about the one and only Jan, Expat in the Philippines

Hi there, somewhere in the world,
This is the blog of Jan, a Dutch expat who wants to spend is spending the rest of his life in the Philippines.


I’m writing here about my experiences in this beautiful country and my life in general. I also like to give some information for other people who like to be an expat in the Philippines, or who just want to move here.

I will also publish a lot of pictures which I take when going out:

  • from the friendly people of the Philippines
  • remarkable things I see
  • nice places I’m visiting
  • and other interesting issues

These pages are continuously changing, new ones will be added, some old ones will be removed. I’m trying to improve my website all the time.
Would you like to stay updated, just click on the RSS symbol on top of the page or subscribe to my newsletter.

My mother tongue is Dutch, and although I’m trying to do my best to write proper English, I’m not always sure if my grammar or spelling is correct. My humble excuses if that’s the case. Feel free to send me an e-mail to correct me.
Have a lot of fun… ;-)

If you feel like sending me private messages or ask something special, please go to the contact page.

There are people in the world who like to use content from websites like this one, and put it on their own website, acting as if it is they who wrote the story or took the picture. That way they try to make money with their FAKE website. I am trying to prevent that from happening by taking some special actions on this website.
If you like to use articles or pictures: ASK first !! I might say YES.


Reading this website is free, using it’s content too as long there is a clear link to this site.
Copy the text in the box and paste it in your website above the actual (part of the) article:

<a href=”http://www.expatinthephilippines.com” target=”_blank”>Content from:<br><img alt=”logo small expatinthephilippines.com” src=”http://expatinthephilippines.com/img/logo_150x32.jpg” /></a>


Article Name
about Jan van Dam
a blog about the live of a Dutch Expat, who decided to spend the rest of his life in the Philippines


  1. Jimmy Prince
    Jul 19, 2009 @ 14:09:11

    Hi there, I am 34. Living outside of Houston, Texas and live a very modest lifestyle. I make a fair living of about $3000 a month (144000 pesos) in the air conditioning/refrigeration industry. I love everything I hear and read about the Philippines and I am planning a trip in the next few months to check it out for myself. Although I am looking forward to a great vacation, the primary purpose/ hope is to find a wife who is from a simple background. This is something I have had trouble here as American women seem much too materialistic for my taste. Dont get me wrong, I think I am attractive and dont generally have a hard time getting dates I just like the idea of having a wife who doesnt require a new car every year. I guess my question is… Where would you recommend I search for such a person? I plan on taking a short trip of 3 months or so first to learn a little and take a year long trip later. Any advise you can give me would be greatly apprecieted.
    Thanks for your help,


  2. Mark
    Jul 19, 2009 @ 17:44:26

    Thanks for the site Jan,

    I apprecviate your energy to help others.

    Do you know many business men in the Philippines /..looking for opportunities in Australia.

    Thank you,



  3. Tom
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 07:14:04

    Hi. I began searching for knowledge this past weekend about moving to the Philippines with my asawa of the past 17 years. Yours is the most organized and attractive site I have come across. A definate favorite. My hat’s off to you.
    – Tom in California, USA


  4. liza
    Jul 26, 2009 @ 07:09:22

    hi,nice site and i appreciate you for this.im living here in holland and for a few months i stay here i can say that to live in phils.is mich better than here because of the monarchy.and i have a friend over here who are planning to move over there with me together with her family.but then we have started a business that is the balikbayan box so hopefully when everything goes okey we might meet you over there.by the way which part of phils.you are?
    have a nice day.


  5. Paolo
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 14:23:51

    Hello Jan!! My best compliments to you for your great website!!! I`m from Italy…northern part near Milano (Brescia) maybe you have been ther on vacation from Holland?!..Anyway i have been living and working (especially working) in Japan for the past 14 yrs…i discoveredhilippines in 2005 and go back there at least 2-3 times a year, i have a great fiancee filipina, and in a few yrs i plan to retired there, probably in the Olongapo Subic area. Is very inetersting to hear from you coz you are Eropean like me, mostly expat to the Pi are Americans, but i think i like to hear the point of view of a European like me coz culture is close even if we are not from the same country..wishing you all the best for your website and looking forward to read your newsletter everyday!!! Best of Luck and Thank You!!!! Paolo.


  6. Adrian
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 10:46:41

    Hi Jan

    You quoted Epictetus:

    ?Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.”

    Yes – but is their opinion of the things that happen not in itself also a thing that happens?

    Whereabouts in the Philippines are you living Jan and how long have you been there?


  7. steve
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 05:29:03

    hi jan

    i am new to your website and i am married to a filipina
    which is we always visited philippines back and froward
    i have a business in philippines,which my question is…
    is my wife has any right of any of my business in the
    philippines… hope you response my mail

    thanking you


  8. David B Katague
    Sep 13, 2009 @ 00:12:30

    Just discover your website by accident. Good site. Have a Good Day.


    • Jan
      Sep 15, 2009 @ 10:36:24

      Thank you David.
      I have checked your site. It has nice pictures and information about Marinduque. I will add a link to your webpage on my site.
      I hope you will do the same in return.


  9. Gene
    Sep 29, 2009 @ 19:17:10

    Hi Jan,

    Just happened to find your site while visiting Bruce’s site, American In Davao. I’m American, married and living close to Angeles City here in the Philippines. I’m doing a little posting on Bruces site (not as often as I would like) and will try to send a few posts or replys to posts here too. You have a great website and glad to have found it.

    Mabuhay and welcome.


    • Jan
      Sep 29, 2009 @ 22:27:12

      Hi Gene,
      Thanks for visiting my site. Bruce and I have regular contact with eachother, but we haven’t met personaly yet.
      You’re welcome to write something for my website. If you have something interesting, just mail me and I will find a way to publish it.


  10. Gene
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 21:06:43


    Thanks and will try to get a short post ready to put here. Looks like another typhoon for this weekend maybe. So hope any posting I do will be how the typhoon missed the country or that no dammage was done this time.
    Stay dry there and be safe…


    • Jan
      Sep 30, 2009 @ 23:04:27

      OK, I’ll wait for it.


  11. paul
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 19:04:22

    hoi Jan,

    I would like to connect to Jimmy Prince from outside Houston,Texas. Please inform him about my message. Thank you very much indeed.


    paul from holland


    • Jan
      Oct 03, 2009 @ 13:00:00

      I have forwarded your message to him.


  12. Rick
    Nov 07, 2009 @ 13:45:31

    Hi Jan,
    thankyou for all your info you have posted,also time and effort.I am currently looking at renting a property in Philippine’s for myself and asawa,troubles i’m having is not being able to view as being so far away.My problem is i am a paraplegic (paralysed from waiste down)due to a road traffic accident.Problems i am finding is suitable housing,can manage with virtually everything and don’t need anything to make life easier apart from a large bathroom with lots of space and bath tub,and of course wide doorway’s haha.We come to Philippines twice a year but because of my disability i would have to stay in 5 star Hotel cos of the problems i mentioned earlier.Also here in Uk i drive my own car with the adaptions of a hand contro that is connected to the brake and accelerator pedal.Do u know how i would go about converting a car in the Philippines to drive ? like you have said already,no fun sitting in the back of your own car,i’m sure you could understand i have a few more issues than the normal foriegner that move’s to Philippine’s.So any info if u have it would be appreciated.Many thank’s in advance,and keep up the good work that you do. :o)


    • Jan
      Nov 09, 2009 @ 08:28:03

      Hi Rick,
      Thanks for visiting my website, I hope you like it.
      I am affraid that answering your question will be difficult. To convert a car for you I guess you have to contact a few car dealers or importers.
      You did not mention where you would like to live in the Philippines. Driving in Manila is a hell. I’m not sure if it will be easy for a person like you to drive here. You need six eyes for not to make accidents. Driving in the provincial area is less stressful and easier.
      One other thing is that you will need a place to live here. I suggest that you find a lot where you can build your own house with wide doors etcetera. Most ready made houses have a lot of steps, are not weelchair friendly and small in size.
      The costs for it varie a lot depending on your needs and wishes.


  13. Jeannie
    Apr 26, 2010 @ 14:58:42

    Dear Jan,

    I am a licensed real estate broker here in Makati and I am thriving to close deals and sign contracts with expats. I am maintaining an office in Makati and has agents, it is not easy because we rely on commissions only.

    Can you please be of help and refer us to your friends who are foreigners and are looking for a professional realtor to find them a place to stay here in Metro Manila.

    I am trying to look for ways and means for us to expand our network and I strongly feel that you can be of help.

    I am looking forward to hear a favorable reply from you. I can sense that you are a blessing to us.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Sincerely yours,



    • Jan
      Apr 29, 2010 @ 08:40:22

      My website doesn’t allow free advertising. Contact me if you like to advertize on my pages.


  14. Miles
    Jul 05, 2010 @ 18:32:55

    Hello Jan, i had been enjoying your website reading the articles. You have a nice and simple design here making it easy to check things, also adding pics on the comment section is a plus. As i have a growing interest in writing and travel, i would be happy to share my experiences when a corresponding topic will appear. Thanks for coming up with this nice website.

    Be well.


    • Jan
      Jul 06, 2010 @ 15:00:58

      I would be happy to hear more stories from you. I like the idea.
      If you are interested I can publish one or more travel experiences from you as a guest blogger. In that way you write the story and make the pictures. I can publish it in a separate section on my website.


      • Miles
        Jul 06, 2010 @ 15:35:48

        I think that would be great, i will have a place where i can polish my writing skills since i am still new with this thing called “blogging”, i do have some interesting places to write about and share here specially those which are not frequented by the typical tourist, will be preparing my materials, just tell me how and when.


  15. Chel
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 10:55:34

    Hoi Jan,

    my name is chel from Borneo,Sabah, malaysia. Engaged with a dutch speaking belgian in Brugges. Nice website. Come and visit Borneo so you hv more to write.



    • Jan
      Oct 28, 2010 @ 11:45:14

      Hi Chel,
      Thanks for visiting my website. Did you tell your friend already about this website?
      We will visit Borneo some time in the future, but no plans yet.


  16. John Jackson
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 00:13:30

    I too enjoy your website and I know I really have a long way to go before I can take over the #1 blog spot in the Philippines. I will however put a link on my website for this blog and wouldn’t mind if you put mine on your site.
    It really was an education seeing your site, versus mine. Yours is so much,..well more. Not sure I’d even know how to do a site like yours yet. Mine is working so far, so I think I’ll stick with it the way it is, at least for now.


    • Jan
      Nov 19, 2010 @ 09:15:47

      Thanks for visiting my site. Thanks for the compliment and liking my site.
      You have a good site and good content.
      If you are interested I can give you some tips to make your site more attractive to visitors. Just private mail me through the contact page.


  17. Charles Harman
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 18:39:22

    Hello, Charles Harman here form RetiringPhilippines.org I may use some of your posts on my site I will excerpt them and link them back to your site. Well Done, like the site, please visit us at: RetiringPhilippines.org and if you are
    in my neighborhood stop by for a cup of coffee. If you play guitar bring that I play Bass. RetiringPhilippines.org is an informational website for those interested in retiring here.


    • Jan
      Nov 09, 2011 @ 10:27:41

      No problem in using some of my content as long as my website is mentioned clearly.
      Let me know what and where it is, please.


  18. Edsan/Island Vacations
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 00:32:31

    Hi Jan,

    Congratulations for gaining PR 4 in the recent Google update. Keep it up!

    Best regards,



    • Jan
      Nov 09, 2011 @ 10:26:24

      Hi Edsan,
      Thanks, you are the first to notice it and let me know!!


  19. angry bird
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 13:03:15

    fell instantly in love with your site!=)


  20. Markus Kleemund
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 12:53:54

    Hi Jimmy,you said you’re looking for a wife.
    I respond on your posting because i’m already engaged to a very lovely woman here in the Philippines.
    I’m already settled here and knw some very nice Ladies who are interested in marriage.
    If you like please contact me via e-mail steinbeisser1971@yahoo.de
    greetz Markus


  21. evan
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 20:23:45

    Hi Jan, my name is Evan and I inquiring as to the real price of things in PI im about to retire from the Military and an Married to a lovely lady from Roxas City panay. Anyway Jan my question is looking at Sulit and other Websites that have realty for rent and Sale it looks like most prices are inflated due to the hopes of landing a rich expat to buy or rent their place.
    What price could I expect to pay for a decent 3 bedroom house outside of Manila? $500 seems to be the average. is this legit or is the local prices lower?
    Why are cars so expensive there? Do you own a car?

    Can you live on $2000 usd monthly there or is it not eneough?

    Thanks Evan


    • Jan
      Jan 09, 2012 @ 20:46:49

      Prices of rental houses depend on the location, the size of the house, the subdivision, the quality of the building, subdivision and many more factors.
      500 US$ which is roughly between 20 and 25000 pesos is a fair price for a good location, spacious house and easy access (I think). But always have a Filipino visit the place first, do not show your white face yet. Let the Filipino (your wife for example) do the negotiating and try to shake down the price.
      Living on 2000 US$ is very well possible, but as I wrote in several posts: it all depends on the life-style, your rent, your spending habbits and more.
      Cars (brand new) are much cheaper in the Philippines than in my home country The Netherlands. Second hand cars are very expensive here. The reason might be that only very few people can afford a brand new one. Where are few second hand cars, and many like to buy one >>> prices go up!! This is simple market working.


  22. Hans
    Mar 07, 2013 @ 17:40:17

    Hallo Jan, was aan het zoeken naar info over de huidige situatie in de Filipijnen betreffende de nummerplaten van nu. Tot mijn grote verbazing kom je dan bij de eerste vier aanbieders naar boven. Kun je me vertellen hoe ik een LTD zou kunnen opstarten in de PH. Ben al 26 jaar getrouwd met mijn PH vrouw en hebben samen een dochter, om de grote belasting slokops hier te omzeilen overwegen we een firma in de PH op te zetten, vooral ivm het pretigere belasting klimaat.Door de jaren heen hebben we een huis gebouwd in de regio van Tarlac. Willen over twee jaar gaan overwinteren.


    • Jan
      Mar 11, 2013 @ 13:14:53

      Hi Hans,
      I will reply in a personal message on this question.


  23. Hennie
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 23:55:58

    Heb met belangstelling u web site gelezen en rijst bij mij een vraag ,waarom denkt men zijn geluk in een vreemd land te kunnen vinden .Men zegt dat we hier te veel eisend zijn ,maar een arm mens koopt zijn zogenaamde geluk ,omdat zij arm is en zich op die manier van een beter leven wil voor zien .
    Ik weet dat u Nederlands kan lezen dus doe ik het niet in het Engels met alle risico“s van schrijf fouten
    Met vriendelijke groeten Hennie


    • Jan
      Mar 11, 2013 @ 12:38:51

      I will reply to you in a personal message


  24. jan
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 14:08:06

    Good for you to stop by on my website.
    Unfortunately I cannot help you in finding a Filipina. I do not have experiences in this for a long time. I am married already for more than 21 years.
    However on the Internet are a lot of websites where you are able to have a first contact with a Filipina who is looking for a man like you.
    check also these websites:



    and ther are many more. I would like to express here that I do not have any experience with those websites and I will not take any responsability about it.

    Any way, good luck in your search!


  25. jan
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 14:11:06

    Thanks for the compliment, but I have to disappoint you: I do not know any business men in the Philippines in your industry.


  26. jan
    Jul 21, 2009 @ 14:13:13

    Thank you for the compliment.
    I must congratulate you in thinking of your plans to move over here.
    You won’t regret it. And maybe we can meet someday having some San Miguel together.


  27. jan
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 17:32:58

    Nice of you to stop by on my site. I’m doing my best to give good information about the Philippines.
    If you have syuggestions or stories to tell, just mail me and we can settle something. If you have personal questions: I’ll be happy to answer them to my abilities. Good luck.


  28. jan
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 11:45:24

    The quote is from Epictetus, not mine. I think that everybody who reads it, can have his mind mingling around and become a Philisophic himself.

    If you read my blog well you can read that I’m living in Antipolo City, on the borderline with Marikina City. I came to live here last year October.


  29. jan
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 08:22:56

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for visiting my website.
    I will send you a personal mail with answers to your questions.


  30. marjorie moreno
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 00:12:34

    hi jan,
    good that i have found this website and i have some questions for you since, i know it would be a good help.
    My fiance, who is a dutch, and I, a filipina is planning to get married sometime this year. We are planning what to do in order for him to stay here and pass permits easily. we are also thinking of a good business that would help us in living. I would like to know what did you do regarding staying here for a long time and would it be easy for him to be granted a residence visa once we get married and have children here? thanks


  31. jan
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:17:57

    Thanks for visiting my site.
    I understand that you are planning to get married. Is that going to be here in the Philippines? or in Holland?
    Once you are married, both of you can come to the Philippines and will receive a ‘balikbayan’ visa at immigration which lasts for 1 year. It can be prolongued for another year in the Philippines.
    Once you are married you can also apply for a 13a resident visa. You can do that already in the Philippine embassy in Den Haag, Netherlands.

    Setting up a business is not as easy as in Holland. You and your partner should read my post about that.
    There are many more things to think about, because moving to the Philippines is a giant step for a foreigner. Think about it very well and inform yourself. There are many websites where to find a lot of information.


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