The Philippines has Changed and I’m Leaving

Sadly, the cost of living isn’t as low as it used to be

Jason Weiland
4 min readSep 13, 2022


Photo by Gino on Unsplash

I want to start off by saying that I love the Philippines. I met my wife, two of my kids were born here, and this place saved me when I couldn’t stomach another year in America. When my mental health was so bad that I no longer wanted to be a burden to my family in the U.S., I left and was healed by the environment and people here in the Philippines.

You would rarely ever see me say a bad word about the islands. I loved the weather, cost of living, beaches, food — you name it, I told everyone how great it was. I even was involved in a tour business for a time, because I wanted to show people my home.

But, after the pandemic, things changed for the worse. It wasn’t just the pandemic, but that was the start of it for me.

My wife has been bugging me for a long time to move back to America but I always talked it down so she would stop telling me how great it was and we could stay here. I know, it wasn’t very nice of me, but I loved it here in the Philippines. I had not counted on just how much my wife wanted to live somewhere except for here.

I stayed stubborn until this year when I had my heart attack, and our finances were suddenly shit because of all the money we had to pay the hospital. When we didn’t have any more money for our needs, I started realizing just how much the cost of things had gone up. Food, medicine, gas, and electricity have increased dramatically along with the cost of healthcare.

If I have any more heart problems, I will die because I can no longer afford to get sick.

I’m on disability, and the money I made used to go far in this economy. We were comfortable. I even have a car to drive my kids around. I was able to afford air conditioning, something most families here cannot. I’m not bragging, I am just setting the stage to show just how happy I was that I was here.

I could afford things I could not in America. But all that has changed.

We hardly drive because the gas is so expensive — somewhere over $6 a gallon. We spend over $1000 a month on food and medicine. We rarely go out to eat because it's so expensive. My medicine for my heart and mental illness is hundreds of dollars every month, which may not seem like a lot, but it is when you have no insurance and you pay it all out of pocket.

As much as I love the Philippines, I cannot afford to live here anymore.

Why the USA is a Better Deal Right Now

In a year or so, the whole family will be moving to the States. I will be there in March to get everything ready. Many people think I am crazy for going back, but I have my reasons.

The main reason is Medicare. In case I have any more trouble with my heart, it will be much better to be there and take advantage of the program. I can’t do that in the Philippines. And, in the off chance that I build my business to a level I can live off it and don’t need Social Security anymore, I will at least have a better chance to buy health care because of Obamacare.

Yes, I know all the things wrong with America. While I’ve been gone, I haven’t been idle. I’ve been voting, and being an activist for movements I think are important. I still pay taxes on the little Medium money I make and am still trying to get my US business going.

I didn’t leave and forget my home, and I am not going back to be a mooch off the system as many have said. America has always been my home and I knew I would eventually go back, and since I am going back, I plan to make a difference.

But, as of right now, except for rent and a few other things, it is cheaper for me to live in the States, and that is what my family and I plan to do. Even if there is civil war, I plan to tough it out just like everyone else.

So, while I’ve loved the Philippines, it is time for my family and me to go. Maybe I would be better off in Canada or New Zealand, but the U.S. is my home for better or worse and I plan to live there no matter what.

And while Medium is full of articles telling you how to get out, I’ve been there, and you might just find that where you are in the best possible place.

I guess I will be writing different articles now.



Jason Weiland

Personal essays and articles from a guy who never tires of writing about his life -