GLAN, Sarangani (November 28, 2015) – Children cross part of the six-hectare lake at Sitio Lanao Kapanglao in Barangay Datal Bukay on November 17 during the biodiversity research of the Environmental Conservation and Protection Center. Sitio Lanao Kapanglao is a 42 kilometers travel, 12 hours hike from the barangay proper of Datal Bukay. The village is inhabited by Blaan and Manubo IPs from the boundary of Davao Occidental and Sarangani. (Jake Narte/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
Kenneth Crawley. I was a career nurse at McAllen Texas in the U.S.A. I never had hobbies or was into sports, all I knew was nursing and caring for people.How long have you lived in the Philippines?
I came in October of 2009. I was 65 years old at that time. I had heard about Bob Martin from my wife and wanted to meet him. Bob was one of the first people I met. We met at the coffee shop in SM Mall and talked awhile.
You mean people actually knew about me? Ha ha, I’m surprised, I didn’t know I was famous! Just kidding!What do you like or dislike about living in the Philippines?
Of course, it’s a balance. I love the friendliness of the Filipino people. It’s an easy transition to move here because although their is a different language, almost all people speak fluent English and signs and newspaper is in English. I love the beautiful and clear beaches with warm weather all year around. The cost of living was also in my favor at the beginning, although that seems to be changing quickly. Exchange rates have gone down and cost of food, restaurants, electricity, and commodities have gone up. There are still a little savings in living here, but it isn’t like it was when I came.
The dislike I’ll have to put an ‘LOL’ in front. I guess you could say, “It isn’t home”. The first thing noticed by anyone is the traffic and the way people drive here. Second, for me, is the noise everywhere. Music isn’t played, it blasts out. It causes me to have headaches. The malls have what I call, “crappy overhead music noise”. I have trouble talking to my wife or friends in a mall or at the coffee shops. The neighborhoods are filled with yapping and barking dogs and noisy roosters. Then there is always people coming down the streets yelling what they are selling at the houses. Third and last for me is the restaurants. No knife to cut your chicken or meat, they only put spoon and fork on the tables. I don’t know how others feel, but I cannot get a meal served correctly the way I order it, also they will bring it out in sections, rice first, then later the meat, then if you have a drink it may come about half-way through the meal.
Now to balance that, the positive outweighs the negative, I don’t want to leave, most foreigners after all their little complaints don’t want to leave the Philippines.
There certainly is good and bad, Kenneth. I found that I focused on the bad the first few years I lived here, but thankfully I turned my attitude around and focus more on the good things now. I find that makes life more enjoyable for me!What made you decide to move to the Philippines?
When I retired, my wife decided to become a Pharmacist. The only way on my retirement we could do it would be in the Philippines. We decided together to make this commitment and moved here. We bought a house and a car here, we also put a little money in some land on Samal Island for a future house. My wife Nell has two more years to go to complete her Pharmacist goal. Our plan is for her to work in Texas until her retirement, then come back for the remainder of our lives. I even want to buy two cemetery lots in Marbel where her family is.
I did not realize you had land on Samal. We do too. Our land is in Limao, near the White House of Samal.Did you encounter anything unexpected when you moved here? What was your biggest surprise?
24 hours from McAllen to Davao. I need a shower! “Honey, where’s the hot water handle?” First purchase in Philippines was then a wall water heater at Citi Hardware and they installed it.
Second shock was when we went to Kookels Restaurant in Bangkal and I looked at the menu. I didn’t know anything on it. I left it up to my wife to order food for the first few months here.
Third, houses are not built to hold out the heat. Metal roofs absorb the sun’s heat and radiate it into the house. The louvered windows make it impossible to use an air-conditioner, and there is no insulation Houses are hot and extremely uncomfortable.
Note: I have gone through my complaint list now… It something almost all foreigners do. I hate to make myself categorized like this. Still, the good here outweighs the bad. We stay and don’t want to leave.Where do you live in the Philippines?
Davao City. My wife and her family are in smaller cities near Davao, General Santos and Marbel. This was the nearest to her family we could live and she could go to a Pharmacist school.
My wife is also from the general area, in Sarangani Province. It’s a nice area, quite peaceful and quiet.Are you happy there?
All I can say is, “I Love Davao”. I have fallen in love with this city. Friends back home ask me about safety, when I compare the crime and violence to the cities in the U.S., I feel safer here. In Davao, women are safe, children are safe, foreigners are safe……Criminals are not safe here. Well known fact!
I’m like you, Kenneth, I love Davao!Do you have any regrets that you can share with us?
None.Is there anything else you want to tell us about your move to the Philippines?
I still own a big and beautiful house in McAllen Texas that we plan on going back to when my wife graduates as a Pharmacist. I had it built about six years ago. Yes, it is very luxurious, but after living here, I’d rather live as a Filipino in a small house than to go back and live there. When we come again we will build a house on Samal Island. I will make it according to U.S. standards, it will have an attic with better ventilation, duct work for central air-con, and good windows. There is a better breeze at Samal Island, so I will make sure the windows will open and give us a cool breeze when we want them open.
Thank You again Bob. I enjoyed answering these questions.Kenneth, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions! I appreciate it greatly. Keep enjoying life in the Philippines!
GLAN, Sarangani (November 28, 2015) – All students of Batulaki Integrated School from kinder to Grade VI each receive an early Christmas gift — a backpack with toys and slippers, and packed meals — from Emmanuel & Jinkee’s Heart Foundation, Inc. in partnership with the Provincial Vice Governor’s Office at Barangay Batulaki on November 24. This activity is under the “Gift of Love” program of Vice Governor Jinkee Pacquaio. (Marvin Soler/VICE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)
Randy Countryman. Recent early retiree to the Philippines from Spokane, WA. I have a couple of blogs, and am currently helping out with an online English tutorial school.
Congratulations on your blogs. I know that you have recently started one called Where to find it – Davao, and I know you have a few other things in mind too.How long have you lived in the Philippines?
6 months.What do you like or dislike about living in the Philippines?
I like the ease of life, other than anything bureaucratic. I like the beauty of the country, the fruits, the people, the weather (usually), and massages. My main dislike is the inefficiency of almost everything.
Well, without a doubt there is a lot of inefficiency here, so you have plenty to dislike there! Like you, I enjoy a good massage from time to time… very relaxing.What made you decide to move to the Philippines?
Mostly my wife, family, culture, style of living and cost of living.
Those are pretty common reasons. Probably everybody who moves here has at least some of those reasons in mind.Did you encounter anything unexpected when you moved here? What was your biggest surprise?
I can not think of any major surprises. I had visited many times before, read blogs and correspond with quite a few expats that have made the move.
I think that you guys who have moved here in the past 5 years or so are kind of the “new breed” of Philippine Expat. Reason being, when I moved here in 2000 almost everything was a surprise. However, in the past 7 years or so, a lot of Philippine Expat blogs have popped up, and you guys who move here now are much better informed and educated about the Philippines than those who moved here back in my day.Where do you live in the Philippines?
In a low income subdivision outside of Davao. It is still part of Davao.
Actually, I like your subdivision, it’s a nice quiet place from what I can tell. More middle class, at least in my opinion.Are you happy there?
It’s OK lang. Better than what it sounds like. I may consider moving after being here for a few years. I’d like to be in a smaller city, or some place like Buda, but would miss the conveniences that Davao offers.
I hear you, my friend. It’s always a trade off. The rural places in the Philippines are really rural!Do you have any regrets that you can share with us?
My only regret would be that I don’t have the funds to regularly visit my family back in the States.
Money is always a factor in just about everything we do, no doubt. At least we have things like Skype or other VOIP options these days. I remember when I first moved here, even talking with my relatives on the phone was a major expense!Is there anything else you want to tell us about your move to the Philippines?
It’s been an adjustment that is sometimes difficult, but that has as much to do with my retirement as it does the move.
Yes, I know what you mean. Moving to the Philippines is indeed a big adjustment, bigger than most people expect when they come here. Based on our interaction, though, I can see that you are far ahead of most expats in the area of adjustment, even in the relatively short time that you have lived here. Congratulations on that!Thank you Randy for sharing your time and your thoughts with my readers here at How to move to the Philippines. I truly appreciate it, and I wish you the best on your retirement in the Philippines!