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Are You Sure The Philippines Is The Right Place For You?

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I've lived for the last ten years in Taiwan, which has has become very prosperous, but things are definitely on the downswing here, with a lot of business shifting to China, and exports down because of the recession. And a lot of the peaking out here has to do with national character--or lack thereof: they are not sure just who they are. They have money on their hands, so it's "I shop, therefore I am." When some Taiwanese run out of money, they start jumping off buildings.


But living here has eased me into Asia. I'd taken trips to Thailand, then started visiting the Philippines. The first impressions in Manila were a shock, but over a few more visits to other places, it got into my blood. I find it very easy to live there, and I find it much easier to be positive about my own life--that's all you can do for anyone else--than I do in grossly materialistic Taiwan. Filipinos are much more open--maybe deceptively so, I don't know--than the Taiwanese, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese. A lot of this has to do with the situations they have found themselves in over the last 500 years or so. They have adapted to a lot of uncertainty, and this shows a great resiliency of character. They don't let it bring them down. Any westerner who spends time in the Philippines is in for a few knocks, a few realizations, but stick with it if you like the place. Yeah, keep your guard up too, but don't let ever let things confirm your cynicism: go back home and be angry there.


I've always liked politics, which contributes both to frustration and hope. I would tell anyone who is interested in living in the Philippines to read some history, get some understanding, learn Bisaya, Tagalog. Don't just see the place as a banana republic where your dollar goes further. And yes, I do believe the Philippines has a brighter future.


I realize that this is not the tidiest of arguments (I've had a few beers); and though I'm married to a Cebuana, I've yet to live there for more than a few months at a time. But there are foreseeable frustrations, and I think they are worth undergoing. In short, I would go there to live full-time in a heartbeat if I could.




"I do believe the Philippines has a brighter future."


Don't see how if they don't get their population growth under control. With a doubling time of less than 30 years, it's a scary prospect to understand how the country will deal with food and energy, infrastructure, politics and crime, etc., etc.

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Some people just might move out because its time to try something new again. I always wanted to live for some amount of time in different parts of the world. I doubt I will live in Cebu for the rest of my life because I want to try other parts of the world too. It wouldnt be because I couldnt hack it here, as I've lived here long enough already to know that I can hack it. Its just that I may want to live in Thailand or Australia or Spain or Germany or maybe even some place in South America.


I dont know how long I'll stay here. Maybe I'll start planning to move next month, maybe its 3 or 5 years more down the road. I guess that makes me a transient.

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