Have already decided to settle everything down with the land of the orient sea? That’s great!
You have chosen one of the best countries in the world to spend the rest of your years. Selecting our country, the Philippines can be your decision to date since we provide many facilities and convenience ideal to assist you throughout your stay here.
Before jumping into the airport to the Philippines, I figured I could help you understand the Philippine culture and tradition and way of living by listing these 5 basic things to know before retiring in the Philippines.
The Filipino Language
Although we Filipinos are highly fluent in the English language, we have our own Filipino dialect (Tagalog) that we use in everyday communication. As a retiree, it’s helpful for you to learn the basics of our country’s local dialect.
Tagalog language, like any other language, can be learned written and spoken in less amount of time. The Philippines has many good bookstores in which you can buy a simple instruction of the Filipino language. In a month’s period, you can learn to talk to native Filipinos with basic phrases like “Kamusta ka?” (How are you?) or “Magandang Araw Po” (A pleasant day to you). You can learn the dialect in no time and can adjust easily in between conversation. I once had befriended with certain Vietnamese students who took up English courses in my previous University, Arellano—and I was amazed at how fast they learned the basic Filipino phrases for only staying here for one month. The same thing can happen to you!
Enjoying speaking tagalog? check THIS out!
The Philippines is a tropical country, so our everyday temperature is warmer than other Asian or Western countries. Our country only has two seasons every year, the Wet and Dry season. Usually, the rainy season starts from June to February, where we usually experience timely excessive rainfall. Rain season took longer than summer here, as summer only took about two months, from March to May.
If you plan to stay in the Philippines during this time of year (March-May), I recommend you should buy an air-conditioning unit because heat can usually go up to 37 degrees, in a regular summer day. During rainy seasons, (June to February), I then suggest you should always bring with you a raincoat and umbrella because rain usually doesn’t go away in each day. Which also means that if you came from cold-tempered countries, your usual layer of jackets can still be of good use when rainy seasons bursts forth way beyond than normal.
Filipinos have many unique and clever means of transportation. Our most famous one is the “Jeepney”, a reminiscent of transportation relics from World War II. I usually ride Jeepney when going to work, probably four times a day, and with only 8 Filipino pesos as a regular fee, it’s the cheapest ride in the country. A standard Jeepney can accommodate 10-14 people. We Filipinos usually say “Para Po”, when we like the driver to pull over in a certain street we desire.
There are also other means of transportation aside from Jeepney, such as buses, tricycles, (machine powered bicycle) pedicabs, (an improvised version of a bicycle with roof and cover), MRT/LRT (trains), Taxis and FX’s. A regular fare in Buses is 12 Filipino pesos, while tricycles and pedicabs range up to 40 Filipino pesos. MRT and LRT train tickets usually cost up 15-25 pesos. The most expensive fares there is the Taxi and FX’s, 50 pesos fare being the lowest.
Filipino people have a dining tradition for centuries that usually takes place at around 6 AM, 12NN, and 6 PM early in the evening. My family used to eat breakfast at the same schedule, although in today’s time this schedule isn’t always followed as we have different schedules for each day. We Filipinos are very inclined to eating together, as we are family oriented.
A father is the head of a family, while the mother stands as the light of the household. Filipinos usually stay with their parent’s house even when they are of age, unlike many European countries where individuals at 18 years old are required to be independent. I am 21 years old by now, and I still live with my parents. I used to update them regularly when I am out of the house, with things like what time will I go home, or am I going to make it to dinner. Filipino parents are usually strict, but I think they just do because they care about their kids so much. So much love in here, you could tell.
Since Spain invaded the country back in 1521, the Philippines stays as the only Roman Catholic country in Asia. However, Philippines is also consisting of different religions like Islam, Iglesias ni Cristo, Evangelicals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhism, non-Roman Catholic-Protestant, and much more.
I am a Catholic myself, and we take Sundays off to go to church, usually at 6 PM in the afternoon. Aside from the Sunday off for family and church, we also have a weekly one-hour rosary prayer. We have a long standing of spiritual tradition, and it’s pretty much clear to say that we, Filipinos are hugely religious.
These are just the basic things a retiree like you should need first to know about the Philippines. Home is not that far, you see–you can find your new one here in the Philippines!