Living in the Philippines is the best choice I’ve made in a long time.  I truly love living in the Philippines.

Why do I like it here.  I suppose I’ll give my top ten things I like about the Philippines.

  1. My Girlfriend
  2. The low cost of living.
  3. The pretty Filipina.
  4. It is Christmas nearly half the year.
  5. The friendly Filipino.
  6. Bantayan Island.
  7. There is BBQ every where.
  8. I feel like a rock star.
  9. Many people living in the Philippines speak English.
  10. It is the land of respect.

My Filipina Girlfriend

My girl friend is an angel. Her name is Jessie.  I’m a complicated person and in many ways she’s not but she has her complications too.   Actually it works out well for us.  We are both a little outside the mold so we are a good fit.  She spoils me rotten.  Not to mention that she is a pleasure to look at.

The Cost of Living in The Philippines

The low cost of living in the archipelago can expand your the opportunities in your life.  Don’t let anyone tell

philippine flag photo
Flag of The Philippines

you that it is not cheaper to live here.  But, you’ll need to let a few things go.  You’ll have to give up a few things that you will find that you don’t really need after all.  If you are unable to do that, living in the Republic could be more expensive than living in your home country.

Central air is something you probably won’t have.  Even centralized hot water will likely be a thing of the past.  Living in the Philippines requires a few adjustments.  Give it sometime and I think you’ll find you can make them.  If you can’t, then you may never be happy here.  Then again, see my number one reason above.

Pretty Filipina

Man, there are a lot of pretty Filipina in this country.   They are every where.   Many of them are in love with the West.  That brings some perils with it but it also opens a lot of doors for you that you probably will find slammed shut in your face.

In the Philippines, it is Christmas for Six Months

It is Christmas nearly half the year.  Now this might turn you off if you don’t get into the spirit of things.   It isn’t so commercial here.  There are people celebrating Christmas from mid August to mid January.  Most people here consider Christmas to be from September to December with a little bit into January.  It is November 1st as I type this.  I hear Christmas music playing outside my window.

Some get annoyed with this but I think they need to chill.  Just happy people having a good time and celebrating love.  I just don’t see why one would get annoyed.  Sure, a few people will come up to you and ask “Where’s my Christmas?”  Just tell them Christmas is in your heart.  But be nice about it!

The Friendly Filipino.

Bogo City

Where is Bogo City?

Filipino are a friendly bunch of folks.  Now I live way out on the edge of the jungle.  In a sleepy little place known as Bogo City.  The people here are even more friendly than those in most part of the Philippines.  Much like small town USA is.  We don’t have all the excitement of Manila, Angeles City or Subic but I’m a home body anyway.  Those three cities are located in the Northern Philippines.

People are friendly here and the truth is because you are a Westerner, most will treat you with more respect than you would otherwise get.

Now, some will also resent you.  You should exercise a little caution.

My girlfriend reminds me often “They see you as an ATM.”  Now she might be a little over protective but I head her warnings.  She knows more about the Philippines than I do.

Bantayan Island

Wow, I can’t say everything I’d like to about Bantayan Island in this article.  So I created another website just for Bantayan Island.  I don’t get over there as often as I like.  Truth is, I’m just not the richest expat in the Philippines.  If I was, I think that is where I would choose to live.

Bantayan Island is a quiet peaceful place most of the time.  The serenity adds to the usually warm and always crystal clear waters of the Island.  There are white beaches with sugar like texture of the sand.  I hope to get over there next week.

There is BBQ every where in the Philippines

I just got back from the BBQ by the Bay here in Bogo City.  There is a wharf about half a mile from my home here in Northern Cebu Province.  It is one of my favorite places.  It sits on the edge of the Bay of Bogo.  It is very inexpensive and it smells very good too.  Three of us went tonight and the bill was P293 or less than $7.  Do that for three people in the USA.

Nearly every where you go though, the smell of BBQ will be floating through the air.  Tempting you at every corner.  There are street vendors all over the Philippines selling BBQ and trying to make some money to support their families.  It is hard work.

I Feel Like A Rock Star

I’m a 50 year old, overweight guy and I have had a pack of teenage girls literally squeal when they saw me coming.  Boy is that a different kind of feeling than I’m use too back in the USA.  Now that doesn’t always happen but it has happened.  I could get use to that.

Sometimes it is a little embarrassing, I don’t deserve special treatment but the fact is I often get it.  I try to blend in but it is a little hard for a white man to blend in any place in the Philippines.  It is especially hard in a small town like Bogo City.  Still, I try to keep a low profile.  I don’t wish to draw a lot of attention to myself for safety reasons.

Many People Living In The Philippines Speak English.

Business in the Philippines is generally transacted in English.  Even when Jessie calls our Internet service company or our electrical power company she begins the conversation in English.  It often remains in English.  Sometimes they switch to Tagalog.  But her first language is waray-waray and we live in a region where Cebuano is the major language.

Most road and business signs here are in English.  If you go to a major department store you will be able to get by with English.  Now there will be some difficult words.  Pronunciations for both you and the Filipino will be difficult at times.  Jessie reminds me a lot to talk slow.  I am afraid I will insult them if I talk slow.  If they respond with rapid fire English then you probably can too.

I’m Southern so that adds to this.  With all my contraction and Southern phrases I often leave people in the Philippines trying to figure out what the heck I just said.  See there you go, Southern. 🙂 Oh, what the heck.

Many Filipino are shy about speaking English even when they can.  I understand that.  I’m trying to learn Cebuano and I’m shy about trying to use it.  I don’t know much but I’ve started using it a bit.  As time I will get more at ease.  Don’t expect the average Filipino you meet on the street or even in small shops to understand English.  Many times, they just wont.

The Land of Respect

The Philippines is the land of respect.  I think this gets over looked a lot.  One of the first things I ever wrote about the Philippines was a story called “Curious Combination.”  It was an article about how the Philippines is so casual but the people are so polite.  They are rather formal when you first meet them.

Casaroro Falls Near Valencia

I am often referred to as “Mr. Rusty” when I speak to a Filipino, especially a female.   Even Jessie often, very often calls me “Sir.”  It is the way of the Philippines.  It isn’t because I’m a foreigner they do this with each other too.

When family meet, the first thing they do is show respect in a ritual called Mano Po.  The younger member of the family takes the hand of the older relative and lifts the back of their hand to their forehead.  It is a gesture of respect.  The first thing family members do is show respect to each other.

I can’t emphasize this respect in dealing with Filipino enough.  Do it and it will take you far.  The first time you meet your girl friends father, do this.  You will score major points with the family.

I didn’t do it as I had never seen it before.  The first time I saw it was when Jessie took the hand of her older brother and lifted it to her head.  I had to ask later what that was all about.   I will do it the next time I see him.

These are just a few examples of the way Filipino show each other respect.  I could write an entire article on this subject alone.  I think I will do that.  I hope I wont forget.

This article is getting pretty long so I will bring it to a close.  I had difficulty in keeping it short.  There are many things I like about the Philippines.  I can’t cover them all in here.  I also like to present both sides of things.  Be weary of anyone that is overly positive or overly negative.  It is neither all good nor all bad here.  It is like living any place else on earth in that regard.   Where ever you live, there will be good vs. bad.  I just think that the good in the Philippines outweighs the bad.

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