Another year almost done in the Philippines a bit of time to reflect on the past. Its surprising how much things have changed since originally coming out here in 2007.
The number of expats that aren’t here now I have simply lost count of as many have either died, moved or simply vanished. The vanishing part isn’t some death squad chasing after people though! Its more a case of people picking your brains for information then eventually going off to do their own thing.
Have managed to keep in touch with a lot of people I have met over the years though as well as made some good friends.
At the same time met some really crazy people online and offline, so I suppose that is the ying and yang affect of the expat world. But have to say the positive people here have managed to outlast a lot of others. Especially in an environment that is geared towards failure and often a high expectation of it.
When I originally came out here in the Philippines it was a bit of an experiment, I have mentioned it many times before but probably not in the last couple of years. The fact was that so many people were negative about living and doing business here. Some because of failure, others because they were retired and had no interest in doing things themselves but ultimately I wanted to try lots of things to see what succeeded.
Still here and five years gone so must be doing something right and one thing I can say is that everything we have done had some degree of success. What makes a difference is how much its worth to you as a person. E.g. the peso peso machines can make a couple of hundred pesos a day each without doing anything except taking the money out and updating windows now and again. Pig farming can take an hour a day and offer less rewards. But if you eat pork (which I don’t) then pigs can be a useful cost saver for the freezer for the family. While the peso pesos once setup are easy money.
But you only learn what works and what doesn’t by experience or finding people with “real” experience. As often people talk about their expert advice without mentioning they heard it third hand and haven’t really got a clue.
Not being too negative on people but simply everything you have to take with a pinch of salt unless you know they did it themselves. At the same time it comes back to negativity and often crab mentality. E.g. if they failed at it why should you succeed? The saying “to make a small fortune in the Philippines start with a big one” is often used. Funny though people who have been here over 10 years generally have found little niche’s and do pretty well. The Philippines generally isn’t a country easy to setup and rush into things.
So besides business, our life is progressing nicely and looking forward to another stint away abroad shortly to boost us further. We aren’t in a rush to move at the moment and to be honest the money we have banked already if we can find a good investment will be looking to utilise our cash flow. With the right investments could see some significant growth in our savings, but in the last month still got a big question mark over what to invest in.
One thing is for sure whatever we decide the UK is still offering the best for education for the kids while transient working offers a better lifestyle and standard of living. So right now we are still deciding which way to go as a good contract in the Middle East may end up changing everything all together.