Let me introduce myself simply as Justin. A relative of mine sent me an email with the link to this site. I have briefly read through all of the other expats experiences here in the Philippines - to see that mostly everyone has nothing but positive things to say. This is a deception in my honest opinion. Maybe it's just like any other thing when someone is trying to promote their product no matter what it be - you always hear nothing but "good" reviews. Everyone is giving the false perception that being an expat makes life easy-street here in the Philippines. Maybe the few that have posted in here are / were lucky. But there are a majority of ex-pats living here in the Philippines, that do not enjoy the freedoms the previous posters have went on about.
Noone mentioned the expats (Americans) that live on the streets in Manila. How bout the Mountain Man, who lives in the jungles near Penatubo? I am 30 years old and live in Angeles City, Philippines with my wife & 2 daughters. Most expats that I come across that live here are dressed worse than most filipinos and smell like they haven't taken a bath in years. If you're just visiting here, you most likely would never notice such a thing with the high traffic of tourist foreigners, that come here to have sex with young bargirls - not to mention underage children as well. It's true the people here are very friendly to foreigners but for only one reason - "Money" They assume because you're foreign your rich. Of course everyone treats you with smiles & waves.
The Pretty girls walking down the street that pass by you, and greet you with a friendly hello. Waving their long ravenous hair about and giving you that glimmer in their eye. They tell you, you are handsome and ask if you are single. The Niave foreigner falls for these charms, these girls really have no inclination towards you whatsoever, just what's in your wallet. Have a look around at the expats that live here, 50 - 60 -70 years old, but they got teenage or early 20 year year old girls attached to their shoulders.
Of course these expats glorify the philippines, one of the few places in the world where a rusted baggy pile of bones can sleep with girls young enough to be their daughters or even worse granddaughters. These girls with these old bag of bones, are only with them because they were in a desperate situation and this fossil offered them an escape. Don't be fooled, by the charms - In reality Filipinos make fun of foreigners, talk smack about them behind their back. Most of you guys that have girlfriends here , but go back to the states. Your girlfriends have filipino boyfriends & they are being supported by YOU.
Unless you'rejust plain lucky or have money to burn to start your own successful business. You're most likely S.O.L. for finding any form of work here that won't get you a 10,000 php fine up to 3 years in prison and after you've served your time - deportation. That's what happens if you get caught working without a visa. How bout the corrupted governmental system? A beautiful girl walks up to you. You take her to your hotel room. She goes & takes a shower. She comes out naked with that mischevious grin on her face. Though something is out of place, why is she carrying her cellphone? Seconds later the police open your hotel room on you with the Manager of the establishment. The police now are threatening to have you put behind bars for sleeping with an underage girl unless you "pay them off" Welcome to the Philippines.
You hop into a cab in Manila. You notice the meter is turned off. You ask the driver to take you the airport. 5 minutes later you're there. "That will be 1000 peso, sir." If you don't pay you might just have a fight on your hands. Been there, done that. Won the fight. So forewarning never jump into a cab without the meter turned on. Pay close attention to if the Cabbie is running around in circles to run the meter higher - they love to do that.
You go to a doctor referred to you by your neighbor. Your neighbor says it only cost 70php for an office visit. When you're done at the doctor, the clerk tells you 500php. Welcome to the Philippines. Where if you're foreign, you get a special tax we like to call the "Skin tax"
Congratulations you're married and your wife is having your first child. You rush her to the clinic as she goes into labor. You're told the child was exposed to Hepatitus B, you need to vaccinate her. The shots cost more than the actual labor bill cost. 3000php later your new daughter is injected with her 1st of 3 booster shoots needed. You go home only to find out that the real cost is supposed to be 900php. Welcome to the Philippines.
Your DVD player breaks. You just bought it 3 months ago. You carry it back and the retail location refuses to exchange it. So you buy another one. A more expensive one. It cost you $60. You have it for 1 week, and it breaks. Welcome to the Philippines.
You finally find a grocery store that sells FRESH WHOLE MILK just like back home. You drop $7 for four 1 liter bottles (1 gallon) and take it home. As you sit down and crack open the bottle while flipping through channels to savor the taste of REAL MILK and not the powdered crap your wife has been buying. A foul smell emits from the bottle its spoiled..... It cost you over 150php in travel expenses just to get to the grocery store & you paid 80php for the 1 liter bottle of milk....
You don't feel like going to the grocery store, so you decide to send your wife to the market to grab something to eat. She brings back fish & fries it up. The fish feels funny as you eat it. Your tongue feels weird... One hour water your drooling all over yourself and your lips and tongue are numb. You run to the bathroom every 30 minutes crapping on yourself .....for days.... Welcome to the Philippines
You wake up in the middle of the night and hear all this scruffling noises in the kitchen. Damnit you think to yourself, we have rats. You sneak into the kitchen flip the light switch....To your horror there are over 30 cockroaches 2-3" long that disembark take flight into the air, and / or scurry off. Welcome to the Philippines.
Another night you hear a loud bang in the kitchen, this time when you flip the switch your welcomed to a rat the size of a small chihualhua. The bastard has used a can opener and started chowing down on your vienna sausages. Welcome to the Philippines.
It's been raining everyday for a solid week. You head to the kitchen to make a snack only to see a living sea of ants scurrying about in your kitchen floor. Not the harmless tiny black ants. But giant fiery red ants. So many in fact that if you had of stepped into the kitchen into the swarm. You would probably be dead now and not reading this. Welcome to the Philippines.
Its a bright sunny morning, you stretch your arms and get out of bed. Walk outside to inhale the fresh.....wait....oh yes, you're in the Philippines not home...*sigh* You wake up , walk outside and inhale the pugent smell of the pig farm to your north, and the grotesque river directly behind your apartment that is slap slam full of your very own feces since your landlord did not install a septic tank or septic system. The peso you pay the land lord every month to get rid of your trash goes directly behind your apartment and is dumped in the river along with your feces. There are mosquitoes everywhere breeding in this toxic sludge, along with the infinite supply of roaches & rats. Every now and then you happen to see a rotting corpse of a dog or cat floating in the sludge. Yes, welcome to the Philippines.
You receive your power bill, and notice they've went up on the rates yet again. This is the 8th consective month in a row they've jacked prices. You pull out your calculator and begin to convert the 300 fees that are listed on your power bill and see just HOW much does it cost per KwH. After you're done you see you're paying almost 20 cents (USD) per KwH. Yet almost every sunday the electrical company decides to kill power to your whole area for 8+ hours a day. You even get charged a tax when your power is offline. Welcome to the Philippines.
You realize you cannot afford air conditioning and you are forced to just use fans. Now after living here 6 months you've developed a real nasty skin condition that looks like hundreds of tiny pimples bursting all over the hot spots of your body. Your armpits, the crack inbetween your shoulder. Your inner thighs, Behind your knees. It burns like fire, and nothing seems to relieve the pain except 2 weeks of laying in front of continual air flow. Welcome to the Philippines.
Your internet provider hasn't sent your bill in 2 months. Come to think of it, they have NEVER sent the bill. They call you and tell you - you have 2 days to pay your bill or their disconnecting your internet. You tell them you haven't received the bill, and you would be more than happy to pay it WHEN THEY SEND THE BILL. They say, we sent it sir... I have never received a bill, you reply to the rep. You call here every 2 months threatening to disconnect. We play the same game everytime. I tell you send the bill and I'll pay. 2 weeks later i get the bill after you call threatening to disconnect and I pay. welcome to the Philippines.
You go to pay your water bill, it's Noon. They've already closed for the day.. Welcome to the Philippines.
You go to renew your visa at immigration. Their closed. The sign says Closed for Holidays Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Welcome to the Philippines.
You go to pay your power bill. Its 4:00pm, They've already closed for the day when their hours are supposed to be till 5:00pm. Welcome to the Philippines.
You have a scheduled doctor appointment at 11am. You show up 30 minutes later. As you're waiting you notice the doctor slips out and leaves. The receptionist tells you to come back at 5pm as the doctor is now on a 6 hour lunch break. Welcome to the Philippines.
Noone has websites. Noone has online billpayment. A double cheeseburger cost you $2 at McDonalds & Eating out here in the Philippines at a restraunt that won't give you food poisoning is more expensive than in the USA. Welcome to the Philippines.
You go to the grocery store, because you're out of spices. You actually have to travel to 5 different grocery stores, to get the spices you need because none carry all or the same spices. You begin to notice there's something different about the ground beef you been buying. It's too sweet. Too greasy. You begin to wonder is it really beef to begin with or something far...far worse. As you pull out the slab of pork tenderloin you bought at the grocery store, you notice their are WORMS in the meat!!!!! Welcome to the Philippines.
Longer your here, the more you begin to notice that 95% of the food in the grocery store isn't worth buying. It taste horrible. You wonder, is there no form of quality control whatsoever? Food, electronics, clothes, plastics, almost everything you buy is worse than the chinese made $1 items at Dollar General in the states. Then you realize there are the 0.01 CENT items that America Rejected and wouldn't allow in the states!
You feel exhausted, stressed to the point of going postal. You just want to jump off a bridge and end it all. But, it's time to make dinner for your family. God knows your wife burns toast, so its up to you to feed your babies something that you HOPE is not going to kill them. As your chopping vegetables, and doing an autopsy on the meat you just bought. You come to realize there are no frozen foods, no frozen pizzas, no pot pies, no tv dinners, no sandwich meat.....Hardly anything you can find at the grocery store is "QUICK" food. FML
You're only 30 years old, you're stranded here in this god forsaken waste land, and you've got an impeccable resume to land a high paying job, but you'll take anything at this point just to get OUT OF THE HOUSE. With your resume proudly in your hands you head out the door. How hard can it be? You were making 65,000 USD last year this time. You saved a billion dollar account for your employer not once but twice and you even increased revenue flow in your market area by the Millions per month, even with the housing bubble bursting wide open. With a rap sheet like this. 10 years of customer service experience in every field imaginable in the planet. This should be cake! 8 months later you're still unemployed.....100+ locations later, you haven't even had 1 interview in person yet. A native filipino is hired before you for teaching english as they are more qualified at speaking english than you are...apparently... FML.
This is the whole-hearted truth behind the Philippines. Filipinos do not love foreigners. They love foreigners money. In reality Filipinos hate you. They hate us. They hate what we stand for, and they hate what the majority of the foreigners do when they come here. And thats flaunt our money around, treat them like slaves, and have sex with their underage daughters. Just remember that next time you're looking into the sparkling smiling eyes of a filipino. They hate you. They despise you. They only want whats in your wallet. If they could get away with it, they'd cut your throat and take all your valuables. You think i'm joking? Get a group of natives together, get to drinking and start talking about how they feel about expats. You will see.
You would feel the same way, if foreigners were coming into the states, flaunting their money and raping your daughters too with the money you flaunt being enough to feed them for months at a time......
....Welcome to the Philippines