I learned long ago that every foreigner who lives in the Philippines does not enjoy living here, yet some are still here. Something is keeping them here. I also know that the Philippines is not for everyone. Due to attitude and other reasons, some can never adapt to life in the Islands.
An American from Arizona recently asked me why I enjoy the Philippines so much. I had many reasons to share.
My life is a little different than many other foreigners who live here. The Philippines has been a very important and very enjoyable part of my life since 1986, as an adult. I first met Filipinos on my dad's US Navy ship in 1960 in Rhode Island and they were also in the US Navy. I enjoyed their nature and character. Many people are reserved but the Filipinos appeared to be such happy and fun loving people. They were not shy to sing, dance, joke and talk, to even a 6 year old boy. I also noticed their caring hospitality. I liked being around the Filipinos and I was always happy being in their presence.
It has been my experience that if you spend one night out on the town with Filipinos and/or Filipinas, you will want to be around them forever!
I know a number of foreigners who I hate being around, so I avoid them. There have been very few Filipinos I have interacted with that I did not enjoy the experience.The few exceptions were the Filipinos who did not spend much of their lives in the Philippines. And those few who have a major case of crab mentality. It is almost like most Filipinos have a bright light, which not only lights up themselves but if you allow it, this light will also light you up. With a nice glow in life. Filipinos will shine their light on you!
The Philippines is my wife's home country and I embrace the vibrant Filipino culture. To be honest, I like it. The Southern Culture of America is much like Filipino Culture. Mostly, the food has differences. Give me a plate of beans with cornbread, a little ham or bacon, greens with hot pepper vinegar sauce and I am happy. Being neighborly, respecting others, closeness to family, love of God and Country were what I learned from my parents in the 60s and 70s.
I don't enjoy cold weather. The weather is great in the Bacolod Area. Most days are around 80F degrees. We also receive a breeze most days, at some point. I enjoy warm but sometimes breezy weather. Nice experience.
The cost of living is really fabulous in our area. Four of us can go out together and have a great time on $20 or less. For hours! Food, drinks and entertainment. I have already written many times in the past about the prices of various restaurants in Bacolod and about the prices of food items in the supermarkets and public markets.
The property taxes in our area are unbelievably low. Less than P2,500 per year on our properties. Insurance costs are also unbelievably low. Health, vehicle and homeowners.
If you don't want to drive and don't want to own a car, no problem. It is not required. Take a ride on the jeepney, trike, pedicab, long distance bus or the Double Dutch Bus. Leave the driving to someone else.
Fresh Food. There is an abundance of fresh meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits. All very affordable for the majority of foreigners.
Let the music play. I am a music lover and enjoy singing very much. I fit right in. Most all Filipino people love to sing.
I could extend my article with so many more reasons as to what I like about the Philippines. I'm afraid the article would be too long and no one would want to take time reading it.
I really hope to see you around one day, somewhere… in the Philippines.