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Mark Berkowitz

Repatriation:  Yes, you can go home again!

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I’ve been back in the USA for three weeks now, after spending four years of non-stop life as an Expat in the Philippines.  I’m still waiting for my Filipina wife to get here on Valentines Day and I’ve been busy with so many things, such as getting an apartment, car, new bank, furniture, etc.

At the risk of saying negative things about the Philippines, I have to say that don’t miss getting the occasional ‘Stink Eye’ and the sarcastic ‘Hey Joe’s.’ I also don’t miss the acrid smell of burning basura, the thick black smoke emanating from jeepneys, the 2 hour drives to only go 2 km, mangy looking rabid dogs, the ubiquitous basura, loud videoke, paying the long-nose/kano tax, and so many other things that I almost became accustomed to when I was in the Philippines.

Right now, I’m enjoying driving at the 65-70 mph speed limits on the many roads in San Antonio, getting 200 (plus) MBPS speeds on the Internet, real first class customer service and last (but not least) the ability to buy American foods that are actually made in the USA (and not in China).  Oh, and eating real thick and juicy steaks that are not all fat and grizzle.

Another thing that I liked was getting license plates for new car in less than 10 days, instead of the never ending wait that I had in the Philippines,

As others have said, leaving the Philippines is a lot more expensive than moving to the Philippines. Luckily, my one of my OFW brother-in-laws has helped me out with a loan for some of the expenses.

I’d be interested in hearing from others that have repatriated back to their homelands.

Oh, one more thing:  I won’t be needing this book anymore… hahaha

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   Its unfortunate that there are no statistics available (that I am aware of at least) of the duration of stay for long term ex-pat re-locations to the Philippines. I did see on one of the youtube's Hobo Traveler vids, that few who retire to Central American countries stick it out past 5 years, often leaving the nice houses they built in their more optimistic retirement expectations, in the hands of caretakers, since there isn't much of real estate market for them.  Apparently the reality of retirement life there didn't live up to their expectations, or they developed health issues that couldn't be addressed to their satisfaction there.

   There have also been several vid channels of ex-pat fellows building a house here with their Filipina that were eventually pulled and disappeared, never to be heard from since. My conclusion, based on what I see and hear among friends and acquaintances here over the years, is that..... everything has to go or be put fairly right with much extra and unanticipated effort, and a lot of cross-cultural differences overcome for ex-pats to break the 5 year barrier for continuous long term living here.  Not many people are truly equipped to handle it compared to the number that make the adventurous and heroic effort.  But I do think that an English speaking ex-pat has better odds of making it here than in most other reputed foreign retirement havens.  Just my opinion, of course.

   

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19 minutes ago, manofthecoldland said:

There have also been several vid channels of ex-pat fellows building a house here with their Filipina that were eventually pulled and disappeared,

 I have stopped reading Blogs now after 10+ years here as I feel that many are written by disgruntled Expats that just never gave their Retirement here the full commitment it deserves. We have over the (Certainly last few years) had members with a Totally negative Attitude and it showed in their Topics and Postings that they Just Did not want to here ( if they ever wanted to be in the First place) I for one will never go Back to the UK for many reasons, maybe a Visit if I could get my Wife and Sprig there ( But that's another story)  5 years only sounds a bit like the marriage 7 year itch to me :smile: ASs many have said and no doubt many more will say and agree? there are an awful lot of people that will not really be happy anywhere. Me? happy as a pig My friends :wink:

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I've only been here for getting on 4 years but I feel comfortable and have no desire whatsoever to return to the UK. To settle and enjoy it here you have to really want it. Many, I believe, find that the reality does not live up to the fantasy, which for those the fantasy was all it ever was.

Each to their own though, no use staying somewhere if you're not happy.

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45 minutes ago, Jack Peterson said:

 I have stopped reading Blogs now after 10+ years here as I feel that many are written by disgruntled Expats that just never gave their Retirement here the full commitment it deserves. We have over the (Certainly last few years) had members with a Totally negative Attitude and it showed in their Topics and Postings that they Just Did not want to here ( if they ever wanted to be in the First place) I for one will never go Back to the UK for many reasons, maybe a Visit if I could get my Wife and Sprig there ( But that's another story)  5 years only sounds a bit like the marriage 7 year itch to me :smile: ASs many have said and no doubt many more will say and agree? there are an awful lot of people that will not really be happy anywhere. Me? happy as a pig My friends :wink:

Hey Jack, you know what they do to pigs here!?HaHa  Honestly, I'll be into 5 years here soon myself. People always compare to back home. The food's not the same, the law is not the same, etc.etc.etc.... You are not back home, you are here! You have to learn to adjust to a different culture. Sure its different, part of the fun is learning the differences! Its always how you look at it, its easy to compare and be negative. If you retire here, I advise to get your hobby going, learn to unwind and chill, for both stress and health and learn to live a different life. Thats the name of the game!

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I'm 4 years in and take a pragmatic approach. It's certainly not the best place to live, nor is it the idyllic tropical paradise some may think. But, it's realistically the best place for me to be with my family  from a financial perspective and it's really not all that bad once you put aside the niggles and let's be kind and say ideosyncracies that can drive us mad. 

Some come here to escape their life somewhere else, but that same life tends to follow behind p.d.q!

Home is where the heart is and good luck to all of us wherever we decide home is.

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2 minutes ago, roddavis said:

learn to live a different life. Thats the name of the game!

OH Yes!:58::wink:

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5 hours ago, Mark Berkowitz said:

I’ve been back in the USA for three weeks now, after spending four years of non-stop life as an Expat in the Philippines.  

At the risk of saying negative things about the Philippines, I have to say that don’t miss getting the occasional ‘Stink Eye

I’d be interested in hearing from others that have repatriated back to their homelands.

Hello Mark,

I am glad that you have survived your ordeal about living in PI.  Just like being in the military, it's not for everyone.  Now that you're back in Texas, I hope you realize that your Filipina wife will eventually get homesick.  Additionally, your wife and family may be exposed to the "stink eyes" coming from your neighbors and sometimes from your own Texas family.  

It's better to talk about it beforehand and how to deal with it, as you walk hand in hand out in public.  

Respectfully Jake   

Edited by Jake
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I find this subject very interesting and want to read more opinions. I’m amazed at the difference between those who like and those who don’t. The longest stay for me is 4 months. Even though I’ve done this for more than 10 years I’m not able to give an opinion, but I certainly want to read what those with boots on the ground have to say.

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9 minutes ago, Jake said:


I am glad that you have survived your ordeal about living in PI.  Just like being in the military, it's not for everyone.  Now that you're back in Texas, I hope you realize that your Filipina wife will eventually get homesick.  Additionally, your wife and family may be exposed to the "stink eyes" coming from your neighbors and sometimes from your own Texas family.  

It's better to talk about it beforehand and how to deal with it, as you walk hand in hand out in public.  

Respectfully Jake   

Hi Jake, I'm also gald that I survived the Philippiness.  I went to a new doctor in Texas last week and suprisingly I learned that he's a Filipino (small world isn't it?).  Much to my surprise, all of my blood work, as well as my urine and stool test, came back with great results.  So, I actually survived my time in the Philippines without any negative effects on my health. ha ha

I should point out that San Antonio has a very sizeable Filipino and Fil-Am community with many Filipino restaurants, groceries, clubs, and organizations.  Many other Westerner types are married to Filipinos and Filipinas, plus there are many blended families of other racial groups. 

For the most part, the mult-racial population over here doesn't give any second looks to mult-racial (blended) families because it is more common than not over here, as compared to other parts of the USA.  I've discussed the possibility of getting the occasional 'Stink Eye' with my wife and she said that she will ignore it because she has no use for negative people.

Plus, for what it's worth, I've subscribed to the Filipino Channel (TFC) for her to watch and I also have an unlimited International VOIP phone plan for her to make phone calls back home to people including her mom (Inang) who doesn't utilize FB or Messenger.

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