The more time I have spent in the Philippines the more you realise how diverse the people are and I am not talking about the locals. The Expat’s are a strange bustle of people which may be down to the fact that they have uprooted and moved halfway round the world which would make them more likely to be opinionated and strong willed for their own desires but what else?
This year has been a bit different to previous ones as the number of good expats has increased. Previously I was getting to the point where I thought I just wouldn’t bother anymore. At the same time on meeting new people I wonder what the survival rates are for really being able to stop in the Philippines indefinitely. A lot of people have already been forced back abroad and often its not their own fault except for taking their eye off the ball for a short while that resulted in a marital break up or severe financial loss. So what groups are here?
There are the NGO’s (Non Government Organisations) which in a Christian country are full of religious charities which are people generally most of the Expat community doesn’t socialise with. The more time your here the more you realise how corrupt charity organisations are and many politically entwine for their own benefit. Personally I cannot engage in any charity that puts its own religion above helping others and definitely not those who feed from the poor like leeches.
Then there are the school teachers, business people and workers here on contracts. Generally they have managed to secure a good salary and doing ok with the exception of some. The best salaries for teachers are generally found outside the Philippines and commuting back. There can be a huge gap in finances between this group and a lot of the localised expats as simply their money isn’t being worked out of the local economy.
The retirees are pretty much a group literally “retiring” and often have a small business venture to help them along and keep the exchange rates at a reasonable level. Most have spare time on their hands and that is what makes them probably the largest social group as you can get hold of more of them on a daily basis. I have yet to meet any who have come here with their western partner as most have either remarried or got a local girlfriend.
The Expat running a business here is probably the smallest group as although many setup most fail very quickly. A lot is cultural issues, other issues involve theft, splitting up with a partner or lack of business knowledge themselves. This group is one I am trying to develop and slowly getting there as time goes on as people come across the blog or we bump into each other in forums or person.