There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now, And will never be any more perfection than there is now, Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
Urge and urge and urge, Always the procreant urge of the world.
Moving to the Philippines is probably one of the most significant events in most people’s lives, ranking right up there with marriage and death. John joined the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine in mid-2008.
The decisions one needs to make are not easily answered and are complicated by the fact that for each question, you will receive fifty different answers from other expats, websites, books, and family. Should the person asking the question look into it? However, the fact of the matter is that most of the international schools are in Manila, not near beaches. If you are not able to absorb currency fluctuations, then you cannot afford to live here.
1 I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I am not so rude as to tell someone that they are wrong, nor am I some “all knowing” being floating above the Astral Plane. This is stressed by myself and the other writers on this site over and over, yet I still receive many job inquiries. Thinking that you can buy land or work around the land laws: The obsession expats have with buying land is truly perplexing to me. Things tend to take on more importance when you live them every day. That belief is easily compounded on vacation or visits where things like hotels are cheaper than in the States. However, many things are more expensive here, and attempting to live a western lifestyle can get expensive very quickly. The Philippines is not Switzerland, Holland, Singapore, Hong Kong or a developed nation with large, wealthy expat or diplomatic community with small children.
However, I notice the patterns and people’s concerns, I have made many mistakes myself, and I can make the following . I know many of you may have breezed through these issues, or they were of no concern. Given the legal climate and prohibitions on foreign ownership, I simply cannot fathom why people would even consider doing so without, at the very least, living here for a year or two first. Thinking they know the market better than the Filipinos themselves? Overall, the cost of living is cheaper, but the Philippines is not the cheap bargain that some make it out to be.
Everyone has their own standards of living, and what standard is acceptable to them. The question itself indicates a fundamental lack of the realization that the Philippines is a developing nation, with 40% of the population living below the Asian poverty line of per day. However, the visa process in the Philippines has perhaps more options and flexibility than most other countries.
However, after living here for a while, writing on this site for a while, answering questions sent to me, and traveling all over Asia, I have come up with the following list of mistakes that I see people making. You need to survive in the Philippines, but, more than likely, it will not be by working for someone else. But the vast majority of people who move here will not find employment standards much to their liking. How many people even bother to learn the rules of business here? Thinking things will be “different”, but “no big deal”. While here on vacation, the cultural differences are very subtle. There are so many books on the net about living like a king on only 0 per month that it is easy to get the perception that the Philippines is cheap. For instance, there was a question in the forum about international schools near “paradise” beaches. Yes, schools are here, but the demand and ability of most people to pay the tuition is not here. Again, it is so easy to live here on a tourist visa and convert, there really is no reason why anyone (from most countries) should stress over it.