Nobody Ever Said Life Was Easy… Even in the Philippines!
A few months ago I published an article titled “An Expat’s Feelings Revealed!” and it was based on a sub/reddit post titled “What is Wrong With Locals Here?” The bottom line is that not everyone who comes to live in the Philippines is a happy camper. Since moving here, I’ve learned that even some of the expats that claim to be happy here, are not happy at all, and some would easily move back to their home country… if they could afford it. Unfortunately what it comes down to is this; You can live in the Philippines on a fixed income and not work, or move back home to a much higher standard/cost of living and have to get a job and work the rest of your life.
So, now one begins to understand the simple argument here. The Philippines is a warm, friendly country with millions of smiling people and living here is possible on a minimum fixed income. And you will have to deal with the huge cultural differences. Or, one can bring their filipina partner/bride back home and both would have to resume the day-to-day working-life drudgery, with an almost equal number of complaints. Most of us already know what those are.
A recent blog reader left me a lengthy comment on the above referenced post above after living in the Philippines for about 2 years. He itemized his dissatisfaction about living here (he never specified city or province), most of which I don’t disagree with. Some of my differences of opinion are annotated in blue:
I tried living in the Philippines and lasted 2 years. The stupidity really got to me. More like ignorance, not stupidity!
1) Got sick on the food regularly as they don’t wash their hands after defecating. Personal hygene can be a problem here and is why we mostly cook at home!
2) Had parts stolen off my car when parked multiple times. Never experienced this as we live in the province.
3) Couldn’t breathe as the air is very polluted.
4) No parking at any business. Unless you get lucky.
5) Couldn’t find an honest mechanic. Honesty in the province is not the issue… finding a qualified mechanic is!
6) Was given shit at immigration every two months if they were even open between week long holiday shutdowns. Cost me extra money due to their shutdown. I’m not a tourist and have an permanent ACR-I card. I can’t say I’ve ever had a problem with immigration. I suggest getting a Philippines holiday calendar!
7) Wake up at 4-7 am to take out trash. ( This is retirement?) I don’t do menial chores when someone else offers!
8) Every store is the same.. “Sorry sir not available” Possibly when you are looking for imported cheese.
9) Prices on Western goods very high and no selection.
10) Electric bill very high.
11) Many aggressive drivers unfit to drive.
12) Traffic is horrendous everywhere.
13) No public CRs available with running water, soap or toilet paper. Very few. Learned to carry TP everywhere!
14) Barking dogs everywhere. And Roosters.
15) Karaoke everywhere.
16) Double pricing.
17) Pissing Pinoise.
18) Turn off traffic signals at 6pm to “save money”. What traffic signals?
19) Lazy GF family begging for money. I don’t have a GF thank goodness!
20) Can’t get a taxi or trike that charged normal price. Take Grab when available!
21) Buses crashing.
22) Ferries sinking.
23) Pork, rice, chips, cheap carbohydrates snacks = obesity. (Bad food, poor quality ingredients) I love my Piattos!
24) No roads to see unpolluted areas. That’s what carabaos and habal-habals are for.
The above Expat’s complaints are very commonplace here in the Philippines and can vary somewhat between life in the city and living in the province. Some of us could probably add a few more things to that list. What anyone who is planning to live here needs to learn is to NOT arrive here with an abundance of expectations otherwise, in two years time, you could likely find your comments featured in someone’s blog also!
I’m curious though as to what this ex-Expat’s new complaints are now that he finds himself back among the “normal” in his world. I bet the list is just as long. Mine was.