Monday, July 18, 2016

5 Good Reasons For Retiring in the Philippines

A lot of Filipinos who, by reason of employment or marriage have traveled overseas, still decide to come home to the Philippines for their retirement. Filipino culture and tradition are factors that will shape this decision and it requires a grasp these practices to fully grasp how they affect daily living. In general, Filipinos are a clannish race to the extent that they have immense deference for the family. They do not find it easy to downplay their ancestry.
So what does this imply?
In short -- integration. Homes for the elderly and the retired are not normally found in the Philippines. Filipinos have so much love for relatives that they find it unthinkable not to take care of old-aged members. They are bound by "utang na loob" (otherwise known as "a debt of gratitude" or "a favor owed"). This belief compels Filipinos to return the care of parents or grandparents who sacrificed so much in order to raise the children well. Filipinos cannot fathom the thought of letting their elders wander in the streets nor can they commit them into institutions for the aged just so they can carry on with their convenient lifestyles uninterrupted and unhampered. Family loyalty is a wonderful part of Filipino society, and one which is rather queer in most western cultures.
Plenty of Filipinos choose to retire in the Philippines because they know that as seniors, they will be respected and valued and will not be treated as a public burden. Another outstanding feature of Filipino culture lies in the way they regard women. Unlike some countries, women don't belong to the lowest social strata. Filipinas are not passive, subservient creatures without a voice who follow the dictates of men. In fact, Filipino women share the same education and opportunities as men in politics, society and business. This nugget of information has helped many female expatriates and foreigners alike adjust well to the country and has made retiring in the Philippines an attractive option for North Americans who are used to living in a society where opportunities are shared equally.
Since the Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands and is geographically separated into regions and various cultural and even tribal sub-groups, you can identify some groups through the dialects they speak. All in all, there exist at least 111 dialects and most of these had the influence of Malay, Chinese and Spanish forefathers. Of these dialects, the most widely spoken are Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilonggo, Ilocano Pampango, Waray and Bicolano.
Filipino, which is fundamentally Tagalog in syntax, is the official language of the country although less than 75% of Filipinos speak it. English has become a second official language and has served as unifying mode of communication across regions.
The Philippines is the only country in Asia where residents can speak, read and write English very well. Owing to its being a former US colony and the influx of trade influences into Philippine soil, Filipinos became a unique blend of the South East and the West. English is being used as the medium of teaching in Philippine schools and is officially the medium of communication in all sectors --- in business, trade, government, arts, and other commercial entities.
Making themselves understood in the Philippines is not a problem for foreigners because communication is not an issue to contend with, unlike in many Oriental nations like Japan and China. You won't find any marked differences between the Filipino and Western alphabets. There aren't any special symbols or characters that require training. English is spoken extensively that Filipinos even tend to combine English and Tagalog phrases together. Such vernacular integration gave birth to a daily conversational lingo referred to by people as "Taglish". Try following a Taglish dialogue and you would most aptly pick up the crux of the discussion. You will even find yourself mimicking their conversational style.
Compared to countries with four seasons, Philippine weather has fewer surprises. There are only two extremes to expect - rain or shine. In North America, it is necessary to check the weather forecast because patterns change so repeatedly that it's possible to have three different kinds of weather within the same day. Unless you're prepared, you could either dress inappropriately or suffer the risk of schedule cancellations.
In the Philippines, little guess work is required. It is just a matter of warm or warmer. The average annual temperature sits around 27oC but can be much chillier in hilly areas such as Baguio. The Philippines also has hot, dry summers when temperatures soar as high as 34oC between March and May. The temperature falls at cooler levels in June to October as the rainy season sets in. It is at these times that typhoons hit the archipelago. These tropical storms usually come with thunder and lightning and wind intensities of up to 240 kph.
Monsoon showers dwindle between November to January wherein the climate is windy and soothing. Nights may be prolonged with sunsets usually occurring as early as 5:00 pm. It is not however as depressing as those experienced by countries with four seasons when nights commence as early as 3:00 pm and light doesn't set in until 8:00 in the morning.
The Philippines, and any country blessed with a tropical climate, is a preferred destination for many foreigners who love outdoor living. You can move around unhampered by layers of clothing. The warm weather gives reprieve for many seniors suffering from gout and arthritis. The weather pattern somehow helps newcomers adapt to a routine. Here, in this sun-kissed archipelago, the SAD "Seasonal Affective Disorder" is largely unheard of.
If there is nothing else that you love in the archipelago, the population is one exception. Filipinos are among the planet's happiest people. Despite of having to deal with poor living conditions, Filipinos make it a habit to smile.
Aware that complaining is a waste of time, the people have learned to laugh at themselves and create comic stories about their own plight. Although Filipino humor is sometimes labeled as "shallow" by some, it nonetheless speaks of the positive way by which the people handle pressure and strain.
This attitude serves as a coping mechanism, a stress reliever or a survival strategy. Whatever you dub it, one thing's certain -- the Filipinos' amiability and sense of entertainment are what make them an exceptional people.
A quick look at Filipino history would reveal that colonialism lasted for many centuries. The Filipino people had never been vanquishers. They underwent a series of colonial rule but were also patient and brave enough to fight back. With this background, it is not surprising to know that Filipinos are collectively a modest, unpretentious, down-to-earth people. Although they have every right to boast about their talents and wits, Filipinos normally keep their accomplishments and victories among friends and family. People who make a habit of broadcasting their personal achievements are usually frowned upon.
Filipinos are likewise used to hard work. A Filipino can relocate to any country. That Filipino will always be as hardworking as any ant. He will sweat and grind with an enthusiasm and commitment that would do his employer proud. He works tirelessly out of a firm love for his family, a reverence for his profession, and a strong desire to succeed.
The archipelago is home to a number of high-rise malls, specifically in Metro Manila as well as in Cebu and major cities. Just about all European and American brands and designs are available in Manila --- from footwear, apparel, purses, luggages, make-up and fragrances, to furniture, house wares, toys, tableware, textiles and home accessories. Owing to the archipelago's closeness to Korea and Japan, the best electronic products and other technological equipment abundant and easy to find.
The shopping malls in the Metro Manila area are not to be underestimated. In fact they are at par with the posh Malaysian and Singaporean malls. But the windfall lies not in that you can effortlessly locate BVLGARI, DKNY or Tommy Hilfiger favorites in the shopping centers. The beauty of things lies in the fact that well known brands are actually cheaper than when procured elsewhere in the world. Considering the devaluation of the Philippine peso, the purchasing power of a single US dollar goes a long, long way. It might as well be a clearance event each day of the year!
To unravel more tips on how you can adjust better to typical Filipino culture, visit

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