Remembering why you came to the Philippines

Its a bit different to me than a lot of people but there are still a lot of people out there with a similar mind. Originally I just came to meet April and took things from there. I wasn’t looking to immigrate or anything else at that time as simply I had enough going on back in the UK. But things change rapidly and it moved from a trip to starting a life here.

Many people forget why they came in the first place. They reside here without having to do much in a day and forget the rat race they left behind. Back in the UK I generally would leave the house before 6am every day and return after 8pm most nights as well as often doing paperwork well into the small hours depending what project I was working on. I had a nice car, nice income and a nice house. In return I gave up time, freedom and tied myself to the material things that the West loves us to stuck paying for. I rarely spent enough time with the people that mean the most to me and at some point things begin to fall apart. The close links of direct and close family seem to disappear filled with work and commitment. My ex at that time was keen to live a different life to mine as I looked to the future where she looked at today. Financially she wanted to get by and spend more time on her hobbies where I was driven by ambition and setting things up for the future. One day you just decide things are wrong and go your own way. There were other problems along the way and all lead to the same split. I have no bitterness and I wish her well, just wish I got more time with my daughter Nicole.

So what is it with the Philippines? I have been toying with routine lately as its too hot during the day and too noisy to work I badly need office space as I can’t function so well with noise in the background especially when trying to learn a lot of new things. So today I think I have found the right setup I got up at 5am which roughly gives me 3 hours a day to myself to work. Got the fighting cocks making noise outside and the aircon rattling away in the inside but at least its not the local TV as its something I have begun to loathe. I hate the patronising way people talk on a lot of the shows as if they are speaking to children with the over exhaggerated voices or am I getting old? Either way its unworkable I am strong believer in removing TV’s from peoples houses as media has gone mad in the last decade all over the world. Only real world of truth seems to exist on the internet and even that you have to filter through with a shovel.

Anyway back to life in the Philippines most people here arrived with pensions which means you don’t have to work but I think you should find something that keeps you occupied otherwise bitterness or alcohol seems to happen doesn’t have to be a busy project, business something that can occupy you an hour a day so at least your thinking about it when your not actually doing it as well. Could even be consulting with someone else but either way keep busy.. For the rest of us though it involves some kind of work the difference between here and the UK though is what I am doing and the time it takes, I want to develop more things online but mainly so that I can help others along the way locally and foreigners a like. Most ventures in the Philippines seem to lack good marketing so finding a way to tap into that and get it to be cheap and viable for the small business market as well as being able to use for world exports is a key part of my day lately. Difference is I can get up at midnight work until 7am and then the day is over or can take days off when I want as simply we have already built our small safety net of businesses which will slowly prosper.

So getting back to remembering why you are here is something you need to wake up to everyday and instead of complaining its too hot remember the UK is too cold, rainy and dark. Remember your wife always wakes you with a smile and although I miss April busy in the morning in the kitchen lately due to bed rest with her pregnancy I know her routines will return. Even grumpy and having a hard time with the pregnancy she still can crack a laugh or a smile. Happiness is something people strive for in life but often lose its path as other things get in the way. People say the food is bad in a lot of places but to be honest if you can cook you can make or find most things. Can’t find pre-packed food that is for sure but remember the Philippines isn’t in the Microwave age and unlikely to ever be with the current economy and power shortages. Look at any good cooker here it will come with a mix of Gas and Electric hobs because its known power or the gas goes off regularly. People complain about electric bills yet they forget you have no Gas heating bill the “cooling” of your house in the Philippines will no doubt be cheaper with your other electric appliances than the added Gas bill would be on its own in the UK. One of my friends nearby we discussed milk in the US buying Gallon or Half Gallon as I said I only wanted some for my coffee the rest would be a waste I just want a small carton which I struggled to find when staying in Florida. My friends answer was that “its just so cheap” which I replied its Gluttony there is too much wastage in the US as well as excess which is why probably most of the people complaining about prices here are Americans but most arrived because of being able to stretch the pension or due to healthcare costs in the US. The truth of the matter in life you will always end up balancing the books If I work in the UK as soon as the contract finishes I am on a plane within 3 days back to the Philippines truth of the matter the longer I am in the UK the more money I start bleeding due to the overpricing and madness of the last government. One week in the UK costs me the same as one Month in the Philippines. But there are also the "slipping costs” the ones that cost you money even if not used, TV license, Car insurance, Car tax, Council tax. All things you can wish weren’t so expensive or so tightly controlled by the UK government you can’t avoid. Philippines there is the compulsary vehicle insurance tied in with registration which is coins in comparison. Doesn’t cover you in an accident mind but then again if you were in an accident your premiums go up in the UK anyway to offset it so you still end up paying either way. What happens in the Philippines though is I take the insurance and expenses costs which would roughly work out to be :-

  • Car insurance – £200
  • TV license – £130 ?
  • Car tax – £200
  • Council tax – £700

Add it all together = £1230 and invest it here in the Philippines instead and you could be getting an income of £120 a month instead of giving it away. Why are we here in the Philippines? because its cheaper to live here. It’s easier to do business here someone was quick to state “I cannot own a business here in the Philippines” which is partly true I can take a 40% stake in a venture but also that gets back to the “its mine” mentality which isn’t how I operate everyone here is part of the same venture (Aprils family) as it develops so will their finances it all goes hand in hand. It’s success is based on everyone working together. I was talking to Aprils father the other day about a lot nearby that had been in dispute between several siblings for decades the last living sibling died last year and now the land is owned by no one compromise and looking forward is the only way things develop get entrenched in small issues everything can fall apart before they have begun. The sun and beautiful women are another couple of reasons people are here but its also the friendly personalities on most Filipinos in the UK I knew my neighbours and would talk to them but often most people don’t and never will unless a
n emergency happens that drags them into being forced to meet. Here I literally know hundreds of people if not more. Sometimes I will get irritated by what some people are doing but at least the opportunity to meet and decide is available because people are friendly. The Philippines offers more freedom and abilities to progress than the UK could ever offer me. That is why I decided to stay here. I came here because of my wife and that is why we decided to settle here the world is a changing place and if you are sitting in the UK with a tidy pension you can afford to retire on remember that for about P40,000 a month you can live easily here we live on P25,000 comfortably I don’t go out much but then again its by choice. You can rent a place here (literally here where I am!) for about P7,000 a month as I build apartments they will be 1 bedroom, inclusive of internet,electric,water and drinking water which basically means you would have after food costs at least P20,000 to spend. Bearing in mind beer here is P60 a litre you could get drunk on about £2.00 with the current exchange rate. Only thing is I am not interested in “Sexpats” renting and if found to be one I will evict on moral grounds and will have it written into tenancy agreements. The Philippines is my home and I expect it to be respected. At the same time I will defend anyone who has someone try to rip you off. Most people get ripped off for one reason mind and that is your a foreigner so assumed tourist. With a bit of practice and local knowledge people will stop that in most cases. Won’t stop people trying to sell you their piece of land you can’t buy but would stop a lot of things like taxi drivers trying to price hike.

Anyway just wanted to say why I am here. Some people would say its paradise but I would simply say its not Paradise all over.