Answer to this question for me is “yes” my biggest problem here is often boredom but in the UK its trying to remember all those things like car tax renewal, tax returns, paying the congestion charge for London, etc. etc. I used to prefer being at work than home! Here life is more simple but it is getting more expensive. What makes life as an expat better is the small things like having a Yaya (nanny) for looking after our daughter, a laundry woman for our clothing the fact the TV is so bad that we never watch it (yet we own 5 TVs). What it does mean is you spend more time together, talking and enjoying food is more interesting, You have time for your hobbies. Photography is a love of mine and as soon as I can find a way to monetize it (not for profit i need more equipment!) I will do. Life here is easy once you work out how to make money. Everyone says hello, hey joe! or some other phrase its probably one of the top reasons people move here in their later years. I think its just as viable for a couple as it is for a single guy. Why? Because as you get on in years people still talk to you, in the UK you could be on the same bus or train going to work for 10 years and you wouldn’t know anyone else on the same route. Here people want to know who you are, what your doing, do you love the country.. etc. etc. Cebu has its problems and I have seen some of them improve. But most will stay the same but its like most things take it or leave it. If I look at my UK life before I had money, a great career but besides time with Nicole (my daughter) I could happily drop everything else in an instant. Life has very little meaning in the West anymore its all about greed and outdoing others.
Isn’t that the same in the Philippines? Amongst the Expat’s they are doing things in a different way there are enough things keeping them occupied at the same time connections back to their home countries are important so friendships that may not normally exist then become one. Generally Expats haven’t got problems between each other except for trivial disputes that just aren’t worth the time. Most real problems happen to do with labour, thefts, relatives of their partners. So meeting up they want to get away from all that. Socially Cebu’s bubble is an odd one but does seem to function in some ways the important thing is to remember nothing is important, if it doesn’t bother you directly don’t get involved. There are all walks of life here which is why its so diverse but you have to remember problems are that of the government here not yours to fix. Enjoy being here, enjoy being an Expat, and love the country avoid getting hung up on the negatives because I know I would rather be here than rainy old UK.