The Language Barrier
Even though I’ve titled this series of post reasons not to move to the Philippines, the intent is more complicated than that. These are more accurately described as the less than positive issues about the Philippines. They are issues that each person should consider for themselves. I am not trying to discourage anyone from moving to the Philippines. I love the Philippines and I’m very happy to be here. My real intent is to help people better prepare themselves if they do make this major change in their life. I’m so glad I made it but I wish I had known more of the things since I got here. I love living in the Philippines.
The Philippines has two official languages, those being Filipino and English. I have found many people that can read English and write in it but cannot understand the spoken word or speak in English. It certainly is not a reason by itself to not move to the Philippines. My real point here is you should learn the language. I haven’t yet, but I’m trying.
One problem is there are many different languages in the Philippines. As far as I can tell, Bisayan often called Cebuano is the most common language via area in use here, not Filipino. Filipino is more common in Luzon which is the main Island and includes the nations capital of Manila. Manila is a city of more than ten million. More people may speak Filipino but in a limited area. The density of people in Manila is so much higher than the rest of the country.
In my opinion, learning the language is essential for understanding the culture that I’m trying to become a part of. Teaching this old dog new tricks is hard. The accent is totally different. Letters are pronounced differently. There are few silent letters in the languages of the Philippines. Without audio, most westerners are going to have a hard time learning to speak the language.
For me, the area I live in is the strongest influence in which language I am trying to learn. Should I move to Luzon, I will drop my study of Cebuano and change to Filipino. I don’t think ‘ll be able to move there within the next year. I also like where I am now, I would like to move to a city at a higher elevation though. The temperatures are cooler there. Hovering around 75F or 24C much of the time.
There are many reasons to be here, these are just some of the changes you really should be aware of before making the change. Consider them and then come join me in this wonderful land of the Philippines.
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