Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Move to the Philippines

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.

 

 

Philippines Private Hospital

Philippines Private Hospital

 

 

Philippines Public Hospital

Philippines Public Hospital

 

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.

 

It's HOT, brother!

It’s HOT, brother!

 

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.

 

volcano

 

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…….

 

Female Huntsman in Bathroom (CR)

Female Huntsman in Bathroom (CR)

 

Lolong the Giant Crocodile

Lolong the Giant Crocodile

 

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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Comments 28

  1. Very informative list! One thing I would add would be the expense of imported foods and goods. I love the seafood here, but I do miss Maine lobsters and New England seafoods which can be quite pricey here.

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  2. Don’t forget the ants…lots of red ants…rats, mice, one night I got bit by some bug about ten times in bed. One morning we found a dead mouse in the fan that had been blowing on us all night….it had crawled in and got hit by the blades that night. I’m sure as I had just bought the fan the day before.

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      Yeah, those red ants are nasty. And they seem to all bite at once after a bunch of them are on you. Someone said its a pheromone they release to signal the simultaneous attack. Youch!!! I will add the ants to the posting. Thanks!

  3. Ned..:)
    I have tryed several times to use the “contact” aspect of the site here and i have no idea if it went through..I also sent a msg on your fb page.
    hope you at least got them..:P.. be well and mag-ingat
    Richard

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  4. Ya the Phils has it’s “adventures” for sure.

    Fire ants… got ’em here too, plus scorpions and rattle snakes. And everything has thorns! Ouch! LOL! At least it’s a DRY HEAT here, and breaking 40c isn’t news.

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  5. Nope nothing that you covered is a problem for me. I know of all you mention and have a plan to combat them all. Is there a video for this???

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  6. Financial Question:

    Greetings Ned & Michell from the windy city Chicago.

    I have been enjoying your Youtube channel for several weeks now. I appreciate your hard work & effort you put into making the informative videos.

    Ned this question is for you. From your experience thus far, which of the following would you find most conducive for a securer full time retirement in Dumaguete for a 56 year old expat & his 34 year old Filipina wife? A) A monthly income only, of $1,609.20 = 70,000 pesos or B) A monthly income of $800.00 = 34,800 pesos & cash savings of $250,000.00 = 10,875,000.00 pesos to live off of until I die, at which point my wife will inherit what is remaining, if it lasts? I do not imbibe in alcohol, smoking or the girly bars. I would be living much like you a simpler life, possibly land & a 1,000 sq ft hollow blocked, rebarred, poured concrete house, Aircon a must. lol. I don’t perceive eating out as much as you & Michell do as my wife & I enjoy preparing our own meals. I would purchase some form of transportation as well.

    Look forward to & value your input & opinion. Thank you kindly in advance.

    Regards,

    Clark

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      Man, I’ve got no way to really answer that, as I am not a finance guy. If you expect to live until 80, that 250K averages out to about the same as the $1600 a month. 250K divided by 24 year life expectancy (if 80) divided by 12 equals about $868. $800 plus $868 equals $1668 a month. Factor in the cost of land and building a house, and it will be even less. So, in short, it looks about the same. $1600 a month is pretty good here – if you eat out less than we do, you will be able to save a good amount every month. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  7. Hi guys and welcome from the Commonwealth of MA!!! I have been to the PH twice and thought about moving there in a few years. Your videos confirm almost everything i expected, when I have been there, namely the heat and the humidity. But another item to add on the list is some people expect you to pay for their meals and just about everything else even when you are a guest in their country. I encountered this within the disability community in one of the islands. It seems most of the people assume that because you can travel to their country, you are automatically presumed rich. Henry has covered this issue in his video blog.

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      Yeah, you have to be careful of that. I have heard on more than one occasion of a guy going on a trip with a date and the next thing you know, the whole family is on the pumpboat/jeepney/ferry. You just have to communicate these things and not allow people to take advantage of you. They don’t just target foreigners though – they also expect wealthy relatives to “shoulder” the cost of outings/dinners as well. Seems to be a cultural/social thing. Thanks!

  8. Hi Ned & Michell

    Me and my wife from UK and been watching your videos on you tube for the last 6 months and they are really good and interesting
    My wife Filipino too and we hope to move to philippines Palawan when I retire from work in few years after we build are own home there
    Ned & Michell have you two through about buying your own land there and building your own home there
    Please keep up the great work you both doing and hope Michell do some video soon as it answer & question videos she did was very helpful and tell Michell my wife make a crab curry when she buy crabs here in UK
    Take care and thanks for some great videos you posted and keep up the great job you doing there

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      I am loathe to put money into land and property here. I am rather high profile due to my website and You Tube channel, and if a moderately powerful Filipino ever gets angry at something I say (or show), he or she could have me blacklisted and deported from the Philippines. Plus, renting is cheap here and you can move around once your lease is up. Thanks, Geoff.

      1. In one of your recent replies it seemed you were saying that it can be easy to get a foreigner ‘blacklisted and deported”… As a western longnose who dreams of living part of his upcoming retirement in Philippines I would like you to shed more light on that topic.

        Question: Except for obvious criminality, what other kinds of misfortune can get you kicked out?

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  9. We have been here 3 years and are leaving in 2. We never planned to stay but have learned a lot. Buying land is extremely dangerous as the title of ownership is vague on a good day. Power is unreliable as are phones and internet. Electricity is more expensive than Australia. Get a generator. Food is very poor from even the more expesive shops like SM. Watch out for salmonella in the chicken. The meat is very poor quality. Every rainy season there is a dengue fever breakout. For a young healthy person with a good income living in Makati. Go for it. Dont retire here unless you are very rich because you will pay for everything and will suffer longnose tax everywhere. If you dont speak Tagalog you will be even worse off. I dont want to return to Australia but I wont stay here and I have a very good income. Be aware of the latest kidnapping in Davao. Stay north of there and always watch your back. Change your expectations and never expect a straight answer. Good luck

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      I agree with some of this – with other parts of it no so much. Here is Dumaguete – for example – the power is steady, internet is usually good, and there are decent restos and awesomely fresh ingredients for cooking. In some other places, yes – there are issues like what you noted. The biggest challenge for me is finding a balance between access to a city and living in a cleaner, cooler suburb – still haven’t found the right mix yet. Thanks, Tony!

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  10. I like the article that you wrote. Everything on here are true. I was living in the Philippines for 16 years until my family moved to the Unites States. I was born and raised in Batangas city and I’ve had good and bad experiences, but mostly bad. If you don’t have enough money, you’ll end up having debts. Now that I’ve been living in Texas for 6 years now, I could foresee that I would rather retire here than in the Philippines. There are pro’s and cons to consider. In my opinion Philippines has beautiful destinations and most of the people there are always happy. I would like to visit Philippines soon. Things that I don’t like about visiting: Why do people there assumed that you’re rich if you are a tourist? They expect you to pay for ALMOST everything. It’s like you owe them for not being around. 🙁

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      Thanks for that Dessyree. Yep, there are definitely downsides to living in the Philippines. I am actually back in the US right now (my annual 1 month “vacation”) and the clean air, dry, cool weather, public order and lack of noise are really being appreciated. One more week and it’s back to the barely contained chaos of the Phils.

  11. Been living here eight years. While there are a number of good reason not to live here I would say my top reason is inefficiency and frustration. I have had continued problems in getting honest, straight-forward answers. It seems the culture here doesn’t believe in saying “no.” Instead, they either agree with you, saying “maybe,” or flat out lie to you.

    The utility companies (phone, internet) are a nightmare to deal with. It took a year to get a cable TV upgrade. They kept scheduling a service call then not showing up. Finally, I found out from a Filipino friend that the cable company did not have the necessary upgrade available in our area. The internet company scheduled repair teams to come out 2-3 in the future and often didn’t show up as well.

    Immigration, permits, and other government required paperwork are all the same; Inefficient and poor information.

    I would NEVER recommend anyone coming to the Philippines to live under any circumstance. Why do you think so many Filipino’s work overseas or try to get Fiancee, spousal, or family visas to get out of here?

  12. Noise (24 hour Karaoke, Jeepney engines, and truck horns), heavy pollution, crowded streets, overpopulation, bug infestation (roaches), crime, lack of sanitation, beggars, scams, and rudeness. Over eight years on this island and little positive to say.

    Don’t move here. Why do you think so many Filipino’s work overseas or are trying to leave?

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