‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail …’
The statement endures with good reason. Living in Boracay, or elsewhere in the Philippines, demands you do your homework. Many ex-pats and retirees have ventured here before you. They all come in search of paradise, but often return unfulfilled.
Island life isn’t for everyone. However, there are signature traits that distinguish those who abide. For while there are those who prop up the bar and knock back cheap San Miguel night after night, others are reborn.
They learn the lingo, engage with the locals and pursue new experiences.
Want paradise? You’ve got to make it happen.
Learn The Lingo
Tagalog is the most widely spoken dialect in the Philippines. While many locals do speak English, it remains their second language. A few words of the local lingo affords a series of privileges. You’ll discover drives and vendors will drop the hardsell and prices.
Meanwhile, you’ll distinguish yourself from the fair-weather tourists and establish new friendships with the natives. In Boracay, a touch of Tagalog goes a long way. I learned the fundamentals with Jeric Pena’s ‘Conversational Filipino’ video course.
Philippines Immigration Guide
Want to live here for a few months? Emigrating for the medium or short-term can ignite an avalanche of paperwork and administrative checks. You’ll need to contact the Philippines embassy in your country of origin before presenting your financial records, and a signature from a notary public before you depart. BRrrrr …
Bob Martin’s Philippine Immigration Guide saved me the headache when I was charting my path.
Earn A Crust
So you’ve arrived in Boracay? Perhaps you harbor dreams of bathing on White Beach by day, drooping over a bar by night. If you’re like me, this is a life unfulfilled.
Some ex-pats take up a new job as a hobby, others by necessity. Living in Boracay Island can be cheap, but not for everyone. Either way, it’s always advisable to earn a crust.
There are many means of making a living here, and we’ll outline them in future blog posts. As of today however, Bob’s ’49 Ways To Make A Living In The Philippines’ is the ultimate resource.