Why The Philippines And Why Now?

Most of you may know the Philippines for its friendly smiling people, a breed becoming rare in other countries, wealthy or developing. It may most be known by Expats and foreigners who travel here from all over the world for its non stop low priced quality night life, air conditioned taxis with start up of 60 US cents, beaches, golf courses, the national past time of beauty pageants and fiestas, hotels with service you will not get in the best of hotels in more expensive parts of the world.

But today there is yet another attraction for those displaced from high paying jobs, on purpose or just because they don't want to work for minimum wage, but rather wait out the recession or world wide economic recovery in comfort with maids, helper and caregivers.

Some have been snow birding in the Philippines for years: hiding from the cold. Now some are "economy birding," waiting for the warmer economic climate by hanging out in the Philippines. Here is no sin to be unemployed. They enjoy living here and enjoy all the beauties of the country for a fraction of the cost of the more "developed," countries.

The Philippines is a "foreign country," where the people who are not totally fluent in English people listen to you and understand most of what you say. Yes, even if they have a thick accent or a hard time responding back to you they do understand and want to help you. It is a foreign country where everyone has a family member, or extended family members abroad. Many feel because you are from abroad you probably know their relatives abroad! It is a place where everyone is connected, where touching, talking and the intimacy of friendship is still more valued than watching TV, where birthdays are more important than work, where people are more important than things, rare indeed in non communal societies like Western ones most of us come from.

Visiting the Philippines is not a thrill like a roller coaster ride or a bungee jump but an insightful life changing experience, a rebirth, a reincarnation, and a new way of looking at the world and others with compassion, understanding and empathy. You have to come here and make friends with the Philippines and its people to connect with these thoughts. I have tried to give you a taste of the experience you will have in these pages. But until you are here and then maybe not until you leave it and remember, will you feel it. Most likely you will never understand it. But understanding is not necessary. Come and experience it, feel it, enjoy it, and you will know why the Philippines and why now!

For those foreigners who have been here a while, they enjoy most basking not in the sun and sea, but the warmth of the people, the Filipinos. For us who have retired here, visiting or just living here for a while, life here is not about the beautiful beaches, mountains, incredible rice terraces, skin diving, kite/wind surfing, five star hotels, non stop night life, massages, great food and low prices. We know being in the Philippines is a thrilling social experience, something you will not find in another country in the world.  If you feel this place is different, tell me what other places let children in the best restaurants because they naturally behave, where in rural areas, men hold their friends hands and children live with mama and papa their whole life because they love them!

Despite the cable TV, Broadband, proliferation of fast food joints and skyscrapers, the Philippines has not lost its old world culture and charm. It is still a place where children bow and put the hand of anyone elder to their foreheads to show respect, where age is a badge of honor, not of disgrace. It is a place where rap music is heard but not understood and does not need to be. It is the one place in the world where foreigners from every nation are welcome, are embraced in "Filipino Hospitality."

The Philippines is a "foreign country," where the people who are not totally fluent in English people listen to you and understand most of what you say. Yes, even if they have a thick accent or a hard time responding back to you they do understand and want to help you. It is a foreign country where everyone has a family member, or extended family members abroad. Many feel because you are from abroad you probably know their relatives abroad! It is a place where everyone is connected, where touching, talking and the intimacy of friendship is still more valued than watching TV, where birthdays are more important than work, where people are more important than things, rare indeed in non communal societies like Western ones most of us come from.

Visiting the Philippines is not a thrill like a roller coaster ride or a bungee jump but an insightful life changing experience, a rebirth, a reincarnation, and a new way of looking at the world and others with compassion, understanding and empathy. You have to come here and make friends with the Philippines and its people to connect with these thoughts. I have tried to give you a taste of the experience you will have in these pages. But until you are here and then maybe not until you leave it and remember, will you feel it. Most likely you will never understand it. But understanding is not necessary. Come and experience it, feel it, enjoy it, and you will know why the Philippines and why now!