PH is world’s 2nd best to make friends – survey

Expats rate the Philippines as the second best place in the world to make friends and have a social life

MANILA, Philippines – As if tipping a hat to the country’s new tourism campaign, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” the Filipinos’ hospitality and ability to have fun stood out in the recently-released 2011 Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Inc’s (HSBC) Expat Explorer Survey.

The Philippines came out as the best place for foreigners living away from their home countries to work and play. It was voted the Number 1 country in the world in terms of feeling welcome at work; second in the world in terms of having a social life, establishing a work/life balance, and making friends; and fourth in the world in terms of entertainment.

More than 3,000 expats living in 100 countries around the world took part in the survey and they voted the Philippines as fourth in the world in terms of “overall experience.” This takes into account ease for expats to settle in, integrate with local life and culture, and quality of life once they have assimilated.

Of the 100 countries included in the survey only Thailand, Canada, and South Africa placed better in terms of overall experience. But none of these countries did as well in terms of having fun. The country’s 2011 placement is a large improvement from our 15th place ranking in 2010.

SUB-CATEGORIES WHERE WE RANKED HIGHEST (Out of 31 Countries*)
*Countries with fewer than 30 respondents were not included in the final list.

1st Feeling welcome at work
2nd Social life
2nd Work/life balance
2nd Making friends
3rd Finding accommodations
4th Entertainment
4th Making local friends
4th Local work culture
7th Integrating with community
8th Health diet
8th Quality of accommodation
9th Working environment
9th Fitting in the new culture
9th Organizing finances

SUB-CATEGORIES WHERE WE RANKED LOWEST (Out of 31 Countries*)
*Countries with fewer than 30 respondents were not included in the final list.

21st Setting up utilities
22nd Local transport
22nd Sports
26th Organizing health care
26th Local culture
27th Getting used to local food
30th Local shops and markets

Local expat agrees

Sam Yu, a Chinese working for a construction company in the Philippines agrees, “People here have the tendency to care about others even for strangers and foreigners. They are willing to help and are very hospitable.” Yu who has worked in the Philippines for the last five years and has assimilated quite nicely, also says going out is more fun in the Philippines, “It is very fun going out with the locals, much more fun compared with going out with people in my own country.”

Economics

But work and play aren’t everything. And the news isn’t as good. In terms of Expat Economics, the country dropped to 18th in the world in 2011, down 10 points from our 8th place finish in 2010.

While the country was the best place in the world to find domestic help, it was, according to those surveyed, one of the worst places to access good healthcare.

SUB-CATEGORIES WHERE WE RANKED HIGHEST (Out of 31 Countries*)
*Countries with fewer than 30 respondents were not included in the final list.

1st Domestic helper/staff
2nd More than one property
3rd Nice/bigger property
3rd Swimming pool

SUB-CATEGORIES WHERE WE RANKED LOWEST (Out of 31 Countries*)
*Countries with fewer than 30 respondents were not included in the final list.

19th  Disposable income
29th  Healthcare

Put together in terms of economics and experience, the Philippines ranked 8th in the world, but lagged behind other Southeast Asian neighbors Thailand (1st), Singapore (3rd), and Malaysia (7th). Switzerland, where it’s also more fun, ranked fifth.

Malacañang said it was elated about portions of the HSBC survey results which reflected positively on the country. – Rappler.com