So how does someone start a new life in the Philippines?

If your single or divorced its pretty easy. If separated its going to be an issue with a new partner due to the fact as they see it as living with someone who is already married. This is still a catholic country if you look through the posts you see the amount of time people spend at church and even in areas that resemble or are slums there is still churches and small chapels. So if your separated and its decided for good you need to settle up and get it all over and done with file the paperwork otherwise it can be a bit more awkward being thousands of miles away.

The Philippines offers a new world to those who want to start over. Its not as easy as the West but it doesn’t require the same amount of paperwork and budget either. Find a few ways to make an income you are suddenly sustainable and can start developing onto bigger ideas. You can buy a house for less than £20,000 for (1 – 2 bed) in your partners name or go for a Condo and you can own it yourself. Either way its a lot cheaper than is currently available in the UK for example. Although the UK is currently in a heavy recession the problem is the cost of living is still very high in comparison. If you have property in the UK rent it out. If its paid in full your ahead of the game if its stuck with a heavy mortgage then your stuck with it. Either way you need to keep the property its a life line if things go wrong but also a life line for a monthly income if you can squeeze even a small profit from it each month.

So first thing you need to look at is how you are going to survive in the Philippines before you even arrive. We survive on around P15,000 a month but sometimes go up as high as P30,000 e.g. for Christmas but the point is its sustainable we have incomes in the Philippines already we budget P15,000 as minimum and then try to use above that to make more money with other ventures. If you have a pension your already pretty well setup but make sure its collectable from abroad as some countries don’t allow it to be taken from foreign countries. Once you set your budget always subtract at least 10% and bank it for emergencies it should be banked because it needs to be on hand asap. Not wrapped up in investments somewhere.

Now you have decided what budget you have you can now decide where you want to live. I get a lot of emails from people asking me to find them apartments, Condos, houses etc. But its never that simple. Think about where you are right now what if I asked you the same what questions would you ask me?

Location wise is it near shops, is it in the city, near a beach, near rural countryside etc etc. this is the problem its a big picture not as simple as just moving here. Many areas you will hate and others you will fall in love with but its all down to personal taste.  Either way you look at it the further you are from cities and resorts the cheaper it gets so if on a tight budget you may do better in the rural areas which even then isn’t too far from the shops and things like hospitals. The key is heading inwards not down the coast. Heading south takes you further from the major cities but head inwards its pretty mountainous and cheap to buy land.

For those with a bigger budget there are locations all over the place which are near beaches or central Cebu. For me though I prefer the semi-rural setting which offers everything on the doorstep but I can ride into the mountains within 5 minutes of leaving the house. Best advice about anything to do with property is find it here not the internet scouring the internet will only give you the best pictures possible that the landowner wants you to see. Coming here and getting a feel for the place will show you where you want to be.

The next issue most people find is boredom. Its a major problem here and especially amongst expats who aren’t use to being part of a group. I’m pretty happy myself pottering around but I also enjoy meeting up with other expats to see what they get up to and for anything interesting that going on. Its also good if you have a partner to meet up with other expats wives and girlfriends as there are some common issues that seem to effect all relationships I have come across so sharing experiences people can get the feeling that they are not alone with family issues etc.

The other side of things is actually finding a partner. I currently have a friend here who hasn’t had much luck recently but still looking. He has been here a couple of weeks but like most things it takes time because your looking for a partner for life not a weekend. Also there is an assumption women just jump at any guy here. That’s the truth with some women but not most. The average person in the Philippines although is poor they are content, that’s something that appeals to most people that move here. The fact that someone who has nothing is still happy that they have food on the table which is probably why the country doesn’t riot with the huge amount of poverty that goes on here.  Either way linking in with Expats will introduce you to more people and more people will introduce you to even more people.. It takes a few weeks to filter through the grapevine but a single guy in a country that forgets most women when they hit they’re 30s you suddenly become a major catch. The most important thing is take your time don’t rush into anything and see everything as a relationship to last not just a relationship. This should give you a firm footing that will keep your relationship together. Hobbies and interests are also a key thing to keep a relationship going here.