MeNoTalk's answer to this question gave me pause before thinking about voting for or against it. It's anecdotal, and so low on verifiability, but possibly of use to someone asking the question.

But as much as I'd like to say that answers should be well-sourced, being an expat is a life experience and thus likely to be impacted by many subjective issues. What guidelines can we infer from this?


3 Answers 3


That's first hand experience, and unless it's challenged with verifiable evidence, I'd be content to consider the author credible. If he's on the ground there, living and working, then his observations are of course valuable - and I don't know how we'd ask him to 'back it up' any more than he has.

I almost answered the same question because I know people that have worked there and heard the stories that they told. I was going to answer that inclusive of the anecdotal bit, but with more links to how the Philippine government preps people to go live and work there, but I didn't have time.

First hand accounts are good. First hand accounts with a little support from things that reinforce what you're saying are great. But I think we should give the benefit of the doubt in cases where people basically say "source: my two eyes, I live and work here."

I can tell you how crowded the buses in Manila tend to be, in great detail. Should I have to take a picture of it too? I don't want to put too much of a barrier in front of folks that have this sort of rare knowledge that might otherwise leave questions unanswered completely.

  • On the other hand that answer is somewhat dangerous, as from the other answer you'll know that doing that is considered illegal in that country.
    – SztupY Mod
    Mar 13, 2014 at 11:54
  • @SztupY Well, that's why we have voting. There are plenty of answers on Stack Overflow that are insanely dangerous if used, and thankfully they are voted down with specific comments as to why in most cases.
    – Tim Post
    Mar 13, 2014 at 13:33

From what I've seen so far, I'd roughly divide questions into 3 categories:

  • visa/legal/tax questions — IMO should always be sourced, preferably to primary source (i.e. official government page) and/or reputable source (eg. immigration law firm or tax advisory office).
  • services/goods questions (where do I get X?) — preferably concrete answer (like "you can buy it in store X"), if possible sourced to business' webpages.
  • personal experience based — possibly unsourced if writing out of own experience, optionally sourced to blogs etc. by people with similar experiences.

Personal experience answers are great, is some cases even much better than theoretical answers based on various sources.

For example I've asked that question: Avoiding pitfalls when transfering money between banks within EU (Germany -> Poland)

  • in theory, no fee should be taken (it can be found in official sources on bank sites)
  • in praxis, an extreme fee was taken (citing theory would be useless, since the facts obviously contradict the theory)

In that case I wouldn't trust any answer based on sources, and not on personal experience.

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