I know several expats in the Philippines who do not have any foreign friends by their own choice. They told me that most foreigners here are more trouble than they are worth. I haven’t reached that point but I can very well see where they are coming from. Many had bad experiences in the Philippines with other foreigners but they get along extremely well with Filipinos. I certainly don’t find this surprising.
One American told me in Bacolod about another American who dropped by his house one evening and said he needed a drink. While he went to the kitchen to get a beer from the refrigerator, he heard his wife yelling at the American. He immediately returned to the living room. His wife told him that the other American had put his hands on her. He told me he wanted to break the guy’s neck but ordered him to leave and never come back. He did. Without so much as an apology, not that it would have mattered.
A Friend Or A Crab?
There are a number of foreigners I consider friends, not only in the Bacolod Area but around the Philippines and some who split their time in their home country and the Philippines. I also know a number of other foreign acquaintances who I could not really call a friend. I certainly agree that some foreign friends will turn on you in a heartbeat and stab you in the back. They smile to your face but behind the scenes are doing things that are not in your best interest.
As I have said all along, the worse cases of crab mentality I have ever seen in the Philippines belong to foreigners, not Filipinos. However, they forget about Karma.
Where I come from, you stand up for your friends. You have their back. That’s what friends are for.
I recall the day in the Philippines, when there were not as many foreigners actually living in the Philippines, most expats were close and were indeed friends. However, those days are long gone.
For those who have not spent much time in the Philippines, every foreigner you meet here is not your friend and all are not going to be your friend. Many won’t even look you in the eye or even respond to “How’s it going?” Not even with a head nod. This is fine with me. I didn’t move to the Philippines to hang out with foreigners all the time. If I wanted that, I would have gone back to Florida long ago.
I have Filipino friends going back almost 30 years. Never had a single problem from any of them. Not once. For sure, I have many more Filipino friends than foreign friends. They all value friendship but that is the way it is with most Filipinos I have met. They would do anything they can for you and they are there when you need them, if you need them. Filipino friends are very important to have when you are living in the Philippines, at least in my opinion and based on my personal experience.
Many foreigners inquire about an expat community before they move to the Philippines. Overall, I think Bacolod City has a nice, friendly expat community. It is nice getting together once a month for lunch and having good fellowship. When we meet up, there are often more Filipinos at our luncheon than foreigners. All Filipino friends and family members. When we first moved to the Philippines in 2009, I was the only foreigner living in the entire barangay and there were only a few foreigners living in the entire municipality. I sure wasn’t sad or lonely. I have many Filipino friends in the countryside. All great guys I know I can trust.
While many are concerned about Filipinos when they move to the Philippines, my advice is to be very careful who you befriend in the expat community where you intend to live. There are a number of misfits of foreign society, who have retired to the Philippines.