To Answer this up front. ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, NOT!!!
Having been a watchdog and analyst in another business I tend to judge things as a matter of course. I have decided as part of this article to lay judgement on one of the other Philippine oriented blogs out there. I do this for no other reason except to let the owner know what I think and ways he could improve his already excellent product. I truly mean no harm or insult to Bob and I am not angry in the slightest. I Just felt it was time I would give a wakeup call as is my nature to do. See what boredom can lead to as I have no idea why I should care one way or another. It's that pebble under my foot thing I guess. LOL
There is a popular Blog (LIP) on the Philippines run by a very savvy (actually brilliant) businessman named Bob Martin. He earns based my observations probably in the neighborhood of five figures monthly from the traffic to his websites dedicated to various subjects about the Philippines (he actually suggests this himself by way of his ebook sales). He writes many of the articles on the various sites himself and he is an excellent writer. I really admire Bob (yes, I am a bit jealous LOL) for this and I suspect he will continue to generate more earnings as more and more people visit his educational and informative sites. Interestingly enough, I generally don't see eye to eye with Bob as we see in a way, two different Philippines and he has booted me me off of his blogs for one reason or another mostly due to my general negativity and attitude. To be blunt, I find Bob so Polly Ana as he does not allow for much if any criticism of the Philippines on his Blogs. For Bob it is all about selling and making himself money (see all his obnoxious site advertising) and that requires a positive spin on everything!!! E-Books for $39.99 PLEASE!!! I find this Polly Ana approach on his part very disingenuous, but it is his blog to do as he pleases. I can only hope in the future he adds an additional section that deals with THE REALITY of life here. The first thing I would do is get rid of about 100% of his contributing writers (except John Miele who I think is great) as they really suck. Anyway, I know he truly loves the Philippines but it would be nice to see him fight online through his Blogs for a better one he says he loves so much. Remember Bob, the Cybercrime Bill in under TRO. I'm not opinionated am I. LOL
Germane to this article "Title", he recently responded in an interview that it takes about 5 years if not longer to adjust to life here. Much of this adjustment is cultural in nature. With all due respect, who in their right mind wants to come to a Country with FU money ($1,000,000+) knowing they will have to undergo 5 years if not more of potential stress, aggravation and frustration and that this is a good thing LOL. There is definetely something wrong with that picture.
When Filipinas go to America (and I know many) there is a very short cultural transition time and learning curve in most cases. Why? Because aside from their missing family and friends back home as is natural, everything else is in easy grasp. You can find what you are looking for almost 100% of the time. Why? Long story short. THINGS WORK in AMERICA!!! IT IS THE LAND OF PLENTY!!!
Recently, Bob asked his readership to respond to a question asked by one of his other readers (Hi Kevin). It was titled “Are there a million reasons to live in the Philippines?” I found the topic very amusing and actually hysterical, but one that again opens the door for being able to objectively address this important subject as to what attracts people to the Philippines. Bob as he says over and over in his blog loves living here and is convinced this Country is a great place to live. Frankly I don't think he spends much time outside of Davao so what he really knows of other parts of the Country is a huge question mark which I think should be addressed more in detail in his blog as well.
However, to address the main context of the article I will say upfront that a million dollars will not in any way shape or form improve your life in this Country and therefore in no way shape or form should or can it actually serve as a catalyst to moving here. If you do move here you are both mentally and physically resigned to dealing with a challenging environment PERIOD!!! The following list focuses on life mostly in the Province areas where most foreigners settle down in and to a lesser degree in the major cities which do offer better services but also have their own problems and issues that many cities suffer from anywhere. Here are some of those adjustments you may have to make.
Your million dollars will not:
1. Stop the corruption – Corruption is the rule and not the exception. Will never stop until you change the gene pool of Politicians or prevent same family service. It keeps this nation as a 3rd World Country. Maybe 2nd World on a good day;
2. Fix the roads – That would involve stopping corruption. There have been some improvements now being made on national roads out of absolute necessity;
3. Stop the brownouts – that would require modernization of power related equipment. Too expensive to undertake and given rates are amoung the highest in world (Hawaii, Italy, Malta, Japan, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Philippines and Singapore), passing on costs would be impractical;
4. Improve your food selections – Slowly happening with supermarket improvements and more foreign operated grocery/deli operations. But, very, very expensive. Beef is absolutely terrible,like eating a shoe;
5. Modern Housing – Architecture here can make you literally puke. Also impractical building styles prevail. You need to build it yourself (provinces);
6. Stop all the Noise – Cars, Dogs, Roosters, Karaoke, Trucks, etc… nothing exotic or romantic about it; Filipinos are immune to it so it won't change;
7. Eliminate all the stray dogs – That would be killing off a major food source. Kidding. They just love their flea ridden dogs here. Actually, Filipinos are oblivious to them;
8. Stop the polluting of the rivers and seas – Where else are they going to throw their garbage;
9. Stop illegal logging – Slowly happening but only after major landslides occur killing many people during rainy season but then out of sight out of mind;
10. Stop the dynamiting/poisoning of the precious reefs – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Filipinos like the first way one better. Slowly improving but not fast enough;
11. Improve Customer service - What's customer service. I like it best going into just about any hardware store here and find practically none of the salesmen have any clue about hardware or what's being sold there;
12. Improve education - They certainly learn about God, Mary and Jesus and that will surely help them in their working life. Forget Math, English and Science. Useless subjects;
13. Retard poverty - Start paying liveable wages and provide training for jobs so the uneducated can work at something useful;
14. Give you better Internet or Cable – Again related to modernization of equipments;
15. Improve traffic - Not only will it not improve, it will be getting so bad that it will eventually cause huge bottlenecks in many if not most of the cities during rush hour. Too many OFW's and foreigners buying vehicles as are workers in higher paying jobs here such as from Call Centers. The worst is really yet to come;
16. Blatant Rudeness – Filipinos for the most part have no notion of proper etiquette. Cutting in line, interupting conversations, are all considered normal. This will not change in the foreseeable future;
17. Stopping Crime – Which is now increasing against foreigners at an alarming rate. Just ask some of the expats who live in Cebu City. Many expats I have spoken to in various places there, have informed me that in the past year or so many more foreigners are being targeted. Here in Dumaguete more house break-ins are taking place as well. It will only get worse;
18. Give you better Restaurant Service or get your Eggs Properly Cooked - I Can't tell you how many times when eating with someone, our food orders were delivered over 5 – 10 minutes apart Or when eggs were not burned. Over easy is something most restaurants cannot comprehend.
19. Asshole Neighbors (even Bob has had issues with this for one reason or another and the reason why he rents instead of owns. He apparently doesn't want to take a chance being stuck. Some paradise Bob!)
I could go on and on and probably list over 100 more reasons money won’t help your life here, so to be perfectly blunt this whole notion of a million dollars or any large sum of money being a reason to come here is RIDICULOUS!!! People who come to the Philippines generally follow the demographics I list below and it is more of a mindset than anything else and not having much money seems to play a role as well even though in reality the Philippines can be a very expensive place to live relative to the benefits you receive and will continue on that path where sooner than later many will actually have to leave the Country due to affordability issues.
I have said this over and over and over in this Blog about who comes to the Philippines to live and no matter what Blogs like Bob’s try and lead you to believe the facts speak for themselves and this comes from talking to hundreds of people about WHY the Philippines. For the record I leave the city of Manila out of this equation as Manila is not the Philippines
Based on the polling around the Country I have done over the years, I would venture to say over 90% of the people that come to the Philippines to live permanently are:
Retired, older men who are seeking the company and physical affection of girls (starting age 17) or to meet someone (various ages) they have established contact with on the internet. These single men are mostly of blue collar working backgrounds, fixed income (some with good pensions) over 60 year of age, many ex-military, generally having very poor physiques bordering on obesity, would not be considered very attractive and I would venture to say have never had the opportunity of being with the variety and quantity of beautiful woman such as they have here who are interested in them. Most of these guys settle in Provincial towns.
Now granted many of these same guys as I said may have an internet based relationship going on before the move and many will pursue a relationship perhaps leading to marriage with these same online GF's once they arrive but by and large most come as Singles looking for action.
The guys who really, really benefit are those who also drink and smoke as the cost of those two vices are very affordable here. Cigs only $1.00 pack, beer about .75 and bottles of Rum about $1.50.
A Small Percentage are;
People like Bob and his wife who represent mixed couples where usually the female is a Filipina and they are returning back to the Philippines to live (most of the time) for retirement purposes. Bob and his wife settled in Davao City which has many of the conveniences most other towns DO NOT HAVE so in a way it is easier for him to enjoy the Philippines living in a City like Davao. He has all those great western style restaurants in Abreeza to eat in. Funny thing is, after so many years here he doesn't even own his own house as he says he has had challenges with neighbors so needs to keep his mobility. I find this in direct conflict with his premise of how wonderful it is here. I frankly never recall having problems with neighbors back in the States. Anyway, you can multiply this single issue with neighbors (which here is VERY COMMON!!!) twenty fold with the many other challenges so this begs the question is it really worth living here to begin with for any amount of money. Come see and try for yourself before you commit.
A Small Percentage are;
Foreign couples and individuals seeking an affordable alternative to their existing living situation back in their home Countries. Most of these are Europeans whose Countries cost a fortune to live in and have lousy cold weather. So, they tend to settle in tropical beachfront locations around the World in places like the Philippines. Anyplace that is warmer and cheaper than what they have back home in Europe.
A Small Percentage are;
Very Religious and want to live in a Catholic country.
The bottom line is the vast majority are here for girls and that is IT!!!!! and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, take that benefit away and you will have practically NO SINGLE MALE FOREIGNERS living here.
The notion of affordability while a valid one in the past in now slowly disappearing. Everything is getting more expensive and unless you are a hermit, life in the U.S.A can actually be cheaper if not very competitive depending on where you live. My Sister-in-Law and her husband live a wonderful life in Ogden, Utah for well under 2k monthly. Their mortgage is only $350/month. What is missing in the States. Hmmmmm Let me guess………18 year old girls!!!! HELLO
Any Website or Blog that tries to tell you differently is full of crap. Period. End of story!!!
So if there is any argument at all for coming here with 1,000,000 bucks it would be that is what you will need just to survive here in the not to distant future but in no way should it be an incentive as there are much better other places to go for the money or just stay home might be best.
In conclusion, "The Philippines as it is today just ain't my cup of tea"……….. NOT AT ANY PRICE!!! and we will most likely leave in the next year or so. While we are away I will be earning 18% on my money (Philippine Investment) so the U.S.A will be a much cheaper living situation for my family so all the better going back there. Of course we will maintain a presence here with our properties and we will no doubt enjoy our annual visits and eventually this place will get its proverbial shit together and become more tolerable. I think this getting its act together will take upwards of five years but then things will have become more westernized which I see as a good thing. Personal services will hopefully remain as they are as will the good nature of the people but things will become more modern and convenient. Yes, there will still be adjustments to be made and other challenges for a foreigner but with much less sacrifice than present time. But rising prices may negate the attraction of moving here as well so we shall see what the future holds for the Country of the Philippines.