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Can anyone inform me as to what living in Iloilo is like for an ex-pat?

How does it compare to places like Cebu? Dumaguete?

Looking for info on the people, attitudes towards foreigners, costs, differences from other cities, the FIlipinas there, etc

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am surprised that no one has replied yet.

 

I can't answer your questions as I only know one thing about Iloilo, but it might be useful information nonetheless.  Iloilo's cuisine is supposed to be the best in the Visayas - the equivalent of Pampanga in Luzon.

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I live in Oton, about 17k from Iloilo.  I enjoy it but I'm not sure what your interests are...

 

The people here are very friendly and since there are virtually no bar girls around here a foreigner and a Filipina are viewed differently than say Cebu or Angeles.  I get way less dirty looks when out with my girlfriend.

 

I pay p3,000 a month for a 1 bedroom nipa.  We have running water and electrical but no aircon. We are about 1k from the main road (Iloilo-Antique highway), and about 1.5 k from the beach.  I love it but some would say it is a bit primitive.  We do have internet and satellite so all is good.  I even have a stand up shower and real flushing toilet!  :)  We eat out a fair amount but mostly Filipino joints like Mang Inasal (p300 for 3 people), or Jollibee's.  Iloilo has some amazing chicken/rice congee called arroz caldo.  And at p18 a bowl you can eat it everyday!

 

Living in the city I am sure there would be more activities, but I don't know what the costs are for apartments.  We do get a lot of flyers at the mall for some p5,000 - p10,000 apartments.  I have never been to see them so I can't comment on the quality or neighborhoods. There is a group of expats that meet at Langford's, near SM City, twice a month (1st and 3rd Wednesday at 1500). 

 

Everyone here is very friendly and I'm sure if you are looking for a girlfriend you could find one easily enough.  Cousins, friends, even the saleslady at the satellite shop asked if I knew any foreigners about to retire ha ha 

 

Cebu seemed more touristy and I felt like there were more scammers after me.  They are easy to avoid - but they seemed to be around a lot. But they are in all touristy towns around the world.   I enjoyed Cebu and if I did not have this girlfriend I would have moved to Cebu.  I've heard Iloilo is a little cheaper than Cebu but I am not sure since I only vacationed there.

 

I have never been to Dumaguete so I can't compare them.

 

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  • 2 years later...

Can anyone inform me as to what living in Iloilo is like for an ex-pat?

How does it compare to places like Cebu? Dumaguete?

Looking for info on the people, attitudes towards foreigners, costs, differences from other cities, the FIlipinas there, etc

 

Just wondering if you ended up in Iloilo, as I am planning to move to retire there in 12 months.  If you did do so, how have you found it?

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   I Like Ilo. Its listed pop. is 400,000+, which is 4x the size of Duma, but its still abit smaller than nearby (via Supercat ferry) Bacolod (c. 500,000+). I personally don't like big cities like MNL and Cebu city because of the social dynamics, and IloIlo seems unlike high density cities to me because its fairly spread out. Maybe thats because when I pass through, I get let off at the bus Superterminal in Jolo and have to take a jeepneys or a taxi pretty far to the next bus terminal in Molo that has buses that go down the coast toward Oton...... and the SW border w/ Antique province. Outside of the old city core, things seem well spaced with lots of subdivisions everywhere. Nice big SM mall there and lots of expats on the northern end of the island go down there on shopping forays for the better selections of foodstuffs and beers.

   Lots of Vid-blogs on Youtube with some of the video channel ex-pats living there and putting out content regularly.

   Guimaras Island (famous for their sweet mangos) is nearby. Very nice island w/monastary (didn't see), and some resorts (went to Valley Verde years ago... it was... unique compared to most of the beach resorts I've been to. PM me if you ever get there for details if you wish. 

   From Ilo you can bus to Kalibo (international airport and site of Ati-Atihan festival), or go to Boracay. Can reach Duma via a really nice bus ride through the mountain ridge from Bacolod.  

  The point is... its really centrally located with good acces to the Western Visayas. 

   'Nuff said. 

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I did not realize Bacolod had more population than Iloilo.  Iloilo feels like a bigger city to me... but I guess they are about the same.  I have enjoyed my trips to Bacalod. The Mambukal mountain resort is great!

 

Our airport, in Iloilo, is now an "international" airport... it just does not offer many flights yet.  But the Kalibo airport does have flights to South Korea. :)

 

Since my original reply, in 2013, I moved from Oton into the city. I lived in Mandurriao for 1 year, in a 2 bedroom apartment (walking distance to SM City). Rent was p6,500.  Decent sized rooms for a Filipino apartment.  Now I am back in Oton, in a one room house we built. No rent, but louder since we are out of the city (city people have jobs and sleep at night!)

 

My married friends seem to like it well enough, but the single guys tend to be  a bit bored.

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