Many people from all over the world dream of moving to and living in a foreign country. Some want to retire in an area with a lower cost of living, warm climate all year round, with nice beaches and friendly people. Others just want to get away from their home country for an extended period of time, and others are looking for romance and adventure.
The Philippines is an ideal place to live as an Expat. We have all of the above here. The Filipino people are warm and open, always smiling and willing to help out. The country is stable and the economy is growing at a steady rate. All of the Philippine people speak some English, and you will find that educated, professional people are very fluent. You will never have a problem when dealing with government offices, banks, hotels, travel agencies, and so on. Even in the provinces, in small towns and villages, the people speak enough English to communicate your needs and desires. I’ve lived in several locations, including another very popular Expat location, Panama City, Panama. I find living here in the Philippine Islands much, much easier. In Panama, very few people speak English, and that makes it difficult to assimilate yourself and truly feel comfortable. I’ve been very successful at becoming an active member of my community and I have many Filipino friends.
Many people complain about how the local population only want money from foreign Expats. I’ve found this to be true in places like Angeles City, and the poorer parts of Manila. In the Subic area where I live, the only people that seem to want my money are the bar owners in the area! Well, and the bar girls, but that’s a topic for another post! In general, no matter how poor a neighboring family is, all I get from them is smiles. I walk past one family’s house daily, and sometimes I’ll find them sitting out in front, having a family meal on their little patio area. When they see me, their faces light up and the smiles break out, followed by offers to join them and share their meal. I only say no if I have previous commitments, and it’s great fun to sit with them and share a meal. Of course, the next day, I always leave a small gift – maybe a big bag of rice or fresh vegetables. Sometimes some fish or pork. They have never asked me for a single peso, not even when I knew they were having financial trouble.
Anyway, what else do the Philippine Islands offer the foreign Expat traveler? A LOT, and we’ll get into details in future posts. There is a lot you need to know before planning a move to the Philippines, whether as a tourist or an expat, and I will go over many of those things here in this blog.
There are a lot of pitfalls you will encounter on any move to a foreign country. The general attitudes of the people here are quite different than what you are used to. They have very different customs, and things that would infuriate you back home are a normal, daily way of life here. There are many things that we take for granted back in our home countries, that simply don’t exist here.
There are areas that are crime ridden, of course, and if you don’t know how to identify those areas, you could find yourself in trouble. Most areas in the Philippines are completely safe – you just need to know what to look out for.
So, keep your eyes on this blog, and in the upcoming weeks and months we’ll cover all of these important tips. If you want to jump ahead a few months, you can download the Philippine Expat Survival Guide right now, and have a HUGE amount of verified information at your fingertips. The Survival Guide covers everything from immigration and visas to renting and buying homes and apartments, how to travel in the country, and much more. It even covers nightlife and how to find real romance and love. It’s an amazing guide, and would be cheap at half the price.
Regardless, please accept my warm welcome to the Philippine Expat Guide blog, and I hope to see you here in the Philippines soon!