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Settling in paradise : Filipinos pursuing prosperity in Mauritius


Besides its beautiful beaches and lush flora and fauna, Philippines is also known for its cultural diversity, its mass of tourists but also its expertise in tackling climate change issues. However, according to recent surveys, about 11% of the people of the Philippines migrate to foreign countries in order to make a good living and improve their state of life at home. Filipino expats in Mauritius share with us why they decided to make the big move to Mauritius and how life is treating them on our island.

Johann Dy:

“Mauritius is an ideal place to settle” 

Johann has been living in Mauritius for more than three years. The Filipino expat lives with his wife Alba, who moved to the island in June 2022. “Everyone regardless of nationality always wants to have a better life. Filipinos, aside from being known for their work ethic globally also benefit from being English speakers. The country also has a long history of its nationals traveling across the oceans through the famous Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade since the Spanish colonial times in the 1500’s,” he explains.

According to Johann, Mauritius is the perfect place to start over. “Mauritius is an ideal place to settle due to its nice climate, good safety and security situation, as well as beautiful nature,” he utters. He shares that Filipino culture is similar to Mauritian culture in the sense that family is very important in both cultures. “Me and my wife have adapted well to the culture and always try to explore new things in the country.”

He underlines that he and his wife have not experienced any culture shock when they settled. “We have adapted well, and don’t really consider any major culture shocks, but if I have to choose one, it has to be when people park in the middle of the road to chat with their friends,” he utters.

Working in the banking sector in Mauritius, the expat states that life in Mauritius provides a good work-life balance. “I have been always been in banking and investment for the last 15 years across various countries. Life in Mauritius revolves around family, friends and work, it has been a land opportunity because it serves as a gateway for me and my wife to explore a part of the world, we are not familiar with,” he declares.

Johann is happy to have Filipino friends in the island. “Like in most other countries, the Philippine diaspora in Mauritius meets during religious gatherings with special events during Independence Day in June and Christmas in December.” 

He trusts that both Mauritians and Filipinos can certainly learn from each other. “There’s always something to learn, Filipinos can learn more from Mauritians on how one can take better care of the environment and Mauritians can learn from the Filipinos on how to be more adaptable,” he asserts.

Johann advises those looking to settle in Mauritius to make friends. “It’s important to make friends and find a community where you will feel at home. Enjoy your journey and welcome to the island.”

Marie Grace Paulen: 

“Mauritius has been a land of opportunity not only for me but for my family”

In the island since 2017, Marie Grace shares that she decided to make Mauritius her home after marrying her Mauritian husband. “I live in Mauritius with my Mauritian husband and our daughter. I met my husband in the Midle East and eventually we have decided to settle here. Indeed, one of the main the reasons we chose to settled in Mauritius was because my husband is a Mauritian and he got a job opportunity here. The second reason was for our daughter’s education. We all know that Mauritius is one of the best when it comes to an education system in Africa,” she states. 

According to the expat, the reason why Filipinos go abroad to work is for better career opportunities, higher salary and other benefits. “Of course, if you have better salary back home you will be able to build your dream home, invest into a business or save for your retirement,” she asserts. 

Speaking about adaptation, Marie Grace confides that she did not face any hardships. “Honestly, I didn’t get so much hard time to adapt to the Mauritian llifestyle. Locals are hospitable and friendly. Mauritius is also a land of mixed ethnicity and this makes it easy for expats to adapt,” she utters. The only downside for her was the fact that Mauritius was less busy compared to Philippines. “Honestly, at first I got a hard time when I first landed here. Growing up I used to live in a busy environment. Where I used to stay in Philippines you will see people 24/7. Most of the shops close very late, specially during the weekends and the holidays. However, it is the opposite here. Every Sundays most of the shops closed early and even holidays most places are closed.  The second thing was the food. You know each places have different ways of cooking so it us quite normal when you moved from one place to another somehow food is one of the things you could learn to adjust. But I’m happy to say that now Mauritian food is one of my favourite food in the world,” she happily says.

The full-time mom is of the opinion that Mauritius offers opportunities to all. “Mauritius has been a land of opportunity not only for me but for my family.  My husband got a better opportunity in his motherland and my daughter got the opportunity to have a best education system here,” declares the expat. 

Marie Grace even gets the chance to meet with other Filipino expats who live in Mauritius. “I do meet Filipinos here in the island. The majority of Filipinos are Catholic, so we have our mass that gathers Filipinos together. We also go for Mountain climbing/trekking and other activities to bond with our countrymen and explore the island together.” 

The Philippine woman underlines that both nationals, namely Filipino and Mauritians, could learn a lot from each other. “The qualities which Mauritians as well as other nationalities could learn from Filipino people is the hard work. We commit ourselves in everything we do and whatever hardship we may face we always stand and work hard until we achieve our dreams. What Filipinos could learn from Mauritians is their qualities of sharing their island wholeheartedly with others.”

Marie Grace advises those looking forward to settle in Mauritius to seize the opportunity. “If you have the opportunity, whether it is work, business, studies or for tourist, go for it. Don’t let that opportunity go away. Mauritius is one of the best places on earth. There’s a lot that this beautiful island can offer to everyone.”



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