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Setting Up Stakes When Moving-Where Do You Recommend

Hey Steve

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I have openly asked my wife if she feels it's absolutely necessary we live near her family when we set up stakes upon moving to the Philippines. She mentioned "absolutely not. Where would you like to live?" Well, I'm here to get your recommendation (not just for me, but for others who would also be considering the move), so my question to Expats and Filipinos(as)is rather broad and wide open. I don't know how this will go, so I will give it a shot anyway. Can you rate below(from 1-10) your particular province/city/surrounding communities? I am hoping those that don't normally chime in here help out as this rating can be helpful to others considering the move in making a more informed decision on where they can hang their hat and maybe set up new roots. In no particular order of importance, if you can rate, I have the list below Just assume I am the average Joe and this is not specifically for just myself!


Name of City/province_____________

rate the following 1-10 (with comments if appl.) local sights___ general mood/outlook of foreigners by locals__ local Expat community___ proximity to malls/stores___ traffic___ crime___ hospital___ local foods/restos___ comparable cost of living to the rest of the Phl___ level of poverty seen___ cleanliness of the area__ beaches___ internet___ other to add...


Also if appl...if you could or would move to another part of the Philippines where would that be/why? What is something that is somewhat unique to your area that sets it apart from other areas in the Philippines? I hope to get a lot of areas covered here and apply the information to a map (if possible)...just hoping there's lots of readers (the more the better detail) that can add to add to this detail. Some of us are not there yet, so we are learning lots from you Expats...thanks so much.

Edited by Hey Steve
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Name of City/province_____Dauis, Bohol (Panglao Island

rate the following 1-10 (with comments if appl.) local sights__9_ general mood/outlook of foreigners by locals_10_ local Expat community_10__ proximity to malls/stores__9_ traffic__10_ crime_10__ hospital_?__ local foods/restos__10_ comparable cost of living to the rest of the Phl_7__ level of poverty seen_9__ cleanliness of the area_6_ beaches__10_ internet__4_ other to add...


First let's clarify that a score of 1 is the worst and 10 is the best.


This is a very touristy area with many attractions. It's getting to be like Boracay.


In the more than 2 months I've lived here I've found the locals to be always friendly. No one has so much as looked at me cross-eyed. No one has tried to scam me or ask for money, other than a few beggars around the mall.


The local expats are friendly enough and there are a good number of them. Most are English or Australian. There was a Super Bowl party yesterday at a local bar- Good company and very good food and and good seats in front of a huge UHDF TV at a cost of P300/pax. Sat next to a Danish fellow who used to ref US-style football. He knew far more about the game than yours truly.


Costs are about 20 to 30% more than Cebu for everything except housing.


The roads are very good and there is very little traffic.


I live in a semi-rural area 10 minutes from malls and hospitals. The neighbors say there is no crime although the usual drug problem exists. I've been reading the local newspapers online for a few years and this barangay is rarely mentioned. The worst thing to be reported was dog poisonings. The local government is remarkably non-corrupt.


It isn't nearly as clean as Puerto Princesa but is much cleaner than Cebu.

Edited by Guy F.
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Name of City/province_Carmen/ Catmon Cebu_ rate the following 1-10 (with comments if appl.) local sights8 general mood/outlook of foreigners by locals 9 local Expat community? proximity to malls/stores7 traffic10crime8 hospital5 local foods/restos9 comparable cost of living to the rest of the PhlOn par with Cebu City  level of poverty seen Littlecleanliness of the area 10 beaches 8 internet 9 other to add Clean air and good water supply 


First may I suggest that you keep well away from any family if you intend to settle!

We invested in building a quality home near the relies... all was good, they were terrific until the ever expanding number of hand outs become unbearable and impossible, then we become the villains!



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Moalboal - 90K south of Cebu City on west coast of the Cebu Island.


Local sights - 8; Several local beaches, Kawasan Falls, close to mountains.  A paradise if you are into scuba diving or snorkeling.


Accepting of foreigners - 10; I love the people and find them to be very warm and friendly.  I do notice that the locals will try to take advantage of tourists with the long nose tax, but I think that is prevalent throughout the PH.  


Local expat community - 5;  I see small groups in some of local eating places and but tend to avoid them because there always seem to be a LOT of empty beer bottles on the table.  The majority of the expats appear to be German.


Malls/Stores - 5; They just opened a small mall, but two others are in the works.  Any other stores are quite small, more like sari sari stores plus the local market.


Traffic - 8;  Small town so there is not a lot of room for heavy traffic.  Evenings it is crowded with people walking, scooters, tricycles, pedicabs, etc but the down town is only about 6 or 8 blocks long so no big deal.


Crime - 10; I expect there is crime, but none that I am aware of.


Hospital - 1; There is no hospital here.  A small hospital is being built, but my wife says it will be a maternity hospital.  The closest hospital is about 20K away and it is more of a clinic.  The closest large hospitals are in Cebu City a good 2 1/2 hours away, even by ambulance.


Local foods; Good selection of food in the new grocery at the mall.  Also lots of local vegetables and fresh fruit in the market.  There is also a wet market for fish and meat.  The seafood in particular is really good, fresh daily, wide selection, and reasonably priced.


Restaurants - 7; A mixed score because there are only a couple small restaurants in Moalboal.  Panagsama is only 6K away and has a good selection of restaurants that cater to tourists who come from all over Europe and Asia for the scuba diving.  Good food and a wide variety, but it is priced for tourists.


Cost of living - 7; Low compared to city, but a little high compared to most other province areas.


Poverty - 7;  Some poverty, but nothing like what you see in the cities.  Not may beggars.


Cleanliness - 7; A lot of litter, but air polution is not too bad because you are close to the ocean and there is usually a nice breeze to clear out any smoke, etc.


Beaches - 8; White beach is a nice beach of crushed coral.  There are other small beaches that can be found that are relatively unknown.


Internet - 5; A real mixed bag.  I finally was able to get a good signal of up to 30M/Sec, but it is capped at 800 megs/day.  After that it drops to dialup speed or even slower .02 m/sec if you can believe that.


I am happy and content here, but I am also very much a "small town" person.

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Name of City/province__Baguio/Benguet__ rate the following 1-10 (with comments if appl.) 


local sights_9_ This is a tourist area with many things for tourists to see/do and restaurants.

general mood/outlook of foreigners by locals_9_

local Expat community_8_ Got em if you want em... some are good people... some I do not want to associate with.

proximity to malls/stores_8_ SM Mall and Robinsons

traffic_7_ Fine except for the Christmas/New Years and Panegbenga holiday when the streets turn into parking lots

crime_8_ Little concern unless you go looking for trouble

hospital_8_ Good private hospital Notre Dame de Chartres, best cardiac care on Luzon outside of NCR

local foods/restos_8_ Good selection since this is tourist area. This is the place if you like fresh vegetables since there is large scale vegetable growing in the mountains. Also has a coffee culture and you can buy locally grown and roasted beans.

comparable cost of living to the rest of the Phl_7_ Because of tourist area home prices and rent are higher than cities of comparable size

level of poverty seen_9_ A few beggars you get to recognize them... none of them are pushy or cause problems.

cleanliness of the area_9_ Generally kept very clean.

beaches_4_ I gave a four since you have to travel an hour down the mountain to get to the beaches. But within 1.5 hours is San Juan a nice surf area.

internet_7_ Ok service from DSL. No fiber yet. 

taxi/jeepney/trike service_9_ No trike's but taxi's are honest and always use the meter.


if you could or would move to another part of the Philippines where would that be/why? If I move back will consider Subic Freeport though it likely will be more expensive than Baguio. Will also take a look at Tagaytay.


What is something that is somewhat unique to your area that sets it apart from other areas in the Philippines? The cool mountain climate since the city is at 5000 feet elevation. Has great climate 8-9 months a year the other 3-4 months can be very rainy due to typhoon season.

Edited by earthdome
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There are no Malls in the province of Ilocos Sur, but there are a lot of relatives.


I do wonder if a Filipina who agrees to live away from her family area, will be happy with that over the long term. Even if she does agree initially.

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This is a good discussion, you have brought it down to a  'mathematical' equasion and I think that leaves out one of the most important

things when making a decision.  Does it 'fit' and how does it 'feel'.  My suggestion is sit down and do some research once you may have had some suggestions here.

I have been doing this now for many months and down to 2 locations which we will visit as soon as possible. to make a choice.

We did travel throughout Nth Luzon and found nothing really that fitted.  Maybe Laoag was very close, a nice town but just not quite there

for me.

Get busy in the research field, that will be your best feelings - it is  you that has to like it, not someone else.

So far as not being near family, that is sound thinking and I doubt your partner will miss that too much, you can always send her off now and again for a trip - probably work out much cheaper.

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Full Rating on Vigan City and the Province of Ilocos Sur.


1. Local Sights: 8/10 if you like history and a bit of 18th-19th Century architecture. Old Churches, some restored, some as original with restoration on the inside. Surf and beaches, swimming beaches, all there if you seek it out. Going farther afield there is Banaue (rice terraces), Pagudpud (white sand beach, popular resort).


2. Acceptance of foreigners: 8/10 the area is sparsely populated and you can move around freely. Foreigners don't attract much attention here, although Vigan City does attract tourists. There is not much of an ex pat community this area, unless you seek out a few, and the few I know are spread out in different cities. There are more Phil/Ams who have retired mostly from USA.


3. Traffic: not an issue here. Fatal accidents along the National Highway are common, often at night and frequently involving motor cycles and buses.


4. Crime: not much visible. But the incidence of drive by shootings and revenge killings is enough to catch your attention. Petty crime like estafa (fraud) is quite prevalent across the entire Philippines and some foreigners have been caught out. Same here.


5.Health Care: 4/10, average to below. You struggle to find fully equipped hospitals with CT Scanners etc. For a major catastrophic illness like heart attack requiring intervention (heart cath or angioplasty), I think you would be totally out of luck. Other Centers too far away to be of help.


6. Local Foods. Restaurants: 7/10. In particular things like fresh lettuce at 20 pesos/head coming down from the cooler areas.  Restaurants, simple, cheap, but not much on the top end.  Franchise outlets you expect to see in a decent size town..eg Pizza Hut, KFC (if you like that kind of thing) are simply not here. Mc Donald's, Jollibee and Chow King the only outlets available.


7. Cost of Living 9.5/10: it's low here. What might rent for 25k in pesos in Cebu or Metro Manila would be 7-8k here.  I give my wife 500 on market days but have sometimes reduced it. She manages fine on that.


8. Poverty: people live off the land like farms. Poverty is significantly less than other areas. Beggars seen quite rarely. There are no squatter areas visible. Not sure in other cities but it must be minimal.


9. Beaches: for me 9/10. For a tourist more like 6/10. They are deserted, maybe a few Nipa Huts and the sand is grey to blackish. Conditions in the water, excellent.


10. Cleanliness: Vigan City 9/10.  2 public toilets mid of town with paid cleaners and no 5 or 10 peso charge as elsewhere. No litter, the place is clean.


11. Nightlife: 3/10. I have not been out looking but pretty sure there's not much around. There are a few bars along the highway, typical Filipino scene, but only one I have noticed gets any business, busy Friday/Saturday nights only.

Edited by chris49
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Hi Chris,

No wonder you have 1300 plus posts, y0u put everything on twice haha!

Good assessment of Vigan, you forgot hotels 2/10 and expensive!

Brand is good there!  Don't forget your favourite Maccas!

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Hi Chris,

No wonder you have 1300 plus posts, y0u put everything on twice haha!

Good assessment of Vigan, you forgot hotels 2/10 and expensive!

Brand is good there!  Don't forget your favourite Maccas!

:hystery:  :hystery:  :rolleyes:

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