Here’s a quick break down of 5 questions any first time traveler should be asking.

Question: I think Filipinas look beautiful and I want to find a relationship in the Philippines. There are lots of people in the dating sites from the Philippines but I want to meet someone face to face first. Can I go to the Philippines before I’ve met someone special?

Answer: YES! – I would recommend to anyone coming to the Philippines with a view on making a relationship to follow these simple steps.

  1. Avoid committing yourself to someone you met in a chat room, while many people find lasting relationships online I prefer to find someone who’s not playing the numbers game at the start of a relationship.
  2. Find someone when you get here – this will probably sound difficult to anyone who’s never been here but forget everything you know from the west, just sit and wait for someone to chat you up, if you don’t like who arrives just wait a while longer or ask if they can introduce you to anyone else, it won’t take long even if you’re pig dog ugly! I kid you not.
  3. Come alone or with some casual friends. Give yourself the freedom to do what you want to when you want to without being tied down to a strict itinerary.

Question: I’ve heard that there are lots of gold diggers in the Philippines. How to I protect myself from someone who just wants my money.

Answer: Finding someone who “just” wants your money is actually a lot less likely than you might think.
Generally Filipinas have a mentality of start how you mean to go on and always improve where possible. A bit like how the water in a puddle fits the hole precisely, if you begin a relationship by lavishing gifts and blowing money left and right, your Filipina will get used to this, expect it to continue and attempt to develop the benefits further – even subconsciously. It is such and easy trap to fall into but it’s not a trap laid by the Filipina, it’s just how we as westerners often react when prices are low and the will to impress is high. In reality a modest allowance is sufficient to provide the right impression.

Question: Am I really going to be able to find someone compatible with me in the limited time I have there, just one month on a tourist visa.

Answer: Just one day is actually enough if you’re putting out the right signals but even if you’re deliberately not looking for a relationship, after a week or two most people give in and have found someone special.
Visas can easily be extended for a nominal fee and perhaps the better question might be when I find someone how can I extend my visa and stay here forever – this happens a lot more than you might think. Most people who are on their subsequent visits, arrive on a one way flight with a cancelable booking of a return/onwards flight (required for visa entry).

Question: Is it possible to find a job in the Philippines that could support me and my partner?

A: Yes and no, it really depends on your skills and your contacts.
If you are for example a bricklayer or work in most other manual labor jobs it’s going to be very difficult to earn more than P500 / 8 hour day. If you generally work in the service industry (non managerial) you will see even lower wages. There are a few skills which can be used for a reasonable income and those will generally be in the tourism industry (dive master, hotelier, restaurateur etc) and the IT industry (working remotely with people in the west).

Most people who live here for the mid to long term (6 months to many years), have either a pension, are a remote worker for a westernized country or travel semi-regularly back and forth to save up for say 3 months then live here for 9 months.

Question: I have a nest egg and I want to retire, move to the Philippines and make a new life for myself.

Answer: Slow down there eager Mc Beaver, let’s back up a little bit first!

  1. Have you been to the Philippines for a few months before?
  2. Will your nest egg last you your entire life at $18,000/year (comfortable basic living)
  3. Do you know the rules about foreigners not being allowed to directly buy property here?

If you answered “no” to any of these I would recommend coming over here for a few months to get the lay of the land and find answers to these questions. Or do a little more research to figure out contingency plans. Even if you have a plan of a new business that the Philippines both needs and wants that will earn you a fortune and can’t fail – forget everything you already know about business.

If you answered yes to all of the above then go for it. I would recommend writing a blog about it too!