life. Yvette now has a studio where she displays her work, and the color and spirit she has brought into our lives is invigorating. She has even sold some of her paintings, and her success spurs her on every morning.
I will continue to encourage her in her passion, and even though it may not be mine or about me, the joy it brings to us both when a new work is finished is something to behold.
Her paintings from Tagaytay
© 2018 Gregory Floro