I think this is probably one of the most important aspects of moving to the Philippines is making new friends. The big issue I come across though is that so many different types of people here that wouldn’t normally even know each other back home are forced to look for friends in the social groups they don’t normally associate with. Its not arrogance by the way its simply that you have devote religious people here, Atheists, drinkers, bikers, womanisers, scammers, con artists, ex-factory workers, ex-military, high earners, middle income, low income, racists, hippies to name but a few of the types of characters I come across on a regular basis. That doesn’t even enter to the pro and anti sex trade guys which both have extremely strong views on the subject.
So how do you go about making new friends in the Philippines? Searching around online is the first main key to finding people you click with and then meet up. For me my blog drives a lot of people to first introductions. Others its using forums or bumping into people in malls, cafe’s etc. You are going to meet undesirables from time to time who will say your in the wrong because “this is the Philippines” which often means its ok for them to be chasing teenagers in they’re 60s in their mind set. For me its unacceptable and I am not talking about the 20 something girls as they are old enough to make they’re own minds up I am talking literally about Teenagers.
The important thing is you can always WALK AWAY, no point getting into a heated discussion because you found someone you first liked and are now shocked at something they do just make excuses and leave. There is a no win situation you won’t change they’re mind set and if its illegal what they are doing its the local government and authorities responsibility not yours to deal with. On the other hand you have to engage in conversations with lots of people until you find the right group for you. I have had this myself and generally meet people at least 2 – 3 times a month (new people) as I can get an idea about them and often offer them people I know for them to meet as I can see they have similarities in hobbies etc..
What I will say though is just keep at it you will probably find 5 people in 100 that you really like about 40 your ok with but not really bothered if you meet regularly or just discuss things from time to time and the rest you probably wouldn’t miss if you never seen again because you just don’t gel. But the important thing is to keep looking and meeting people, go to the bowling and other regular functions that the expats have and these environments are probably the best to meet people as there is no commitment on anyone’s part as your not doubled up on a table but in a large group.
Local population I find easier to get on with and I have met everyone from mayors to beggars and although you come across a lot of people with an angle trying to sell you insurance,houses and 101 other things they are just people trying to make a living. I have a golden rule though I won’t buy off friends its up to them to decide if they are a friend or trying to be a salesperson. Making that statement also creates a strong divide on sit at the table and have a beer or leave after you pitch your one and only chance at selling me something. On top of this I have had a couple of cases of people trying to sell me houses personally which I didn’t buy as I knew they were overcharging. They are still friends as ignore anything they say about real estate but if I had bought the house I would have made sure I never spoke to them again which is why I created the golden rule. Most locals are nice people and respectful, I haven’t had the problems a lot of expats get into but at the same time I don’t involve friends in my personal business or in fact business at all. If its a day swimming its family discussions money shouldn’t even come into it.