For most people, working remotely means working from home. And it's a luxury, being able to work from the comforts of your home. With luck, you can set your own hours, because you have an employer that doesn't check in on you every hour, or where you have to install software that takes screenshots of your computer screen every ten minutes 📷 (it's a thing).
But working from home isn't everything either. You wouldn't want to become a freelance developer to sit in your chair in front of your laptop all day. That's not very free either, is it? Instead, you become a freelance developer to have more time for your family, to become more independent, to spend time on your hobbies or... to travel the world while still earning money.
The X-Outposts cater to the people who want to explore the world while still earning an income. Every month, somewhere in the world, X-Team organizes a hackerhouse where X-Teamers come together to explore, get to know each other, and work hard. Last February, the X-Outpost took place in the Philippines.
We Shall Visit the Cities
More specifically, we stayed in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) district of Taguig, a city in the metropolitan area of Metro Manila. The Philippines is an enormous archipelagic country, with a population of over a hundred million people. Nearly thirteen million people live in the sixteen cities that the Metro Manila area is composed of.
Taguig is one of those sixteen cities. The BGC district is a high-end business and shopping district with plenty of expats, so it was quite comfortable. Everyone spoke English (which is the second official language, after Tagalog) and restaurants catered to regular expat needs. Also, they had traffic lights in the shape of a heart during Valentine's Day 💘.
BCG wasn't as busy as Manila itself, and that was definitely a good thing, because the capital of the Philippines is the most densely populated city in the world, with an approximate 108,000 people living per square mile. You particularly noticed that when you wanted to go somewhere in Manila.
To put it mildly, the traffic is quite bad. It often took us two hours each way to travel the five miles to the national museums or to the historic Intramuros district. Manila felt more raw, if you will, a city of people living their lives as best they could closely packed together.
As you can probably surmise from the name, Intramuros is a walled area in Manila. It was once the seat of government and political power when the Philippines was part of the Spanish Empire. The Spanish Empire is also the reason why the Philippines is apparently the only Christian nation in Asia. The San Agustin Church inside Intramuros is the oldest church in the country, having been completed in 1607.
We Shall Rest on the Beaches
The Philippines isn't so much a country you travel to for its cities. You travel to the Philippines for its beaches. After all, if your country is composed of over 7,000 islands, you're bound to have a lot of beach. The Philippines has a reputation of having the best beaches in the world, and that's not exaggerated. Many X-Teamers are incredibly well-traveled and nearly everyone agreed the Philippines had some of the best beaches they'd ever been to.
We traveled to Palawan, one of the bigger Filipino islands, to spend a few days working from its beautiful beaches. It was great. The ocean was warm and clean, people were friendly, and the food was delicious. When the wifi works, it's the remote dream.
We didn't spend nearly enough time exploring the islands of the Philippines, and many of us actually agreed it's worth going back to the Philippines to explore the country a bit more.
We Shall Work As Hard We Can
Of course, it's not because we're lying on an idyllic beach that we can go without working. Work still needs to be done, and so we scheduled our days in such a way that we could find the right balance between exploring and working on our projects.
Considering a few of our clients were in the US, it wasn't always easy with the difference in timezone, but if having a meeting at midnight is the price for traveling the world and seeing all these beautiful places, we all agreed that's a price worth paying.
Additionally, most of our projects have a few X-Teamers working on them, all spread around the world, so there's usually always someone online, which means that our client has 24/7 access to us.
Another month, another country. Where shall we go to in March? Keep an eye out on our social media channels for hints on where the next X-Outpost is headed. In the meantime, let us know the answer to this question 👇.