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aiden9991

Stay Or Leave The Philippines? Your Thoughts Please. So Confused!

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aiden9991

Admins, sorry didn't quite know where to put this , you may move it if you wish.

Hello 

I am in a super confused state right now and feel the need to vent it all out and receive some input from you more experienced gentlemen.


Firstly some background details.
Myself a British man 37 years old, married, 2 beautiful kids and been living in Cebu (Mactan/Dumanjug) for 10 years. 
I pretty much left the UK 10 years ago and have only visited the odd few times during the Christmas period and really didn't miss the UK except for family and friends and some few bits and bats. 

I have been employed locally for the past 10 years working in the BPO Industry with a stable income and good opportunities, All by the book and so on.
I love it all out here but I still feel unsettled at times and the fact always haunts me that I need to / will/ should return to the UK for children's sake. Why? Better education? correct me if i'm wrong, safety net? NHS? Less diseases ? Am i bloody thinking too much?
My kids have dual passports UK/Philippines aged 9 and 8. 

So I filed for a 6 month sabbatical and leaving the PH with kids to see how it all pans out in terms of employment and so on,
I believe I need to earn over 18,600 (annually) and can file for a visa after being employed for a period of 6 months and so on for the Mrs. 

I really don't know what is the best option, should i continue living in the PH or if you were in my shoes what would you do?

 


 

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jtmwatchbiz

i think your idea and plan is a good one.  i would say keep working on it.  

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Bama

Just my opinion.

You have lived in the PI for 10 years so you know the good,the bad,and the ugly.

I'm not familiar with the British retirement system but if you aren't getting credit for a possible Social Security benefit because you have worked in the PI for 10 years---then I would go back and satisfy that requirement.

The children's education would also be one of my concerns and would also consider what kind of career they could have in the PI or GB using that education. Just my two shillings.

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the.lone.gunman

Uprooting the wife and kids might be hard for them. Take them for a visit or two. Talk to them about it. Don’t rush. As dual passport holders they will always have options. 

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aiden9991
19 minutes ago, petecebu said:

Hi aiden, how does your wife feel about it all?

She would have to be a major factor in the long term decision. Does she want to leave 'home' long term or is she happy to go with you and take the kids as well?

My wife is so much of the passive type.  Her response is always that Both the Ph and the UK possess pro's and con's. 

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oztony
46 minutes ago, petecebu said:

That is correct regarding pros and cons but have you sat and talked about them in depth with her?

Um..do you want to freeze your ass off for a fair chunk of the year and pay a heap more to live...or do we put up with the Cebu traffic....

I would reckon a fair bit of the decision would be weighed upon in regards to the living / accommodation arrangements in the UK ...which can be quite expensive , kids at a younger age are able to adapt pretty well to a change in environment ...a six or 12 month trial would be a great idea if you could pull it off..

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RogerDuMond
3 minutes ago, oztony said:

Um..do you want to freeze your ass off for a fair chunk of the year and pay a heap more to live...or do we put up with the Cebu traffic....

I will give no advice about moving, only a warning to be aware of. My wife had worked for three years in Guam and is an extremely strong woman, but she went through a period of almost depression. Part of it was being away from family and friends and part of it was trying to adjust to upstate New York's cold weather. I think that if you do it, an important thing will be for your wife to meet other Filipinas in the area.

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RogerDuMond

Also, your kids may have a hard time adapting to schools as they are likely to be behind kids of the same age.

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Bama
1 minute ago, RogerDuMond said:

Also, your kids may have a hard time adapting to schools as they are likely to be behind kids of the same age.

..........and if they stay in the Philippine school systems they are apt to stay behind and perhaps fall farther behind their English peers. How will they compete for possible careers anywhere if their schooling is substandard? My four shillings worth.

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MickyG

Not all schools in the Philippines are sub standard. My wife is a teacher here at a private school and I teach IELTS part time.

 

I have seen the books used for English, Math and Science at grade 1 and grade 3. I have no complaints. I can easily say that I do not recall the standard as being that high when I was at that age.  Clearly subjects that are centric to where one lives, like; History, Literature and Geography will be way different.

The third language from Grade 1 is Mandarin. Local language and English being the first two. Europe would be either French, Spanish and or German? Yet not for 6 year olds! Maybe English and one other at that age?  May very much depend on how you school your children. 

As for social security, that is good whilst you are alive. The last government decided to deny family benefits to your British kids overseas and widows benefit as your wife is a foreigner.

 

Returning your whole family to the UK would see reinstatement of those benefits plus child allowances.

 

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RogerDuMond
1 hour ago, Bama said:

and if they stay in the Philippine school systems they are apt to stay behind and perhaps fall farther behind their English peers.

Good plan, but it is only valid if they can catch up. My stepson was unable to and had to be home schooled.

They placed him based on his age not his ability, but then this was 25 years ago.

Philippine schools were not as good as they are now, and American schools were better than they are now.

Edited by RogerDuMond
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trthebees

My tuppence worth.

Having a reasonable life in the UK is going to depend on your personal work skills. The gov minimum for visa purposes of 18600 won't give much of a life after tax if you have to rent, get a car, pay fuel bills, council tax etc. [Although used decent cars are very cheap, my Golf was £500, nothing like the Phils prices, 1K should be OK plus 600 insurance as you've been away and 250 road tax].  And work availability is going to depend on what part of the country you'd go to. What with rent deposits, letting agent fees etc, extra clothes, so many other things I reckon you need to go with 5 or 6K for initial expenses. 

Even if you live with family to start with, your wife may prefer her own place. And cooking food more to her taste than just joining in with your UK family all the time for 6 months.

If your wife stays for the whole 6 months, your going to have to time the visitors visa application for fairly close to travel time cos they date the 6 months from when they issue it. I have had it in the past that they've given 6 months from the planned travel date, but lately it's been from date of issue. I guess you could try to ask. Oh, and go to VHS Cebu first before applying. In Jan this year we applied on line, as you do, and after huge confusion found that the UK gov site puts you into the new system used by Manila. Cebu still used the old Visa4UK system. So we had to go to Manila to file the papers. Incredible, I think they're franchises, so check with Cebu before applying.

For some 10 years now my wife has come back with me on a visitors visa. Initially...some 20 years ago...gawd that long!...she came with a permanent visa and could work, and stayed for some years. Although if I sensed her phone calls home were costing more more, and suggested she visit back to the Phils she would be packing the next day. So expect that if you stayed permanently. 

It's great that you're working in the Phils. Into retirement now, but If i could have found work [engineering] I'd have been more settled. Even with a 13a, engineering is a reserved occupation. And we are based in the far province. Only you know how secure your job is there, but these days that seems to apply anywhere. Probably easier to pick up something in the UK if unemployed, depending on where you live than it would be for a UK citizen in the Phils.

The UK pension is well worth getting back into. Even at 37, you really do have to lay some plans for retirement. If you get back in the UK system, maybe it's possible to buy the missing years. 

The NHS is obviously good. Certainly for emergencies.

Education in the Phils has been well covered on LinC by others with much more knowledge than me. in the UK, from my grandsons who live near me when I'm here in splendid Somerset, I can see that the schools and the system does encourage them individually very well to develop and gain knowledge and, from 16 to 18, further academic qualifications or vocational training. A committed child can do well anywhere, but I just feel that the UK system does benefit the average pupil.

If it was me, I'd give it a go for the 6 month visit. See if you can get your children in a school for a term. See how much you miss the Phils, though for your wife, as she can't officially work on a visitors visa to keep fully occupied and feel part of the broader community, there's more chance she'll be thinking of the Phils.

You're at a good time of the year to start planning because say April is the best time to visit with early spring heading into summer. And those lovely late evenings. 

I'm back to Cebu next week, I tend to bounce backwards and forwards but I am retired with no children to organise now.

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savarity

You should go back if you can earn more there.

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Enuff

Let's face it, social security ain't gonna happen so don't put any eggs in that basket. I'm 49 and by the time I get to retirement age, might be 70 by then, it won't be shit.

Is life cheaper in the Philippines vs. UK or USA, most definitely.

Are there good schools available, absolutely. Some are even free. All of my family has graduated from public schools and ever family member was either validictorian or something with honors. Not because they are smart but because they are forced to work hard, very hard. Their Lola takes no shit from them and it shows in their education.

Income is based on many things. If in UK or USA I could make 6 figures and have tons of bills to match. Freeze my ass off half the year and work nonstop. Wife can do the same. Here wife works too, 6 days a week, 9 hours a day but works with 2 family members and make an absolute killing selling lunches prepared by her parents at home. She makes enough that we eat for almost free. We are s compound of 9 and it costs us about p80 a day for food. As far as utilities go that runs about p10k monthly. So our total costs for 9, including transport is well under p30k monthly. With 5 of the 9 have full time jobs, it's not an issue.

I know I'm not going back!

Sent from my CPH1819 using Tapatalk

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Jester

From what I see the bulk of the Philippinas and kids  that come to the US seem to adapt very well and most of them would not return to the PI's

Also in our circle most of the wives work and contribute to the household income, some help with the husbands business. 

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