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Life In The Phillipines for a US'er?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by NemoTheOne, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. NemoTheOne

    NemoTheOne Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    So recently I've been interested in world travel and most notably living in either Indonesia & the Phillipines. I posted a thread about lving in Indonesia and it was very helpful

    I saw someone else post about moving to the U.S. as soon as possible - interesting to see how people want change of scenery.

    So now I ask the a similar question about life in the Phillipines. I would like to be either there or Indonesia in 3 months time.

    From what I read here, I've gathered that I could arrive in Angeles City with pocket money (what would be a good min amount, say $2000-$5000?)....and could live in a relatively decent size place for about $300-500/mo? Would living in a hotel to start be horrible?

    Also

    1. Any 'special' paperwork/info for entering the country? Aside from my Id, soc card and passport?

    2. Angeles City - could place to set up shop and get started? When translated into the local currency, how much are computers generally - along with internet service. And being in Angeles city I gather would have decent internet?

    3. Do I need to become a citizen? Should I?

    4. I will learn the language, but English is widely spoken, yes?

    5. What cities are best for a new-to-the-country American like me and with moderate internet service etc? I'm kinda set on Angeles city - hopefully that's a good target.

    6. What's your favourite thing/least favourite thing about the region?

    7. Any other tips? If you were planning on changing up shop to live in the Phillipines what are some steps that you would take upon arriving - how would you set yourself up with moderate budget.

    The worldwide community of BHW is great and I'm glad to read many threads like these. Of course I will give thanks. Also please contact me on yahoo as well!
     
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  2. ~@-kanye-west-@~

    ~@-kanye-west-@~ Power Member

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    living in the philippines is 3x of ur US money.

    you can get a nice condo for $75,000

    not bad compare here..
     
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  3. Thaithai

    Thaithai BANNED BANNED

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    You can probably rent a decent place at $200 a month. I lived in Thailand for 9 months and am moving to the Philippines next month. Angeles City realy isn't the place to go for actually...
     
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  4. juju888

    juju888 Regular Member

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    nice to know you're interested in our country. i can tell you a lot of foreigners have enjoyed their stay here (not all but most). cost of living in angeles is cheaper than manila. you can rent a place for as low as $200/month. that's already a nice, clean house. you can stay at a hotel for $50 a day but i can't say if the hotels in angeles are any good. haven't stayed in one. as for your other questions, here goes:

    1. you just need your passport and 2 valid IDs. you can stay here as a tourist for 6 months. if you want to stay longer, you have to renew your tourist visa at the bureau of immigration in manila or any of their satellite offices. i'm sure there's one in angeles.

    2. you can actually set up shop almost anywhere. internet service is available all over. computers here are cheap but not branded. but they will prove as dependable as the branded ones. they range from around $400-$600. those are really good already. that includes a modem, a good monitor and some even throw in a printer. dsl is available at less than $25/month.

    3. you don't need to become a citizen. you can just keep renewing your tourist visa. you can also say you're here for business. the gov't is more lenient that way as long as you're not doing anything illegal like setting up a porn webcam shop.

    4. i helps to learn the language and yes, english is widely spoken specially in angeles where a lot of american servicemen used to live. we're actually the best english speaking country in asia so you won't have a problem communicating with anyone anywhere.

    5. metro manila area is always best. you'll find everything you need there. for luxurious living and great sights (including women), stay in a condo in makati. great nightlife. a bit pricey but you'll never get bored there. if you want a place not as expensive but as exciting, stay in quezon city. you can get a nice apartment for $300 a month. lots of malls, nightspots and superb restaurants.

    6. angeles isn't as nice as when the US bases were still there. a lot of poor people live in or near angeles. and it's not as developed as manila or makati.

    7. what do you mean moderate budget? give a ballpark figure of what you can spend monthly so i can answer this better. it's ideal though that you pre-arrange where you're going to stay before you land. you can stay in a hotel for the first few days until you find a decent condo or apartment to rent. you'll probably burn a couple a hundred a day until you find a nice place. much better if you have a friend here who can put you up until you find your own place.

    additional tips...filipinos are very friendly especially towards foreigners. be kind to them and they'll outdo your kindness. we're also a very gracious people. if you do something for us (like teach us some good ways to earn good money) we will return the favor some other way. and also, try our local cuisine like adobo, nilaga, chicken inasal etc. they're great!
     
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  5. NemoTheOne

    NemoTheOne Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Great post! All sounds excellent - quezon city does indeed sound lwell rounded.

    Are apartments as tough to get over there as they are in U.S.? What I mean by that, is the PROCESS easy....For insance, in US you have to hand in tons of paper work then they have to check it out, THEN maybe you'll be approved.

    *By Moderate I mean, frugal, low budget, but no too low that I'm looking to buy halves of slices of cheese as meals :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  6. juju888

    juju888 Regular Member

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    ok. well like i said, if you choose quezon city, you can rent a decent apartment at around $300 a month. maybe even less if you don't need a large one. and landlords here aren't too finicky. they just let you sign a contract. if they ask you what your job is, tell them you're a missionary so they won't charge you high. they tend to think foreigners have more money to spend. normal terms are 1 month deposit, 2 months advance.
     
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  7. DrJekyll

    DrJekyll Senior Member Premium Member

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    I can give you info about Cebu,

    I stayed in Cebu, my budget was about 600 a month. ate out all the time. My rent in a gated comunity was $200 a month and included cable, electric, air conditioning. basically everything. I could have installed internet but was close to the mall or other high speed internet.

    This was 2003, so things will be slightly more expensive.

    Now the down side.

    smells, can be some very rank smells to assault your senses.

    Never get in a hurry. Things are slow moving, If you get pissed off quick, you may want to reconsider.

    pollution, lots of it, drives my allergies nuts.


    You need to show up with a plane ticket out of the country, you do not need to use it. You have 21 day visa automatically as a us citizen [I assume other countries are the same]

    you need to pay the extensions on the visa it should be a 59 day extension. about $100 every 2 months [do not wear beach attire if you go yourself for the extension, best just to pay the $10 to get a travel agent to do it for you. Find a trusted one] You will need to leave for 1 day once a year. there are other visa's you can get but require investments or marriage. I do not recomend either just to stay in the country.

    Heat, yes it can get hot. I never minded it when I lived there, even leaving 8 degree's F here. Until my last trip it was unreal hot.

    the up side, beautiful women, friendly people, great relaxation, inexpensive help, and just a wonderful culture.


    I love it there and would love to live there now.

    culture shock Philippines is a good book to look up and get. [check amazon]

    I will be more than happy to answer questions directly. there are some yahoo groups and forums that are run by expats that help people understand the different culture. don't ask me use google.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  8. BH_hustler

    BH_hustler Newbie

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    I think if your english speakking countries like Malaysia , singapore would be easier for you to live in because most of them use enlgish .

    However singapor is rather pricey and malaysia is cheaper but not as cheap as philipnes a big city condominuim High class type with all facilities like pool , gym , tenis courts , squah , sauna and what not (hotel type of condominums) rent is 700$ a month.

    For normal aparments about 300$/month

    best part lots of westerners cause most malaysians are english speaking.

    This prices are in KL the city of malaysia crab another 300$ and you can eat out every day , you know mac donals anything costing 10$ in america cost RM 10 in malayssia and 1 malaysia rinngit is about divide 3.3-3.5 US
     
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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  9. DrJekyll

    DrJekyll Senior Member Premium Member

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    for the most part renting is easy, they are more interested in getting paid, as a foreigner, they assume you are rich and it will be easier for you than many.


    modest income. I would not go there with less than $1,000 a month income, that will keep you comfortable for the most part. This depends where you live.

    I said my budget was 600 but I ate at carendarias, [roadside stands] rode jeepney's love doing that actually] and rode the bus. [nothing like bus races up a mountain with people jumping off it while its moving (bus to make it to destination city first comes back first so it is a race)]
     
  10. imike2007

    imike2007 Newbie

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    I'm a Canadian living here in Asia for over 12 years and love it. I've lived in Bali, Pattaya, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Hong Kong, Singapore and now Manila.

    Having the luxury of making money online gives you all the perks in life to conduct your business anywhere you want. You can move around and enjoy the life that people could only dream of.

    With that being said, Angeles City is a place that I would consider living if you are really on a tight budget as Manila is quite more expensive. You can still get access to internet wherever you are in the Philippines. Whether it be wireless broadband or DSL, you will not have a problem getting internet. I do have to warn you that sometimes the local internet provider do have their problems where I've had no access for a few days. I had to obtain two different internet providers in case one is down. It does happen so you do need to be warned if you are constantly on the net like I am.

    English is widely spoken in this part of the world so you don't really need to learn the language. I've taken the liberty to learn tagalog and they all freak when they here a westerner speak their language. It does help when your fighting with the taxi driver who thinks your a pure tourist and trying to take you for a ride. They love it when you speak their lingo!

    Angeles would not be my first choice to live in the Phils as it reminds me of the wild wild west. It is a bit dirty for me as opposed to living in the big city of Manila. But again, if your on a tight budget you can live comfortable there.

    When you arrive, you will be given a 21 day tourist visa. After that, if you decide to stay, you will need to head down to the immigration office to extend your Visa.

    They will extend it for one month or two months at a time. Now, the key here is to find an immigration officer who will take care of you when you go to extend your Visa. I got the number of the first immigration officer who took care of me many years ago. Everytime I need to extend, I call him up to let him know I'm coming down. Since time is money for me, I don't want to sit in that office waiting forever to get my Visa extended.

    I meet him in front of the immigration office, I give him the Visa fees plus a bonus of 500 pesos for his time. Again, the key here is to treat them right by giving a tip under the table. They all work like that so you shouldn't have a problem finding one that will help you. I head over to starbucks for a coffee, by the time I'm finished, he calls me to say my passport is ready for pick up. I meet him outside and your done! You don't really want to sit all day waiting for them to process your Visa. Remember to treat them right by giving them a few bucks for their time and you will be alright!

    Once you are here, you will find all the talent you want to make your online biz flourish. Believe me when I tel you this, I live the four hour work week by finding the talent to do all my tasks I use to do everyday. Once you are, be sure to check out the lovely islands of the Philippines such as Boracay and Palawan.

    As for Angeles, you will blend in nicely as there are a ton of foreigners living there. Mostly retirees from all parts of the world. Just be careful with the bar girls there (if thats your thing), they will take you for a ride!

    Welcome to your new journey in life! You'll love it here!
     
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  11. blackhatcatz

    blackhatcatz Power Member

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    Angeles and n0rthern areas recently have been hit by typh00ns pretty bad and my suggesti0n is g0 t0 s0mewhere which is n0t fl00ded in general which was my area, alm0st n0 fl00ds.

    I'm nt suggesting my area in s0uthern manila but g0 t0 a place which has less hassles in terms 0f traffic, talent and fl00ding. pick a nice high sp0t.

    F
     
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  12. dizen

    dizen Regular Member

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    Consider Malaysia as well .. living cost is 25 % higher than Jakarta but can be still considered low for A US'er and living standard is not bad.
     
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  13. NemoTheOne

    NemoTheOne Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Cheers for all the great info....I shall take this all in, and will PMing thoseof you you have been so nice as to make that suggestion:

    question about arriving / tourist vista.....is it indeed imperative that I arrive with a return flight? (or a flight to somewhere else?)

    Can I instead say, that I am here on business (as a missionary....would they know what an IM'er is?) and am unsure of how long I will renew my tourist vista for?

    Also..regarding the immigration agent...im guessing finding one to 'take care' of me is easy to find. As in just by going to the immigration office and talking to thme since 'they all work like that'

    What a peaceful place to be. Time to take my life in my own hands and make it happen. :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  14. NemoTheOne

    NemoTheOne Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I will also add thanks to everyone....
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  15. juju888

    juju888 Regular Member

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    you can always say you're here on business. tell them you have filipino investors you have to meet. you can say you conduct business online as well. tell them you sell ebooks and you're here to submit a business proposal to your investors.

    as far as the immigration officer is concerned, yes, you can find one who'll take care of you the moment you come close to the office. but find one who seems trustworthy and competent. some are just after the money but holds no clout. handing them money is not a problem. tell him what you need and when he says he can handle it, discreetly hand him 500 pesos and say "for your merienda." (means snack).

    and the airline ticket, just make sure you have one for your return flight. it can be an open ended one (no set date). when they ask why, tell them you don't know how long your business transaction will take to finish.

    hope that helps. and let me extend my advanced warm welcome to our country.:)
     
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  16. NemoTheOne

    NemoTheOne Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Angeles seems like a good place to start out, but me thinks that the better option might be Cebu. It is the centre peice of the Phillipines from what I understand, and it is not as expensive as the other parts, and not much more expensive than Angeles City. Of course, I would be wrong, but that's what I gather.

    What a great source of information for anyone looking to move abroad.
     
  17. bangus

    bangus Newbie

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    Try makati city. Its the business center of the philippines. You can find anything in there, like malls, hotels, resto, etc. From high class to low and cheap places. You wont be bored in there, since you can go to different places. If you need some help i can point you to the right direction. Just send me pm.
     
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  18. NemoTheOne

    NemoTheOne Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Good to hear someone suggest Makati city...I often here that it is very expensive, but good to hear someone who's actually close to there say that there is indeed a wide range (high/low) of prices of services to choose from.

    Does that go for renting small houses too? i HAVE heard that cost of living is "high"

    I've sent you a PM, too
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  19. wolfmanlv

    wolfmanlv Junior Member

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    Gave thanks to NemoTheOne for starting this thread as well as those responded with great info and detail.

    One of the greatest things about BHW for me is reading these post about living in other countries and the responses from those with experience. I've never traveled outside of the U.S. and although I really don't like flying I really want to not just see but live in other parts of the world.

    Another thing that's really motivating me more to get my earnings up is I'm growing tired of how things are going here in the U.S. politically and what not. I don't want to get into politics but I'm just tired of the same ol same old I think.

    Thanks for sharing from those of you living in the Phillipines.

    It's funny how we always think things are better somewhere else. My girlfriends co-worker here in the U.S. and his family are from Phillipines and love it here and do not ever want to return back. LOL

    Like my fathers always said "the grass is always greener but no matter where you go it still needs mowing!" :)
     
  20. demoniste

    demoniste Registered Member

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    I just arrived in phillipines and I test few places for my IM living...
    Angeles is a nice place to arrived IMO, if you arrive directly to clarck (angeles airport) trought bangkok or honk-kong. It is really less stress than arriving in manila.
    From what I see we can found more or less anything in Angeles Malls and the nightlife is awesomes (is there a day life in AC? :D). But I don't know how it can be for a long run, there was no electricity for more than 5 hours when I pass (perhaps I was unlucky but I don't think)
    I'm actually in manila, and I understand why everybody cry about traffic here :D From what I see Malls aren't a lot of more interesting than angeles ( for electronics and daily living... Off course for luxuries,banking it's a paradise :) ) On budget living it doesn't be more expensive than angeles (exept for girls :D), another time I speak in my "tourist" POV sleeping in hotel, eat out-door...
    I will try Cebu in the next weeks and some cities on island, because for me the beach or nature is important. After I will go back to stay more on the place the best for me and my project.
    PM if I can help...
    For visa the important thing is to arrive with a plane (or boat) ticket for leaving the country less than 21 day after you arrived. Your company need to have it for immagration and can refuse you on the plane if you don't have it. Just take a one way Clark to Kota kinabalu on airasia.com for around 25$ and you will be peacefull :cool:
     
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