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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
re, meaning “again”
patria, meaning “native country”
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of repatriation for the past 500 years has been this:
To return to the country of origin,
allegiance, or citizenship

With our upcoming retirement and move I have all these mix emotions. What would it be like to repatriate after 35 years of living in the United States? I remember the first time I visited the Philippines, I cried myself to sleep because I was shocked... culture shock! I didn't think it would be that hard when I first went to visit in 2007. After all, what could be simpler than going home? I'm just going back to where I came from, and I know the ropes there.

“Re-entry into one’s culture of origin is more stressful, with more unexpected consequences, than a transition into the unfamiliar,” they claim. This reverse culture shock (also known as re-entry shock) is all the more devastating because no one sees it coming: expats fully expect to be confused and frustrated in a new cultural environment, but not in the home culture they know so well.

I have read the longer you’re away, the more difficult the re-adjustment process will be. I love my life here in the US. This is where I became an adult, became my own person. I raised a family and built a wonderful life here. It will be hard to leave, and I know there will be challenges when we move.

What advice would you give someone on the eve of their repatriation? What can I do to make repatriation easier?
 

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What advice would you give someone on the eve of their repatriation? What can I do to make repatriation easier?
Remember you're not in the US? Sounds like crazy and simple advice but gets me through during my visits!

Interested to hear your experiences if you share them. I am also a US citizen with a naturalized citizen wife. Wanting to see how not being a Philippine citizen affects things for you. I know the short answer is its the same as any other male or female US citizen but being Balikbayan might change things.

Are you a dual citizen or plan on getting it?
 

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re, meaning “again”
patria, meaning “native country”
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of repatriation for the past 500 years has been this:
To return to the country of origin,
allegiance, or citizenship

With our upcoming retirement and move I have all these mix emotions. What would it be like to repatriate after 35 years of living in the United States? I remember the first time I visited the Philippines, I cried myself to sleep because I was shocked... culture shock! I didn't think it would be that hard when I first went to visit in 2007. After all, what could be simpler than going home? I'm just going back to where I came from, and I know the ropes there.

“Re-entry into one’s culture of origin is more stressful, with more unexpected consequences, than a transition into the unfamiliar,” they claim. This reverse culture shock (also known as re-entry shock) is all the more devastating because no one sees it coming: expats fully expect to be confused and frustrated in a new cultural environment, but not in the home culture they know so well.

I have read the longer you’re away, the more difficult the re-adjustment process will be. I love my life here in the US. This is where I became an adult, became my own person. I raised a family and built a wonderful life here. It will be hard to leave, and I know there will be challenges when we move.

What advice would you give someone on the eve of their repatriation? What can I do to make repatriation easier?
No advise i can give. You have experienced both worlds. Hard to choose. Many of my filipino friends returned to phils after retiring abroad and found they were treated like foreigners. They didnt like their own culture.
 

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Remember you're not in the US? Sounds like crazy and simple advice but gets me through during my visits!

Interested to hear your experiences if you share them. I am also a US citizen with a naturalized citizen wife. Wanting to see how not being a Philippine citizen affects things for you. I know the short answer is its the same as any other male or female US citizen but being Balikbayan might change things.

Are you a dual citizen or plan on getting it?
Thanks! I will have to keep reminding myself that, "This is not the USA!" :) I plan to get my dual citizen. My husband and I plan to travel in/around the Philippines the first year, then visit the other Asian countries. After that, we shall see. <Snip>
 

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Miss August I can give you the reverse. I am an American who traveled while in the military then lived in Thailand then in the Middle East for 18 years. I had to take a trip back to the US for a medical reason and a vacation. We went to Houston then Vegas then Calif then on to DC. My Filipino wife and I were both amazed. Everywhere we went there were Filipinos there sales reps cashiers Doctors Casino dealers etc etc. They were very friendly to both my wife and I. On the other hand the some Americans we encountered were in my opinion were disrespectful to my wife, as if she was beneath them. Here in PI it is a bit different, never have we been treated badly or talked down to. By the way she spend 15 years outside PI. Now on the other hand nowhere in the world have I seen such poor management of people. The bureaucracy here is simply maddening.
Having said that just don't come here and constantly tell people you lived in the U.S. remember your home. don't be snooty or snub people and you will be fine. You will get frustrated but hey you get that way in the U.S.
GOOD LUCK
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The bureaucracy here is simply maddening.
Having said that just don't come here and constantly tell people you lived in the U.S. remember your home. don't be snooty or snub people and you will be fine. You will get frustrated but hey you get that way in the U.S.
GOOD LUCK
We're adopting a little girl and we've experienced the bureaucracy. I'm not a snooty person so I think I will be okay. ;)
 

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Miss August, you'll be fine. I'm happy to share ...
1. Balikbayans are enjoying retirement. If we can do it, why can't you?
2. There are challenges everyday. I try not to let small little things get on my nerves.
3. I try not to compare RP vs USA. It's not fair, e.g. roadnetwork, sales clerks, etc.
4. Poverty is still pervasive. When I help, I expect nothing in return, sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.
5. I stock up on "sense of humour". It's more fun in the Philippines.
6. I am neither an ATM nor a bank. I try to let everyone know that.
7. I give myself time to blend in. After almost 2 years I am still in the process.
Ms August - Mabuhay!
 

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... don't be snooty or snub people and you will be fine.
Snub, :D

well, when it comes to a foreigner or a overseas Filipino, snobbery can be implied from small things like not smiling sufficiently, vs a native not even recognizing your existence ...

while I don't suggest over doing the friendly part, just don't under-do ;)\

and about friendliness, unless you are living with relatives or around relatives, beware of 'new friends'

Like when ever I attend a function/church service, I get recognized by strangers, who make it a point to talk to me, while that makes be happy it gets a bit scary when they try to step into your life.

from my experience, the further you live from any metropolis, the more nicer and helpful people are.

for example, where I am, When I struggle with my luggage, an unknown neighbor will rush up to help carry it, and all he asks in return is a bottle of Royal !!!

whereas, in cities it can simply be '100 peso' or more

never forget to watch your six a clock. when natives are fair game for robbers, thieves, snatchers, you should be extra careful.

don't let small things get on your nerves

things that work like clock work back home may take a while or never work !!

life on the slow in lane, that's Philippines

Oh, btw, in case you didn't see the news, when Manila became a massive traffic jam and a 10 minutes travel became 1 hour or 2 hour, the president with a smiling face said "traffic jam mean the economy is growing and all are able to afford a car, that's a good sign" :heh:

and few of the locals disagree, most are like, isn't that so right ???
 

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Miss August,

I am assuming you are a US citizen now. If you still have your Philippine passport, then you're already a dual citizen. If you had a Philippine passport previously and didnt renounce or relinquish your Philippine citizenship, then you might be able to simply get a new Philippine passport issued.

Good luck and let us know how your repatriation goes!
 

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Miss August,

I would just take things slowly, lower expectations and be as extremely flexible as possible. You will not get lots accomplished quickly here in the Philippines.

Also, it would pay big dividends to make friends with other Balikbayans like yourself. You will both have a common core of experiences and will be able to cope much better with the adjustments.

I have noticed this gravitation between Balikbayans with the few that I know. They tend to understand the frustrations that most Expats initially experience when moving over here.
 

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re, meaning “again”
patria, meaning “native country”
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of repatriation for the past 500 years has been this:
To return to the country of origin,
allegiance, or citizenship

With our upcoming retirement and move I have all these mix emotions. What would it be like to repatriate after 35 years of living in the United States? I remember the first time I visited the Philippines, I cried myself to sleep because I was shocked... culture shock! I didn't think it would be that hard when I first went to visit in 2007. After all, what could be simpler than going home? I'm just going back to where I came from, and I know the ropes there.

“Re-entry into one’s culture of origin is more stressful, with more unexpected consequences, than a transition into the unfamiliar,” they claim. This reverse culture shock (also known as re-entry shock) is all the more devastating because no one sees it coming: expats fully expect to be confused and frustrated in a new cultural environment, but not in the home culture they know so well.

I have read the longer you’re away, the more difficult the re-adjustment process will be. I love my life here in the US. This is where I became an adult, became my own person. I raised a family and built a wonderful life here. It will be hard to leave, and I know there will be challenges when we move.

What advice would you give someone on the eve of their repatriation? What can I do to make repatriation easier?
Hi Miss August

I can understand your feeling as I am somewhat in similar situation as you are. I have been living in Australia for the last 30 years. My 3 kids are all grown ups and have a family and life of their own.
My husband and I have been preparing for our retirement in the last 5 years. We come to the Philippines very often as part of preparation for repatriation so the readjustment will not difficult. We also purchased a property in a gated community with excellent amenities. Our residence is designed according to our standard and most of the devices we use are also of international standard.
Bought a car which we use every time we are here. Hired a driver initially just to familiarise again to the road and how to deal with the crazy drivers in Manila but now that we are used to it, my husband or I drive our car whenever we are here.

Relatives do not live with us. I enjoy visiting relatives as we bond and reminisce the past when we are still kids. Love eating the Filipino food and going to the islands when free. Filipinos as you know are friendly, hospitable and respectful.
We have new few but very good friends who are in same bracket whom we go out with for dinner, travel or simply to chat with.

Will be ready for full retirement in 3 years and I look forward to it with excitement and positive outlook. My husband is Australian and can't wait till we live here full time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for excellent and insightful advise! I am a Naturalized US Citizen but planning to get my dual (Filipino) citizen at the same time we work on getting my husband's 13A visa.

We decided to make our home two provinces away from relatives. It's close enough for us to visit them but not too close for them to just drop by everyday. My relatives know that I am not a push over, I do help them out but I am very selective. They know my personal philosophy is: "Why should I help you, when you don't even try to help yourself." My husband and I worked hard to get where we are now and not about to just give money away to lazy relatives. I help my relatives who are trying to better themselves and I can see that they are, then I help.

I'm looking forward to retirement in the Philippines! We will be in Central Luzon area, Cabanatuan City to be exact. I started a Central Luzon Expat group on FB, in hopes of meeting other Expat/Repat couples in the area.

Thanks, again for all the advise! :)
 

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We decided to make our home two provinces away from relatives. It's close enough for us to visit them but not too close for them to just drop by everyday.
Not too close so when they do show they'll expect to stay a couple days! You'll learn that two provinces is nothing! That's a two hour 50 peso bus ride! :p :D
 

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Not too close so when they do show they'll expect to stay a couple days! You'll learn that two provinces is nothing! That's a two hour 50 peso bus ride! :p :D
If I had it to do again I would apply the two island rule. Hehehe...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not too close so when they do show they'll expect to stay a couple days! You'll learn that two provinces is nothing! That's a two hour 50 peso bus ride! :p :D
:p Haha. Our house is in a gated community. The security guards are not allowed to let anyone (visitors) in unless their name is on the list. If they come unannounced, will just pretend that we are out of town. That should teach them a lesson. :fingerscrossed:

The bus fare is more like 300 pesos one way. I don't think they would spend 600 pesos to come visit us. I usually invite my favorite relatives and give them bus fare.
 

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I do help them out but I am very selective. They know my personal philosophy is: "Why should I help you, when you don't even try to help yourself." My husband and I worked hard to get where we are now and not about to just give money away to lazy relatives. I help my relatives who are trying to better themselves and I can see that they are, then I help.

I'm looking forward to retirement in the Philippines! We will be in Central Luzon area, Cabanatuan City to be exact. I started a Central Luzon Expat group on FB, in hopes of meeting other Expat/Repat couples in the area.
We have a similar philosophy, we help the ones who are really trying to get somewhere. We paid a lot of tuition and told the recipients that their payment to us would be to help other members of their immediate family. We never call the help a loan, that is the most misused word on Luzon. We set up one niece with an American husband, so if anyone in her family asks for anything we tell them to contact their American daughter/sister/aunt.

And now for something completely different. Can you tell me, Miss August, is there anything of historical note in Cabanatuan concerning the Japanese POW camp that was liberated by Filipinos and American rangers in 1945? I would love to check it out on my next trip, I believe the structure was a few miles outside of town. Any info or help would be appreciated, good luck on your repatriation efforts, I do believe you are on the right path.
 
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