(Last updated 12 March 2017)
- 0.1 It’s too hard?
- 0.2 Move To The Philippines — KISS
- 0.3 It’s just not that hard, folks.
- 0.4 You Already Know How To Live In The Philippines
- 1 Make things Easy on Yourself
- 1.1 What visa should I use to move to the Philippines on?
- 1.2 But here’s an idea, why not make it even simpler.
- 1.3 But I’m in the States and my Wife is in the Philippines, I Can’t Bring Her to the States, So I Can’t Use a BB:
- 1.4 You don’t HAVE to Marry in the Philippines:
- 1.5 Move To The Philippines — What to bring
- 1.6 Move To The Philippines — Keeping In Touch
- 1.7 Voice Communication:
- 2 Related Posts
- 3 Share this Article:
Move To The Philippines. Always a popular subject here at PhilFAQS. But you know what I hear very, very often from readers with moving to the Philippines on their mind?
It’s too hard?
Too hard? Yep. Didn’t seem that hard to me, I put our house on the market, threw some household goods in a container, my wife and I packed our bags, got on a plane and there we were. I failed to see the “hardness” involved. Perhaps we should explore a little more?
Move To The Philippines — KISS
Yes, KISS. (Keep It Simple, Stupid). No, I’m not calling you stupid. But the amount of time so many of you spend worrying, dithering, deciding and then changing your mind and starting the cycle over again certainly is stupid.
It’s just not that hard, folks.
Now recently I wrote a post that many found interesting about not making it hard on yourself in the Philippines. But that was pretty much about knowing the law and not doing things any rational man would know is wrong in any country … as in, you don’t move in with some other guy’s wife, father a child with here and then not expect a lot of vindictiveness from her husband.
But seriously, if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t have a better concept of right and wrong than the guy in that article, leave now, you’re going to hurt yourself … or at the very last, get mad at me.
You Already Know How To Live In The Philippines
All you have to do is focus on what you mostly already know … how you would live back there in the USA (or wherever your home country is), how you treat people on a day-to-day Christian basis, how you protect your money when you make business deals in any country, etc.
Folks moving to and living in the Philippines is just not that much different from moving to and living in Omaha would be.
In fact, think a bit like one of my heroes, the “Oracle of Omaha” … How to Think Like Warren Buffett
Make things Easy on Yourself
“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”
People often make work more challenging than it needs to be. Have you ever spent hours and hours working on a project that you know you could have completed in thirty minutes?
Don’t languish with unproductive habits or inefficient systems. Find ways to work that makes your job easy…
Let me give you a real-world example I hear from folks about all the time. There are people who literally seem obsessed with this subject.
What visa should I use to move to the Philippines on?
Well, there are a lot of choices. Many choices are only available to people of certain nationalities, or those who can make an investment, or those who are married to Philippine/former Philippine citizens.
But really, if you narrow the choice down to the visas available to you, personally, and the ones you can afford, then there’s never more than one or two choices that ‘fit”. It is not as complicated as some folks want to make it out to be.
But here’s an idea, why not make it even simpler.
If you are single or married to a spouse with no Philippine connection, don’t worry, just get on a plane and go.
You’ll get a tourist visa waiver when you land, you can extend that, 2 months at a time for at least 16 more months, and if things haven’t fallen into place for you by then, you likely aren’t going to live here anyway.
If you are married to a Filipino/former Filipino, just travel with him or her and get a Balikbayan (BB) Privilege Stamp for free at the airport. (takes less than a minute and there’s no form to fill up).
It gives you a full year to make arrangements, decide on things, finalize things, and you can’t beat the simplicity.
But I’m in the States and my Wife is in the Philippines, I Can’t Bring Her to the States, So I Can’t Use a BB:
A common situation. The couple doesn’t want to wait for a US visa for the wife, or she can’t get one, or they have no interest incoming to the USA anyway.
No problem. The BB privilege stamp simply requires that the couple enter the Philippines together.
So, hubby, fly to Hong Kong (typically deep discount fares available from the US.
Wife, fly to Hong Kong (cheap flights from the Philippines, no visa required for Filipinos).
Meet up, take a discount flight to the Philippines and get that 1 year free BB stamp. Easy-peasy.
Why make things difficult? Apply the KISS principle.
You don’t HAVE to Marry in the Philippines:
Here’s another big problem people are always worrying and fretting over.
The couple wants to marry, the fiancée can’t come to the USA, so the only choice is to go to the Philippines, marry there and then the husband is already “in-country” and thus can’t avail of the BB privilege.
Also, there are often impediments to the marriage in the Philippines caused by officious, and sometimes, in my experience, local registrars who are downright wrong in the interpretation of Philippines law.
Guess what? Marriage between two foreigners in Hong Kong is allowed and relatively cheap and easy. Just fly to Hong Kong, marry there and then return to the Philippines together and get the BB stamp.
Again, stop making it difficult and apply the KISS principle.
Move To The Philippines — What to bring
This is one of the most frequently asked questions as well. My goodness but an awful lot of agonizing seems to go into this one. Again, the answer is much simpler than most make it out to be.
If you are not sure where you are going to live, or aren’t sure the move will be permanent (and trust me, you really don’t know until you have lived here at least a couple of years), then bring only what you feel is worth paying shipping on both ways across the Pacific.
If you are more sure that you are going to stay, but can’t afford even a partial container load shipping, then ship yourself what fits into balikbayan boxes.
If you have shipping privileges (permanent visa, SRRV or balikbayan) then ship everything you own and don’t worry.
Stop agonizing. (these guys can help, they helped me move: Returning Resident, Balikbayan Shipment )
Many things that Americans are used to aren’t readily available here, or they are cheaply made but expensively priced Chinese crap.
Things like kitchen ware, for example. Leave all the pots, pans, bowls, pitchers, measuring cups and such back in the USA and you’ll kick yourself for years that you didn’t pay the relatively small cost to ship it.
Things to avoid? Desktop computers (they’re already old and power-hungry), 110 volt appliances (unless they are special enough to warrant buying a transformer for, tube-type TV’s, and anything else electronic that is more than a few years old … unless it’s really “special”.
Aside from a few caveats like that, let me leave you with these thoughts. My wife and I shipped one-quarter of a 20 foot container’s worth.
I gave away, sold, and junked enough furniture, yard tools, and other “household” stuff to have filled the container. Wish that I had. We missed a LOT of things we had in the USA, and anything we shipped that it turns out we didn’t want after all would have a ready market here … people line up for sales on used, US stuff.
A good friend shipped two full 40 foot containers. (in fairness, he does have a bigger family). His only regret? That he didn’t ship more.
Stop agonizing, just KISS.
Move To The Philippines — Keeping In Touch
I find, regretfully that I have confused or o mind-boggled a number of people on this subject. To many choices and too complex for some. My apologies. let’s apply the KISS principle here. FaceBook Messenger, Skype, Magic Jack, Viber, the list goes on. Just pick one and use it.
Start working on this one today. You do NOT need so much mail!
One thing I noticed after I moved to the Philippines was just how much unessential, useless mail I used to get in the USA.
Teach your friends and family to use email, and/or cheap phone service.
Anyone who bills you by mail should already offer online billing and payment. If your US bank doesn’t have a decent online banking service, dump them and go with a bank who knows it is the 21st century already.
A huge majority of monthly bills you get now can not only can be aid online, but the majority of them won’t be coming to you any more after you move.
Also, when you move the US Post Office will forward First Class mail for one year. (Yes, that’s right, first class mail is forwarded anywhere in the world, free, for a year. If it’s not First Class, why the hell would you want it, anyway?)
There are dozens of re-mailing/local US address providers online. Pick one. Google is your friend. Here’s one that works: http://www.myus.com/. There are many, many more.
If you are retired US military, you can get service through the US State Department/Department of Defense and local Retired Affairs offices. More at: Is The Philippines A Good Place For Military Retirees in 2017
This one is easy. Just go to Magic Jack and purchase either the standard which plugs into any computer USB port, or the “plus” which plugs into your Internet router or the iPad/iPhone app which will let it work on your smartphone. Cheap, no per minute charges between the USA and the Philippines, pay the cheap renewal fee once a year and Bob’s your uncle.
So, hopefully I have made a few things easier for some of you.
Remember the most important key to a successful move … keep it simple. Write and let me know what you feel is too hard about your Move To The Philippines.
Next article in this series here: Move to the Philippines — Kiss 2