I’ve written before about “Making a Soft Landing in the Philippines“. It’s the start of a new year and a new decade and sadly, many of you reading this and thinking about the Philippines are still in tough times.
I read about the weather in the US … and my dear wife, the Unofficial Cook, views the streets in our former home town, Colorado Springs via the city’s traffic cams … when they aren’t iced over or obscured by blowing snow. Hard times so far as I am concerned. Why so many people chose to continue living in conditions like that, with utility bills the way they are, completely boggles my mind.
A reader just a day or so ago wrote to me about his “snowbirding” plan for the Philippines. He’s thinking about taking summer work in Alaska (believe me, there are always jobs there in the summer … if you want to work, that is, instead of getting paid to surf on your employer’s time).
Then, when the snow flies, he’ll come back to the Philippines where he plans to have his family living, and enjoy these months where the weather is nice here and the US and Europe are suffering through one blizzard and cold snap after another. He plans to clear about $20,000 USD per season and just live on that the rest of the year. If he and his family are good budget managers I see nothing at all wrong with the plan … it’s eminently practical.
There’s more than one US fellow I’ve corresponded with here in the Philippines, doing that exact thing.
Other snowbirders are couples more my age who already have a pension or investment income and live here in the Philippines while the weather is bad in the US, and then go back ‘home’ for 4 months, 5 months, six months or whatever suits them, to take advantage of the summer months in the US when the weather is bearable.
There are many ways to do this without a conventional J*O*B. (Just Over Broke). I applaud them for being rebels. Breaking the government/media propoganda line that says your worth is in your job, and if you don’t have a regular job, by definition getting paid, on average, one-third of what you are actually making for your employer, then you are somehow a failure. Friends, that is nothing short of patent bullshit.
Your personal worth is in your talents and what you can earn for yourself and your family … in a great many ways the folks in the US who have lost their jobs … and (this part is important) those decide to make something of themselves on their own … as opposed to the drones who sit on the sidewalk outside the unemployment offices and moan about what the government doesn’t do for them, are the lucky ones.
(yeah, there’s a little bit of competition there, but both these fellows have a lot to offer … I also see a guy recently publishing www.living-in-the-philippines.com (note the annoying, hard to type hyphens) … not a whole lot of original thinking going on there, but that’s another story).
Anyway, I was struck by this article by Don, Why the Philippines and Why Now?, (scroll down the page that opens to read the full article, pleasee) especially the following snippet …
Some have been snow birding in the Philippines for years: hiding from the cold. Now some are “economy birding,” waiting for the warmer economic climate by hanging out in the Philippines. Here is no sin to be unemployed. (my emphasis) They enjoy living here and all the beauties of the country for a fraction of the cost of the more “developed,” countries…
Don has it exactly right here … this is one of the things about living in the Philippines I like, and didn’t even realize I would like.
In the US, much more than you may realize, you are not judged by who you are, but by what your work is. If you lost your job, there’s an unspoken but hidden stigma that surrounds you and your family, anywhere you go, that cries out “loser“. Does not matter the why and the how of the situation, you don’t have a job, you must be less worthy than the average “wage slave”.
And heaven forfend you be “retired”. That means, especially to the average 30 or 40 something executive or legislator, your life is over, you are physically and mentally unfit to contribute anything, and you are, worse than that, a resource hog, a ‘snorrer” who is sucking the life out of the young who feel they have inherited the earth. As one of my old former governors (ask me sometime why Colorado sucks) was famous for saying, “The elderly have a duty to die.”
In the Philippines, who cares if you have a job? Occasionally in the past, some of my neighbors have asked, in passing, what I am doing with myself. I tell them I’m retired and their faces lightsup with a little respect for the 40 years I put in to earn this status. They never turn their head and spit 😉
Thinking of Living in the Philippines? It has its ups and downs, but it is sure different than living in the USA in terms of how you are judged and treated … for sure. Living here is a bit like the old US Army tag line, “Be all that you can be”, rather than “Is your job important enough that I should even acknowledge you?”