Life in Philippines as an Australian
Jeff’s reflections on life in Philippines
I felt like reflecting on life in Philippines and sharing this with those who may be interested. We’ve been here 8 years now, and have no plans on returning to Australia. We have an established business here (Down Under Visa) and a house full of children. We’re busy, but we’re happy. I remain and will always remain an Aussie at heart, but we know we will spend the rest of our lives here in our now-established Filipino home.
What do I like about the Philippines?
Always the people! Every time, it’s always about the Filipino people. Nicest, kindest people in the world. Gentle, caring people with hearts of pure gold. Endlessly patient and forgiving. If I had to leave, I would miss this so much! The smiling faces. The children. The fact that everyone here loves the children and sees them as the family treasure.
And yes, I can’t deny that life is good here if you are financially comfortable. We run a successful business, and we have a stable and reliable income. It means we can afford to get the things we need and to afford ourselves some luxuries that we would find it hard to have to the same extent if we lived in Australia.
Is life in Philippines for every Australian?
No, definitely not. I think I could say that most Australians don’t remain here, and end up back in Australia after a few years. Why?
Well, some will miss the way things are in Australia. They will miss certain products or foods, and they will miss efficiencies and conveniences and they will miss being able to fit in and not be the “foreigner” all the time. They will miss the customs and culture that they grew up in and spent most of their lives in.
Others will have made some terrible mistakes in budgeting and assumed they could live like the locals, or they just assumed that their pension or savings would go further than it actually did. Budgets are estimates only, and can be wrong due to optimism and hopefulness. I’ve always said you should come up with a reasonable budget, and then double it! And you should redo it after 12 months of living here.
Others will have allowed their savings to dwindle due to poor investments in businesses that have failed. Many make the mistake to assume that a business history will translate into something successful in the Philippines without realising they know almost nothing about the local market. Others allow themselves to be conned and scammed out of their savings. You need to remember that are and will always be a target here, because you are and will always be a “rich man”. You may not see yourself as that, but locals will. And that means family, neighbours and new-found over-enthusiastic friends who can’t wait to get to know you. And it can mean white people as well as Filipinos. Australians, Englishmen and Americans, etc. Those who run out of money here can just as easily start preying on newcomers.
So yes, we love it here. Not for everybody. If you want to live here, suggest that you live here for 12 months before you make that solid commitment.