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23 Years Old - Philippines?

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23 Years Old - Philippines?

Postby AloneInAm » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:52 pm

Hello HA community,

I have been lurking on this forum for some time now, and I finally decided to make an account because I want to take action. I really enjoy reading the stories of people who travel overseas, the good and bad. My main interest is in the Philippines, but it's not for the same reason as most of you. I've noticed a lot of you talk about the women, and it seems to be a big part of your decision for going there.

I'm 23 years old, 5 8, fit, and above average looking. I don't have a problem with that. I currently don't have a GF because I'm tired of the drama that comes with the relationship at my age. I like to be free. Not locked down to a single girl because I feel that I'm to young to settle down. This is besides the point, but I just wanted to let you guys know that women are not my main interest for wanting to move to the Philippines, although it would be a plus.

So I would like to tell you about my current situation...

In the past I've had several online businesses that I was making anywhere from $500-$2000 a month from until I sold them. The last website I made was able to pay for my trip to California, pay for rent, food, going out to the bars, etc for almost a year. Well I sold that website for a fat chunk of $$ before I moved back to Oregon.

I used that money to pay off some fines that I had when I got into trouble with the law a few years ago, buy a car, pay for rent for a couple months, and I wasted the rest on bullshit. A few months go by without trying to establish another website, and I was starting to worry about the next months rent that was coming up, so I decided to take some classes and collect financial aid. Yes I did for the money, but I was able to take some business management classes. I learned some valuable stuff from these classes that I could apply to my next online business.

I was living in Corvallis, OR with a roommate while attending college. I was living off of financial aid. This paid for my part of rent, food, transportation, etc. Well my roommate bailed out on me right before summer started, and left me in a tight situation. I could have paid for the next months rent by myself, but I would be flat broke for the rest of the month. Since summer was coming I asked my parents if I could come back home until I figure out my next step or have some income again (I wish I hadn't).

I've been back at home with the parents for about 3 months now saving money and planning my next step. Since I've been here without school to occupy most of my time I have found another profitable online business. I've earned a little over $3,600 so far, and put exactly $3,000 of it in my savings account. I'm considering selling it for a fat chunk to help pay for the cost of living if I decide to take this trip. I want at least $6,000 in my savings account before I leave, and if I sell the website I will reach that goal. If I keep the website I can have a steady monthly income. I'm to the point where I think I can develop these websites within a month, so I will most likely sell my current one, then make another when I get to the Philippines. Not 100% sure yet.

These are my concerns....

I don't know where I should live. I just want an adventure and to have fun. I've seen a lot of mixed opinions, and I guess it's different for each person. I want to live in a place that has friendly people, especially to a foreigner. I don't want to live in a really dirty city either.

A lot of the people on this forum that share their story about the Philippines are older, like 30-40. Is there anything I should know for being in my early 20's?

If I paid top dollar, would I be able to find a fast and reliable internet connection in my apartment?

Is it going to be difficult to make friends with the locals my age?

Anything I should avoid doing?

How is the weather during Dec - Feb?

Is there a high rate of STD's there, cuz that would scare me? lol

What is the best way to exchange USD for PHP?

How can I reduce the cultural shock?

Any tips or advice?
I feel as if I'm lost.
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Re: 23 Years Old - Philippines?

Postby Jester » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:27 am

AloneInAm wrote:
Hello HA community,

I have been lurking on this forum for some time now, and I finally decided to make an account because I want to take action. I really enjoy reading the stories of people who travel overseas, the good and bad. My main interest is in the Philippines, but it's not for the same reason as most of you. I've noticed a lot of you talk about the women, and it seems to be a big part of your decision for going there.

I'm 23 years old, 5 8, fit, and above average looking. I don't have a problem with that. I currently don't have a GF because I'm tired of the drama that comes with the relationship at my age. I like to be free. Not locked down to a single girl because I feel that I'm to young to settle down. This is besides the point, but I just wanted to let you guys know that women are not my main interest for wanting to move to the Philippines, although it would be a plus.....



:?
Why on earth would you go to the Phils if not for the women?

:?
How is it you're different?

:idea:
They've got great internet here in the U.S., so why not stay here?
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Postby Halwick » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:43 am

AloneInAm, I think you might find Thailand better suited to your taste. Country has better infrastructure, cleaner and has better food. Thai women, IMO, are less problematic that Filipina; in other words, with Thai women, you can have your fun without romantic overtures and entanglements, unlike Filipinas.
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Postby mguy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:54 am

I'm Fil-American and now I live in Manila. I'm 29 and i've lived in latin America and Europe. What are you looking to get at in the Philippines? If it is a social life then you won't have any problem there's you just have to know how. If you tell me about your businesses and teach me some things, I will personally give you a tour.. an insider tour to Manila.

First of all, at $500, you can live a decent lifestyle. There are lots of location-independent types over here. You will be shocked by number of 20 year old Americans you encounter in oddest of places (in the public wet market yesterday for me).

How is the weather during Dec - Feb?

Rain. However, it is the best time to come as CHRISTMAS is coming. Note that I put it in caps lock. CHRISTMAS in the Philippines is the best the culture has to offer. People actually become nice. THen there's the crazy new year. Weather is not as bad as it is during summer. Just muggy.

Is there a high rate of STD's there, cuz that would scare me? lol

Yes, there is. But the stereo-type is that foreigners have it! No. I think if you stay away from bar girl, or gringo hunters, you can get a quality girl. Note that you are very young so the option of getting a normal girl is very high, IMO.

What is the best way to exchange USD for PHP?

Fluctuates from P40 to P44. Get it in the foreign exchange places. I think you should know the Philippines has one of the largest migrant workers in the world so foreign currency changing places are quite common.

How can I reduce the cultural shock?

There is no way around it. Keep an open mind. By the end of the 3rd month you will not even wonder why.. it just becomes is.

If you want to get a feel of the prices (check out) this site which is the ebay of the Philippines.

www.sulit.com.ph
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Postby xiongmao » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:47 pm

Yes I second Halwick, Thailand could be a better option. It's much cleaner here, and there's a lot more to do that doesn't involve women. Also the weather is better here, hence 24 million odd foreign tourists came here last year.

But if you are interested in women then we have those here as well.

There are plenty of younger dudes here. And if you don't like Asian women, there is no end of Russians and farang women.
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Postby AloneInAm » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:49 pm

Hello everyone!

Sorry it took so long to reply, there was some trouble with me posting. I tried to respond the same day I posted this, but I kept receiving some unknown error.

Anyway, after reading some of your posts and mentioning Thailand I started to do some research. I'm glad you guys mentioned this because Thailand seems like a much better option, especially because of the many digital nomads living there.

I can't express or tell you how happy I am to make this happen. To finally escape this place and find myself. Explore the many career options online in a wonderful place full of beauty, culture, smiles, and life, and to have low expenses while I do it.

I will be moving to Chiang Mai in November. I'm just waiting on my passport before I purchase my ticket. I want to find a small serviced apartment with a stable wifi connection and a pool. I see myself sitting at the pool most of my days, brainstorming, researching, writing, makin that money.

Eventually I would like to move to Bangkok. I want to start with Chiang Mai to focus on business and establish a healthy income. After a couple months I will have my business on auto-pilot for the most part, and I would like to move to this big city of Bangkok.

Then I will really start to have fun!

Stay tuned guys! I'm creating a blog once I get my passport where I will update anyone who is interested on what's going on in my life, and how I made a dream come true.

BTW - Current Thailand Savings: $4,832! (I didn't even sell my website yet, but I will before I leave).

EDIT: I forgot to add some important questions.

How should I handle medical insurance? Should I just find some when I get there? About how much am I looking at yearly?

I know that I need a work visa to run my online business from Thailand. What is the best way of going about this? If I was to get a business visa, what kind of things do I need? Should I handle this before I get there?
I feel as if I'm lost.
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Re: 23 Years Old - Philippines?

Postby anamericaninbangkok » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:38 am


I don't know where I should live. I just want an adventure and to have fun. I've seen a lot of mixed opinions, and I guess it's different for each person. I want to live in a place that has friendly people, especially to a foreigner. I don't want to live in a really dirty city either.


Try both places first - don't set yourself up without doing this. Get used to dirty places. Both Thailand and the PI are filthy in many places. They're third-world countries, what do you expect? If you want clean, go somewhere like Luxembourg or in the mountains of France.
You haven't even been to either of these places and yet you want to live in one of them...like I said, spend some time in both places, and others, then decide.

If I paid top dollar, would I be able to find a fast and reliable internet connection in my apartment?

No. Fast, sometimes, reliable sometimes. But paying more isn't going to mean shit, believe me. I know someone paying a couple hundred US a month and he's still complaining about how it's not fast enough.

Is it going to be difficult to make friends with the locals my age?

Friends you can trust, yes. But it's possible. Just be careful.

Anything I should avoid doing?

Drugs and fighting.

How is the weather during Dec - Feb?

Cooler than the rest of the year.

Is there a high rate of STD's there, cuz that would scare me? lol

Sorry, stupid f***ing question. These are two of the biggest brothels in the world. What do you think?

What is the best way to exchange USD for PHP?

Through an ATM or via wire transfer.

How can I reduce the cultural shock?

Start by understanding your way isn't the only way.


Eventually I would like to move to Bangkok. I want to start with Chiang Mai to focus on business and establish a healthy income. After a couple months I will have my business on auto-pilot for the most part, and I would like to move to this big city of Bangkok.

Then I will really start to have fun!


Talk to me in a year.

BTW - Current Thailand Savings: $4,832! (I didn't even sell my website yet, but I will before I leave).

It's good you have something and that's you'll be earning as soon as you hit the ground. Otherwise, it might not be enough.

How should I handle medical insurance? Should I just find some when I get there? About how much am I looking at yearly?

I have outpatient insurance for myself and my two sons and it's about $135 a month. Since you're about half my age, you should be able to get decent insurance for $50 a month. That's BUPA. If you really want to splurge, get William Russell. I used to have it but it got too expensive.

I know that I need a work visa to run my online business from Thailand. What is the best way of going about this?

You know this? How so? First, there is no such thing as a work visa. There is a work permit, but no work visa.

Technically, you need a work permit even if you're a volunteer. But you can set the business up with a US address so that if anyone were to say anything to you, all you have to do is say your staff in America runs the business. You don't need a work permit.
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Re: 23 Years Old - Philippines?

Postby Jester » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:59 am

anamericaninbangkok wrote:
Technically, you need a work permit even if you're a volunteer. But you can set the business up with a US address so that if anyone were to say anything to you, all you have to do is say your staff in America runs the business. You don't need a work permit.


Nice.
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Postby AloneInAm » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:55 am

First of all, thank you for your reply. I've watched a lot of your videos, but not all of them. It's great to hear from someone with a lot of experience.

Try both places first - don't set yourself up without doing this. Get used to dirty places. Both Thailand and the PI are filthy in many places. They're third-world countries, what do you expect? If you want clean, go somewhere like Luxembourg or in the mountains of France.
You haven't even been to either of these places and yet you want to live in one of them...like I said, spend some time in both places, and others, then decide.


I would be willing to try both places, but I would like to stay at least a year at each. Who knows, I could go to Thailand and absolutely hate it. I really doubt it, but I will never know until I take the leap. As for PH, maybe I will take a vacation there once I get my funds up. Check it out, travel a bit, etc.

Sorry, stupid f***ing question. These are two of the biggest brothels in the world. What do you think?

Yeah, that was a really dumb question. I guess I was just wondering about the normal women who don't sell themselves. I ask this because how much paid sex is going around, that it might even effect the ones who stay away from it.

You know this? How so? First, there is no such thing as a work visa. There is a work permit, but no work visa.

Technically, you need a work permit even if you're a volunteer. But you can set the business up with a US address so that if anyone were to say anything to you, all you have to do is say your staff in America runs the business. You don't need a work permit.


My bad. haha I meant you need a visa to get a work permit. Correct? Since we are talking about visas... I basically want to reduce the visa runs as much as possible, or entirely if I can. If I was to get an education visa and take thai language classes, doesn't that take away the visa runs? If I was to get a business visa, would I still be required to leave the country even certain amount of days/months?
I feel as if I'm lost.
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Postby anamericaninbangkok » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:57 am

AloneInAm wrote:First of all, thank you for your reply. I've watched a lot of your videos, but not all of them. It's great to hear from someone with a lot of experience.

Try both places first - don't set yourself up without doing this. Get used to dirty places. Both Thailand and the PI are filthy in many places. They're third-world countries, what do you expect? If you want clean, go somewhere like Luxembourg or in the mountains of France.
You haven't even been to either of these places and yet you want to live in one of them...like I said, spend some time in both places, and others, then decide.


I would be willing to try both places, but I would like to stay at least a year at each. Who knows, I could go to Thailand and absolutely hate it. I really doubt it, but I will never know until I take the leap. As for PH, maybe I will take a vacation there once I get my funds up. Check it out, travel a bit, etc.

Sorry, stupid f***ing question. These are two of the biggest brothels in the world. What do you think?

Yeah, that was a really dumb question. I guess I was just wondering about the normal women who don't sell themselves. I ask this because how much paid sex is going around, that it might even effect the ones who stay away from it.

You know this? How so? First, there is no such thing as a work visa. There is a work permit, but no work visa.

Technically, you need a work permit even if you're a volunteer. But you can set the business up with a US address so that if anyone were to say anything to you, all you have to do is say your staff in America runs the business. You don't need a work permit.


My bad. haha I meant you need a visa to get a work permit. Correct? Since we are talking about visas... I basically want to reduce the visa runs as much as possible, or entirely if I can. If I was to get an education visa and take thai language classes, doesn't that take away the visa runs? If I was to get a business visa, would I still be required to leave the country even certain amount of days/months?


How are you planning on getting a business visa?
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Postby AloneInAm » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:04 am

anamericaninbangkok wrote:
How are you planning on getting a business visa?


I guess I'm still confused on this visa shit... I just want to reduce the amount of times I need to leave the country for these "visa runs" I keep reading about. Would an education visa be my best bet? If not, what you recommend?
I feel as if I'm lost.
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Postby anamericaninbangkok » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:07 am

AloneInAm wrote:
anamericaninbangkok wrote:
How are you planning on getting a business visa?


I guess I'm still confused on this visa shit... I just want to reduce the amount of times I need to leave the country for these "visa runs" I keep reading about. Would an education visa be my best bet? If not, what you recommend?


Probably. You would then only need to report to immigration every 3 months and pay 1900 baht. But no going out of the country.

You can't just get any ole visa you want. There are stipulations, obviously. In the case of a business visa, a company needs to sponsor you or you have to show X amount of dollars in the bank account of the company. I don't remember how much it is now off the top of my head but it's not $1000 - more like $50K.
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Postby AloneInAm » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:16 am

anamericaninbangkok wrote:
Probably. You would then only need to report to immigration every 3 months and pay 1900 baht. But no going out of the country.

You can't just get any ole visa you want. There are stipulations, obviously. In the case of a business visa, a company needs to sponsor you or you have to show X amount of dollars in the bank account of the company. I don't remember how much it is now off the top of my head but it's not $1000 - more like $50K.


Oh shit, that's definitely out of my price range! Well I will get an education visa so I will not have to leave the country. 1900 baht every 3 months is nothing. Thanks for clearing that up!
I feel as if I'm lost.
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Re: 23 Years Old - Philippines?

Postby Winston » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:30 am

AloneInAm,
I don't know if your questions below were about the PH or Thailand, but I'm going to try to qualify AmericaninBangkok's answers to them, because I don't agree with some of them in regard to the PH.

anamericaninbangkok wrote:
I don't know where I should live. I just want an adventure and to have fun. I've seen a lot of mixed opinions, and I guess it's different for each person. I want to live in a place that has friendly people, especially to a foreigner. I don't want to live in a really dirty city either.


Try both places first - don't set yourself up without doing this. Get used to dirty places. Both Thailand and the PI are filthy in many places. They're third-world countries, what do you expect? If you want clean, go somewhere like Luxembourg or in the mountains of France.
You haven't even been to either of these places and yet you want to live in one of them...like I said, spend some time in both places, and others, then decide.


I agree. If you need clean streets, try Eastern Europe then or the FSU Central Asian Republics. Those countries are cheap with feminine friendly women who are very approachable.

Thailand though, is supposed to be cleaner than the PH, especially in Bangkok.

Is it going to be difficult to make friends with the locals my age?

Friends you can trust, yes. But it's possible. Just be careful.


Of course not. People in SE Asia aren't as cliquish as in North America. It is WAY easier and more natural to meet people. You can walk into restaurants by yourself and talk to people too. Even other expats there are more open when they are abroad.

In most overseas countries, you are not expected to mind your own business and be paranoid of strangers. Social interaction definitely flows much more smoothly.

However, in SE Asia and other poor nations, many people who talk to you will be opportunists that want to take advantage of you. So don't trust anyone til you get to know them better. And don't go anywhere with them if they get pushy and insist you go somewhere with them. The key is pushiness. People who want to scam you or lead you into a trap will often be pushy and insistent.

There will also be people who want to leech off of you and expect you to be generous to them simply because you're a foreigner. They will expect you to be Santa Claus to them because they are poor and jealous that you have money to travel and they don't, and will make you feel obligated.

Anything I should avoid doing?

Drugs and fighting.


Yeah and don't piss off the wrong people or do anything illegal.

How is the weather during Dec - Feb?

Cooler than the rest of the year.


SE Asia is hot and humid year round. If you don't like that, you might not want to live there long term, unless you live near a beach with a lot of wind.

Is there a high rate of STD's there, cuz that would scare me? lol

Sorry, stupid f***ing question. These are two of the biggest brothels in the world. What do you think?


Yes, but let me qualify this. Most of the STD's there are treateable, such as gonorrhea or urinary tract infection. The HIV/AIDS thing is way overblown and exaggerated by the fear mongering media. I don't know even one person in real life there that has HIV or AIDS. They always seem to only be on TV or in the media. The media often lies and exaggerates, so you gotta be skeptical of them.

Most whoremongers in SE Asia have gotten gonorrhea or urinary tract infection, but got cured with antibiotics. So yes there are STD's, but it's not as deadly as it's made out to be. There is also sometimes Chlamydia, which will cause red eye infection for a long time. But this is treatable too.

What is the best way to exchange USD for PHP?

Through an ATM or via wire transfer.


That's wrong. In the PH, you can exchange dollars for pesos at any cash exchange booth, which you will find everywhere in the cities. Or you can go to banks. Hotels have them too but they don't give you as good of a rate. Malls have them too. I would imagine that Thailand has them too.

How can I reduce the cultural shock?

Start by understanding your way isn't the only way.


Yeah, but most of the culture shock will be positive early on. You will marvel at how "alive and soulful and normal" people seem, compared to the US where people seem like machines with no soul or passion. And you will be mesmerized at how easy and natural it is to talk to girls, who are not as stuck up or hateful of men, or closed toward strangers.

Later on, the culture shock will be when you realize that customer service and efficiency aren't as good as in the US. Also, they do not believe that the "customer is always right" and so if they screw up, they will try to pit the blame on the customer. Businesses in SE Asia don't like to take blame or compensate for mistakes. Their attitude toward customers will seem much more rude than in the US.

Here is a specific case in point:

In the US, if you went into McDonalds or any fast food place, and you ordered a meal, but when you take your tray to sit down, someone bumps into you and causes your food to spill on the floor, the cashier would tell you "That's ok, we will replace your meal". They will simply replace your food for free. That is the common practice in America for good customer service.

However, this would NOT happen in Russia or the Philippines. In Russia, they would not replace anything for free. They would coldly tell you "It's your problem, not ours." And in the Philippines, they'd be nice about it but would tell you "Sorry sir. It's not our policy to replace any food for free." They would not even replace your fries. The workers there can't reimburse you for such little things, or else they could be fired. They will be far stingier about such things.

Eventually I would like to move to Bangkok. I want to start with Chiang Mai to focus on business and establish a healthy income. After a couple months I will have my business on auto-pilot for the most part, and I would like to move to this big city of Bangkok.

Then I will really start to have fun!


Talk to me in a year.


Sorry but most things in life don't go as planned, and it takes far longer to grow an online business into auto-pilot than just a few months.

How should I handle medical insurance? Should I just find some when I get there? About how much am I looking at yearly?

I have outpatient insurance for myself and my two sons and it's about $135 a month. Since you're about half my age, you should be able to get decent insurance for $50 a month. That's BUPA. If you really want to splurge, get William Russell. I used to have it but it got too expensive.


That's VERY BAD advice. Come on now. How often do you go to the doctor? Do you go a lot? Do you get sick a lot? How often do you get sick?

Seriously though. There's no need for medical insurance. This isn't the USA. A doctor visit in the Philippines cost $10 for the clinical visit, plus more for medicine. There is NO NEED to pay $135 a month for medical insurance. If you only see the doctor several times a year, that would be a BIG WASTE OF MONEY. Do the math. You're better of using that $135 on rent.

Just go to the doctor when you need to. It's not that expensive, unless you need surgery. But if you just need a checkup, examination, or medicine, these things are very affordable. It's not the US where healthcare is astronomically outrageous.

I know that I need a work visa to run my online business from Thailand. What is the best way of going about this?

You know this? How so? First, there is no such thing as a work visa. There is a work permit, but no work visa.

Technically, you need a work permit even if you're a volunteer. But you can set the business up with a US address so that if anyone were to say anything to you, all you have to do is say your staff in America runs the business. You don't need a work permit.


No you don't need any work visa to run an online business. That's only if you plan to get a job there. Even if you did, some employers pay workers under the table, which is common practice. If they get caught, they just pay a bribe or penalty to the department of labor. In SE Asia, laws aren't written in stone. Money can easily be used to get around them. Everything can be bought there. People there don't have "principles" like we do.

Hope that helps.
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Postby Jester » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:28 am

something has got you out of our shell and posting on real-life ha issues, mr wu -- good to see
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