If you are from a country like mine (THE USA) one of the ideas that I think is a part of our culture is the joy of having our own place! We love the idea of having a place that we can call home to do as we please. It also does not matter if you are male or female ALL of us like buying things for our “place.” It doesn’t matter if you are very specific with your decorating or you are just a guy that gets happy at having a great chair and a TV in front of it. We like to shop and decorate and make the place feel “homey.” AND we like to do it as soon as possible. In my opinion this “bug” should be left in your home country.

Now, I am one of those guys that likes to gets everything as soon as possible. When I was living in Norfolk, Virginia, I remembered renting a truck (2011) driving to Maryland  IKEA (Ikea is nice, simple and comes with tools and instructions) and filling that truck with living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen “stuff.” Then I drove all the way back to Norfolk getting home around midnight unloading it ALL MYSELF (to the disdain of my neighbors) and the next day putting it all together in about fourteen hours.

But that is not something I would recommend at all here in the Philippines. Here are a couple of reasons why. For one thing, I have learned that nothing is FOR SURE in the Philippines. And this it seems is with everything. Rules change overnight, prices depends on who you ask. When it comes to where you will live, you really truly will not have a sense of “your place” until you’ve live there for a month or two….maybe sooner. Actually I would say in a week you will know exactly what you signed up for. Then again that can change. You can move in a place one day, nice and quiet and next week they start building a chicken soup across the street on the vacant lot. This actually happened to us  (it was a product plant) and you find out as you hear the loudest trucks you have ever heard in all your life coming to deliver tons of cement (NO zoning laws in most of the country) or you here the workers screaming at each other 6:30 in the morning.
I have lived in a couple of places that I truly regret, but I had no idea what it would be like until I was there for some time.
Now, the other thing is, MOVING! There are no U-Hauls where you just go down rent a truck and bring it back the next day. You will have to try and find someone with a truck to move you and this is not always easy at all.
And yet I think the number one reason not to invest in a bunch of furniture right away is, it’s most likely that wherever you land when you come here, you will most likely not stay there. I rarely meet anyone who came to one place in the Philippines and ended up staying there in that one place. IT’S THE PHILIPPINES, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO MOVE AROUND! The guys I meet might have landed in Cebu, Manila but in addition to those places they went on to move to, General Santos, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Cagayan Oro, Boracay, Angeles City and I could go on and on! I rarely meet anyone here in Dumagute that came here FIRST and remained. I know there is someone saying “but I did?” :-/
But, I am not talking to you and the one in thirty.
Now, I have met a few guys who upon arriving here went out and bought everything;  Beds, Refs, tables, chairs, tv’s, all the furniture only to realize that they had to sell it all when deciding to go somewhere else affter being in that one place for a couple of months, even weeks. Because once again, you don’t go get a truck and drive it across country like you do in the US and it is just not worth the hassle to try and find a local guy with a truck who knows how to get to wherever you are going, who will drive you hours to your next destination and NOT charge you, the “Kano price” to do so.
I will tell you about eight months ago I moved in a marvelous two bedroom house. I mean really nice and built by an American  Up until then I had stayed in two places that were totally furnished. (Beds, living room, ref, air, dining, even pots pans, dishes, rice cooker, toaster oven and in our place in Siquijor a FULL STOVE!)  So, I got this house (rented) that had nothing in it. I was really nervous at first, but man did I love this house and was “lucky” to find such a house which IS NOT EASY IN DUMAGUTE. As a matter of fact if any of you follow the YouTube channel of Ned & Michelle, I met them personally one Sunday when they accidentally came to  my complex looking for a house! I just looked up and Michelle was walking all around our yard then around the corner comes NED! That was a year ago and they never did find a house, so they ended up staying where they were and making some amendments to the house. SO IT IS NOT EASY to find a place and you can be seduced easy into getting something that may not be to practical.
So when I found this beauty I was really excited. But something told me, I had better just get the basics furniture (bed, ref, table and chairs) to make sure we would stay. Well, I bought a $300 ref and the other items and the house stayed empty for the entire six months we were there. Why six months? Because even with all that I know, I was SO SURE THIS HOUSE WOULD WORK OUT! Well, to make a long story short it did not and I knew it would not after the first 6 weeks. I had signed a lease and so……..
Anyway, yes we stuck it all with me going to internet cafes (because that was MY major gripe) NOT only to escape the bad internet but the noise! I will write later on how much the Philippines love their DECIMALS!
Well, we ended up moving BACK to the first FURNISHED place we rented which had all of the things I mentioned above. I was fortunate that the owner had a truck that he let us use to bring our big ref, and our bed. And even though it was about a mile away before he told me I could use his truck I had no idea how I would transport these big items. (I paid to much for that mattress to leave behind, and my Sciatica I don’t think would have like it if I did)
So, my advice to you is when you come here find a place that has furniture. At least at first. If you just MUST by any furniture look at the bamboo (some of which is really nice) stuff that cost little to nothing but is very durable so you just have to leave you won’t be out to much money. We left a king size bed frame that we had made for about $30 US. This thing could support KING KONG. But I didn’t feel bad leaving it because we’re talking about $30. The one I really like that would have been nice in that room cost about $500! The one we left (the $30) was HUGE and would not fit our old, new place (remember we lived there a year earlier) that already had a bed. (I left it with the owner who gladly received it)
Believe me when you move to the Philippines you will have enough to think about than furniture. And when you decide you want to up and leave for the next adventure the LAST thing you will want to think about is “what will I do with my tables, chairs and beds. Who needs the hassle.
Israel Esters