Trouble free relocation to the Philippines

Trouble free relocation to the Philippines

Trouble free relocation to the Philippines

An international relocation is a big deal, no matter the reasons behind the decision.

Doing it the easy way by finding a suitable job or being headhunted by overseas specialists in your field are two ways to make the experience easier as regards the practicalities, but those who’ve decided to move abroad and create a new life for themselves may have an unenviable task to complete. The Philippines is a favourite destination for expat retirees and those wanting to start a small business, but there are aspects of living there you’ll simply have to take on board.

Unless you’re a retiree on a decent pension, you’ll need to be able to keep yourself afloat financially, hopefully by finding a job on arrival. A few new arrivals get lucky but, generally, most Western expats won’t find the average employment standards at all to their liking. Starting an online business is one way forward, but doing it legally may be a problem. It’s much the same with the country’s restrictive land laws prohibiting foreign ownership. Don’t be tempted by promises of legal solutions – there aren’t any. It’s believed by many it’s possible to lease land, but don’t be fooled, and you still can’t actually own the ground floor of your home as foreign ownership is restricted to the first floor upwards. If you don’t want to live in a condo building, you’re scuppered, whatever you’re told by real estate agents.

For budding entrepreneurs, sticking to the same old business strategy is the key to total failure. Learning the rules of business as they apply here is essential, but still doesn’t guarantee success in your chosen field. In the Philippines, cultural differences are extremely subtle, and it takes time to fully understand and integrate them into your lifestyle. In addition, don’t underestimate the cost of living as it depends on how much of your Western lifestyle you intent to retain. Living like a local can be very inexpensive, but only if you play it by the local rules.

Perhaps the only way to make a success of emigrating to the Philippines is to have realistic expectations from the outset. It’s a tricky state of mind to nail down, at least when you first arrive, as the country really is a developing nation with all that implies. For example, if you’re arriving with your family, don’t expect easy access to anything remotely resembling international schooling unless you’re living in Manila and have a high-level income. Remembering that 40 per cent of Filipinos live well below the Asian poverty line of $2 a day will help with your understanding of the country.

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