First off, allow me to introduce myself. My name is James, a British citizen who has spent much of the last 6 and a half years absorbing, smelling, tasting, and for the most part, enjoying the Philippines. In a way which could be described as a shaky marriage, I love this country deeply, but sometimes I want to kick its arse.
So what is the purpose of this site I hear you ask?
The purpose is to assist, advise, guide and accommodate the would- be traveler, business person or retiree thinking of traveling or settling here. We hope you will come to see me as your trusted friend and turn to me to help you plan and make the most of your stay in the Philippines, and at the same time, inform you of the pros and cons whilst helping you to understand this complex and sometimes difficult to understand culture and way of life. I am here not to sell you the Philippines, but to give you an honest insight and guide to life here (as I see it) whilst at the same time assisting you with any need you may have.
I don’t want this site to simply be a collection of thoughts and musings on the Philippines, even less do I want it to become the usual vehicle for complaints. In its infancy, no doubt it will be mostly the musings of the funny old foreigner, but I have to start somewhere. I hope overtime, this can build and its purpose self evident.
My experience has taught me that both Filipinos and foreigners have many misconceptions about each other. Of course, this does not apply to everyone whether foreigner or Filipino, but my intention is to break down a few myths from both sides of the fence and help an outsider understand what’s at the back of much of the thinking here and if possible, how to get past it. Mindsets are there to be shattered, as in truth, when it comes to this country, they really need to be from both sides.
That is one aspect I hope to be dealing with over time on this site, and as a consequence, I hope after reading, that some locals will open their eyes and start to see that we are not all sex tourists, lonely old men or old colonials, as well as not all rich. To foreigners, that Filipinos are not all prostitutes, beggars and confidence tricksters as well as wanna-be mail order brides. Yes, all these things are here, and yes, we are all rich sex tourists in the eyes of many here. But no matter where you’re looking at it from, it’s just narrow thinking.
I hope this site becomes more beneficial to the reader overtime as it grows and I hope you can stay with me on this journey to understand this country and its people, and that we can see each other as we are, as individuals and not stereotypes.