Web Analytics

If You Can’t Learn to Adapt, You Probably Won’t Make it in the Philippines

As regular readers of this website know, I’m a 62-year-old geezer. I’ve been around the block a time or two. Now because I’m a senior citizen who’s in his twilight years, don’t think I’m full of wisdom. I”m not. I might be full of B.S., but occasionally I do have a nugget, a kernel of practical advice.  Why, even one of my good friends recently remarked to me that I “was the voice of reason.” After close to 15 years of marriage, I’ve never heard my asawa saying anything even remotely close to that. But let me pass along this to any future expats out there: “If you can’t learn to adapt, you probably won’t make it in the Philippines.change is good


Now I’m probably the last person that you should listen to when it comes to preaching change. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, years ago, and had such a rigid schedule and way of doing things that my co-workers at AT&T would jokingly, I think, make fun of me.

I had my routine and hated it when anything disrupted it. My whole world would seemingly spiral out of control.

But moving to the Philippines has made it necessary to adapt. Now I don’t necessarily embrace every situation, such as the rotational 11-14 hour brownouts we have endured in Guimaras for the past few weeks, for example. In fact, what I have to say about them every time one hits, which is every other day, cannot be repeated on this website.

Sexy Asian electrician

Readjust, revise and roll with the punches. That’s all I can do.

The fact that some imbecile dropped an anchor off a ship which cut the undersea cable from Iloilo to Guimaras, and said cable is currently this island’s main conduit for electricity, is something beyond my control. Don’t call it an Act of God, rather address it as the Act of an Idiot.

Idiots abound where ever you live.  No doubt you have some for neighbors or co-workers. And morons do stupid things (that’s why we call them morons) that can affect the lives of over 163,000 people, which is the current estimated population of Guimaras. Any stupid things I have done, which are too numerous to list on one post, have never impacted that many people, to my knowledge.

But seriously, if you can’t adapt to dogs that bark all night, fiestas that blare their music until 3 am and crank it up again an hour later, you’re going to have problems.

If you can’t get used to guys urinating on public streets in broad daylight and having people stare at you like you’re some alien from outer space, you’re going to have a problem.

If you can’t get used to people calling you “Hey, Joe!” even if you’re from the U.K., Australia, Germany, or wherever you’re from, you’re going to have a problem.

If you can’t get used to your wife’s or girlfriend’s relatives asking you for a “loan” which probably will never be repaid, and cursing you if you don’t give them that “loan,” you’re going to have a problem.

And finally, if you can’t get used to your wife’s AND girlfriend’s relatives asking you for a “loan,” you’re going to have some major problems.

10 thoughts on “If You Can’t Learn to Adapt, You Probably Won’t Make it in the Philippines”

  1. Good one’s all Dave. If you don’t mind me adding on….

    – If you can’t get used to 3 or 4 female teenage employees following you around the department store when all you wanna do is pick out a new pair of underwear 🙂

    Fortunately I have a great Asawa who shops for my underwear now (I’m not picky, if she’s happy I’m happy). The girls at the department store just creep me out man!

    • I’d never do it, except to get their reaction, but at times I’m tempted to ask if they can help me try them out 🙂 (Yeah, I’m going to hell probably)

  2. Sorry, one more….
    – Only 2 out of 20 registers are manned and the lines to check out are running about 1/2 hour. Then you look around and see one dude mopping on isle number 3. That wouldn’t really be a game changer, if it weren’t for the 7 dudes in a line behind him waving cardboard boxes at the floor to dry behind the guy mopping 🙂

  3. Dave,
    Family asking for money is not as bad as someone you really don’t know asking to borrow 20,000p because family member is in the hospital, which is the usual excuse, or for school tuition. This irks us more than anything. This has happened a few times. Her new manicurist a few weeks ago did Anne’s nails and promptly asked to borrow 20,000p. Needless to say she no longer uses her and she is banned from even coming in the subdivision be security. Being hey joe I think is funny. Sometimes I call them hey joe right back and they just laugh. Another thing that might irritate expats is beggars like the ones we have here. These young kids hop on the jeepney and pass out envelopes for money. I just ignore them. One kid cussed the driver out because he told him to get off the jeep.

  4. My wife use to play that game of loaning money with no return until she finally wished up and started making them sign over their property. Know we have all the rice and coca nuts we can eat until it is paid back.

  5. We have a store we shop called 168.When in line
    waiting maybe 30 minutes evry half hour they play
    a song and a good 15-20 of the employers get out and
    dance in stead of opening a few cashiers haha

  6. that’s the usual scenario in this country…but no matter how hard most expats can adapt but the positive welcome of the people here hold them and made them love this little paradise..

  7. I think one of the most difficult adaptations would be to have to work a dangerous job like the one shown in the picture in this article, come home late and have to explain where your hard hat was left…..

  8. yeah a paradise though some are exploited already due to infrastructure and other changes…what i am hoping for is that things will not get worst..and hope that my children’s children can still see the true beauty of this Paradise..

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!