Leaving the Philippines Larry

I just wanted to share my experiences with you Matt on the time I have been here in the Philippines as I have spent over 6 years here and glad to say I am leaving and advise you to do the same if you have any sense.

When I came here originally I was caught up in the glitz of the happy smiles and the bull talked about on forums, “live like a king in the Philippines!” never heard so much drivel but at the time it all seemed possible and the fact that others had done it made me want to do it more. They forget to mention they live like a king in the Philippines by robbing other newcomers! after overpaying on a house I bought from one such helpful expat where the neighbours later told me the real price the seller was selling it for originally I started to realise I was pretty much alone in “paradise”.

I settled down with my new wife and for the first few months things seemed fine there was the odd irritance such as family borrowing the car and it always having an empty tank when it got back but generally I put up with a lot of things out of it seeming to be trivial for a while. But once I hit six months I started getting fed up with the fact that nobody gives a toss about the “Kano’s” stuff. Half my tools no longer functioned the car started to get faulty and having a few local cowboy mechanics fix it eventually I had to do it myself as they either were trying to damage it to a point I would sell it cheap for scrap or simply were like monkeys with a ratchet.

Its about this time everyone started to turn against me as simply I told them all to go, no more visitors to the house eating us out of house and home, no more borrowing the car that now also needed a new paint job from the number of bumps it had received when out but hey it doesn’t matter the stupid foreigner will pay for it right? Wrong.. they can all sit and rot where they are now. It was soon after this my wife started to act a bit strange with stuff disappearing from the house we seemed to be getting through a lot of rice as well as her needing money to go shopping went up. It was very obvious that not only was she lying to me she was also stealing to give to those vulchers she calls family. Which came to the last straw when I kicked her out as well as everything seemed to be my fault for some reason!

She then demanded the house which pretty much showed where the whole marriage was going which was in my wallet to empty it. But to her misfortune the ink was still wet and several payments were still to be made. Although I moved out and past the responsibility onto the ex as I was no longer the “bill payer” it was obvious that the seller would be trying to chase me for the money as only thing she had was a pair of legs she could open to earn cash as there wasn’t a lot between the ears.

I moved to another island and started again, although this time I went for the lad version buying a bikini bar although I heard of PNP (Police) taking bribes to leave you alone I never had any issues with them only problem I came across with a corrupt mayor asking for high permits and a few cockroach workers with other associated tasks that involved things “needing to be signed off”. The business worked but didn’t make a lot of money. I did a bit of 5/6 loans to the staff and quickly found people disappear too often if you give them enough money to do it. There is no loyalty here and there certainly isn’t any commitment or ethics. People talk about ending the sex industry what a joke! most of the politicians are involved in some way as its easy money for them and no doubt their parents before them.

So why am I leaving you may ask if the bar was working well? because that was several years ago I sold it and started trying to do manufacturing from this hell hole.. I find people simply don’t want to work they want a handout at every opportunity. High staff turnover even though your treating your staff well is normal practice, suppliers are unreliable and when it comes to getting the goods out of the country the fat little customs guys want a cut for everything yet too lazy to even do their jobs. I’m moving to Vietnam where I hope things will be better as I can honestly say everything in this country is wrong unless your a sex tourist.. Everything else leaves a bitter taste from the lousy food to the corruption and scheming wives!


14 comments for “Leaving the Philippines Larry

  1. Tropicalpenpals
    January 17, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Important point here to mention is that if you send a letter into TP I will generally publish it as long as its not to offensive or directed as specific people (unless justified and proven). So today’s letter is probably about as close to the wind as I can let someone send but I won’t leave any comments myself on it as simply everyone is entitled to an opinion and I want to encourage more people to send letters in.

  2. Pea_1208
    January 17, 2011 at 11:41 am

    awww…not all expats experience the same! my hubby is doing great here for more than 6 years now!

  3. Allan
    January 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    When I first met Filipino’s it was in Hong Kong and a common thing they said to me was “Do you look down at us?” which I find very strange question and could not understand why they would think I look down at them. I have all was being anti-racist and spent most of my life fighting against racism I also have friends from almost every race, you can think off. So no way would I ever looked down, and somebody just because of their race.
    However, that was before I set foot in the Philippines and discovered much the same issues as you. It is very difficult not to look down on people when they have such little respect for you and think they have some God-given right to my money and behave like I have only been put on this earth to provide for them.
    It is also difficult to respect them when they constantly try to con me and get upset with me when I am not stupid enough to fall for that conning ways.
    It has taken me a long time, but at long last. I have found a woman and a small group of friends, who tend to think very differently to most Filipinos and treat me as a friend and not as a credit card that never needs to be repaid.
    I would like to congratulate the majority of the Philippine race that have turned me from one of the most un-racist people you would ever meet into a racist. That is quite an achievement.

  4. Raymond Swarbrick
    January 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    That`s a very very sad but oh so common one, and trust me he will fare worse in Vietnam if he doesn`t shape up and learn, they worship money, here they just love to spend it!

  5. David Gunnink
    January 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    wow he got burned..

  6. Andrew Swarbrick
    January 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    unfortunatly he is far from alone on that scrore i wish him well in his mext country but vietnam is probably worse than here or so im told, you never know maybe he will find what he is lookign for i think the main issue here is finding a partner who buys into the same targets and ways to get there as you do. If you find that the rest is not as bad, yes you will find the usualy people trying to exployt you and get money for nothing but you wsee them comeing much easier and push them away. The greedy family issue also can be avoided if your partner is on board and tells them were to get off. I think it realy coems down to the partner you have get a good one and life is prety good get it wrogn and you are well and truely screwed. I would agree with the food quote though it does suck compared to the the west ie the uk! Yes officials are corupt but this can be a good thing as well as bad, if you know how to use it to your own advantage! In conclustion i think Larry got well and truly donw over and i feel for him, but dont write of the posibility of having a good life here either some of us have managed it so far!

    • Tropicalpenpals
      January 17, 2011 at 11:17 pm

      Agree Andrew the biggest issue is normally getting a good partner to wade through the sea of headaches. Get a good wife your in with a fighting chance.

      Food wise as your probably feeling the withdrawal symptoms from the UK haha agree totally the food is terrible in comparison same as getting good coffee! Bloody Nescafe and Nestle have a lot to answer for wonder how much they pay in bribes to keep their name littered all over the supermarkets here.

  7. Raymond Swarbrick
    January 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Totally agreed cuz, but more will fail than succeed, pussy whipped comes to mind, people pour their hearts and souls out over the Internet, telling women what they are looking for, they in turn conveniently fill the bill, albeit short term, it`s a con artists dream scenario!

  8. Tropicalpenpals
    January 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Lot of comments from a post not up very long obviously a nerve well hit. I won’t get into Larry’s life too much but understand the frustration and often its the fact of being out on a limb with little or no support. Having a supportive partner without a doubt is one of the backbones of life here as its not just the legal side but often getting good prices as well as an understanding of the language. I have to admit my wife and her classmates are all good friends and I can trust them. All work all hard working and willing to lend a hand at a short notice.
    I do also see the other side of life which really annoys me these days like Christmas when everyone is asking “where is my Christmas gift?” at the same time haven’t even bothered to say “Merry Christmas”. Partly why I cancelled the christmas party this year. Business wise its often frustrating as you want specific skills and people at the same level of expectations of the West yet often find as soon as you turn your back eyes shut and they doze off for the afternoon. Can I change it? I plan to work round it and won’t be lenient hire and fire until a good set of people are found. Not sure what your manufacturing but I think Asia in general isn’t an easy place to work as a foreigner most countries have some protective practices to keep the rich in their place by screwing everyone else over.

    • Mchristine077
      January 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      I know the feeling very well on that “where is my Christmas present” thing Matt, having been only in PI last month. Far too many were asking that from me, so I started asking in return “where is mine?”. Just about all said “you’re rich, you’re in ‘merica (I am not! – I’m in Australia!).

      Not excusing the ex-wife’s behaviour, but this is what Larry said “it was obvious that the seller would be trying to chase me for the money as only thing she had was a pair of legs she could open to earn cash as there wasn’t a lot between the ears.” Surely he must have known this, and yet he married her?? So whose fault was that that he ended up in such a mess? Forgive me for being harsh, but it is obvious that this guy did a superficial research about the Philippines and was sold the “Philippines is a paradise” nonsense! Let’s hope it works for him in Vietnam, but somehow, I think he will be back in the Philippines sometime. I will give him 2-3 years. Bets anyone?

      • Tropicalpenpals
        January 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm

        The where is my gift present is just as annoying as “hey Joe, you give me money” which to be honest these days unless I know someone I generally ignore any signals from anyone to look round etc. Its totally disrespectful. A lot of it can be blamed on NGOs as people have become used to hand outs without a minutes work nevermind a days. I don’t believe poverty is real but an excuse for bad government and poor work ethics by many. How do I know? Ive employed enough people already to realise often it would be just as easy to be searching for that hidden stolen Japanese gold!

        Will Larry be back? im not sure to be honest I know if things got that bad I would rather cut my own arm off than come back. Half the problems revolve round the fact of having a good wife to help but it then makes me think the majority of the problems are based round corruption and the fact the Philippines is a racist country.

        The thing is on the Philippines as well is that most people DO NOT LISTEN. They read positive advice only which is often out dated and untrue. Most of the long term guys I know (many on this post below) have seen it all over the years and one common thing shines through most expats do not listen.

      • danny barry
        January 18, 2011 at 12:56 am


  9. Tropicalpenpals
    January 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    As I remember right most common said phrase “If you don’t like the Philippines leave” yet a similar thing can be said about the British Nationalist Party who are a far right organisation in the UK that have similar phrasing regarding the United Kingdom.