Business is booming for American expat Harry in Metro Manila, Philippines


Harry Fozzard

-Where were you born?
Durham, North Carolina, United States of America

-In which country and city are you living now?
Pasig City, Metro Manila, the Philippines

-Are you living alone or with your family?

emerald place-How long have you been living in the Philippines?
± 2.5 Years

-What is your age?

-When did you come up with the idea of living in the Philippines?
I’ve always been interested in South East Asia and the movement of call center and back office work offshore simply provided the impetus to move to the Philippines.

-Was it hard to get a visa or a working permit?
This was handled by my employer; however, the Philippines has created a package of economic incentives that make application for a work permit relatively simple.

-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
This again is part of my compensation; however, local insurance is not hard to come by. Much like insurance in the US, it is less expensive to get when you belong to a group plan.

-How do you make your living in the Philippines? Do you have any type of income generated?
I have two sources of income — I work in the call center business, which is undergoing major growth at the moment. While my position came from corporate expansion in the US, there are a number of executive search firms and placement agencies in the Philippines. Likewise, for searching for jobs in the Philippines two options come readily to mind:  Teledevelopment Services (

The first is really geared more for positions filled by locals and reflects a pay scale commensurate with this. The second, Teledevelopment (TDS), is a well-respected executive search as well as a staffing firm.

My second source of income is a small web marketing firm established for the same reasons that the call center and back office processing industries have become so enamored with the Philippines — high-quality, English-speaking talent. Basically, this business is being developed as a future income opportunity. I also provide occasional consulting work for groups establishing themselves in the Philippines under the umbrella of my local company.

harry and team phillipines-Do you speak Tagalog and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
I do not speak the local language, Tagalog or Filipino, very well at all and I’m committed to spending more time learning it. It would be a significant benefit to do so, but English is widely spoken in the Philippines and so it not necessary to function comfortably.

In this regard, acculturating to the Philippines can be tricky since there is a veneer of American and western culture that can seem deceptively familiar. In fact, the Philippines is a very complex cultural mix with elements of Spanish, Chinese, Malay, and American culture. It is therefore important to tread somewhat lightly until you have spent some time understanding how the culture really operates to inform local attitudes towards foreigners.

With that said, Filipinos are enormously warm and friendly people.

-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
I certainly miss the States and don’t really get back often enough — the food is great (hard to get a fresh bagel here) and there isn’t anywhere in the world like it. But the Philippines is a tremendously diverse and engaging place to travel and live.

With so much history, architecture freaks like me are able to travel around and see beautiful churches and Spanish colonial structures. The beaches and diving in the Philippines are, without doubt, the best in the world.

Opportunities for travel to other SE Asian destinations are easy and very affordable with so many destinations within a three-hour flight of Manila.

-Do you have other plans for the future?
In the near future, I intend to remain engaged in the explosive growth of the outsourcing scene here in the Philippines. With this industry growing and the overall prospects for SE Asia unfolding, it’s a pretty exciting moment to be here.

To this end, I believe my ventures will be expanding as more people become aware of the opportunities in the Philippine archipelago.

-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
I currently rent space in Metro Manila, located in the Ortigas area, which is quite central. For a 100-meter western-style apartment I pay around $800 or P40,000/month. This is paid quarterly and is at the high-end of the spectrum. One great feature of the building is that it is an office building with a couple of residential units — so I’m the only resident and I get to be close to my Company. The unit has two bedrooms w/maid’s quarters and four bathrooms — two of which include shower, etc.

I pay this quarterly and pay my office rent monthly. It’s worth factoring utility (electric) costs in as well — mine runs anywhere from $150-200 US, depending on if I’m in town much that month. In this regard, I’m not too frugal, so it could be much less with some discipline.

-What is the cost of living in the Philippines?
The cost is much lower than the US, on balance. You can spend quite a lot or a little, depending on your lifestyle and what you think of for fun. The big shift is the ability to afford anything that is man(person)power intensive. So domestic staff, driver, nanny, etc., are something that a middle-class person can afford (on an ex-pat salary at least).

Here’s a snapshot of typical expenditures:
- $150 or Php7,000 per week on groceries to feed myself and my employees
- Vet visit for two cats (without medication) costs $12 or Php600
- Gas for a Nissan Xtrail in-city driving runs $40 orPhp 2,000/week
- A move theater visit costs $2-3 or Php100-180
- Electronics are very costly here depending on the brand and how new they are
- A full-time maid runs around $100 or Php5,000 month

-What do you think about the Filipinos?
Filipinos are pretty accustomed to dealing with Americans and foreigners in general. There are offshore workers from the Philippines in North America and Europe so everyone is related to and has visited relatives somewhere else.

The culture fosters politeness and hospitality, so I find the interactions positive. Occasionally there are cultural disconnects that have humorous consequences. In general, avoid commenting on the standard items like politics and religion and be aware that people will ask you questions as a matter of course that would be considered forward or impertinent elsewhere.

-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in the Philippines?
- Everything and anything can be delivered
- Local travel diversity – beach/mountains/resorts
- International travel proximity – Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Macau, etc.
- People
- Music
- All night culture
- Intramuros

-Manila traffic
-Grocery store selection (get ready to substitute)
-Lack of greenspace/uninspiring public space

-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in the Philippines?
Partner with an ex-pat guide who has dealt with the issues you’re going to face. The person can help you in ways that a local simply can’t since this needs to come with a frame of reference for the things that will confuse you and can offer advice when you need it.

Remember, as an ex-pat your support group is other ex-pats.

-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about the Philippines?

Also, Carlos Celdran’s blog is an excellent resource: Walk This Way

Project Manila is a visual delight.

Looking for Director of Finance for call center in Manila

Execuseek International's picture

We are underway with a search for a Director of Finance for a multi-site call center in Manila. The responsibilities include managing the back office operations of this US based business, dealing with local compliance and reporting and interacting with the rest of the global finance team. IFRS and GAAP along with CPA are required. Our ideal candidate is a US or European expatriate who has a deep understanding and knowledge of the local culture. If you happen to know of any resources we can leverage to source candidates, please let me know.

Liz Sabatini


ernie161's picture

Hello Harry,

I recently visited Philippines in 2007, met a girl and now she is here in the US with me, we are married now, however we are both wanting to move to the Philippines.
I am wondering if its hard for an American to find good paying work in Phils, my profession is a manager of a trucking company which is pretty transferable as a manger for many things but I have no college degree.

Since your there working I was wondering if you had any advice for me, Im 40 years old and would like to move in one year summer of 2009.



Work in the Philippines

hfozzard's picture


I'd say that it's possible to get work here in the Philippines. Although unless you have some specific experience in an industry like mining, back office processing or the like you will have to expect to look for a while and adjust your salary expectations to a local salary level. That said, good managers with an understanding of how to handle people and logistics and who know western business practices can always organize something here.

Are you thinking of Manila or the provence? That might impact your options as well.


adam's picture

hi im married to a filipina we live in england and would love to come and live and work in manila,my wife works for american express and i have been doing carpentry for 5 years also been a driver,i drove in the philippines for 7months and found it easy to be honest,many people dont drive when they go there so i hear.any ideas on how we can get work there? many thanks anna and adam


PhilippineJewel's picture

You have been a manager, I think that's gonna be an edge. There are global companies here run by Americans and having experienced American applicants for managerial position would be somewhat like an honor for them. Having been an employee in a call center with American callers, we do appreciate what westerners could offer in terms of innovative ideas and work manner. Though some call center companies may require a college diploma (because your loyalty for months could mean promotion to managerial positions) most of them would focus on your field of experience and your talent. One call center that allows this is Teleperformance which is in Ortigas, near Makati city in the nAtional Capital Region. As for the pay, depending on your performance of course, call centers here would usually pay well with all the health benefits that the company usually pays for the employee. For a local who works in a call center, the cost of living is just enough but since you have been a manage rin a trucking company, why not try putting up your own trukcing business. I dunno much about trucking business but you may start any vehicle parts shop or anything that has something to do with vehicles.

Be the Boss, Of course you can :-)

PhilippineJewel's picture

Since your field of experience has somethign to do with carpentry, why not try to ask your wife about putting up a furniture business here? Almost everyone would like to buy a sofa for example, a cabinet of any kind and in the place where I live in, furniture is a big thing for people from other places would come to this city (Caloocan in Manila) to give the carpenters thier sketch of the sofa that they wanna have in their theme-based house. Yes, that is right, there are very few furniture company that offers a made-to-order or personalized sofa or furnitre so why not set the trend? One of our furniture designer even received an order from Brad Pitt for thier first baby. How was that?

foreigner working in the phil

duhhawaiian's picture

Hi, I was of the impression it was illegal for a single foreigner to work in the phil. Please tell me. Thank you. Les

Good Luck Getting Work in the Philippines being a Foreigner!

lucas122478's picture

I'm married to a FIlipina and we have 2 children. I've been here almost a year, with NO SUCCESS at getting any work at all. I've even worked with 2 companies in the united states, that are also located in the Philippines. I've had customer service oriented work for the past 10 years - ranging from inbound, outbound, & even field service. Handling accounts well worth over $950 million USD, increased revenue flow by $1 mil+ per month in Metro atlanta alone even during the collapse of the housing industry. My last career dealt with construction products before being laid off while visiting the Philippines. Years of experience in management, team building, training, account management, etc.

I don't even receive phone calls from interviewers. I've applied to over 100 jobs listed on Jobstreet this past year. Ranging from everything as a regular customer service rep, management, Quality control, and even teaching english to call center reps. The english teaching position didn't even bother calling me at all, not even an interview. So I waited a week and called them back. They had already filled the position, and the lady who spoke broken english herself, said she had hired someone already who was better qualified. I asked her how she could determine their better qualified when she never interviewed me to begin with. All the time sitting there wondering how she can decide whose more qualified at speaking english when she couldn't speak english worth a damn herself.

So good luck finding work at all, I've called everywhere, talked everywhere - talked to government agencies, everything. Department of Labor laughed at me & said of course a company will hire a filipino over an expat. So much for equal employment laws being enforced in this country - it's a joke. The companies that did bother to call me back told me in order for them to even "interview" me I needed a work visa. Immigration told me they will not issue me a "work visa" unless I have a company sponsor me or I bring a letter of employment from such prospective employer. Though, no company I've spoke with so far will even so much as blink at giving me a position unless I have a work visa. Just another loophole in the system to screw over expats, working for companies that are american to begin with!

Lost everything in america after being laid off, don't have anyone to help us other than what's left of my mother's pension every month that she sends. If I filed for repat, then our immigration case we been dealing with for 2 years for my wife & daughter (Now daughters), will be completely tossed out. Philippines is great and all if your visiting - I don't care even if you do manage to get work that pays enough to survive, living here is hell.

I may have a job for you

brainsnbeauty1's picture

Hi Lucas122478,

you sound so bitter, chill off, I understand your situation being in a foreign land. Be glad your mother is there for you and your very own family............. you are very lucky being married to a filipina because of the fact that when they do get married, they marry for love and for who you are, not of what you have and what you can provide... I hope you are still in the Philippines, if you are, would you touch base with me or your wife at your convenience? Am currently in US and will be heading to PI in a couple of weeks for a business trip and leisure combined. Please email me with your bio or just tell me about yourself and where do you live in Philippines of that sort. My email : My cell # (559)308-0387. I prefer email over phone as I live in California............I look forward to hear from you.........

Remy Ellen

job waiting for you

brainsnbeauty1's picture


please touch base with me asap.............thank you..................

I maybe able to help

ade2410's picture

Hi Mate
Get in touch through Skype maybe able to help ade2410, life isn't that bad here mate, you just need to meet the right people..

franchise opportunities

Hotdiggity's picture

Hello here
Living in the USA but, want to move to the philippines. What is the possibility of franchise opportunities?. I currently have a small business in the states, have a diverse work background. I used to be a Engineer in the auto industry, certified welder for government stuff, now I am a small business owner. I went from working in heavy industry to owning a food Is there anyone that can point me in the right direction for owning your own business in the philippines? Found lots of stuff on the net, but tough when I am in the USA.


How did it work out?

amgoforth's picture

I am also moving to the philippines, manila area. I also have experience in managing trucking companies. I am curious how your situation worked out because it is similar to mine.

thanks allen 828 429 3924


predawnchief's picture

hi my name is lonnie if he isnt interested in what you have to say i am... i was raised by pinoy when i was a teen and miss very mech the connection i have lost. still have connection with motus and ancheta clans in manila and would love to work there. i have very diverse backgrond speak irish gaelic and some spanish,perfect english and little tagalog. i am irish by birth but in america. but feel half pinoy if that makes any sense feel much closer to them than americans or irish. i am 40 can do many varied tasks pc tech,house building and repair sales, welding, metal wood fabrication,operate many types of equipment,backhoes,track hoes dozers farm equipment and bulldozers. and just about any kind of hand tool. have held supervisory and office positons as well. the irish start young at learning trades hehe. my email is

Any work...

Brabs92's picture


I am currently residing and working in the UK, I have a desire to move to the Philippines (preferably the Manila area but I will consider anywhere) as soon as I possibly can so I can join up with my filipina fiance. I have spent all my career working within the logistics industry, with over 15 years experience in warehousing and transport. The last 10 years have been spent in supervisory or a management capacity. My current role is that of a Night Operations Manager and I have gained many industry specific logistics qualifications as well as non-industry specific management qualifications. I have been applying for positions through JobsDB but I haven't had any response what so ever and I am left feeling frustrated. I have also sent my CV to the large transport companies such as DHL, UPS and FedEx but to no avail. Does anyone know of any companies who are willing to employ UK citizens? I am 34 years old and the sort of positions I would be interested in would be Operations Managers, Warehouse Managers and Transport Managers jobs but I would be willing to start in any capacity to gain a foothold in the Philippines. I am also prepared to switch careers if anyone would be willing to take a chance on me and train me up.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Yours in hope.


Working in the Philippines

Kevin1968's picture

Hi all I have really enjoyed reading all of your comments. I am thinking about moving to the Philippines and starting up a company and would also like to work for a company over there in the Philippines. I am a Vice President of Business Development and have over 20 years experience working in marketing, sales and operations. I have had measurable results in increasing sales, building successful sales teams. I have enjoyed building client and strategic partnerships to quickly secure share in the Bio-Tech industry. Lead key initiatives to launch divisions in Korea and China. I am now looking to move to the Philippines because my wife is from the Philippines and has dual- citizenship and I want to work for a company there and create a business while working with a company there. IF you know of any business opportunity's please feel free to e-mail me

Wish to relocate to the Philippines - Mining/Process Experience

rudi's picture

Hi Harry,

I read with interest your views and opinions on living in the Phils. Well, as most posters here, I am married to a Filipina (for 10 years now) and have been visiting the Philippines for almost every year that we have been married. I really enjoy the country, culture and people and have been considering a move there for some time now.

What was even more interesting to me, is that in one of your replies you mention that specific experience (eg mining) would be an advantage in securing a position in the Phils. I have quite a wide range of experience gained in the South African mining industry, and was wondering whether you have some advice for me in terms of where I should start looking for a job in the Phils. I have done quite bit of searching but I guess the positions I am after is either not that widely advertised, or positions are just not that readily available.

I guess the global recession has also affected the Philippine mining industry, but I have some hope judging by the recent highs in the gold price.

Looking forward to your reply.

Regards, Rudi


Antonio Rinaldi's picture

To all those expats looking for permanent work in the Philippines. Please drop yur CV, general location salary Expectations etc to me. Will review and get back to you.




Cee Olson's picture

I am from the USA and I have lived here for 1 year and now have a permanent visa. I am married to a local and we have a internet cafe business. I am looking for more income for us and am open to any suggestions and/or contacts. Please drop me a line at I look forward to talking to you. Have a great day.

Nature of Business

Cee Olson's picture

Hello Antonio,
Can you send me your e-mail address to

franchise Opps

Cee Olson's picture

Hello Hotdiggity,
Can you give me a little more defined idea on what franchise area you are interested in? You can e-mail me at mindcliff Thanks

How You doing

Cee Olson's picture

I know it's been several months since your post but how you making out? Let me know and hang in there. Things do get better. You can e-mail me at

California Business student interested in an expat job...

wordisbarn's picture

Hey guys,

My first post, go easy on me! Well I just graduated from Cal State University, Fullerton with a business degree. I am fluent with tagalog and english. I was wondering how I could begin my journey as an expat? I need a good mentor and guidance. I have visited the philippines for pleasure in DEC 2009 and have met expats who run call centers and do side jobs, just wondering how to get my foot in the door. I believe I have an edge because I graduated with an above average GPA in CSUF business and can speak both languages fluently.

Many thanks

Are you looking to move in the Philippines 2010?

Tom W's picture

My wife and I live in Charlotte NC right now and I'm wondering if there is other Americans that plan to relocate to the Philippines this year 2010. That may be intrested in opening a business or try to find other companys that want distibutors to sell there products in Manila. So let me know if you want to hook up or talk about this in more detail via email.

2010 update

Tom W's picture

Good Business Partner Wanted!!!!
Let's Talk.

Planning to move back to Philippines

JackMarie's picture

I am an American married to a filipino OB-GYN. We are currently in Australia were I am working for a Mining/Refinery company as Equipment Management. I would like to find a Job in the Philippines or start a business there. We currently have an ultra sound clinic that has been in operation now for 2+ years near San Fernando City LA Union. I have a multi-facited background. I have mainly Managed Maintenance Departments/Operations. As you all are aware, even though my wife is a Doctor this does not pay very well, and that is the reason I need to work or Start a Business. If anyone can assist that would be great.



JackMarie's picture

I am interested, what type of business?




Tom W's picture

Jack I didn't recieve your comment back did you get my last email?

Relocation to Manila from USA

Samuel's picture

I am in discussions with my employer about relocating to Manila. I am currently located in the US. I will be responsible for technical sales in the ASEAN region. The reason for moving to Manila and not Singapore or other ASEAN countries is because my wife is a Philippine citizen and our 3 kids are dual US/Philippine citizens. My company won’t be setting up an office in the Philippines, I will just be stationed there to be readily available for customer meetings and give technical presentations etc. It is too hard for me to keep flying back and forth from the US to the Philippines for meetings; it just makes sense for me to be stationed in Manila.

My question is what type of visa I will need? I am also worried about my wife losing her resident alien status here in the US. I have read that if she leaves the country for longer than 1 year her resident alien card will be canceled. She has been in the US for 9 years and we have been married for 6 years so we will try to get her US citizenship before this move, but I have heard that the process can take up to 2 years; this won’t work for us as the move will happen before that (I know, I know..We should have not procrastinated and got it done years ago). Has anyone had any experience similar to my situation?

Moving to the Philippines

Londe Wang's picture

Hello Everyone, I am considering moving to Cagayan De Oro and want to open a business there. Can anyone give me advice as to the requirements or permits I might need to operate there. Or if any one is interested in going into business then you might get a hold of me and lets talk. If anyone knows of any work there I would be interested in this also. I have been a computer tech. for a school district in the USA for 16 years. I hope you expats are living their dream, and I hope to also...any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Take Care

Looking for an Administrative Role in Manila or Philippines.

Markdy's picture

Hi Everyone too,

Im Mark from New Zealand. I thought i would see if it was possible coming and staying long term in the Philippines. I have a lady there too. But i am very encouraged by the lifestyle and living costs and what can be done in the Philippines. I would love to build a home there too if possible.

Anyways i havent been to the Philippines just yet but i have spent 1 year in China teaching english so i know how to intergrate into Asian society and make money teaching english.

My background is in Managerial and Professional Tourism. That is i have been in the Travel Industry for 13 years with qualifications and experience in airline and retail travel as Senior consultant as well as developing website marketing for local accommodation and activities. I have done alot of traveling and have been to many place including Russia, China, Europe, USA, Australia and others. I currently work for Harvey World Travel but would love the opportunity to move and work in Manila.

Would there be some opportunity there in that capacity and could someone contact me about what would be the best options to take. My email is :

Hope to hear from you soon.


Hi Harry

vegasvic1965's picture

I'm not sure how many people contact you regarding employment in the RP but I'm guessing many. I'm one of them. I have been searching for American based companies that are in Manila. I have applied to a couple today and will not hold my breath yet. Unlike many that are seeking employment there, I have a slight edge I think. I speak and write Tagalog. No, I'm not Filipino, I'm an American. I was in the US Air Force Stationed at Clark Air Base from Jan 87 till the base closure. I was "The" base interpreter during times of civil unrest, Medvacs (when doctors and dentists went to remote villages to give free care), natural catastrophes and any other time they needed me. I am a 2 year college graduate and stalled on my BA as a Junior..General Studies and Business Management. Maybe one day I will finish. I have a wife there and will soon have a little one running around by November this year (2010). I was making many trips back and forth, but would rather put an end to this constant traveling and just stay there. If you have any suggestions on companies that are there that I could apply to, I would greatly appreciate it. My background is in Human Resource Management, Marketing and Sales. I am currently working in the Casino's in Vegas, but also hold a CCIM for Commercial Real Estate. Hope to hear from you.

Employment in the Philippines April 2010

vegasvic1965's picture

Hi Harry,

I'm sure you have many people contacting you about possible employment within the Philippines. Well, I'm another one. I am married to a Filipino there and will soon have a little one running around. I have an advantage over some I think. I speak and write Tagalog. I was stationed in the Philippines Jan 1987 to base closure at Clark Air Base. I have made many many trips back. My most recent was about 3 weeks ago. I am growing tired of going back and forth and would rather just stay there. I was Clark Air Bases' interpreter while I was stationed there for civil unrests, natural disasters and medvacs to name a few. I have a home there about 1 and half hours north east of Manila but reside and work here in the US. I am looking for American based companies that can use my linguistic skills as well as my management skills. I have applied to a couple companies today but will not hold my breath yet. I have a resume ready and am looking at all options. If you have any suggestions, I am open to any. Hope to hear from you. Thanks.

Vic Adkins, CCIM
Clifford Commercial Real Estate

Business opportunity.

Paradigm's picture


I've been a technical brainstorming partner in 3 different companies since 2004. The first business, I was involved in callcenter operations where I helped the company in increasing sales by creating re-order strategies amongst assisting with merchant accounts and creating affiliate partners for other sales streams.
The second company, we developed an Asterisk based voice broadcasting dialer to do our own dialing; I helped develop the concept, did research on it, provided guidance to the programmers on requirements, did bizdev with other telco providers to help us put the final touch to our platform. This provided calls for about 400 of our agents.
I partnered again with a third company, where I was involved in developing a software team to accomplish the same Asterisk based setup as before; this time with PBX, Predictive dialing, and voice broadcasting and also migrate our (his) 600 agent operation to Manila. However, due to some personal problems and unforeseen financial issues, my partner decided to close shop.

I have a few contacts in the callcenter and sales industry where doing affiliate sales, etc sounds like something I could do. I also have pretty good technical knowhow. I come from North America. But now I'm looking for opportunities here.

If anyone is interested in talking to me, please email me.
m at quantum 6 dot com (no space between quantum and 6)


TerryLaff's picture

My Filipina wife is here now in the States with me and we were married April 9
I have a 9 year old daughter and will be moving to PI when she graduates 10 years. We are looking now to buy house and or property and my wife will work here in the USA for that 10 years so she will get social security at retirement age. She will be 45 when I retire there which will be in Cagayan de Oro she speaks Bisaya, Tagalog, Japanese, English and Spanish any suggestions on what business we should consider starting there now or then? and she has many friends in Japan if that helps at all? Also anyone have information on Bank Loans there in PI for land or home building?

looking for a job

franko's picture

Hi,I also am looking for a job in the philippines.I worked as a warehouse manager for 11yrs.With that title I had to wear many hats,I also did customer service,data enry,customer problem solving,expiedteing and production scheduleing, I also have a class a license and am certified to drive a forklift.I need a job in the philippines because I plan to marry my fiance.And would like a job so I can stay and be with her.we both agreed it didn't matter where we lived as long as we were together. Salary is not really an issue as long as we can survive happily. If anybody can help please contact me at Thank You for you time.


valiant's picture

Hi everyone! Anyone who wants to move to the phillippines might want this or anyone who has moved in philippines might want this or might know someone who does. Maybe you would be interested in this cheap bargain!! Rush Sale! PENTHOUSE unit at palace of makati( p. burgos corner caceres street), 3 bedroom 2-level with maids rm, 3t&b and 1 powdr rm-144 sq. metrs with parkng. 28th floor. Furnished. Have free use of gym an swimming pool, have restaurants in the lobby and a small supermarket. 5 mins away from rockwell powerplant and 10 mins away from greenbelt. Only Php 8.5M. Alot of expats stay here. Txt me +639175369105 or email

hello world

rochelle M's picture

First of all I wanna thank all the foreign guys who have invested both their money and their lives in my country, specially BPO's. I like Mr Harry's response and I am so glad that he's getting use to our culture.

People who post their comment made me smile. I am so happy to know that there's few serious foreign guys here in the PI who likes to marry Filipina. Guys you are exceptional :) well, I'm here using the net for 4 years and in that long years i haven't met a guy like them. Don't get me wrong , I am not looking . I am just curious what type of woman foreign guys are lookin for. I've met some but all of them aren't that serious and If you ask me don't wanna put my self into something that i'll regret forever :). Let's be real. Most of the expats and tourist guys here just like to get hook with diff woman and multiple partner is kinda normal to them. Anyways, comments here changed my opinion about guys from other country.

Work... Gosh I need part time job! Perhaps you could help me :) since you mention about man power I guess this is my chance to ask you...are you lookin for helper, cleaner or whatever name you wanna call them? I can cook, I am a good cleaner and knows how to use electronic cleaning gadgets :) No worries about where I sleep coz I can sleep even on couch or just leave after my chores. I don't even eat much and not the rice eater as well. I can speak English and can learn other language because I am so in love with language and culture. My salary is not that high we can actually talk about it. I just wanna work with people who have different culture and I am pretty much serious bout this.

Again thank you to all foreign investors and to you Mr Harry I wish you more luck and for the site MORE POWER!

@ TerryLaff, can you give a better bio?

warren currier's picture

Terry, if you had to rewrite what you wrote here, would it be exactly the same?
much of what you wrote is totally ambiguous.
I don't know WHY I seem to care ... but you seem sincere.

@ Lucas: Did you send a writing sample?

warren currier's picture

If you did maybe that's how they found the other person to be better qualified than you are.
They did not need to meet you.

Your use of, "their" should read, "they're".
united states (?)
american (?)

"loophole in the system" perhaps you meant "catch 22" or "a typical run-around"
It seems that you most certainly did NOT find any loophole in the system.

And it seems that you'll bring a whole bunch of anger to any event with which you're involved.

Perhaps you can get a job back in the good old USA.

Hi I am looking to move to Philippines

97champs's picture

Hi I am very interested in your business proposal for moving to the Philippines this 2010. If you or anyone have employment opportunities there please email me at thomas_gilstrap[@] I currently live in Atlanta Ga and have a fiance back in Quezon CIty that I started to bring here but to be honest I love the Philippines so much that I rather move there and make it work, but I want employment opportunities.


Thomas L Gilstrap


Absiol's picture

Hi Harry & everyone else reading this entry. My name is John. I am an American expat living in Makati City. I've been here for about a year and a half now. I will tell you from my experience that finding "employment" as an expat is definitely not an easy task, most especially if you have no college background.

As American's we tend to look more at the skill set and experience of a particular applicant less than their educational credentials. After all, just because you are "book-smart" doesn't mean you have the ability to apply that knowledge successfully. However; here in the Philippines I have as of yet to find any job vacancy listing that doesn't require at least a BA. Even being a secretary for an executive, this typically pays around Php 10,000 (USD 225.00) per month.

I mention this because this is the very boat that I'm in. My skill set is extensive.

- Air Traffic Controller (Presidential Aircraft Squadron; Airport Manager, FAA Japan, and more)
- Certified FAA Training Examiner
- FAA Instructor
- Web Site Programmer (11 years now)
- Time Magazine Web Site of Choice Awardee
- Database Programmer (SQL and Access)
- Architectural Drafting (Residential and Light Commercial)
- Licensed Realtor (Century 21)
- Licensed Plumber, Orange County Florida

I ran a successful IT firm for 9 1/2 years while concurrently running a lucrative drafting firm for two years (up until the Real Estate bubble burst). However; most everything mentioned above is self-taught with the exception of my FAA & Realtor licenses.

I am your typical "Type A" personality and a perfectionist. I excel at everything I set my mind to. My problem lies in the fact that I have no formal college education, which seems to be a prerequisite for almost every position here, no matter how large or small.

Like another gentleman posted earlier, I have applied and applied without so much as a reply. I visited the American Chamber of Commerce… no luck there either. They “said” they don’t even maintain a list of American Businesses operating in the Philippines. I find that one unbelievable. Not much of a Chamber if that’s true.

I’ve even spoken with the American Embassy about employment. This is where I ran into the employment visa “catch 22”. The Embassy said they cannot consider an application for employment without the proper visa. BOI (Bureau of Immigration) said they cannot issue an employment visa without an employees sponsor or letter offering employment, but I digress.

I, like most here it seems, have found a wonderful Filipina and would like very much to make the Philippines my home. Finding sustainable income has not been fruitful.

I can converse, at least on a small colloquial level, in Filipino and am working to improve it. I didn’t come here looking to “strike it rich”. I simply want to earn a decent living and live my life.

If anyone has any information that would be helpful I would greatly appreciate it.

You can email me at



dliglobal's picture


Not sure of your financial status but perhaps you and the wife can invest in a 7/11 store or Pizza Hut or Shakeys. This is a nice franchise to have but your wife would be the owner for she is the local citizen. Be your own boss

Hi Thomas I was in the P.I.

dliglobal's picture

Hi Thomas

I was in the P.I. in June I must say the best opportuniy for an American is a Franchise Opp such as Shakeys or 7/11 these businesses do boom, however; you could not own it only the wife the downside is that she is 100% owner and your not let me know how it goes email me at

Please Help!

Charlttemark11's picture

Hello everyone. I've been here in the Philippines for 13 months now. I'm from right outside of Charlotte North Carolina. (That's US) I'm 29 years old and now have a failing poultry business in the province about an hour away from Manila. I do not intend to leave the Philippines and am now looking into getting permission to work here maybe in a call center as there are many here. In the states I have a lot of sales and management background. Very good with people, very social, and very likeable. I just need some guidance now on how to get started with working here in the Philippines. If anyone is interested in helping me please email me. Thank you for your time and good luck to all.



kayb100's picture


Ive been living here for 5 years, i worked at jpmorgan 18-19 years old, started my business online at 19, moved to the philippines (after travelling around the world) at 20, been here now for 5 years. I also now own a amusement business in Boracay Island & a business related to english training.

Last year i was getting bored as my businesses run themselves for the best part. So i started applying for jobs just for fun (yep thats how bored i was getting). I dont have a degree. Im not a computer wizz kid, i simply own a online store. Yet i got so much interest from different companies i was shocked. I sent an email to just 5 call centers in manila, telling them im from the uk, and will train their staff english for 50,000 pesos per month on a long term contract, 3 of them replied the same day asking if i can come in the same day or tommorow! Teleperformance offered me a supervisor position at starting at 30,000 after some who i know works there told them i was from the UK.

What i have found in the US and UK is young people are not given opportunities ever, hence why i left jpmorgan, progress is slow even though you know your superiors are hindering the business, lacking energy and enthusiasm & simply not good at their jobs but because of their ages they are believed to be better than the young crowds, sometimes true, but not always. I have a feeling in your case, you maybe expecting high salaries? Or possibly you wrote your previous salaries on your application? Bad idea! Dont forget the president of PI brings in around 45,000 pesos per month on salary ++++++++++++++++++

HERE in the philippines, unfortunately for you its the opposite, companies dont even look at applications if people are over 30 (in general), i know as alot of my crowd work in HR and MANAGEMENT positions in the outsourcing industry, so if i where you i would either go to these places and meet with the manager straight away, face to face and ask him directly if they have a position for you, OR, if you are so experienced as you described, go set up your own business here. Its very easy and with your background you could really succeed.

The third business i own, is related to 1 on 1 english teaching, i charge 4000 pesos per day, usually for about 6 hours of teaching. Its a review course i do for nurses needing urgent english top ups before there exams. I give them mock exams etc of the actual exam, so its really worth it for them as its a 1 on 1 course. Right now i have students lined up everyday for the next 4 weeks, i have a constant 3-5 week backlog of customers waiting and i do this 6 days a week. Some of the really rich ones (rich parents pushing them into nursing) even leave after 2-3 hours as they are already confident enough. Thats 4000 pesos for a few hours of talking to some one, not bad for the philippines.

So from what ive seen with the older crowd here, jump into a business, its the best way to make a living here, small capital, fast ROI, with high margins.

All the best and relax a little, you sound very bitter.


P.I LIFE is a dream

kayb100's picture

Ive been in the P.I for 5 years, im 25 now, im british, i worked at jpmorgan 18-19, started my online business at 19 (online supplement store) , went travelling around the world at 20 and added PI to my tour as my stepmother is filipina and recommended it, it was the last country on my around the world 1 year travels, which my online business paid for and kept me going and actually allowed me to save up while travelling. I ended up getting hoooked on the PI after all the countries i had been travelling to. I ended up opening a business in the PI immediately (my 2nd business), a amusement place in boracay, and i met a filipina girl in the hotel i was staying at in manila, who i dated for a few weeks before getting serious for 4 years, i had a good time, but shes not my kind of girl.

Firstly women, i was with that filipina girl for 4 years, she was a decent girl, respectable family, but like many girls here (just like any country) she was lazy in terms of life goals, she had none!! i set her up with 50% of the business in boracay, invested around 500,000 pesos of my business savings in it, and she couldnt even be bothered to wake up for the opening. When i was in the UK the boracay business went down hill, everything messed up, and i ended up closing it! A year or so later i set her up with a supplement business again here in the PI, which was making her a great 2-4000 pesos per day, but she messed this up endlessy by spending all the money she earnt eveytime. Again this business got messed up and closed down despite being profitable. I spent 4 years with this girl, and it made my life hard, being with some1 so lazy and with no ambitions, even her own family would have a go at her for not taking anything opportunity seriously. My expats friends kept saying i could be getting something so much better. After 4 years i was fed up and decided it was time to leave her, i did, thankfully. And through business meetings for a new business in boracay i ended dating my new business partner. First few days we where meeting strictly for business in boracay, to share a space there, then the rest is history. What an amazing woman, shes a qaulified nurse (4 years of training) & a medical technician (another 3 years), why is this good? well most guys would like to date a nurse, its pretty awesome (she doesnt actually work as 1 though) but its great for our future, if we ever have a problem with business i can bring her to the UK and she can work as a nurse!! so this is something i recommend to expats, strictly date girls ONLY who are professionals, career orientated, business orientated. YOU WILL REGRET IT otherwise. Secondly, and i cant believe my luck as its kind of the opposite of what a nurse is, shes a business owner by day, shes the sole owner of a large gym. which gives her a very nice income which would give both of us a nice life if needed. She owns a beautiful condo, with pool and gym and very nice 4x4 brand new honda car. Why is this important? It shows she a woman whos in control of her life, independant & focused. DATE PROFESSIONALS ONLY!!!! (i better elaberate professionals meaning nurses, doctors, bankers, business owners etc etc). Alot of expats think girls like this dont exist in the PI, but too often thats because they are messing around with girls 20 years their junior from angeles. Theres many, educated, intelligent, beautiful, successful young filipina woman here, so dont make the same mistake as i did with my EX, wait a bit, have a look around :) Come to the PI and do what you want to do with your life, then find a girl from that cirle.

OK DOWN TO THE WORK TOPIC, i now also own a english training review tutoring business here now too (this is my business no.3), its a 1 day, 1 on 1, english review for nurses etc who are about to take their exam, i charge them 4000 peso for about 6-8 hours usually (in my gfs condo), and i have customers backlogged always for about 3-4 weeks, i do this 5 times per week, i could do it 7 if i could be bothered, but to life like a king here you dont need serious money. Also about a month ago being bored, i emailed a bunch of call centers here, offering a 5 hour per day english advisor and monitor (ME) to their call centers, where i would monitor, manage and enhance their agents english skills and sells skills for 5 hours per day, 5 days per week for 40-50,000 pesos per month salary. I had 3 replies straight away asking if i could come in the next day!!! so i dont get it when people say theres no opportunities here, stop thinking like a westerner though, you need to spend some time here and understand how things work, VISAS???? thats something you do at the end, if your employer asks for one, just tell him not to worry about it, its taken care of, if immigration wont give you one, ask him if theres a way you can just get one now, or maybe later this evening after office hours, he will know what you mean. THIS IS NOT A COUNTRY TO PLAY BY THE RULES!!! This is a country where if you ask around, some one will always be able to help you out.

So if your thinking about going to PI, i do recommend it for foreigners, its a blast here, and most importantly its something different, even when you have been here 5 years lol. You can find WORK here, you can do business easily, but if your some1 who thinks inside the box and does things by the book then you will NEVER, EVER succeed here. But if you know how to hustle, know how to get people to ''you scratch my back ill scratch yours'' then life in the PI will be great for you :) MABUHAY!!


kayb100's picture

Also i forgot to mention a few guys on here, who are having a hard time here in the PI, and sounds like a sad case. Firstly i wish you all the best, but, are you forgetting, you own a passport to your home country, which if its MOST european countries or USA, then you can simply fly home and get a job. Sorry but i wont ever feel sorry for some one who has a UK or USA passport, how about the filipinos here who cant find work, do you think they can just jet off to some other country and work? NO! but you can, so naturally they should be given jobs first with priority!! You can simply fly home and work, which is what i recommend you do, cheer up lucas, life aint that bad, you just need to keep your eyes open and look out for opportunity.

Moving Back to PI

purpleandgold88's picture

I left Philippines when I was 14 and lived in US for almost 19 years. I'm planning to go back home to work there and perhaps start a business. I have dual BS in Accounting and Information that I had achieved from California State University, Los Angeles. I'm wondering whether there is a job for me there and what kind of business should engage myself to.

Maybe I can help...

The Filipino's picture

Hi all,

First, thanks to Harry for a very positive article. I'm glad foreigners like him are finding a nice home and sense of career contentment in the Philippines. I'm a Filipino American based in California and posts like this make me seriously think of going back to the Philippines!

For those looking for jobs and expecting a Western-type level of salary, you might be disappointed. However, the cost of living is much lower so if you land a job with a good company, investigate exactly what you can buy with the money. Harry's lifestyle is a bit high-end and I think there are many ways to cut costs.

One important TIP: Establish solid friendships with Filipinos. By that I mean not just "networking" for the sake of "networking," but real investment in relationships. We are generally warm and friendly so it's really not hard, but because we are a bit clannish and regionalistic, there is that undercurrent of W-style Texan attitude: unless you're "one of us," you're "against us."

For those who are finding the culture and the country a bit strange/weird/stupid/whatever and want a serious answer, send an email to Maybe you can even find your answers already at Check it out!