Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Frugality of Filipinos in Guam

Hafa Adai!! (Welcome). I have been away for a while. I was in Guam for the last six days. Guam is a US territory. I was told that 45% of those who live in Gaum are Filipinos. The main stay are of course the Chamoros, a native of Guam. Surprisingly, they have Filipino sounding surnames like Reyes, Bautista, Javier, etc. The reason for this was the influence of the Spaniards, who colonized them earlier. As a matter of fact, Magellan landed first in Guam before landing in Cebu.
Guam is highly dependent of the Japanese economy. Most of the tourist come from Japan and Korea. Tourism is the number one industry of Guam. Of course there is the US Naval Base, also the main source of income for many of the Guamanian.

So what has this got to do with debt-free life?

Well, for one, I personally got over the temptation to spend over my budget. It was so tempting to buy things there, being a tourist-centered state. It was good that for the last three days of our stay, my uncle and auntie took us into their home. Thanks to the wonderful hospitality of the Valencias! We owe you one.

The main reason why we were in Guam was to look into the possibility of doing business there. With the planned transfer of the US Naval base from Okinawa, Japan to Guam, there will be an influx of construction activity to house the more than 8,000 navy personnel which is estimated to be transferred to Guam. This will happen anytime after 2014!

I was able to talk with Filipino immigrants, who gave me an overview of their lives in Guam. They told me that credit rating is very important in Guam, just like in the US mainland. You buy most of things you need using your credit card. The thing that distinguished these Filipinos there was their sense of frugality. They work with a vision to build their own home built by themselves! (Can you believe that?)  The houses have roofs made of concrete, everything was made of concrete! I was amazed to see them prosper. They save money to send their children to school in the mainland.

Frugality. A distinguishing mark of many Filipinos in Guam. Why not?

To your debt-free life,

P.S. Did you know that Guam can be toured in half a day! How true  to their expression: Hafa Adai!!

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