Some Filipino

Some Filipino just don’t get it.   Well, honestly some humans just don’t get it and sometimes all of us don’t get it.

Recently, a family that lives near me had their lights turned off because their bill was past due. A few couple of days later, their lights were back on.   Then the owner came by and told them to get out within two days.  Seems the tenant had not paid his bill in eight months!

Wow, how did the family get away with that!  I’m wondering if the tenant may have paid by depositing money directly into the land owners bank account.  Sometimes transactions are completed that way in the Philippines.  Though, I think it is uncommon with rental situations.  I don’t really know but can only speculate. Perhaps the owner was just going easy on them.

I’m also speculating, but my guess is the power company notified the owner that the power had been cut off and that was her final straw.  Its possible the owner paid the bill and realized that he was now paying the renter to live there and that did it.

The owner told the guy to get out in two days or he would make him pay all the back rent.  Surprisingly, the family did not move out by the deadline.  The owner then brought the authorities with him to the home.

A couple of hours later, all their belongings were out under the carport and the family was taking their things away, one tricycle ride at a time!

Strange situation all the way around.  It is unlikely that I’ll ever know if the owner will take the renter to court.  Seems a bit pointless, I doubt the renter will have the money to pay him any time soon.

The monthly rental was only P1500 a month  but that can be a lot of money for a Filipino family trying to make ends meet.  Its only about $31 at the time of this story.  The husband of the family owns his own business and the wife works at a local super market.  Perhaps the  business is loosing money and depleting their cash.

I felt sorry for them.  There was nothing I could do to help them.  I don’t have my own transportation but they needed a truck.  I was surprised, none of his neighbors came to their aid with a small truck.  I hope the family is able to recover.  Filipino tend to be rather resilient though and I suspect they will.  They have two lovely children.

Post Author: Rusty Ferguson (42 Posts)

Rusty Ferguson is an American Expat living in Bogo, Cebu.

Live in the Philippines Consulting


  1. Paul says

    Hi Rusty – It happens all the time, everywhere inside and outside the Phils.

    Landlords and tennants need to but don’t discuss problems early on and discover temporary work-arounds. Fear keeps it from happening. Tennants won’t “showing their hand” to the landlord in fear that he might immediately kick them out. Landlords won’t follow-up initial inquiries in fear that they might not receive back-rents and may lose assets if tennants start selling off bits and pieces before they disappear one night.

    As for the power company – that’s common in the Phils. In some areas, being behind a couple of months is a way of life (e.g. farmers pressed for money while crop is growning settle up right after the harvest & sale of crop).

    It’s sad, but it happens to both the good and the bad in this world.

  2. brian says

    As a full time landlord i know on this side of the pond evictions are always the last resort. Not fun for either party, it always amazes me that the filthy rich ( or so they believe ) landlord has the audacity to throw out those poor nice people just because they did not pay the rent. Now he (landlord) gets to pay that poor underpaid worker 4 days of labor to clean, paint, and fix busted whatevers to get the unit ready for re-rent. As u can tell I have no sympathy for rentors who get behind ONLY because most every landlord I know will work with rentors who get behind, the ones who get tossed are usually the ones who hide from the issue rather than deal with it i.e. avoiding the landlord. If you only knew how much money I lose in a year due to non-paying tenants….uuuggghhh !

  3. says

    I may be a bit harsh but I had a tenant tell me she could not pay the rent because her husband got fired and she quit her job. It seems the wife did not feel it was fair that she worked while her husband sat at home after getting fired. I know there are some hard ship issues but usually you have the tenants that complain land lord wont give there deposit back when there are holes in the walls.

  4. lenny2000 says

    You know…Its a shame that this has to happen to anyone..especially if they are decent people Rusty, however theres not much we can do alone to help this situation and in a third world country it’s just the name of the game…I hope for the good country,, the government can do more for its brothers and sisters and take the road to alliviate some of these problems. With all the money that is wasted by governments of the world, they worry only now about there financial institutions that have come back to haunt them because of there greed, if only there more pure hearts with the systems that govern ..think of how all that money could be used to be directed to the people who really need help…..

  5. says

    I understand the wife’s feelings but ummmm, how’s she gonna eat? :)

    Not sure where your tenant is located but its so hard to get a job here, quitting it is right up there with suicide. What you describe sounds more like a western woman’s way of thinking. :)

    Its sad, that a person over 25 years old in the Philippines, will have an extremely hard time getting hired into an entry level position. If one gets a job, they better hold on to it for dear life.

  6. says

    Renting is a scary thing to me, I hate it but that’s where I am in life so I’ll have to deal with it. :)

    The husband of this family is not well liked. He’s a bit hateful but didn’t really bother anyone. Still, they have two children that deserve the best.

    Seems when countries take too good of care of their citizens you end up with widespread unemployment and extremely high taxes on those that can find work. Canada would be a good example of that. Oh Canada, please don’t beat up on me for saying that. :)

  7. brian says

    Eviction process varies from state to state but here in Michigan its a process that usually can be complete within 30 days easily.
    In regards to political correctness phrases the USA gets full honors, calling it as you see it gets you busted by the bad word police anymore !!

  8. says

    People can file bankruptcy in the middle of that eviction process, with proper timing, one can delay the eviction for several months. or even longer if they file bankruptcy twice.

  9. says

    Here there are no word police, its just the right thing to do so people do it by nature. In fact, they have some interesting abbreviations. Convention Assembly? CONN-ASS

  10. Paul Thompson says

    Hi Rusty;
    Middle of the night Jeepneys and Trikes loaded with personal effects, means another landlord is S.O.L. I have no idea which side to sympathize with, as I don’t know or never will know the two sides to the story. Or do I really want to!
    The wrong I see here, is the unfortunate person working all day in their Sari-Sari, and giving credit. When the customer owes too much to one store he moves his business to the next and then the next store. When a few have to close, we all know who’s to blame.
    This problem is worldwide, in Puerto Rico on Friday night I’d get many requests to run a tab at my bar. I’d smile and ask “You really came out all dressed to the nines, without any money on payday night?” I lost the bar to Hurricane Hugo, not uncollected debts.

  11. brspiritus says

    P1,500 that’s cheap, how’s the place look? I pay P5,000 for mine here in Davao and that’s about as cheap as it gets and still be western standards of plumbing. The store my wife and I own gives no credit except for a few people who have a good payment history with us. The problem with most sari-sari’s here is that if the person does not have the startup money they goto the 5/6 loan people so 90% of their profit goes to servicing debt. If they give credit that goes unpaid they are soon sinking underwater fast. After we opened our store everyone on the street decided to open one up of all those stores 50% failed in the first year.

  12. says

    Hi Rusty. Most of what you said about Canada is true. Even though we are supposed to be going through a recession their is little unemployment. But as in the U.S. the bigger money jobs are becoming less. Yes, Taxes are a killer in this country. It is becoming quite socialistic. The government thinks they know what the population wants, & are going to get it, no matter how much we don’t want it!On pay day we all wonder where all our wages are, & can’t buy anything with our dollars here. A very expensive place to live. All left is enough for rent & food ( usually). And yes it is very hard to collect rent from a (bad) tennant. Guy

  13. roger cabansag says

    hi! rusty,

    hope the tricycle picture you refer to be in bogo is really the one you can find in bogo.



  14. says

    Hi Paul! In this part of the country, they’ll generally let u get two months behind. Perhaps they will go longer if you know how to plead properly. :) Or know someone. Here in Bogo, I’m not so sure. The power company is a CO-OP and their is a cut off date next to the due date. I’ve never tested it though.

    But eight months past due on the rent? I don’t get that. I don’t know all the facts though, the tenant and landlord might have been childhood friends for all I know.

    Doubt there were any assets in that house from him too take away, well light fixtures. :) Its a pretty modest place.

  15. says

    There are no squatters in the Philippines. Instead we have informal settlers Bob….. I get such a kick out of that polite term….. Provides a small amount of insight into the culture too, I think 😉

  16. says

    In the USA, evictions can be a long drawn out and expensive process. In the Philippines, u call up the local police, they go with you to the rental and toss the people out. Done.

  17. says

    Hi Rusty, In my eyes thats the fault of the landlord then for letting it go that long, I once knew a guy who didn’t pay for the house he lived in for 9 years 😯

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