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.
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.