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Today I am interviewing Dave Starr. Dave and I have been friends for a number of years now. I would say that we serve as each other’s sounding boards to some extent, and I think Dave would agree with that. Dave has some good thoughts that would benefit you much if you are thinking of moving to the Philippines. Dave also shares his insight on his website, PhilFAQs.
What is your name, and can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Dave Starr. I’m a 69yo native-born US man who decided some years ago to make my home in the Philippines. I made my move almost 7 years ago, in 2006. I’m married to a lovely lady, 18 years my junior, how is a native of the Philippines and now a dual US/Philippine citizen. We make our home in the province of Bulacan, just north of the NCR (Metro Manila).
I am retired (on a pension) from the US military as well as the US Civil Service … almost 40 years total with the USAF. Although technically retired, I find a great deal of satisfaction building up and operating a number of web-based business pursuits. I live in the Philippines and earn, but I don’t earn anything from the Philippines .. too much money on the loose in the rest of the world 😉
Thanks, Dave, for giving your time to do this interview. I know you are a busy man. Gotta keep up with all of those web-based business pursuits, right?
How long have you lived in the Philippines?
Going on my 7th year now.
7 Years and still hanging in there! That’s great.
What do you like or dislike about living in the Philippines?
Like: Family, the weather, the cost of living, the laid-back lifestyle, and the lack of the continual, partisan, fear-mongering US news media.
Dislike: Family, the weather, the cost of living, the laid-back lifestyle, and the lack of the continual, partisan, fear-mongering US news media.
If that sounds confusing to you, just wait until you have lived here a while, you’ll “get it” then, I can assure you.
Ha ha, I do understand what you are saying, but you are getting tricky on me now!
What made you decide to move to the Philippines?
We wanted to be close to family. We wanted to escape the Colorado weather. And we wanted to escape the subtle but depressing racism of the USA. Also, as a senior citizen myself, I find it very hard to stomach the continual whining and bellyaching that has become the norm for my fellow seniors in the USA. I may be gray, but I am no “Gray Panther”, and I am for SURE not a member of the AARP.
I am not at retirement age yet, but I think our feelings about the AARP are similar!
Did you encounter anything unexpected when you moved here? What was your biggest surprise?
My greatest surprise with the mental mindset of the country as a whole. Like many (misguided) foreigners I came here full of business ideas, eager to help family and others “learn to earn” and improve their life trajectories in general. It doesn’t work the way you think it might here. I’m not in Kansas any more, that’s for sure.
I would agree that people here think differently. I can’t say if it is better or worse, but I can say that it is different. Kansas? Heck, we are not even in Illinois or West Virginia!
Where do you live in the Philippines?
Marilao, Bulacan, island of Luzon
Are you happy there?
Yes, but I think if all things were equal, my wife and I would both rather live somewhere else in the Philippines. The thing which keeps us were we are the most is, the different places we would rather live are not the same LoL. But seriously, where we live is just fine. How you live is way, way more important than where you live.
Ha ha.. I understand that, Dave. My wife and I have similar discussions on where else we might like to live, and somehow we always come up with different answers too!
Do you have any regrets that you can share with us?
Very few. But a major regret is, my wife and I were building up a very nice “brick and mortar” business back in the USA. We basically just gave it up because we made the decision to move here. If I had it to do all over again, I would have hired the help I should have back in the USA and kept the business going … I could easily have run it from right here in the Philippines, and if we had been working aggressively at building what we already had going for the past 6 years I know we would have something back there in the USA (providing jobs in the USA also) to be proud of.
But, then again, I could have had a heart attack or a stroke or built up too many frequent flier miles by now.
When we lived in the States, I had some online businesses there too. Some of them I brought with me, others I left behind. So, I know what you mean.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about your move to the Philippines?
Yes. see above. Do not be in a hurry to “burn bridges”. Do not come here with a “Messiah Complex”, planning to “Save the Filipinos”. I can’t begin to count how many fellow foreigners contact me with all these wonderful goals of “fixing things” here in the Philippines.
News flash: The Filipino people are getting along just fine without you,and your “good works” and “great ideas” may not be welcomed as enthusiastically as you think.
Most importantly, learn to be happy before you make ANY move. I hear from so, so many unhappy, angry and frustrated people who have latched on to the idea that moving to the Philippines will “fix” their lives.
It will not. If you are angry, unhappy and broke back in the USA, guess what? You will be angry, unhappy and broke here in the Philippines.
Being happy is dependent upon your attitude and your efforts in life, NOT your location. Remember, Wherever you go, There you are.
You are so right on that! Moving won’t every fix your problems, just take them to a different spot. You gotta work through your issues, or you won’t be happy anywhere!
Dave, I want to thank you for spending your time sharing your insight with our readers. I am sure you have given at least a few people some points to ponder, and that is a good thing!