Dealing With Distance From Family As A Philippines Expat

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Dealing With Distance From Family As A Philippines Expat


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Old 6th May 2014, 07:17 PM
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Here's a question for US Expats who currently reside in PI:

Is it emotionally difficult to find yourselves so distant from close family such as adult children, parents, siblings?

That's one agenda that's crossed my mind several times over. I have adult daughters who are on their own, still single, and working on their careers. The thought of someday being so far from them is a weighty issue, at least for now it is. Same goes for my aging parents whom are still healthy and financially stable.

How do you navigate such concerns?

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Old 6th May 2014, 07:35 PM
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Here's a question for US Expats who currently reside in PI:

Is it emotionally difficult to find yourselves so distant from close family such as adult children, parents, siblings?

That's one agenda that's crossed my mind several times over. I have adult daughters who are on their own, still single, and working on their careers. The thought of someday being so far from them is a weighty issue, at least for now it is. Same goes for my aging parents whom are still healthy and financially stable.

How do you navigate such concerns?
Nile, This is a great topic so made this a new thread.

If aging parents are to remain behind in our home countries, I think that might be a drawback in making a move for some people.
I left my mother when I moved here the first time in 1998 and ended up returning home to care for her until her death before coming back to the Philippines for good. With parents, each of us must weigh what the right decision is and make decisions from there. There are nice and not too expensive high rise condos in Manila that may fill the need for parents if they are willing to make the move also.

Adult children are a different story. I would not cancel a move or lessen retirement goals due to adult children. There are always cheap flights to go back for occasional visits. Don't forget that those flights come here as well and those "adult" children should be capable AND willing to come here for visits as well...

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Old 6th May 2014, 10:32 PM
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For those that feel the need to be closer and on same side of the globe, perhaps look into Central America or even northern countries in South America. International Living has some great input on still cheap places across those areas, and still Affordable places in Panama. However, being married to a Pinay, the PI will No doubt be my future home I have an adult daughter right here in Seattle and a teen son that will be first in college when I move Permanently to the PI sometime in 2016. Also, as both my parents are passed now, that is not a factor. Either way, I think being in military before and then in federal law enforcement with a worldwide mission and being gone A Lot most of my life, pretty much makes it more tolerable for me, and for them as just "more of the same". My son will be one I most worry about until he's firmly entrenched in college and a future in front of him, but then again, he has his mom here. In the end, it comes down to what You want and what makes You feel comfortable with the situation, and Central America sites certainly get high marks and puts you much closer to loved ones.
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Old 7th May 2014, 03:26 AM
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Both of my parents are long deceased, I have one deceased sister and one living in the USA. It can be difficult, especially if your spouse is Filipina and is very close to her parents. We lived on Mindanao until we moved to Luzon and that being said, it was kind of hard on my wife because we are 1 1/2 flight hours away from her parents and family. She prefers to live on Mindanao but I can't do it, become ill too often doing that. Fortunately my wife does have the ability to visit her parents who are both up in years. We do hope to fly to Mindanao in July to visit for a week and then return to Luzon.
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Old 7th May 2014, 03:30 AM
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Both of my parents are long deceased, I have one deceased sister and one living in the USA. It can be difficult, especially if your spouse is Filipina and is very close to her parents. We lived on Mindanao until we moved to Luzon and that being said, it was kind of hard on my wife because we are 1 1/2 flight hours away from her parents and family. She prefers to live on Mindanao but I can't do it, become ill too often doing that. Fortunately my wife does have the ability to visit her parents who are both up in years. We do hope to fly to Mindanao in July to visit for a week and then return to Luzon.
Jim, I've never been down that way so am wondering -- what was the cause of you getting sick there and not here? Was it the water?


Jet..

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Old 7th May 2014, 04:08 AM
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Jim, I've never been down that way so am wondering -- what was the cause of you getting sick there and not here? Was it the water?


Jet..
Jet,

Upon my last and final return to the Philippines, for 3 1/2 months, Nila and I lived in a rat infested boarding house situated over a cesspool which cost us only 1,000 pesos a month. Many cockroaches and mosquitos, and this was in Dipolog City. There is nothing worse that opening your window in the morning to the fresh smell of s**t! There were also cats running around loose between the floors chasing after the mice and rats. I was lying on our bed with an electric fan blowing on me and into my face. A cat, chasing a mouse broke through our ceiling, dropping mold and mildew down and right into my fan which went into my face and right into my lungs. Within 6 hours I developed full blown asthmatic bronchial pneumonia which took too months to get over. The place was rally a dump, no private CRs, only a community shower We lived on the 2nd floor. Also, the sidewalk on the side of the building where the one water faucet is located had a 1 meter patch of wet algae growing on it. I usually missed that patch of algae but this time, in order to avoid bumping into a fellow tenant, who was at the water faucet, my left foot got too close to the algae and I wend down on my right knee in a WWE style kneed drop on my right knee, almost blowing it out. Being a big man, it took 3 Filipinos to get me up off the ground. took 3 weeks to overcome that mishap until we rented a house. We stayed in the house until we moved to Gen. Trias. Had I not become ill nor busted up my knee, I would have been fine, walking well, having no problems moving around.
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Old 7th May 2014, 05:56 AM
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Jet,

Upon my last and final return to the Philippines, for 3 1/2 months, Nila and I lived in a rat infested boarding house situated over a cesspool which cost us only 1,000 pesos a month. Many cockroaches and mosquitos, and this was in Dipolog City. There is nothing worse that opening your window in the morning to the fresh smell of s**t! There were also cats running around loose between the floors chasing after the mice and rats. I was lying on our bed with an electric fan blowing on me and into my face. A cat, chasing a mouse broke through our ceiling, dropping mold and mildew down and right into my fan which went into my face and right into my lungs. Within 6 hours I developed full blown asthmatic bronchial pneumonia which took too months to get over. The place was rally a dump, no private CRs, only a community shower We lived on the 2nd floor. Also, the sidewalk on the side of the building where the one water faucet is located had a 1 meter patch of wet algae growing on it. I usually missed that patch of algae but this time, in order to avoid bumping into a fellow tenant, who was at the water faucet, my left foot got too close to the algae and I wend down on my right knee in a WWE style kneed drop on my right knee, almost blowing it out. Being a big man, it took 3 Filipinos to get me up off the ground. took 3 weeks to overcome that mishap until we rented a house. We stayed in the house until we moved to Gen. Trias. Had I not become ill nor busted up my knee, I would have been fine, walking well, having no problems moving around.
Man- that's a hard lesson you could have done without. Amazing how the locals for the most part seem immune from these hazards. I know there are many places like that and must have been horrible having to spend time there.
A friend of ours, Steve Sutton, use to live over in the Cavete area where you are now and ended up moving here to our town.
Housing cost here is about what you were spending on a boarding house but here they are single family homes and clean.
I hope your health (respiratory) holds out now and you don't have issues during the rainy season.
Are you using or do you keep something like a Dua-Vent puffer with you just in case of a sudden attack now?
I have COPD from smoking over the years and use that and other medications. Even the change in due point, air pressure, or humidity level can cause things to act up..

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Old 8th May 2014, 12:10 AM
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I acquired a VOIP number that is local call for them along with maintaining contact via email.

I had a similar lifestyle like Nickelback's and only recently have started to be static. My adult children know how I am always out and have adjusted to it. There is no reason that they can't come and visit me should they want to.

For my wife, 500 miles away from her parents, she has adjusted well and we visit at least once a year. 3 or 4 days in her hometown is usually enough for her to appreciate what we have in Subic :cheers:
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Old 8th May 2014, 12:18 PM
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For those that feel the need to be closer and on same side of the globe, perhaps look into Central America or even northern countries in South America. International Living has some great input on still cheap places across those areas, and still Affordable places in Panama. However, being married to a Pinay, the PI will No doubt be my future home I have an adult daughter right here in Seattle and a teen son that will be first in college when I move Permanently to the PI sometime in 2016. Also, as both my parents are passed now, that is not a factor. Either way, I think being in military before and then in federal law enforcement with a worldwide mission and being gone A Lot most of my life, pretty much makes it more tolerable for me, and for them as just "more of the same". My son will be one I most worry about until he's firmly entrenched in college and a future in front of him, but then again, he has his mom here. In the end, it comes down to what You want and what makes You feel comfortable with the situation, and Central America sites certainly get high marks and puts you much closer to loved ones.
Interesting POV.

Several acquiantances of mine are indeed looking into places like Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador for retirement. While I should make an effort to look into these places, the fact is that something in my gut dampens my curiosity. It may have much to do with the fact that I've worked, lived with, or among Asians (mostly Filipinos) since I was 19.

BTW, having been in the Navy about "a million years ago," I went thru PI about 6 times during two WESTPAC tours. So, more reason to prefer PI.

So, between the previously mentioned experiences, and given that my significant other is Filipina, PI feels like a better fit should we someday take the "leap of faith" and move out of The USA.

My emotional attachment to close family might deminish a bit, the closer I get to retirement. I'd hope to confront reality from the head vs the heart.

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Old 8th May 2014, 12:30 PM
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Interesting POV.

Several acquiantances of mine are indeed looking into places like Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador for retirement. While I should make an effort to look into these places, the fact is that something in my gut dampens my curiosity. It may have much to do with the fact that I've worked, lived with, or among Asians (mostly Filipinos) since I was 19.

BTW, having been in the Navy about "a million years ago," I went thru PI about 6 times during two WESTPAC tours. So, more reason to prefer PI.

So, between the previously mentioned experiences, and given that my significant other is Filipina, PI feels like a better fit should we someday take the "leap of faith" and move out of The USA.

My emotional attachment to close family might deminish a bit, the closer I get to retirement. I'd hope to confront reality from the head vs the heart.
Nile, That leap of faith really isn't so difficult. Hardest part of the whole thing is packing up and trying to decide what to leave and what to take.
When I moved here years ago, I sold all I could and then just locked the Apt door and drove away. All I brought with me was two check through bags and one carry on -- plus a computer. That was 11 years ago and have NEVER regretted the decision or the move.


Jet Lag
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