In making a decision to move to a foreign country, one has to weigh both the pro’s and con’s. Here at myphilippinedreams, we try to maintain objectivity and afford our viewers the information they need in considering to make such a move. Towards that end, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why someone probably SHOULDN’T move to the Philippines.
MEDICAL ISSUES: If you have a chronic condition that requires constant medical supervision, the Philippines might not be for you. Medications that are readily available in the West can be out of stock, or – if they are in stock – might be incredibly expensive. Also, your Western health insurance will not typically cover you in the Philippines. If something traumatic occurs, you will be required to cover the costs of any ensuing treatment and medications. Medical care is also typically not up to Western standards – doctor visits usually do not include checking vitals and they rarely take any type of medical history.
HEAT AND HUMIDITY: To say it’s hot here, does it no real justice. This – by far – has been my biggest gripe with the Philippines. Once the sun comes up, the process of cooking and sizzling begins – and you don’t really start cooling off (if you can call it that) until around 4:30 PM. Night time temperatures in houses made of concrete and steel are also high – it might be 80 degrees outside at night, but in the house, it’s around 84+. If you are heat sensitive then, the Philippines (or any tropical country) might not be for you.
SOCIAL VACUUM: If you are a social butterfly, you might find slim pickings for company here in the Republic, especially when you first arrive. Like anything worthwhile, It’s going to take time (and effort) to create a new social network, and you might find that the Westerners around you are a pretty independent lot and not that extroverted. You will make friends over time, but like I said, that initial period of not knowing anyone can be a bit disconcerting.
NATURAL DISASTERS: The Philippines is in the Ring of Fire – Volcanoes, earthquakes, mudslides, floods and typhoons regularly hammer the country, killing and displacing tens of thousands of people every year. The full power of Mother Nature is in effect here, and it is a heartless killer. Even if people are not physically harmed by these events, they might find that the nice house that they spent all that time and money on (along with all their belongings) is now a pile of crumbling rubble.
CRIME: Opportunistic crime (burglaries, pickpockets, robberies) occurs here just like it happens everywhere in the world. Homes here are usually surrounded by razor-tipped concrete walls and gates, and windows (and other points of entry) are usually screened with steel bars. Murders also occur, with news of foreigners being targeted every year. Finally, there are also gangs (sometimes masquerading under the banner of political extremism) that will kidnap foreigners for monetary gain.
FRUSTRATION: Getting things done can be an effort in futility at times. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement – it usually happens more often than not. From trying to find something in a store (“Sorry, sir – out of stock!”) to filing any type or paperwork, accomplishing missions in the Philippines can be a bit….. onerous. So, in order to make it here long term, one really has to have the proper attitude. We actually did a video on the necessity of a positive attitude on our YouTube channel, and even though I try to work on it every day, it’s often easier said than done. 🙂
GIANT MONSTROUS CREATURES: The Philippines has the record for the world’s largest salt water crocodile (20 feet long, 2,370 pounds) and python (23 feet long, 633 pounds) – both of them more than capable of murdering you. (Lolong, the croc, was actually captured after a fisherman mysteriously disappeared. The Republic also has giant spiders (Huntsmen), humongous flying cockroaches, dengue and malaria-infused mosquitoes, killer hornets and a wide selection of homicidal sea life (sea snakes, fire urchins, box jellyfish, etc. etc.. Here’s a photo of a Huntsman that I took just last night in the bathroom (sorry, CR) of Atong Kamalig restaurant. I showed it to Michell and some of the locals and all they said was “gamay” – that’s “small” in bisaya. Oh, dear God…….
So, there’s a few of the reasons the Philippines might not be for you. In my opinion, the most important barriers to long-term living in the Republic are chronic medical issues and an inability to maintain a positive attitude in the face of the country’s intrinsic inefficiency. I will add more items over time and keep this list updated. If there is anything you would like to add, please feel free to note it in the comments sections and I will transfer it to the post.
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