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Old 11-24-2006, 01:16 PM
Location: usa
2 posts, read 4,612 times
Reputation: 12


I am moving to the philippines in the spring march or april
and i was kind of wanting the do's and dont's to make it
easy ,instead of learning the hard way..any help would be great....thanks
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Old 11-24-2006, 02:31 PM
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,815 posts, read 12,618,317 times
Reputation: 2000001474
I lived and worked in Makati City, the "Manhattan" of Manila, in the Philippines from late 2004 through early 2005. I have to tell you...not to be a wet blanket, but I couldn't wait to get out of there and get back to the USA. Of course, my work was during the night to match American work schedules in real time and I lived in a hotel, which was kind of like spending time in the hospital...the maids are always opening your door while you're there and when you're gone...and sticky fingers are a national trait- leave nothing valuable outside a hotel safe. It will be stolen, guaranteed. I found Filipinos superficially nice and friendly, but in my experience, too many made it clear that they expect you as the American foreigner to pay for everything, buy them presents, foot the bills, etc. Always be aware that if you suggest anything, they expect YOU to pay. There are a LOT of people on the make there and crime is very scary. I refused to hand money to a kid who wanted to sell me wilted flowers through a taxi window and so he slashed the taxi's back right tire!
I'm not into hanging out in the sun (so that part didn't appeal to me), the air pollution is incredibly bad with actual soot collecting in your nostrils as you breathe that has to be wiped out a couple of times a day. There are no air-emission controls, so being on the street means inhaling lead fumes, grit, soot, it's bad. Not only that, but the produce suppliers leave produce for restaurants on the sidewalks in front of restaurants, so when the cars go by, all that dirt and those fumes land on the salad you eat later. Meat is gamy, no matter where you get it, even at McDonalds and Burger King. It's so revolting I refused to eat anything with meat except an occasional steak from Australia at the hotel.
Fresh fruit is wonderful and the bananas, pineapples, all of the fruit, is fantastic. I ate tons of it.
The other wonderful aspect is Green Hills Shopping Center south of the metro area. You take your life into your hands in a taxi to get there, but the bargains are truly great, though most of the "name brands" are knock-offs and counterfeits. The freshwater pearl market there run by the Muslim traders is humongous, like Ali-Baba's cave...just fantastically big with a huge selection and great prices. The Muslim traders are also renowned for their honesty. The pearls are real, many of excellent quality, and you can buy strands of very, very nice large pearls with good skins, lustre, etc. that would cost $800+ in the U.S. for $20-$40 there. I bought about a pound and a half of pearls while there and then gave many away as presents when I got back.
If you like beaches and being in the water, etc., there are many resorts to go to at good prices. I burn in a nano-second, and it just didn't appeal to me.
Maybe you'll have a different experience than I did, but whatever you do, don't flash money, even small amounts of it. Keep a money belt on under your pants around your waist and be cognizant where you take money out so as not to draw attention. Don't mistake superficial friendliness for genuine friendliness, most people are happy to chat you up and cheerfully help you, but they expect money in return or that you buy them a gift. Nothing is free when it comes to basic helpfulness in the Philippines. You'll hear LOTS of sob stories from people who'll say their children are desperately sick and they can't afford the medicine for them. There are hookers everywhere, many are trannies. Don't fall for it, just politely nod your head empathetically and offer nothing. Few controls exist on medications and prescriptions aren't needed for many drugs that require prescriptions in the USA. You'll find stuff for sale in pharmacies that will shock you and they LOVE antibiotics and pop them for everything. Be careful of what you buy and be aware that when you go through some international airports or customs in the U.S., if they find that stuff without prescriptions, you can get in trouble. Don't carry a wallet in your back pockets or a purse at your side, and keep your passport safely tucked away somewhere securely.
I don't like the Philippines as I imagine you've already guessed. I hated my stay there and was miserable. I've been all over the world and that was my least favorite place, one in which the lack of hygiene juxtaposed against many modern conveniences I can't understand (few wash their hands after using the bathroom for instance), and it is one of the few places I've ever been that I felt in danger and exposed and solicited by people with false friendliness and an agenda. Fake friendliness is a hallmark of the Filipino character in my experience. Just be careful, watch where you go, and have someone else you trust with you if you can, including a Filipino whom you can trust. Get used also to any packages arriving from the U.S. to be opened and gone through by the postal guys, and don't expect quick service from anyone.

Last edited by MoMark; 11-24-2006 at 02:49 PM..
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:28 PM
Location: Texas
8 posts, read 28,238 times
Reputation: 12
My best friend used to live in the Philippines, as a matter of fact that is where she was born and raised until she was in her teens. She has told me many of the same things MoMark stated in his reply. Just be sure to very careful. I'll call her tomorrow and tell her about this site (I accidently found it tonight), so she can give you a better understanding of what it is like there.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:48 AM
13,616 posts, read 11,769,212 times
Reputation: 25598
It's a tropical island. That sums up the location. I've known a young lady who went to school in the states, then returned to the PI for nursing training. She is amazing and has posted some wonderful videos of her home and horses over there. It's obviously all about where you end up. I spent a couple of months over there a LOOOONG time ago (80's) at Subic Bay/Cubi Point. We even crashed a plane over there! Lots of videos of that if you google F4 crashing in the Philippines.
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:55 AM
Location: North America
5,960 posts, read 5,297,603 times
Reputation: 1951
I know MoMark has died (RIP) but does anyone know if what he wrote is true about the Philippines in 2014?
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:56 AM
Location: No. Virginia, USA
329 posts, read 537,009 times
Reputation: 317
I returned recently from a 2 month stay. Some people may be using Manila or Cebu as a proxy for the Philippines, and that would be a shame. I travelled all over, and still only scratched the surface. English of course is widely spoken. I found the people incredibly friendly. The cost of living is low. However, much of the country is prone to typhoons, some quite deadly, so take that into account. Unfortunately, reports about foreign places often reflect more the posters personality than constitute an accurate reflection of the place. You need to travel there yourself to see. It has some of the best beaches to be found anywhere, and many of them you will have to yourself. I think I will go back in February and see Palawan. I met many western men who have settled there and are quite happy with their decision.
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