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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Iloilo City, Philippines


An American expat in the Philippines offers advice on what it's like to live in the island and be married to a Filipina for over 28 years.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Iloilo City

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

Been married to a Filipina for 28years...

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Expats living in Philippines interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

No, slowly learning

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

Just lack of access to certain foods

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How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

As expected, craving certain foods, have found some, still looking for others

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Not really. We have only been here 3 weeks and ware doing a lot of traveling

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Just getting tired of fish and rice. Not enough vegetables in most foods

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Weather, people, low prices

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Jeepney exhaust, crowded streets in larger cities, lack of access to foods including salads.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Not yet

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Manage your expectations before you make the move like we did

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