We ended up making NomadPhilippines.com, him writing content from his three years there and me uploading it. Before I get into that I’ll do a little trip report.
The Philippines has widespread spoken English, sexy Pinay girls with bigger hips and boobs, live casinos, and you can work legally and only have to visa run once every 3 years – yet it has much fewer young expats, digital nomads or even casual tourists. Uwotm8?
Apartments in the Philippines
One drawback to living in the Philippines is that apartments are around twice the price of Bangkok apartments. There isn’t the emerging middle class Thailand has, and demand for mid range condos. People are either living in tiny fan rooms / shacks, or close to Manny Pacquiao level luxury.
Corruption is much more of a problem there, certain families even control the power supply and make electricity bills in Philippines a rip off. You see slums and children sleeping in the streets on cardboard. Abject poverty.
I stayed in a studio in Cebu (more laid back than hectic Manila, basically the Chiang Mai of the Philippines) off Airbnb. On a one year lease there it’s 14000 Pesos (10,500 Thai Baht) before bills.
Around 22 sqm, 8th floor, walking distance to Waterfront Casino and IT Park, one small restaurant. Small hard bed, basic furnishings. The building was La Guardia Flats 1.
Harvie interviewed me for the Q&A with a digital chav nomad in Bangkok, where I posted a picture of a 45 sqm, 26th floor room with several restaurants that deliver, gym / tennis / squash / sauna / pool on site and modern furnishings. For 10,000 Baht before bills.
Filipina women is the best thing about it. I went three for three on Pinalove (made by the same Bangkok expat behind Thai friendly) and they ranked up there with the best Thai girls I’ve met in terms of being fun to be around, holding a conversation, sweet and bubbly etc.
One thing which is a double edged sword is it’s totally standard to go bareback – thank the Catholic Church for that. Even a freelancer I took home said ‘Huh, what’s that? Oh… up to you‘ when I pulled out a condom.
So, many Philippine girls will have a surprise for you – not a penis like in Thailand, but worse. The guy I went to meet has found molluscum on half a dozen girls. I didn’t even know what that was, and don’t think it exists in Thailand. The concept of doing a visual inspection of girls before banging is alien to me.
Molluscum isn’t for life but has to be burnt off surgically (uw0tm8?). A couple guys from the forums Harvie and I post got herpes there, which is for life.
Anyway be super careful there and good luck with your STD goals for 2015. Although apparently a condom doesn’t even prevent it.
My mate often writes about Thai girls being ‘materialistic‘, ‘mercenary‘ etc. compared to Pinays (short for ‘Filipinas’). Then other expats from PI sexpat forums will concur in the comments ‘Oh yeah land of fake smiles‘ etc etc.
While that maybe true to an extent, I smile and point out it’s mostly just that there are a lot of young, well-groomed expats in Thailand nowadays, so girls can be a bit more picky. He doesn’t step his game up and still wears trainers with holes in them, baseball cap, beach shorts etc. everywhere he goes.
Expats in the Philippines sound like ones in Cambodia ‘Oh wow people are so much more friendly here‘. I haven’t noticed any huge difference. Both countries are a lot poorer and less developed than Thailand though.
Below is the one of the nicest girls I met there.
Lifestyle in the Philippines
This doesn’t really compare to Bangkok, but you can still party there. Alcohol is cheaper. J Avenue, Mango Square is the Insanity , Soi 11 of Cebu and full of Filipina bar girls. Had an okay time there. Then a dating site girl took me to MO2 restobar / club, for an Route 66 type crowd, would recommend.
Metered taxis are about the same price and availability as Bangkok taxis, just slightly more sketchy, especially in Manila. Also you can’t really walk around spaced out with your iPhone in hand sending Line stickers like you can in Thailand. Street robberies are more common there, girls would tell me to put it away.
Also 3G sucks and girls use SMS texts, so it’s like entering a time warp back into the past. Philippines Internet in general sucks, apparently you can get by with with a PLDT broadband line but I didn’t have that option on holiday.
The beaches are better than Thailand’s, picking one sexy filipinas and doing a nature tour could be a good plan. The picture posted earlier was on Kalanggaman beach.
I think I’ll head there when I’m pushing 40 and if/when Thai girls start to feel a bit colder.
You can retire in the Philippines at 35, and girls don’t seem to think much of walking around with a guy twice their age (you will notice that there, every mall is like Soi 6 Pattaya with all the old granddads).
I wouldn’t live there long term in my 20s or 30s, safety and infrastructure are lacking, but it’s great for short banging sightseeing trips. American expats in the Philippines feel at home as Filipinos loves US culture, you’ll see them walking around in Lakers Baseball jerseys and they refer to you as ‘Sirrrrrr’. It’s the Mexico of Asia.
There are less ladyboys there, so there’s that (unless that’s your thing – nothing wrong with that). Still quite a few though. Had these two sing for me at the karaoke bar right of J Avenue – good date spot, added them to the Youtube channel.
Google seems to love WordPress blogs. It’s a must if you’re going to start a travel blog to supplement your freelance writing – great as a portfolio for getting writing jobs. You can end up getting paid to run blogs for people too.