Wanting to give up on the Philippines

Sometimes in the Philippines you just want to jack it all in and head back to your home country. I for one mess around with less than a quarter of my UK income in the Philippines and wonder sometimes why I bother. What is it that keeps us here? If I head back to the UK I can easily be middle class where here in the Philippines the income is often a frustration. £1000 in the UK your content but in the Philippines it can often be a frustration as many things are over valued and too expensive. The UK offers job fronts where the Philippines can offer pretty little in comparison.

So why live here? Well for a start you don’t have to spend £60,000+ on a house you can buy a bit of land and build yourself. A house in the UK may be built to a better standard but at the same time if your location is right the damp and worry of rain and floods will be minimal. You can get a decent house for around £20,000 and renovate giving you not only a good house for your money but not wrapping you into a 25 year debt mortgage.

You may want to work and for the majority of people I would advise to work in the UK and not bother here as the Philippines is an export market. It sends a huge amount of its educated population abroad each year currently around 10 million people. The ones left behind are generally the less educated or those heading for an education so trying to do things becomes a frustration. If you work away in the UK you can create the life you want in the Philippines as you disconnect yourself from the economy and build a pension.

Should I head back to the UK? Its a  question I ask myself sometimes out of frustration as I have seen my money wasted by others when I try to help. I can work away in the UK and earn a good salary to do as I wish in the Philippines. I have already out survived a lot of people I know due to being bloody minded and wanting to prove that you can survive here. At the same time I wonder if I should use the UK and my skills to my advantage.

We do have enough to live on but at the same time I want more out of life so I wonder if 4 months or more in the UK a year may work better to our means rather than trying to create an income here. To be fair we do a lot better than most Expat’s and their wives here but I am used to doing a lot better than most in general which is what creates my frustration in life.

6 comments for “Wanting to give up on the Philippines

  1. August 7, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Read your blog and I hope that you would find out which set-up would be better for you, if you should stick it out with your ventures here full-time or work for some months in a year in the UK. Whichever set-up you would choose I hope that you would never think of leaving the Phils for good.

  2. Tomdean34
    August 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I can sympathize with your dilemma. You are an ambitious hard working individual, and I think you have realized that your hard work in the Philippines is not paying the rewards that you would get in the UK. I am a USA citizen, and only visit the Philippines part time each year. Although I love the time spent there, I could not imagine staying longer than a few months.
    I am fully retired, so do not have the problem of generating an income. A luxury that most older expats have, so they can stay full time in Philippines. Work is the farthest thing from their worries.
    You could always “invest” in those schemes presented on that Cebu based forum, and become rich beyond your wildest dreams. Like the guy who scammed the money for the Cebuano books that he promised to his “investors” he was going to publish. Seems he has disappeared from the forum, same as with all the cash.

  3. John Hall
    August 8, 2010 at 1:57 am


    Relax man. Just chill and smoke out with me on a sailboat and everything will be great. You have a beautiful baby we both have beautiful women that love us unconditionally. If you want maybe we can start some businesses in Boracay and just relax by the beach. Maybe some food carts of something. But just take it easy bro life is sweet and beautiful here. Come on vacation and before we talk about business lets relax and drink and talk about it then. Cebu sucks bro… I promise…Don't set your home base up there bro.. That place is dirty.. Its amazing bro how many people I meet here Matt. 2 weeks ago my best friends from America and Canada came down and we partied. Then i met a new friend whos retiring here hes 42 and we partied and smoked some pot and drank. 5 days ago I met some other people my age and we went snorkeling and cliff diving and relaxed watching the sunset and partied smoking out on the sailboat. Then yesterday I met 5 people from Poland who were cool and my contacts for Europe and due to EXTREME PEER PRESSURE Drank me under the table.. But wow man… So many adventures and cool people.. We have one life matt… Don't get stressed out lets hang out even just you and me have some bro time. Hell if your strapped for cash I will even help out with your plane ticket.

  4. Tropicalpenpals
    August 8, 2010 at 7:03 am

    The thing is you start waying up the reasons your in the Philippines. If you spend most of your time working then your not having the benefits of the country so sometimes it does make me wonder if its better to just do a stint in the UK every year. At the same time my frustrations normally come down to the problems of getting things done as you end up doing most things yourself due to either a lack of interest or a lack of know how by many.

    I think I know the guy your on about with the books.. thing is I was going to put 10k in myself towards it wouldn't risk more simply because I wasn't sure it would take off and he had other ideas previous to that one which haven't been completed either.. but i would have thrown 10k to help him get started but seems like your saying hes either lost all the money or simply disappeared with the cash. Oh well another one bites the dust.. how much did people invest in total btw?

  5. Tropicalpenpals
    August 8, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Hi Sonny,
    glad you enjoy the blog.. I won't give up on the Philippines it does have a lot of positive things as well. What I find though is things get a run of bad one after the other and a lot of the time it could be prevented. Also getting the right tools or people to do tasks is very difficult here which is going to be my gripe for the next few months with construction work as i will have to “make do” with most things to get them completed rather than what i want to do.

  6. Starshadow Rivaulx
    September 1, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I read the blog entry where you talked about moving to the UK as a chance to give April and the kids access to opportunities they would never have here in the Philippines – like travel around Europe and a higher standard of education – while you all are still young and strong enough to take advantage of those things.

    I think that is a wonderful idea, and shows that you are good family man to look out for them that way. I think it’s only fair to yourself to make the most of your opportunities and your finances while you can – besides, it’s not like you’ll never allow April and the children to come back to their roots, right? And they will be all the more enriched by their experiences out of the country; though the kids may have a wee bit of culture shock relating to the others in the clan, but that’s a long way away yet.

    Anyway. Just my two bits. I’m following these posts with great interest, and wish you well however it turns out for you.