Its a question I often wonder for many as I know why I am here but I generally don’t fit into the same categories as the rest. I don’t have a pension, I wasn’t here after a bad divorce, I don’t care about health care. So why am I here? I came here purely because of April. We met online in a bit of a unique way and just became friends at the start until it got to the point I made the leap to come and visit April and sight see at the same time in Cebu. People often grumble about the cost of rice, toilet paper is too thin, electricity and water goes off sometimes. But for me its irrelevant the UK has experienced some really bad weather lately a hung parliment, huge recession which will deepen this year and I wouldn’t be surprised of the beginnings of a depression. But at the end of the day things are as bleak as you want to make them or as positive as you like. There are some major factors that do make a difference though although currently we are in limbo while things recover. But generally I don’t need to work and the ability to make £100 – £200 a month is enough to live on as we have more income from other things going on. In the UK I think 25 years tied to a house for a mortgage. In the Philippines I think where can I find £10,000 to buy it cash. In the UK the bills stack up and could be easily described as trying to climb a stack of coins, the more you earn the harder you climb but the more things slip away stopping you reaching the top. People say “don’t buy a house here” I would say buy a house in the UK and your likely to lose it in a divorce what is the difference? Although the rentals here are very cheap which sort of offsets that argument. Electronics are expensive in the Philippines but then again the UK has always been known to have an inflated market for electronics prime example is my camera getting a lense for it in the U.S. can be 30% cheaper. In the UK they are trying to enforce ISPs to regulate peoples downloads yet at the same time music and video is still too expensive for the average person and not inline with the rest of the world. Philippines I struggle to buy originals as nobody seems to stock them. Corruption is another argument that is brought up for and against the Philippines. Some days people like to be able to bribe a police officer for a traffic violation other days they are complaining officials demand a bribe for processing “faster or express”. In the UK corruption goes in a different shade more grey than anything else but at the same time trying to get common sense out of government offices is an uphill struggle at best maybe a little corruption actually makes life easier?
What I don’t like though is a much shorter list than things I do. I don’t like the way some expats will single out others to attack yet often more than not the expat they are attacking is in the right. But it doesn’t fit in with their views. I have only deleted spam off TropicalPenpals since it started because Freedom of speech is not only something I treasure its also the fact I think people should be allowed to exercise that right. I don’t like the way people say “yes” when they actually mean they haven’t got a clue what your on about and generally can damage something or end up with things being done twice. But I do like the fact the labour is cheap although often I would still question if its really that cheap as most of the time things get done so slow I would be quicker doing it myself. I do like the fact I have many friends here and generally they are all good. But at the same time please don’t try to sell me a lot, a house, insurance, a car or invite me to meet your sister.. I know things will be overpriced and I know it will only end up annoying me as people either assume I am stupid or ignorant which I am neither it will only damage our friendship so don’t ask! unless it really is a good deal..lol
Do I think I will live out my days here in the Philippines? It is too early to tell and with the horror stories some of my friends are having with kids in education I would often question that with our second child on the way and the fact most people in our area doesn’t know where most countries are. Isn’t geography taught at school? because I know what may happen which is I will home tutor as well as the kids go to school. Problem with this is there will be a good chance of conflict because the kids will know more on subjects that the teachers. At the same time I want our kids to not only be smart but have the ability to think and progress. I have met a lot of people in the Philippines and have had some very strange answers on questions. I was sat with an Australian/Italian friend who had met a girl at SM and we were sitting over pizza and the girl said her boss was going to the U.S. and requested that she become manager of the jewellery business. To which she declined because she didn’t want the extra responsibility? Now in the U.K. I have had friends not take promotion for family reasons, no pay increase or 101 other things but to point blankly say I don’t want it because I don’t want responsibility I would probably fire someone for that if they worked for me. I have looked into it a lot and expats will often say that Filipinos are lazy which is wrong I think there is something gone wrong in the culture and society, some will say it is to do with the Japanese occupation where people would give up their neighbours in a survival of the fittest attitude but if that was just the case surely people would be more dominating after sacrificing the weak?
Anyway I am getting off topic here but its an East meets West scenario which I will ponder in the education system one thing for sure is our kids will be free thinkers and able to think out of the box as I will teach them from an early age. I wonder what would happen if I became a teacher at the school?
But besides that I can’t see any real reason to leave the Philippines. Once things stabilize here we will tour Asia there is so much to see and I have a friend in India waiting for me to ride across the country with him. But also I want to visit a lot of the historical sites which are “once in a life time” experiences. I know April would love to visit the U.K. aswell and with the current recession maybe people will be leaving in droves which could ease up the immigration process we can only wish but would mean we could come to the U.K. to visit for a few months and do the touring round there but as my friend Don said “The U.K. isn’t cheap” which is something a lot of people don’t understand because in the UK most working families have to have 2 working parents because with just one its unlikely to keep financially above water or at best have a pretty dull life. Another reason to stay in the Philippines even on quiet days there is always something going on. The other day a friend of mine arrived where he had sneaked into the country to see his wife to surprise her which was nice to see when she realised he was here. But a couple of days after a motorcycle rider and pillion passenger opened fire on someone with a 9mm pistol on the opposite side of the road to them. One of the reasons election times is always better to stay indoors when possible as you never know who is shooting who and in most cases its normally the innocent bystanders that take the bullet.
Anyway enough of this post its getting too long for people to read it all! But I want to know why you are here or coming to the Philippines?