Retirement in the Philippines or Thailand?

Mike Mikesell – the tragic Philippine journey of an incredible American

“An American psychologist was identified dead beneath his vehicle parked on the MacArthur Highway in Barangay Pio Cruzcosa, Calumpit, Bulacan early yesterday early morning.  Police mentioned Mike Mikesell, president of the Rotary Club of Barasoain,Malolos and former guide at the Tanglaw Pag-asa (Bulacan Heart for Youth Offenders), experienced a gunshot wound in the head.”  Did Mikesell commit suicide or was he murdered?  Here is the story.  You’ll have to attract your possess conclusions.”

These are some of Mikesell’s on-line posts, as chronological as we can make them, of this  American, who arrived to dwell in the Philippines, who engaged himself in the lifestyle and in amazing fantastic is effective, who grew to become disillusioned and last but not least was killed or committed suicide.  We’re not certain what ethical or lesson can be drawn, but there is a lot food for imagined for expats and aspiring Philippine expats.  As is typical in these kinds of situations, there is nominal followup.  The stories flash in the headlines and then are neglected.  As much as we know, there was under no circumstances a credible rationalization of  Mikesell’s death. At times it looks that the authorities, Philippine and U.S., truly feel that foreigners who come to the Philippines to live know in advance that it can be a risky location and that we should really not be amazed if something terrible happens.  It’s just the way matters are.


“Very great work, Tom. To reinforce some of Tom’s article I will add a pair of sentences on my possess satisfaction with life in RP. Finding a delighted site to reside in was correct for us… moved a several moments, finally shopping for, creating and matching our wishes with our earnings.

Even though there are 3 expats in our town of 51 barangays, we seldom see every other (besides at joint Rotary Club meetings), and I have much more to say to my barkada (near team of Filipino men my age who have taken me in lock-inventory and barrel). I sit with them 2 or 3 nights a week and drink beer and take in pulutan. I operate at a college with 1, perform tennis with a different, take compact trips with 2 other folks, and so on. I never ever experienced this degree of social conversation in the US, preferring pretty considerably to keep apart. These fellas are constantly sort of all around and although not bothering, or pestering me, they make it very easy to do issues with them that I appreciate. They generally do factors that integrate my spouse and children.

I am typically stared at, termed Joe, and my existence often stimulates laughter and a clerk scurrying absent to get in touch with for an additional clerk to hold out on me. Although I have discovered to communicate Tagalog in a primitive trend, those people listening always anticipate me to converse English and there is often that conversation dance till we settle. Although some Filipinos are fluent in English, most in my knowledge are marginally ready to converse in English, and a good deal can not). My Rotary Club is created up of doctors and attorneys and the like, and they insist that I talk Tagalog for the reason that its hard do the job for them to translate constantly.

This checklist, distant when I opt for it to be, serves my have to have for expat conversation. Peculiar huh? Oddly, it fills my will need when I study and compose points again and forth with associates. Although I have in no way satisfied Don H. individually, I feel I am a buddy. We at times talk by textual content or voice. Many others on the listing I know as “friends”, even though they aren’t what you would assume of in the US as friends. With a several some others I in some cases sense animosity or adversity. On a couple instances I have been in Angeles but in no way attempt to speak with any of the expats or website visitors I run across.

Just my thoughts,
Mike M.”


“Hi Chris,
I am the venture director of a system that delivers schooling (1st to 10th quality), counseling (drug, offender, target), expertise schooling (digital, very well drilling, and many others), and religious- study character growth, to approximately 500 prisoners at the Bulacan Provincial Jail. Its not a prison until they have been convicted which takes up to 5 or 6 yrs, and then they go to one of the 7 prisons in the Philippines- from here they go to Muntinlupa. My “salary” goes to the prison. There are a full of 2,2500 prisoners here. I also direct Tanglaw Pag-asa (hope and peace), the juvenile rehab centre for 75 youth in slam for index crimes.

Traveling to day by day 1 – 5. The are dependent on family/site visitors for every thing (treatment, shampoo, outfits, etcetera), other than an inadequate amount of money of foods each day. Now we are not permitting cash in because of extortion. I am seeking to set up a lender from administrative opposition.

Lots of if not most prisoners are indigent-normally that means squatters. Their youngsters, spouses, can’t manage transportation so they under no circumstances get people. A lot of family members disintegrate during the 5 yr incarceration period of time. I have recently arranged with a Rotary Club in San Jose del Monte to provide 50 guests twice a thirty day period. My club will pay 1 trip for each thirty day period (about 1,600 with food thrown in).

There are a lot of groups ready for counseling. I do 10 classes for every groups- in portion for the remedy and in more substantial section for the prospect for prisoners to converse to another person.

If you want to know about hell, visit just one. If you are in Bulacan, fall in and I’ll give you the tour.

Thanks for inquiring, Mike M.”


“Its how we dwell, its what we do and we are not possible to alter. Its also recognized and talked about by anyone and everybody throws up their palms. This amount of pessimism is like contemporary salt, spicy or agonizing.

For me, the most difficult portion of discovering solace in living in the Philippines has been fitting into the society. The massively numerically dominant decreased classes beg, borrow, and steal what I have and throw their offal in any drinking water source. We cherish their white toothed smiles although several if not most have rotting teeth and no wellness insurance policy. The overflow of their offspring roam the streets of every single municipality, unclaimed.

The particularly thin center courses cling onto their legacy of house and follow their barkadas working day and night time, clinging to a person yet another although consuming 5 beers each and every night time and eating pulutan. They have insurance coverage, make heartless use of the lessen course in their work, and get pleasure from their position. Their smiles conceal what they are pondering. They assert they want to modify the standing of the reduce lessons but cling tightly to every thing they own- other than for when it comes to the barcadas. They are pessimistic about the govt.

The really rich overlords- it is reported that 250 family members own 95% of the Philippines- rule with impunity. They rarely have to rethink everything they desire to do for the reason that they are in charge. They handle government, economy, crime and social development.”

“To oversimplify about myself, I was lifted in a reduce class surroundings, and like numerous, numerous Us residents crawled into and was recognized by the massive center course. Very poor folks brushing elbows with properly-to-do individuals and no 1 the wiser. I did not hobnob with the Rockefeller, Kennedy and Bush family members, but except as a boy or girl, in no way knew hunger. We all experienced/have money ample to keep us written content.

Listed here, I am welcomed with open arms into the middle courses, but as a generality discover it cloistering, sadly hypocritical and disingenuous. They seem to tolerate my pitiful philanthropy, commenting that they are blessed to have me here- but, they do not want to be part of me in striving to correct things. I lookup among the them unsuccessfully for a confidante. I relish my day-to-day looking at of the comments of people on this record- my get hold of with reality. I appear to be to be stuck in paradise to kind of coin a phrase. I never truly want to shell out my remaining a long time consuming 5 beers a night and taking in goat entrails.

But, which is who we are and what we do. Acquire it or depart it.

Mike M.”


“I am lonely listed here, designed additional so by an increasing recognition of how deeply alien I am. I have lengthy weary of the nightly drinking and eating with the barcada. I see much more deeply into the Austroasian intellect as time passes.”


Information Report

American identified dead By: Emil G. Gamos & Erick Silverio MALOLOS City —An American psychologist was observed dead beneath his auto parked on the MacArthur Freeway in Barangay Pio Cruzcosa, Calumpit, Bulacan early yesterday morning.

Police explained Mike Mikesell, president of the Rotary Club of Barasoain,
Malolos and former specialist at the Tanglaw Pag-asa (Bulacan Middle for Youth Offenders), experienced a gunshot wound in the head.

The target was located by village watchmen below his silver XLT Ford Ranger with a .25 handgun at 3:50 a.m., police claimed.

Police reported a handwritten notice with a concept “Pls. get in touch with Fe Mikesell” was uncovered on the automobile windshield. Fe Mikesell turned out to be the victim’s Filipino wife.

Acting Bulacan law enforcement director Senior Supt. Allen Bantolo stated he is even now awaiting the benefits of the forensic investigation of the SOCO on the incident.

“Sa initial report, it appears na mukhang me factor ng suicide dahil sa nakitang handwritten note at baril sa tabi ng bangkay ng biktima,” Bantolo claimed.

Bantolo directed the Provincial Police investigation department to conduct a comprehensive probe of the incident.

Mikesell supported the offering of no cost companies to juvenile delinquents detained at Tanglaw Pag-asa. He is also really lively assisting the nearby federal government in its youth and health programs.


Good day absolutely everyone. I’m a lengthy-time pal of Mike Mikesell, and I’ve been a member of this team as very long as he had, though I under no circumstances posted a message. I’m also married to a filipina, and I was the a single to introduce the Philippines to Mike.

I want to obvious up some confusion about his passing and to identify his contributions to the Philippines.

I’ve been really lively to attempting to guarantee a complete investigation occurs, and that is the circumstance. The police are thoroughly conducting this, and the Am. Embassy is observing all of this as well.

If you understood Mike properly, you would know he would never ever get his personal lifetime, and just very last week I had been helping him line up a boat that he had prepared to live on with his spouse and children. They lately visited a marina to glance at a person. He was also investigating a small business thought I sent him.

It is now grow to be identified Mike experienced recently taken out a restraining get on somebody. He also had acquired demise threats. Mike was found less than his truck shot with his gun he carried in the truck. His palms had been scraped. He was filthy, indicating he put up a combat.

I can only conclude anything went sour with anyone or with various people who made a decision to do this. It may well have been Mike was going to shield himself with the gun, and they obtained it away from him.

You may well be aware Mike was a psychologist (we went to the exact same grad college and were in the same psychology program), and Mike volunteered his time as a professor at the Univ. of Bulacan, a jail, an orphanage, a juvenile detention middle, and a women’s insane asylum. I visited all these facilities with him last 12 months, and the persons there (equally employees and sufferers/prisoners) liked him. Mike was also the president of the local Rotary. Mike introduced systems to these amenities that had in no way been observed in the Phils . He moved individuals out of cages have been they experienced been locked absent for many years. He introduced hope to other people who could not get the ear of anyone to pay attention to their plight. He assisted individuals build skills that would preserve them out of these amenities in the upcoming. Mike liked encouraging other folks caught up in these facilities/conditions, and he was driven to do whatever he could.

Mike’s wife, Fe, is scarcely coping, as you can envision. I’m absolutely sure at some issue she will be viewing these postings. Any other beneficial opinions, memories, you may well want to relate to her, I’m absolutely sure she will recognize.

These many years in the Philippines for Mike have been the greatest for him. I’m guaranteed that he has no regrets in coming here. He sometimes pushed points to their limitations, but that only increased the wild experience of his lifestyle that simply just added to his pleasure. Goodbye Mike.

and at last,

I as well feel a large decline for Mike and now have an understanding of why Mike posted to this internet site about Everyday living Finding To Him Here

I critically question that Mike dedicated suicide but was set up for a deal killing,he may possibly have underestimated the risk he was in. It is extremely uncomplicated to have a misunderstanding with a Filipino and be in grave threat.

We westerners usually assume that any altercations can be settled by the courts and we rely on the Police to intervene in any disputes, nonetheless the intellect established in this region leans additional to revenge then settling disputes in court docket. The likely level for a deal killing is less then 300 USD thank God that the killers did not go following Mikes household as perfectly

1 of my ideal close friends returned to America for the reason that of a land dispute concerning his wife’s family members he nor his wife have been included The dispute was more than fish pond possession her father killed his cousin in a heated argument with a bolo and was also shot in the leg for the duration of the argument self protection but the cousins family members put out a agreement on my pals household

After this my friend started finding demise threats on his lifestyle as nicely as his sons and his wife’s , so immediately after 5 yrs of dwelling right here happly they decided to transfer back to the United states

My friend was a retired police officer from Detroit Metropolis and experienced noticed his share of issues and had the recommendations on the wall to prove it but he realized that the threat to his spouse and children was real and it was unattainable to insure his households protection.

As for Mike carrying a gun I’m guaranteed the out arrive would have been the same with or with out the gun the only difference the gun could have designed was if Mike had made use of it as a substitute of carrying it he should under no circumstances have let them get close more than enough to just take it away from him

Just my opinion immediately after 7 several years of living right here

Tom, Roxas City