Living in the Philippines made me appreciate a lot of things I would nomally take for granted. For example, everything was very, very inexpensive compared to the same items in the States. CDs and tapes are about half the price of what they sell them for here. I attended ISM (International School Manila), which was a pretty nice school to attend because it's big, had several after spool clubs and sports, and excellent courses you could take.
In Manila, there were several things you could do: go to the many millions of malls, movies, concerts, night clubs--in other words, the same things you can do here. However, there also is the tourist aspect of the Philippines, which includes the several beaches, World War II ruins, and old left-over houses and churches from when the Spanish occupied the Philippines. On the weekends, I loved going to seafront, which is kind of a complex for the U.S. Embassy. It had a pool, sports facilities, restaurant, commissary, and a townhouse.
The Philippines also is an excellent location if you like to vacation to other neighboring countries. For example, I visited China, Malaysia, and Australia, which normally would be way too far away and expensive.
As wonderful as the Philippines may seem, like many other countries it had its fair share of problems. The Philippines is grossly overpopulated, which causes for several problems with the environment and issues with poverty. The air is very polluted, which is a big health concern, especially for people with frail lungs or who are susceptible to breathing problems like asthma. The traffic in the Philippines makes the traffic in L.A. seem like cake. There also were big issues that were yet to be addressed, such as dealing with the homeless, unemployed, and the high crime rate.
I've lived in overpopulated countries pretty much all my life, because population control is what my mom specializes in. Though the Philippines is not my favorite post, I definitely think living there for a couple of years was a worthwhile experience. Even while there are several negative sides to the country, there certainly are its positive aspects. So go ahead and visit sometime and stock up on all the cheap CDs while you can.