“It ain't so, Gary!” There, I said it. I communicate with more than 50 foreigners most days, every week in email, in my article comments, on the RTTP Forum and in personal consulting. It never ceases to amaze me about some of the things that foreigners have been told about the Philippines…by other foreigners! There is a lot of misinformation going around and a lot of it is very intentional. Philippines bashing, Filipino bashing, Culture bashing and other outright lies! I am not denying that some foreigners had bad experiences in the Philippines, however, that was just that..their experience. To paint a picture that every foreigner in every location of the Islands is going to have the same experience as they did is pure deception. Some guys are very unhappy, they don't even like themselves and if they see you happy, they will try to bring you down!
Urban Legends And Outright Lies
A foreigner told me just this month that every Filipina has a baby by the time she is 18 years of age and she is expecting her second baby before age 20. No doubt, this happens, but to say every woman in the Philippines is in this situation is not true by any means. I am outraged!
Another foreigner recently told me that most every Filipina in the country has worked as a nude model on a webcam during her lifetime. Whoa, Nelly! Where do these guys dig up this garbage?
A very common urban legend is that if you marry a Filipina, you will be giving money away every month to her entire family. I've been married to my wife, who happens to be a Filipina, for soon to be 11 years and we, since we are partners, do not give money away every month to anyone in the family, other than to our own son! Sure, we help out if there is a real need in the family but other than my father in law's sickness, his funeral and his wake, we have not been asked to chip in one centavo in 2014 and here we are in mid-September. This is the blunt truth! My wife has never expected me to give money away just because I have a certain amount and can afford it. No way, Jose.
All attorneys in the Philippines will tell you what you want to hear just to suck the money outta yo pocket. Far from the truth! Since my wife has several businesses, we have an attorney in the province and one in the city, as we have since 2009. I can't tell you how many times when they refused to even accept P500 for giving us sound advice. We had retained both in the past for projects, which we indeed paid their fee but for simple things, they are available for *free*! In fact, we are all friends now and we met both for the first time in 2009. That's what friends are for! If you have Filipinos for friends, you have friends for life! The other part of this, if you have Filipino friends, they expect money from you. It has never happened! We have fabulous Filipino friends who invited us out and picked up the tab, many times!
To have a good life in the Philippines, you will need $2,500-$3,000 per month. Get outta town! We have an excellent quality of life on not more than $1,200 per month, with most months being in the $1,000 range of money spent. I will add that if you pay high rent, eat most meals out in Western style restaurants, hit the casinos and bars several times every week, have a 20 year old girlfriend, then hell yeah! You better bring some Dinero because $3,000 probably won't be enough every month!
All Filipinos live in poverty. I personally invite you to Bacolod City and take a look. I can take you to parts parts of Alabama and Florida to show you Third World style poverty and underdevelopment! Yes, there are many poor people in the Philippines but there are also a number of psychosocial reasons that contribute to that factor. The Philippines, as a country, is not as poor as many perceive. In 2014, the Philippines completed the deal to buy 12 fighter jets from South Korea. The tab? $415.7 million USD.
I only touched on a few of the things going around about the Philippines that are far from the truth. There are many more crazy things I hear all the time from foreigners, who are interested in retiring to the Philippines. I do not fault them because they have not been here yet, or they have not spent much time in the Philippines. One or 2 weeks here is not going to give you the entire picture about this wonderful country and the fabulous Filipino people. However, I have issues with foreigners who tell lies about the Philippines and then just sit back and gloat. “I scared another one off!” Karma comes to everyone… sooner or later!