38 comments

  1. Hello Henry,i was wondering when you first flew to the Philippines,what visa did you attain at your local Philippine embassy in the states and how long was it granted for,for your initial long term stay ?and what is your process on renewing your visa at your local immigration bureau in Bohol? i have read so much on line information about different long term visas too stay in the Philippines I’m very confused ,and some of the information or facts say you have to part big money etc, also Henry id like to say congratulations on your successful lifestyle move to a south east Asian country,i have been o the Philippines twice now and the country is so vibrate and interesting to say the least ,i cant believe how busy you are writing your posts ,website activity’s youtube blogs you are the Man a realist and a very intelligent observer of life and customs of the Philippines,i thought i knew a bit,but compared to you i only know 20% of your knowledge on living in the Philippines ,LOL anyway ,i love your web site and youtube video posts ,just my 2 pesos worth it seems like you are working like a man on a mission, i hope you take time for yourself over there ,i think you are an inspiration to any Man who has a dream to make the Philippines there home .you are living the dream and I’m proud of you ,God Bless.

    1. I’ll put a link here to an article I did covering how I did it in detail. Essentially, since I moved here as a Single man, I didn’t have a Married visa with a Filipina. But, not a problem. I came in as a Tourist, flying straight in from the US. That had me good for 21 days. I then went to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Cebu and simply got a 2-month extension. Aside from getting a mandatory ACR card, the fees are about $35 a month. I can renew for up to 18 months, leave the PH for 24 hours, return and repeat the process. People ‘can’ put down a huge deposit for a special visa but, I don’t see the advantage in that myself. Thanks for the kudos. I’m a very analytical person but have been spending years being more outwardly social and ‘right-brained’, ha! I love it here.. so much to learn and every day’s an adventure. Here’s the link; http://lifebeyondthesea.com/ask-henry-1-way-ticket-and-visa-requirements-how/

  2. Hi Henry,Thanks so much for your reply ,this is really valuable information you have given me ,and i appreciate it a lot,what are your options with changing your visa to a residence visa after your 16months are up?or will you just repeat the two month visa extension process again,i truly believe now after 1 year of living and learning the dos and donts ,helpful ways to attain services, social and culture i feel you easily could write, market and sale an on line version book of what to expect when you plan to live and retire to the Philippines ,it should be called an advanced manual ,haha ,cause ,you could do it now with all your learning and research you have completed on your time here in the Philippines,cause i would pay for it if it was made by you ,that’s the truth ,i have been married for six years to a filipina and ive got 16years of solid slog before i think about nesting in the Philippines like at your age ,but I’m always thinking about it cause i love the place ,and to attain small low risk income streams like you are doing living the dream,stay safe and healthy and enjoy your semi retirement.

    1. I am in the works on two different ebooks right now, I hope to have them done in a month or so. The video editing has had me busy almost daily along with some other projects I’m doing. As to extending your stay, the other option is to get married and get an extended Visa here based on the marriage. Me.. I’m in no hurry to get married for at least a few years so, I’ll just continue to renew.

  3. Hey Henry
    Your videos are addictive lol. I have one question if I may. I’m single 50 year old and planning on moving over there after i do a 6 week stint acquainting myself for a short time to get an idea if it is somewhere I’d like to live long term. My question is I have a medium sized dog. Can you give some opinions or tips on how that’s gonna work. She’s pretty much family so if I go so does she.
    Thanks in advance:)

    1. I had a German Shepherd Mix back in the States (Bruce).. cool dog, not the brightest dog, but like you said, family. But I made the decision to find him a good home since I had my hands full dealing with enough logistics as it was. Here are my thoughts, for what it’s worth. Me, I love dogs and wish I could have one again, but not here in the PH. In the city, it isn’t made for dogs. There are no parks and people here don’t seem too fond of big dogs, a few small dogs I’ve seen though. And in the province area, letting your dog run amok in the jungle will at best attract lots of ticks/fleas, assuming he doesn’t get lost or cause trouble with the neighbors. If that happens, I have seen people shoot the local dogs with pellet-guns just out of spite or boredom. And yes, in one instance I came across the men in my village hanging around waiting for a dog to finish cooking they’d gotten hold of. No joke. It was all I could do to just walk away without picking up a club and start beating the crap out of them.

      Also, whether in the city or province.. space is an issue. I really feed bad for the few big dogs I see here in the province.. kept in a 6’x6′ cage all the time. No play time, just kept in the kennel. Same in the city, dogs are kept in cages. Now, in both the city and the province there are LOTS of free-roaming dogs who don’t really belong to anyone. But none of them are vicious, big scaredy-cats really who are just digging through trash and looking for something to do like chase a cat. I actually made an opening in my gate so the local stray dogs can come through the yard to get the chicken bones and left-overs I leave n the porch. (keeps the ants away from my garbage)

      I know you love your dog but, consider all this because unless you plan to live in a really nice sub-division with an american-style backyard (ie; expensive).. having a medium-sized to big dog here won’t be pleasant for them the way I’ve seen it. That’s my 2 pesos on it.

  4. @Rion, if you wife has or will become a US citizen, it may be beneficiary for her to contact the Filipino embassy and get dual citizenship before you move to the PH.

  5. You are welcome. They opened that up, maybe ten years ago I guess, the big deal being absentee voting. But I think the real big deal, especially for us mixed married, is to have a better ride. Not only with visa’s, but also land ownership, and who knows what else. We last went there in 05, with our US passports, and we were told we were good for 6 months without a visa. So even if she’s US only, it’s still a better deal, at least for the first hitch.

  6. HEY Henry I am Eddie Brown from AUS
    I LOVE YOU !!!!!!
    Like a brother that is,, LOL had you worried for a moment…
    I am thinking of selling all the things I own in this world and moving over there,, after a lot more research that is ,,, You are helping with that,, I guess i would have about 100,000 AUD and am the most versatile and capable person you would ever know,, SERIOUSLY NOT much I can;t do… But I think what I am trying to say is after looking at the real estate ALL over Philli ( on the net ) $50,000 AUD should buy me a half reasonable place, If I never made another cent and I do not want a car,,, would more likely walk , peddle, scooter my way around How long do you think that $50,000 would last me ???? O yes 3 trips and much travel in China I eat almost anything that is NOT hot, I learnt you just do not ask what it is first.. Mate I truly love your even handed approach to everything you talk about , you have given an insight to my dream, much deeper, I feel than I could have ever got anywhere else.
    I need to know without sounding to stupid, How did you know that was a Ladyboy and not the normal girl, I watched the interview a number of times,,, ??? got me !!! Please keep it going I can not get enough… I am working on being there from the 29 /8 /13 for 7 or 10 days for a little look see …
    Regards E.Brown (Eddie ) Sydney THANKS MATE

    1. Hey Edwin!, good to hear from you. And I’m glad you’re finding the site useful, I try to be as fair and even as I can. I’m not too good with AUD to USD conversion.. but if you figure a monthly budget of say, $900 for a Single Man, that’s about $10,800 per year. So, figure with a bit of fuzzy math.. a few extra beers here and there, spending money on a few Filipina cuties every now and then.. the $50k might last 3 to 5 years. Longer if you can get by on say $700 a month which, for a single guy who can eat just about anything is totally do-able. Food here is cheap, restaurants for foreign food is not. So it’s all about lifestyle.

      On the ladyboy, once you’ve been here a while and seen lots of the ladyboys you get kinda a sense something’s just a little bit different. It may not even be anything obvious. Lots of them you have to actually talk to them to really be sure it’s either a ladyboy or filipina. When I saw that one as I went into the mall, I only saw ‘her’ from about 50 feet away and at first I figured it was a real-girl sitting with two gay guys. But then, the mannerisms kinda told me odds were she was ladyboy, but I still wasn’t 100% sure until about 20 seconds after speaking with her. I thought, “ok.. if I’m wrong, then interview the other two.” That was my backup plan B. But, as it turned out Hillary was a very good sport about doing the interview and all worked out well. But sometimes.. I tell you, like once at Alona Beach.. it took me 45 minutes to figure it out if the girl dancing on the beach was a real-girl or not. (turned out to be a ladyboy) Even the Filipinas here will admit that many of the ladyboys have nicer figures and legs than they do. ha!

    2. p.s. btw.. that $900 a month budget is living kinda large actually, considering you will have already paid off your living place. So, taking that into account, with about $500 a month and no rent payments.. geez, you’d actually be set for about the first 5 to 7 years with $50k.

  7. Thanks Henry for answering the doggy question, can’t leave her behind so I’ll need to make it work. I thought we could not buy a house being a foreigner?

    1. You can buy a condo, or even a house.. but not the land. The land can be leased for a long period. I’ve heard a foreigner can own a very small lot, like half the size of a mobile home lot but that’s the limit. Not sure about that, only hearsay.. no verification yet.

  8. Thanks for the answer,,, That is very close to the sort of money I was thinking of, what with looking at what you eat and where you stay and such , great news and even better news about the Ladyboy,,, Great timing the Miss world Ladyboy Pagent was on tv here last night , and I can tell you right now I am 60 years old and like most men my age have been with the odd woman or two, ,( and also the normal one or two ) LOL but there is some seriously nice ones there that would have me going…OK off to do some more research YES that means checking out some more of your site .. Thanks mate Eddie

  9. I thought the 99 year lease was in China and it was either a 32 or 27 year lease in the Philippines and a 27 or 32 year lease in Thailand. As for buying a condo, I thought there was a restriction limiting the number of foreign owners to a maximum of about 30% of the total property in both Thailand and the Philippines.
    I have in the past been looking at Thailand, Southern China(Hainan) and the Philippines as my retirement home, but have decided on the Philippines because of the relative ease of gaining permanent residency in the Philippines as compared to Thailand. China would have been fine for a visa but the country is full of petty officials who keep on poking their noses in and asking questions about things which are as far as I am concerned none of their business, but because they are officials they can do what ever they like.

  10. I hear a lot about middle aged American man moving to Phillipines. Any feedback on middle aged or older American women making the move?

    1. I’ve been pondering that for a while, actually. Here on Bohol, I will sometimes see German women (usually in their late 30’s, early 40’s) with a young Filipino guy tagging along. But it’s rare, maybe less than a dozen I’ve seen in over a year now. I was at a club on Mactan once and saw a tall, good-looking Caucasian woman in her late 40’s with a Filipina.. I’m guessing she was lesbian, I could be wrong, but she wasn’t interested in any guys wanting to dance with her. Statistically, I’d ball-park the Expat women to be less than 5% of the expats in the PH. Maybe there are more on some other islands, I’m just going by my own observation here in the Cebu area. Anybody else noticed many Expat women in the PH in high numbers anywhere?

    2. I’ve asked the same question for years of why there are more middle-aged foreign men, than women, moving to the Philippines. The only feasible answer could find is, unless these women are married to Filipino men with a substantial income or pension, is practicality. Foreign women just don’t have practical reasons for moving to the Philippines, unless its for vacations or a short business trips.

  11. Henry,
    I really enjoyed the “pig farm” How much does it cost to start a farm and also to lease a lot due to non filipina citizen…I love the Philippines, I worked for 17 years here in Northern California, quit my job end of April and still on long vacation …Its my dream to at least have a life there……

    1. In the comments section of each piggy-farm article I’ve answered the same concerns. In general it’s hard to nail down a price since land, utilities and such can vary from island to island for cost. also what one contractor charges from another for building pig pens, nipa huts, etc. can vary a lot. the more money they think you have, the higher the bid seems to get.

  12. hey Henry;
    What’s been going on? Long time no chat.. heh, no seriously here it is October 7th, and I have been waiting to see what you have posted… sigh! not much in the last 30 days.. lol… you have a “captive’ audience to feed my friend. Meantime, take care and hope all is going according to your plans.

    Cheers, Michael

    1. Hi Michael.. yes, it’s been SO incredibly busy here and I have so much to share. Which I hope to do this week! Growing pains I suppose you can say from the success of both the website and the YouTube channel for here. I’ve been meeting with many expats in Cebu and Bohol who have read the articles, working on new projects, new videos.. so lots going on behind the scenes that I hope to share in articles very soon. 🙂

  13. I have been married to a women from the PI for 12 years she is now passed on I wonder if I go to The PI if I could stay long or would I need a special visa.
    we married in the states what do you think or do you know.

  14. I was wonder the condition in Cebu after the big one hit is it still a big mess?
    what do you think of Boracay island must be expensive to live there..

    1. Boracay, from all I’ve heard is very pricey and too many tourists. Cebu seems to be fine. Check online for info on a town called Moalboal, about 2 hours south of Cebu. You may enjoy it there. Dumaguete is also very nice as well as Iloilo.

  15. Dumaguete would be wat to laid back for me if thats the island that looks like a boot nigros is that the place.
    I have to have Rock n roll I am music producer and I would like to help new talent out.
    I am a sucker for a beautiful filipina who can sing sign me up coach I am ready to play….

  16. I have been planning a retirement move to the Philippines since 2007 and have been investing in farming for when I am retired in 2018 on a Special Residential Retiree Visa (SRRV) isued by the Philippines Retirement Authority – The SRRV means my pensions will be payable tax free in the Philippines.

    Foriegners can’t own land there directly BUT can lease land for up to 75 years or own 40% of a company owning land.

    My business are farming related and managed by a local business manager. I have a tractor for my own ploughing and subcontract ploughing and an internet cafe in my farming barangay for cash crops.

    Egg layers are a very good business for daily incomes and use the income for paying wages

    Piggeries are excellent earners and easy to grow as selling male piglets to pay feed bills and keep sows for breeding. High Breed Ducot sows are best as Ducots have best ratio for animal growth to feed costs. It is worth having a prize high breed boar as the Philippines tradition of keeping sows and taking them to a barangay boar ensures sickness is spread – when big enough an anaerobic digestion plant is needed to generate electricty to aircondition pig pens to minimise mortality amping sows and piglets.

    Goats especially high breed goats like Anglo Nubians are excellent earners

    Fishponds for fish like nile tilipia and cray fish are excllent earners on land with springs.

    Sustainable agroforestry with intercropping is the most effctive with coconuts as the best core crop for copra exp[orts or manufacturing coconut oil – the entire coconut is useable – the coir fibre for mats, matresses and reinforced concrete and the shells for making high grade charcoal. The best intercrops with coconuts are cacao (Cococacao for copra and cocoa bean) mangos, bananas, coffee with the ground used for grazing goats.

    Leadtimes from planting to cropping:-

    8 years – Mangos

    6 years – coffee, cacao and coconuts

    4 years – Hybrid coconut

    18 months – Cardava bananas

    12 months – Latakan bananas

    Bananas cannot be cropped with grazing animas as bananas are not trees but a plant that grows from a Rhizome that grows, produces fruit and dies back and grows back.

    The best crops are hardwood timber:-

    Mahogany – 27 years – 1 year seed bed and tree nursery, 25 years in plantation, 1 year in drying sheds after cutting

    Teak – 22 years – 1 year seed bed and tree nursery, 20 years in plantation, 1 year in drying sheds after cutting

    Based upon 2011 London commodity prices a hectare of 20 year old teak trees is worth about £500,000 to £650,000 (US $800,000 to $1,040,000).

    Sustainable hardwood timber plantations properly managed guarantee high grade timber and because only 5% of the rainforest lost to logging each year is replaced by managed plantations the price has beaten inflation for the past 100 years!!!!

  17. Good morning 🙂 I checked the forum and didnt see a spot to ask general travel questions within PI, so asking here )

    Are there vehicle ferries? it’s been in my mind, that once I get there would like to island hop with a motorcycle, but I dont know if thats really even feasible. have you found it easiest to simply rent a scooter when you are visiting an area and need to be able to get around?

    Appreciate all your vids and the work you have put into keeping us informed )
    Steve

    1. Yes, ‘some’ of the ferries allow you to ride your motorbike on to the next island. Oceanjet does not. Cokliong does and also the ferry from Lilo An to Negros (leading to dumaguete) does. The one on bohol requires you have all your paperwork. the one at south end of cebu, at lilo an, does not. best thing you can do is check with the ticket office at your point of departure a few days in advance. there’s a small fee as well, not much.

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