Philippines ranks high in expat survey on social relations
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - September 26, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is among the top 10 countries in the world where expatriates feel closer to their partner, for social life, and for ease of integrating with the locals, the results of a survey commissioned by British banking giant HSBC showed.

Based on data from HSBC’s 2016 Expat Explorer survey, the Philippines ranked first overall for expats to feel closer to their partners, 5th for social life and 8th for ease of integrating with the locals.

“Expats in the Philippines value their social life – how they and their families are able to ‘feel at home’,” HSBC Philippines president and chief executive officer Wick Veloso said.

“(They) are able to further their career progression while boosting network connections and enjoying a culture that make them feel they are family,” HSBC president and CEO for Philippines Wick Veloso said.

The expats point to benefits ranging from ease of finding good accommodation or of forming new friendships, to how Filipinos embrace diversity.

One of the expats surveyed by HSBC in the Philippines said “you don’t need to bring anything except your smile.” Once in the country, one will not feel like a stranger, as it is natural for Filipinos to be more than willing and happy to assist an expat in adjusting to the country’s culture and environment.

Respondents said the Philippines is a good place for expats bringing their families along be it for fostering relationships, providing good and affordable education/childcare or creating a good environment for raising children, or bringing partners closer together.

Philippines is the top country in the world for expats to say the move has brought them closer to their partner with 59 percent while 57 percent of the expats surveyed believe the cost of education and childcare is less expensive in the country.

An additional benefit of raising a family in the Philippines is how smoothly the family members are able to socially adapt and ‘feel at home’ – something that money could not buy.

For 45 percent of expats, the Philippines felt like home in less than six months.

A respondent of the survey shared that “the Philippines is a family-based culture. As soon as you enter a house the host/hostess will offer you the best chair plus food and drink. People want you to be comfortable and at home.”

In all, the Philippines ranked 37th overall with higher scores in the lifestyle of expats with 32nd and their family life in the country at 23rd.

The survey that compared 45 destinations covered 27,000 expats from 190 countries and territories.

Singapore took the top spot in HSBC’s Expat Explorer country league table this year as 66 percent of expats agreed that the country offers a better quality of life than their home country while 75 percent believe the quality of education is better.

On the other hand, millennials are drawn to expat life to find more purpose in their careers as 22 percent of the expats aged 18 to 34 moved abroad compared to only 14 percent for those aged 34 to 54 and seven percent for those aged 55 and above.

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