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Easy Living in The Philippines

Take it easy in the Philippines

Philippine support network
Volunteer Network
Not sure why, but living in the Philippines has not been overly difficult for me. After a couple years
of adjusting, things have gone pretty smoothly. We all come here for different reasons, but here are some things that's made it easy for me.

1. Family Network:  I've tried to integrate into the society. My social network is pinoy. I'm not an outgoing person so my personal network is just my family, but my partner has expanded it to include other parents of the classmates of our kids. They know me, I interact with them. It has been a useful support network for our family. The network advises us on rentals, real estate, schooling, medical care, shopping, etc. We do help selected members of our network, but it's a give and take relationship and everyone honors their obligations. In the network. No one treats me like an outsider.

Most of that network are middle class working parents and single parents. Not the elite, not the poor. I seem to fit in well with their values and way of life. Today, my partner is at school in a cooking contest. I helped her team setup. Did a little chit chat and smiling. Then exited. My partner is engaged and has found our new social network an adequate replacement for her extended family (although we keep in touch with family online). Women were clucking ... oh, what a cute and supportive husband. LOL. Last night members of her network came over and were the guinea pigs for her menu. After that the kids did some karaoke and dance.

2. Service Network: I also try to maintain a business services network for key services that I need. I try to be a regular at the bank, the local stores, massage place, etc. They know my face. Despite some initial problems, they recognize me as a go with the flow kind of guy. So people are actually helpful instead of resistant. Even the guard at the bank tries to get me into the express senior citizens line. But I decline, and tell him it should be for pinoy and not American seniors. Costs me a little time but I recoup that when I have banking issues. The bank staff know me and even vouch for me to new managers. We have a regular trike driver who picks up the kids to and from school. Massage folk give me discounts, but I'm a regular and tip the workers. It's a lot of give and take and developing relationships. And on and on. It's not about mindless customer service rules. Learned early on, relationships is the game to be played.

OFW Philippines
OFW Philippines
3. Distance Network: We even have OFW's who are part of our network. Although I tried real hard to get my mom here, she stayed back home. Had a stroke recently and my sis placed her in a nursing facility (she's already a caretaker for her husband's parents). One of the pinay nurses there keeps in touch with us and we send videos and picks back and forth to keep in touch with mom.

4. Info Network: the only other useful network for me has been this forum. Less all the whiny chit chat that occurs. But a lot of useful procedural information. Helped me lots when I applied for my SS, my childs CRBA, passport, etc. Other than that I don't have contacts with other expats.

So, sometimes, I read all the posts about the Philippines this and that. Pinays this and that. Philippine politics this and that. Not much of that really matters to me. I have useful work arounds. And I was never one to change the world anyway, even back in the USA. I've found this country and its people to be a wonderful part of my personal network. But I am pretty selective about who enters the network.

Maybe this will help some newbie. For me the trick was learning how to cultivate relationships - family, neighbors, close friends, business, etc. I've had problems sure, but the network has been there to help more often than not.

Another great article written by Rainy Mike.  Join the discussion Here

Tim Potter Texas

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