Answer to this question is probably one of the biggest for most people looking to come here as well as new arrivals. In reality though a lot of the issues of protective society mentality for elites as well as racism often hinder trade as well as trying to do business. You rarely here the word racism used as things like “foreigner tax” and other excuses are used for blatant racism that Filipinos abroad would likely sue for.
In answer to the question is often the answer is no especially if trying to deal with Filipino’s in business. Many people I know do business here regularly but generally they are doing things offshore or for export. Corruption is another problem that hinders business at the same time it does seem the Philippines has become a bit of a hub for web development as a lot of it stays off the tax radar as well due to the fact most companies that people are trading with aren’t in the Philippines.
But for day to day business its often difficult and the income generated isn’t always worth the amount of hassle involved in doing so.
What is my solution about making money in the Philippines?
- Working online offers up regular income if you know what your doing or at least willing to take the time and learn. You may hit the big time but more likely able to pay your bills and live a fairly reasonable standard of living.
- Multiple stream income is the best way to make money in the Philippines as time management is the key to everything. For where we are we run multiple businesses that have seen us being able to stay here the last 4 years and no doubt the future if we choose to.
- Listen to the various people approaching you with the golden opportunities but don’t invest unless you can either afford to lose it or know its cast iron without risk.
- People are lazy which often opens up avenues of business that otherwise may not exist purely because your willing to go the extra mile.
How do we stay in the Philippines for 4 years is there a miracle formula?
- We have no pension and I stopped bringing money in from the UK nearly 2 years ago. In reality we just tried things with low investments and kept what worked.
- Peso-Peso machines work and are virtually no hassles (drinking water or computer systems).
- Apartment rentals also bring in regular income but one thing I have found is that there are a lot of strange people in the Philippines and difficult to screen, got enough to write a book on several tenants!
- Pigs and other livestock you can make money on but its often minimal. The key to animals is mainly keeping for your own consumption but also to process into other products instead of just fattening as you will see little profit otherwise.
- Working online although often long hours can bring in the best revenues for long term living in the Philippines.
- Build a large network of people with opportunities and abilities this allows cross referencing and cross trading between people allowing you to profit from anything that comes available. At the same time allows you to make a lot of friends who generally save money by you passing on other people too them.
- You will find you don’t need a vehicle most of the time so don’t buy one. Good mechanics are rare and damage to the vehicle from bad ones is common. Generally its better to just keep a motorbike for long and local journeys and with the nights out use taxis.
- Keep your living costs down as its very easy to see them climb well beyond your means. We all love good food but often its expensive for daily consumption. Renting an apartment with all the extras such as a plasma TV etc. may seem a good idea at day one but the problem is if your living here a long time better to get a rundown place and do it up saving on rent and buying the TV yourself.
- Second hand goods have virtually no value as although they are expensive to buy try selling them! Nobody wants to pay for anything if they can help it.
- Renting is often better than buying a home as it will allow you to move neighbourhoods if you get bored but also means that you can downsize if needed as well as upscale if things are going well. Add to that the housing prices here are inflated and you could make more money by having it readily available than you would trapped in property.
All in all making money in the Philippines isn’t easy but its possible but its a learning curve and generally I find information from other people so varied that you don’t know what to trust which is why we tried so many things ourselves. Haven’t lost any money on any projects but some took a long time to get it back. I would say just take things easy and you will find things that work and don’t but more importantly don’t bank your life on things working out here on a whim as most people go bust within 6 months.