Significantly updates in Octobe4, 2014. Part of a series on living in the Philippines on the BB (Balik Bayan) Privilege stamp.
Part One is here: Why I Left The Philippines
Part Two: Why I Left The Philippines Again
Part Four: Coming Soon
One of my more popular articles here, as part of our ongoing effort to make PhilFAQS.com your best source for answers to the frequently Asked Questions about Traveling to the Philippines, Retiring in the Philippines, or just plain living here in my second home, the Philippines was written originally back in 2009 and entitled
And now, here I go again with another article on leaving the Philippines.
Yes, it’s true, for the past couple weeks I have been posting here under false pretenses. Your ‘regularly scheduled broadcasts’ have been coming to you from America’s heartland, the great city of Pueblo and state of Colorado, Zip Code 81004.
Now please read this part if you don’t read anything else. I did NOT move back to the US and I will be returning to my home in the Philippines end of this week, Sep 14/15th. (Update, I’m back in the Philippines)
So Why Did You Leave the Philippines, Dave?
Well several reasons, really
- I was bored, yeah very nearly clinically depressed by the rains this year. Rainy season is always a downer on Luzon, but this year was much worse than any in the years I have lived here.
- My wife had a lot of in-home projects going on, painting, cleaning and such, which I was judged as in the way of.
- I wanted to research some prices and current issues on living here in the US
- I wanted to spend my birthday with my son, hadn’t spent any time with him in more than 3 years.
So I hopped a great silver bird and off I went. Flew the old Continental “island hop” route from Manila to Guam to Hawaii and then direct to Denver. It’s long and tiresome, mainly because at every stop there is slow, inefficient security checks, disregarding the fact you just did the same thing on the last island. At Hawaii I found airport personnel pretty much rude, spoke obnoxious, horrible English (made me yearn for the clear accents and great courtesies of NAIA, Manila). What an armpit to welcome folks to the USA. A big negative surprise. Thought it would be a much nicer arrival into the US proper, instead I was glad to leave.
Airlines are worse than ever before. Very little food on International legs, NO FOOD from Hawaii to Denver (7 hours plus) unless you buy snacks, very poor selection and 8 bucks for a little box of cheese spreads and crumbly crackers. God Bless America.
And How Did You Find America, Dave?
Actually much better than I expected. Majority of Americans are not cowering in fear the way American news media seems to picture them.
Prices, not much changed since I was in the USA three years ago except snack foods, hamburgers and such. But Sooper Salad is still here, what a wonderful healthy lunch or dinner for under 6 bucks, about P250 for a senior citizen.
Nothing, absolutely nothing like that available in the Philippines. Americans are so blessed by the plentiful and top quality food available to them.
Hint Hint, to all those who keep asking me about ideas for something they could make a business out of in the Philippines, why not just look around you right there in the USA. Food here in the Philippines is so boring, so unvarying .. fried chicken, adobo, pancit, all fatty, all loaded with unnecessary sugar and so bereft od decent fresh vegetables that it is pitiful.
Believe it or not, a lot of Filipinos have been to high school and higher and actually know something about nutritional requirements as well, but trying to find healthy food in the Philippines mainly involves cooking for yourself from scratch. Why?
(Editor’s Note: years after I made this business suggestion I still have never heard of nayone picking up on this idea. Many Filipinos are educated enough to eat healthy rather that deep-fried sugar .. but it’s not available here. Are there no entrepreneurs at all out there? You DON”T have to be a copycat to succeed. In fact, it might even be smarter NOT to start yet another copy of a Filipino business. Grow some balls, guys and gals!)
Beats me bit where there is a gap in the market large enough to drive a huge fresh vegetable truck through, take advantage of the ‘hole’ would be my advice. I’ll give you just one example. Where we live in Marilao. Bulacan, just 5 km or so outside the actual political border of Metro Manila, we buy as many vegetables as possible from two ladies who have been serving our area for years now. They travel two hours on a bus each way from their home province in Nueva Ecija three days a week. baskets and sacks for fresh veggies and fresh killed meats from home balanced on their laps, and they peddle every morsel they bring every single trip to the vegetable starved homes here outside Manila.
Why would it be profitable for two country ladies to travel all that way, day after day? Easy. There is a crying need and no one is filling it!
So Are You Glad To Be Back, Dave?
Are you planning to stay here a long time, Dave?
Yep, I certainly am. Every time I go to the US (every three years or so) I get a little antsy with random thoughts about perhaps moving back.
And every time I spend a few weeks in the US I start getting ‘seduced’ by the immensely higher range of consumer products and the vastly superior customer service, warranties and other consumer services that the Philippines will never begin to approach.
But I lose that feeling easily the moment I step back on the great silver bird to return to the Philippines, and when those wheels thumped down on NAIA’s runway. I was do very very glad to be “home”.
Good for at least three more years free of the “tug of US consumerism”.
For those who haven’t experienced living here? Nothing more really that I can say. You can read reports for me, you can read books and articles galore, but you need to come experience yourself if you are to ever know.
Experience, grow, try, what is there really to lose? Exactly. Tell me your biggest fears about moving here, and let’s talk.