Expat Reveals His Issues After Leaving Philippines.

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.

Retired in Samar 1.gif

4 thoughts on “Expat Reveals His Issues After Leaving Philippines.

  1. Ya know Randolpho I would go there in a heart beat if I knew I could find A1 medical care there…. I know there med care is good but not excellent. Hate getting the “old man” medical problems. All them ‘bitches’ are generally the same here except in different forms. Convenience isn’t all that it is cracked up to be here. Hey … have them go live in some place like Camboland for a few years … PI is like advancing 200 years. But ya still will be behind the west by 100.

  2. I get sick everytime I go too the Philippines, I always tell my wife im going to die of chest infection lol, but I am trying home remedies now when I go back, and I feel since I don’t live there constantly is the reason I get sick when I return, the medical care is cheap,and good enough,What do you expect when you are over 50 anyways? lol,you are going to die sooner or later, just have a decent life insurance plan so your family can carry onI care for my family there more than myself so I will do anything to make sure they are taken care of after im long gone.i paid 12 thousand dollars in the states for a 3 hour emergency room visit, in Philippines I could of stayed all nite and gotten the same treatment all for under 1000 waaay under 1000.ive never gotten sick off the food,But when I am able to retire with my family there ill get back to you on my feelings after a couple years, life is what you make of it,And if you have a awesome wife.shouldnt matter where you live.

  3. Unfortunately medical care is a huge issue for many of us living here. There is some excellent care providers in Manila such as St. Lukes or Manila Doctor’s Hospital, but the cost is not cheap. Cebu also has some excellent care if you can afford it. And speaking of convenience, not many places beat the Philippines. Can you walk across your sidewalk to get fresh eggs, brandy, or kerosene?

  4. Do you get sick after visiting or while you are in the Philippines? Many guys have respiratory issues with all the burning of trash, diesel fumes, and air pollutants overall. Some days I go outside and do an about face and head right back inside. I’ve had 4 bad bouts of bronchitis since I arrived there in 2013, and have rarely ever experienced such chest congestion previously. And you’re right, life is what you make of it wherever you may be.

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