RT Cunningham

Expats who Seem to Ignore other Expats in the Philippines

Most expats in the Philippines tend to ignore the other expats. While it isn’t intentional, it makes sense and I’m just as guilty as anyone else here.

A guy sent me a message about something and as a side note, he mentioned being in Davao City, Philippines before returning to the United States. He said he found it distracting that no white guys would talk to him in Davao City.

Expats Ignore other Expats

It seems that way and it’s mostly true. Why wouldn’t we? Think about it. Do you walk up to random strangers and just start talking to them when you’re in the United States? Of course not. It’s the same way in the Philippines. To make it even worse for us “white guys”, the other white guys aren’t necessarily American.

It’s not like I hide from other expats. I go the movie theater at the Harbor Point mall on occasion and I go to the SM City mall every payday. I go to the Royal Subic store (for groceries) every month. I’m not avoiding anyone.

A lot of those white guys are Australian, German and other nationalities I can’t name until I hear them speaking to someone. Most of the American expats are retired military or ex-military, former Navy service members lead the herd. And most of them in Olongapo tend to congregate in the Barretto barangay. That’s where a lot of clubs, hotels and resorts and restaurants seem to be.

Some Expats are Annoying

I’ve lived in the Philippines for more than 11 years. Naturally, I’ve been approached by one expat or another at any given place. Most of the time, they’re complaining about something. They compare life in the Philippines to wherever in the United States. It doesn’t do any good to complain because it doesn’t change anything.

Other expats want to reminisce about home town USA. It’s almost as annoying as complaining. American expats need to learn to live in the Philippines, immersed in everything as much as possible. Don’t worry, be happy and all that.

Expats aren’t Friendly

Well, not the kind of friendly some other expats would like. I’m like that. I’m friendly enough but I’m not outgoing. I don’t hang out where other expats hang out. Do they hang out? I don’t really know because I don’t go to places where they are and see them hanging out.

I’m not a member of any organization. I don’t even know where they are, if they still exist. I know about RAO Subic but I have no idea where the American Legion, VFW or anything else is (if they exist). If I wanted to, I could be a member of any or all. I choose not to join anything ever.

I’m not a shy person. 20 years of the Marine Corps will beat the shy out of anyone. No, I’m not shy but I’m not the opposite either. I would probably talk to a Filipino before an expat and only because I probably have something in common with him.


November 25, 2017
Expats and Foreigners

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