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Philippines/Re: need masipag carpenters


Hi Mr. Collings. My name is Charles. I'm currently in the process of trying to construct a home here in the Philippines. I have found it difficult to find persons to do the construction that are masipag ( hardworking ) or matapat ( honest ). Many have seemed to just want to do whatever they feel to do. Based on many personal things and situations here, we have decided to just build a smaller house with a roof made of nipa. Currently we are trying to find carpenters and an electrician that can help us with our project without trying to take us to the bank. My experience has been that most people here have an unrealistic view of what it is to be a foreigner, they see money where there is none. I do realize the difficulties here, but i currently am having trouble finding the right balance. Can you tell me if you have experienced this and how i should go about handling such things, and where i might find the right people? my family and i are currently staying in Aklan.

Charles, We've been building here for 30 years and still find the same problems as you've mentioned. Our present crew is from 4 or 5 different places NOT from where we are building on Boracay Island. So you best go to the nearest town away from where you are building and look for on going building projects nearly completed and get the cell #s of each project's foreman. Electricians are always hard to find so best visit 2 or 3 hardware stores or building materials suppliers and ask them for referrals of electrician and plumber.  Where in Aklan? Good Luck, Bill


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Bill and Lorna Collings


Feel FREE to ask us about traveling, living, relocating, retiring and investing in the Philippines. Guests from 93 countries, the latest being a female PHD from Uganda, make our place in Manila an incredible meeting place for world travelers who exchange travel stories. We understand both the joys and the hardships of living and traveling in the Philippines.


I arrived in the Philippines in January 1980 to travel for 2 months; I stayed 4 months before reluctantly leaving. I met my Filipina wife, Lorna. an incredible stellar, "one in a million" individual in 1983 in Seoul and we moved to the Philippines in 1986 and opened our 3BR house to world travelers on a budget. After welcoming thousands of guests from 93 nations our place has grown to 38 bedrooms in 5 townhouse units, 4 of which are attached but will never lose its "Home away from Home" atmosphere. Almost everyday at The Townhouse Hotel there's a party-like social scene with vibrant, almost magical energetic conversations between our guests who have the pleasure to meet each other and share their life's many experiences.Often three groups with conversations in different languages are going on at the same time. So we've been exposed to every kind of person from all over the world and shared their experiences. Since arriving back in the Philippines Nov 2011 from traveling for 8 months my wife and I have been busy buying land, building houses and expanding our Boracay beach front resort, Casa Camilla for 16 months. Hopefully we'll be finished by the end of 2013 with a total of 50 apartments, 44 units for yearly stays and the six units in our house to be saved for short term stays.

Publications,, who asked me to apply with

some college 2-1/2 years - no degree - I've been traveling since I was 18, almost 30 years.

Awards and Honors
Luckily, my wife and I have been semi-retired since we were 30 years old, almost 30 years.

Past/Present Clients
3000 to 4000 world travelers and guests on a budget pass through our guest house style Townhouse Hotel / Hostel each year since 1986 so we do get a lot of feedback and share a lot of experiences with people which we can then pass on to help others with their questions and problems

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