The more you live in the Philippines the more you start to understand how things work. In the first few months you are still in holiday mood the wallet is open and everything is great. Why? because you still have money and those western goods you crave are all within reach. But if your looking to settle long-term you need to adapt. We own 3 vehicles here yet for the first time I am starting to look to get rid of one. Not because its faulty or taking up space but simply because we don’t need it. I like the Jeepy for the bumpy roads and long distances but we already have a multi-cab which is more of our work horse it would be better to get rid of one of them and its seeming more likely the Jeepy will go soon. The other vehicle I have is my scooter which isn’t the fastest of vehicles but it will get you to central Cebu quicker than a taxi ever will. My point being is once you start to settle in you start to look at the way life is which is simply uncomplicated its a simple life. I see lots of big SUV’s in the city and my only wonder is why do they bother. The roads are poor and the roads narrow, getting a bottle top run up the side of your paint work if you don’t give kids money is highly likely is it really worth the hassle? The other advantage of living the uncomplicated life is the “rich foreigner” eventually starts to rub off because your living on par or near to that of the people around you. Even if you do have money its better to invest it in something that generates regular incomes than having lots of fancy goods around the house that you hardly use. Our money wont be wasted on fancy western products as houses and lots are the next ventures for our spare capital not to buy and sell but to buy and let. As ideally we would like to expand out and own bits and pieces all over the place and it makes it difficult for people to see what you are really worth as I would like to stay pretty much invisible to those that may cause problems.
The main thing is de-cluttering your personal life though into a more suited one to your new surroundings. We may move to a bigger house in the next 2 years but no doubt it will be around P2million maximum simply because we don’t need bigger. Its probably not going to be in a sub-division as I don’t like being cramped in like sardines. But its more likely to be an uninteresting house with fish, pigs, goats and chicken in the yard. As its likely to be a small holding. Which will probably have Bed and Breakfast facilities for people interested in learning about farming or just wanting to peace and quiet. Back in the UK in Worcester I used to hate the area because of its dull rural location. But the thing is its different from seeing it to owning it and being part of it. Life is what you make it but in the Philippines the more simply your life the more happy people seem to be.