Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

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Michael_00005
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Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Michael_00005 »

I'm actively looking to travel to the Philippines for an extended stay (Jan-Mar 2023), with an interest to permanently live abroad. It feels a bit daunting doing this as a single guy who's done little to no travel in that part of the world. So I'm wondering if anyone has any pointers for doing something like that - I have been watching some YouTube videos. Ideally I'd love to connect with someone who would not mind showing me around the area/city/country. That would be my top priority having a contact(s), or at least meeting people open to friendship.

A bit about myself - 50ish, FIRE with a modest income, I've always enjoyed simple things: love nature, don't drink, follow a plant based diet, into good health and fitness, yoga etc., enjoy being around friendly, non-drama real people. I'm more than a little bit dissatisfied with what is going on in this country. I've looked into dating, and you likely see this if your a guy. Men are not valued by women in Western cultures anymore, and then all the social fears people have for each other. It feels suffocating, people lock themselves up in their homes, and live very compartmentalized lives. Home>car>cubicle->bar->repeat, repeat, repeat. For me, that is un-life.

I've loosened up a good deal with age, more tolerant, and I've always been broad-minded, definitely not fixed in my beliefs. I like philosophy, and find spiritual topics interesting. I've recently dated a Philippina woman, and instantly noticed a type of friendly, openness that I never see with women in this country anymore. We would actually have enjoyable non political conversations, and she never felt the need to tell me about how big a feminist she was, which is usually the 1st thing Western woman generally tell you. And, OH boy, how I love hearing that, as all men do no doubt!

I've heard you can't own land in the Philippines if you're a foreigner, but building a home is very reasonable... something I'd love to do.

Not totally fixated on the Philippines btw, South of the U.S. border is a possibility as well. Would appreciate any helpful feedback if you have experience with something like this.

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OutOfTheBlue
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by OutOfTheBlue »

I am currently in Thailand/SEA, and haven't been to Philippines yet, but I can send you two books of the "Culture Shock!" and "Culture Smart" series for that country. Found the versions on Thailand quite useful. It is always good to be aware of cultural differences and getting insights into other worlds.

The fact that English is spoken fluently will certainly make things easier but it can also be deceptive because the general worldview and background is not the same. Some things just take time and experience to figure out and navigate. It is the fascinating side of discovering something new.

All in all, sounds like a great project!

Take it easy and enjoy 😊

Michael_00005
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Michael_00005 »

"Culture Shock!" huh, that sounds interesting. I've seen some youtube where people go into the details on culture differences. The Filipina Pea for example, she goes into details on about every topic, and she is very good. I really don't expect it to be too big a deal for me however, hard to explain this, but I certainly have experience from past lives living in Eastern cultures. It's a feeling rather than memory... if that makes sense. We've been here before; Westernized culture is all caught up with science, but we've lost touch with our spiritual roots, and even with community. Many topics used to be more openly discussed. Now people are mostly just afraid, afraid of what other think, afraid to be without issuance, afraid someone will harm them (they get this from watching too much tv), fear, fear, and than more fear!

For me Westernized culture is almost completely backwards. When younger we're taught history and how we've been making progress, but essentially the native populations and cultures have been, or are being destroyed for this so called progress. If you could live in the U.S. say 400 years ago. Grow up under the stars, spend the the days working in the fields and under the sun, preparing shelters and then in the evenings we would gather with the tribe - then it would be story telling by the fire and dance. No bills, no need to worry about land ownership, it would be all about simple needs. Not to say it would be perfect or without problems, but what we have today... is it better? People lost in drink and drug addiction, spending evening sitting hours behind a TV, a lifetime stuck in a cubicle, 1-2 hours per day stuck in traffic, 5 days a week, fears running rampant, endless stress, around 1/2 the population single and unable find a partner. Yea, we have big bank accounts and fancy homes, but does this really add to anyone's happiness?

I'm going a bit off subject with this comment, but feel it's an important topic for people living in the West. Are we really making progress when it comes to living a content, happy life?

I don't expect to go back in time by the way, but I certainly don't fear a more simply lifestyle. You bring up an excellent point on English speaking, that's really important for me.

Humanofearth
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Humanofearth »

Go to all 3.

Philippines: nicest beaches & diving, worst infrastructure, most dating opportunities, catholic, easy visa.

Thailand: passable nature, safe & warm people, hard to learn language amazing infrastructure & food, solid dating if you’re fit, Buddhist, passable visa.

chenda
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by chenda »

The Philippines is the most vulnerable country in the world to climate change, and Thailand isn't much better. They are also riddled with corruption, scams, violent crime and political instability. I'd be cautious about any long term plans to stay

There is a good you tube channel called the Thairish times which I recommend. He interviews numerous westerners who have moved to Thailand, and it gives a pretty honest appraisal of both the good and the bad sides.
Last edited by chenda on Tue Dec 27, 2022 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Michael_00005 wrote:
Mon Dec 26, 2022 11:03 am
I'm actively looking to travel to the Philippines for an extended stay (Jan-Mar 2023), with an interest to permanently live abroad. It feels a bit daunting doing this as a single guy who's done little to no travel in that part of the world. So I'm wondering if anyone has any pointers for doing something like that
My general advice is to try and approach the trip from a curious, open, and non-judgmental perspective. You'll likely know more after a week of arriving than you would with six months of detailed planning from abroad. If you aren't on a tight timeline, I'd encourage you to spend time in both Thailand and the Philippines. At least a month in each. That may be necessary or ideal from a visa perspective anyway. Thailand is easier than many countries for independent travel.

Also, don't rush into any decisions about permanent relocation or purchasing property. I'm shocked at how many expats purchase property only to leave in a year or two. They don't often fully consider the legal, financial, social, and political ramifications of purchasing land/property.

There are many amazing things about living and traveling in Asia, but it is easy to romanticize from abroad. Most countries have beautiful aspects to the culture, and some less-redeeming qualities. It was only after living and traveling abroad for multiple years that I really appreciated some of the features of life in the US that I previously took for granted.

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OutOfTheBlue
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by OutOfTheBlue »

+1, very well said @Western Red Cedar, great perspective.

rube
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by rube »

Humanofearth wrote:
Tue Dec 27, 2022 5:17 pm
Go to all 3.
This plus everything what @wrc said.
I have been to all three countries. Ranging from 1-2 months and longer in other Asian countries, alone, with DW and with DW+kids. Not with the intention of moving though.
It is just what you want and prioritize, food, nature, language, culture+relationship etc.
Moving permanently is a big step. First go and get a first impression yourself. Do realize that also within these countries there are big differences locally.

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Lemur
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Lemur »

So my Spouse is from the Philippines and she even owns some land there that her family is managing in her community. We've been married almost 10 years now and I've been to that country around 5-7 times or so? (I lost exact count). The longest was about 45 days though. We've considered a long-term stay in the Philippines but like @Chenda pointed out, I've some concerns about climate change and population projections. Yes it is true - Philippines is one of the most risky countries when it comes to climate change and they're ranked #36 by population density (and not slowing down!). Also a long fat trial run is key for me before making any serious roots. Depending on where you're visiting as well, there is a bit of a concern with growing nationalism and an apprehension to foreigners. It is not uncommon for a politician or town mayor to get taken out...

Northern parts of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luzon such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angeles_City are mostly welcoming to foreigners and there are more English speakers as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cebu is also a nice place (a lot of people in my Spouse's family are speak highly of Cebu at least). That is some insider info I guess. :lol: Clark Global City is also worth googling about - its an economic zone / city that is being built up. My Spouse's family likes to occasionally visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baguio as well. I haven't been but I want to. Its a quite mountain area.

True - a foreigner cannot own land or property in the Philippines but your Spouse could.

Language and culture are also pretty dependent on what province you're visiting. Most Filipinos speak Tagalog (the national language) and then they've their provincial language. The former is mostly used for legal speaking, news, politics, etc. The latter is used for family & friends. Most Filipinos also know a little bit of English and often code-switch with Tagalog (taglish). The younger generations are getting pretty good at English and prioritize it more.

Filipinos are definitely known for their hospitality and strong family values. Work is also not taken seriously. A lot of vacations, relaxing, but also a lot of drama, deep poverty, petty crime, theft, and my Spouse's most hated value of "the crab in a bucket."

Also - good luck with a WFPB diet in the Philippines. They eat a lot of pork :) and a lot of stuff is fried in coconut oil. A lot of Filipinos get heart disease as a result. They also eat a lot of fish and vegetables though so if you avoid the Lechón inspired dishes, then you should be alright. Though...there is no way I am not having https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisig or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocino next time I visit :).

FWIW, I think it is easy to romanticize the Philippines or any SE Asian country if you're looking for certain values but the reality having been there, it certainly has its more dark side. These countries are definitely not without their problems. Also best not to visit the Southern Philippine islands such as Mindanao (read up on travel warnings) as there are known cases of foreigners being kidnapped and some parts are a literal active warzone.
Last edited by Lemur on Tue Dec 27, 2022 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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C40
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by C40 »

For books, I will confirm the suggestions of the "Culture Smart" and "Culture Shock" books. I'll note that the quality of those books is inconsistent. They are great for some countries, and light/basic for others.

Also this book from Rick Ellis is good https://www.amazon.com/Living-South-Eas ... B077XVX59D
It compares the countries of SEA quite well, and has information about different cities in each country that will help you decide where to go.

I would guess you understand about this, but a couple things that need to be known by older guys going to SEA:
- Be careful with the women you date. Don't be happy about a woman just because she looks good and doesn't immediately have a behavior you don't like about other women you've met. Really consider who she is, how she behaves, etc. Be aware of the huge amount of men that get scammed, and how it happens. (there are numerous sources on information and books about this, particularly centered on guys in Thailand but the same possibilities exist all over)
- Don't buy land or real estate. And especially don't buy it early on. Don't start building a house for some years. IMO you should not do that before living in a place at least 5 years and really knowing how things work.

The combination of these is how a lot of older guys screw up in Asia (choosing a bad woman and then buying property in her name)

Humanofearth
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Humanofearth »

Philippines is a series of islands. Manilla and the south are often dangerous. Newtown in Cebu will be safer but safety and food will be lower compared to Thailand.

Thailand is giant, the south will be affected by climate change, north and center not much. No monsoons, earthquakes, volcanoes, just rainy season. Outside of drinking, never heard of violence. Outs going to tourist areas, scams are rare. Philippines is vulnerable to the mentioned natural events.

On dating, agreed to take things slow. Highly recommend getting a 6 pack and taking at least a year before trusting as saving face is the culture in Asia so you’ll likely experience more peaceful conditions if you choose well but it’ll also take time to see what is hidden from view.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Hristo Botev »

If you are looking for long term immersion abroad and your only real criteria is that it be someplace that is not the US, I might recommend the Peace Corps. I did it right out of college, which is more typical; BUT we had a lot of older folks in our group who were “young” retirees (30s/40s/50s) or who were transitioning between careers. Peace Corps would give you something to do with your time, put you in a part of the country that you might not travel to otherwise, provide you with some level or security and resources that you wouldn’t have as a mere tourist, and gets you pretty well immersed pretty quickly, bearing in mind that you will ALWAYS be a gringo.

FWIW, I loved everything about the experience (I was in a village in the Balkans), but following @WRC, my main takeaway was appreciation for what we’ve got here in ‘Merica, worts and all. That said, we had quite a few folks stick around in country after their 2 years with the Peace Corps ended, who “went native” as they say. No shortage of marriages between Americans and citizens of the host country either.

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Seppia
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Seppia »

Michael_00005 wrote:
Mon Dec 26, 2022 11:03 am
I'm more than a little bit dissatisfied with what is going on in this country. I've looked into dating, and you likely see this if your a guy. Men are not valued by women in Western cultures anymore, and then all the social fears people have for each other.

*cut*

I've recently dated a Philippina woman, and instantly noticed a type of friendly, openness that I never see with women in this country anymore. We would actually have enjoyable non political conversations, and she never felt the need to tell me about how big a feminist she was, which is usually the 1st thing Western woman generally tell you. And, OH boy, how I love hearing that, as all men do no doubt!
sorry for the ZAG, but are you sure the issue ins't in how you're meeting women?

I often notice a massive disconnect with what men say they're looking for and what they're actually doing (where and how they look for girls).

IE people saying they're having a super hard time finding family oriented, old school values girls, while mostly dating on Tinder.
No shit!
"Family oriented, old school values girl X" isn't spending her time swiping right.

Anyway, I will here provide a mostly politically incorrect, wide brush painted and overly simplified image that I believe to be reasonably accurate at least directionally.

- People (both boys and girls) in the Philippines tend to have no middle ground: they're either very catholic, very old school and family oriented, or they're complete degenerates. There are more degenerate men than women and there are more old school women than men.
The old school catholic women are absolute gems. They are nice, honest, humble, great with kids, tolerant... just beautiful people.
Not a coincidence that women from the Philippines are considered world wide as being by far the best domestic helpers.
The fact that they're used to degenerate men make them very easy to live with assuming you are a normal decent human being.
The country is very dysfunctional. Avoid the south (muslim) part like the plague. Just don't go there.

- If you're looking for "true, transparent" relationships, be mindful in Thailand. There is lot of "fake nice", just a face to try take advantage of you. Very pleasant for a vacation, but I've seen a lot of relationships where the super nice and always very horny and accommodative girl turns slowly but steadily into a bottomless money pit. "You have to take care about me" is a phrase you may hear a lot.

chenda
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by chenda »

Seppia wrote:
Thu Dec 29, 2022 11:54 am
sorry for the ZAG, but are you sure the issue ins't in how you're meeting women?

I often notice a massive disconnect with what men say they're looking for and what they're actually doing (where and how they look for girls).
+1

I would also add Turkey as a destination to consider. Low COL (comparable to SE Asia) great weather, lots of historical and cultural stuff, good infrastructure, more western culture so easier to integrate. Lots of Russians and Ukrainians currently living out there too so I'm sure you'll have some dating opportunities...

Humanofearth
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Humanofearth »

I agree with Seppia regarding the culture for Philippines. However, plenty of men get fleeced in the Philippines so just take it slow. Dating will be much easier there than Thailand or Mexico, which is already easier than US. Be aware that many of the catholic girls will want to marry and have kids.

I agree with your gut to go to Philippines first. It’s more easy to integrate due to being Latin, Anglo, and easy visa policies. In Thailand, most foreigners go believing they are better than the Thais and for this, they get treated as separate (unlike Japan or Korea or China where even if you learn the culture, you’re separate). Foreigners are typically unaware or uncaring of how disrespectful they are to the local culture (loud, pointing feet at people, etc). If you do the work of learning the language and customs, becoming Buddhist, and your heart becomes Thai, you will not have this problem of getting treated as separate. Again, much easier to do in the Philippines as Thailand was never colonized.

You’ll find lots of fresh produce but you may need to cook a lot rather than eat out to get the wfpb diet on point as most restaurants are highly fried foods.

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Seppia
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Seppia »

chenda wrote:
Thu Dec 29, 2022 5:38 pm
Turkey as a destination to consider.
I have considered Istanbul to be the second most beautiful city in the world for many years, and made it a must to visit at least once per year from 2002 to 2015.
Where Rome and in part Athens (too run down) represent the heritage of the west, Istanbul was where West met East (most people don't know but the Roman Empire lasted longer in istabul/Byzantium than in Rome. like 1000 years longer - not a typo).
Everything changed with Erdogan. I would not move there if they paid me to.

Humanofearth wrote:
Thu Dec 29, 2022 6:22 pm
I agree with Seppia regarding the culture for Philippines.
CUT
Be aware that many of the catholic girls will want to marry and have kids.
This is kind of what the catholic heritage calls for so not exactly unexpected :) They will invest "more" in the couple than the average modern feminist woman but they will also ask for more commitment.
It's just the Nth version of "you can't have your cake and eat it too"
BTW it's beautiful to marry and have kids - assuming you do it with the right person and that's what you're looking for.
One of my points above was exactly the disconnect between 'oooh I find my date on tinder" and "ohhhh she doesn't have old style values"

chenda
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by chenda »

Seppia wrote:
Thu Dec 29, 2022 9:32 pm
I have considered Istanbul to be the second most beautiful city in the world for many years,
Out of interest what's the first ? : )

Yes its a very unique country, neither western nor eastern. I'd be cautious about investing in Turkey, although I've known people buy holiday homes there. They're thinking it'll be like buying in Franco's Spain in the 1970s, which seems rather optimistic.

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Seppia
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by Seppia »

chenda wrote:
Fri Dec 30, 2022 4:13 am
Out of interest what's the first ? : )
You're asking an Italian, so there is no alternative to Rome :)

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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Michael_00005 wrote:she never felt the need to tell me about how big a feminist she was, which is usually the 1st thing Western woman generally tell you. And, OH boy, how I love hearing that, as all men do no doubt!
I'm post-feminist in my perspective, so I would never proclaim myself as feminist on first date, but I have heard similar complaints about other women from men I have dated (some of whom have also more or less successfully dated non-Western women.) What I have sometimes, mostly unsuccessfully, tried to convey is a level of empathy for the unique vulnerability of a women who does feel compelled to make such a declaration. Nobody and no convention is forcing her to date, yet she has put herself out on the dating market, looking for connection, but only able to rely on her own means for protection and her own skills in contract negotiation. Sometimes when somebody comes out of the box defensive, it is because they feel like they have something of value to defend, and sometimes they are right about that.

chenda
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Re: Philippines or Thailand or S. U.S. border

Post by chenda »

Seppia wrote:
Fri Dec 30, 2022 7:58 am
You're asking an Italian, so there is no alternative to Rome :)
I thought it might be :D

I've heard that Thai women like dating western men partly because they are less inclined to beat them and more likely to help out with the housework.

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