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Things I Don’t Like About Living In The Philippines

I love living in the Philippines. That doesn’t mean I like everything about the Philippines. In this article, I’ll tell you some of the things that I don’t like about living in the Philippines.

  • Brownouts — Power outages. There is nothing brown about them but that’s what Filipinos call them.
  • Internet Outages – Don’t happen a lot but they do happen.
  • Foreigners that always complain – If you don’t like it, go home.
  • Resentment Toward Foreigners – Have we earned it?
  • Especially Foreigners
  • Something’s Cost More
  • Scamming Filipina — There are lying expats too though.
  • Terrorism , Kidnappings and Civil War – Danger is here but it is worse in the USA.
  • Dengue and Typhoid – Who wants to be sick?
  • Reduced Freedom Of Speech – Foreigners don’t have freedom of speech.
  • Corruption – Not a huge problem for me other than questionable import duties

Brownouts In The Philippines

Expat Living In The PhilippinesWe had a brownout today in Bogo City. We use to have them every week. Sometimes we had them every day for a couple of weeks. That was the hardest period for me. They usually lasted a couple of hours a day. Since then, the Cebu Provincial Government brought three more power plants online. For now, the brownouts are not very frequent. I fear they will return.

Rumor is that Bogo City also has its own generator now. I heard that from a resort owner. He said it wasn’t online yet. That should help a lot with reducing the brownouts in Bogo!

Living In the Philippines with Internet Issues

My Internet is slower in the Philippines than it was in the USA. This is hard for me to gauge because I had a very fast connection when living in the USA. I had a business class connection and speeds were equal to that of a T3.

Speeds are slower here though for most people with regular connections in the USA. If you can get DSL, you’ll probably have a faster connection but it is unlikely to equal what you are use to.

Since I have been living in the Philippines my Internet was down for a month about two years ago. It still bugs me that Globe never credited my account for that down time. We’d call it in and a few hours later they’d close the ticket. It never worked, it never came back online and locally we were told there was a problem with the switch box. I spent a good deal of time in Internet cafes during that time and the connection speeds were slow and the cafes were hot for me. They had air con but it was still hot. Some don’t have air con. I don’t go in those.

Foreigners living in the Philippines That Constantly Complain

I don’t hang out with foreigners as much as many expats do. The first time I did, I got a taste of what to expect. If you listened to these people you will get a very jaded and distorted view of the Philippines. Get away from them and go find out for yourself. I’ve never been a big social person though. I know it is important for many. I enjoy it in small doses. There’s just so much space in my head and I don’t want to fill it with the thoughts of a bunch of drunken beer drinkers every day.  Not all foreigners are like that but we are often seen that way.

A huge part of this is people like to feel superior. What better way to do that than to get with a bunch of other folks and run down everyone else not in your own group.

Generally, the worst of the complaining foreigners are those not living in the Philippines. Having a home here doesn’t mean you live in the Philippines. If you are constantly returning back to your homeland, then you vacation here.

Resentment toward Foreigners Living In The Philippines

Part of the resentment toward us is caused by foreigners that constantly complain about the Philippines. Part of it is the drunken rude foreigners that live in the Philippines.

Not long ago, I was in a Pizza Hut and the waitress directed a woman with her two early teenage daughters to the table next to me. She asked if there was another table and was told “Only outside, mam.” So she sat down. As soon as another table cleared, she moved away from me.

I asked Jessie why she did that. Jessie shrugged. I asked “Is it racism?” She said “No.” Does Jessie know that? I don’t see how she could; she drew on her own knowledge of her culture. I said it probably because of the many drunken American’s she has seen in the past and didn’t want them to say something inappropriate in front of her young daughters. Jessie indicated that was probably the correct reason.

Was the lady out of line? Yeah, I think she was. On the other hand, how many of us have moved our children to a different location to make sure they were safer, just in case there was more likely to be a problem in their current environment? I suspect everyone of us.

Is that her fault or ours? It is our fault in part. It is also why I go out of my way to be friendly toward Filipinos. It drives Jessie a little crazy as it sets me up for children to follow and ask for money and potentially worse.

And of course, there are the pedophiles that come to the Philippines. On one of my blogs the other day someone posted “13 is legal and 5 years old is cool.” The age of consent is 13 in the Philippines but there are plenty of other laws that will lock you up if you gain that consent.

I’ve read many blog posts by Filipino that pretty much trashed all foreigners because of things like this. Of course there are more Filipino pedophiles than foreigners, there are more Filipino. There are also foreigners that come here specifically for the purpose of pursuing children and for purposes that include human trafficking. Most human trafficking has a foreign connection.

I get questions asking why I am living in the Philippines from Filipinos. I tell them I like the Philippines. Sometimes they follow that up with more questions, probing questions. It becomes clear to me they are trying to find out if I’m running from the law or up to other things they disapprove of. I don’t like that but I do understand it and try to find a way to answer it by beating around the bush as is common here.

Especially Foreigners

Twice I’ve seen prosecutors in the Philippines use the words “Especially foreigners” when referring to a legal situation in the Philippines. One involved underage girls and the other involved resorts in Cebu.

Nothing in the law allows that of course but clearly that is accepted. I don’t believe a prosecutor in the USA could say that without having his case thrown out of court. That doesn’t mean that they are not privately thinking it.

I will continue writing about the things I don’t like about living in the Philippines in another the next article. This one has become rather long already.

One could read this and wonder why I still like to live in the Philippines. Most of these things don’t effect me very much. I don’t do the things I don’t like to do. I find ways around it. Mostly though, the things I gain while living in the Philippines far outweighs the negatives.

I have many more opportunities here than I do in the USA. My cost of living is substantially lower. It appears some come here and say that is not true. I fail to understand how food and housing could cost more. Do they import food? I’ve learned to adjust and maybe that is the key. Living in the Philippines is not for everyone.

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