One thing I will say is use forums with a pinch of salt when it comes to information on the Philippines because there is way too much gossip and hearsay than there is fact. Last year someone told me its “impossible” to make money on pigs in fact a lot of people did. But the truth is there is profit but its only around 15% per month. Which isn’t enough to make it a full-time job but I would say if it gets the average retiree out of bed in the morning to feed and water his pigs 3 x a day then its likely to keep his medical bills down as well as a small profit. There is also other related things where you will hear people tell you about this or that.. BUT if you know a lot of these people you would know a lot of the posters aren’t even in the Philippines some are back in home countries to re-coup the cash flow and some of the bitter posters are those who either didn’t like it here or failed.
But for the majority it’s mainly retirees who have too much time on they’re hands for the internet. Now I don’t want to offend some of my friends here as it’s not directed at certain individuals. In fact the friends I have in these age groups are all long-term in the Philippines or they simply don’t post useless information. But there is a lot of people who do post useless and badly constructed information all the time. The problem being is that you as a reader of a forum end up with a picture that “All Filipinos are out to take your money”, “The Philippines is a paradise/hell”, “Never trust a Filipino” etc. etc. When the truth is the Philippines is like any other country you can trust some people and others you can’t, theft is a major issue with employment but a lot of that has to do with salary structure and the fact that P1,500 a month doesn’t even buy a sack of rice ( this is a months salary to a lot of people). Philippines paradise and hell statement comes from different people.. the truth is there is heavy poverty in areas such as the cities and as you head out into the provinces although people have a more simple life its more native and as it should be. People live in Nipa huts because they are better ventilated and cooler than concrete buildings in a lot of cases. One of the top things people do on the death of a partner is sell the sub-division main house why? Because they can’t afford the high costs of air-conditioning and other expenses.
But getting back to the native huts they are built on stilts due to airflow below because the ground heats during the day but also allowing cool airflow. Then in the evenings the heat will rise from the warm ground giving the house warmth. Very simple and works well. But also (I’m not sure for all regions) you don’t need planning permits to build a native hut.
Anyway getting back to the main topic a lot of people don’t want concrete houses when you see charities telling you they need new housing. The never trust a Filipino statement is something that really annoys me with a lot of foreigners visiting the Philippines it mainly comes down to a couple of bad experiences.. I once visited Disneyland in Florida and if you have been there you will know what I’m talking about “everyone is trying to make money out of you” which is why I will never go again unless I stayed only on the Disney resort. But getting to the statement against Filipinos its simply wrong.. most Filipinos want you to enjoy your visit and will often ask you to come for dinner with them. They are proud of the Philippines and proud you are visiting their home country. You will still get issues with some people but like I said its common sense in most cases. I have only had problems with 1 person out of at least 500 people I know. I couldn’t say the same about the U.K.
So if your on the forums and something seems bias and over the top. It probably is.. But one thing I will ask if you have a “single issue” don’t tar the country and the people with the brush. Put it down to a single person.
Long Nose Tax. This is something foreigners have the biggest gripe about and that’s overpricing because you are a foreigner. But this is also to do with culture. You can send several people to the market and get several different prices for the same items. E.g. when my wife April was pregnant some vendors give you discount. Some vendors will see you’re an easy target and not from the area (which is why I mainly stay in my area). But also be aware its culture.. (I say this twice because the answer is here!) If you were visiting from Manila and speaking Tagalog the price is also likely to be higher than someone speaking Cebuano. If you look rich you pay more and poor less.. It’s not for me to understand why it’s like that but it simply is which is why I would never buy a car from one of the sellers along the road because they never put a price!