I’ve been noticing a progressing pattern since December last year (2010) about Canadian husbands/boyfriends of Filipinas wanting to stay in the Philippines longer than the usual holidays and some are even planning to move to the Philippines and live there permanently.
I say this because, in our Toronto travel agency alone, many of those who purchased their tickets from us also inquired about how to stay more than 21 days in the Philippines.
For those who don’t know it, if you are a Canadian citizen who have no Filipino roots, you can only enjoy staying in the Philippines visa-free for a maximum of 21 days. Former Filipino nationals who acquired Canadian citizenship through naturalization ang their “orig” Canadian spouses, however, can stay continously in the Philippines up to a year if they will ask for a Balikbayan stamp. I will discuss this Balikbayan stamp requirements probably in another post.
These mostly Canadian men inquirers usually have been in the Philippines once or twice, have been to some of the islands other than Manila and/or experienced staying in their wives or girlfriends province and totally fell in love how life was being lived in the country.
I can’t blame this people. Since re-discovering my native land through my visit in 2007 (first visit was 2004 after 8 years in Canada), I myself am trying to figure out a way so I can live in the Philippines again which I have discussed in this blog (here and here). Every year since then, I plane to my homeland, even for a very short visit – sometimes twice in a year. I’m still aiming for that goal, although still not successful, I do believe I’m getting there little by little.
Anyway, going back to topic, most of the concern they tell me about moving to the Philippines permanently is about real cost of living there. I always say that as a guess, anywhere between $600 to $1000 a month will be enough.
Of course I’m basing that on assumption that they are going to stay in their wife or girlfriends house outside of Manila or Cebu. If I base it in Bataan where my address in the Philippines is when I’m there, my guesstimate is somewhat accurate in todays exchange rate. If staying in a city like Manila or Cebu, about $2000 is about enough.
But, that’s just me. Where you can live with your money really depends on your spending habit.
Another thing that they often ask is about safety. I always say that no matter where you are in the world, it is necessary to exert extra care when in an unfamiliar surrounding. Crimes happen even in the safest city in the world. Following precautions such us avoiding going out late at night, not wearing any items of luxury when in public, not using your credit card indiscriminately, etc. etc. are just some things a new Philippine resident need to remember.
When you’re already living in the Philippines, natural instincts will take over and you will have a feel of what and what not to do.
And as final suggestion, I would always point this people to websites of foreigners (mostly Americans) who have been staying in the Philippines for a long time and enjoy being there.
Websites like PhilFAQs.com or MindanaoBob.com are writing about how foreigners like them are able to live in the Philippines — I follow their blogs because I’m very interested in learning how this people are coping with day to day living in the Philippines and I’m totally amused knowing that they seem to be more knowledgeable than me about things in the Philippines. It surprised me big time the first time I started reading what they write about.
So, there. That’s my rant about Canadians moving to the Philippines. I’m starting to like this subject because I get ask of it everyday in our travel agency business. I’ll probably write more of this topic in future posts.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
(Just one of the reasons why I want to live in the Philippines again)