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Moving to the Philippines, Part 2

Moving to the PhilippinesHere we are in Part 2 of “Moving to the Philippines”, my way of explaining why someone (namely, me) would want to be moving to the Philippines.

If you’re so inclined, Part 1 is here.

So far, we’ve covered the economics behind moving to the Philippines and the climate in the area we are moving to.

Let’s move on with another biggie:


The food is generally fresher and more free of chemicals in the Philippines. In Seattle, out side of summer and the autumn apple season, fruits and vegetables are shipped from thousands of miles away in California, Mexico and South America. Fruits and vegetables are picked before they’re ripe and later force-ripened using gases or they’ve been genetically modified to suppress the natural enzymes in the fruit to delay ripening during shipping. As a result, we get green bananas (technically “mature” but far from ripe), strawberries that are red on the outside but white (unripened) on the inside and avocados hard as hand-grenades Fresh, locally hot-house grown fruits and veggies are available here as well but at a premium price.

In Davao, the meat is mostly local and can be as local as in the backyard for chicken and pork. If you’ve never had an egg fresh from the hen, you have never really had an egg at all. Fruits and vegetables are the same. Exotic and delicious fruits like lanzones, durian, papaya, guava just to name a few, can be on trees outside of your door.


Let me stress right here that I’m talking about moving to the Philippines and living in Davao, Mindanao. Living in Metro Manila and the rest of the National Capital Region a thousand kilometers north of Mindanao is a different animal. Living there is like living in a cross between the sprawl of Los Angeles, the excitement and “be there-ness” of New York City.

Outside of the NCR in the north, the other large and small islands and provinces have their own type of living, from very rural to quite cosmopolitan. For us, Davao was our happy medium.

As much as I am interested in having some chickens and pigs and cultivating a nice, big garden, I realize that I’m not a farm boy. I’m a city boy at heart and I enjoy the services that living in the city provides. I like the convenience of stores and malls being nearby. I like the easy transportation available in the city. I like that doctors, hospitals, fire departments and the national police and barangay tanods (peace officers) are nearby.

There are plenty of malls, restaurants, stores, sari-sari (convenience, variety) stores in the area of Davao we will live in. Menchu and I aren’t much for going to bars and clubs and such but Davao has plenty. Friends are nearby and Menchu’s family is just a few hours away (although some of her cousins are right in Davao and nearby).


Is that everything? Can I really draw a conclusion from a bunch of mostly positive facts and “supposed-to-be’s?

Well this was a look at why we’re moving to the Philippines and not a debate over whether to be moving to the Philippines. We have already made up our minds.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t any room here for looking at the bad things about moving to the Philippines, it just means their consideration and debate will be in other posts. You might want to stay tuned.



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