Its a difficult thing to understand why people become so bitter and twisted. But I do know in the Philippines some people become extremely isolated.
I remember meeting an expat who lives in the next town he suffers with heart issues and pretty much doesn’t go much further than the front door to let people in. So pretty much spends all day, every day at home on the PC. His enjoyment comes from bugging another expat he used to be neighbours with.
It was when I dropped by I seen how happy he was that he had annoyed the other expat in a forum over something trivial. I can’t comprehend why people would find annoying each other interesting or entertaining. Unless they are living pretty much an isolated life with very few interactions with people from the West. Because it is pretty easy to become cut off from Western culture and not just in the Philippines. I have friends who live in other countries that go back home to the UK to recharge the batteries and vent frustrations. Not being able to have in depth conversations with locals can take its toll. Even conversations about football or politics can become like therapy for some as its a natural engagement that has built up over time because of nobody they can have those conversations with.
Although I can understand some of these people many I never will as I can’t see what drives people to separate themselves in such a negative way. Its a bit like the saying that rattles around about “want to start a start a small business in the Philippines start with a big one”. Really that’s as constructive as people can come up with? They failed or didn’t even try but the words of advice and wisdom are don’t bother?
Because in all honesty the best people I got on with in the Philippines are those who did venture into things be it for profit or self entertainment. E.g. farming may not produce a profit but if it breaks even or better who cares? Because at the end of the day the person running it is enjoying their retirement doing something they love doing. The same could be said for many of the internet businesses where people will mention you can’t make money on this or that. But what they really mean is they don’t know how to themselves.
Its a bit of a melting pot of people and I for one when I returned to the UK at the start of 2014 decided to burn my bridges with negative people. Because its the sour grapes that will constantly be dragging you down or looking to do so. I am sure a lot of the people don’t mean to be so negative but some certainly do. What I would say is do what makes you happy and not all advice is even worth listening to as it can simply be hearsay or poor opinions. Look for people who have done stuff themselves and have experience and knowledge.
For those that left there is some kind of odd relationship where some people didn’t make it, didn’t like it or simply never got there full-time. In all honesty I wouldn’t bother with these guys at all if negative. I know people go on about Filipino’s losing face but expats can be worse. From the time period I was in the Philippines nearly everyone who was there when I arrived in 2007 is gone. There are a handful still there and most of the people I am in contact with today I made later in time. But those who left that couldn’t manage to live in the Philippines I am in contact with? These days its zero as most just disappear but you will see the odd one who’s bitter about not being able to stay in the Philippines hang around forums with the constant negative perspective on life in the Philippines. The same goes for those who start up hate sites normally all comes from the fact they didn’t make it. Yet the underlying issue here is there is no competition! Nobody is competing against anyone else, most people don’t care what happened to others except in mild conversation. Its just life and not everything goes your way all the time.
For me I am out of the Philippines for now but we are still there in many ways. I doubt there will be a year go by when I am not visiting the Philippines as we have buildings and small business operations on going. One thing I will say though is that I don’t have rose tinted spectacles and will complain about things when they are bad and I will say when things are good. But that is life and life in the Philippines at that time. Because most other things you read or hear about people skip all the important stuff of why things aren’t going great or what is working.
I for one believe you can make a good life in the Philippines and you can make good money in the Philippines. I have done both and although we are in Europe currently its for the children’s schooling and picking up EU passports. Long-term we want to travel and a couple of years in the EU gives us access to passports without the headaches of the Philippines passports. Easy to travel, easy to experience the world, easy to continue developing things in Europe and Asia.