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Living in the Philippines as a foreigner, I think I have an insight to some of the problem of the Philippines. However more people die from being poor in the Philippines than any other cause.
Yes, bombs disrupt the flow of things and make it obvious that there are many problems in the Philippine.
Never the less Filipinos have been killing Filipinos as far back in their history as you want to go. Personal study, going back almost seven thousand years, has shown; it was the same then, just different weapons. Back then, one group would raid another group for slaves, as well whatever they could find worth taking. On a daily bases, I see and I here where one Filipino kill another, whole family are killed over land and plain revenge.
Bombings over the sale of Alcohol as it has been reported by some sources, in a Muslim controlled area of a country. Well! We had Probation on alcohol in the USA in the nineteen thirties and thousand were killed over that, nothing new.
However, in the final analysis retiring here will be the best move you have ever made. However, you have not informed us where you plan to retire to, in the Philippines. There are many places where foreigners are welcomed with open arms. However, there are some places, where they are not. Safe haven are found by exploring the Islands, for me Leyte, is as good as it gets. Other prefers Angeles City, while other likes Subic Bay. Some Like Manila, and Cebu but each must find where they prefer.
You mentioned R and R, in the military since, I am assuming you are referring to, will be found in Manila, Cebu, and best of all Angles City. However, living in these places I have found over the long term become tiresome, as well as very expensive. What was and is important for me was to be centrally located where I can get to Manila, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, as well as other places for less than $100 dollars US, no matter what the season, whether it be by air or sea.
The cost of live here Leyte is almost nothing, 7,000 peso for two bedroom apartment, lights and water included and 500 peso, for natural gas every 2 months. I have DSL, which I split with three other; via a wireless router and for the total is 3000 peso, per month and cable runs a 350 peso a month, that it. All in all, 10,850 peso or at today's exchange rate $216.56 US dollars.
Food cost about 20,000 pesos a month, because eat a variety of foods and have a great cook, which can make anything I wish. In addition, I eat out 2 or 21 times a week and take a three to seven day trip once a month.
I have a live-in girl friend, which cost me 10,000 peso a month to take care of her family, she has to kids, and they live with her family.
I have a car and Motorcycle in my own name, that important not in girlfriends name, which make getting around very easy, in any weather. Therefore, my expenses under $1500 dollars a month, but then I live, better than most. I could spend more but why.