There are indeed adjustments to be made to Life in the Philippines. Depending on location and personal attitudes, it may not be a walk in the park for some. The transition was easy for me. After being away for so many years and living abroad, even some returning Filipinos cannot make the transition. They are still looking for the things here like where they lived many years abroad. They can search but they cannot or will not find some of those things.
I can honestly say that over the past 29 years, most foreigners made the adjustment, who I have come to know and some, even befriend. The main reason they made the adjustment is because they wanted to. And they realized that the Philippines is not back home. The Philippines as a whole is not trying to be the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or any other location around the world.
It Is What It Is
I never really liked the term, “it is what it is,” because some use that term rather than explaining further. However, I think the Philippines is what it is. I never read a Dept of Tourism ad where they touted the Philippines as being just like your home country or your hometown, diba?
It is what it is. Like it or not and take it or leave it. Bacolod is not ever going to be Florida and I don't expect it to be. I have long accepted the Philippines as it is. Yes, there are still growing pains. I'm just so proud to be here. I like it, I love it.
And then there are the laws. Some foreigners think they can say or do anything here and the law is the same as in the USA or as in other countries. Freedom of Speech only goes so far. Libel and Slander are crimes in the Philippines and not just Civil Offenses.
I think for the most part, the food issue has been solved in the adjustment, especially for those living in mid-size and large cities. I am certainly not going without. I can't think of anything I want to buy that is not available in the Bacolod area.
That's What Friends Are For
I think your life will be much more rewarding in the Philippines if you have good Filipino friends. An incident reminded me today that I know someone in our area of the Philippines who can help with anything that arises. Problems, bumps in the road, inconveniences, trouble on the rise, can all be nipped in the bud if you have a good network of Filipino friends. I have found if they don't know what to do to assist, they know someone who does. Life is great.
Many, if not most, relatives will also become your friends. I have relatives in the USA who are not actually my friends. In the Philippines, I have relatives who are indeed good friends. Some do not have much by Western standards but what they do have, they will eagerly share with you. It is a 2 way street.
I came from a small family in America and a number of relatives were not close. It is much different in the Philippines. It was one of the attractions I recognized 29 years ago concerning the closeness of family and friends. It is such a wonderful feeling and I wanted to be part of it. I have been ever since.
One of the things we enjoy on Retiring to the Philippines is helping you adjust to life in the Philippines. We are here to help. Remember to post any questions on the Retiring to the Philippines forum and not in the comments section as they will not be published.