Living in the Philippines – keeping our heads down or holding them high?

Residing in the Philippines – trying to keep our heads down or holding them high?

There are as many diverse ways of adapting to life as an expat in the Philippines as there are expats in the Philippines. Carol and I are inclined to tactic our lifestyle here as although we were being going for walks on eggshells. We advise towards nightlife, business dealings, philandering and other behavior we consider of as risky in just the Philippine context. We just lately have an exchange with a further expat who does not mince words with us. He thinks our method is residing a lifestyle cowering in panic.


Like with so many points there may perhaps not be a appropriate respond to as to how to stay in the Philippines. Maybe we do deprive ourselves of people and experiences as a final result of an overabundance of warning. Perhaps other people are living as well dangerously. Of training course one’s philosophy and selections for daily life in the Philippines is influenced by individuality and inclination. If you are a brash, variety A, John Wayne (or Joseph Estrada?) kind of person, we can see why we may come across as  Milquetoasts. If you are previous and shy, you could in truth see other expats behavior as reckless.

With individuals issues in head, we like to share the trade of e-mails and comments with a MyPhilippineLife reader. As we say, there could not be a correct and erroneous, but we hope the contracting points of perspective are worthy of wondering about.

Here is the 1st concept we acquired:

“I am sorry when you are a foreigner listed here you are a focus on instantly. I am married to a filipina and i when told her to get me a bottle of h2o at a keep and i was across the avenue, I walked into the retailer as the girl was using the drinking water and placing it on the counter at the time they observed me the cost went from 20php to 35php. I took the h2o, compensated for it opened it and then poured it all around her counter.”

Bob was taken aback by this and replied:

“Thanks for your comment.  Actually, I never have the foreigner overcharge difficulty extremely frequently, possibly simply because there are not so numerous foreigners in our region.  Personally, I would be pretty not comfortable reacting as you did for a quantity of reasons.  It’s pretty confrontational and could provoke some response from a security guard, partner, boyfriend or bystander.  Insults are not always overlooked or forgiven.  Further, as I say, there are not several foreigners in our place and I test to behave so that it creates a favorable perception. Perhaps it would have been greater  just to refuse to acquire, outlining why.  Just my two cents. Bob Hammerslag”

This is the reaction we been given by way of electronic mail:

Pricey Mr, Hammerslag, I have to as soon as again strongly disagree with a lot of of the matters you outlined and what I stated was just just one instance but be sure to allow me enlighten you to some others I encountered. My small business associates and I ended up at a meeting and we wrapped up, My spouse was with me so we made the decision to just go household, we were in an area that there was a great deal traffic ( jeepneys,tricycles,metered taxis, foot site visitors) we got into a taxi, locked the doors as we usually do and informed the driver exactly where to go. soon after about 1 kilometer he stopped and explained to us that we would have to pay out added cash thanks to the time and traffic, I explained to him I would not pay him nearly anything excess and only what was on the meter. He turned the taxi down a street and then floored it likely about 60 miles an hour, I achieved throughout to grab him and he ducked his head and then stopped the taxi, he jumped out of the taxi and had a machete in his hand and instructed us to get out. I informed my wife to get out on my facet permitting me go out initially. As I got out he began swinging the machete and my spouse was screaming, I advised her that I would preserve him on my facet and for her to get out on the other facet. I arrived at in my pocket and confirmed him some revenue, he stopped swinging the machete and my spouse was able to get out of the taxi. there had been quite a few rocks in the location so I threw the revenue in the air and then arrived at down and grabbed rocks and commenced throwing them at him. he was striving to see exactly where the dollars fell so he could seize it but we equally started off pelting him with rocks. I strike him in the head with a pretty big rock and he reached up to seize his head and then I grabbed him and took the machete away from him. he took off jogging. He did not get the dollars both. The keys had been not in the taxi so we determine he took them. we walked back to another road and obtained into a tricycle and acquired off just one block from the house. by the way the taxi? this person was standing outside the house the taxi cigarette smoking a cigarette speaking with a law enforcement officer? the taxi? it was stolen? is not the warm and fuzzy friendship just gushing from the filipino men and women? By the way this was not a provoked occasion. The  next sir was 3 guys who jumped on to the exact same tricycle my wife and I with an additional person had been on and pulling a rusty computerized gun to rob all of us, the driver pulled the tricycle over and ran away, what they did not know was that I was also armed and due to the fact I am rather tall and they desired my funds I told them I had to get out to access my pocket, that was a bad mistake for them mainly because I started off shooting at them right before my ft strike the ground. I know I hit the 1 with the gun but when he screamed and I stored capturing the relaxation ran away like insane. I do not call awareness to myself Mr Hammerslag, I have 4 corporations in this article and have numerous fantastic staff members who operate for me way too! but I do not choose no shit from no just one. If you check out to cheat me I will notify you and phone you out on it. The a single issue Mr. Hammerslag is that this modern society breeds this society, it is not new, it is not recent, it has been around a extensive time. They kill their very own, they torture their own, they rape their have and anybody else in in between. You make it audio as if 1 acts a certain way a person is safe and sound, no you are not Mr, Hammerslag either just like any other foreigner is. One can exist but that is it.”

Bob responded:

I apologize for currently being so extensive in responding to your e mail. I am sorry if I arrived throughout as preachy about your activities in the Philippines. I typically get criticism for becoming alarmist about the risk of crime in opposition to foreigners in the Philippines, particularly from men and women who have lived in the Philippines and by no means had any troubles.

I have lived below for pretty much seven several years. Since of in which we live and my cautious, potentially timid, way of life, I have experienced absolutely nothing but favourable activities. But, I am thoroughly aware that just mainly because I have had no issues so considerably, living a reclusive way of life in a very safe household and getting several dangers (no girlfriends, bar hopping, late nights out, business bargains) definitely does not signify I am unaware of the a lot of foreigners who have experienced really serious and frequently deadly difficulties in the Philippines. I normally save new studies with regards to foreigners being killed right here and elsewhere in the Philippines. I have really a assortment. If I have been to publish them on my website, just one after the other, it would generate quite a great deal of pain by people who feel the hazards of living in the Philippines are overblown, and to those considering retiring listed here. I may just do so. I will say that virtually all, but not all of these are inside of jobs this kind of as wife’s boyfriend, maid’s boyfriend and so on.

I do know that my full viewpoint and peace of mind below could be shattered if I experienced expert even a portion of the things that you have been by means of. In reality, I really don’t have your swift wits and energy. I am a timid old person. I in all probability would have just paid the excess dollars to the taxi driver. Occasionally timidly does not function and if a thing like you explained happens to me I’ll be in big difficulties.

Very best regards,

Bob Hammerslag

This is the last installment in this dialogue

Fantastic Day Robert,

I grew up in New York Metropolis, I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran. Out of 3 of us on a mission I was the only 1 who returned and I was carrying my buddies system which had no head. All all through this time element of my leg was blown off. For just about every a single report you have I have 4 of them. I also work all about the environment in which I have been in some quite hairy places. I have lived in the Philippines for 10 yrs robert, I individual 3 enterprises together with a different foreigner who is married to a filipina. The just one factor you depart out is that the filipinos are desperate people today. You may well slide in under the radar, but you in a round about way are declaring is that as a human being you can not reside as you would like since your head would be taken off from your human body. You must function for the journey bureau since you say that if you positioned studies out in your web site no foreigners will pay a visit to or retire right here? The phils have some of the most archaic rules in the complete Asian theater. Even Thailand who is broadly know for their sex trade is not as terrible. so what you are telling the masses is to gown like bums cover all your valuables, make your homes impregnable and you will live an carefree lifestyle with a attractive filipina woman. 

So robert if you moved to the philippines to disguise then by all implies do, I to am married to a filipina, I like to dress effectively, I like to go out and eat in the improved places to eat, my dwelling has the most up to date security devices, I constantly have a .357 and a 45 my wife carries a 25 vehicle and a host of other smaller factors to render individuals surprised. My SUV is Armored and also very well outfitted. I brought it with me from the states. I do not walk frightened Robert but I detest persons who would harm others since they are to lazy to perform or really feel that getting from other people is much less difficult mainly because they are desperate. Their desperation if it comes up towards me or my household is quick loss of life time period. By the way robert just so you know after all the terrible activities I went via and all the alterations I just reviewed, there have been some who have experimented with, you may possibly have read through about them or seen them on the Abdominal muscles-CBN news system. My business associate who has lived in the phils a lot lengthier than me at the time explained to me even though in the organization of lots of other foreigners reviewed all the issues talked about in all the weblogs right here in the phils, the the greater part of it is bunk time period does not matter what you consider robert if you have molded your intellect to believe all the drivel then I come to feel that is why you think and responded as you do. Convey to the truth of the matter Robert it is considerably less expensive than telling lies and living a lifestyle cowering, and even if you do not say you are, allow me enlighten you on  something you are.

At this level it appeared like we had really much each expressed our differing perspectives and approaches.  As in all factors, there is might be lesson or classes to be figured out from this exchange.  Each foreigner residing in a overseas land provides not only their passports and luggage, but also their possess heritage, strengths and weaknesses.  Out of these they manner a way of lifestyle in the Philippines which fits them.