Living In The Philippines

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Living In The Philippines

Postby jetman51 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:13 am

I live in the U.S. now but plan to live in the Philippines within the next 12 months. I have read much about this, both the good things and the challenges. But I would greatly appreciate knowing what you think the good aspects are and what the not-so-good ones are. Salamat for any wisdom you are willing to share.
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby red » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:27 am

Good plan, jetman. I assumed you have stable income and have someone you can trust when you live in Philippines. We have a topic here that you can read about living in Philippines. I am sure that will help you a lot. God bless you.
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby Edwin » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:12 am

Yes, jetman and Red, many of you have read what I have written here about my deceased brother in law, but he did that very thing, and it was a happy situation with no regrets from him. When he knew he was dying he mourned that he was happier than he had ever been in his life, and he didn't want it to end.

Carol's brother did well in his life, made a lot of money and saved a lot of money. He found his filipina through her brother whom he had worked with, so he already had an inside with that family and didn't need to go hunting for anyone. He had worked and lived in the Philippines years before this took place, and he wanted to go there. He married his filipina, built his own little heaven there with a large swiming pool, lawns and gardens. He hired one of her family members to be his guard/grounds keeper. He sent some of her family members to college and paid their way. He set some of them up in business, and according to his words he made his filipina wife a very rich woman! She never came to the USA to live, but they lived the balance of his life in the Philippines just making periodic trips to the USA for business and health reasons. His filipina wife is still our very good friend, and it was all wonderful for them all. :D :D
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby jetman51 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:21 pm

I appreciate your helpful responses. I apologize for overlooking the website material, and I will read it with interest.

Yes, I am blessed to be in a position to feel comfortable about having the financial side covered. Although I have acquaintances in the Phils (because of some time I spent in Singapore), I can't say that I know anyone in the Phils well. To some extent, it seems that one must make a commitment based upon the best research he can do and then develop the really close relationships once there.

So far, I am also blessed to be in good health, although of course one never knows what is down the road. Edwin, it seems that quality, reliable healthcare is available, but has this been your experience? My current thought is to insure for the really bad stuff but to handle the rest on a pay-as-I-go basis. Is this a reasonalbe expectation in the Phils?

Also, I do not plan to ask for trouble by living in the southwest of Mindanao, but I am considering Davao City or maybe CDO. Are these at least reasonably safe places for a westerner?

Salamat for your kind help.
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby jadegil6 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:09 pm

My research has indicated that many foreigners live in CDO and Davao, but they do advice living in a gated community, not isolating yourself or trying to live in a poor neighborhood because you will be in the upper 10% income, and many people become desperate at times. You can find Yahoo Groups from both areas that are full of foreigners talking about their lives in Mindanao, and they are usually happy to answer questions about the areas they live in.
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby Edwin » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:57 am

Yes, jetman, there are differing opinions about developing a relationship, where, when, and so forth. It is up to each individual to figure what will work for them. What works for one, doesn't necessarily work for others. There is always some risk, but we figure it out the best we can, and then we go for it, being aware of the risks involved. So whether you want to try to find someone now long distance relationship, or whether you want to be there to get to know the person face to face, that's up to you to figure that out. Jetman, I like you am in very good health all except for a constantly growing prostate gland. I had a big problem with it in 2005 along with the TURP procedure which was suppose to solve all my problems forever, until I did a little bleeding a couple of years ago, and they have been testing me ever since! I have had 2 biopsies, and they are watching for cancer, but they find none, which makes me really happy. I have medicare which helps a lot, and then there is a bank here that has a deal with the medical center and hospital where I go, that covers the balance of the medical costs with no interest. You just pay $30.00 each month for what you owe, until the amount you owe becomes larger, and then they charge you a percentage of your medical bill/costs. With eye care, a ct scan, periodic PSA blood tests, and 2 biopsies, my debt with US Bank for my medical is a little under a thousand dollars, and I pay $30.00 each month, and I don't worry much about it. I got some opinions from various people and the concensus of opinion is that I should keep getting the PSAs and follow the doctor's ideas, but I don't like the biopsies, and when they show cancer free, I wonder why I had the test, because it is expensive. Maybe my PSA will be lower when I get it tested again in a week or two. You are wise, jetman, for being concerned about safety in the Philippines. Some through caution to the wind and go anywhere, doing anything, but that is not wise. If you have white skin and are tall you can be a target anywhere in the Philippines. My nephew was married to a filipina north of Manila, he's dead now, but his filipino family advised him not to be out riding his bike alone, but to have some of them with him. Sir Michael has a good idea about living in gated communities, or living in better neighborhoods. Most people, even filipino people have bars on their windows, yards, and doors, and they are prepared to defend themselves. I don't like to have to live that way, but it is necessary, and it is good to be wise at all times, stay with other people that you can trust. You get good family and friends in the Philppines and they will take it upon themselves to protect you, see that you are comfortable, and have a good time! :)
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby Chas » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:29 am

Regarding health care it is my understanding that it does not operate as you would expect in the west. Thankfully I have never fallen ill on my travels, but I would expect to have to pay upfront with my credit card and claim back from my insurance.

I am not aware of any non-filipino health insurance that is accepted up front by a hospital in the Philippines so you can avoid paying first by cash or credit card (if you find one please let me know). I have heard there is one, possibly two, filipino health insurance companies that have a card that is accepted by hospitals and they will bill the insurance company direct.

You will not get even emergency treatment without first demonstrating that you can pay for it. Having health insurance cover, with the possible two filipino exceptions, is not proof that you can pay. They want cash or credit card.

As an example i will relate one horrible story I heard. An expat was driving down a road close to his house when he saw there had been an accident. He was not concerned as he saw an ambulance was there and assumed the injured were getting treatment. The next day he was in his local shop near the scene of the accident and was told what had happened. A Jeepney had hit and badly injured an 8 month pregnant lady. A passing ambulance stopped. The lady had no means of paying for health care so the ambulance crew then drove off without rendering any assistance. The lady bled to death beside the road.

When you get there be prepared to travel and have a good look round, please do not limit yourself to Davao or CDO. Even with being able to get a lot of information off the internet, things can feel very different when you are there. Everybody's needs are different. Also consider carefully what you will do day in day out to keep the body and mind exercised. The latter is particularly important. When travelling I have seen too many bored expats drinking themselves to an early death.
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby Edwin » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:47 am

Yes, Chas, it is sad when the expats get bored from the lack of mental stimulation and then drink themselves to death! :(

Also as you said, Chas, don't be like the horse with blinders on, but see a larger picture.

That is really sad to me that people would not do what they can to help someone just out of human kindness, rather than letting someone bleed to death when they would do something. I think in this country, USA, years ago it used to be more like the Philippines in that if you didn't have the ability to pay then you were out of luck. I had a high school teacher in the 1960s who said that in a large city, Spokane, Washington, USA, he had a sick kid, and the medical personal was not going to help his child until they saw that he could pay! Things have changed, and that doesn't happen around here anyway, and you will get taken care of regardless of your ability to pay. I think they make everyone else pay more to cover the ones who can't pay, and then if they know you have insurance they jack the price up, and so that is part of the reason our medical care cost so much, is that the medical people will charge more because it is getting billed to the insurance company anyway, so why not, but it is really hard on the ones who have just enough money to get by, and they pay their bills, then those policies make them pay unreasonable amounts for medical care.

Chas, in our country, USA, there is another sad factor besides the sad story that you told. This is quite personal as it happened to my older brother's oldest daughter in the 1970s. She and her husband were driving onto the freeway from an entrance to the freeway when they went out of control because of ice on the road. They hit a car in the process, and both of them were taken to the hospital. He was unconscious, so there was no one to sign for my niece whose spleen was ruptured. They left her laying in a hospital bed, and refused to treat her because there was no one there to sign for her, and she died because of that. I would never have believed that something would happen like that, but it did. Her husband was unconscious, unable to sign, so they would not trreat her. By the time he came out of his unconscious state she was dead! Just a couple of years ago he died of a heart attack aftrer raising their two children, after marrying the baby sitter. He drank too much, had a very successful escavating business, and died early becasue of the way he lived. His sister flew on an airplane from the east coast to attend his funeral, got back on the airplane, and died while the airplane was waiting for clearance for takeoff!
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby jadegil6 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:12 pm

jetman,
This is excerpt from one post from the yahoo group relating to Cagayan De Oro (CDO) in Misamis Oriental which is the northern central area of Mindanao:

My girl is in the Posperidad area and last week the NPA had it out with the government military, 4 people confirmed dead she said, she also said helicopters flying over and machine gun fire all night, they also visited her in her Nipa hut late one night and scared the bejesus outta her and her little boy. luckily they only wanted water and to charge their cell phones cuz shes the only Nipa hut that has electric, they never entered just stayed outside and didn't even ask for food.

When I visited her in April the barangay capt met with me personally and told me where I should not go , just don't go off the beaten path over there in the mountains or you're asking for trouble.

From what I have read, my understanding is that in most provinces (except western and south-central Mindanao) the NPA will not mess with a foreigner because they do not want the attention of, or conflicts with, US military forces. NPA do set up roadblocks, and I have been advised that should I ever find myself stopped at one of these, that I should just smile and be cordial, and most likely, nothing will happen to me. The conflict with the NPA is between them and the government and police of the Philippines, and not with normal citizens or tourists. Just know that you should steer clear of any Philippine politics and politicians.
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Re: Living In The Philippines

Postby Edwin » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:30 am

I have heard the same thing, Sir Michael, that the forces in conflict are not really interested in causing local people or tourists troubles, but they are fighting with each other over political reasons. The most likely problem would be to get caught in the cross fire between these groups, so it is a good idea to stay out of their business. When I was in the Philippines in 2010 there was one incident of a German man who built a house in the mountains/hills in Negros, who was going to marry a filipina. Intruders came in; he begged them not to harm him, offering to give them anything they wanted, but they killed him anyway. That is all I know of that situation? My friend's filipina wife's brother told my friend an I that we shouldn't be walking out of the hiway alone because we were targets, and he was going to go walking with us each morning! This is a testimony to how wonderful the filipino people are, because he walked with us, not because he wanted to walk, but to keep us safe. He was not used to walking, so it hurt his legs, but he walked anyway. My friend was on a mission to walk, and his poor brother in law was getting left behind, so I hung back and walked with him to keep him company. He had fun mimicing my friend's style of walking, and then he just laugh really hard, and I laughed with him, and we had a good time walking. It is a good idea to pay attention to advice, keep your head about you, keep alert, don't do stupid things, and keep in company with the filipino people who take it upon themselves to protect you. Don't try to be a hero and win every situation, but as you say, Sir Michael, smile, be cordial, and play along a little, keeping happy, and keeping peaceful. Don't start an argument or a fight, because you probably won't win! :roll: :lol: :D
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