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4/27/15

Reality of living in the Philippines

Mt. Apo, The Grandfather of 'Philippine Mountains'

The Truth about Living in the Philippines


The reality of living in the Philippines
Just my opinions follow - from a guy who has lived here for over 6 years and visited for over 10 years before moving here, Bottom line is that I really love it here. But would I advise every one else to move here - then my answer is no way.
It's not about the Philippines. It's really about you. You can do all the research on the cost of living, starting a business, medical care, blah, blah, blah. My personal take on it now is that those are only things of secondary importance. What's of the first importance? I'd say it's you and your ability to really know what you can and cannot do and how well you can adapt.
Sounds simple enough, but I think most of us spend a good part of our lives not really truly understanding our real capabilities. This is especially true if you come from a developed country. Mostly because in developed countries the government provides all sorts of protections to cover your butt. Living in a rich country is kind of living in a protected shell where a lot of the risks in life are minimized for you. Living in a poor country - well no one's covering your ass except yourself. And are you really prepared for that and capable of that?

Cost of living -

I believe it's cheaper to live in the Phils if you can adapt to the realities of the country. If you can't adapt, then I truly believe that it is much more expensive. If you need to replicate your comfortable lifestyle back home, I think that's going to cost you more - and that goes for food, housing, and other daily living expenses. Ensure you follow my other link to read more about this.  Just Click Here 

Beautiful women -

Celebration Philippines
Sinulog 2013

no doubt that you can find a younger and beautiful woman who would want to be your partner. That's the easy part. It's a lot more challenging to learn to live with one. Can you really handle the age gap, the cultural gap and the social-economic gap that separates you? If you can, then you might be walking around with a smile. On the other hand, if you get irritated by simple behaviors like people pointing with their lips or not answering questions directly, it's going to be a real up hill battle. And if you think a big bank account is enough to keep her happy, that's probably another myth. She's a real person and she has social, individual and cultural needs that need to be fulfilled as well.

Beautiful country -
Philippines Beach resorts

no doubt the Philippines has some beautiful and pristine places to see. But if you're more of an urban kind of guy, the city is a place that holds the best and worst of humanity. Seeing young kids sleeping and crapping on a filthy street can take a lot of steam out of your retirement dream.

Beautiful people -

Filipinos can be wonderful people. But like anywhere else there are rotten apples in the barrel. And in my opinion in a poor country, there are a lot more rotten apples. I generally remain happy by putting blinders on. Forget the rose colored glasses - that doesn't work - it only tints the crap. You need blinders to block out the crap that your mind/body can't handle. We have a narrowly defined social circle that we live in and pretty much exclude everyone else. So I mostly see wonderful people - not the ones who are trying to pull you down into their crap.

Affordable health care

- yes, healthcare is lots cheaper than the US. But it's a cash economy here, and if you want to access that care you need the cash in hand. As a result, you pay much more out of pocket because there is only a small amount of health care support from the government. If you're in decent health, it works out fine. If you need more frequent healthcare, it can get irritating having to go to pay up front when you're puking your guts out or bleeding to death. Ensure you read my other topic on this same issue. Just Click Here.

Affordable real estate -

I think this one is a mixed bag. In general prices are rising as the country is developing. You can find good deals but you need to look for them. If you have 100K US to plunk down, my guess is that on average, you'd get a better deal back home. But with a bit of work, you could find a nice place here - depending on what you consider nice. And if you're good at real estate, you might actually find some good investments. If you're a nipa hut kind of guy, then you can do it on the cheap. 
So as I said before I love it here. But I've made a lot of changes in my lifestyle. I've adapted in so many ways that I'm not even conscious of. I'm not living on the edge anymore with my retirement income. I'm on social security now and I don't have to touch that at all for everyday living. I've learned how to blend in without speaking the language. I don't need to work to live. Most people assume I'm pinoy or Chinese now. I really am having fun in this country.
But you know, as more foreigners have moved to Davao, I do see more instances of angry foreigners shouting at some poor salesgirl or civil servant. If that foreigner eventually learns to take things in stride he might end up a happy camper. If not ... the Phils is a long long way from home.
If you consider retiring here, here's my take. Do you have the right stuff? If you do, then you probably can live anywhere in Southeast Asia and make a go of it. If you don't it'll be tough. Recently met a guy who lost a sizable amount of change in a bad deal. The guy was able to take it on the chin and keep on going. Kind of like the Energizer bunny. I think that's really what you need to have inside to be happy here. It may have very little to do with the state of the Philippines at all and how the press ranks the country for one thing or another.
It is more fun to be in the Philippines. But it's not something that's given to you when you get off the plane. You have to go and find it for yourself. It's about your state of mind ... somewhat less about the state of the country. 

This was an artictle written by Rainy Mike on Living Cebu Forums.  Read more about the Philippines here and at Living Cebu Forums.