The big question many people ask is can a foreigner make a living in the Philippines? as the first ports of call people think they can get are :-
Call centre Job.
Setup an internet cafe.
Buy a bar/ Bikini bar.
Own a restaurant.
Which in reality is the same thing I hear when people talk about moving to Greece or many other places (not the call centre bit). In reality these businesses are often money pits that exist because the last guy who went broke just sold it to you and he bought it from someone else leaving and the cycle continues. Doesn’t mean they are all like this and in fact many do make money but the issue is hassle in relation to hours put into working in them.
How I made a living in the Philippines is by combining things and removing manpower as much as possible 1 coin operated PC makes as much as an internet cafe with 13 – 20 due to having no staff and no building! Its sat outside and tapped onto my internet via Wi-Fi you just empty the money out of it regularly. Working online with things like this blog and other things you can use the internet for give other regular streams of income that are time consuming but often pay a lot more than you can gain locally.
The next business we were going to do was transportation until I started realising the coin slotted PCs and water machines offer bigger profit with no maintenance and no staff. In reality I would say the “RIGHT” foreigner can make a living here but many aren’t right for coming here, and will blame everything but themselves for things going wrong. Our rental apartments have been a stable income for the last 18months as well and there is room for expansion on rental and buying markets in the Philippines due to very poorly marketed real estate agents. Also price fluctuations online that to be honest we are developing a project on this currently that will continue when I am in the UK based on a formula I worked out.
Now what I would say if thinking “I can do that” is setting things up before you arrive. If you think you can live off an internet income and still working your day job do 2 – 3 hours a night developing the internet business before even coming to the Philippines to prove it works. If you have a partner here discuss things they have done previously and why they stopped. Often like we found with gardening is people are thieves and quite happily steal your entire crop after watching you grow it for the last 3 months. There is very few boundaries of ownership most people understand as a case of “don’t give a damn” cuts in very often which is why they will pee on your wall, steal your crops, graffiti your wall and think its ok to nap in the back of your multicab. Not being negative all these things happen all the time.
A determined foreigner can make a living in the Philippines but only take advice from ones “ACTUALLY DOING IT!”, I have seen enough E-Book merchants and people lying about how they make an income to write a real book on the subject. Most of these people are making money off something and its called the “NEW ARRIVAL” you! Visit successful restaurants and other business operations that have been here for years and talk to the owners. Most are friendly and welcoming if they try to sell you the business don’t buy it as its likely to be losing money. On top of that you know very little about the issues the business has on a daily basis which in reality can make it work for one person and fail for another.