Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why tropical Philippines as Domicile ? The first years in Manila

Why did I choose to live in the Philippines ?

1985 to 1990

To be honest, when i came to the Philippines in 1985 on an Invitation of my Brother I had no real clue (yet) why.
Just heeps of money and time to"see the world" as  I have worked the past 6 years more or less nonstop for DHL in a Logistics career. ( I liked it then , but it's not a real life )

However, the first years in Manila were also the "learning years".
Trying to do business(es) such as Import of Cars and Export of manufactured goods wasn't hard, but also similar in time consumption and exhausting.
Plus the general Problems of being a relative "Newbie" to the country.
I also did not devote all my time for it, so in between Production circles and bulk Imports I also travelled a lot in the Region.
And extensively to Central America, where I almost "fell in Love" with Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
For those not happy in Asia- check those countries out !

However, as a Friend of mine so often used to say, - the Philippines is 51 % "love it" and 49 % "hate it". The 2 Percent make you stay or come back.
I would not set the percentage that close, but he brought the point pretty well over.

So in 89 I stopped almost all other "search and travel" activities and settled firmly in Manila.

It was as always and as most Foreigners experience, one gets mostly closer to other foreigners, in my case other businessman, some even "competitors" although we were friends. There were Germans, French, Italian,  Americans, Australians, the whole world.
That is nice and give's one a warm and cozy feeling, but I can not recommend that in general. ( Afterwards one is smarter )
The Reason is that one may live in the new home, but is still an "outsider" without real confidence.

And the communications in those"Expat" groups also mostly only revolve only around work, foreign politics, and (this is a downer for me) the negative sides of Living in the Philippines. Or nagging Criticism and the emerald boring question 'Why is..."
Inspite of all the complaining  everyone was living like a Millionaer or better.
We all had household employees, drivers (if cars), gardener, laundry woman and all the luxury of wealthy people in the West.
But as (Young) human nature goes, one is never satisfied of what one has.

One of those emerald subjects was also the "lack of big money", one wanted to have a pool, one a larger house in a better Subdivision, one a Sailyacht (that was me) or a fancy car.

The consent was, that one rather go back to his home country and make some "real money" in a short time and then come back.
As most of us knew the Profits of our manufactured goods abroad, this wasn't too unrealistic. To cut out the "Sales and distribution margin" abroad would really improve income by about 300 %

But the only one to finally do that step was me. Only problem - I had nobody to take care of the manufacturing in Manila and no real contacts for sale in US/Canada, so I decided to stop that fashion accessoire biz and sold the clients to a competitor friend.

That was 1990 and I was sure that after the reunification of Germany I would be able to gain a good foothold in the new open Eastern German Logistic market. So was the Plan, and I just wanted to stay long enough to buy that sailyacht and go back to the Philippines.
5- 10 Years max... and then retire to a minimum, because I never want to stop working in my life, I would die without work. (Say 2 hours a day is ideal)

So I flew back to Germany.With the firm Promise to be back forever in the Philippines latest 2000.

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