Heading To The UK From The Philippines


Giving up on the Philippines and heading to the UK?

Not exactly, what has happened though is I have been spending more time looking at the opportunities and possibilities for the future of everyone as a family and simply the Philippines doesn’t offer it to a level  I am comfortable with. It would take around 10 years to achieve a close standard to living we would get within 1 in the UK. Also I have concerns over church and state influence in schools and I know in the UK neither find too much influence in daily life never mind school life for kids.

But then the education and opportunity for the kids are other factors that affect choices for moving to the UK, Taking the kids camping at weekends and having child friendly facilities nearby. On top of being able to broaden our children’s development with also being able to visit Europe we also have the fact good food is readily available to help maintain good health and physical development of the kids.

As you can probably guess my main reason is the children as I want them to be given the best life possible and here in the Philippines where leaving the country is on the majority of peoples minds it makes sense for us to go as well. In a few years if the kids want to come back they can do with their British passports allowing them the world to travel and not just limited to headaches of trying to leave on a Philippines passport.

On top of this I know its always been a dream of my wife to visit the UK and Europe this will give April the chance not only to live a dream but also experience the food and culinary delights of Europe. Food may not seem important to many others in the way me and my wife enjoy it but its part of us, the first thing already on Aprils mind upon arrival is the British fish and Chips followed by a curry night. But the opportunity to sit in places that I haven’t experienced with my wife such as Greece, France, Italy or more locally Scotland and Wales all offer up a new environment I know my family will enjoy.

But what about work won’t it be expensive? Well this is the pondering question for some time but as I have found here in the Philippines everything takes way too long or impossible to do due to interference of some kind. E.g. can’t get a faster internet connection unless we move house! which means I can’t setup the next stage of development I want to do. I can’t setup business here the way I want as machinery is either overpriced or poor quality, while in the UK many places are sitting idle due to the recession.

Now this is a thing about the Chinese market its famous for poor quality at the same time I remember some of the Staffordshire potteries closing down laying off hundreds of people. Thing is many wanted to retire anyway but you end up with a skeleton of very skilled and experienced staff that can produce high quality goods and in reality this is where a lot of the UK business survival lies. Small companies with less than 20 people working in them, custom made furniture for example a business I operated several years ago but closed due to having other ventures that were more profitable and more simple to operate. Today many ventures are still there and unexplored simply because people either lack the finance,interest or knowledge. Yet they are still there, keeping small scale is the key and if anything splinter off separate companies with other people rather than grow it to the point it becomes a tax burden.

On top of that my work opportunities have been increasing with the recession. A lot of this being linked to the social housing market which is no doubt seeing a heavy increase in activity, meaning more surveyors are being needed to manage those properties as well as more being purchased.

Downside of leaving the Philippines is mainly friends and family, can’t say much for the weather lately due to the amount of rain we have been having.

7 comments for “Heading To The UK From The Philippines

  1. Scott
    August 29, 2011 at 6:52 am

    what a shocker. I thought you were one of the few that was making a good go at it in the Philippines. Frustrations just started adding up heh. Well you probably will be better off back home and your right your wife will love the change.

    I was hoping to meet you when I go back next year, Maybe some time in the future. Good luck Matt, Not that you will need it as your the type of person that will do ok where ever you are. When are you heading out ?

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      August 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Hi Scott,
      just lately not making progress at the rate I would like here and start looking at the fact if we up and moved to the UK how much better everything would be. Ok we don’t get the weather but at the same time better education, free healthcare, access to good salaries, 40mb broadband, great food, UK citizenship for the kids and my wife (as my biggest worry here is if something happened to me as the money would pretty much die with me). Maybe come back in the future and there will still be things getting developed in Cebu as I am still progressing but will be utilizing some people I know who are keen to develop business but just lack the initial funding. At the same time can trust them 100%

      Wont be moving overnight mind got my sons birthday coming up as well as a road trip. After that will start preparing for the long trip home as well sorting out all the visa paperwork required to get everyone with me. May have to see how the land lays as I get the feeling will have to go ahead to bank money, buy a car and sort a house to also help the visa process.

  2. August 29, 2011 at 7:01 am

    very nice post. will share this to my partner.

  3. sheila lontok
    August 29, 2011 at 7:56 am

    i AM SORRY TO HEAR THIS MATT. Though not realy sorry in the sense that you made a good study of the situation and making a justifiable solution to the problem after studying alternatives and the real scenario, the big picture, which a ordinary tourist or frequent traveler would not be able to experience in the span of years you have stayed here, also going through the many nuances of the political, social, economic system, add to that environmental issues.. Living in the Philippines, in contrast, would be much suitable to those who have earned the fruits of their labour abroad and are easily retirable or have decided to retire permanently,and who have no little children to raise up and worry about. As i have said before, i love the Philippines, but it has ceased to be the place to live a decent, worry free life, a third world country where the gap between rich and the poor is so great, it will take many years before we could even taste the fruits of prosperity that many industrialized countries enjoy, henc ethe exodus of many Filipinos for a better life. Your children would benefit more with the dual passports, and yes,enjoy the standard of living that you as a parent would want them to have. Education, is one big issue for them.Your wife April, also needed the experience, she is still young, and would have a lot of potential to learn the bets from European settings.I am so happy also for her for having found someone like you.Not many men would have made favorable decisions, because they are not in the capacity to do so.. Another thing of concern, and which many of us locals have not much to do about is the impending threat of China on the Phils in territorial claims and this is always an issue of security.I commend you for setting up the blog tropical penpals and doing your share in the promotion of Philippine life and sharing them with expats and locals.The gains are evident, many have came here and tried to know the Philippines.Lastly, Wishing you good luck in your future ventures, Matt.

  4. Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
    August 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks for the positive thoughts Sheila,

    It wasn’t an easy decision although it isn’t one that will be regreted either. Even tonight I sat doing the figures in percentages of the cost of living in the Philippines to that of the UK and for an average salary in the UK it is still miles better off even without factoring in free healthcare and schooling. Yes fuel prices are out of control in the UK at the same time the UK is caught up in the consumerism that the Philipines is now embracing.The problem is people believe in a right to excess instead of the fact they don’t need it. For us it will be a major factor in a better life as we choose a vegetable garden we do together over satellite TV etc. all a bit hippy for many at the same time I think many families have lost the path to freedom and a strong family bond replaced with electronics and Facebook.

  5. Anonymous
    August 30, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Yes Matt you make a lot of sense. I know what you mean about living back in a 1st world country. I,m in Canada right now and will be getting Reyna, my wife her Canadian citizenship. I will probably return in 2 years. I,m in a different boat than you as I am retired now, so money is not an issue.. Good luck to you and have a safe trip home

    • Profile photo of OLDARTICLES
      August 30, 2011 at 9:00 am

      thanks sjp 🙂 its an odd one as chipping away at getting wealthy here for getting the kids a good future seems madness when there is so much opportunity still on the plate in the UK which jumps us literally years ahead for every 6 months in the UK spent. On top of that the education system is something that will work better long term. Not into nationalism where the country is getting people to swear an oath while its leaders use and abuse the entire population same as the church control on education. We had a priest here yesterday joking about gambling mahjong with collection funds from the church. How true it was your guess is as good as mine but I do know a lot worse stories.