In retrospect, would you move again to the Philippines?

I think i will go with Gilligan on this one, I will not come back, or I will do holiday only,I will take family to Australia where life is much much batter then can ever be here, there is not much i miss about his place, in fact there is nothing,
I to am married to Philippine she is great Girl we got one Son, born in Australia, we too build house in 215, beautiful place, and no not with family we got our own Land, about 10 mints drive from her family works great for me, we have a new Car, rice farms, but no money in it, good for the local people, they have jobs, we build a shop to be open, but after hard thinking about it, we made decision not go ahead with, she wants what is best for our Son, and that is Australia, so who knows shop can wait, I think every one who come here, will invest a lot, it is what we do, it is how we going to start our new life, I am the same, but I never forgotten that no matter what things at its best can go wrong, when some one marries younger Woman, I really did not want any thing to do with her, as she was very young, but she never give up on, I met here in HK I was on holiday and she was too, or her family are well of, they can and do take over seas holidays every year, even then I was never 100% trusting, my Life with Philippine is good, but not perfect, i respect her and she respect me, we have and we are looking after our Son, as she said her dream Baby, this is my take on Philippines and who knows what the future is going to bring, in my case we have a lot here, we have a lot in Australia too, but I hate not been able to live permanent in one place, my mined is always home, hers is here with her Family, i can not blame her for that, it is who Philippines are, I am trying to get my 13A Visa so no need to apply for extensions, I can come and go any time, and trying to get my Son a Passport from here, so he too can go in and out when ever he Likes, I mean later not now, yes I will come back but holiday only, not to live here,

No. Been here 3 years traveled EVERYWHERE in the Philippines,  and the dogs are out of control, barking day and night uncontrollably, loud screeching dogs, they go on and on and on, trust me on this, the Filipinos culture DOES NOT STOP dogs from barking, and they know they exist, they do not walk out their door to stop the dogs from barking, their excuse is they do not like quiet, really, believe me. So if you want to sit on your veranda, you will listen to the neighborhood dogs.....bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark bark bark.....hours and hours of barking....this is EVERYWHERE I have visited, folk....except maybe some downtown areas of cities mind you, but even the hotel's there are surrounded by houses with barking dogs, EVERYBODY has two or five dogs, they do not spend money to spay or neuter them, they breed them out of control, and when they have reached their limit they pass them on to their neighbors. If you want to sit by a swimming pool and relax, forget it, bark, bark bark bark bark bark. Have a convesation? Bark bark bark bark bark bark.  And don't get me wrong, I love dogs (well its hard to love the dogs here, since their OWNERS don't care about their neighbors or have a thought about it), I have owned many dogs, and even where I live in a community there is a BEAUTIFUL quiet doberman pincher who I adore, she is so peaceful and quiet, but this is not the norm, the norm is these out of control barking dogs. There is NO PEACE AND QUIET in the Philipines. So that and their insane driving habits, non regulated and law breaking is the norm, stopping in roads and snarling traffic, ABSOLUTELY NO REGARD for anyone else on the road but themselves, selfish drivers which make every moment on the road a constant battle to survive.....well, you can get used to it, but enjoy it? I THINK NOT!

I do very much agree about the dogs! As much as I love this place, there have been times I've thought about doing evil to the dogs. How can they stand it? Ugh. Im glad I have a cat. These stupid dogs bark at any and everything that moves.

:D  :lol:  :lol: bark bark bark that's the funniest thing I've seen today well I don't have any dog's around my place..but I do see them chained in cages the poor things so sad how they are treated you'd bark to if treated like that but a vet told me that MSG on damp bread works well kinda kills them..he said

Apart from noisy dogs and horrendous driving conditions the thing I hate the most is backyard burning of rubbish. The fumes are disgusting and lead to all sorts of health problems but the barangay doesn't seem to worry at all about it even though it's against the law.

Yes I hate to see such cruelty...despite the fact I  cannot tolerate these barking dogs, it makes me sad to see dogs in cages....***.....well I guess that should be another topic....

They like to play the ignorant game....and they are totally lazy....if it's easier to burn the trash, then that's the way they will do it. They simply have no thought process, they have tons of universities, it's been scores of years since people have learned burning trash is bad, but they simply don't care about their environment or future generations. Amazing, since they seem to breed like rabbits, they love children (fine, not against it) but they fail to care about the repercussions of burning. They will always have an excuse, like, oh we're too poor, but they don't work when it rains but don't make up for it on a sunny Sunday. Just plain lazy and ignorant.

I don't know how foreigners tolerate it. How can they accept the abuse of the senses? Yes, the Philippines IS beautiful, but I can't go for a walk and admire it, I can't sit on my porch and appreciate it, I really can't do anything without being assaulted by the noise....and it's EVERYWHERE.... I have headphones to blare my music, but honestly, I don't want to have to continually wear them just to escape the noise...I was forced out of house and home by neighbors who cared little about my sensitivity, asking politely doesn't help, you are just plain effed here....I'm moving, thank you, I know there are other beautiful places in the world.....

Sharper for you so you know, why they have so many dogs, because they do eat them, have you noticed before christmas and New year they have lots of dogs and lots of burking gong on night times only, but then after this nothing for few months, we can enjoy nice quiet sleeping night haha, I have seen lots of people kill and eat dogs here, hell they even ask me to try it, but I did not or I really think I did not, with them you never sure what they feed you with.
About rubish I hate when they do this too, to have a car registered must pass emission test, but yet when they burn rubbish with plastics this is so toxic, then  the fumes out of the car, make no sense to me or any of it.

I plan to soon. I lived there for 3 years in Cayagan De Oro.  I returned to America to be with my Mom about 6 months ago.  She is 90.  Her health is going down hill fast.  Soon I do hope to return.  Only problem I had there was I shopped at the wet market once a week.  A young lad stuck his hand in my front pocket. I grabbed his arm rather hard.  He let out a yelp. Strange a security guard was right there. A Muslim with a stand just of the sidewalk said something to the guard.  The guard ask what was in my pocket. I showed him my billfold. He marched the kid off.  2 weeks later the same kid moved up behind me at the market. I stopped sudden & turned with my elbow out. He ran into it.  We looked at each other & he ran off. Last I ever seen of him there.  I do not know if I will return to Cayagan De Oro or another town. But do plan to return. Soon I hope.

Yes! will definitely do it! :|

Yes, yes and yes. after spending 6 month in Cam Sur, Paniman and loved it. 6 months in Cagayan Valley not so bad but pretty remote, 12 months in Manila, San Lazero Sta Cruz, no dogs barking or burning rubbish there as there is enough pollution and assaults on the senses. Never live there again but hey I'm a country bloke.
My choice was simple, retirement in Ph. in our chosen area. Simply picked because there  are no barking dogs, chooks, though I do love them, chooks and dogs and with love they only bark to protect, very limited karaoke (hope we are invited) very quiet beachfront community, 40 minutes drives from the relies, 5 minutes to the wet market, 25 mins to the hospital, close to establishments for the better half to secure work.

I see the negatives and frustrations of living in our chosen destination, the red tape, the incoherent spiel from government departments as well as others but I/we also see the good, there is no escaping the former but choosing your abode/living space is paramount to sanity as well as security. Choose well.

Benjie (the better half) often asks me why do we do this like this in Australia? That's how it is I tell him. But that's stupid he says, touche. We all learn and accept for greater and lesser reasons, what is normal for me is alien to him and visa versa even after 4 plus years of living in Oz. If it's a risk? I'm going to take it and grab the bull by the horns.

Cheers Steve.

BTW, an interesting topic with great input and scenarios from experiences members.

Hi, I'm new here but have been living in the Philippines for almost 8 years.   No regrets about coming here, but I definitely have stayed too long.  Reading the posts above by Sharper and thought for a minute that I might have drank too much Emperador one night, joined the forum in a haze, and posted all that myself!  haha That's pretty much my experience also. 

It's a whole different world here and certain types of people appreciate it more than others.  For me, the country is draining for the soul, and the people are a constant source of disappointment.  Setting lower standards and expectations helps in the short term, but eventually that will drag you down also.  I think it's a great place to come visit or live if you want to feel and act like a child again, but it's much too frustrating to live here if you're doing responsible things like raising a family, running a business, or really just trying to accomplish things.

Not sure how much longer i will stay, but I've certainly learned a lot about myself and about Filipinos also.  I'm still relatively young at 48, so I may take my family back to my country and get back into the daily grind of normal life.  I can always return when I'm 60, after my child is grown, and I have become less relevant.   I would probably love the Philippines and what it offers at that point in life.

Dear Expatsteve48,
I appreciate your comments and glad someone else has similar thoughts. And I think your other thoughts are spot on, except you will never be "less relevant". Great to hear your comments😊

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Planning to move back to the Philippines soon, do you know of any job opportunities out there? I will appreciate any suggestion.

Hi Sharper1... you know, it's not all bad here or we wouldn't stay.  It's just nice to bitch about it once in a while and blow off some steam.  I don't regret coming, but I made a lot of mistakes, and didn't correct most of them soon enough.  In other words, I caused most of my problems.  Almost 8 years in, and still learning.  Hey, here's a light-hearted article about the noise problem in the Philippines...take care. … pines.html

Hi expatsteve48,
." you know, it's not all bad here or we wouldn't stay."
"In retrospect, would you move again to the philippines" is the original question.
We all have choices. While it seems like the choice for many expats is to put up with it, however, it's NOT my choice, to be clear, no I won't put up with it. It's bad enough to NOT want to stay. The dogs, noise, aggressive maniac reckless driving, the burning of trash, the litter, the lines, the incompetence at business and government level (how long to transfer a title to your name, how many wasted trips to wait in long lines), no online ferry schedules/prices.....god, I could go on and on..IT'S MOSTLY BAD. Sure, Filipinos are good people on many levels, that's a plus, and beautiful environment. But those same beautiful people ruin the environment, and take away the pleasure with their "way of life" and more barking dogs than people. You like it, you stay.....enjoy! Me,  I will go elsewhere where sanity exists.

Sharper1, Where are you looking to move?  Back home, or another country?    A long break from the Philippines would probably benefit us all who have been here a while.  But there are places in this country where guys like us can find peace.  I'm working on not giving a crap and going with the flow, but it's hard.  One thing I've learned is that it's not a failure to realize the Philippines isn't for you.  Some expats will say we "couldn't hack it" but sometimes that's a compliment, and you have to throw in the towel and save yourself for the next battle in life. Good luck to ya.

Ive read everyone's posts and am amazed at the differences in experiences. There is truth in what everyone says. A lot seems to be the result of real world experiences. Life is a great educator. I'm only 46 years old and my biggest challenge is boredom. Most of the other expats I meet here in Butuan are much older than I am but it is neat to spend time talking with them and learning about them and their families here. My answer to the main question is that yes, I am overall pleased with here and would do it all again. I do think however that I would have been a little more guarded with my heart. One person correctly stated that you should not chase after young women. I did not. I met my partner online and am happy that she is what she said she was. We have a running joke about the family thing because both of her sisters moved in with us. I have a defacto orphanage to occupy my time and volunteer my skills as a civilian and military former medic with orphans and abandoned elderly here. I was a Peace Corps volunteer many years ago so I recommend that you make friends with local children. Kids tend to be more truthful than adults and are a valuable source of information.  I also recommend taking charge and keeping charge of your finances. I have double retirement due to disabilities so I do not have to work. That does not mean that you are the first national bank of the philippines, local barangay branch. Never loan out money and follow what my grandparents told me. Do not mix business with family. It never ends up good. And nowhere does the Bible say you have to tell people here your business. Just be yourself and enjoy life. Look for the positive in life, and be thankful for the opportunities that life presents to you.

Good advice, Gordy.  The only thing I disagree with is getting too friendly with the local kids.  Basically every Filipino that you know and trust, knows and trusts another Filipino that hates you with a passion.  Best to not leave yourself open to any accusations of child endangerment.  There's many expats sitting in jail now on trumped up charges regarding that.  I've a 6 year old daughter, and when I take her out, Filipinos will joke about her being my gf or wife.....they always assume the worst about us.....and befriending local kids will brand you as a pedo.  Filipinos are not like Westerners, not at all. There's no benefit of the doubt.

Good point. Everything I do here is out in open. People back in USA like to stir up stuff too.

In the past seven years after meeting a few ladies on FC.  Not meeting any of them are asking for anything. I’ve paid for electric bills, medical services, rent, electricity, hospital bills, funerals, moving expenses,  burial plots, loads of grocery bills education costs etc. etc.
It was close to 500,000 pesos.… No, I’m not rich. LOL. I told friends that I was very gullible, naïve and certainly stupid. They were kind  to remind me that I was just “ too trusting”.😂  I finally visited and stayed in Manila October 2017 to January 2018… Four months.  Been back in the US for almost 5 months and planning my return soon. I was scammed by everyone I had contact with, probably about seven.
Ha ha ha ha what is that about “ once bitten twice shy”
I’ve still been sending money because I feel sorry for some of the Women with children and there situations. (No I have not met them)🤪
When I return I will be volunteering in a number of places teaching etc.  long story ...too long!
Still the eternal  optimist but hopefully a little smarter.
I finally concluded with money sending. I will be hands-on .

I think we must be related. Lol. I finally said enough was enough and put me first here though. I help some but only after making them help themselves first.

Ahh 3 brothers, yep many of us have soft hearts, but we need to have strong wallets.  I only give what I can afford to.  Even to my GF now I give her an allowance when we meet, she knows that I cannot give more and not to ask for more  (only give what you can afford to lose) she knows I can leave any day and I have told her nicely that she can leave me any day she wants to.

But I am happy and love living in the Philippines - I am in Davao.

So I would do it all over again.

I have being here for 6 years now (5 years in General Santos and 1 year in Davao), my ace in the pocket is that I don't own property, or any other large assets, so any day I want I can leave.

We arent that far away! Im in Butuan.

The Australian government is wicked and deplorable I am vietnam veteran and they refused my DVA pension because I lived here at the of applying. i went to the DVA office in Brisbane and they pretty much treated me like a piece of dog s**t.  Australia is no longer on my map.

I would come back, BUT...i would not marry, buy property or vehicles, except for a motorcycle. I would not be as generous as I have been,,,

Yes and I love it. Of course its different from where you come from - every country in the world is different.  Just enjoy every moment of your life. Every culture is different. I love my life and I love the Philippines and the people.

I don't regret coming to the Philippines I have been coming here for a long time, but I have been going to Vietnam on vacation and I think in a few years it will be a lot better place for expats no retirement visa yet but cheap in and out visa for 1 month to 5 years, you still go to immigration every 3 months but no problem, the country will outperform the Philippines in a few years, already 99 year lease for business, and more business friendly

Okieboy :

I don't regret coming to the Philippines I have been coming here for a long time, but I have been going to Vietnam on vacation and I think in a few years it will be a lot better place for expats no retirement visa yet but cheap in and out visa for 1 month to 5 years, you still go to immigration every 3 months but no problem, the country will outperform the Philippines in a few years, already 99 year lease for business, and more business friendly

Hi Okie, Sounds interesting. Do you find a lot of Vietnamese that speak English?  Are they friendly towards Americans so many years after the war?

Respectfully, I wouldn't live here again. I stayed for over a year and it was not one of my best decisions. I stayed for a year and a half between 3 different locales in Cebu and Manila so let me summarize my experience as best as I can.

The vibe and energy here is very negative and soul sucking. The country has a bad presence that hangs in the air that simply feels 'off'. All of the so called friendly locals weren't actually genuinely nice unless they were trying to scam or rip you off or size you up. They would routinely mock and laugh at me and give me very hateful, intrusive stares and make up stories in Tagalog or Bisaya. Very little privacy or respect. The people don't understand boundaries. I feel uneasy around them so I'm very offhand with locals because of their character flaws.

After looking at my budget it's not that much cheaper than the US especially if you live like a western person with a condo and similar eating habits and recreational needs.

The local food is terrible and it's difficult to eat healthy so expect that to come out of your expenses unless you like Jollibee all the time. My gf at the time would shop at local markets for fresh enough seafood and produce to make us meals with.

Constantly being ripped off no matter if I am alone or with a girl. They were pretty useless at getting me deals so I would have to stand up for myself and then be branded as being 'arrogant' or 'mayabang'.

Creeping nationalism and racist sentiments. Despite how much Filipinos think they are friendly and open-minded, I believe that is incredibly overstated and the society is quite racist to foreigners  (who aren't white esp). If you look at the news, every other day another foreigner offends the sensibilities of a local unknowingly and gets whacked by mob justice usually leaving a family behind. On the streets I hear racial epithets and kids coming up to grab me and hassling me. These are the same people that come to the West (or HK and SG) and demand respect and rights. Meanwhile it's near impossible to own anything here except a condo.

Women are the highlight of the country and why most people stay. You can meet ok ones but they are promiscuous/disloyal and it's difficult to find an educated partner on your level with a 100+ IQ/great career bc those types simply dislike foreigners. And because Filipino society has jealous and resentful tendencies, you will never meet these types bc local men do not want the competition for their best.

My personality is one that needs some structure so I found the Philippines to be very dysfunctional. The people have a warped sense of reality to cope with their surroundings so they were snobby, vain or displayed princess behavior. The expats simply refused to hear any of it about their beloved 2nd home because then they would have to acknowledge how much the country has degraded since the 80s or early 00s and how they need to stop clinging to old relics.

It's no paradise. It's merely average -- maybe. It's more for an older guy I think. I'm younger and I think Filipino society has a stronger tolerance for the 60 yr old expat bc they know he's taking care of a family and maybe building a house somewhere and sponsors his asawa and such.

This is just a very basic outline of my time there and to be honest, I can write a whole book on this place. Hopefully I will not get attacked and my post will be seen as commentary but I highly doubt that. I hope this has helped someone.

You accuse Filipinos of being racists, but you ? You are not ? Let me laugh out loud  :lol:  it is full of generalizations ... but I suppose that you prefer the order of the communist party of Vietnam 😁  happy new year comrad !

No I would not.

I myself have experience most of the things you mention. I had a filipina girl, her daughter was helped by me to the tune of 500,000p in a hospital for a very no so nice condition. She vowed to stayed with me and care for me to the very end...But when the daughter was still not fully cured and I had no more money to help, she dropped my like a hot potato.

There is good Filipino's. I had a small farm needing lots of electrical and plumbing repairs. A local Filipino friend helped me but would always undercharge me or not take any payment..

You got to keep and open mind and accept people as the come. It would be a big mistake to paint all with same brush. Remember this...good and the shitty exist all over the world.

Well put Munchie.  There are good and bad people all over the world. For me, I would still live in Australia if I could afford it on a pension and only chose the Philippines because that is where my wife is from. That is why most expats are here, family reasons.
regards  Bruce

I've been here about 5 years now.    It's been difficult at times/ challenging.    I've found Filipinos to be quite friendly on the whole and havnt seen any racism.      I think it helps to realize the average Filipino is operating at a disadvantage:  lack of proper education, nutrition as well as having an average IQ lower than many.   I admire most Filipinos for smiling thru their difficulties.

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