One of my favorite activities since retiring to the Philippines is sharing about this fabulous country, the wonderful Filipino people and their vibrant culture. As one friend told another friend when we had gotten together one day, “Don't get Gary started!” I think that pretty much sums it up, as I love writing and actually talking about the Philippines! The best cities, the best restaurants, the best places to shop, the best hotels and yes, I could go on and on! I have spent the past 28 years learning this by first hand experience.
I can talk for hours about Philippines politics and all the major players but I never put anyone down, as it is their system but nothing wrong with having a general discussion, di ba? Politics is in the forefront of the news in the Philippines every single day and Philippine politics can be volatile at times. I guess it adds to the excitement!
If you want to talk about all the popular entertainers in the Philippines, I can hold my own with that topic as well. Some of the singers, actors and actresses who were popular when I first arrived on the Golden Shores way back in 1986 are still popular today! Filipinos love listening to music, dancing, singing, and watch TV and movies. I also keep up with the new stars, who arrive on the scene almost daily!
The PBA finals are going on right now and although I am not that much of a basketball fan, compared to baseball and American football, I know which teams are in, which teams are favorites to win and which teams have the best import players, mostly from the American NBA. I saw Arizona Reid hit a 3 pointer as the clock was running down to lead Rain or Shine over San Miguel Coffee just this week!
I enjoy talking to expats and Filipinos alike, all about the Philippines!
Why The Philippines?
I think the Philippines has so much to offer any expat who is interested in retiring outside their home country. Low-cost living, affordable housing, very friendly and helpful Filipino people, excellent medical care that tourists come to the Philippines to avail, affordable caregivers and helpers during your Golden Years, excellent tropical wine and local beer, wonderful local and international cuisine, affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, beautiful beaches, diving, golf, afternoon naps, fabulous locally grown coffee, delicious pastries, warm weather year round, famous educational institutions, a great place to raise a child, exciting cultural festivals and the prettiest women you have ever seen! I know I have left out a lot more about the wonder and glamour of the Philippines but you get the idea. Right?
English Speaking Country
Yes, the Philippines is an English speaking country with English being one of the official languages. All the major newspapers are published in English. English is one of the core courses required by the Department of Education. However, please don't expect Filipinos to speak English 24/7 in their own country! I am not fluent in any of the more than 100 Philippine languages and dialects and I do not need to be. I have communicated in English with Filipinos for the past 28 years and I have never been left scratching my head due to lack of communication. I have met some locals with poor English skills, however, they called on someone to complete the conversation!
The Philippines is one country you can retire to where you do not have to seek out only the cities with large expat communities! Isn't that great? No, amigos and amigas, you can easily make new Filipino friends and develop warm relationships with your neighbors. In the subdivision where I live, there is only one other expat living here and all the rest are Filipinos. That expat is an American and due to his unacceptable behavior, he is not my friend! Never will be unless he changes his attitude and uppity way of thinking!
If you are single and looking for your lifetime partner to share life during your Golden Years, you do not have to learn a foreign language to date the lovely ladies! Forget Russian, forget Chinese, forget Spanish, as you can come to a country where you can begin communicating with Filipinas and Filipinos from Minute One. This is the Philippines!
If you are considering retiring outside your home country, please do yourself a big favor and seriously check out the Philippines ASAP! Time is flying by for us all and I personally try to never waste a minute. There is nowhere else on earth I had rather be than in the Philippines.