Swiss national earns keep by selling munchkins
"TSOKOLATE... Duha singko lang..(Chocolate...two for P5 only)," a tall, middle-aged Caucasian man yells to students of one of Cebu's universities.
These students and curious passersby would do a double take on seeing 53-year-old Swiss Ulrich Notter selling munchkins outside this school.
Not a few wonder about the safety of his products or if he's involved in some form of racket.
"Mahadlok man pod ta kay basin unsa unya na iya gibaligya (I'm scared because of what he may sell) but maybe his wife abandoned him after he lost all his wealth," college student Ronna May Menguito said.
Notter said he knows a little Cebuano after living in Cebu for almost eight years.
His sweet munchkins contrasts with the bitter experiences he faced lately in his life.
A native of Zurich, Switzerland, Notter worked as a painter in a private firm there and married his first wife, a Filipina.
They stayed in Zurich for seven years and then settled in Surigao province for four years.
Notter said they built a house in Surigao but their relationship deteriorated into a series of quarrels about money.
"My ex-wife tricked me by saying the house cost only P1 million but I learned it was P3.5 million so I depleted my pension paying for it," he said.
He sold the house for P262,000 and his ex-wife got P86,000. Notter used up whatever remained of his proceeds to apply for work until it dried up.
With nearly nothing left, Notter turned to a munchkin recipe he learned from his ex-girlfriend of one and a half year.
He had P200 as capital and lives alone in a rented room he rents for P1,000 a month in Salvador, Labangon Cebu City.
"I sell the whole day, in Carbon, in Colon, in Labangon and every Sunday I go to Tabunok to sell them," Notter said.
Earning P150 a day, Notter said he doesn't have money to go back to Switzerland.
" I like to stay here. I have many friends and I love the climate, not so cold. The people... very kind, opened hearted, they welcome me very nice. Only God knows if I can have a family and a wife here," he said.