Any Members Live In Iloilo

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On another forum, it was suggested to me that Iloilo is a good place for expats to retire.  Do any members live there and if so, do you agree and have you enjoyed living there.

What is cost of living, cost of rental/buying and general facilities.  Any help would be appreciated asI continue to search for my place to put my head down in the near future.


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Well that sucks... I was almost through with a long reply and the browser shut off... all lost ha ha.... well... here we go again...


I have lived in Iloilo for almost 3 years.  I do enjoy it.,  It is a good sized city but not like Cebu (or Manila).  Pretty friendly.   Not sure of your situation and what you are looking for.  We have very little crime here. I have walked all over the city and a couple of the small outlying towns and never felt like I was in any danger.   Basic common sense is all you need here... like most places.


Most of the foreigners I know are married and like it here.  I know a couple single guys and they complain about the lack of night life.  Not just girlie bars, but night life in general.  We do have some girlie bars, they keep a low profile. The night life in general is pretty tame, and just not much of it.  We have one area (Smallville) that is popular. A few bars, restaurants, and karaoke joints.  There are a couple discos but my wife won't dance so I have never been.  I hear they are really for the younger crowd.   There is a YouTube channel from a single guy here in Iloilo (My Philippine Journey).  He shows a lot around town.


Mandurriao is a popular part of town for foreigners. Close to SM City. They are doing lots of construction there, called Megaworld business park, building a new convention center, numerous hotels and condos, and a couple more malls.   They just finished a brick walkway along the river (the Esplanade).   There are a few businesses opening along it - should be better later. Smallville connects to the Esplanade as well.   The Esplanade is very popular for morning and evening walks.  Oh, and Zumba.  They love their Zumba here!


Since we don't have a lot of tourists we also don't have a lot of the scammers that are attracted to tourists.  Very few beggars too - nothing like Cebu! We have quite a few foreigners, but not a lot of tourists.   There is a meetup twice a month for foreigners. Generally 4-8 English speakers, and 6-12 German speaking.  We have one German that bakes wonderful bread that he sells at the meetups. One of the Germans makes good sausages, that he sells at the local grocery chain (Iloilo Supermart).   There are a few stores that have a lot of our foreign needs.  We do ok on groceries.


Like most cities here, our beaches pretty much suck.  Too much trash, lousy sand, dirty water.... but not far away there are some really nice beaches. That seems to be the way all the cities are here.   We are only a 6 hour bus ride from Boracay, so that is good. 


I rented a 1 bedroom bamboo/nipa house about 17 km out of town for p3,500 a month.  Then we moved to Mandurriao and got a 2 bedroom apartment for p6,500 a month.   We are now back outside of town. We built a 1 room house next to the rice fields.  I like it, mostly (damn noisy neighbors).  It was quieter in the city.  


In the city my budget for my wife and I was p30,000.  Now that we are outside the city (less trips to the mall) and no rent,  our monthly budget is p21,000.   :tiphat:








thanks Tim,
Did we speak on another forum, your circumstances and history seems similar?  But again it was very helpful and the more I read and research about Iloilo, the more it is telling me that this is the place.  My s.o is very open to move to where I feel will be good for us and she will adapt to the differing language as she is from Nth Luzon.  She feels she will have no problems in that regard.
I am for the quiet life these days, but enjoy seeing a few mates here a couple of times a week.  We have breakfast and occasionally I go to the bar a short distance from here of an afternoon and have a few beers, but maybe once a week max.  I don't really enjoy them all that much, but ok if the beer is icy cold.
We would do as you have done, rent first  for 6 months or so and be sure it is for us.  Being out of town but not too far for shopping etc is what I like.
I had another Iloilo expat talk of the area you are now in and says it is a nice estate - is it far from the beach?
I was just reading about a place near the University in town that has great burger, one of my loves but hard to get here, so that will be on the list.  Good restaurants around the town from what I can read.  Just enjoy going where there is good cheap food, no pretences.
I have found that American guy on U Tube and watched some interesting stuff, but what I saw was mainly visits to villages of friends he had met along his journey, but he seems a nice guy and gives good information.
German bread and sausages sounds like me, another thing hard to get here.  
All in all, this part of the world might well be my next destination, many thanks again.
Edited by Jollygoodfellow
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