Expat Guide To Living In The Philippine Islands

Learn From An American Living In The Philippines

I moved to the Philippine Islands in January of this year. I read all the message boards, talked to friends, and contacted people who already lived here. I was ready. I quit my job, sold all my stuff, and got on the plane. I did all my research, or least I thought I had. I didn’t have a qualified Expat Guide to go by.

The amount of misinformation and poor guidance was astounding! The information I received, while it sounded good, and was given in “real-time”, was old, didn’t really apply to my situation, was third hand, or was simply wrong!

How many times have you heard a story start like this:

Well, my friend Bill moved there last year and….

Think about that for a moment. Who are you talking to? Bill? NO! You’re talking to someone who may or may not really know what Bill went through, or how he handled all of the adversities he encountered. Third-party information is not only incorrect most of the time, it can be dangerous when you are talking about moving to a third-world country half-way around the world.

Before I go further, you might want to see what I’m talking about here. The answer to everything on this page, the quick and easy way to learn everything you need to know (and a lot more!), is the Basic Expat Training Manual to moving to and living in the Philippines. Go ahead and click that link, and it will open in a new window. When you’re done reading, you can come back here and read the rest of my story.

60 Day Money Back Guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.

Now, I’ve traveled extensively, I’ve lived in several foreign countries, and have been to the Philippine Islands many times over the last 30 years. But I was NOT READY for actually moving and living here.

I was surprised by how much I didn’t know, and how much I really needed to learn. Here are a few areas where my knowledge and assumptions were completely wrong:

  • What should I bring?
  • How do I get from the airport to my new home?
  • How much should it cost?
  • What VISA do I really need?
  • How do I get it quickly and easily, and how much should it cost?
  • Should I use a travel agency for VISA issues?
  • How do I find a place to live?
  • What should I ask the landlord, and what documentation should I get?
  • How do I open a bank account in the Philippines?

I made the mistake of going back to the same sources of information I had used earlier, the message boards. See, at this point, I didn’t know how wrong this information was! Much of the info came from people who’s only interest was going to bars, getting drunk, and going home. To me, that’s not living in the Philippines. Many of those people haven’t left their comfort zone for months, if not years, and are still making the same mistakes I made.

Finally, while searching on Google for good, solid information, I came across a series of blog websites that really gave in-depth information. The sites were written by an American who has lived in the Philippines for quite a few years. He has lived through all of the mistakes I’ve made, and many, many more! One difference between him and me, is that he not only solved all of the problems he encountered, he documented every step! He learned how to avoid the common mistakes and go straight to success. He wrapped all of this information up into the Basic Expat Training Manual, an extensive guide to doing everything right the first time with over 212 pages of rock-solid, time-tested and proven information and strategies. The manual has received more than 10 updates, and as a member, you will always receive all the updates for the Manual.

The Manual comes with an unconditional 60-day money back guarantee. 60 Days! How can you possibly go wrong?


10 Responses to Expat Guide To Living In The Philippine Islands

  1. Trey says:

    Hey – Just wanted to stop back and say thanks. I bought this guide a few months ago, and just got my free update in my e-mail. This e-book now has two volumes and over 250 pages. Lots of good, new information in the new update, too. Thanks!

  2. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Superb work!

  3. Jim Stuart says:

    Hello Sir,

    I too, am a short time away from leaving my current North American residence for the beauty, and calm existence I have found in previous trips to the Philippines.

    While I don’t worry much about the scams that might be there….at least no more than the ones I have encountered here at home, anyway…..I am sure your book would provide me with details that could offer shortcuts to my future retirement plans. But I have two concerns that I hope you can respond to, before I purchase:

    1. As you are American, it is easy to supect that your book will have a USA slant of the information provided……that is not necessarily an issue, but as there are going to be complexities that exist here in Canada, that will affect my Philippine Visa application, I have to wonder if that important segment will be of much benefit to me. I will be curious to hear your opinion on my concerns.

    2. It appears that your book’s pricing is not reflecting current (2011/2012) International Currency Trading standards. It may be that this site has not been updated for a while, which I would understand, but I cannot accept paying a premium for a US dollar that has experienced a conversion slide for quite some time.

    Thank you for your help……we can all learn from everyone we meet!

    Jim Stuart

    • Expat Phil says:

      Hello Jim,

      Thank you for your comments, and I appreciate the good questions.

      1. The information in the guide is not country specific. Everything in the guide is from the Filipino perspective. It describes the current legal requirements for immigration regardless of your country of origin, except for the two major classifications where tourist visas are either required or not required. Canadian and American citizens have the same rules on this side.

      2. $37.00 is $37.00 no matter how you look at it. Sure, the valuation of the Canadian dollar fluctuates in comparison to the US dollar, but it’s only $37.00 to begin with. It’s not like we’re buying a house, where small changes in the currency conversion rate would means thousands of dollars in difference.

      Regardless, I hope you do at least visit the Philippines, and if you end up in the Subic Bay area, please be sure to let me know.

  4. ken martin says:

    What happened to rusty? I have not had an e-mail or any contact for months now.I purchased the book at least a year ago and have both versions.I have lived in Olongapo in Luzon by Subic un til 2007.I wish to move there permanently but Have found out it is near impossible to get any useful pain med. there.A doctor wrote me a perscription for lortab but no one carries it including the hospital pharmacys.Pain managment doctors are under thumb to write scripts for such meds.The med people want americans to come to the P.I. for there great medical facilities, but no one is going to go there for major problems or surgery and not get any thing stronger than tylenol.I understand the reason is to curb drug misuse but many older people would retire there if they could get the meds they need. ken

  5. Patric Livingston says:

    is there a hardback edition?

    • Expat Phil says:

      Hello Patrick,

      The Guide is only available as an E-Book in PDF format. You could easily take it to a print shop and have it printed.

  6. Dave says:


    not sure if this addresses it or not. but what i want to know is not so much living in the philippines. ( i will be moving over there to be with my wife and in laws.. but does this book address actually leaving the US?? meaning what do i need to do. i cant just pack up and move. i know there will be tax issues since the philippines are an ally of the US so you still have to deal with the IRS/.. also how do i find a tax lawyer who deals with that sort of stuff.. do i keep bank accounts open in the US.. or jsut wire it all to the philippines.. etc.. this is going to be a stressful year of trying to figure out what all i need to do thanks in advance..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *