A friend of mine arrived in the last few days and one of the comments he made was regarding there are a lot of people posting the Philippines as a Paradise location. Well its all locations and definitions Cebu itself has a lot of beauty and also a lot of poverty. The way Paradise comes about is many people will many ideals. I will give you a few….
Imagine your a person reaching you upper years and living in a studio apartment your kids all have families and have moved away from the area. Most of your friends over the years are no longer around or have moved away or suffering with ill health. You get a few phone calls every week from people but hardly anyone visits you. You travel out each day and in cities of millions you might as well be sat alone.. your unnoticed and no longer respected by the people that surround you.. Many people suffered with this in Western society.
Arriving in the Philippines to find… People want to know where you came from,what your doing, about your life. Want to be your friend the opportunity to have a wife is suddenly more available than it would be in most Western countries infact not only that your respected by most people due to you age. You wake each morning to the warmth of the sun and living on a lot less than you would in the West. Your not struggling with groceries and getting to the local malls but you may even have a live in maid who does it all for you.. You find a community of friends who have all had a new lease of life given to them in a land that wants them here.. That is the Paradise many are talking of.
But what about the younger generations? Well I can only talk from my experiences in the West i am a Surveyor paid well and enjoy my job. I pay over 40% of my salary in taxes, I have high housing costs,fuel costs,a biast government that’s in favour of the lazy and uncontrolled migration. I am punished for working, having 3 or 4 kids upwards pretty much guarantees a free house,reduced taxes and as a bonus you wont need to even get a job. The reason that people will travel literally thousands of miles to get there. I’m not against immigration,migration and I’m definitely not a racist but i do expect an even playing field for all.. I’m punished for working hard my whole life and most of the people in the same sort of situation as myself feel exactly the same. I’m not bitter or twisted about this but will that and a system that is very pro feminist which has caused an imbalance to the point even if someone was divorced the guy pretty much knows already he will likely lose the house, car and half his income until the children are of working age regardless of the status of the person or family. Thrown in for good measure is the difficult process that may leave the guy paying for children that he cant see due to a bitter ex and they play god with feelings and loss.. I may sound a bit bitter about the latter but its not too much with the difficulties I’ve faced as the relationship with my ex partner to see my daughter is most of the time amicable. But I have friends living in bedsits/studios who once had 3 – 4 bedroom houses and a life that they were happy with. An ex who suffered with depression etc. and it ends up all the guys fault. Another where a guy lost nearly everything he had including his children, over nearly a lifetime he had build a portfolio of houses for rentals a good job and a caring father. But got involved with a 4th divorcee woman that pretty much ate him alive. Coming home one day to find he had an empty house as the property and the bank balance had been cleared and legal proceedings began for divorce. He had to pay a monthly "allowance" to a woman who had never worked in they’re married life even though she had taken everything that was in the bank. In the end he had to buy his children as simply the woman only wanted money. He lost more than 50% of his houses, all his furniture etc and left a broken man. Is he still paying the allowance? Probably yes.. its no doubt been bound in one of the property rentals that still existed.. These are the reasons many are coming to the Philippines…
battle scarred from past relationships and most are 30+ they have pretty much had enough of western society so many come here and suddenly find a woman that is the complete opposite of what defines a Western woman. A woman who is in most cases unselfish, misses the guy even if he goes out for the day and looking to take care of the house while the husband is busy with work. A society that’s preached in the West as sexist but the truth is everyone is happy. In the West can you really say everyone is happy? the 30+ year old is increasingly likely to be single because they want the independence but missing the whole point of a family unit. You cant have your cake and eat it.. With the increased single mothers and divorce rates (divorce rates are stalling i believe currently due to economic climate rather than anything else in the UK) who really has it right? A relationship that’s going to bring children into the world in a supportive environment where children are the priority.. or a western society that is the land of the hoodies and the forgotten youth? I know which I would prefer my kids to be brought up in and I also know life isn’t perfect but life is really what you make it. The Philippines to me is my home and Paradise, but you need to look beyond the poverty sometimes and the fact that every carrier bag for miles seems to end up in the river. But sooner or later this will eventually stop. Most malls are encouraging the use of boxes etc and the Environmental shopping bags are starting to appear here so give it time and the rubbish will clean up. The politics are internal and not for foreigner interference so why get involved in something that’s between governments and locals that could actually get you deported.
Paradise is where the heart is…
There is also the tourist side of things which I haven’t added yet. The big cities can be a mountain of fumes in rush hour and hearing a beep from a horn only a second away. Tightly packed streets and stores the size of market carts are abundant in the poorer areas but its part of the developing society that is the Philippines its caught in an industrial age that is seeing people leave the rural areas for the cities for employment and a brighter future. History dictates it will eventually lead to development of newer housing and better standards of living for all. But it doesn’t happen overnight and corruption is still a major problem. Being realistic though corruption deprives a country but even those on the take,theft or manipulating things to they’re own needs will find that a developed nation offers more funds, capital and developments which would leave anything that could have been gained with corruption as small coins in the big picture.. Look at China where the worry with Hong Kong is it would be stripped of its independence and enterprise.. but in essence the opposite happened China embraced Hong Kong and its ideas.. leading to a wealthier and stronger future.
Head from the cities you will find that within an hour you are starting to hit the real Philippines still untouched as there has been little money or development spent on the rural areas. Traditional Nipa roofed buildings still exist and pretty much the home of the poorer families in the further flung locations but also those less than an hour from the cities.. The real Philippines that can offer a slower pace of life and a life as a small scale farmer etc. A paradise to another type of expat. Then you have the diving from the coasts another type of expat and another type of Paradise..
If you see it as hell its either the fact you haven’t found your home.. or you have yet to find that woman that changes the way you are.. One thing I would advise to anyone is experience life as you find it not as people tell.. (sounds strange from a blogger) but the truth is my Paradise may not be yours but one thing is for sure there is a lot of different Paradises here in the Philippines and I
believe there is one for nearly everyone.. (as long as you don’t prefer the cold!).