We get all kinds of emails and private messages, so check out the FAQ here for the answers to our most common inquires. 🙂


1.  Where are you from?

The cold and blustery heart of New England.  That’s in the US.


2.  The Philippines sure seems like paradise!  You’ve sure got it made!

Please realize that the  Philippines isn’t a complete and utter paradise.  You can see some of the negatives listed out in two of our Youtube videos here and here.


3.  Why did you decide to move to the Philippines?

Heard it was pretty cool.  Seriously, you can check out all the reasons on our Youtube channel here!


4.  What other resources would you recommend?

I highly recommend joining and actively participating in an online Philippines expat forum.  I myself joined one a year or so before moving here and it pretty much prepared me for 95% of the stuff that I have encountered thus far in the Republic.   Also recommended is www.lifebeyondthesea.com.  He also has a video channel on youtube that you can see here.  Henry has compiled a massive collection of videos on just about every topic you can imagine.


5.  Do you mind if I repost your posts?

Sure.  Share all the links you want on your Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and own personal blog – just don’t post the entire blog post!  That wouldn’t be cool.  Instead, just write a quick note, place the link to our site, and have at it.  Copying and pasting the entire post would be stealing, and that’s not cool, man.


6.  What does your girlfriend see in you?

She says – and I don’t doubt her for a second – that I am incredibly gwapo!  She then always adds “in my eyes,” but at this point, I will take what I can get. 🙂


7.  OK, I am ready to move to the Philippines!  What island should I move to?

I highly recommend visiting the country before selling all your stuff and heading to the opposite side of the planet.  You can then get a feel for how it is here and – more importantly – if you will be able to adjust to a completely different culture.  Visiting also allows you to travel to different islands in the Republic and conduct a more objective reconnaissance.


8.  What do you do for work?

I do a bit of online work, writing content for other peoples sites (SEO), editing other people’s content, and checking translated documents.  I have also managed my money quite well over the years, so that’s working for me, too.   It’s not a lot of money, but it’s enough to live on comfortably here.


9.  So, how much does it cost to live there?

This is the most commonly asked question.  The short and dirty answer is “it depends.”  If you insist on eating imported Western foods, going out a lot, running your air conditioning 24 hours a day, and living in a palatial residence you are going to be spending a lot of money.  We live pretty simply and track all of our monthly expenditures.  Base cost for rent, utilities and food for us is about $1,000 USD a month.


10.  What’s your typical day like?

Wake up at 4 AM.  Drink a couple of cups of coffee while catching up on emails and content on our sites.  Work for a few hours on content, editing, or whatnot.  Eat a peanut butter sandwich.  Take a shower.  Put together my gym bag.  Head to MacDonald’s for coffee and chat with some friends.  Hit the gym.  Eat three eggs.  Pick up some groceries.  Head home.  Take siesta for a couple hours during hottest part of the day.  Eat late-ish lunch.  Shoot a video.  Edit video.  Stare at a blank blog screen.  Eat dinner.  Watch Downtown Abbey, Game of Thrones or a movie.  Read some chapters on my Kindle.  Fall asleep by 10 PM.  Woo-hoo!


11.  What kind of camera do you use?

I am a HUGE fan of the GoPro Hero series and the Nikon D7000.


12.  I have a bunch of visa questions for you!  That’s great, but I really don’t know about visas beyond the regular tourist visa.  If you are looking to return to the US with your Filipina wife (info on marriage visas, fiance visas and the like), check out Larry and Rony over at www.pinayvisa.com.  Larry has been working visas since 1998 and he and his wife (they’ve been married for eleven years) have an excellent reputation for getting things done.  I’ve seen their operation and with all the white boards and computer screens, it’s like a visa command center.  (Please note that I don’t have any financial stake in this referral – you don’t even have to mention me.)


13.  Can we hang out with you?

Sure.  If you are visiting Negros Oriental and want to buy us dinner,  we surely won’t refuse!


  1. So if I sent you a Christmas Card for Christmas and addressed it to: My Philippine Dreams, Dumaguete City, Phillipines 6200, is there a reasonable chance you’ll get it? In other words, Is that your mailing address?

  2. Hi Ned and Michelle

    Been gradually reading all your articles over the last few weeks. Pretty interesting to me as my wife (who’s from Dumaguete), our son and me are planning a move from UK in the next year or so. Just waiting for the finances to be right. The articles have made me reflect quite a lot on whether I’m doing the right thing, which is good, as it means I’ll arrive with my eyes open, knowing what to expect.
    Love the articles about the Filipino kids friends you’ve made. The kids there are great natured and very appreciative of any little thing you do for them, I’ve found. The kids in my wife’s extended family are just the same. It’s one of the big joys in visiting. Our son has many of those Filipino traits and we try to allow him to keep them.
    We’ll be in Negros in April, my fifth visit, and hope to spend a bit of time checking out houses for sale/rent, nice areas to live etc around Dumaguete. Would be great if we could meet up for an hour or two to ‘pick your brains’ and yes, we would buy you both a meal!


  3. Hi to both, Many of your comments, Ned are true about the Philippines, but I’d like to disagree to Michelle’s Last comment on women scammers in the Philippines. Women who try to scam expats are those who are poor ones and don’t have education, so they cannot work plus their families are also struggling, so they are forced to scam expats, be western expats or people who are here in the Philippines temporarily.
    Women who have jobs and have good families are not chasing people who are from other countries for these women are independent and can very well stand on their own feet. Please Michelle don’t scare men from other countries to get involve with Filipina women. Give Filipina women a credit. Many Filipina women are not waiting for expat to marry them or to finance them, only those who are not presentable, no education, poor family backgrounds and are basically low esteemed are desperately looking for foreigners.
    Please take my opinions constructively.
    Thanks and I like reading your work.

    1. Thanks for that, Dori. I have seen foreigners get “scammed” by women coming from richer and poorer families here. It’s just a reality of life here and a risk you have to take. But I guess you could say that about living anywhere, no?

  4. I took a look at your free guide. I am impressed. You have a nice thing going. When I have some more time I will purchase our guide.

  5. HI, I am in Perth Western Australia. I am planning to visit Baguio for a month, and if it seems a good fit, return again and stay for 12 months. Could you kindly point me in the direction of reasonably priced rental accommodation with aircon please. I can easily budget for $1700 a month living expenses if that helps.
    Would appreciate your thoughts.

  6. Hello Ned and Mitchell, my wife and I are planning to go live in the Phillipines for at least a year. We plan to see the country and volunteer where needed. Our plan is to set up base in Dumaguete for a while. Can you recommend some furnished rentals in a decent and safe area. I would like to keep it at or below 300. Also, our total budget will be 1700 USD per month. What can we expect on that budget. We are looking at arriving there sometime in November.

    1. You will be fine on 1700 a month. That’s about 600 more than we average. Check Hermogina apartments – friends of ours stayed there and they liked it. It is also VERY secure. Good luck and thanks for commenting!

  7. Hi Ned, any advice on investment to generate income? (not in PI) I currently live in Australia, am too young for the age pension (52) but the family estate is to be settled early next year. Am hoping to come up with a plan to move to the PI, if I can generate income and protect the lump sum.
    Cheers. Mark

  8. Hi Ned….. I love all your video…. Thank you for great and informative work..

    My question is… can a man and woman be okay in the Philippines on $800.00 U.S. clear a month in 2017 ?

    During a four month stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand a few years ago… I met a retired U.S. truck driver living happily on $600.00 U.S. a month.

  9. 3 eggs everyday Ned! You better check your cholesterol.
    Love your vlogs and just discovered your writings here. Great work and glad to see you are back.

  10. Great Videos and Web Page – Thanks ! A ton of work no doubt ! Thanks for your dedication to relay information of your travels and life there ! Thank-you

  11. I’ve been trying to find out about taxes and duty fee’s. Balikbayan according to the law, is for returning filipinos. Question is, do these shippers charge an american taxes and fee’s? If so, where are the taxes and fee’s paid? In the USA or in Phil?

    1. The shippers don’t pay taxes or fees and as of now, I have not heard of anyone paying taxes or fees when they receive the box. They tried to do something like that a few years back but the Filipinos revolted against it. I wouldn’t worry. But talk to your local shipper to be sure.

  12. Ned,

    I love your videos. My family is from Negros Occ. Would love to come visit you on your side of the island when we return to Silay in a few years.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *