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Repatriate's casual observations about Manila.

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby mguy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:16 am

I think there are Filipinas and there are surplus Filipinas. I think with age you are loving the surplus Filipinas. There is an over abundance of Filipinas coming from the 'baby factories'.

The Asian men comment will get its own blogpost.

My gut feeling is that the ills of the Philippines is tied to its population being out of control. Curb the population and let's see if there will be love for older men.
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Postby Mr S » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:09 pm

Rock wrote: My personal feeling (and it's more gut level than anything else) is that Phils. will rise over the coming years. It's easy to get seduced by all the activity you see around you in Metro Manila. But if things continue to move forward, it will still take a long time for the increased wealth and economic opportunities to trickle into the poorer provincial regions of the country enough to make a noticeable difference.


I don't know if you have read the article I posted below but it pretty much sums up my theory regarding the current Philippine economy. I've been here long enough to realize that the Philippines is mostly a mirage of economic positivity. Nothing much has changed since I've been here other than more condos and malls/shopping complexes being built, but with no or little new infrastructure to support them.

BTW, how do you define exotic? I'm assuming you mean the term in a negative light? If I were to hear so and so likes exotic women what comes to mind is beautiful foreign women who aren't typical of what one sees in Western cultures. I personally wouldn't consider most Filipinas exotic looking, even the supposed good looking ones. They generally don't have any outstanding characteristics that would make them standout much from other supposed 'exotic' women around the world. I guess the mixed ones might be considered exotic looking and beautiful enough but you only see them on local TV/movies usually or they high tail it out of the country and move to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America or the UK once they come of age. Besides if you happen to land one of them they will most likely act like a Western women anyways, maybe be even worse if they grew up in a rich household with servants and being catered to their every whim and desire. I gotta talk to a number of them on a semi-regular basis, they have lame personalities just as much as the lower class ones do.

The only good things about dating Filipinas is the number of them far outweigh males plus the huge concentration of them in the major cities in the millions. So even though there may be a low percentage of good looking ones across the board, because there are such high concentrations of them in the cities there are bound to be a number of them in localized places where the beautiful wish to be seen. This is especially true in the Manila and a lesser extent in Cebu. If you go to the high end malls, night spots, rush hours going/from work in Ayala area and Oritgas you will see some beautiful girls just cause one is playing within a numbers game in the millions. Yeah, if you just walk around the local Baranguys most of the women you see will look pretty scary and homely looking.

There are only around 1/3 of the Filipino male population that is suitable for dating as 1/3 is gay or has feminine characteristics and the other 1/3rd is working overseas or outside of the Philippines. Filipinas are better for older guys cause most are simpletons and generally boring and not wordly. Most older guys are just trying to relive their youth or be with a women who won't bitch at them all the time about stupid stuff like Western women do. So even if she is from the province as long as she is young and not looking like a total slob and willing to take care of the older dude the Western guy will usually just settle cause he doesn't like the whole dating scene anyways and would just prefer finding one decent chick and then do what he wants on the side if he has the inclination to do so still.

I think younger guys being with Filipinas are a big mistake regarding long term relationships. They usually don't bring much to the table if one were to marry one, even if they come from a half-way decent family. I would recommend other nationalities if a guy is under 40. If you want to practice your dating and banging skills on Filipinas, fine, but I wouldn't marry one or get heavily involved with one if i was a young dude.

I've been in touch with many of my friends who were in their 20's and 30's who got married to Filipinas an went back to their home countries and pretty much their life is just like any other Western dude's who married a Western women. Filipinas aren't stupid, they will learn to become like their Western sisters eventually. They may not be as bad to deal with on a daily basis but women are women. Only if you can keep them in their home country or non-Western one can you maybe maintain their original cultural characteristics.

Personally I have very little interest in Filipinas anymore, however even so I can still understand why men would want to date and marry a Filipina. It's just that I have realized that they aren't really for me and don't fit my personality type and I don't have much in common with their cultural interests. I have occasionally found interesting Filipinos to talk with and associate with but they are few and far between. Most are academics or professionals and those aren't exactly beauty contest material usually.

I would click on the link as it provides supporting graphs and other info backing up the article:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessecolomb ... -disguise/

Here's Why The Philippines' Economic Miracle Is Really A Bubble In Disguise

I am reluctant to write about the Philippines’ economic bubble after the devastation that the country has endured due to the recent typhoon. My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families. Please visit this page to learn how you can donate and help the victims of typhoon Haiyan. I have been writing a series of reports about bubbles in Southeast Asia, and the Philippines is one of the economies that I have been warning about even before the typhoon. My goal is to warn about economic bubbles to prevent humanitarian crises that result when bubbles pop.

The archipelago nation of the Philippines is part of the overall emerging markets bubble that has been inflating since 2009 after China launched a $586 billion economic stimulus plan to counter the negative effects of the global financial crisis on their economy. China’s stimulus plan called for an aggressive credit-driven infrastructure and residential real estate-based economic growth strategy that resulted in the building of scores of cities and other projects – many of which are still empty or unused – across the entire country. The stimulus plan succeeded in temporarily boosting economic growth, and drove a global raw materials boom (and bubble) that benefited commodities exporters such as Australia and emerging market nations. Very soon, investors the world over were clamoring into emerging market investments to diversify away from investments in troubled Western economies.

Record-low interest rates in the West and Japan, along with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s multi-trillion dollar quantitative easing or QE programs led to an epic $4 trillion surge of speculative “hot moneyâ€￾ into emerging market investments from 2009 to 2013. A global carry trade developed in which traders borrowed large amounts of capital at cheap interest rates from the U.S. and Japan, and reinvesting the proceeds into high-yielding assets in emerging markets for the purpose of earning the “spreadâ€￾ or favorable interest rate differential. The explosion of demand for emerging market investments helped to inflate bubbles in those countries’ assets, particularly in bonds, which resulted in incredibly low borrowing costs for EM governments and corporations. Ultra-low interest rates have enabled government-driven infrastructure booms, as well as dangerous credit and property bubbles across the emerging world.

Soaring capital inflows into the Philippines after the global financial crisis caused the peso currency to rise 25 percent against the U.S. dollar:

Philippines Peso Chart

The Philippines has been a major beneficiary of the emerging markets bond bubble, which has pushed the country’s 10-year government bond yield down to an unprecedented 3.61 percent (the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond yield is 2.79 percent):

Philippines Government Bond YieldSource: TradingEconomics.com

Investors’ insatiable hunger for emerging market debt has caused the Philippines’ external debt to spike in recent years:

Philippines External DebtForeign direct investment (net inflows, current dollars) has boomed in the past ten years:

Philippines Foreign Direct Investment

Source: IndexMundi.com

The Philippines Stock Market has more than tripled since 2009 as interest from foreign investors has grown significantly, making it the most richly-valued stock market in Asia, with an approximate price to earnings ratio of 19:

Philippines Stock Market Chart

The Philippines’ Economy Is Driven By A Credit Bubble

Growing by over 7 percent for the past four quarters, and by similar amounts for the past several years, the Philippines’ $250 billion economy is Southeast Asia’s fastest growing major economy, and is one of the fastest growing major economies in the entire world.

Philippines GDP

Philippines GDP Growth Rate

The Philippines’ benchmark interest rate, which is set by the country’s central bank, is at an all time low and is fueling an asset and credit bubble that is growing at a 13 to 14 percent annual rate:

Philippines Benchmark Interest Rate Interbank interest rates show the same pattern:

Philippines Interbank Rate

The country’s credit boom is also enabled by record low bank lending interest rates (for loans to private individuals and companies):Philippines Bank Lending Rate

The Philippines’ M3 money supply, a broad measure of total money and credit in the economy, has more than doubled since 2008, and sharply accelerated in 2013 as interest rates hit new lows:

Philippines M3 Money Supply

As is typical during credit bubbles, consumer spending is growing at a rapid rate:

Philippines Consumer Spending

Decreasing personal savings rates are another hallmark of credit-driven consumption binges, and the Philippines’ current bubble is no exception:Philippines Savings Rate

Plunging personal savings rates and double-digit auto loan growth has helped Philippine car registrations (a proxy for auto sales) to soar by 50 percent since 2008:Philippines Car Registrations

The Philippines’ economy is far less reliant upon exports than most Asian countries, while it is one of the most consumer-driven economies in the region, with household consumption growing to nearly three-quarters of the country’s GDP from 63 percent a decade ago, according to World Bank data. Domestic consumption is now the largest expenditure component of the Philippines’ GDP.

As the Philippines’ consumer economy grew during the course of their inflating bubble, exports as a percentage of the country’s GDP fell significantly (even as exports grew):

Philippines Exports As % Of GDP

Cheap credit and soaring asset prices, which are known for creating times of good feelings, are a major reason why Filipinos are currently the world’s second most optimistic consumers. Unsurprisingly, Western financial services firms are looking to get a piece of the country’s credit bubble action, including Citigroup, which is expanding its local credit card business. While household debt levels are fairly low at 35 percent of GDP, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippines’ central bank, has been using this as an excuse to encourage banks to lend even more aggressively to consumers and businesses in order to spur further rapid economic growth. Simply stated, the Philippines’ central bank is actually trying to inflate a credit bubble, which is very alarming and reminiscent of the pro-credit growth policies of the Greenspan Fed during the 2002 to 2007 credit bubble.

The surge in the Philippines’ consumer spending has led to a bubble in shopping mall development, and the country now hosts 9 of the world’s 38 largest malls – beating even the U.S., China, and most other developed countries. Global consumer brands are now flocking to the country’s malls, and luxury goods companies are looking to become players in the consumer market, including Rolls Royce and Bentley.

The two most common, but flawed, explanations given for the Philippines’ growing middle class and consumer spending boom are the rise of the business process outsourcing or BPO sector (call centers are the most common form of BPO) and remittances from overseas Filipino workers. While the BPO sector has grown healthily in the past decade, it only accounts for $11 billion or 4.4 percent of the Philippines’ $250 billion economy. Similarly, remittances have grown at a high rate, but they only account for $26 billion or 10.4 percent of the country’s economy. These two popular explanations for the economic boom only account for a combined 14.8 percent of the Philippines’ economy, so are overstated in their impact, while the role of cheap credit and asset bubbles is greatly understated.

There is also reason for skepticism about the growth and sustainability of remittances to the Philippines because 53 percent of remittances originate from the United States, with much of it sent from Filipino nurses who are benefiting from an unsustainable healthcare bubble that is driving salary and employment growth in the U.S. healthcare industry.

The Philippines Has An Inflating Property Bubble

As with most other emerging markets now, the Philippines has a property bubble in addition to its credit bubble, which is creating a wealth effect that is boosting economic growth and optimism.

In the first six months of 2013, the average price of a 3-bedroom luxury condominium in Makati CBD rose by a frothy 12.92 percent (9.98 percent inflation-adjusted), after rising 5.6 percent in Q1 2013, 8 percent in Q4 and 8.3 percent in Q3 2012. The average price of a premium 3-bedroom condominium in Bonifacio Global City surged by 12.4 percent y-o-y, while secondary residential property prices in Rockwell Center rose by 10.6 percent y-o-y.

Philippines’ housing prices, as measured by prices in the Makati CBD, have nearly doubled since 2004:

Philippines Property Bubble

Source: GlobalPropertyGuide.com

Rising by a scorching 42 percent in 2012, mortgage loans are growing at an even faster rate than consumer credit. According to the World Bank, lending standards have been relaxed, with some local banks raising their loan-to-value ratio to 80 or even 90 percent in addition to waiving requirements such as proof of income. The proof of income requirement has been waived for many overseas Filipino workers or OFWs who are unable to provide proof of income, yet are able to pay the 20 percent down payment. There is also evidence that easy-pay mortgages are being offered to home buyers, such as those with zero down payment or low payments in the first few years of loan amortization.

The IMF has warned that “real estate developers may (have been applying) less-stringent lending standards and more-generous loan terms than required of banks, including (a higher cap than the standard 60 percent loan-to-value) and by offering initial teaser terms.â€￾ The IMF explained that “about 80 percent of new residential construction (by number of units) is in the low middle price bracket. Of these, about half are reported to be purchased pre-construction by overseas foreign workers.â€￾ This poses a risk because “possible non-renewal of OFWs’ short-term employment contractsâ€￾ could spell doom for some real-estate projects. According to the IMF, another reason for concern is the fact that “no institution has oversight responsibility for the housing sector from a macro-financial perspective.â€￾

There are also reasons for concern about residential real estate overbuilding because many developers only start construction projects after receiving 60 percent in pre-sales, but only 10 percent of Filipino households have non-passive disposable income (excluding remittances) of at least 30,000 pesos or $648 dollars per month. According to the World Bank, “If 10 percent of these households are prospective end-user buyers, this leads to a projected demand of around 50,000 units, which is much less than the current and pipeline supply.â€￾

Thanks to the growing property bubble, the Philippines’ construction sector is expected to expand by double digits in 2014, and account for nearly half of the country’s economic growth.

Due to concerns about a property bubble, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas mandated a 20 percent limit on banks’ exposure to real estate loans, though many banks have already exceeded that limit.

The Philippines’ growing asset bubble, which includes property and stocks, is a primary reason why the collective wealth of the 40 richest Filipino families soared by 37.9 percent in 2011, which accounted for an incredible 76.5 percent of the country’s overall increase in GDP that year, leading to the highest income disparity in Asia.

Government Spending Is Boosting The Philippines’ Economy

The emerging markets bond bubble has helped to dramatically reduce the Philippines’ government’s borrowing costs, which has enabled more spending on infrastructure and social services to boost economic growth. In the first eight months of 2013, infrastructure spending rose by 38.5 percent, and the government plans to increase infrastructure spending in 2014 by nearly 60 billion pesos or $1.4 billion (worth 3.5 percent of GDP) to counter the effects of typhoon Haiyan on the economy.

Government spending has risen significantly in recent years:

Philippines Government Spending

The Philippines’ government has been running a budget deficit since 1999:

Philippines Government Budget

The Philippines’ government’s debt-to-GDP ratio fell to 50 percent in 2012 from 70 percent in 2004, though a very good portion of this improvement is due to unsustainable, credit-fueled economic growth. The Philippines was upgraded to investment-grade status this year by all three major credit ratings agencies thanks to its booming economy and ultra-low government borrowing costs.

How Typhoon Haiyan Will Effect The Economy

Though typhoon Haiyan exacted a terrible human toll, its economic impact is expected to be muted because it bypassed Manila, which is the economic heart of the country. Total typhoon-related costs are expected to reach $14 billion or 5.6 percent of the country’s economy, which should reduce 2014 GDP growth by about 1 percent. Philippines’ economic planning chief Arsenio Balisacan estimates that reconstruction costs may reach $5.8 billion. Remittances are expected to rise significantly as overseas Filipinos increase their support for their family members as well as donations to help the country’s rebuilding efforts. Rice prices have skyrocketed after large portions of the Philippines’ rice crop were destroyed in the storm.

How The Philippines’ Bubble Economy Will Pop

The Philippines’ bubble will most likely pop when China’s economic bubble pops and/or as global and local interest rates continue to rise, which are what caused the country’s credit and asset bubble in the first place. The resumption of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s QE taper plans may put pressure on the Philippines’ financial markets in the near future. Another global economic crisis (as I expect) also puts remittances at risk.

As I’ve been saying even before this summer’s EM panic, I expect the ultimate popping of the emerging markets bubble to cause another crisis that is similar to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, and there is a strong chance that it will be even worse this time due to the fact that more countries are involved (Latin America, China, and Africa), and because the global economy is in a much weaker state now than it was during the booming late-1990s.

In the coming months, I will be publishing more reports on other countries that I consider to be part of the emerging markets bubble. Please follow me on Twitter, Google+ and like my Facebook page to keep up with the latest bubble news and my related commentary.
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Postby Mr Natural » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:11 am

Mr S wrote:Filipinas are better for older guys cause most are simpletons and generally boring and not wordly.


Did you mean worldly or wordy or both?

Mr S wrote:Most older guys are just trying to relive their youth or be with a women who won't bitch at them all the time about stupid stuff like Western women do. So even if she is from the province as long as she is young and not looking like a total slob and willing to take care of the older dude the Western guy will usually just settle cause he doesn't like the whole dating scene anyways and would just prefer finding one decent chick and then do what he wants on the side if he has the inclination to do so still.


Quite an accurate description of the majority of older westerner/young filipina couples I have seen.
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Postby Mr S » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:12 pm

Mr Natural wrote:
Mr S wrote:Filipinas are better for older guys cause most are simpletons and generally boring and not wordly.


Did you mean worldly or wordy or both?

Mr S wrote:Most older guys are just trying to relive their youth or be with a women who won't bitch at them all the time about stupid stuff like Western women do. So even if she is from the province as long as she is young and not looking like a total slob and willing to take care of the older dude the Western guy will usually just settle cause he doesn't like the whole dating scene anyways and would just prefer finding one decent chick and then do what he wants on the side if he has the inclination to do so still.


Quite an accurate description of the majority of older westerner/young filipina couples I have seen.


Ha! I meant worldly but i guess they aren't wordy either!
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Postby Repatriate » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:08 pm

Well, I finally got a look at the more upper class areas in the fort and the crowd there. I attended a b-day event with Mguy at a gathering of upper (?) class fashion people and their social circle. It was kind of interesting, the people were friendly enough, and the restaurant was chill but not much conversation was made with the guests. I think it's because they were probably wondering just who the f-ck we were. I told mguy that our presence will occupy precisely 4 seconds of their thought processes after we leave before they forget about us entirely and that we should not feel self conscious about being there.

We didn't exactly stick out like sore thumbs but it was odd being around a pretty intimate group of friends and not knowing anyone there. Well, mguy knew the b-day girl and I guess that was all that was necessary. I chatted with b-day girl a little at Prive and she was a pretty nice person. I also talked with a few of the other people in that group and they seemed alright too.

We went to Prive afterward and despite having all the trappings of being this exclusive night spot it felt kind of touristy inside. We went with the same b-day party group so got on a guest list. There were a few groups of Rooshv looking white guys with gelled hair doing the usual pick up type activity by hovering around each table with girls. There seemed to be more guys than women here though. Mguy went wandering around midway through ;). However, the women seemed pretty open at this spot. I was just standing around holding a drink and a couple girls actually started chatting me up. No actual pick up was done this night though.

All in all, there are some similarities with Thai night life but I feel that even though the ratio felt off here and it felt touristy the overall scene felt more "open" to me. It was easier to chat up or be chatted up by girls. In Bangkok the social circles can be way more closed off with Thais tightly huddled around their little table and bottles and as a foreigner you better speak good thai or know people otherwise you will get shut down fast by the vast majority of women in clubs.

Maybe the people we were with had something to do with that though too. We were in a decent spot occupying a couch and table right beside the bar.

========

All in all my feelings about Filipinos in general hasn't changed much. I do find most people here to be pleasant enough. I still haven't encountered shitty attitudes up close and personal or over the top pretension.
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Postby xiongmao » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:42 pm

I met 3 Filipinas in Bangkok. One was middle class and smart but not that attractive. Kind of girl you should seek out if you want a reliable wife and some kids. One was working class and I'm not entirely sure what she was doing in Bangkok. The final one was Filipino-Chinese. She was fun and reasonably attractive, but she has the shopping gene. Falcon also met this one.

I'd worry that with so many Filipinas you'd run out of conversation after 2-3 minutes. With Bangkok bar girls once I'd established where they were from that was pretty much it.

I found in Thailand that the middle class Thai women have next to no interest in dating foreigners. Definitely not the same as in China.

With the large number of ladyboys in Thailand and the Philippines I guess this has made a surplus of women.

I also heard the Phillies has a large gay population, not sure if this is true.
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Postby Raja » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:09 pm

xiongmao wrote:
With the large number of ladyboys in Thailand and the Philippines I guess this has made a surplus of women.

I also heard the Phillies has a large gay population, not sure if this is true.

I would think the the OFWs and no divorce have more to do with surplus women then ladyboys.

The large flamboyant gay, along with the closeted gay populations probably is the Pacific Islander legacy which Catholicism and Islam could not overcome before international standards changed making it okay
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Postby Winston » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:58 am

Repatriate,
Why were you willing to meet up with Mguy but not with me or Rock? We are both feeling hurt now. lol

What does a guy have to do to earn a meet up with you? lol
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Postby mguy » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:28 am

I'm pretty sure those types were upper class. Imagine hipster types in a third world setting.

I have a vid of our club scene. Edited you and me and bday girl ofcourse.
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Postby mguy » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:30 am

Prive according to friend has gotten a change in the clientele.. these happen to "upscale" clubs as word gets out and people get in the scene.. so the clientele moves on to the next.
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Postby Repatriate » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:26 am

Winston wrote:Repatriate,
Why were you willing to meet up with Mguy but not with me or Rock? We are both feeling hurt now. lol

What does a guy have to do to earn a meet up with you? lol

Mguy actually isn't the first person i've met on this forum. I'll leave it up to you to guess who the first was. :lol:

It's true that when Rock was in BKK I had reservations about meeting anyone from this site then. That was at least a couple years ago though. I don't think I would mind meeting Rock or even you now for that matter.
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Postby Repatriate » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:19 am

I'm currently island hopping in Thailand but I have more comments to make about my phi trip including the girls I met. When I have access to my notebook and stable internet again ill comment.
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