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Author Topic: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!  (Read 105029 times)

Offline iamjames

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2017, 01:54:24 PM »
Looks and sounds like an excellent situation, Hayling. Just don't burn your boats yet in The US and don't make any hasty permanent moves here.  Come and experience a crazy kind of life you could not imagine. But always keep your door open for exit.

Offline balutsky

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2017, 04:21:52 PM »
I have been planning for over a year to come over, and live in a quiet area, Lezo, Aklan, with my dear friend, who I met on FB
We talk every day, and she is geniune, but now my family and friends are trying to convince me in every way to stay here in the US.

I get everything from the humidity, the begging, the crime, terrorism, all which are in the US also.
I guess I just am looking for a balance from those there, to say I can make it and survive, especially in a quiet area, very rural in a small community. I know life will be totally different, that is the appeal to break away from the stresses of NYC, and I am open eyed to know that there are different stresses there.

I can survive on my monthly pension, and for the last months this has been my ambition, but those here are constantly bombarding me with links, to all the downsides, and I don't seem to have anyone, apart from the couple of people I know there in The Philippines to support my ambition.

Thank you all for all your words of encouragement and giving me the balance I was looking for. I think people are so quick to see the downsides of everything, and maybe that is just an understandable warning of the hazards of live anywhere.
I thank you all for taking the time to write. I have never been to The Philippines before, and to be honest, I have only been to countries that have a similar western culture, so I am aware and excited of the challenges ahead.

I will be coming soon, I always really was, but I was looking just for what you guys have given me, which is the words of positive encouragement, so thanks again.
Lots of good tips from a lot of experienced folks.  I do not want to sounds like scrooge who stole Christmas and I hope I won't sound so negative.  I just want to be objective.  I'm a Fil-am and just want to be honest with you.  I'm not saying that she is not legit, but be very careful with the girl you haven't personally met yet.  There are a lot of scammers here in the PI.  I understand that you have been talking to her every day and night and everything is great.  However, it is not the same as 2 people living on the same roof together.  You may find out that once you are living together that she may not be the same person that you were talking on the phone before.  She may not be asking for money now but be prepared once you start living with her. She lives in the province in a small town and I can bet my paycheck (although it is not much) that she has a huge extended family.  Be prepared to support them all especially if you will be moving in their town.  But that is your choice, to support them or not.  However, if you decide not to support them, be ready for the consequence.   Also, Pinoy in-laws are different.  They love to get involved with their families personal affairs (when you marry a Pinay, you marry the whole family).  Me personally, I would not live close to my Pinoy in laws and I am a Fil am like I mentioned before.  I want some buffer zone.

At least you will be going in the province.  I can say as a matter of fact that it is a lot cleaner than NY city, inconveniences aside (my kids  lives in NY city, both in Williamsburg, Brooklyn)  :).

Now my favorite show on buffer zone.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzxQc7jGehA




« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 04:44:43 PM by balutsky »

Offline M.C.A.

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2017, 06:00:59 PM »
Hayling nice photos of your home and this is how I live also out in the Provincial area you be fine and actually it appears you can grow many crops, good luck.
My views would be from someone who lives out in the province close to in-laws on a pension.  Norwegian and French heritage.

Offline HappyBee

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2017, 05:32:34 AM »
When I decided to come here pretty much no one told me the downsides - I had to find these out myself the hard way. What I would change if I could do it over again - not living close to family (I would choose a safe place at least 6-8 hours away), and making sure I had a good, profitable business up and running before putting my roots down in a particular place. I also learned that if I am ever quoted a price for building something, I need to double or triple the quote and that's what I will really pay.

In my experience a lot of foreigners run into many unexpected costs once they decide to set up a permanent abode in the Philippines... and like others have said it is more expensive to live here than most people think. Exchange rates can change, either in our favour or otherwise, and the price of everything here seems to keep going up and up. So if a foreigner is buying a car, house and business and everything costs more than they expected, they can end up with very little savings in the end. This is why it's good to have a plan to get out if you need to.

I would also suggest having a good read of the travel advice from your government regarding the Philippines and to monitor the local news - you can follow it on Facebook or on the web - so you can get a feel for what is happening in the country in recent times.

One more little thing - not saying this about your girlfriend at all, but in relation to all people you will meet here... but in my experience regarding people, I have found that people here are very good at putting on a positive face with foreigners and not revealing their true selves. I have had 'friends' and 'family' whom I thought were fantastic, reliable and friendly people, only to realise after about two to three years that the person was putting on a front to me because I am a foreigner, wanting to get on my good side for financial gain.
After a few years and the person realising that I am not an ATM, the demeanor changed and I began to see the person's true personality and ways. Some of them have outright stabbed me in the back.

All I am saying is to be careful about people. Unfortunately in the Philippines people will see you primarily for the colour of your skin: you are a potential source of cash, and people will pull all kinds of tricks, including Academy Award class acting and crocodile tears, just to bleed a bit of money out of you. And later on if you need help these people are nowhere to be found. I don't mean to be negative, just telling you what I wish someone had told me.

Cheers.
^^ Just my personal opinion... take it or leave it!

Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2017, 07:27:04 AM »
I also learned that if I am ever quoted a price for building something, I need to double or triple the quote and that's what I will really pay.

The "Long-Nose Tax".


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM_BXcC-U1w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM_BXcC-U1w</a>


Offline grahamw

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2017, 02:39:22 PM »
To the O.P.

By all means go the the Phils and meet up with your online girlfriend.

Many others have trodden the same path, but bear in mind that all of this is mere daydreaming until after that has happened. No offense intended, and good luck to you. Some very good advice given in this thread.   :)

To 'lost_in_samoa':

Thanks for the PM, but I apparently cannot reply at this stage, (due to my newbie status ?).

It appears that we are neighbors.  Small world.   :D


Edit to add: You have now reached Full Member. You may now reply to PMs. Enjoy..
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 03:46:17 PM by Steve & Myrlita »

Offline M.C.A.

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2017, 03:10:22 PM »
Hayling... Many lessons learned on the actual costs of items, vegetables and products, never send a family remember to buy for you, do this yourself and also check out your area and look for the lower prices, it's a chore but you might need to leave the girl friend at the home and do this on your own, Filippina has no patience and they don't like wandering around looking for the lowest prices, they pay whatever because it's not their money or they have in-laws (slaves) that go and get the items and you'll pay more.

Another learning lesson get rid of the wife's special assistant or in-law slave, if mother is in the house evict her, give her money to hit the road, if this is the mothers home than your stuck with her and all her kids, it'll be costly, sugar, cream, coffee, rice, soaps, detergents will all evaporate tiny bag by tiny bag to her kids.
My views would be from someone who lives out in the province close to in-laws on a pension.  Norwegian and French heritage.

Offline JoeLP

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2017, 09:24:22 PM »
Hayling...there is the culture.  It is something that will be hard for any pinay to overcome if she's still near her family.  And, if you do get lucky, like I did, her family will not overcome it.

This is a sharing culture.  Family to family in many cases they all just take stuff that other family members have bought.  Food, clothes, tools(brooms, mops, cooking devices, etc.)  This is just typical.  And if one of them family members marries a foreigner...money joins that list.

Tina put the stop even before I arrived on the money or anything of ours.  We have our own home, but, we did build it on her families compound.  Mistake #1.  They never once asked for money or food.  But, they did, for at least the first 2 years, just come over and take stuff.  Could be anything from our toilet brush to our Kitchenaid Mixer.  Just take it and bring it to their homes and not return it.  So, that was a problem.  Over now, after much word fighting...but...it is part of the culture.
In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

Offline Hestecrefter

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2017, 11:44:16 PM »
Hayling... Many lessons learned on the actual costs of items, vegetables and products, never send a family remember to buy for you, do this yourself and also check out your area and look for the lower prices, it's a chore but you might need to leave the girl friend at the home and do this on your own, Filippina has no patience and they don't like wandering around looking for the lowest prices, they pay whatever because it's not their money or they have in-laws (slaves) that go and get the items and you'll pay more.


Interesting observation.  My experience there was generally quite different.  Once a vendor saw a white face, that meant the price would go up.  I recall one time in Tuguegarao, buying lechon manok at that stand that had been there forever (maybe still there) on a corner near Jollibee and the bus station.  If the gf or a member of her family went to get it, the price then was P140. I was driving home alone from Centro one day and the gf asked me to pick up lechon. They wanted to charge me P240. I told them in Tagalog that I knew the price was P140 just last week and that's what I ended up paying.  Illocano is the local language, but they understand Tagalog.  I would have said nothing and walked away had there been anyone there at the time apart from the vendors.  It would have been an error in judgment for anyone - much less a kano - to call them out and show publicly that they tried to fool you.  They would lose face.  You could find a knife in your back later.

I found the same with buying land, particularly in the province.  A lot of land in rural areas is not list for sale in any formal sense.  But locals know who owns what and what might be for sale.  If a kano drives up to the owner's house in his Nissan Safari (one of our motor vehicles at the time) to inquire about a purchase, it's a safe bet he'll be quoted a higher price than will a local. 

Offline Hestecrefter

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2017, 12:59:14 AM »
What I would change if I could do it over again - and making sure I had a good, profitable business up and running before putting my roots down in a particular place.

In my experience a lot of foreigners run into many unexpected costs once they decide to set up a permanent abode in the Philippines... and like others have said it is more expensive to live here than most people think. Exchange rates can change, either in our favour or otherwise, and the price of everything here seems to keep going up and up. So if a foreigner is buying a car, house and business and everything costs more than they expected, they can end up with very little savings in the end. This is why it's good to have a plan to get out if you need to.

The notion of having a business, while attractive at first blush, is not for everyone.  It brings to mind the old saying: "How do you make a small fortune in the Philippines?  Start with a large one."

There does seem to be a common line of thought with foreigners coming to the RP that starting a business is a piece of cake.  And that is from folks who never owned and operated a business in their home country.  Yet they think they can do it in the Phils, a foreign land, language and culture.  Not sure what leads to that thinking.

To me, the best advice is not to in any way depend on making money in the Phils.  You should have your financial house in order before you come and have reliable offshore sources of income.  In that case, if you have some capital you can afford to lose, then indulge, if you will, in a starting a business and, if it makes money, regard it as gravy and if it fails, no big deal. 

For those of use who happen to be the sole or principal source of support for our spouses, I think it also of fundamental importance to provide for them when we are gone.  Even with couples the same age, one can easily outlive the other by a fair margin.  So, if you are the provider and you have pension income supporting both of you (and any anak), then make sure there is an adequate survivor benefit or have some other bullet-proof revenue source that will take care of those you leave behind.  I have heard some kanos say; "Well, I bought a house and she'll have that when I'm gone."  Really?  You expect your spouse to have to sell her home in order to survive?  Moreover, property in the Phils can be a hard sell, the money it brings will not likely last and allow a comfortable lifestyle, and that is drawing a long bow and assuming your spouse has the ability to providently manage a large capital sum.  For my own part, my asawa is mid-30s, of modest education and fiscal experience.  She's smart in many ways.  Yet I know to a certainty that if I passed tomorrow and left her $1million (P50 million), the money would be long gone before she reached old age. 

I'll add to this post that I find myself in respectful agreement with HappyBee's comment about living costs in the PI being much higher than some foreigners expect.  It is trite lore that if you move to the PI and think you can live as you did back in the U.S., the U.K., Australia or wherever, but at less cost, you will be disappointed.  One still encounters online comments such as "live like a king in the Phils for $500 or $1,000 per month."  B.S.  That translates to: "Move to the PI, go native and survive on $1,000 per month."  And don't get sick.

I lament that the old Asawa Forum has lapsed into history lo these many years ago.  For awhile, the old posts were still available online.  No more.  There, one learned and experienced member once started a thread sub nom. "Marooned".  It was a sobering tale of those who have moved to the Phils expecting to live the high life at modest cost and found themselves after a few years with not even sufficient funds to buy a ticket back home.  I have witnessed a few marooned types in the Phils myself.  Pitiful.  To one such fellow I "loaned" USD550 to help him buy a ticket out.  He's now in his 60s, working as a pizza delivery driver when he can, in LA.  Don't end up like that. 

Offline hayling

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2017, 05:32:03 AM »
Thank you all once again, I have read every word, and would like to reply to you all personally but time prevents that.
I think I am going in there with my eyes wide open, I am not trying to live a western lifestyle there, I am not looking for luxuries in any way, I am not materialistic, and although I love good food and creature comforts, I do want to experience and try to adapt to a basic lifestyle.
That does not mean eating lizards, and succumbing to some aspects, but to be simple and a strip down version of life, which I need in my life now.

Yes, I think the aspects I need to concentarte on and get totally right are banking..I have three UK pensions, which are currently wire transferred into my US account, so I need to work that one out, and next year I will receive my UK State pension.

I need to work a health plan, I am prescribed meds for my heart, but am otherwise in good health, I do realise that PI may not be the easiest place to balance good health care.. I think my other main concern is the total and constant humidity, which seems relenting, but again I hope to adjust in some ways.

I do have a get out if this happens, which is to get back to the UK but I am determined to give this every chance to work, if only that I have met a wonderful person and the relationship is not a blind infatuation, although I accept that has been said many times by many people.

Just one more question, if I bring my US laptop, does anyone know if it will work there, accepting that I will need some kind of universal plug?

Once again, thank you all ofr your very much valued comments which I will keep and refer to in the coming days and weeks

Offline Lee2

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2017, 05:36:58 AM »
Quote
if I bring my US laptop, does anyone know if it will work there, accepting that I will need some kind of universal plug?
Yes and no adapter should be necessary, look on your power cord or box and see if it says 110 to 240, if so then you are good to go, as for the plug, they use the same as we use in the U.S. minus the ground, so you might need a 3 to 2 adapter.

:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline Hestecrefter

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2017, 05:56:15 AM »

Just one more question, if I bring my US laptop, does anyone know if it will work there, accepting that I will need some kind of universal plug?

I have taken a series of laptops from the U.S. to the PI, including ones made by Dell, Epson, IBM, Toshiba and, most recently, Apple.  All have accepted the current there.  I believe all of the power cords (with those boxes on them) will accept both 110 to 240 volts.  As Lee says, that should be printed on the box.  I have never encountered one that was not able to accept the current that comes out of the wall in both countries.  Some desktops have a switch on the back that allows you to change from 110 v. to 220 v., so no need for a converter.  All you might need would be a 3 to 2 adapter, as Lee suggests.

Offline David690

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2017, 06:07:36 AM »
The notion of having a business, while attractive at first blush, is not for everyone.  It brings to mind the old saying: "How do you make a small fortune in the Philippines?  Start with a large one."

There does seem to be a common line of thought with foreigners coming to the RP that starting a business is a piece of cake.  And that is from folks who never owned and operated a business in their home country.  Yet they think they can do it in the Phils, a foreign land, language and culture.  Not sure what leads to that thinking.

To me, the best advice is not to in any way depend on making money in the Phils.  You should have your financial house in order before you come and have reliable offshore sources of income.  In that case, if you have some capital you can afford to lose, then indulge, if you will, in a starting a business and, if it makes money, regard it as gravy and if it fails, no big deal. 

For those of use who happen to be the sole or principal source of support for our spouses, I think it also of fundamental importance to provide for them when we are gone.  Even with couples the same age, one can easily outlive the other by a fair margin.  So, if you are the provider and you have pension income supporting both of you (and any anak), then make sure there is an adequate survivor benefit or have some other bullet-proof revenue source that will take care of those you leave behind.  I have heard some kanos say; "Well, I bought a house and she'll have that when I'm gone."  Really?  You expect your spouse to have to sell her home in order to survive?  Moreover, property in the Phils can be a hard sell, the money it brings will not likely last and allow a comfortable lifestyle, and that is drawing a long bow and assuming your spouse has the ability to providently manage a large capital sum.  For my own part, my asawa is mid-30s, of modest education and fiscal experience.  She's smart in many ways.  Yet I know to a certainty that if I passed tomorrow and left her $1million (P50 million), the money would be long gone before she reached old age. 

I'll add to this post that I find myself in respectful agreement with HappyBee's comment about living costs in the PI being much higher than some foreigners expect.  It is trite lore that if you move to the PI and think you can live as you did back in the U.S., the U.K., Australia or wherever, but at less cost, you will be disappointed.  One still encounters online comments such as "live like a king in the Phils for $500 or $1,000 per month."  B.S.  That translates to: "Move to the PI, go native and survive on $1,000 per month."  And don't get sick.

I lament that the old Asawa Forum has lapsed into history lo these many years ago.  For awhile, the old posts were still available online.  No more.  There, one learned and experienced member once started a thread sub nom. "Marooned".  It was a sobering tale of those who have moved to the Phils expecting to live the high life at modest cost and found themselves after a few years with not even sufficient funds to buy a ticket back home.  I have witnessed a few marooned types in the Phils myself.  Pitiful.  To one such fellow I "loaned" USD550 to help him buy a ticket out.  He's now in his 60s, working as a pizza delivery driver when he can, in LA.  Don't end up like that.

That is a very good post that Hestecrefter has made and I agree with all that he says.
Londoner at heart

Offline HappyBee

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Re: Family & Friends Trying To Convince Me Not To Come!
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2017, 12:05:51 PM »
The notion of having a business, while attractive at first blush, is not for everyone.  It brings to mind the old saying: "How do you make a small fortune in the Philippines?  Start with a large one."

There does seem to be a common line of thought with foreigners coming to the RP that starting a business is a piece of cake.  And that is from folks who never owned and operated a business in their home country.  Yet they think they can do it in the Phils, a foreign land, language and culture.  Not sure what leads to that thinking.

To me, the best advice is not to in any way depend on making money in the Phils.  You should have your financial house in order before you come and have reliable offshore sources of income.  In that case, if you have some capital you can afford to lose, then indulge, if you will, in a starting a business and, if it makes money, regard it as gravy and if it fails, no big deal. 

Totally agree. We are not all business people! What I kinda meant to point out is not to expect it your first idea to work out straight away if you plan to run a business in the Phils. I have tried a few different things since I came and it was not easy to make a decent profit out of any of them. The locals sometimes will tend to buy from family and friends rather than a foreigner, and your competition is selling things at such a low profit margin that it is difficult to compete.

So for me (who is hoping to one day survive on funds obtained here in the Philippines so that I can preserve my offshore funds), if I was to start all over again, I would probably rent first and make sure I could come up with an idea that works before settling in that area permanently. For now, we are beginning to do ok, but only after years of experimentation and generally observing what works here.
^^ Just my personal opinion... take it or leave it!