Today we have a guest article from Bilko. Bilko has written here on LiP in the past regarding his plans for a future move to the Philippines. Well, his moving day is getting closer and he wants to keep readers informed of his coming move, and share a few of the things he faces as the move approaches. Thank you, Bilko, for your article! You can also visit Bilko’s site – Philippines Way of Life.
The moving date cometh!
It is now 2013 and the last three years here in the UK have flown by. This is the year that we are moving to the Philippines and we have a lot to do before we hop on a plane. Granted we still have a fair bit of time before we buy the plane tickets, but as you all know time stands still for no man, and has a tendency to fly past before you know it! So it is best to get what we need sorted early in the year, so when the move date is upon us, we are not stressed or panicked.
Junk or treasure?
Today the wife and I went up into our attic and started to dig through the large amounts of junk we have up there, everything from comic books, old toys, classic computer games, old shoes, clothing and other miscellaneous objects and items. My wife said to me “Hey why not take it all, and we can give it away to family and friends there in the Philippines.” I then explained to her the cost of shipping all of these items will be rather high and in most cases not worth it. At this point we do not know if we will even have a big enough place to put it all! However all in all we do not have much stuff to go through or that we would want to bring in regards to “THINGS”, as I unloaded quite a bit before I moved here to the UK from Canada. I myself find the urge to unload most of it to get rid of the “CLUTTER” in my life, and in retrospect I wish I never brought any of it with me. As the old saying goes, one mans garbage is another man’s treasure, and this is my wife’s train of thought, she thinks that if I do not want it she knows someone there that would get good use out of it. I get it, I understand where she is coming from, and in regards to this I even agree with it, to a point.
Bring or replace?
The other question that springs into mind is, will the shipping costs out weigh the cost of buying replacements once your settled Let me elaborate a little on this. Electronics, such as TV’s and high end computers are rather costly in the Philippines, due to import, duties and other taxes that are added to these items upon arriving. So if you have a 60″ LED TV, I would suggest bringing it with you, because the cost to replace it there would be rather high compared to shipping it.
Household items such as appliances, kitchenware e.t.c are cheaper for the most part, however you should still think about this a little more before unloading all of it. For example if own a Kitchen Aid brand mixer and you wanted to replace that Kitchen Aid in the Philippines, it would be expensive. However if you purchased a different brand of mixer when you arrive, the quality of that product would be much lower than that of the Kitchen Aid, as most of the products are supplied from China, and thus the quality is not up to par. So you will find yourself replacing that item more than you would normally if you brought that higher quality expensive brand product with you. Just make sure that your electronics support 220v (power), if it does not then get rid of it. Now with that said, if you look in larger cities and in malls like SM or Ayala, you will be able to locate these higher quality brand names, although a large price tag will be attached to such items as well, so again we come full circle as to what to bring and what to leave. It can all be answered by asking “What do we really NEED?”
Cooking-ware like pots, pans and dining-ware sets are a fair bit cheaper in the Philippines, so I would recommend that you purchase this kind of stuff once you arrive. Plus honestly think about this, how much of this kitchen clutter do you really need to cook and prepare your food? When I lived in Cebu for that year span I had one frying pan, one pot, one chopping board, one set of dishes and utensils and a two ring gas table top cooker. I found that this was more than what I needed, and served our needs.
Also depending on the type of furniture you would like to furnish your home with, it too is also cheaper in the Philippines for the most part, again this is dependant on the type of furniture you wish to have. I myself have my eyes set on a amazing hand crafted Bamboo bedroom set, that I fell in love with the last time i was there. Over the course of our remaining time here in the UK, we will be sorting and selling what we do not want and donating the rest once we get closer to the deadline.
Which is the best way to ship our stuff? This is another question that needs to be answered. Looking at ship freight costs, I went pale and became very weak in the knees as I almost fell over. There are a lot of options shipping this way, such as having a 20 foot, 40 foot or sharing a freight container with someone else. The price of these services do fluctuate quite a bit from company to company, so some shopping around is needed. It is still very costly. Once you see the costs you will want to unload all of your big items, trust me on that. The other option is the good ol Balikbayan Box, the costs of these are rather reasonable and there is no weight restriction, however make sure to check with the shipper first, as it does change from company to company. Most cases they take 6 – 8 weeks to arrive to your door in the Philippines. Now with that said, I have to issue a warning, make sure you do not ship items in these that you can not replace, such as family photos, heirlooms e.t.c as from time to time things might vanish at customs when arriving in the destination country.
Balikbayan Boxes are what we are going to be using to ship our items to the Philippines, as I said we do not have much we want to bring with us. As we will be replacing the bigger items and what ever else we need as we go. We will have about 6 – 9 large balikbayan boxes in total, not to bad hey!
All in all at the end of the day you have to really look at what’s important to you and what you need to live comfortable in your new country. My wife and I are not materialistic and do not care for big expensive and shiny things, these we can do without. Clutter is something that really weighs you down and you have to stop and ask yourself, “I have it but do I use it?” If you do not use it, then get rid of it. Starting a new life in a new country is rather exciting in the first place, and starting with a clean uncluttered space is a nice and inviting experience, as you can now buy only what you need to make your house a home. People put way to much thought into what makes a home or what a home even is, it is a place to hang your hat and rest your head, life is outside of your home, with friends, family and enjoying life. Remember the amount of time we have on this planet is anyones guess, so instead of stressing, collecting “THINGS” and worrying about the small stuff, stop and take a deep breath and focus on what you want out of your life. Then go for it!
Thanks for reading, take care and god bless!