There in an old adage, How do you acquire a small fortune in the Philippines, arrive here with a large fortune, its that simple! Unfortunately this is very often so true, many foreigners arrive here having listened to their chat mates, girl friends or wives and have already been convinced that there are fortunes to be made without much work as long as you have money! When I here these people say, do not worry, “her family will take care of the business” I shudder in my fake croc’s as this usually means doom for the investor and or his funds! I have seen on more than one occasion when a foreigner has been talked into supplying money to stock a small Sari Sari Store for a poor relative of his true love and in another a couple of weeks he is asked again for more money to re stock the store again as the would be profit has been spent on family maintenance and not on stock for the store! Some guys have Bought or Rented houses for himself and his girl but as soon as he moves in so does his extended family who take it for granted that food, school fees, medical bills etc will be free! These are the small investor type of visitor who really come here with no idea about the country but expected to get rich quick! There are bigger fish who come here and waste much more money! Some people have bought Tuna Fishing Boats in the past and their relations have looked after them! One guy constructed Cat Fish Ponds but one day during a heavy rain storm, all the fish swam away! Some bought Kareoke Bars, Some went into the Buy and Sell Rice and Corn Business! Some bought Jeepneys and Tricycles! Some went money lending at 5 – 6! Others were changing post dated checks at the fish port for 10 % of the value, some opened local style Internet Cafes! Just about all of such people did not survive in the country as there was not much return on their investments after the family share had been removed and they had to return, tail between their legs to the country that they came from but much less wealthy than they left there! I do not blame the Philippino for taking advantage of these Soft Touch people as they would probably lose their money at whatever they try to do and you can never give them any good advice which is acceptable to them!
Nickel Babbitt’s ,were like magnets to these people! This commodity is basically lead with a very tiny amount of Nickel mixed in! Many believe that they are pure Nickel but a simple magnet test soon proves that theory wrong as lead is none magnetic while Nickel is! Some people came here actually believing that the vast amount of lead bars really existed and they could be sold on to Automotive Battery Manufacturers around the world but these people soon realized that this was just a story as the vast quantities of Babbitt’s never appeared so the people quickly disappeared! Then there were the true believers, a small band of Lemming Minded individuals who would find some reason to jump off a cliff in their pursuit of riches beyond their imagination! Lead is now not required so much as many alternative metals and man made materials can do a better job! I use lead to make up Scuba Weights but I buy spent bullets that the kids dig up from the firing ranges and sell to the Bote Bakal guys from where I buy them per KG! I even used a few Nickel Babbitt’s which were left in my rooms by broken hearted Treasure Hunters who had gone broke and had to leave! Nobody really made any kind of fortune on Lead so what comes next!
Paper money was a big draw at one point, The Japanese Philippine Occupation Currency from the war was being touted for sale at face value so for a 50 peso piece of Japanese paper you paid 50 Peso’s! There was also Argentina, Yugoslavia and other kinds of money available but it was all out of circulation in its home country an held no value! Then there were the Liberty Bonds, these bonds were issued by the American Government in exchange for cash in order to raise funds for the war effort but those not redeemed several years later were canceled in about the mid 50’s so any in circulation now are valueless but lots of them were on sale around here!
There are still some Treasure Hunters operating in the area and I am sure that there will be around for a long time because as long as the Philippino has the energy to lead them on and keep feeding them the stories of treasure then there will always be the Big Foreign Fish that will snap at the bait! This kind of greedy obsession will always keep people searching for enormous wealth even if they know that its unlikely to be true! Good luck to them all, especially if they stay at Cambridge Farm Hotel!