[Ask Henry] – How Did You Decide to Relocate?

Question:  (sry Henry, my friends call me channel 10 news coz I ask a lot of questions  lol)
B4 u met your Filipina GF in Cali, did u ever think of living in the Philippines? Were u planning on moving somewhere other than the USA b4 meeting her?  You seem pretty happy in Mactan. You originally moved there to be near your GF. Now that you are single, what are the odds you will remain a resident there for the next 5 years? 10 yrs?  — From ‘K’

Henry:  Prior to meeting my girlfriend, it was only a ‘dream’ idea that maybe one day I might move to Columbia years ago.  But as I studied Columbia and Latin America I then realized that it was not the place for me.  Years later, after reading Irving Stone’s, “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (twice).. it has been on my Bucket List to spend at least a month in Florence, Italy.  But in all daily reality I really had no concrete plans to live anywhere other than the USA the rest of my life.

Then, around 2007 life just seemed to begin to implode from every angle in my personal life.  I had gotten divorced, not a nasty divorce either which in many ways was harder.  My ex and I still care much for each other and the letting-go was killing us.  An attempt to recapture our relationship showed that too much had been lost and we each went our own paths, but still keep in contact occasionally via online text.  In addition, right around 2007 the economy started taking a real down-slide and by 2008 my real estate holdings and business were going down in flames.  Piled on top of that I had no inclination to date anyone and was going kinda nuts trying to hold things together month-to-month with all the properties.

Finally, around April of 2010, I began to take serious stock of what I was going to do in life now that I’d lost my properties and was soon to lose the last one.  It was right around this time that by chance (destiny?) I walked into a Filipino restaurant in Temecula, CA, and met who was to become my girlfriend for the next two and a half years.  Even then I had just assumed she would eventually move to the U.S. at first.  But after much discussion it became obvious we were stuck in a long-term, long-distance relationship since her business and entire life were in Cebu.

We tried that for a year and a half, hoping something would change.  But circumstances didn’t.  That was when I made the decision to take a leap of faith.. sell what I had left and spend more time with my girlfriend in the Philippines.  Prior to that defining moment on 4th of July in 2011, I had never considered living outside the U.S.

In answer to the 2nd part of your question.. skip forward to now.  She and I have broken up but still keep in contact.  I knew before I left that it was a scenario that was possible and I had to decide whether I’d stay or return if it did.  So I already had it in my mind that, if by some chance, she and I didn’t work out.. I would stay in the Philippines to do my writing and live my life.  I would already be there so, why would I waste all that energy, money and effort by returning home?  I had my contingency plan in place.  It was Cebu or Bust from the very beginning.

Long-term, I see the Philippines as my new home for the rest of my life.  I will make trips to see my family in the US every year or so because I miss them despite online contact.  But here in the Philippines is where I plan to finish out my days.   For now that means Mactan the first year.  I have a great little studio that is near everything I need and works as a good base to get myself and my online business stabilized.  Once I have a more secure income I will then look at relocating to places I’ve visited along the way.  Some say Dumaguete is the place to be.  Others say Bohol or Guimaras.  I’ll just have to bounce around and see for myself before I relocate.  If I meet and marry a Filipina, that may have a bit to do with where I end up living.  Just gonna have to play out this adventure and see.

Henry V.


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


  1. Great blog. I am moving there in March or April and I hope to make it home. My girlfriend or really fiance is looking at some land in the province where she grew up so we can build a place of our own. With the current laws there pertaining to property, I can own the house but it has to be a Philippino citizen to own the land. Seems like a good partnership for us. I am disabled and have my SSDI to rely on. I, like you am a computer tech of 27 years experience. So I may be able to make a few Pesos on the side. If I don't have to repair all her family's PCs for free. LOL

  2. Hi Henry. Great blog. You have a lot of information here too. My wife is from Cebu and I have visited there many many times. We plan on retiring there in the near future. Its a beautiful place, but I can do without the huge spiders. I have seen the children playing with them before. Spiders scare the you know what out of me. I am trying to talk to my wife about moving out there next year and go into business for ourselves. Things here in the USA are a bit depressing these days. But it will always be my home. Stay safe and dry. We will be watching for new videos to come. John and Via.

    1. My wife is from Cebu. I have been there many times and love it there, very friendly people and cheaper to live. We already have a home there in Argao. We will watching for more videos.

    2. Thanks! I've been in Bohol the last 2 days and just fell in love with the place! And even cheaper than living on Mactan. Yet with more vegetation and quieter living style. I am hoping to be relocated from Mactan to Bohol by March and will keep updates on how it's going here at the sight. 🙂

  3. Henry, I love you blog and videos. I’m curious why you didn’t want to try to have a computer or computer repair store in PI?

    There is a wide-open field for expat writers. there is not a single expat writing stories about living in PI. Ted Lerner wrote “Hey Joe” over a decade ago and it is not very good. There many expat writers in Thailand. I’m not sure what kind of money you can make, but there is a need for it. Keep up the good work. I think you are smart staying in PI.

    Are there any expats near where you live. If not, do you safe being the only foreigner?

    1. I’m the only foreigner in my village. Apart from curiosity, everyone’s been super friendly to me for the most part. As for not starting up a PC repair shop (my business in Calif).. several reasons but the main one is, no comparable profit margin. Even if I were to hoof it around town and hit up the nicer subdivisions, it’d be more hassle than it’s worth. PC repair guys in the PH don’t charge much. Maybe $10 to do what I normally charge $65 for in the States. Not a good use of my time. I’d rather be writing and doing videos as I go about having some fun around the island and let Adsense send me a check.

      I do plan on writing some books on the PH, just need to clear some other things off my plate first that are higher priority. So expect to see those announced here when they are ready. 🙂

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