Helping people is something I enjoy doing. It isn’t always easy, though! Sometimes people who say they want your help seem to go out of their way to do the opposite of what you tell them! Then, when that doesn’t work, they come back and ask you to help them turn things around! It can be quite frustrating.
Right now I am in this kind of situation with a friend. This is a fellow that I have known for well over 15 years now. He is in the process of moving to the Philippines. He is from another country, but he is not an American. I’ll call him Barry. Beyond that I won’t identify him. While he knows about this site, he only visits here rarely. As far as I can recall, he has never left a comment on this site, so it is quite unlikely that anybody reading this will know who Barry really is.
As I said, Barry is currently in the process of moving to the Philippines. He has been here twice in the past few months laying the groundwork for his move. Last year he sold his house in his homeland. He has some money, but is not rich. The money that he has is from the sale of his house, and he will use that money to get his new life set up. When that money is gone, he has only a small pension to live on for the rest of his days. His pension, from what he has told me, is well under $1,000 per month. He can make it on what he will have, but things will be somewhat tight. Barry has been considering this move for several years now, but it seems that his decision is now finalized, and it is only a matter of doing it at this point.
Over the years that I have known Barry, he has always been single. He has gone through a number of relationships with Filipinas and ladies from other Asian countries, nothing lasting any significant amount of time. Before I even knew him he went through a couple of marriages to women from his home country. In the past year, he has gone through relationships with three different Filipinas. He wants to get married, but it has always been a matter of finding the right lady.
A few months ago, Barry got involved in another Internet relationship with a Filipina. A month or so later he came here and met her for the first time. Everything was perfect, he said. He loved the lady. She has told him that she is actually somewhat wealthy. She pays for everything whenever they go anywhere. He is ecstatic. I am not so sure. The lady is actually married to a Filipino man, but tells Barry that they are getting an annulment soon.
The other day, I went and had a cup of coffee with Barry. He laid out all his plans for me. He told me that he and his future wife (he already proposed to the lady) are going to buy a house. They are currently in the process of finding the right place. Barry told me of several places they are considering, each of them in the P8-10 Million price range. He is looking at places where I have told him he should avoid. I also told him the other day, “Barry, you know, you cannot own property here.” “No problem,” he told me, “we will put it in her name. I will pay for it, but it will be in her name.” He just met this lady a few months ago, and only met in person last month! Now, he is going to put all of the money that he has into a house which he will not own? I’m sorry, but this is risky business.
Over the past, as Barry has told me of his plans to move to the Philippines and live here, I have told him that he should really follow this site. Barry, though, will come out and tell me straight to my face, “I don’t read your site.” Well, I don’t mind it if friends don’t read the site, but Barry then comes to me and asks for advice about living here. When I give him advice, he ignores it. Frankly, I feel like I am wasting my time giving him advice in person that is exactly what he could read here anyway. And, when he just ignores me anyway, well, that is a royal waste of my time. I don’t feel that Barry has to do everything I tell him. I have experience, though, in the matters that he will be facing soon. My advice is only my personal opinion, based on experience. Everybody is free to take it or leave it. I do worry for Barry, though. The way he is moving forward, he could be left penniless, and out on the street. If the woman decides that she wants the house, he has no recourse, because he cannot own it.
I’ve already made the decision that I am not going to give Barry further advice. I will be his friend and do things with him, but he has to make his own mistakes and learn his own lessons. If I try to push too much on things that I have already advised him, he will probably get upset and just break off our friendship anyway.
Good luck to you Barry if you happen to read this. Please don’t think that I am mad at you, or that I am being hard on you. I am only concerned because you are my friend and I care about you. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t even think about your situation.
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.