FAQs

IS IT SAFE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

YES and NO!
YES for the visitors of our island and of course most of the other islands, tourist places, sights and countryside.
NOT for those who would dive into the squatter area without security, in the red lines where are drug dealers.
A few days ago, we read about a group of younger foreigners imprisoned for drug possession. They will rot in prison for decades, and only a miracle can save them.

IS IT NECESSARY TO BE vaccinated BEFORE COMING?

IS NOT NECESSARILY
However, it is recommended: hepatitis A and B.
You should be vaccinated for the first time at least one month before leaving because you need to get another dose of the vaccine after one month.

HOW DO I PAY HERE AND EXCHANGE MONEY?

Money – You exchange dollars or euros in money changer.
Do not change larger sums at airports or banks, as they generally have poorer exchange rates than in money changer. Even in money changer, compare the exchange rates a little before deciding where to exchange a larger sum.
They change dollars everywhere, but in smaller islands they do not change euros.
For smaller notes, there is a worse exchange rate.
Take a little look around as you change if someone is watching you and you’re not showing a lot of money so that others see you.

IS THERE ENOUGH ATM MACHINES HERE?

NO, many of them do not even exist on the islands or do not work or are without money.
When withdrawing from ATM, you lose almost 7-10%; 240 pesos every withdraw, then another bank will take you, and you will lose because of the poor exchange rate every withdraw.
If you already need to withdraw money from an ATM, take the maximum amount – 10,000 pesos, because the ATM will take you 240 pesos each time you withdraw.

CAN YOU PAY WITH CARDS?

YES and NO
Yes in 4, 5 star hotels, maybe 3 too, and of course in malls.
NO. Almost nowhere on the islands and in the province with the locals. Make sure you have cash.

CRIME

Where there are many poor and desperate people, of course, crime is also present.
See where you are going, do not go to squatter area alone, do not show off expensive cameras, gold jewelry, do not wave around with Iphones, and mostly do not dress like some stupid tourist who is noticeable by thieves and criminals from one kilometer.
And beware of the people who call you FRIEND.
Don’t fall for the tempting offers of strange people.
Look out for handbags and backpacks and of course wallets; especially in Jeepney’s where people squeeze like sardines.
DO NOT EXPERIMENT WITH ANY KIND OF DRUG. Here they kill because it’s part of Duterte’s policy of eradicating drugs and crime.
Also, be careful that somebody put anything in your personal luggage.

WHAT ARE THE PRICES HERE?

Take a look at Camotes Islands on this site.

These prices that we have written are valid on our island, if you go to a luxury hotel for dinner, but the bill will end up being the same as in Slovenia or even higher. Even if you get wine, wine is relatively expensive and you can only order a whole bottle at dinner. PRICES

CAN FOREIGNER BUY REAL ESTATE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

NO. Foreigners cannot buy real estate, but you can buy a condo in a luxury building.
Of course, there are also ways you can indirectly own a property,
however, one must be very careful about this. I know people who naively lost a lot of money in this way, or whatever they had.
Of course, this is not a danger in the Philippines alone. Remember how naive even in Slovenia they stood in line to throw away their money for various Catch the Cash.

WHAT ARE THE DANGER HERE?

Roads and consequently moped / motorcycle accidentsbecause, at night, there are dogs everywhere, huge holes and completely unlit engines – even with trailers – everywhere in the middle of the road. I would add here that most people do not have a driver’s license or have purchased it for a few hundred pesos and have no idea about road safety.
Most of the roads here are through the villages, and at any moment you can run infront of motorcycle, car, a child, a dog, or a cow. Even adults rarely even look left, right before going across the street, or drive off a non-priority road or yard.
Most drive in the high beam here and are completely blinded at night.
Red ants; as soon as you step on their territory they attack you; the dots are itchy, and can turn into an extremely malignant inflammation that can lead to deep wounds and, at worst, gangrene.
The smallest wound it can also turn into a dangerous inflammation – disinfect every small wound IMMEDIATELY with Betadyne. You get it in every pharmacy and most Sari sari stores. Be aware that here are a tropical places, heat and humidity, which is ideal for bacteria and infections.
Sea urchins; it is not dangerous, but it is disgusting, a lot of them; some are very beautiful; Filipinos also eat them.
Corals, if you scratch at them when you swim in low water.
Strong sea current between islands. At high tide, the sea current is so strong that you can practically not swim against it, no matter how hard you try.
Sun and heat; many times i see tourists white as yogurt on a shirtless scooter, in the middle of the day when the sun is burning at full.
Sex without protection; i can’t believe how many such seemingly intelligent men brag about it.
Walking around squatter areas, narcotics areas, outlying red quarters …
To be robbed in the jeepney, when you leave your bags carelessly, your backpacks can be cut through with alpha when you are in the crowd…
Fighting and underestimating, arrogant behavior to the locals, especially when drunk.
FOR ENDING: It’s not dangerous for smart, thoughtful people here. You can also get a bench in Slovenia, or get hit by someone at a pedestrian crossing, not to mention how many motorcyclists get killed by drivers who drive on a priority road without looking.

A MUST TO AVOID WHEN YOU ARE HERE

DRUGS Don’t think of drugs at all, not even marijuana, let alone bring it with you or consume it publicly unless you like to play Russian Roulette. They are not kidding around here; if they don’t shoot you right on the spot, you’ll be imprisoned for decades.
UNDER AGE Sex and even socializing with minors. Example: a receptionist at the hotel reported a tourist with two girls in a room; they did nothing, but there is no mercy for it. This is what they call human trafficking here, and you are CONTINUALLY sitting, and it’s hard for anyone to get you out of it.
Another example: a cute underage girl seduces a naive tourist and when her “brothers and uncles” enter the room, who then blackmails the unsuspecting lover.
FIGHTING End of May, two drunk men and possibly even drugged Filipinos told an elderly American if they were paid a beer. Because he rudely rejected them, he was shot multiple times in the head. A man came to the Philippines to adopt an orphan with his wife, and because of his unwise behavior, he lost his life and the little Filipino to be adopted has a father.
Nothing similar has happened to me yet, but it is true that I am friendly, respectful to the locals, many times I smile and talk to them, and even honor them sometimes. I am also determined, if necessary, don’t allow myself to be blackmailed.

CAN YOU DRINK WATER FROM THE PIPE?

NO, no problem with showering, brushing your teeth, cooking macaroni …
I use bottled water to make my coffee and tea.

CAN WE MAKE BUSINESS HERE?

YES, YOU CAN. Just remember something, if someone is a loser in Slovenia, here he is much less likely to succeed because he does not know the situation, the language, the laws …
That is why I reiterate: whoever cannot take care of himself and his family in Slovenia / Europe will not succeed here.

LANGUAGE

On our island Visayas and Mindanao, they speak Cebuano or Visaya, in Luzon, in the north and in Manila, they speak Tagalog, which is essentially the official language in addition to English.
English – more or less good, spoken by all officials, educated people and teenagers.

HOW MUCH MONEY IS IT TO LIVE HERE?

It depends on what a beautiful life is for you. You can live from 500 to 700 € a month, but for a decent life you need more than 1,000 € a month.
It also depends, of course, how much savings someone has, whether he has bought / built a house here, is riding a car or just a scooter, wants to travel, or just wants to seat at home.
Plus, there is no social security: if you can’t pay the hospital and medication you will die.

MEDICINES

I recommend that you take with you: Lecadol, Aspirin, Imunal, Nalgesin, anti-diarrhea, patches and, of course, depending on your health, whatever you are taking. Perhaps another elastic bandage may come in handy.

VISA?

You can get it at the airport for one month, it can be given to you by our Honorary Consul for the Philippines in Ljubljana for three months, and for more you have to renew and pay it at the Emigration office in Cebu, Manila …

WEATHER AND TEMPERATURE

The dry season is January to late May: very hot – 30 to 38 degrees and relatively little rain. It gets a little cold at night but is still around 28 degrees.
Rainy period from June to December; slightly lower temperatures, much easier to live with, sometimes there are storms and rain, but mostly in the evening and at night.
The rainy season is not a problem here at all, as in some countries where it is monsoon and rains continuously. It is pouring in here, and in half an hour the sun is already shining.
The exception, of course, is when a typhoon crosses the Philippines and is called “low pressure”. It can of course be a lot more rain, but it almost never rains continuously for several days.

WHY I DECIDED TO LIVE IN THE PHILIPPINES

There are several reasons for this decision:
• my wife is Filipino and I love the Philippines as a country
• in the Philippines, on the romantic island of Camotes, in the Visayas Islands, we bought a beautiful overlooking to the sea property and renovated a house on it
• Wonderful nature in 7107 islands
• Very poor but extremely kind, positive, open, respectful and hardworking people
• Currently, the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the world
• The official language besides Tagalog is English;
• Cost of living is significantly lower than in Slovenia
• Here you can have a nice and quality life with a 3-member family for around € 1,000 per month, if you already have a house, car, motorbike and other things you need to live
• A good mason gets about € 6.3 a day for his work and € 4 for his assistant
• relatively good infrastructure – airports, shipping and roads
• Clean environment with the exception of cities

WHY MANY FOREIGNERS WANT TO LIVE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

BECAUSE OF THE CLIMATE
Because they do not like cold, icy weather, snow rush, fog and steeply rising living costs.
The Philippines is warm, beautiful, there is a lot of sunshine and the cost of living is rising much more slowly
BECAUSE OF COSTS
Because they do not want to pay for central heating, winter tires, to buy or wear autumn, winter, spring clothes and shoes.
In the Philippines, houses do not have heating at all, as temperatures range from 26 to 34 degrees and you need clothes and shoes: sandals, a few shirts, some shorts and maybe some jeans.
BECAUSE OF THE SYSTEM
Because we feel like we are becoming a prisoner in our countries, we are constantly confronted with repressive authorities who want to punish us for filling our budgets. Penalties for speeding, alcohol, making phone calls, misplaced parking, inspectors of all kinds. They sew up because of the hundreds of traps they invented to justify their existence and earn their wages.
In the Philippines, there are no radars, breath tests, parking fees and hundreds of rules about what you can and can’t do. If you commit a traffic offense and are stopped by a police officer, you pay a fine that often goes directly into his pocket, ranging from 4-10 €.
Some have ruled that there is corruption in Asia. Yes it is, but I like this innocent corruption rather than not, because this is how you agree everything and you immediately get everything you need for a small exchange.
BECAUSE OF LONELINESS AND LACK OF LOVE
Most foreigners who come here to live are already divorced, single, or widowed. Many women’s dreams are here to meet and marry a stranger.
Most normal men, regardless of their age, want to have a partner / life partner. Despite the disappointments of the past, almost everyone wants love: to love and to be loved.
In the Philippines, I had never heard the word emancipation; for the most part, women are still women – even highly educated. They care about family and home, are much more humble than European or American women, and they care if a man is really a man and can take care of the safety and well-being of the family.
The misconception that Filipinos want foreigners solely for the money is misguided. Their primary priority is family and security, which they hope they can promise from a relationship with a stranger.
FOR A LIFE STANDARD HERE
Middle-class men in Europe have a salary and standard that is sufficient for a relatively normal and decent life as long as they work, but when they retire, the pension of many will be too small for a quality, active life.
Example: € 1,000 a month is not enough for a normal life in Slovenia without giving up, but in the Philippines it is relatively large and foreigners with such a pension are considered rich in the eyes of Filipinos.

HOW I SEE WOMEN IN THE PHILIPPINES

Like good fairies compared to women from Western civilization. They care for their families and are extremely responsible, good and hardworking. Despite of extremely difficult conditions they live, they care for their parents, husbands, and children.
I do not mean to say that they are better than European women, but they are different. They are much more humble, positive, cheerful, optimistic and caring.
A Filipino woman sees in an older male-foreigner someone she can trust (which a Filipino man, especially when he is young, cannot), who will look after and respect her. Foreigner in a Filipino family is actually almost God’s blessing for the whole family.
Filipino women do not look at a man as much about his appearance (he does not mind at all if he is fat, bald and unattractive for our situation), but it is very important to them his character.
The idea that a Filipino woman wants a man for money is a misconception; she wants him because of her sense of security and because she believes that he will respect her and give her a life worth living. Regardless of the age difference, which is extremely large for our situation, these women really love their husbands.

HOW I SEE MEN IN THE PHILIPPINES

They are also relatively positive and kind, but their attitude towards family is much less committed and respectful. They are characterized by a “Latino” temperament, meaning that they do not respect women and families, they like to drink and enjoy themselves, many do not care for their children and simply let women take care of them alone, and they look for other women. But let me emphasize that some are also extremely responsible, caring, good business people and also excellent husbands and fathers.