What are the problems of living as a foreigner in the Philippines?

  • First major one is land ownership which makes it pretty much impossible to own your own home. Don’t see this changing anytime soon and its one thing that hinders a lot of people from retiring here. But at the same time rent is cheap so could work out better to keep the money in the bank and feed off the interest as this will also allow you to move around when you want.
  • Second issues are visas although they seem stable lately they do fluctuate from time to time and the methods of stopping on an ongoing tourist visa means a lot of regular trips to immigration to get it sorted. Being married to a Filipino citizen does make that a lot easier as annual reports instead of every 60days does reduce the journeys considerably.
  • Rising inflation and poor exchange rates have badly affected my pound to peso conversion at a loss of 30% on conversion from when I first arrived but the food prices and general services have either stayed the same or gone up in price. There are other cheaper alternative countries out there.
  • Medical care although for short term care is cheap/reasonable it can fluctuate depending on race. I stayed out the way (was working in the UK) my wife’s labour with Zoei cost us around P26,000 someone we met cost over P150,000 big difference in price for same service don’t you think? Also long term your likely to die if you run out of money. International medical care is expensive but if your serious about living here advise strongly to look into it.
  • Spiked prices purely for being a foreigner are a regular irritant but its also something caused by foreigners in the first place. People get used to being overpaid by foreign visitors which is why people assume they can do it to every foreigner here. Some of you may think its thrifty to not tip everywhere you go but I would ask do you do it in your hometown every time you go to a restaurant or get out of a taxi?
  • Getting things done is a slow process regardless if its paperwork or construction. Difference is here though is many things can be sped up by greasing the wheels in the UK its simply slow and will stay slow!
  • Electricity have regular power cuts, Water have cut off times in certain areas everyday, internet and telephone services are intermittent or poor.

So with all the negatives why come here ?

  • Weather is great most of the time. When it rains generally its still warm and I have yet to experience days of rain more often than not its an hour or two at a time mainly at night.
  • People are friendly and although there are crimes generally most foreigners are left to their own devices also the fact that your more likely to spend time in malls etc your in guarded environments.
  • Gated communities are relatively cheap to live in. Getting a house in your wife’s name in a sub-division is fairly cheap if you need that extra bit of security at night.
  • Beaches are everywhere and many are cheap to enter or free. Resorts are also everywhere and many have daily entrance fees allowing cheap access to sports facilities, beaches and swimming pools.
  • Eating out is cheap same as alcohol.
  • Labour costs are relatively cheap for in house labour such as maids, drivers etc.
  • Your central to Asia allowing easy travel to Hong Kong, Thailand, etc.
  • Filipinos generally find westerners very attractive, often its because of an obsession with long noses and white skin but also be aware of the fact Western also equals cash. Which is where a lot of problems happen for foreigners here. There is no rule book so there is nothing that says you have to get married or even have a partner. Its cheaper to live as one and often a lot less hassle.

0 comments for “What are the problems of living as a foreigner in the Philippines?

  1. joe downey
    September 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Not forgeting quota visa which is available, so it`s not compulsory to marrt, annual report still applies, 310 peso at nearest immigration office within 60 days of new year.