Ex Pats In Or Around Davao

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Posted

Hi Guys,

 

Looks like a potential place that I may end up (if I move to Phil) would be the Davao area.  My online gf said that would be one of her choices.  I am sure there are others, just don't know them yet.

 

Anybody familiar with the area or live in the area?  I don't know how large Davao is and don't know if she meant Davao City or where.

 

 I would like to locate within walking distance to beach where there are fewer roosters crowing, less noise and less pollution.  I will be somewhat limited (I think) on finances.  Approximately $2400 USD per month BEFORE contribution to her parents.  That amount represents my social security and rental income I would get from my condo rental.

 

Thanks for all suggestions and comments.

 

Bob

:cheersty:

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Posted

OOOps another lamb to the slaughter.  I don't suppose by some off chance that she lives in Davao????  Spend some time reading many articles on this site.  If you have not met this person one on one yet, why would you be lining up to start paying her family>

Indeed, why consider it in the first place?

I caution you to hasten very slowly, stop smell the roses and do some assessment of the woman before jumping into the deep end.

Bob Listen OK sense is going to come out here   & talking of "BOB" our other Bob is that way( Davao) maybe he can tell you more. :thumbsup:

 

Jack :)  

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Posted

OOOps another lamb to the slaughter.  I don't suppose by some off chance that she lives in Davao????  Spend some time reading many articles on this site.  If you have not met this person one on one yet, why would you be lining up to start paying her family>

Indeed, why consider it in the first place?

I caution you to hasten very slowly, stop smell the roses and do some assessment of the woman before jumping into the deep end.

Hi Mogo51, Have not met her in person yet.  Would meet her in Jan.  I just assume that the high percentage of expats end up paying her family an amount per month.  She has 5 brothers and 4 sisters! I tend to fall hard and fast, but your suggestion to slow down and assess is wise advice.  I will try my best to do so.  Thank you for your advice.

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Posted

All of what mogo51 said. Good advice. Davao is a great place to live when compared to many other areas of the country. Certainly cheaper than Cebu or Manila and a lot safer too - AS LONG as you stay in the Davao City area. Any other areas outside of the city may or may not be as safe. That being said, though, a lot will depend on you.

 

$2400 a month is plenty to live a decent life in Davao - depending on how much you need to kick up to your woman's family. Personally, i would not give more than 5-10k a month to them (5k probably more than okay.) Dont get roped into providing all the support for her family. It's okay to help some. But, remember if you start reducing the amount later, things could go downhill fast. Better to start with something reasonable. If she has siblings, make sure they are responsible for helping some as well. It's way too easy to become the sole source for everything if you dont.

 

Smog and pollution not too bad in Davao, as there isnt a whole lot of manufacturing or industry here (mainly agriculture, livestock and fishing.) There are a few factories, but not so many.

 

Places near the beach here are actually cheaper than in areas closer to downtown. However, most are not as nice or modern (when compared to western standards.) Don't know how much your budget is, but would recommend you try to keep it below a maximum of 20 to 25% of your monthly income. $2400 here is not a fortune if you want some western amenities, but you should be able to live comfortably.

 

Lots of smaller houses in the Gulfview area for less than 15k a month (close to the beach.) Two bedrooms and one bath mostly. You can even find older homes for between 6k to 10k a month there. Not mansions, but okay. Larger houses will run you 25 to 30k a month and up.

 

Not SO many areas really close to the beach in Davao City itself. But areas like Matina, Matina Aplaya, Bangkal, Puan, Toril, and Sasa all have some beach areas and are not too overly expensive. Lanang also has a lot of beach area, but it is considerably more expensive than the other areas I mentioned.

 

When searching for a house, don't approach the landlord yourself. Let her or someone else do the negotiating. You can look online for houses or apartments, but keep in mind that a lot of the ads are posted by realtors. There is a 10 to 20% premium usually built into the rental price that you might be able to save if you are able to find the landlord and deal directly. It's pretty easy to find out who the owner is (the realtor wont tell you of course.) Just go to a couple of the small sari-sari stores or fruit/vegetable stands that will inevitably be near the property and ask. They will be able to tell you who owns the house and where they live.

 

Life in Davao is a lot slower than in Cebu or Manila. Not a lot in the way of night life, as the mayor forces bars to close early and there is an alcohol ban between 1AM and 8AM. No smoking in public. Strict enforcement of traffic laws and speed limits (most of the time.)

 

People in Davao are pretty decent (most of the time and when compared to Cebu and Manila folk.) Of course, there are some bad apples here, but for the most part most people are easy to get along with (as long as you are willing to try also.)

 

A good rule of thumb is that the closer to downtown you are, they safer you are. Still, even the outlying areas of the city are pretty safe (the land area of Davao City is huge and reported to be one of the largest in the world.) If you're a drinker, though, try to do it in moderation whenever out and about. Just like other places in the Philippines, most violence and murder here is a result of drinking sessions gone bad (save for the occasional public execution of a drug dealer or other known criminal.)

 

There are gated communities here with guards, but they're generally a lot more expensive and the guards are not much use anyway. 99.9999% of them will be asleep all night anyway (unless someone wakes them to get in or out.) Many areas here have "rovers" that ride around on bicycles or walk the neighborhood and keep an eye out for things, and they're usually much more effective than guard agency personnel.

 

If your SO is not referring to Davao City, then you may want to do a lot more research on the area. Davao could mean Davao City, Davao Del Sur, Davao Oriental, or Davao Del Norte. Del Sur is the area just around Davao City (Davao City doesn't legally belong to any province.) Davao Oriental has Lupon and Mati (great beach areas, but lots of NPA rebels.) Davao Del Norte is primarily Panabo City and Tagum City. Del Norte is not bad and Tagum is about as safe as Davao in most regards.

 

You'll find the Davao area much cleaner than other areas in the country as well. People here seem to take a lot more pride in the upkeep of their areas and it shows. Of course, you will see the occasional garbage heap, but it's the exception and not the rule.

 

Overall, the Davao area is a great place to live and raise a family. Of course, there are problems just like there are in any place you may choose. Still, the insanity and rampant corruption is not nearly as bad here as it is in other parts of the country. I mean taxi drivers will even give you back your change and 99.999 % of them would never dream of charging more than the meter. Try to find that in Cebu or Manila. hahaha.

 

In the end, you could do a lot worse than Davao. Still, you need to keep your head and develop some "situational awareness." Stay friendly and you can do well here. Become an "a**h*le" or "tyrant" and you might wind up in a box. Not being accusatory, of course, just saying. Hope this info helps. Good luck to you.

Hey JessDaddy, Thanks so much for such an in depth post! Wow!  Great information.  Thanks again!

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Posted

Thanks so much for your comments everyone.  I am soaking up all of your advice and trying to dot all of my i's and cross all of my t's before making a decision that I will regret.

BobP

:cheersty:

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Posted

My advice to you is to try and convince the Gf to move away from the family not too far just far enough away so the pair of you can enjoy life together without the knowing the family are always there.

once you start paying the family money ( is that for rent by the way ? ) the money needed will increase as time goes on !

my own situation is this I came here with my wife in 2011 we moved into the wifes old home at the back of the family compound.

which we later knocked down and rebuilt a 2 story house. which cost 1.4 million pesos 

we receive between us approx 70000 pesos a month in pensions.

we pay the water and phone bills and the cable tv for all 3 homes ( My choice ! )

we bought the late mothers food also and we buy the sisters food as well and she also buys food for us !.

it is a large family but the wifes brothers all are married and have good jobs.

My wife never gives relatives money !! and we have many relatives near us , Aunts-cousins-etc and distant relatives who travel for miles

to visit us but the wife wont give them money !!

 

How long have you known your GF by the way ?

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