Here is a recent great comment from a reader that pretty much tells the story better than I can. I have just made it anonymous and corrected a couple typos. Everything else is as real as can be. Start thinking in terms of reality rather than your current dream world, folks, please ..
I have been contemplating a move to the Phil’s for many years now and everything said in this forum be it negative or positive is generally correct. Yes there are negatives to consider but there are sooo many more positives.
You want to work In the Philippines?
There are jobs but they are very hard to come by and they may not suit your qualifications. I have been looking for about 12 months from abroad which is the hardest way to find work in the Philippines… believe me!
I will be heading there next month as I have finally had a few tentative offers from employers that currently have some expats working for them.
The catch…. it is not technically the thing to do when your on a visitor visa to be looking for work or even for an employer to offer you work, however we are talking about the Phil’s the right person can fix anything if the right palm is greased.. one thing I have learned from visiting the Phil’s is 400 peso’s can make things move much quicker… you may not like to hear it but its true.
I lost an air ticket some years ago I had to get 2 affidavits one from the police and one from a public official they both said it couldn’t be done for a few days, $10 each and walked out with them right then and there….no one in the office batted an eye lid when the money went straight into the pockets. get used to it!
If you don’t like standing in queues DON’T move to the Philippines:
Once I have a letter of offer from what I hope will be my new employer I need to get a AEP alien employment permit WITH MY EMPLOYER so unless your prospective employer has done this before he may not want to go through this process you may have to pay him to sit in a queue to do this for you…
(editor’s note: I have several nieces who work here in Manila s call center agents. The companies are both very interested in hiring agents and first-level supervisors with good English skills. One company even pays current employees a P25,000 hiring bonus if they bring in a qualified applicant. So I asked them to write for me here, sign up all these folks wishing for a job in the Philippines, and collect a bounty on every candidate. Their response, “Tito(uncle) Dave, it’s just too0, too much to get foreigners qualified to work. We would have to use up all our vacation leave and more just to try to help these people through the processing … it’s just not realistic for us to spend the time.. Now P25,000 is more than a month’s wages for many call center agents, and if they don’t think it’s worth earning a month’s wages to help you through the processing gate, that will give you a good idea of what the process is really like)
… Once you have an AEP you then need to apply for a working visa so another queue to sit in… now when I say sit in a queue I mean you may be there ALL DAY yes ALL DAY only to find your in the wrong queue or you need additional paper work… get used to it
(editor’s note: My wife, a natural born Filipina who has lived here all here life except for 6 years in the US, recently went back to work at a Philippine company. I drove her around to some of her processing stops for the paperwork she was required to have (much less paperwork than a foreigner would need I might add). One thing she had to do was update her Philippine SS card to her married name. It took 5 trips to different offices to get this done, over a span of a week. You will typically get told. “You need such and such a form, from some other government agency. After you go to that other agency, wait in line there, pay a fee or two and then come back to the first office, expect to be told “now you need some other form from some other agency.”. It becomes a vicious, demoralizing comedy of errors.)
… after all that I will go from earning $4000 post tax per month to around $700-$800 pre tax per month if I’m really lucky… you have to consider rent, food, electricity, water, transport.. get used to it or find another income.
(editor’s note: For US citizens and US LPR (Green card holders), do not forget you will be paying Philippine income tax and US income tax as well. You get a credit with the US for the taxes you pay the Philippines, but it is still more than twice as much hassle each year to file in the two different countries)
… my apartment is $350 per month its not the cheapest, you will find cheaper BUT we will have 4 incomes living there and its DRY…
… be careful flooding is common place so sometimes its better to spend a little more.
… electricity is about is about $50- $110 per month if you take it easy on the aircon …
… Tap water is about $40 + drinking water ???? depends it you want to boil the tap water ( be careful with water )
… food is very cheap if you cook your own we can easily live on $50 per month… stick to the staples, rice veggies and fish are all very cheap… get used to it
… so our living expenses come to around $540 per month now remember we split most of those 4 ways which equals $135 – $150 each per month share your living cost! get used to it
so say $700 less tax= around $600 – $150 = $450 less transport….. use Jeepney’s and watch your wallet! get used to it.
… if you consider these figures you can live very well in the Philippines on a modest budget….
… do not under any circumstances make it common knowledge that you have money saved…… or you will be broken into in no time flat …. sounds harsh but get used to it …
…sure help out if its a genuine emergency but tell them you had to borrow the money… anyone that has been married to a Filipina will know what I mean.. like I say it sounds harsh but get used to it …
Getting Married in the Philippines?
Please Please Please take some advice It has been stated here before take your time when you meet your Filipina princess… as far as I’m concerned the Filipinas are the most maganda ( beautiful ) girls in the world and it is soooooo easy to fall for them. but be warned I have been burned by one and many others have.
Don’t get married straight away and don’t give her everything she wants be a bit stingy…. sounds harsh again but if she is genuine and loves you for you not your money she will stick around… don’t get me wrong there are many genuine girls there and I have since found a good one but many are looking to get out and can play you for many years…. mine did! then took the lot …
… Rule of thumb I guess is find one that wants to stay with her family and is not desperate to get overseas…. and please never never get married in the Phil’s if it doesn’t work out there is NO divorce there take her to Thailand get married on the beach…. have a honeymoon there,, anywhere but the Philippines.
(Editor’s note: You can also get married easily in Hong Kong or Singapore. Close by, she doesn’t need a visa to go there and if necessary the marriage can be terminated)
Now don’t get me wrong living in the Philippines is not as bad as I may have made it sound… as Philly has said he has never felt unsafe there… I have been many many times and for extended periods and I have never felt unsafe. Not all Filipinas are out to rip you off … I have a sweet, educated and hard working girl now and life is good.
… There is work in the Philippines its just hard to come by.
BUT YOU HAVE TO BE SMART, YOU HAVE TO BE PERSISTANT AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE PATIENCE!
Well said, dear reader, well said. I recommend everyone with that dream of a job in the Philippines read this and read it well. Godspeed.