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In retrospect, would you move again to the Philippines?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in the Philippines, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in the Philippines so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!

Christine

Yes I would.

No.

I wouldn't change anything it is everything I expected except for locked barking dogs

the short answer is yes! The long answer is as follows lol
I met and married a Filipina and moved to the philippines in 2004. i was 56 my wife was 31. As I had some money and I was a taxi operator in UK for about 7 years a few years previously, I thought taxi's, that's the game! How wrong can you be, we operated for nearly 4 years of hard work frustration, theft of car parts, tyres swapped cars abandoned and missing for days. broken car parts swapped about the vehicles, (keep buying replacements) Altered invoices etc etc. So I lost bucket loads of money I had 19 taxis . So that was something I should have avoided. My wife and I decided to return to the UK for a maximum of 5 years to replenish our finances, and for me to top up my pension, Many plans were made during this time. At about the 41/2 year point I returned to Philippines for 6 months my wife stayed in Uk and was to follow in 3 months this did not happen. After  a total of 6 months I returned to UK, Unbeknown to me my wife had decided to play around. I caught texts on her phone. After a lot of argue I decided to stay and retrieve the marriage. After a year I returned To Philippines to sort out her midwife course and sort out living arrangements. On her return, she started the course. Due to various factors, it was a low point in the marriage, but at no time did I contemplate divorce, I paid all the expenses and course fees for her and her daughter. She returned to UK Oct 2013, and was  due to return March 2013 to complete her course. On boxing day I received a text saying  that the marriage was over. Of course she was still mucking about with the other man. So  another aspect that I would not repeat, once a cheat always a cheat. I lost everything, my home because I built an extension on my in laws house, 4 1/2 years of working 7 days a week, to get the money to pay for the build and other  things to improve the house. So never build on your  in laws house lol. I am still in Philippines I have a lovely girlfriend, but before I commit any money to a house or business i will have the attorney to safeguard my interests.
Of course it was my mistake in putting love and trust before sense. so be warned, make sure your life is well safeguarded so that if the worst happens you still have your home and or business.
It sounds like a total disaster and I suppose in many ways it was. But I learned the hard way of what I should have done, never has the phrase "love is blind" been more apt. By all means come and live here I would generally say yes, just don't be blind learn from my mistakes.

Yes, I would do it again to fulfill my higher calling. I could not deny my faith. However, I would not have married the person I am currently married to and I would not have been so trusting of people. People that I considered friends: lie and lie and after they finish the untruth, they lie some more...some steal, after you help them, some are not committed to task or even employment.

I would have definitely bought a lot more pesos and banked it away. The exchange rate when I arrived topped off at P57=$1. I would not have lived in the area that I lived in, too many boastful, arrogant people. They are nice, friendly people here, but they are quite rare.

I would probably have stayed in Subic, the Visayas, northern Luzon or the southern most area of Luzon.

I can honestly say that at this moment in time, I am hoping to return to the United States after 13+ years in the Philippines. I have beautiful children and I would like them to see my loving family and dear friends that have their flaws, but have integrity and a great work ethic.

Two of my children traveled with me 2015 to the U.S. and they did not want to return to the Philippines. My daughter told me that my sister treated her more like her child than my wife. She loves her mother, as most children do, but the lies catches up with one, if it becomes repeated behavior.

My intentions for my marriage is not clear at this point. I have not given up on it, but I am very observant in all aspects. I will remain here in the Philippines for another 18-months or more so I have time to attempt to make it work. Love for me is not blind because there is no love. I am just a person that stays committed to one person for as long as I can hold out despite: complaining, lies, fits of rage, disregarding my advice (which cost financial troubles), lack of initiative to support our family structure, responsibility of material possessions, etc.

I could write a book. I know how "davtjo" feels. It is a strange life here. I did have some good times here in the Philippines, but the bad times were far more copious.

Alltojah, I lived in Cebu for about 4 years and now live in Mindanao. i have found most to be very friendly. But I have also fallen foul of trusting family and found them severely wanting. My ex in laws dropped me like a hot potato once they knew no more money was to come from me. suddenly the adulterous, lying cheating, low life my wife cheated me with is now the great white hope lol. I am happy now if not quite contented.
I hope you can rekindle your love for your wife as a loveless marriage is no marriage at all.

Am truly overwhelmed as i read you stories. I would like to thank you for sharing your personal life experience i know it must have been hard. As young as i am i did take it as a great advice, i went through what you can classify as "tip of the iceberg". But still just like you, i love the Philippines, and will use your stories as guidelines in shaping my future in Philippines as i plan in moving there.

It is sad to say that quite a few poorly educated filipinas and their families look on foreigners as a meal ticket, exploit their generosity and then kick them in the teeth. No manners, morals or conscience. Dog eat dog society again.

This is my 4th trip to the Philippines. I stayed for a full year last year and  just returned from the states for a 2 month visit  last month. I really enjoy living here.For me the cost of living is so much less expensive than Los Angeles, California and more of a laid back way of living here.  I can live a comfortable life on my Social Security funds here. The people are most friendly and helpful and it helps that so many speak English.I also find it much safer here  than when i spent 6 years living in central Mexico. Loved it there also but got driven out because of the drug wars there.I never have a problem finding lovely women to date here. I just choose not to get to serious with any of them, like getting married. I can understand  reading other stories posted from other ex pats  the grief some have had getting married here, but i am sure there are also a lot of good marriages here also . I have no regrets moving here and will probably stay for good.

God God man you should be made the poster-boy for all men contemplating moving to the Philippines. I count myself lucky that my wife has been phenomenal, I haven't 'invested' anything in a 'business', and I've avoided property fails such as building on land of relatives or friends. However, I've heard the stories first-hand and seen the look of resignation that sets in on a lot of older men who poured everything into a comfortable Philippine retirement and now muddle through their days - living on the edge but financially incapable of returning to their homeland.

Hello Corum, I dont consider myself a poster boy for the Philippines.I live my life on my terms and it  happens to work out great here. I am aware that i choose to live in a 3rd world developing country. The USA will always be my country, and the Phili. will always be my hotel away from home. Your smart not to invest in any business or get involved in any real estate purchase in a country where  they dont want us working here and we are limited to maybe a condo purchase with limitations. I always keep my 2 suitcases close at hand ready to pack if i choose to look for greener pastures in another country.

scott1953 :

Hello Corum, I dont consider myself a poster boy for the Philippines.I live my life on my terms and it  happens to work out great here. I am aware that i choose to live in a 3rd world developing country. The USA will always be my country, and the Phili. will always be my hotel away from home. Your smart not to invest in any business or get involved in any real estate purchase in a country where  they dont want us working here and we are limited to maybe a condo purchase with limitations. I always keep my 2 suitcases close at hand ready to pack if i choose to look for greener pastures in another country.

Hi Scott - I was actually referring to the OP by davtjo.......seems he experienced all the bad stuff over the years! Phils has many positives, not least low cost of living, climate I like, and an environment that allows me to devolve and put the North American lifestyle out of mind. If I find the right opportunity there I'd grab it but nothing has come up yet.

Interesting reading. It would seem that as would be expected from people of diverse backgrounds and varied life experience that our choice for a home is also diverse with no one being either right nor wrong, simply choice.

I would indeed, given the choice, move once again to the Phil.  Simply put, here my wife and I have found peace and contentment, we love our home and what life here offers us.

There are negatives and positives in all places, it seems we have given preference to the latter in our lives and cannot speak for others.

I embrace and respect the people of the country I call home, with all it's faults and mine, it seems we have accepted each other.

Hello Corum, Sorry for the misunderstanding.I agree davtjo got the short end of the stick here as do other expats with good intentions that dont pan out. I try to use common sense,  remember i am just a visitor here, and follow there laws and customs the best i can and enjoy my life here.

You have absolutely the thickest skin I have ever seen.

I am so sorry to hear this story davtjo. I am a Filipino born and raised and it disgusts me hearing stories like these specially if a Filipina is involved. It's sad how SOME of our women these days have turned to gold diggers.

As I read these stories I understand how they happen,it happened to me. As a older man who thought in 2010 my life for love was over,I was contacted in Filipino Kisses by a young woman. I listened to her each time she had a problem, (Father needing a Heart,then dying and they would have to move from their place to an apartment,etc) . After sending about 2 mil php for that,then I started coming to the Philippines to see her. I was on disability from my company at that time and receiving about 6-7,000 per month usd. I put all of that each month into her and what I thought would be a future,helped her brother to start a DJ business,helped mother to start a food business. Then 2011 gave her the money for our dream house another 4 mil php. In 2012 I find out via one of her BFF,she is living with the father of her children. When I am away he is there and then sends him away when I come. I confronted her with my information and data,I had now gotten from a private security service. She cried and said how she was so so sorry about the lies and she now wanted to choose me over him and please forgive her again (lol). I said good luck to her and her family and cut ties. In 2013 one of her other BFF's asked me for help. She was having a child and really needed some help,the father wanted nothing to do with the child,because my former love had told him,the child was not his,because she thought this girl was the one who told on her (But she was not). So I helped her with the child now no longer receiving disability and unable to return to work, but did little side jobs to provide income for myself. As fate would have it I found her (Not my past GF) to be honest and giving, even when I had nothing to offer,but an old man's dreams. Jump ahead to 2015, we have a child (Yes DNA says it is mine). This woman has restored my faith in women of the Philippines,but I will be quick to tell anyone. Go slowly know who and what you giving the balance of your life and maybe life savings too. So to make a long story short,she is my life and my child are my everything. I bear no ill-will to my former,I hope she and her family have used and done well with what I gave out of love and they took out of greed. So would I do it again with the woman I am with "For Sure". With my past GF knowing what I know now,I would have just dropped her sooner. But I believe "GOD" does not make mistakes. So my learning was required to see the greatness in whom I have now. Sorry for being so long winded,but needed to show the timeline.

Absolutely spot on. It is unfortunate that people like you and me give generously for love, only to find that all they want is money. I am glad you have found the one. I think I also have. I give a little each week and she works to help her family, no children of her own, She respects the money I give 500 peso every sunday and a few dribs and drabs throughout the week but never more than 1000 peso. I buy presents outside of this, again things like decent work shoes, jeans and t shirts, as you know little cost. We do not live together at the moment, we take slowly.

Mixknight :

As I read these stories I understand how they happen,it happened to me. As a older man who thought in 2010 my life for love was over,I was contacted in Filipino Kisses by a young woman. I listened to her each time she had a problem, (Father needing a Heart,then dying and they would have to move from their place to an apartment,etc) . After sending about 2 mil php for that,then I started coming to the Philippines to see her. I was on disability from my company at that time and receiving about 6-7,000 per month usd. I put all of that each month into her and what I thought would be a future,helped her brother to start a DJ business,helped mother to start a food business. Then 2011 gave her the money for our dream house another 4 mil php. In 2012 I find out via one of her BFF,she is living with the father of her children. When I am away he is there and then sends him away when I come. I confronted her with my information and data,I had now gotten from a private security service. She cried and said how she was so so sorry about the lies and she now wanted to choose me over him and please forgive her again (lol). I said good luck to her and her family and cut ties. In 2013 one of her other BFF's asked me for help. She was having a child and really needed some help,the father wanted nothing to do with the child,because my former love had told him,the child was not his,because she thought this girl was the one who told on her (But she was not). So I helped her with the child now no longer receiving disability and unable to return to work, but did little side jobs to provide income for myself. As fate would have it I found her (Not my past GF) to be honest and giving, even when I had nothing to offer,but an old man's dreams. Jump ahead to 2015, we have a child (Yes DNA says it is mine). This woman has restored my faith in women of the Philippines,but I will be quick to tell anyone. Go slowly know who and what you giving the balance of your life and maybe life savings too. So to make a long story short,she is my life and my child are my everything. I bear no ill-will to my former,I hope she and her family have used and done well with what I gave out of love and they took out of greed. So would I do it again with the woman I am with "For Sure". With my past GF knowing what I know now,I would have just dropped her sooner. But I believe "GOD" does not make mistakes. So my learning was required to see the greatness in whom I have now. Sorry for being so long winded,but needed to show the timeline.

You sir, have a good heart. God bless you.

He does bless me everyday and I am thankful for it

I would not.

I have being living here, over the last several years while working in Australia, so back and forth I go.

I established for my GF and unit, a living budget, and a educations budget.

On reflecting on things, things I did not consider with due diligence prior to starting a relationship here:

* The emotional bye in your are drawn into with the family.
* The financial risks - Mainly currency fluctuation, which can effect  your standard of living here greatly.
* The political risk of this country.
* Personal security (kidnap) risk to both me and my GF, as we live in Mindanao
* The total lack of social security benefits from the Australian Government.

I would have being much happier staying single and living in Australia and flying to which ever country I wanted to, rather than be tied down in the Philippines.

pej1111 :

I would not.

I have being living here, over the last several years while working in Australia, so back and forth I go.

I established for my GF and unit, a living budget, and a educations budget.

On reflecting on things, things I did not consider with due diligence prior to starting a relationship here:

* The emotional bye in your are drawn into with the family.
* The financial risks - Mainly currency fluctuation, which can effect  your standard of living here greatly.
* The political risk of this country.
* Personal security (kidnap) risk to both me and my GF, as we live in Mindanao
* The total lack of social security benefits from the Australian Government.

I would have being much happier staying single and living in Australia and flying to which ever country I wanted to, rather than be tied down in the Philippines.

The place is quite the honey trap and it's easy to get caught if you haven't had experience in similar environment before. Even easier if you're a disillusioned  Westerner looking to get away from the rat race. I was born in a poor country so have experience with how things work in similar place and yet it took about a year for me to figure out how things really are.

I'm still choosing to move there because economically it's good, I want to be in southeast Asia, I can communicate with people, and I don't mind being a foreigner. At this stage in life - approaching 50 - I don't want to start a search over for some other place to get away to.

I hope my British bf will not think this way to all Filipina. And I hope we can get away with this kind of trap. I am stable and can provide for myself for my kids.. My family has business and my siblings has their own life. Basically, we respect each other finances though we contribute on some family gatherings.. But we do not put each other down as a family and I won't let that happen too. I hope we can minimise any problem on finances especially if it related to lifestyle and getting into rich quick scheme.

I love my bf/fiance' and I would like to safeguard also his finances and not to exploit it. If I cannot add value to him I better stay as single parent.

Thank you for all your stories, it give me idea how really our culture affect your stay in the Phil's and how you foresee it. I am saddened but at the same time challenge to prove that some Filipinos are still worthy for the love other than co- Filipino.

There is nothing wrong with the Philippines and the people, for me it is just a bad financial move to live in the Philippines, because of the way the Australian Government treats Australians in regards to tax and old age pension.

hello ..thanks for sharing your stories...im sadden about your experiences in the Philippines about filipina women....Im filipina too...i grew up in province i  have boyfriend french guy he is older man..but i very love him..i never asked for him about money..i can provide myself.....and i can say im proud  as filipina for not asking the money for my boyfriend...even my Job is a nanny or  housekepping i can provide myself or i can support for my family and my own....now im 3 years with him.....geeting married soon...

davtjo :

the short answer is yes! The long answer is as follows lol
I met and married a Filipina and moved to the philippines in 2004. i was 56 my wife was 31. As I had some money and I was a taxi operator in UK for about 7 years a few years previously, I thought taxi's, that's the game! How wrong can you be, we operated for nearly 4 years of hard work frustration, theft of car parts, tyres swapped cars abandoned and missing for days. broken car parts swapped about the vehicles, (keep buying replacements) Altered invoices etc etc. So I lost bucket loads of money I had 19 taxis . So that was something I should have avoided. My wife and I decided to return to the UK for a maximum of 5 years to replenish our finances, and for me to top up my pension, Many plans were made during this time. At about the 41/2 year point I returned to Philippines for 6 months my wife stayed in Uk and was to follow in 3 months this did not happen. After  a total of 6 months I returned to UK, Unbeknown to me my wife had decided to play around. I caught texts on her phone. After a lot of argue I decided to stay and retrieve the marriage. After a year I returned To Philippines to sort out her midwife course and sort out living arrangements. On her return, she started the course. Due to various factors, it was a low point in the marriage, but at no time did I contemplate divorce, I paid all the expenses and course fees for her and her daughter. She returned to UK Oct 2013, and was  due to return March 2013 to complete her course. On boxing day I received a text saying  that the marriage was over. Of course she was still mucking about with the other man. So  another aspect that I would not repeat, once a cheat always a cheat. I lost everything, my home because I built an extension on my in laws house, 4 1/2 years of working 7 days a week, to get the money to pay for the build and other  things to improve the house. So never build on your  in laws house lol. I am still in Philippines I have a lovely girlfriend, but before I commit any money to a house or business i will have the attorney to safeguard my interests.
Of course it was my mistake in putting love and trust before sense. so be warned, make sure your life is well safeguarded so that if the worst happens you still have your home and or business.
It sounds like a total disaster and I suppose in many ways it was. But I learned the hard way of what I should have done, never has the phrase "love is blind" been more apt. By all means come and live here I would generally say yes, just don't be blind learn from my mistakes.

Great offering Davtjo. Thanks for your candor. I appreciate your life view, man. God blesd

Thanks for sharing...VALUABLE information for all.

I am out of here in six weeks time, never to return.
Have been here four years too long, and my advice
to anybody wanting to come here to live, think with
your head that has the brain in it, and not the other one.

Wow, good stories and bad ones........
I used to live in Phuket, had a nice house and pool and a great girlfriend who had her own (proper) beauty salon. All was fine for 2 years until I found out that money I had given her for a new driveway in her house on the mainland was used to pay off her car!
I was working in Qatar at the time and had decided that relationship was over, then met a Filipina who was working as a teaching assistant in Doha. We got on well, she had just resigned her position just before we met so she moved back to Manila. We kept in touch, I travelled to see her and we got married 19 months ago. She joined me back in Doha and we had a great time. I was made redundant and we moved back to the Philippines, rented a house in Puerto Galera and decided to have a house built. Whilst it was being built I got a job in the Caspian and she joined me again. We travelled back and watched the progress and now have a great place. I have decided to retire shortly so we will be in the house, by the pool most if not every morning and I cant wait.
Whilst we have been in the Caspian, we have bought another smaller house for my boys to stay in when they visit, we rent it out at other times. My wife is presently in Leyte, she has had a house built herself, got a small breeding pig farm and a buffalo which has just given birth, all without asking me for money for this and money for that.
Perhaps I am just lucky, I certainly have a beautiful wife who loves me for what I am and not for my money. She is no spring chicken, 45 this year, I am 63 and I would not change anything for the world.
To those who have made mistakes, I truly feel for you, to those who are as happy as I am, it seems to be a small and privileged club, lets keep looking forward, don't look back as you can't go that way!!

Yes, I would change one thing. I have live here about 2 years. Was station in Subic bay in 80's. Been in and out here since 70's, so I know country well and people.

I would have had my home build here while still working in the USA. Travel back and forth to check on it. Been married to my Filipino wife for 27 years. I can trust her family. We are both Christians.

Made mistake 70's marrying a Filipino girl. Did not take time to know herbecsme cash cow. Lost everything to her. Divorced 6 years later.

I came here under direction of God to help the poor and help people in general. So, I would come again.

I don't care for all trash and garbage, corruption, crazy driving, mentality it's okay to take advantage of foreigner.

Yet I love simple life here. I live in country side. Visit big city once in a blue moon. Did my home work before coming here. Listen to people who lived here. Learn from their mistakes. It's not wise being poor here for foreigner. You need to have a great income if you want to live here on same level has your home country. You must be street smart to live here. I have learn to take your time to know people before you put all your trust in them.

Smart man.  Keep your options open and your money belt on

I feel you guys, But please also remember there are still some good and decent women out there. Especially in Manila. Just be alert and keep your eyes open. Also pray to God that he will lead and guide you to find the right woman for you.

Good luck to you all!

I have been communicating with Philippinas for over three years now and unfortunately been a victim of inumerable scams.
I plan to visit ..arriving in Manila September 20 , for 4 months.
Still remaining an optimist but  hopefully a little smarter.

Why come here if you have been scammed here?

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