Live like a king in the Philippines

In the last 3 years I have noticed the old men in the Philippines having their karma disrupted by an influx of younger new blood moving here. Now you may think this is a jab at the retiree but it isn’t this is a good thing that has happened. For a start the “live like a king” spread by certain websites such as living in the Philippines is all absolute rubbish and its the younger generation that have happily started disrupting these lies all over the internet to help crack that mold. The reason its been important to change the way people think is that over the last few years I have met several people who have bought into “Live like a king” which on a reasonable pension you could do. But people always post the polished version of the Philippines which then cons people into retiring here. Why would you do that? Well I don’t but I know why others do have a look round the website notice properties for sale? guess what takes years to sell properties doubt it says much about that in the site.

I agree with positive thinking but not when its harmful. Living here on a $1000 a month as stated on the site is difficult for a lot of people here unless they are skimping on various things. Don’t get me wrong its still possible but its not “living like a king in the Philippines” its getting by. You do get the good weather and cheap rentals. But you also get people dying because they can’t afford medical bills, you do get people getting swindled out of their money because of trusting expats or in many cases their wife. Truth is its very cloak and dagger here a lot of the time and as a retiree it can be a wonderful place but only if you know what your getting yourself into.

First thing is having no assets to lose, lets face it if your on a pension why do you need to own a house when you can negotiate some really good deals on good property because like I said people struggle to sell! The reason behind this being is if you died your money dies with you, no point people trying to get access to your cash as simply keeping it offshore makes it impossible for others to gain access. On top of that any problems with neighbours on a rental you can move.

People like you mainly because of one thing its called money. Not in all cases but over the years I have experienced people that I would call friends maneuver to try and extort cash from me in some way. This could be by overpricing things purely because I am white or simply expecting you to pay for meals etc. which is why they invited you in the first place. Prime example of that was a friend who went shooting he paid for the ammunition and fuel and an OFW paid for the lunch for everyone (Yep OFWs get ripped off just as much as us if not more). On getting back my friend realised hang on we went with a full multi-cab shooting yet only 2 of us paid for everything. Welcome to the Philippines! I have discussed it with my wife before as OFWs visiting home end up picking the tab up for things that in the West would be shared amongst everyone such as family gatherings or parties but with the OFW there everyone keeps the cash tightly hidden and they don’t expect to be asked. This is part of the “culture” people never seem to talk about.

Now for me I find it a bit odd and to be honest one of the things you should do on first arriving is sit in a mall with a nice cup of coffee and watch the “families” wandering behind the new arrival of a foreigner with his girlfriend. Her shiny new cell phone in hand the bags of shopping and the family in tow looking to pickup some stuff for themselves at the foreigners expense at best it will be a free lunch and transportation at worst he’s dumb enough to fill their wardrobes. Hmm.. live like a king in the Philippines? Who is.. the guy who just basically got robbed at the mall he does have is full entourage and then again he’s also paid a small fortune for it. Won’t find me doing it and never have done, the new cell phone thing I brought second hand ones in from the UK as anyone from there knows new contracts means new phones so all those old ones I threw in my suitcase and gave away. Boxes of chocolates gave away. Which to me is a fair gift its not a lunch every afternoon for 10 and a constant hole in my pocket.

Best people living in the Philippines sit between the lines and the shadows generally invisible to most people never mind those trying to pry cash out your pocket. I’m slowly starting to go the same way to be honest although want to keep the blog going to keep things up to date for others. But for the easiest life it often pays to just not stand out and generally “Living like a king in the Philippines” has a good chance of giving a death wish free of charge.

7 comments for “Live like a king in the Philippines

  1. Tropicalpenpals
    March 18, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Big problem is that more people publish the glossy fake version of the Philippines than the truth. Same as trying to get the information on people things went wrong with is very difficult. You will see forum users or blog writers say how wonderful everything is and how my perspective is wrong in the fact the Philippines isn’t as great as they make out and that “trust” is probably the biggest problem with the Philippines. Problems with family, lies about how cheap things are here etc.etc. all come down to trust. At the same time these people disappear within 1 year normally and so do their websites/blogs so all the information goes with them (as they head back home penny less and/or without the wife/girlfriend).

  2. Christine
    March 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    About time that someone actually “unpolished” the gloss on the “live like a king” salescrap that some websites sprouts. I am not OFW, but my heritage is in Philippines. I did not come home for 15 years due to the lies and deceits of so-called family, all in the name of extracting money from me. I started coming home in 2008, everything was fine, until last year when the “thirst” for everything and to be paid for by me re-surfaced. I found out that no matter how much boxes of chocolates you bring, tins of corned beefs, gifts and gifts of clothes and jewellery, none of these matter. At the end of the day, I paid for food while staying with relatives, and at each outings, plus expected to leave cash upon departures, that honestly I am seriously considering not coming home back, with other Asian places looking more and more attractive. I have done my calculations and it would have costs me far less to stay at a hotel than stay at a family member’s place. As of January this year, I am distancing myself from family again, like I did 15 years ago. So much for family ties huh? It’s only held together by the strips of $$ that I have in my wallet.

    • Tropicalpenpals
      March 19, 2011 at 2:39 am

      Know of so many stories of Filipinos being ripped off when they come home. Odd thing is the people doing it don’t even see anything wrong with it.

      • Swarfy
        March 19, 2011 at 3:30 am

        After working in the middle East for many years with all nationalities i have experienced several suicides, all except one by filipino`s, the family squeeze them dry, at least we married to pinoys here have the choice to say no and bear the consequences, these poor young men don`t, they are threatened, coherced and generally live from gift to gift. The build up to vacation time is totally consumed with compiling lists for the balikbayan boxes, pasalubong, only to return to work more heavily in debt because family members bully them into makind personal loans that they know will never be repaid, it should just be called a gift, they often resort to a noose, i have helped cut a few down over the years.
        And how many expats ask questions about this and that and thendisregard advice given, if a filipino has no control over the norm, seriously what chance do we have,i feel so sorry for young people who go as OFWs believing it will improve their lives, only to realise they have climbed on to a never ending treadmill.

        • Christine
          March 19, 2011 at 4:03 am

          I saw the same issues here in Australia, except not suicide. The girls going home excited only to come back angry for very similar reasons as mine, sometimes worse. I wished Filipinos would realize that they are hurting us by making such demands and driving us away. As for Kanos being able to say no. Perhaps. I have heard of relationships breaking up because of the girl’s family making ongoing demands for money, etc.

  3. Swarfy
    March 19, 2011 at 4:25 am

    And sure that happens so often, but in my opinion i would far rather know exactly where the priorities and loyalties lie sooner rather tham later, mind you i suppose if the mansion has been built and the money gone it`s too late, the not so tender trap?
    Though it`s all worked out to my satisfaction, if i had a chance to do it all over again i would do as Matt and others have suggested, rent somewhere for a few months, check out various places and the partner before buyind a prperty, but still would never go expat barmy and sink all my cash into something that will some day become a burden. Better money in the bank and options up your sleave.

  4. Swarfy
    March 19, 2011 at 4:25 am

    And sure that happens so often, but in my opinion i would far rather know exactly where the priorities and loyalties lie sooner rather tham later, mind you i suppose if the mansion has been built and the money gone it`s too late, the not so tender trap?
    Though it`s all worked out to my satisfaction, if i had a chance to do it all over again i would do as Matt and others have suggested, rent somewhere for a few months, check out various places and the partner before buyind a prperty, but still would never go expat barmy and sink all my cash into something that will some day become a burden. Better money in the bank and options up your sleave.