VIDEO: What NOT to do as a (mainly male!) Expat in the Philippines

I just love this guy! Click for the video.





A short time ago 2 bombs exploded in the Muslim-majority province of Sulu in the far south of the Philippines.

27 confirmed dead as of this post with another 77 injured.

The first bomb exploded in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the capital Jolo during Mass. The second blast hit the parking lot a short time later while Government and emergency services were responding.

No one has formally claimed responsibility yet.

Condolence Wreaths

I spoke with my friends at Little Flower Hut recently about the etiquette associated with expressing condolences when a loved one passes away and they offered their thoughts to me –

Flowers can be one of the best ways for you to express your emotions. They symbolize love, respect, sympathy, and condolence if someone you know or dear to your heart has passed away. This is the reason why flowers are common at funeral’s – they serve as a visible tribute to the deceased. If you do intend to send a condolence wreath to a relative or a friend, then it’s important you choose the right flowers and make sure that it is presented the best way possible to show the intended respect.

Reasons for Sending a Condolence Wreath

It is important for you to know the value of sending a condolence wreath for someone you know who has passed away. It can be a way for you to show how much you treasure the relationship that you have had together and as a final opportunity to show respect. With so many variations that you can choose from, you really have to know which one to have for the wreath to most fully show your support and sympathy for the deceased and their loved ones. Listed below are some of the reasons why it is necessary that you send flowers at a funeral.

  • Sentiment – The idea of sending flowers at a funeral is a simple action to show the value of sentiments. This can be a group of feelings and ideas that you have experienced.
  • Belief – Knowing that people before have already been sending funeral flowers, it is expected that you will do the same.
  • Freedom of Expression – The simplest way for you to express your emotions when someone dies is to send a condolence wreath. Besides, flowers are known to easily touch the heart.
  • Atmosphere – The best way to create a peaceful and warmth ambiance at a funeral service is by using flowers.
  • Spiritual Significance – Flowers don’t only signify love and sympathy but they also represent immortality and infinity.

People obviously feel depressed and down if someone they love died. So if you want to show sympathy and respect, then you can think of sending a condolence wreath. Flowers definitely have a symbolic meaning especially in situations where people feel extreme emotions. They are not only a symbol for the living but they also play an important role to the departed. You don’t have to travel from one flower shop to another when searching for a wreath instead you can go online and look for different condolence wreath from different florists where you can have lots of flowers and arrangements to choose from.

russellwalker little flower hut 1


I’m Retiring in Asia!

‘Doom loop’ threatens to send Aussie dollar plummeting.

I’ve been saying for years that Australia’s supposedly “miracle” economy has been masked by domestic real estate churn and it looks as things might be finally coming to a head.

Australia currently has one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world with Sydney having the 2nd least affordable housing market in the world, after Hong Kong.

russell walker blog housing affordability 1

In recent years, domestic house prices have been driven through the roof by foreign buyers, particularly Chinese, who have had virtually no local restrictions or quid pro quo placed on them (unlike other markets such as Norway which require foreign buyers to invest in low-cost social housing programs). Over the last couple of years though there have been a number of capital restrictions which been put into place by both the Chinese and Australian Governments which has seen new investment in the Australian market plummet. This has left the Australian property sector relying relying on a domestic market which can no longer afford it. Australia’s household debt to income ratio has hit nearly 200 per cent, one of the highest in the world.

russell walker blog foreign real estate investment

So what does this mean for the Land of Oz? Well, after having the worst performing developed nation currency in the world in 2018 with things projected to grow worse over the coming years, it might be time for Aussies (including me) to start looking off-shore when making their retirement plans.

Local Festivals in the Philippines for Jan. 20th – 26th 2019

Jan. 14 to 20: Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival

Festivities include a float parade, street dancing featuring indigenous music and participants in ethnic clothing, penitential procession, Mass and the transfer of Sto. Niño de Kalibo.

Jan. 20: Sinulog Grand Parade

Closing activity of the Sinulog Festival, which pays homage to Santo Niño.

The festival’s theme this year is “One Beat, One Dance for the World.”

The day starts with a Mass at Cebu City Sports Complex, followed by the grand parade, wherein participants strut in colorful costumes and props in the streets of Cebu City.

Jan. 25 to 27: Dinagyang Festival

The festival, set every fourth week of January at Iloilo City in Iloilo province, is also among the many events held in Western Visayas to profess devotion to the Santo Niño.

The festival started as Ati-Atihan festival, but organizers in 1977 changed its name to “dinagyang,” from the Hiligaynon word “dagyang,” or merrymaking.

This year’s festival theme is “Connecting Communities through Culture and Faith.”

Among the activities lined up are fluvial and foot procession and a tribes competition.

With thanks to Kathleen de Villa, Inquirer Research



I thought it might be worthwhile revisiting this – it strikes me as somewhat amazing the number of businesses I come across that are trying, or want, to do business in Mainland China who aren’t utilizing WeChat.

WeChat is to China what Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are to the West and is absolutely essential if you’re trying to operate in that market.  It is a highly multi-functional platform that, while it may appear to be just a messaging application, is actually a fully integrated eCommerce platform to host your content, directly market, and handle payment, deliveries and just about every other type of support. It’s not just another eBay – WeChat is geared specifically for the particular Chinese cultural and economic environment and, again, is a ‘must have’ if you expect to have any sort of commercial presence there.

Check out WeChat for Westerners: The Ultimate Guide to Accessing Chinese Markets


Content Outsourcing

I just came across a terrific little eBook on Amazon for anyone (like me!) who might run a blog or anything else. Content Outsourcing: How Clients Can Get the Most Out of Freelance Hiring Services – it’s a quick and useful read and covers:

• The benefits of Freelancers and where to find the best ones
• How to manage Freelancers
• A comparison of the major Freelance platforms and choosing the one that’s right for you