Posts Tagged ‘Evan Iliadis’

May I have a bit of your time? Ready for a journey to this part of Greece where I’m born? Sit back and relax, free your mind for a moment and travel with me; for you to discover, for me to revive my recent Pascal journey there. Click on, watch, then, read the story.

 

Symphony in la Serenity

Tribute to a friend who wanted to stay anonymous but I can no longer resist. 

Constantin – “Costas” was born and raised in Athens Greece, Agricultural-engineer by profession – hence his passion and love for the nature- found spiritual refuge in the monasteries of central Greece, not far from  Meteora in Thesaly. 
Costas wrote the essay in the 70s in a newsletter and was published “somewhere”, few only had access to his writings, it happened me to be one of those. The original text was written in Greek, I translated to English and French with the valuable help of a friend in Los Angeles CA. 

Let’s get started. 

Central Greece, Region of Thessaly, year 1975.

Up in Andihasia, on the right side of the road that goes From Kalambaka to Grevena, there is a village among the pine trees, set off by some fifty whitewashed houses: It’s called Stayades. From Kalambaka, it takes about an hour and a half for a car, groaning and grinding as if it is about to fall apart, to get near the village. The trip is marvelous though. Leaving the car there, one has to continue on foot or, if already arranged so, on a donkey all the way to Stayades.

Built on a rock at the very edge of the village, is the cluster of Stayades Monastery, its majestic brown mass almost covering the entire region around. With its significant presence dating back to 1004 A.D., both as a building and a cultural center, this monastery has found its permanent place in history, or, to put it better, made the history of this place.

That’s where I once spent a few summer days early one August. Days of peace, rest and joy, fruitful in meditation and spiritual uplift. Never before in my lifetime had I felt such peace of mind, such vigor of thought, as I had during those days. I had broken away from that land of barbarians, called city and civilization, to find myself aloof for a while, upon a mountain, together with two Brothers Masons from my mother Lodge.

The locals told me their village is built 2,500 feet above sea level; but if you compare how high you are with how close you feel to God, then you will have to consider that that village and this city, whichever it may be, are entire miles apart. But is it Stayades that seems so elevated? Or is it maybe the place we live in, as well as any other place thriving in today’s society, that keeps falling lower and lower?

Sitting in a monastery room, I am enjoying the tranquil and unspoiled nature outside. Grassy hillsides encompass me, by turns light green with the spots of pine-trees in a clearing, and dark green diversified by the black, patch-like shadows of the drifting clouds. The eye is pleased to travel over there, where green meets with blue, where the earth touches the sky.

on-the-doorwayOn the doorway of this earthly world, on the highest peak of the mountains, there sprout up some trees like symbols. Having cut loose from their mother earth, they break through the skyline and enter a different world. True symbols of those who managed to firmly stand on their feet, reached up high and joined the heavens, holding their mind in one hand and their heart in the other.

It is those few who always find themselves struggling for higher peaks and have to wrestle with the earth that keeps them down. But little by little, they soar sky-high to become heroic, celestial symbols, not pieces of earth any longer.

How glad and proud I am to look at those few trees; rolled up in the sky, cut off from here, and already saved. Moving my eyes across the mountain slopes, it seems as though there is a multitude of people laboring their way up. How many of them will reach the top, and how many of them will take root there, happy to have come that high. Little people, turning their weakness into faith.

“We are not cut out for higher. This rock is our mountain. We got to the top of it. Let us now stop and refresh ourselves. Let the sweat on our bodies dry, and the pain on our feet be allayed.”

on-the-doorwayFor if someone should point to the others, who keep going up, they would respond: “There is no end to be seen anywhere. Even those still going higher, are not to reach any special top. One day they’ll see this way is endless, and they’ll stop where they are to their despair. We knew that all along.”

“Yet people passed from here, managed to go up, and walked this road through.” “No,” they will argue, “those people were not like us. They had the seal of God upon them. Just look around you; look at us all. Do you see any seal anywhere? No. Then settle down beside me, make yourself comfortable and rest. You should be thankful to be here and not in that smothering ravine back there, where we could still be.”

Alas, there’s so much weakness, such frivolity behind  the veneer of certain victory. They’ve only failed and abandoned God, stifled His quivering within them and in His attempt to break free, ascend and reach.

The !’top” is the same for everyone. You are a human being and you begin your path in life: only one path -only one direction -upwards. And the end of it is still one top; but the last one is the highest. You can’t see it yet; it’s covered by the clouds. But as you move on, the higher you are, the clearer you’ll be able to see and, thus, envisage the glow of the final crest. You’ll be dragging on your feet, climbing with your hands, crawling on your belly, aching and bleeding. For you, too, are on the bloodstained track of someone else, who went up to Calvary first.

I am scanning the mountain slopes, wondering which tree I should identify with. Could I be that one deep down in the ravine, where smoke, voices and songs muffle the sound of money and passion, where no amount of perfume is enough to drive away the scent of the  human beast? Or maybe that tree upon the hillside which travelers labor up? Or am I, finally, that one up there, where a faint hope flickers? If only I could reach that cloud, which seems as though it’s veiling the mountain under it, however difficult, and rough, and murky crossing it may be. Then I would hope that, past the cloud, some sort of end could be discerned which would embolden me to go on. Or could there be more clouds further up?

A flock of sheep upon the mountain are grazing in the warm sunshine, while, in the hospitable cool of the monastery, I’m contemplating how far away we’ve strayed from God, as our overgrown technological civilization keeps building crowded towers, noisy freeways, fast-moving people. A new Babel.

And the higher the tower, the thicker the barrier between us and God, which means that the divine flame dips deeper within us, until it’s finally forgotten completely. Living in cities takes a lot effort, a lot of suffering among the voices and the frustrating rush for the soul to soar and meet with God. Yet here in the wilderness, God is around us. You can feel it. All you have to do is whisper His name and He will come. For everything here is His; and in every tree, in every stone, even in the chirping of the birds and the cat’s meowing, there is a piece of God arising. He is no more the God “in the highest,” but the One “on earth.” But then, is it that He has descended, or is it that we’ve let our hearts fly up to Him?

The Abbot came up to me and we were talking. He said, “As far as conscience is concerned, people are divided into three categories: First, those who, having become totally callous, are never bothered by their conscience; second, those who are being bothered by their conscience; and, third, those who are not bothered by it, because they do no harm anymore and have Soared high.”

I told him about the trees I was looking at a while ago, comparing them to three categories of people. He smiled: “you can read in nature,” he said, “what we read in books. This is how books are written, too; they express the silent speaking of nature. For nature speaks, only we do not understand it.

I left the place after a few days. Back to civilization. As I was entering the city, I felt my heart wrench. I felt like one who’s late at a concert. From the noise around me, I understood the concert had long since begun.

And it was then I read the symphony name on the program; the same old symphony

before I left, while I was away and now I’m back. The same symphony with thousands of variations on the same theme, and all its movements in Allegro con Brio: the incomplete symphony in C-sharp major, known as the symphony of madness.

I returned to my seat in the large concert-hall called society, moving my hands, legs, tongue, and brain to the beat of modern music, coming out from that gilt organ called civilization. So I left my heart un-tuned until it was lost deep inside me.

At times I look around me and I see large, motionless eyes. I look deep into them but there is no discerning any traces of life, except the same reflected glare of civilization’s gilt organ. Expressionless faces looking so very alike, that there is no more distinguishing between one man and another. 1’m looking for a spark of warmth in their eyes, some expression of kindness on their faces, but I don’t see any. And so I’m scared; I’m afraid that if I look into a mirror, I might not see my old self, but those same eyes and face everyone has. Now I think and smile bitterly at the thought, now we have all become brothers at last, from the same father whose name is hatred, and from the same mother whose name is greed. I feel as though tied to my seat, trying harder and harder to set myself free.

I want to get on the stage, cross to that shiny, mesmerizing organ, called modern technological civilization, give it a bash, and so break its shining mask. Perhaps that might set us free and enable us to see the real meaning of our civilization behind toppled mask. A civilization that will keep sending the animal-man to the stars, but will also keep leading the God-man to his throne. And then, maybe in the same hall, the second part of the concert could begin. Its sound is to restore the warmth in our eyes, and the human expression on our mesmerized faces. And that is the symphony in A-flat, known as the SYMPHONY OF LOVE.

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

Long time no post here. Not only I neglected this blog but also a place lived a big part of my life, that is nearly 16 years in the USA. Yes, it was a January of the year 1985 when landed in LAX. I had a suitcase, some money, and many skills. Oh! Did I tell you I also was young and handsome?…  

After the usual “welcome to America” in the airport, immigration and customs all I remember from that day is the suspicion of that Filipino immigration officer that pushed hard the questioning of my Visa type B, like, business she wanted to know in details on what kind of business I’m in and the purpose of entering the US. So if you see a Filipina officer in the airport change lane and go to the other one with blue eyes and blond hair.

Anyway, there I am in a taxi heading to Venice Beach 20 minutes ride from LAX with no suitcase, being told: “will arrive with the next plane from Paris”. Arrived at my apartment at midnight with not even a change of a pair of socks. Indeed, my suitcase was delivered a 10 PM next day at my place.

Venice Beach California My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America!

My years in America. America! America! I went back to Venice on February 2015. My cute condo was demolished and the little garden on the front was gone. They built 6 units instead of two it was before.

My apartment at 419 Ocean Front Walk was right there where its name is, @20 meters from the sand. A small, cute two stories two units condo facing the beach with a small garden on the front and a big, big window facing the boardwalk.

I hadn’t even had the time to explore the beach when a loud screaming and voices woke me up at 7 in the morning. Jumped out to see what was going on, saw 4 cops on top of a man on the floor trying to handcuff him. Said to myself, he must have done something grave to have all these cops trying to arrest him; I ask a bystander if he knew why he was arrested and got the shocking reply.

He was drinking a beer on the street
I said, then? Was he drunk?
I don’t know he said, but you can’t drink in public places here.
Do they really need all this manpower to subdue a guy just for drinking a beer?
Apparently, the bystander didn’t like the question, he left.

Venice is a crazy place to live. You’re caught in the middle of a middle-class bourgeoisie homeowners, homeless, leftists activists, nostalgics of the hippie era, artists and singers in search of a breakthrough that will change their life, but more often will never come.

Cops are everywhere on the streets, their 4X4 patrol the beach all night long looking for campers. I have rarely seen such a concentration of law enforcement on a tourist place. Talk about California the most liberal state of the Union…

(more…)

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

Los Angeles California Year 1992. I met a girl, We liked each other and fall in love.
A few months later I said: Do you want to marry me? She said: Humm!!!! Maybe a bit early for me, I have many obligations back home and can’t think of my own future right now. I said: a bit early? You’re 30! Besides, I can also help with the obligations you have back home. She said: Let’s think later about this, we’ll talk again. I said:  I’m 45 and long time single. Maybe I should look somewhere else. A few days later she said: OK. Let’s start thinking about it. When and where we are going to get married? My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

I said: Look. You don’t have any family here, neither do I. In France will be very expensive, why we don’t go in the Philippines so I can meet your family and have our honeymoon in a white sand beach resort? It’s more fun in the Philippines!!…

She said: It sounds like a plan to me. Let’s start shopping, we have to bring everything from here. Let’s go first to the jewelry store for the rings. Done: Beautiful pieces of art the rings.
I said: I want a first world class wedding, we have to bring a lot of Champagne, the real stuff, not American Sparkling Wine they call it champagne. I want French Wines and Whatever food can go in  Balikbayan boxes.
She said ok. Let’s go to the CostCo in Inglewood. We went, 3 hours later, came out with 3 huge shopping carts full of goods,  when looking for my car-nowhere to be found. Oh! Maybe we forgot where we parked it? No! We didn’t forget. My beautiful Mustang 5.0L  V8 Convertible was gone! It was my third one, just bought 8 months ago. The mother of all sports cars ever built in the US!  Those who owned one know what I’m talking. Those who had one with manual transmission know even better the kind of toy!

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

The customer service at Costco called a taxi. When the driver saw the load, he said that we need a truck, not a taxi! Not happy, but his car was big enough and with a bit of effort we have been able to load the whole thing. The car was recovered by the LA Police department 45 days later when they arrested the driver. He said he stole it to impress a girl he was dating. The insurance had already paid, they offered me to “take a look at the car, maybe we can negotiate.”  When I saw the wreck he made of a well-maintained car, I said “thanks…but No, thanks….

May 1993. My D-Day in the Philippines. My Big Fat Philippi

15 hours later I landed in a continent I have never visited before. New faces, new accent, observing the vendors inside the airport and people passing by all you notice first is smiling and good mood. In a little kiosk where we stoped for some drinks, the young guy asked me. Sir!  Are you  Joe Pesci. I said, No, why? “You look like him and you talk with the same accent in English he said”. I heard that before, many times, remember, is the Good Fellas era, Pesci’s best movie ever! I’ll embed an excerpt for you, but beware: Yes, true, close look, same height, and face and I speak with the same accent, minus the slang.

Then, to the domestic airport in Manila, long, long wait in the airport, only one flight every other day at that time to Bohol, in old planes, scary, I thought they were taken out of service anywhere else in the world and dumped to the Philippines. Let’s pray and  say goodbye to our loved ones, just in case… (Things have changed since. Now 4 flights a day, mostly nice new Airbus, new airport)

Welcome to Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines. My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

One hour 30 minutes drive on a bus (Jeepney) that Stella had made “special reservation” for us and the family came to the airport brought us to Batuan, a remote area in the center of the island, far from the sea, close to be called a jungle.

I thought I’ll never make it alive to the destination, the jeepney driver was driving so fast a mass of a junk fuming black smoke, I couldn’t breathe! How they could allow cars good for the junk yard, on a road good for horses and carabaos as it was then? Things have also changed in this department.  There are now buses in good condition with aircon, the road is nice, the travel time shorter.

Friend, this is a blog, not a book. Writing all my first impression and adventures it will take not one, but several books. Bohol at this time was one of the poorest provinces in the country but known also for its hospitality and traditional values, virgin and clean beaches, not a tourist spot.

Let’s continue with our story, the wedding, which was the reason we were here.

We thought, getting married in the Philippines would be as easy as at a Las Vegas drive in, just show your IDs and you’re all set! No folks! Things are more complicated than that. Once in the City Hall for the marriage license, the Mayor asks if I had a marriage capacity license with me.

I said: Excuse me? What is it?

He said: In the Philippines, every foreigner is obliged to show a certificate of marital capacity. Do you have one?

I said: Of course I have one! But I can’t show it to you just like that! This is a private thing and none of your business..

He said: Are you taking me for a stupid? Let me explain you. As a foreigner, in order to get married in the Philippines, it’s a must that we know you aren’t married already, or any other reason preventing you from getting married. So, put up or shut up.

I said. Oh! I have with me a judgment of divorce of a previous marriage.

He said. That’s fine! Go to the French consulate in Manila and tell them to give you the certificate, they know what to do, they are familiar with our laws.

The next day, I called the French consulate in Manila and asked the consul to help me with that. He said: “Monsieur, don’t even think about” don’t waste your money and time to come over. You should have first informed the French Consulate in LA where you reside, in turn, the consulate will send the information to the City Hall of the town in France where your first marriage took place. The mayor will publish your petition  for a license for 30 days outside the building, if no opposition, the Consulate in LA will issue the document to you. Not us.. Bad news! 8 days left and no hope to obtain the document. 

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

But the Mayor could no longer resist the pressure he was receiving from constituents and family, to ignore the fact that a foreigner is honoring us with his presence and he’s giving him red tape treatment. Besides, prominent people, including the Governor of the island and the entire Dagohoy Masonic Lodge from Tagbilaran were planning to attend the wedding.

Finally, we found a way to bypass the requirement, with the promise on my part to provide it as soon our return to the US. Done? Not exactly.

In the Philippines, a marriage not blessed in a church is not a real. In this remote area of Bohol in 1993, a civil marriage only was just unthinkable. Because I was divorced, and also made the mistake to say my first marriage took place in a Catholic church in France, (My ex was Catholic I’m Greek Orthodox).

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

The chances of getting re-married in the same church are zero. We went to see the Eveque in Tagbilaran for a dispensation, when finally found him, not only he refused, but gave us a nasty letter to give it to the priest, basically ordering him to respect the rules and slam the door on us.

We are Friday, the wedding is scheduled for Sunday, still, we don’t know where we’ll get married. Sadness and disappointment are all over the family in the house. But, hey! We are in the Philippines Folks! There is always a solution to the problem, Karma has been kind to us, always sided with us.

Late Friday evening, a relative came to the house to tell us that a priest of another church, not Catholic, will be willing to marry us, but he doesn’t have a temple, but he will come and celebrate our wedding at any place of our choice. Welcome to the

Philippine Independent Church  My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

 Also known as Aglipayan Church.  Good. We have now to decide fast, find a suitable place to build something like a chapel, something we can accommodate the guests estimated at more than 200. We went and asked the manager of the Restaurant in Chocolate Hills if she can rent us the place, or at least part of it, for the celebration. Very skeptical about the request, never happened before in the history of the place, but she accepted.

We are Saturday morning, May 22 1993. One day before the event. Since last night the pigs were screaming under the sharp knife of “the executioner”, cooking and cleaning all over, the whole family, neighbors, and volunteers are working overnight, a team of brothers, cousins, and nieces are busy decorating the chapel up in the Chocolate Hills.

Let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

Venerable Priest, I don’t even remember your name. It all happened so fast, what was counted then, is getting a religious marriage as a Stela’s family wanted.   I’m not a religious person, I don’t state publicly my convictions on the subject. But somehow, the symbolism behind your Ritual came to harmony with my spiritual beliefs acquired elsewhere, and my Philosophy as to what a religion and a church should be.

Today, 20 years later, I got a glimpse on the net and saw who you really are, what you exactly representing. I wish I knew it then. Today, all I can say is, Thank you for coming to us, thank you for the message you sent us during the ceremony, it was received,  be proud of your church and its history. Keep your symbolic and meaningful  rites, especially the wedding ceremonial Ritual.

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

To Tatay and Nanay who raised my wife, be assured, America and later France, countries she lived most of her life have not altered the principles you taught her as a child. Still the same, respectful and compassionate with her family, friends, and neighbors. Thank you for your efforts, for what you have done so I can find that unique Filipina in a place I never thought will be possible. In America. Rest in peace Tatay, you know your daughter is in good hands. 

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

To all beauties of the Jumawid Clan who worked hard, countless hours on the preparation, this picture may remind you a different era, the time of innocence and laughter. 20 years have passed, you now all have family and children on your own. The laughter is still here, I saw it, not long ago..

More pictures in a few days. Meanwhile, if you want to get married, do it in the Philippines. It’s really more fun!…

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

My Big Fat Philippines Wedding

Culture shock.

Culture shock.

More than a year has passed already, both me and Stella  on the go every day early in the morning, driving her “farmer’s car” as she called her preferred  multicab Suzuki 4X4  visiting her lands in preparation for the “big project” plantation of trees on 30 hectares that is.

Culture shock.

With-my-children

An adventure I had never thought she could handle with such easiness provided the area is remote, 4X4 cars can only go as close as 2 kilometers, meaning walking the rest of the distance no big deal, but transportation of seedlings fertilizers and other material had to be done on carabao. Culture shock.

Myself, driving another ” Passenger” multicab,  I bought it new, made in the Philippines!…What a joke!.. Equipped with a Suzuki engine but the rest was a  total rip-off. 13 years later still runs but with crutches!..

Culture shock.

Culture shock. | Evan Iliadis blog

Anyway, the time had come for me to handle the 400 mahogany and other species of standing trees I bought. Daily meeting in the forest with my favorite chainsaw man Armand, an artist in his trade, known as “the electronic precision” tree trunk slicer, doing with a Still brand chainsaw better than a band saw sometimes on 50 centimeters in diameter.

Once done,  daily trips to Cebu for machinery and accessories, setting up a shop making a reproduction of classic French design massive wood parquet tiles, furniture and other woodwork in quantities limited to my personal need. Social life was limited, no time, a few drinks with a small number of foreigners living in the area, mostly good people but felt a bit shocked to see a number of them in their 50’s and 60’s  even 70’s with wives in their 20’s, felt a bit sorry for the girls when reading the embarrassment on their faces and the artificial, I’d say fake manners and fabricated forced expressions to look happy during the gatherings. They weren’t. Remember, we are in Bohol, not in Cebu. Local boys were making fun of them, editorialists in the local newspapers also, this kind of foreigners wasn’t welcomed.

Culture shock.
Old sexpat Culture shock. 

I’ll never forget that day about a scene in the SuperCat boat going to Cebu when all eyes of the passengers were turned towards a couple with a baby. He was an American in his 60’s short, skinny and bald, a sunburned skin was making him look even older.

The girl, looked in her teens, a small body, short also, very dark skin, shy, looked like still works in the rice field with that baby maybe days or maxi a few weeks old in her arms it wasn’t something the locals had seen often.  The couple did not exchange a single word of conversation during the 2-hour trip.. Talk about enthusiasm…

Life in Bohol becomes boring after a while. The beauty of Panglao Island entertains the tourists including sex tourists with imported “entertainers” from Cebu and Manila and other provinces but when one lives there and has visited the place countless times it’s time for renewal of interests.

The choice isn’t easy. Especially when you live in a gated house in a land of 3000sq.meters with a securely build fence  locals aren’t happy with you. They used to cross this land to reach a destination a few minutes faster, now they have to go around and that bothered them.

But slowly this issue was resolved, diplomacy and “beautiful eyes” manners beat the hostility of those wanted to paint us “the neighborhood new conquistadors” but for once wasn’t an “Amerikano”, as white skin foreigners are called regardless of their nationality; I was privileged to be called   “The Griego” referring to my ethnic background, even though I was the holder of a US Passport and known as a US citizen to the PH immigration.

Culture shock.

Culture shock. | Evan Iliadis blog

looking through the fence kids passing by on the way to school wearing “chinilas” (Cheap plastic sandals)  walking 3 kilometers to reach the elementary school brought me back to my childhood in Greece, that childhood whatever could be in a bloody civil war that had just ended. Culture shock. 

I learned later from the teachers that many had not taken breakfast before going to school. A few hundred meters outside the north side of my fence an old lady in her late 70s, living alone was sharing the basic food when available to her (Rice and salted fish) with two mentally retarded in their 40’s. Some of the neighbors came to my house and ask if I could help. Read the rest of the story here

Next in a few days : The Rotary International years

The farm Stela’s paradise.

The farm Stela's paradise.

The farm Stela’s paradise. | Evan Iliadis blog

The farm Stela’s paradise.

Our first farming experience was a success, Tatay has once again reaffirmed his knowledge and passion for mother nature, Stela’s turn was next. She was known for “having a magic hand”, for the locals this means that certain people has this inner and inexplicable power of anything they plant is growing. Some say they are talking to the plants in magic words!

Whatever this is, she decided to allocate one hectare of the thirty her father owns to plant peanuts. The place is in the most remote areas of the interior of Bohol, where Stela’s 4×4 could go as close as 2 kilometers to the land, then by foot if there were no materials to bring, in which case a  rented carabao was the only way.

The farm Stela’s paradise.

The farm Stela’s paradise.

First, she proceeds by cleaning the area, removing a big number of the stones  facilitating so the plowing, then she built a “resting  house” as they call the  nipa hat resting area for the workers

On an early morning 3 carabaos start plowing the soil for the first time in years if not ages.. locals couldn’t afford the cost of this operation, so here we go again another “worthless land

Indigenous living in the area were looking at us with a bit of suspicion questioning the undertaking of the operation in such remote area, some were saying the “Americano” is digging for gold, not to plant peanuts and other  tsismis about our real motivation.

Even myself, observing on the sideline perplexed, wondering “how much money we can make from one hectare of peanuts? “… Probably… Just peanuts!….
But if I couldn’t figure out the math, I discovered out something I didn’t know about my wife. Her true love for nature and challenges related to her passion.

Stela who lived more years of her life in the US than in the Philippines her heart was still in Mindanao where she lived her childhood, walking miles away every day for bringing food to her father working on the farm and how much she enjoyed it.
She had never complained to me about the harsh condition of life, instead, she was telling me about the beauty of the area, the abundance of fruits and vegetables and their exceptional taste, also plenty of fish.

The farm Stela’s paradise.

The farm Stela’s paradise. From the left.Cousin Jeserel,Christian and Adrian Iliadis our sons

So it was clear to me, it wasn’t for financial gain she was doing it but for reviving her childhood, showing us in real time what work on the farm is all about, she wanted me and our children to get a first-hand experience, sending us her usual message like ” You guys in your countries are taking everything for granted!”

The farm Stela’s paradise.
Did we make any money? Not really! As I thought!  You don’t go to the Philippines to make money. You bring it there to spend it! Did we lose any? No! We got our expenses back by selling the peanuts as cheap as….. Peanuts! China has flooded the country for half the price! The farm Stela’s paradise.
Stela fulfilled part of her dream, the kids were in heaven, still remember those days, the best gift we ever gave them, the kind of fun money can’t buy.  Me, I started learning to do the math… “A la Filipino” that yielded in “Bring a big fortune in the country if you want to make a small profit.”

On the left side column, I posted a photo album  of this entry. Enjoy.

The farm Stela’s paradise.

 

Evan Iliadis – The truth  

Welcome to Evan Iliadis new blog. Not that I really need another one but for the heck of going a bit off the  usual subject is now  the right time to introduce you a few of my detractors in a different way and means as permitted by the terms and conditions of WP.com, the right to respond on their attacks that is. Evan Iliadis – The truth
In effect, 6 guys got together for the purpose of writing “anti Evan” blogs as most people call them. 5 people have more than 100 blog pages  (including on this version of WP)  and stolen photos published on my Facebook and other blogs I own. The problem with these pages the detractors have, is that the more they updating them the more look the same, same rant, same titles,“Evan the liar” Evan the “psychopath” Evan,Evan,Evan! Everywhere! Evan Iliadis – The truth  

Their names are Christopher “aka” Chris Bennetts” living in remote areas of the Philippines (?) – Guenther Vomberg form Cebu Philippines- Matt Wilkie form Minglanila Cebu Philippines- Tim Potter from Sugarland Texas living in Cebu Philippines – Perry Gamsby former Cebu resident now living in Australia, Brad Hughes  a US citizen living in Cagayan de Oro Philippines.
They all met through my several blogs I maintain on the internet in combatting prostitution and human trafficking in the S/E Asia, particularly in the Philippines, where serious accusations about the practice within the expat community went by  without been prosecuted, corruption and collaboration of crooked officials oblige. Evan Iliadis – The truth
I had no other choice than appeal to good people around the world for help in a “naming and shaming” campaign shaking the expat and sexpat community forcing them to erase entire blogs and forums, closing bar fines and bikini bars (brothels), deporting criminals and psychopaths out of the Philippines, removing their membership  from boards putting their web sites under private registrations. Evan Iliadis – The truth

Finally! The Philippines National Police  starts paying attention, reading my blogs and arrested pimps and pedophiles operating out of the Philippines behind bogus Call Centers and other legitimate services on the surfaces, but behind close doors the real business was the now famous “sex dens” involving exposure of minors and forced into prostitution girls. Others from around the world joined Evan and helped him with information in tracking pimps, scammers, human traffickers in the expat community. Here she is: Activist Cecilia Flores-Oebanda

Evan Iliadis – The truth

Evan Iliadis – The truth | Evan Iliadis blog

Evan Iliadis – The truth   wouldn’t be the truth without an homage to an activist Lady living in Cebu Philippines, consecrating her life rescuing minors from the hands of criminals human traffickers. She has paid the price for that, Philippines government corrupted agents in connection with the mobs in the expat community worked hard to smear her name.  She survived! So did I!    

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