I Love Retirement in the Philippines
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Have you heard about what it is like living in the Philippines? Have you been here? This website is dedicated to explaining what it is really like to live here. No exaggerations or distortions designed to lure or deceive for profit.
The Camaro I Left Behind!!!
MY LIFE HERE....The Camaro is one thing I hated to leave behind. They don't like gas guzzler V8's on the Islands. What a hit I would have been riding around in that! (found out later Imight have paid customs to get the Camaro in)
It is warm and humid in the Philippines 24 X 7 and 365 days a year. It starts getting cooler from about September through December, but rainy. January through the first of April has lower humidity and good sea breezes. Except for on mountains located on the Islands, you'll want air conditioning in at least one room. My air con was in the master bedroom where I did have my computer and a TV. If not air con, then you will need many fans as I have now because I don't use aircon anymore.
Is there poverty where you live now? How about beggars and people living in the streets? Here it is normal. Poverty is rampant and unemployment is high. Seeing someone urinate on the side of the street is common. Having beggars (often kids) ask for money happens often when you are shopping. (See left margin 'Beggars') I have had nothing stolen yet, but it happens pretty often.
Also,I'm sure you used to having 24 X 7 electricity. Here the power can go out often depending on where you live. Usually the outages (called brownouts) are short. Sometimes they last all day when the company is making repairs. You can install a generator if these are a problem where you choose to live. The worst part for me is not having a fan on to at least keep me cooled down. I plan to invest in a small generator for that problem. Filipinas know how to save the meat in the refrigerator. They cook all of it if the power is going to be out very long. That works fine for me!
Could you get used to the noise of the motorcabs, motorcycles, drunkards, kids, cats, dogs, pigs, cows, chickens (fighting cocks crow at 1AM a lot) close to or on the street where you live with thin walls? These people also get up early. How about smoke, drainage, drying fish, fresh cow dung and dog/cat crap smells coming through your window? How about rats as big as a cat and cockroaches an inch long? How about mosquitoes?
SO, WHY AM I HERE!
I'M HERE BECAUSE I "CAN" DEAL WITH THESE ISSUES! We killed the rats and sprayed away the cockroaches. The rest you get used to or find a place to live away from these problems.
I am living here because there are many good things about this place that far out way the bad. I've adapted to the culture and I enjoy it here very much now. And, I am in love with a beautiful and loving Filipina. That makes it great.
We live here because it is cheap to live. VERY CHEAP. I rent a huge three bedroom house about 5 minutes from the Dumaguete airport and 15 minutes from down town. The rent is $211.00/per month or P10,000. I don't own a car and don't need one. The motor cabs are big and plentiful.
Apartment with Gated Yard
I also have a lot of support here from expat friends and my Filipina's family. There support is like essential. The worst part of having a Filipina family is the misunderstandings that can occur because of language and cultural differences. The way I handle those times is to ask many questions and try to keep my cool.
Kim Kim's Meanest Look
Examples of how cheap car repairs are: I had a loose alternator belt on
my car the other day. I called a repair shop. Two Filipinos
came to the house and tightened the belt for P100. That is just
over $2.00. Recently I had a brake job on all
four wheels performed for P1600 (About $33 USD). Last week all my lights quit
working because the column mounted switch broke. I had all the wiring rerouted
to a new switch and 5 bulbs replaced for P1000. ($20.57 @ P48.6/$).
Transportation is cheap. Big cities have air con taxis, jeepneys and buses. Little cities have motor cabs and tricycles, buses and a few jeepneys. There are lots of buses and other types of people carriers all over the Philippines. Many buses are air con too. A motor cab is a motorcycle with a cab attached. A tricycle is a bicycle with a side car. A jeepney is an old Army jeep converted to haul passengers of up to 30 people, or maybe a few more Filipinos. It costs P8 per person to go by motorcab anywhere in the city limits where I live. 5p (5 pesos) is about 10 cents US. It costs a little more by jeepney, more by air con bus and the most expensive is taxi. I believe I paid 150p from the Golden Peak hotel in Cebu to the airport. But that is less than $3.00 USD.
Cars and trucks are cheap compared to the US. There are plenty of used ones available. Some of those are even made from the frames of jeeps and other vehicles left over from WW2. There are more privately owned motorcycles here than any other vehicle. They can get you in and out of traffic very well. I have seen as many as 6 people on one motorcycle.
BUT, BE FOREWARNED: If you are much bigger than the average Filipino, you may not fit in the drivers seat or even in the back of some of their trucks. I have first hand experience with this problem. Also, a big guy will put on muscle and lose weight getting in and out of motor cabs.
For the most part the Philippine people are the nicest people I have ever met. Many wear a frown, but if you give them a greeting and a smile, they instantly become a friend. Don't mistake what I am telling you. There are differences in our cultures. They do things differently and some of those things will result in a little culture shock. I've offered some explanation about that in the left margin under 'Culture Shock'. It took me a few months to adapt. But, once I learned a little of the language and customs, the shock wore off.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A LADY AND POSSIBLE MARRIAGE?
If this is your desire, you should be pleasantly surprised that Filipinas mostly don't judge you by your looks. Absolutely gorgeous women (and there are alot of them here) go for guys no one seems to want back home... like me. I am fat, although I've lost weight here. I am 28 years older than my lady. My hair is off white. I am not Catholic. We are different for sure, yet she is very loving, caring and thoughtful. We have a lot of fun. Sure, Filipinas like to have security. Who doesn't! And yes, some Filipinas will try to talk you out of your money because that is all they want. But, if you take your time and maybe invest in available investigative services (See left margin for link) on the Islands, you will end up with a great marriage partner.
If you do want to marry, please understand that you will be paying for the wedding, the dress, the flowers, the arrangements... the whole thing. There may be a rich relative or, if you are lucky, a rich Father, but don't count on it. The good thing is how cheap it is here. I spent about $1065 USD on the whole thing. We fed 100 guests, had a video CD of the wedding (which she loved), two free nights in a hotel plus an air con dance room with a DJ Center on the wedding night, a P13000 wedding dress, love birds, wine... everything!!
You can also get married by a local Government official and not spend a fortune too, so don't be discouraged.
COME HERE AND CHECK IT OUT
It is easy to come here and stay awhile. US citizens can stay here 21 days on their passport and easily get a Tourist Visa to extend your stay to 59 days. You can also easily extend your Tourist Visa. All you do is pay the fee. (See Visa Fees)
It is necessary to establish contacts here before you come. That can be expats already here or maybe a Filipina you met on the internet. It is highly recommended that you have an expat contact here before you come so that you have help if you need it.
DON'T GET IN A HURRY!!!
Take your time and don't rush into marriage. There are literally thousands of Filipinas looking for guys like you, so there is no reason to lock yourself into a situation before you are sure.
THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW!
The links listed in the left
information about almost any question you might have. There is
even a link there to learn Cebuano. 20 million people speak it here in
the Vasayas, so you should be understood by most Filipinos. Also, you can join "Retire in
Philippines" Yahoo Group and ask all the questions you want
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