Top 10 good and bad things about the Philippines.

Good and bad things happen everywhere but in the Philippines they can be a little extreme in every day life. Although you will find a lot of it is about knowing what to expect more than anything else.

Being able to adapt to a new country, new culture, new environment and new way of living is what moving to the Philippines is all about. If your expecting everything to be the same as the West you need to think very carefully on how you want to live. You may find the Philippines can offer the perfect life but it will cost you, or if you adapt you find it gives you the perfect life without the usual Western comforts. After 6 years in the Philippines I share my experiences and a couple of videos on things I picked up in the Philippines.

Hyundai Galloper II–For Sale Cebu, Philippines

Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (8)

As we are preparing to start our move from the Philippines to Spain I am putting our Hyundai Galloper II up for sale. Its had a recent engine rebuild, the alternator has just been rewound and pretty much its in good shape for its age. Haven’t really advertised it too much at the moment as the kids are still using it for the school run. But with my last trip into Spain I noticed some Galloper II’s there and looking to sell the one in Cebu to buy one in Alicante. Its 3.0ltr Turbo engine gives it some serious poke, it does have air conditioning and runs extremely well. If it doesn’t sell it doesn’t sell as we aren’t in a rush to get rid of our yellow car. But if your looking for a good quality well built family vehicle then this is ideal. Drop me a message if interested in our 7 seat 4×4 in the comments below. No tyre kickers as I am not interested in giving it away and not needing to sell in any urgency. If its still there next year its ok.

Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (1)Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (2)Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (3)Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (4)Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (5)Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (6)Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (7)Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (9)Hyundai Galloper II - For Sale - Cebu, Philippines - 2014 (10)

Visit the Philippines jump in at the deep end!

Matt Wilkie from Tropical Penpals enjoying a relaxing time at the bottom of a swimming pool.The Philippines is still home to me and my family and although we will begin traveling more soon its still where we have our roots. Many people stop themselves from traveling and yet doing it you will see that your missing so much more in the wider world. The worry over the mortgage, what about your job? The fact is your sticking yourself to at least 20 years of following like sheep. Where do successful people come from? The answer is by doing things differently. When you see the difference between wealthy private education and government funded see any difference?

Because schooling is orientated around preparing you for the working world, its not there to promote you or push you forward in life its there to produce people who can conform. Bit like the debt situation in the West where we are encouraged to spend, spend spend yet at the same time its bad not to repay. Even though the system is actually spending well above what it can accommodate for and proactively encouraging it. Because the whole system is tied to one simple thing a constant burden that leads to conformity.

I ask you a simple question if you left and traveled for a year would your world end? If I asked you this next do you know people who have traveled do they seem a bit different to the average person? Of course they are because they have seen and experienced more, they have a more important value in life that simply the world doesn’t end when you can’t afford a new car.

Life is but a dream unless you make it a reality. Right now I am on the long road home.

road to europe

I left the Philippines at the start of 2014 but not to close our life in the Philippines but simply begin a new chapter in Europe. Life in the Philippines will go on and business will continue to develop.

Yet I made some major choices this year which will be the biggest hurdles we have had to deal with to get where we are going. When I look at my life in the Philippines it is one we could and can maintain at the same time I worry for our children’s future. What happens when the golden goose dies? A motorbike crash, an accident at work? Whatever it is I cannot leave things to chance in the hope that things will be ok until our children are adults.

The return to Europe is neither an easy one or one that I take lightly. I love life in the Philippine and with all its warts its still home and where most of my friends reside. What doesn’t reside there is the life of the world, there is a bubble of being Filipino and in the Philippines that my wife and kids need to break.

The journey into Europe began already and right now I am somewhere between half and a quarter of our budget for the journey to Europe. My biggest concern is what do we do next as all the wheels have turned. Passports in process documents filled in and signed. Yet my question is will Spain, France or Germany be able to provide the needs for us?

The UK is on the list but other countries sit much higher due to standard of living and costs. As I can commute anywhere to make ends meet but I want to make sure the trip is worth making for the family. The route we are taking is that of EU citizens and not British, as the anti-EU games are at play in the UK and yet I cannot see myself being fully UK based again. There is so much more inside Europe that the UK is not at the top of our list.

If you follow our YouTube videos you will see our updates as we make the transition from the Philippines to Europe. But also as this is our “Philippines blog”. You can read more about what we are doing in Europe at my Matt Wilkie Blog.

Leaving the Philippines but like McArthur I shall return!

The age in which we live today is far more opinionated than it once was. I am not sure if this is the rise of Celebrity nonsense shows like X – Factor where there “has to be” an opinion or something deeper.

But the fact is I have left the Philippines at least for now and we will continue to grow things there even if I am abroad. The reality is for me the kids are getting a bit older and I want an international recognised education for them. As well as the social network that can be developed into a business network. The Philippines doesn’t have the same level of opportunities that the West can offer.

I say West but don’t say UK? The fact is I am looking at Europe for our home and which country is still negotiable. I lived in Germany for 6 years as a child and it feels more like home to me than the UK in many ways. My schooling was mainly there in my last school years and its a country I have a fondness for. The strict rules that are often enforced in Germany others find a bit strange or annoying. The joke about towels on chairs at swimming pools is something that crops up in UK TV shows with stereotyping Germans. But I will see they just think differently and offer a way of life I actually love.

May not live in Germany though we will simply see what opportunities occur and right now the main thing is looking at life outside of the Philippines.

Matt Wilkie back in the UK and enjoying back at work surveying.

This week has also been a good week with my new car turning up for work. As its something that also gets overlooked with my life in the Philippines is I come from a professional background.

I had 5 job offers within 2 weeks of being back in the UK and have been contacted multiple times already for more work. The fact is most people going to the Philippines are at retirement age. The rest are mainly made up with people looking for something different, travellers, people escaping something or professionals.

Although we have had a good life in the Philippines for me I know I can make a bigger difference to my children’s future in Europe. They will get a positive impact here and on top of that the ability to decide to go back to the Philippines or not will be their choice.

For me I have seen over the years the legacy die with expats and this is caused by short sighted thinking. Retire or move to the Philippines and the paranoia of the wife taking them for everything (yes some of it is well founded I know!). But the husband dies and the money goes with them. Be it being business enterprise or pension the grim reality is that the family is then often dropped into poverty.

Its also something I considered myself is that much of the money we generate comes from the way I am and naturally can see money in ideas. I could not leave my family in a situation where they couldn’t take care of themselves and its one of the reasons I am driven towards the change alongside education.

But also I will say my time in the Philippines is full of happy times and fondness. There were good and bad times but the funny thing is even when life was difficult we were happy. Because we work through them as a family.

Yet I am not abandoning the Philippines, unusually though I am not focusing on many of the things I normally do as I need to focus on family and work for a while. I have several charity projects I will complete once things are stable and I will help others where I can. Yet my time commitments have changed for 2014 to make all this happen.

I wish everyone good luck for this year and those on hard times right now I am thinking of you and if I can find some solutions to the problems your facing.

A mind blown works of art

Everyone of us has it’s own talent and skill that we can humbly share to everybody. This is a gift that we should not have to be greedy upon.

While just viewing on pictures, I came across this wonderful work of art from an amazing landscape artist named Andres Amador. He’s got numerous massive sand arts which are incredibly stunning and beautiful. While looking all of his works, I myself couldn’t think of how his creative and brilliant mind works knowing that the canvas he’s working on is definitely a huge one and thus you’ll have to know how to measure and balance once masterpiece. Not only that, he also need to consider the tide for it is uncontrollable and by anytime the waves will just wash away his work forever, where it took him hours creating this intricate masterpieces. And what’s left now is those pictures taken as a witness of his magnificent works of art.


This artist lives in San Francisco, California. He just simply uses rake to create this works of art. He usually wake up early in the morning to prepare everything, go to the beach and see if it’s low tide. He finds the beauty of nature natural and thus he often sees sand beaches as a best canvas to use. He finds it enjoyable and he loves to be at the beach thus he prefer to draw it in there. I was wondering why he chose to be doing it in the sand but whatever it is, the result is awesome and pleasing to the eye. 


He use a rope to measure the geometrical pattern of his masterpiece and even draw from scratch as a guide on what he needs to draw. People who can see this personally were so lucky for this is only temporary and by just a few minutes this will be washed away. Sad it may seem but this is what he wants and this what makes him a unique artist.



According to him, it only takes a couple of hours to create this once the tide is low. He need to be fast and vigilant to finish his work for it is a matter of time since they are up to the waves coming in and will soon wash away the masterpiece. Though it will be gone that easy still he finds it worth doing for and fulfilling to see what he constructs.


He even does this with a group of people that will help him with the design as a part of a team building activity or exercise. He teaches and guides them on what they have to do to complete their work before the high tide. Not only that, he also help people making proposals. How sweet, isn’t it?


By raking up the wet sand, he finds it easy to make the beachscapes possible and make contrasting sand colors. He can play with the designs and landscaping as if it’s effortless.


Andres’ works of art are simply one of a kind and knowing that these delicate creations are temporary one way or another makes them more beautiful. It goes to show how brilliant he is to be able to come up with such a sublime art.

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