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REP_014 Is SE Asia Still Good for Vacation & Retirement?

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Author: Reekay V.

Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam.

Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures.
— Reekay


  1. Hey Reekay. Maybe “I Shall Return!” to PI after all? But must be a Tyfon Free Zone! Heard recently about General Santos ala Gensan. Can U confirm? Other safe areas? Seems as DU30 more calm and nice now.

  2. Reekay,

    You said that street level you haven’t noticed any change in the way Americans are treated, but how much do you see concerning the war on drugs?
    My GF has seen a couple of people shot on the street, and a few more after they were shot. Just yesterday 5 more people in her town were killed, and the Mayor surrendered to authorities.
    She’s in Central Mindanao, not in an area I’d be living in, but it’s still concerning.

    1. Yes, the whole vigilante thing is definitely taking a toll on local Filipinos. I follow the news daily and so far 1 expat has been killed, not for drugs but for being a suspected sex-abuser. If that sort of thing begins to show up on the news more often, I’d definitely consider that a huge factor to take into account on deciding to leave. While it’s a tragedy for that 1 expat, it’s a small stat compared to the millions of expats in the PH. Hardly enough to call a ‘trend’.

      My daily litmus test remains the same; “Am I personally safe in the PH?” For now, the answer is ‘Yes’. And as I’ve said in video before, if that changes I will be on the first flight out and find somewhere that is more conducive to a peaceful life. I’m mostly interested in southeast Asia and there are plenty of other options.

  3. when you just said ”suspected sex -abuser”… i was if you live there..and u talk to a teenager or young girl for any reason ;you can suddenly be seen as a sex-abuser and your life is in danger right away.

    They gossip there 24 hours a day ;so your life can be in trouble very easy there ;suddenly.

    Their gossip policy there can turn against you very quickly .

    I did not read about lawin threat in dumaguete or valencia so i guess u r ok reekay.

    1. Yes, everyone here (expats) knows it’s a slippery slope from letting vigilantes kill suspected drug users without a trial.. to going after anyone they think is a sex-abuser, again without any proof or trial. Which is why the real litmus test is the street-level temperance of the Filipino people here. So long as everyone is ‘chill’, all is good. But if that changes, its time to get out of Dodge.

      1. the example is already there.. the man of 59 years old who was killed in mindanao..
        That guy wasnt up to much good as he was after young girls.. But bring him to court ,thats how it should work.
        He had asked for policeprotection prior because they labled him being a drugslord.
        And next to his body they wrote ”adik” too.. so u see how quickly it goes..they also found weed next to him. i dont say it was his ;they couldve dropped it next to his body also.
        yes my gf is in valencia..but imagine i walk there with my gf and her young cousins..and they start to chismos… … this makes me think… and i also think about all u expats there.. in duma.

  4. You spoke too soon. It has reached the street level with protests at American Embassy…..I have bad feeling this will only spread

    1. The protesters, oddly enough, were against Duterte claiming he’s not kicking out USA base personnel fast enough. Most of those bases, such as Subic have been handed over the the PH for quite some time. And military advisors in the southern Mindanao region are there to help the PH military deal with terrorists. But the indigenous minority group that led the protest seems totally unaware of all this. The only thing more dangerous than hatred is ignorance in large groups.

      The only up-side to this is that the overall Filipino people want to maintain ties with the USA and don’t trust the Chinese. The senate and house of the PH is also not into this transition. It will be interesting to see how things go as this progresses.

  5. Heeeeyyyyyy Reekay,I’m sure you will find another place in SE Asia that will welcome you with open arms if you decide to move on.
    I personally don’t believe any political system can change the Philippine people to think negative about foreigners that they will start treating foreigners in a hateful manner.only my thought.
    You’re welcome to come and live in Australia anytime,hehehe
    Take care Reekay,keep smiling.hehehe

    1. Thanks. Being a light traveler, I can relocate without much fuss. But I feel bad for those with families and homes in the PH. If things get dicey for expats here, it will complicate their situation. 🙁

  6. DU30 got many old man’s deseases. Talking foul mouth is one thing. Implementing completely different

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