2020 Life In The Philippines – My Thoughts & Review

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Author: Reekay

About Me.. In 2011 I made the decision to move to the Philippines within a year. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Share with me here my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Dating, vlogging, cooking, traveling and sharing the information with you needed to make your own plans for living as a full-time expat in Southeast Asia.
— Reekay


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    In this video I discuss, “2020 Life In The Philippines – My Thoughts & Review”

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  2. This year started out great and was on track to go really well. COVID hit and then the government stepped in and created a huge mess. I spent a month in Mexico and it’s a mess there with COVID. I couldn’t get any medical help and I had a lot of cash and travel insurance and they simply didn’t have the capability to handle their own let alone tourists so I came back to the states. Now I’m in California and it’s all shut down as well. Can’t wait to get this year over with and to the Philippines. Latin America sucks. I spent years there and can only handle it for a month.

  3. I had made a long comment but then I deleted it because I thought of something that would sum up 2020 perfectly.
    If someone is a fan of the movie Full Metal Jacket the following is familiar. After the Tet Offensive kicked off in 68, a Marine Lieutenant said to his men, its a great big sh*t sandwich and we all have to take a bite.
    Some are stuck with a bigger bite than others but we all have some.
    That’s 2020 in a nutshell.

  4. Hi Reekay, Hopefully you are well, please my you update me in regard with foreigners entering Philippines as tourist. Thanks with regards.

  5. It’s been a good year here in Orlando, Florida. I have done more personal work than in several past years combined. Walking, biking, gyms – all open and available. Mental well being equals physical well being and vice versa. In and out of the house here in Florida whenever we please -that is freedom and quality of life for me personally. Now that we have learned our lesson, hopefully no one will easily lock me down – it is important to hit the road when time requests so. It is important to stay mobile and aware when living in any foreign country especially those less stable – predictable ones where the situation in the Philippines this year has been a very good lesson. I planned to depart Florida in October but understanding that I’m staying in one of the currently best places possible, I decided to generate extra $ for a few months and spend the winter here…there are other countries I already put on the list instead of Philippines where my flight for Eastern Europe leaves at the beginning of April. Whatever the Philippines rulers decide to do therefore has no effect as quality time can be spent elsewhere in the world and once the road is clear: one of the Manilla bus terminals and a long ride to Baguio will happen for me again…

  6. If most people will never be vaccinated, how will the government determine a time line for things going back to normal (?) – as must happen sooner or later.

  7. Sorry my friend. This was known as a plandemic. Driven by our corrupt Govt. This is the last place you want to be in. Our president basically opened up a can of worms. And expossed all the corruption within the Govt. It’s a fight to the literally the death. Because they know that once they get prosecuted they will be tried through military tribunals. And will get the death penalty. Not conspiracy or speculation. But fact.

  8. I came to the Philippines in Dec 2019 as a tourist. I’ve been here now over a year, I don’t consider myself and expat though. I was travelling around the country till mid March, then the lockdowns happened. I was in the Camotes at that stage and I didn’t want to get stuck there so I made it back to Mandaue. I got stuck hotel for 5 and half months. Come Sept when Cebu dropped down to a MGCQ I headed over to the Mactan Resorts. They were having some of the best promos they have ever had. So since Sept I have been drifting or resort/hotel hopping ever since!. The Bai Hotel in Mandaue had a special rate of 1000 peso a night if you stayed 1 month.

    1. the deal at bai hotel comes to about $600/month. you could get a nice condo for $450/month in either it-park or cebu business park.

      but at least you’re moving around and seeing different parts of cebu. 🙂

  9. Stupidest year of my life. I really feel like this fiasco was an IQ test and that governments at their best are a nuisance and have also have proven to be outright dangerous and incompetent.

  10. We where in Moalboal from January to August, it wasn’t as bad there as it was in the city, but still, like you said, it was an inconvenience, and also very frustrating. Seems like the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing there. Now that we are back in Canada, it’s pretty much the same thing, frustrating. I don’t know what to believe anymore. We are planning on returning to the Philippines in Sept./Oct. 2021. hopefully this will be a bad memory by then.

  11. Re covid.
    1. Cant find excess deaths numbers.
    2. Can’t find number of deaths between FROM VS WITH CV19
    3. TOTAL MEDIA BLACKOUT ON CHINESE RESEARCHERS who claimed that China released CV19 on purpose.
    4. Almost no mention of proven fact that China purposely informed no countries of the infection while sending millions out of wuhan!
    4. Media blackout of discussion of IVERMECTIN DOUBLE BLIND STUDIES.

  12. If you get a vaccine in Cebu can you travel than. We start Phyzer vaccination Tommorrow. Monday here in usa

    1. I’m not interested in a rushed vaccine. There are already generic drugs on the market that could have ended the Covid panic back in April. Ivermectin is an amazing drug against the C-virus and the media is just outright ignoring doctors who are trying to help

  13. Hi Reekay, do you think Thailand and the Phillipines will establish a travel corridor between the two counties?

  14. Philippines was always a laundry list of what you can do and can’t do as an ex pat along with (requirements) but with the covid, it seems like the problem got 10 times worse.

  15. An Inconvenience? Sounds more like being in Jail or Prison! You can’t leave your apartment without a Gestapo pass? No freedom of movement or freedom to rent a place is more than an Inconvenience. I know you think the Philippines is so much freer than the USA. But, here in the USA I can go anywhere I want without a pass. I have total freedom of movement, there are no military checkpoints anywhere I went to in the USA. There are no police waiting outside my house to see if I have a pass, mask, face-shield. In the USA I get in my car and go where ever I want to. I can meet whoever I want there is noting preventing a date from meeting me in the USA. If you want to date in the Philippines – good luck arranging that with her/his Gestapo pass, lack of public transportation, closed dating venues and restrictions on outside guests.

  16. The worse part of the pandemic in the US was watching the death totals go upward, the craziness of doing a simple thing, like wearing a mask. AND THE REAL CRAZINESS OF THE ELECTION. I stopped watching TV and fed my Youtube addiction.

  17. Yeah in 2020, the suck has been universal. For example, let’s say you’re Jeff Bezos, and you want to have a beer at a bar. Can’t, locked down, bars all closed, not allowed in. In other words, even unlimited amounts of money couldn’t make your life much better in 2020. That means that the suck really was universal lol

  18. Hi Reekay, you described your experience exactly what we have been experiencing here in Vancouver Canada. It’s definitely an inconvenience and we should be grateful that we are healthy and safe.
    Excellent video chat. Thanks

  19. There’s a resort with a small beach near lapu lapu I can’t remember the name plus maybe you could go to comotis I like it there

  20. honestly i am glad i left philippines now am here in mombasa kenya everything is nurmmal bar restaurant is open until 10pm people are wearing masks only in public place

  21. I agree 20/20 has sucked, this too shall pass as the Bible says, so I hope that we all continue to be healthy and safe, blessings to you and yours Reekay take care my friend, Bobby.

  22. Man what a bust year. This was your worst year review.. 2021 when all opens up get on the road dude. . Get up and travel thru Luzon. That’s a huge island. Get out and about man. You got a lot of lost time to make up in 2021 2022 to show your viewers that part of the world. . Get to Laos, Thailand, Indonesia etc. India. On and on. Travel man and video

    1. Things only get worse in 2021 but not better. It would take at least a year to vaccinate in U.S, Can and EU or the more developed countries ($$$) the rest of the world would take another few years after that. It’s is going to take a long time before things back to normal.

  23. Hello Henry and nice review of 2020. Unfortunately, my fiance gave up on me and the Philippines after she returned from her OFW job in Singapore back in July. She was dealing with the covid in the Philippines and realized it was impossible for me to go there and see her. She’s back in Singapore working. I told her I can still see her in Singapore again next year but she gave up on our relationship. I’m in no relationship and looking and all I would say is that it’s her loss!

  24. I left my GF at Plantation Bay Resort, Lapu Lapu, after 10 wonderful days at El Nido Palawan. Her mom and her daughter came for the last day and overnight at the resort as I headed to the airport around lunchtime,. This was December 8th 2019. That was 1 year ago.. I had spent a total of 5 months, on 8 trips to see her in 2019. AND ZERO IN 2020. We are hanging in there the best that we can, with a LDR for over a year without seeing each other in person, and it is tough. I will be there as soon as it is possible. Even if I have to wear a shield and a mask.

  25. May I ask, albeit very briefly, how you met Vi? The video talks about your arrival in the Philippines from Vietnam. You picked up Vi and met her parents. It would appear that you had met or known Vi previously. But maybe I’m wrong. She’s a very lovely gal. I was wondering if you had met her previously on a dating site, and; if so, which one? If she’s representative of the majority of the women there, that’s a cultural phenomenon which has all but disappeared in the USA. And lastly, your housing arrangements are about the best I’ve seen in contrast to other videos. It looks like you have the availability of and proximity to some western-like amenities that are not available, except perhaps, in Manilla. I think you’re in Cebu, and that looks much better than what I’ve seen and heard about in Manilla. Thank you, and a very Merry Christmas to the both of you.

    1. we met back in sept/2019 while i was on a visa-run from vietnam to davao. i didn’t pre-meet anyone online before leaving vietnam. so i found Vi on the facebook mobile dating app and we met in person the following day. then we kept in touch when i returned to vietnam for the rest of the year.

      while we do have a nice condo next to ayala mall, the background in this video is a virtual-background. my camera faces a blank wall so i use a virtual one since it looks nice. 🙂

  26. I left thailand in October,because they weren’t issuing visa extensions….now back in California, everyone i knew here,has moved out of state, apartments aren’t really taking anyone new( atleast in San diego). So the first month here,was spent in a hostel, now I’ve been using my ex wife’s camper….lol if any place in Asia was open at the time,I never would’ve came back….praying thailand, or the Philippines, opens first quarter 21,and doesn’t have anal rules in place to enter. On a side note…Pfizer vaccine is supposed to hit the streets,hopefully before the new year…..but will see how that goes..lol but I can’t really complain…I have a place to lay my head,drive thru open for food,and WiFi…..I’ve slept in worse conditions in Afghanistan or Iraq….this in comparison is cake……

  27. what was 2020 like for me in California USA, I lost my my wife of 20 years to covid, because masks don’t work. in march the government forced me to close my business and permanently unemploy my 25 fantastic,dedicated, and loving workers. most had been with me for 15 years. shortly with no income i lost my house and my cars. my heart is broken, but i am not bitter. it forced me to hit the life “reset” button, something i probably should have done years ago. i lost an existence not sure i could call happy only successful. now i have an opportunity to start over in the Philippines and create a new and happier life.

  28. Thanks bud, stuff is crazy in the U.S. but instead of inconsistent mask orders we have mask mandates and fools who refuse to wear a mask at all, cause you know we Americans don’t like being told what to do. The U.S. is rolling out the vaccine tomorrow 12/14/20. Hopefully in the following year the vaccine will make it across the globe and things will get more normal. Nobody wants to admit that this vaccine is a global effort. China sent samples to Australia where they were able to sequence the DNA of the virus, the Australians sent that information to the U.S. where we came up with 3 types of vaccine. This is the first time in my life, that I am aware of, that global cooperation was used to come up with a battle plan to fight a devastating disease. The harsh standards in the Philippines saved a lot of lives. In the U.S. we are about to turn over to 300,000 deaths and 16 million cases so far, the last I checked the death toll in the Philippines was slightly more then 6,000. Stay safe and hope all y’all have a good Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

  29. Those sound like very difficult restrictions to live under. Vietnam closed some businesses and required masks which was painful enough for a retired tourist.

  30. Hi ,I’m ” stranded ” in Palawan since March when my flight was cancelled , was due to go back to Australia to work after 2 months holiday . I have a house on the beach here north of PPC so I’m not paying for accommodation and have a nice vegetable garden . I didn’t see or talk to another foreigner for over 2 months during lockdown as it was very strict here and I live alone . . I went swimming and snorkeling everyday and read heaps of books did lots of gardening and made driftwood furniture . . I am enjoying good health and think it’s one of the best years of my life .

    1. sounds like you’ve found your zen. that’s what 2019 was like for me in vietnam. very peaceful and serene. content in every way. 🙂

  31. The Face shield’s seems to be counterproductive way with the Covid-19. I think that if the Expats could come back would be a huge help for the small-economie. Thailand lowered their restriction partly and ask the travelers to come back but under the mandatory ASQ-Quarantine is ok but not in a hotel fine of min. 3.000,00 € plus 3 Covid-19 tests with 150,00 € each. For a year-staying maybe but the STV (Special Tourist Visa) will only extended up to 270 days.
    So, stay safe use the mask over mouth AND nose and be patiently.

  32. For us started with the Taal volcano. I live in Lipa City Batangas we got hit by ash from the volcano. My wife got so scare we decided to stay with relatives in Dagupan until everything was back to normal. So i hope 2021 brings good things. Anyway happy holiday to everyone.

  33. If the Government wants to do something productive, send back all those overstay Chinese. They can start there. Oh yea, make the CCP pay all there fees they owe.

  34. Coming up Jan 10 on her Birthday i have known my Lady for 2 years. And i want to say, “I LOVE YOU CHAI”❣️

  35. Stuck in Thailand since covid, after moving from pi. No covid, but so many places shut down….. Very slow.

  36. the rules change from day to day & place to place. There is no uniformity. CQ doesn’t matter it can be the exact same in one province and more restrictive in another. You can’t buy a can of beer in Davao to take home but in other provinces, you can hang out at bars. 2020 has not been a good year.

  37. After 3 yrs on Panay, life is good as someone else always has it worse than you. The lack of uniformity & consistency from place to place is frustrating but I’m still much more happy & content here than there …

  38. Yeh, 2020 has been a nightmare… Being over 60, and imprisoned at home was a hardship.. If I didn’t have Cignal TV, and Internet, I would have gone nuts… I have to leave as my 3 years fell during the lockdown.. I have been waiting for my letter of reconsideration from Manila for almost 6 months, as Cebu, and not other district offices could perform this according to BI with no reason.. As a last slap in the face, part of the 25,000php that I will be fined is a 10,000php express fee.. For 6 months, are you kidding me.. I love the everyday citizens of the PI, figures of authority that have you between a rock, and a hard spot will always take advantage of you if you are a foreigner.. I would be willing to bet my last dollar, when the Cop stopped you in the cab, and was going to fine you 10,000php, he would have issued you a ticket that could not be paid at City Hall, but would have insisted you pay right then, and there.. It is sad to say, but I have had enough here, and can’t wait to get back to Texas.. I have always had plan B, and will have to rely on it now.. Who knows what will come up next here, maybe another change in visa requirements.. Enough is enough.. Take care my Friend…

  39. You are right 2020 was a surprise from A to Z. Now how can we move into 2021 from A to Z to back to a normal way of life

  40. It’s called making it up as you go along, without using anything scientific to actually learn from.
    One of my Filipino neighbors plans to stand at his gate at New Year drinking liquor from the bottle while singing videoke in between blowing his trumpet. One of the things I still love about Filipinos – the ‘tactical ignore’ of pure nonsense.
    He’s a dangerous rebel of course, because he doesn’t see liquor, videoke or trumpets as major causes of covid-19.
    Well done for mentioning the sufferings of Filipinos. It’s been horrendous.

  41. Tough year. I felt like i was in jail for 2 1/2 months… March 15 to say June 1st. Now it is ok.. lets hope this vaccine rolls out quicker! Philippines is great.. if you can move around and do things.. Go out listen to live music.. eat out… Most everything here in San Juan (Surfing capital of the North) has been closed down.. and still closed down. No domestic tourism here at all..
    so livelihood here is down… but well.. I’m safe.. so there is that plus. beaches to myself! so not so bad i guess!

  42. How it went down in the US was the stores hired a bunch of security guards who stood at the front door so you had to squeeze by them to get in about 6″ face to face. When your face was right in their face they sprayed each person with “Welcome to…”. This was to make sure each guard got infected and would be certain to infect as many people as possible.

    In the store they made sure to tell everyone to stay 6′ apart and then filled the aisles with displays to make sure shoppers were forced into bottle necks.

    And of course lots of people refusing to wear masks or even believe covid is real. Yeah, even when being put onto a ventilator people were saying they had lung cancer or whatever popped into the heads.

    And now we’re finishing up the year with a bunch of people trying to overthrow the government.

    So same old same old.

    Here’s the deal why it’s pretty messed up…people really aren’t very bright. We as humans like to think we’re intelligent, but human intelligence is only a potential. We could be bright, figure things out, research, read, but all that, kind of a lot of work. So we just make up crap.

    Oh, and if I have a heart attack, yeah, probably no ICU bed will be available so I’d probably die while being transported hours away to some hospital that might have a bed. So medical care in the Philippines is currently way better than in the US.

  43. It’s never been about an invisible virus that’s never been scientifically isolated to prove it exists. When will people wake up and see what’s really going on.

  44. A true hardship is the company I worked for clised their doors and put 400 people out of work. Now I am 61 and have to start looking for a job again, especially now with the China virus in full swing. Short answer it sucks.

    1. If your not married and halve a 401 k why not use it and retire to the Philippines or another country health care there is very cheap then at 63 or later collect your social security?

  45. Sounds like the checkpoint wanted to put some cash in their pockets, when you did not pay the fines.Here in Canada,Toronto specific, we are locked down, except for food and pharmacy. They closed all buisnesses except for the big box stores,like Walmart, Cosco..etc…allegations have been made that the provincial premier is taking cash from said store’s. Video has surfaced showing no controls are in place like social distancing and restricting numbers in stores.

    1. Evidently some businesses who are making money off this think and want it to go on forever. Just watching a commercial yesterday here in Tx advertising a plastic insert to keep your mask off your face. Sort of like a cup but just plastic frame to hold mask back. Really pushed a 5 year warranty, and I think it was “buy 3 and get 2 free”.
      Also, not all hospitals are filled with covid. Here in San Antonio, city has been taking a lot of El Paso’s patients. They still doing other surgeries. I have my back fusion scheduled for first thing in the morning (monday) here. They are fusing L3 and L4 together with already fused L5/S1. So guess will have to live with little bending over after this. But hopefully I will get pain relief from the surgery. Then in Feb. have cataract surgery on both eyes. But once all that heals, will be like everyone else, looking for a window to return. And hopefully it won’t still be total lockdown for seniors. Here in San Antonio, they have mandatory masks inside city limits, and of course most suburbs follow as do the small towns within 50 miles of here. Thank you, Mayor Idiot.

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