Everyone has their own standards of living, and what standard is acceptable to them. The question itself indicates a fundamental lack of the realization that the Philippines is a developing nation, with 40% of the population living below the Asian poverty line of per day. However, the visa process in the Philippines has perhaps more options and flexibility than most other countries.
However, after living here for a while, writing on this site for a while, answering questions sent to me, and traveling all over Asia, I have come up with the following list of mistakes that I see people making. You need to survive in the Philippines, but, more than likely, it will not be by working for someone else. But the vast majority of people who move here will not find employment standards much to their liking. How many people even bother to learn the rules of business here? Thinking things will be “different”, but “no big deal”. While here on vacation, the cultural differences are very subtle. There are so many books on the net about living like a king on only 0 per month that it is easy to get the perception that the Philippines is cheap. For instance, there was a question in the forum about international schools near “paradise” beaches. Yes, schools are here, but the demand and ability of most people to pay the tuition is not here. Again, it is so easy to live here on a tourist visa and convert, there really is no reason why anyone (from most countries) should stress over it.
This is perhaps the biggest and most financially damaging mistake that expats can make. Yes, I know there are many successful Internet relationships. I also know many, many horror stories here from guys that come, fall in love, and get burned. Again, there are dozens of web sites filled with stories of people getting scammed.
EVERYONE in love says, “Yeah, but that won’t happen to me! Most of the guys who got burned thought the same thing.
NEVER, EVER send copies to your Date any of your personal documentation such as drivers licences, passports etc.
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The decisions one needs to make are not easily answered and are complicated by the fact that for each question, you will receive fifty different answers from other expats, websites, books, and family. Should the person asking the question look into it? However, the fact of the matter is that most of the international schools are in Manila, not near beaches. If you are not able to absorb currency fluctuations, then you cannot afford to live here.
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