The live like a king myth I believe originally started by another site who’s owner is generally trying to sell other things to the Philippines new arrivals. Now the big question is it possible if not exploiting other expats?
From a business point of view I have seen several people that are living like a king in the Philippines but most have been here at least 10 years and started with money nothing so far has been built without external cash that I am aware of. Could be someone sent here originally by an international company or someone with their own cash but either way its not been built ground up without pouring money in initially.
From exploiting the local population in some way such as the sex industry there have been a lot of money made but from the number of bars for sale in Cebu I would take a guess the only millionaire maker on that is the owner of the buildings not the bars themselves.
What about real-estate? Well there are people I know in that dubious industry that have made it big and continue to do so. The big problem with real-estate though is it does have this habit of going pop. At the same time as long as they didn’t keep reinvesting their money in property themselves they could ride out any real estate collapse and in fact prosper from it when it does happen. A “glitch” that causes negative equality is likely to force some panic sales and having money at the ready to buy them up will no doubt produce a good return so in real estate I can say some did build it up from scratch and can and are living like a king in the Philippines.