There is a crossroads that I think most expats reach at some point and its the decision to leave the Philippines for good or look to adjust your life to make things work. In the time I’ve talked to many friends across the islands the most simple way of putting it is good days and bad days. When you have more bad days than good I think that’s when people start thinking to just pack in and leave.
I’m at this crossroads right now although there is no giving up its not an option I would be prepared to except. I’ve been back in the UK for nearly a month now and pretty much hate every moment of it. The things that are personally affecting me is there used to be what I would call hop up jobs. These are factory and warehouse jobs generally. The reason I call them hop ups is for someone who has low education or struggling to find work they can take these type of jobs and its a hop up a way onto the job ladder and a way out of the city. Big problem I noticed last year is the huge influx of Polish in the area and the attitudes with a lot of the factories etc. changed because things went from struggling to get a work force to the way it is now where there are probably 100 people chasing one job. I normally would come into the country grab one of these posts and run it for the first month as they are normally based on workload your contract would get terminated by 4 weeks as the work had dropped off. But it was hard to get one last year and this year they just don’t exist at all. My contract work is in various stages of limbo right now which is my primary form of income and once it rolls it rolls for many months. Currently there is a few months work with one contract and up to a year with another one and both are held up in discussions. So I’m primed to start work and no work is developing. This is a recession! Anyway my point being is if it wasn’t the fact we had developed a sustainable business in Cebu I would really be struggling to stay afloat but luckily there is enough cash flow to keep my wife April and Zoei back in Cebu and I’ve got enough to keep an income going for Nicole back in the UK. Its a position I haven’t been in since 1993 and one I’m running out of options to rectify a lot of things are flowing through my head right now as I struggle to get round this stumbling block. Hang on and hope things will start to move, pickup an engineering job in the middle east on a fixed 3 – 6 month contract or move to another location within the UK and try and dig my claws into some of the Olympic work.
Its the last few weeks I can see why some people just give up on the dream and life in the Philippines as life is hard here but can be pretty impossible in the Philippines for many.
What am i going to do simply keep manoeuvring to find an answer and a way through it. I’m stubborn and I’m going back to my wife and daughter any which way I can but I need get our funds up for the projects I have already primed for this year. People who know me well know I don’t fail I’ve had bad runs like everyone in life but there is a difference in many cases as I wont stop until I get there. That’s why I find when people say “I’m lucky” a bit insulting as I worked really hard to get where I am sometimes trying to do more than is possible.. but an example of the difference is like this.. one of my brothers took a beating off five guys before and I met up with them and one of they’re friends a week or so later so I fought six of them in retaliation of them beating up my brother. I couldn’t see for two weeks due to black eyes and they all came off about the same. What makes it different is then I fought each one of them on they’re own. It put sense into all of them knowing they couldn’t rely on they’re numbers all the time and also that they were easy pray on they’re own in the same way they attacked my brother. All six of those guys will buy me a drink if I go into the bar they use. One thing I would like to say though is I’m not into fighting and violence but I protect my family. So what’s the point in this? Simply I don’t give up I find a solution if you cant go through it, over it or under it maybe you just have to step to the side and let it passed.