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While the Philippines is sometimes described as a tropical delight, it truly can be a paradise to those foreigners who come to live – as long as they bring with them a sustainable form of income. Because of work limitations placed on foreigners in the Philippines, those without an income need not show up with plans on finding work or building some business to survive. It simply will not happen…it just doesn’t work that way. The below BBC (British Broadcasting Co) video, while focused on the job of learning to drive a jeepney in Manila, highlights one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world with a heart wrenching look at a Filipino family and the living conditions to which they and many Filipino people are subjected to. This video depicts this somewhat typical family living in poverty living in the heart of Manila where approximately 50% of the entire population lives in substandard housing. Filipinos are known to work very hard for long hours each and every day and know nothing of a vacation from working. For many there is no rest as they simply work today so that they can feed their families tomorrow. The video even makes a simple comparison between life in the city and life in the province where living can be more peaceful and serene. Living in the province can be more laid back but with even fewer jobs, the harsh realities of life can be the same.
Before anyone thinks of coming to the Philippines to live, they must understand the realities of living in a country where an estimated 30% of the population lives in poverty – a place where the jobs are held by the lucky few – and where the average daily wage is $12. Coming here without a steady income or a boatload of cash with the intentions of living long term in this tropical paradise can be a recipe for disaster, and a big dilemma.
If this video doesn’t make you think twice, then make sure you do your homework because living in and with this culture takes more than a pocketful of pesos. It also takes understanding and compassion. Boatloads!