Living in the Philippines (as Expat’s) is always a trade-off. City living brings with it the conveniences of Malls, Grocery stores, hospitals and private schools, just to name a few.
Country living brings the clean air, lush green areas, farm fields and solitude.
Both have a lot of great qualities to be extolled, but the fact is, we all came from cleaner, better ordered societies that had more comfort, convenience and cleanliness than anywhere you will find here in the Philippines.
I never experienced a brownout in the USA. A driver’s license renewal took twenty minutes, as did getting new license plates for the car. Grocery shopping was a clean, simple, comfortable task that took more time to shop than to checkout. Dairy products were fresh and plentiful. Meats and poultry were not laid out to be handled by every dirty handed shopper that walked by. The roads were in better shape, most people obeyed traffic laws and pedestrians ALWAYS had the right-of-way. Cable TV was better, phone service was better and my computer worked WAY, WAY, WAY better than ANY provider in the P.I.
I never was asked for a bribe just to go about my daily life and never even considered it as a way of doing business.
So, anyone who tells you that living in the Philippines is better than living in, say, the USA, is either trying to sell you something, has their own ulterior motive or is a bald faced liar! Oh yeah, I do like living here and plan to stay for 4 years while my wife goes to college. (My ulterior motive is 4 years of college in the USA $50,000 USD or the same degree here in the Philippines $6,800 USD)
Now for the reason I wrote today,
People, who do not understand Bruce’s decision to give the USA another try, have not lived in Bruce’s skin, walked in his shoes or experienced life in the same way he has. I think Bruce knows that this move will not be easy. It’s a road he has chosen for himself and his wife (who will probably, one day, become a US citizen herself).
Most Filipinos, if asked, would say “Hell YES!” to a trip to the US or Great Britain, Australia, Europe or any first world county.
We all (expat’s) come here for many different reasons. Begrudging one of our own for choosing a path back is a little hypocritical, don’t you think? I commend Bruce for stepping outside his comfort zone and heading out to the USA. He received an opportunity to go and believes it worth the attempt to try. I am sure it was a very difficult decision to make. Good for him!
All of my friends thought I was a NUT for coming here to live. Most of yours probably do too! (Be honest!)
We have all read Bruce’s writing here and agree with him or not, we were glad to have them to read, think about and respond to.
I have met Bruce and can tell you that he has written with great insight, honesty, self-discipline, tolerance and respect for the Philippines. All he ever wanted to do was tell you about his life here, to journal his experiences as an Expat trying to make it in a different country and sharing with us, his life. He did not try to convince anyone to do it his way or do as he did; he just put his life out for others to experience.
Thanks Bruce for your musings on life in Davao, the ranting when you needed to and the friendly advice when offered.
I will continue to read and try to contribute time to time.
Good luck in Vegas and God’s speed.
Hugs for Elena.
Steve in Davao