From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
Living in the Philippines: 3 Yr Review
My previous post listed some positives about living in the Philippines. After three years in "paradise," I thought it was time to do a review of our experiences here. Now it's time to address the "bad" and "ugly" side. Things I don't like about living here. (Image source: taopo.org)
At the top of my list is my annoyance at Filipinos who butt in line. I've written on this topic before on PhilippinesPlus, but it's a source of constant irritation for me.
Whether it be at the pump boat ticket line at Oritz Dock in Iloilo City or the Jordan Wharf at Guimaras, for a people that are usually warm, friendly and laid back there are a flock of folks who love to cut in line.
SM City in Iloilo has the same problem, but the cashiers there will not confront the line-jumpers and do not say anything. I don't have that problem. Ask my asawa.
Whether people want to think of me as the "Ugly American" or not, when I speak up or block someone from cutting in, that's fine with me. I don't tolerate rudeness in any country.
Litter is another part of the "ugly" side of this paradise. The rural province of Guimaras which we first moved to in July 2009 is filled with beautiful white sand beaches. But garbage is just thrown anywhere spoiling the absolutely gorgeous views. I just don't comprehend this.
Don't get me wrong. I saw plenty of litter and garbage back in the States but nothing to the degree I've witnessed during my past three years as an American expat living in the Philippines.
Our main square in Guimaras, "The Crossing," was also strewn with plastic bags and other garbage. Is is laziness? Apathy? I don't understand.
At least there is a certain amount of pride in the current subdivision outside of Iloilo City that we now reside. There are guys with brooms, our sweet sweepers, who come through on a regular basis cleaning things up.
We also have maintenance men that trim our lawn using weed eaters. They also pick up any garbage left in vacant lots. I commend the property management people for keeping the area well-maintained. The next photo isn't a shot of our area. This picture ws taken outside Quezon City.
Brownouts. Brownouts. Brownouts. How could I make a list of the "bad" and "ugly" side of living in the Philippines without bringing up our frequent power outages? Check out my recent post regarding that topic.
As you can see, I only have two repeat offenders from the previous list, rude filipinos that butt in line and brownouts.
Everything is fine between my mother-in-law and myself now. We have four relatives living with us again and though we are strained financially at this time, we're managing.
The heat and humidity? April and May are still tough months for me to get through, but I'm adjusting. As long as I carry my "sweat towel" on the jeepney, I'm fine.
Lack of privacy? Have my own room in our new rental home now. Only one CR and a total of six people, four of them female, but I manage.
Clothes that don't fit me. How did that get on the list? The lack of toilet paper doesn't bother me. I've adjusted. I give money to some of the more needy beggars now. How could I not pass up a middle-aged guy without any legs in downtown Iloilo City the other day without giving him some money?
It's been a good three years. If Social Security stays afloat by some miracle, and I can start collecting in less than two years, things will be better financially.
We'll also have access to our retirement funds at that time and plan to build our new house in the Philippines. Lots of things to be grateful for. I have a wonderful asawa, some great nieces and nephews and a good life. Looking forward to many, many more enjoyable years of living in the Philippines, my own personal "paradise."
The author, Dave DeWall, has spent three years in the Philippines. He does absolutely nothing and is quite proud of that. His asawa has to pick up any dog crap that neighborhood pooches leave behind in the yard and is quite content to have her do that smelly chore.