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!