Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
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I have to admit I haven't been very keen on HA for a good year. My belligerant moment with Eurobrat (who has long since reconciled with me and perhaps even with Italy, as he embarks in another Euro adventure) had given a blow to my posting motivation. Lack of time on my side and, maybe, lack of fresh topics and/or angles did the rest.
As this 2015 ends, I think I can draw some positive conclusions about what I have done, and I believe some of those conclusions might be worth sharing here. Over the past few months, I have been meeting Rock quite regularly and always loved his company and his insight. I believe I could do with some more or that insight and (possibly constructive) criticism from other valuable members of this forum.
So, in short: from about April this year, I have been involved in a few personal/business activities revolving around the Philippines and Davao City:
1) in May, I took the plunge and invested some of my savings in a condo project in Davao;
2) starting from about mid-June, I took an even bolder step and decided to set up a business in Davao, an outsourced software house focussed on the financial technologies (or fintech) space, and potentially the broader enterprise software one.
As, since January this year, I had been consulting for a startup, I was hit by a big rate cut (the company hasn't started making money yet, but will in a few months as two large banking project exit pilot and enter commercial) but gained massively in freedom to work from wherever I wanted and organise side stuff. So I took the plunge and started the paperwork for the London and Davao business in mid-June, and towards the end of August I moved back to Davao. As per, in fact beyond, expectations, I found Davao even nicer and warmer than I left it 2 years ago, with much buzz generated by its mayor, Rody Duterte, being a favorite for the presidential race come June next year. To top the cake, my "old" friends there gave me a very warm welcome and were excited that I was in Davao with a solid business idea and working hard on execution, with a view to making their city my second (third?) home.
If I ever needed confirmation, their reaction proved me that the attitude with which one enters a new culture shapes not only his own perception of that culture, but the way his hosts will see and treat him. It's the old "treat the others as you want to be treated" or, on a more sophisticated metaphor, a human take of the quantum principle that "the state of the observer informs the observation". The Philippines are an immensely complex and problematic society and culture, which I resonate with in part because - like Italy - their colonial past resulted in the same tarnished identity, the same indulgence in matters of corruption, efficiency (or lack thereof) and forward-thinking (or lack thereof). Having being there for quite a bit longer this time, having met many more quality people and shared ideas and activities with them, I can safely say there has never been a better time to be in the Philippines, and I mean it far beyond the (very) limited scope of vacationing and dating & mating!
I am back in London now and my plan is to be in Davao for 2 to 3 months at a time, with frequent visits to Manila (Makati and BGC/Taguig, mostly), and with time in London (or occasional in Italy, where I am trying to do some investments with my brother) in between each stint. I will be back there towards end of January, beginning of February maybe. I still have my consulting client here and lots of marketing to do, people to meet and paperwork to sign.
So, guys & gals, if there is anything I can help with or you may want to discuss, please follow up on this thread or PM me.
And, by the way, best wishes for a happy and serene 2016.
Your story sounds very similar to that of a Brit from London I met briefly at the end of last April in Davao. It was at the BPI branch on the main floor of Abreeza Mall, where we were both sitting waiting to be served. We chatted briefly and exchanged numbers but never spoke after. Was it you?
Hi there, it definitely wasn't me, I would have remembered one such encounter, and back last April the idea of setting up a business hadn't crossed my mind yet. Nice to know there's at least another Londoner willing to start an IT business in Davao. It's not such a business-friendly city for home-grown companies (the large BPO multinationals usually have their legal muscles in Manila and get all the paperwork done over there), but it does have potential.
Actually, one thing I did find quirky is that I don't think I ever saw you, despite living just a few blocks away from you
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