Jan van Dam
Nationality: My nationality is Dutch from Holland.
Occupation/Location: I am retired and currently living in Antipolo City, Rizal. In my working life, back home in Holland, I was working with a computer factory. My job was customer service specialist. I was handling the ‘customer care’ department, solving problems from unsatisfied customers and their complaints.
How did you find about the Philippines?
About 24 years ago I have met my wife in Manila. We have been married now for almost 22 years. 21 years we have been living in Holland. I have visited the Philippines several times before we finally decided to move here.
What Philippine locations have you visited?
During my visits before, I have visited the wide surroundings of Metro Manila, Bicol with its famous Mayon Volcano, Boracay, Subic area and Tagaytay with Taal Volcano, to name a few. And I have seen the ‘butanding’ or shark-whales near Donsol. Now we are living here we are planning to visit much more places and islands in this country. On my list for the most important places are among others: Palawan, Banaue rice terraces, Bohol and the cities of Cebu, Davao and Baguio.
What are your opinions on the following things about the Philippines?
Places and cities in the Philippines could do more to keep their areas clean. Lots of streets, rivers and open lots are filled with garbage and other stuff. The local government should put more garbage cans everywhere and have them emptied once or more a day. The street cleaners can do that and point to the people who are just throwing their garbage that the right place for it is INTO the garbage can. Make throwing garbage in the street punishable.
The Philippines has delicious food, as long as it is freshly cooked. Personally I do not trust the food stalls along the street and in food courts in the malls. Of course there are also dishes I do not like: balut, bagoong and a few vegetables. I also do not like the local bread very much. They are putting too much sugar in it.
Philippines has a rich culture. It has lots of influences from the Spanish (even in the language). This results in a lot of fiesta’s and colorful festivals. One thing I cannot understand is their superstition for a lot of things.
Filipinos are very friendly people. They always smile. But I am not sure if they always mean it. I do hear also signs that a large group do not like foreigners a lot.
What do you dislike about the Philippines?
There are a lot of things I do not like. I just name a few: Filipino time (being always late on appointments) , the Filipino way of handling (throwing everywhere) garbage, traffic and the ‘white skin tax’ we have to pay. White skin tax is the extra money sellers and taxi drivers add to their normal prizes when they see that a foreigner approaches them.
What do you like about the Philippines?
I like the scenery of the Philippines, the beautiful landscapes, the scenic beauty. The colorful flowers. The delicious fruits. The fresh seafood. The climate. And a lot more.
Your favorite place/s in the Philippines.
L-R: 1) Fishing boats of Pioduran, Albay; 2) Beetle in our garden; 3) Pioduran, Albay; 4) Mayon Volcano; 5) Antipolo Sunset
* Click photo to enlarge
Do you have a website or blog?
Website: Expat in the Philippines
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