Europe-PH News

The View From The 19th Floor: Human Touch

June 13, 2012

Marc Daubenbuechel

Europe-PH News

The biggest advantage of the Philippines as a tourism, retirement and health-care destination is its people.

The Filipinos are the biggest selling point of the country -- not the beaches, hotels and resorts, various shopping opportunities, unique cuisines, or the relatively good private health-care system.

Filipinos are well known for their hospitality, bright smiles and friendly nature.  They provide a warm welcome to the visitors.

They also have the best grasp of the English language among all the countries in the region, making it easier for foreigners to communicate when they are in the country.

Filipinos also provide a "human touch" in attending to their elderly. It is the exact opposite of what is currently happening in the western world where senior citizens are living in assisted-living facilities.

The View From The 19th Floor: Marc DaubenbuechelIt is the "human touch" which makes up for what the Philippines is lacking in terms of geriatric care expertise and knowledge that can be found in developed countries.

Many seniors in Europe feel isolated with their children predictably only visiting them only during Christmas and their birthdays.

Foreign retirees living in the Philippines certainly do not feel any loneliness because of the tight relationships a community in any part of the country forms.

This is also the reason why more assisted living facilities and nursing homes are being established in the country as compared to 2002.

There are now facilities in Cebu, Iloilo, Laguna, Manila, Subic and Tagaytay with more being built in key cities across the country.

These facilities have two distinct advantages over those that can be found in developed countries -- the price performance ratio and the more than competent capabilities of the Filipino caregivers.

Assisted-living facilities and nursing homes in the Philippines are more similar to a family home. The facilities here are also smaller, usually only having four to 10 rooms -- a concept that is now also being imitated in developed countries.

Caregivers and nurses from the Philippines are also very much in-demand in other countries with 70 percent of nursing graduates now working abroad.

Here in the Philippines, caregivers are not only doing their jobs, they are also building relationships with their patients.

Filipinos definitely have the ability to make even an unfamiliar place feel like home in less than a day, enabling foreign retirees to adapt very fast to their new surroundings.

When marketing the Philippines as a retirement and health-care destination, it mostly involves real estate, beaches, accommodations, health care and lifestyle. But let us not forget to highlight the most important component this country has to offer -- its people.

We would like to invite you to the 2nd Philippine Retirement & Healthcare Summit on June 26 at the Dusit Thani Manila.  During the summit, you will learn more about on how you can contribute to make the Philippines a prime retirement destination.

Marc Daubenbuechel is the executive director of the Retirement & Healthcare Coalition. He is also a project manager at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. For your comments, e-mail


Source: Business Mirror; Opinion; 13 June 2012

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