Planning my "scouting" trip

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Posted

Hi guys, first time poster here.  So after doing my online research, I've got the idea in my head that the Philippines may be the place for me.  I've never been, however.  I'm planning on making a trip out there to try and get a feel for the country and various places in it in order to pick a starting "permanent" destination for me.  And I'd really love some suggestions on what you'd do, where you'd go, and what things are on the "must do" list for people in my situation.

I'm a white American, 40, and 6'6" so I am going to stick out like a sore thumb everywhere i go I fear.

My tentative plan is to spend a little time each in Manila, Cebu, Davao (bad idea?), and was thinking I'd check out Tacloban too.  I honestly am not sure what places should be on my visit list.  I don't need to be in or near a big city necessarily, in fact cost of living is probably more important to me.  I can do with or without a beach.  But I do want some basic "city" amenities.  I'm not that concerned about night life, but it'd be nice not to be too far away from decent medical and dental care.  It'd be nice to have internet and power that's reasonably reliable, a decent population for dating, running water, reasonable safety.  I'd rather not breathe smog and fight traffic all day as well to whatever extent that's avoidable.

What areas should be on my hit list, and what should I make sure I do, see, or experience when I'm in those areas?  I'm afraid just spending 4-5 days in a city isn't going to give me a true sense of what it'd be like to live there. if I even manage to assemble a good list of places to visit that I'm likely to want to live in.

So knowing what you know about the Philippines, and knowing how little I know and what stage in the process I'm at, what advice do you have?

Thanks!

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Posted

Welcome to the forum. :tiphat:

You've asked some well thought out questions. 

 

 I will say this, being tall will certainly have you stand out from the crowd. (sorry couldn’t help that) But beware of striking your head on things. There are few safety standards especially outside larger cities and towns.

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Posted

Any health issues? Outside of the big cities, access to trained medical professionals is limited. 

The heat and high humidity is another factor. You might include the Mountain Province (Baguio) in your list.

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Posted
1 hour ago, Tstone said:

Manila, Cebu, Davao (bad idea?), and was thinking I'd check out Tacloban too

Given the choice of those 4 cities, I would be partial to Davao.  Manila would drive me crazy with traffic, expense and crowds.  Cebu is getting that way but still OK (probably because I know a lot of people there.  I know a lot of people who have moved to Davao and none of them have a bad word to say about it.  I never checked it out due to settling in Dumaguete before getting to Davao.  Tacloban is OK but it would bring back memories of Yolanda for me.  There are some places that get more storms than other places and the area of Philippines from Tacloban across to Bantayan Island gets more than their fair share.  Still, most of the typhoons are liveable.  The super-typhoons have been (fingers crossed) rare.

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Posted

I haven't been to Davao yet, so I would recommend a city outside of Cebu, but not too far. You can always hop an aircon bus into Cebu for cheap. I stayed in Danao for a month, walking distance to a small beach resort.

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Posted

Well for me Manila is a nightmare ! Even though i no longer drive the traffic is diabolical !

Food wise i never or rather im not allowed to eat from roadside stalls !

For water i only drink bottled water never from the taps !

When we travel we tend to eat at places we know, if you like fast food then your spoilt for choice

Theres Burger places everywhere !  A nice place just outside of Manila is Nuvali it has plenty of shops eateries etc not sure if you will be on your own but my advice is plan what you want to do and where you want to go etc and ask the guys and gals here if they know of the best places to stay.

A white American 6'6 40s well  you will  turn the girls heads thats for sure !

 

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Posted
5 hours ago, JJReyes said:

Any health issues? Outside of the big cities, access to trained medical professionals is limited. 

The heat and high humidity is another factor. You might include the Mountain Province (Baguio) in your list.

No health issues.  I probably utilize health care less than I should in fact.  Just never know when something may happen and you'll want a doctor.

 

4 hours ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

Given the choice of those 4 cities, I would be partial to Davao. 

Well that's the thing, I'm by no means limited to those 4 cities that's just an almost arbitrary starting point for me in terms of places I should visit.  Knowing what you know, what would YOUR "scouting" visit look like?  Where would you visit instead? What do you see as the best livable, but cost-effective options?

 

1 hour ago, robert k said:

I haven't been to Davao yet, so I would recommend a city outside of Cebu, but not too far. You can always hop an aircon bus into Cebu for cheap. I stayed in Danao for a month, walking distance to a small beach resort.

How would I even go about exploring this?  There's so many places outside of Cebu...I figure if I'm on a scouting trip for Cebu I'd spend time in Cebu proper, but how do I get a feel for the surrounding areas too? How would you spend your time in a "scouting trip"? 

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Posted

I am n Cagayan De Oro not Davao but I’ve been to a lot of Mindanao and I think this will apply to most of it (including Davao).  There are a lot less westerners in Mindanao than there are in Cebu.  So if you’re concerned about ‘sticking out’ then that may work against Davao.  

 

Be aware that if you travel too far west in Mindanao you will end up in areas that are in the don’t travel list for many western countries and lots of travel insurance stops paying out some things.

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8 minutes ago, GeoffH said:

I am n Cagayan De Oro not Davao but I’ve been to a lot of Mindanao and I think this will apply to most of it (including Davao).  There are a lot less westerners in Mindanao than there are in Cebu.  So if you’re concerned about ‘sticking out’ then that may work against Davao.  

Be aware that if you travel too far west in Mindanao you will end up in areas that are in the don’t travel list for many western countries and lots of travel insurance stops paying out some things.

Yeah, my concern in sticking out is definitely in making myself a target for crime, especially in Mindanao.  I'm wondering how seriously I should treat the advisories regarding that region and if I should just eliminate it from consideration entire, including Davao.  It's hard to separate fact from fiction as people on message boards like to poo-poo the safety warnings and say it's safe if you're careful.

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Posted
3 minutes ago, Tstone said:

my concern in sticking out

Welcome to the forum

You will not stick out much more at 6-6 than I do at 6-1...…...It is sort of being a little pregnant, you either stick out or not :hystery:. And I have not had any problems what so ever. But I don't go to shady places as most of our members here don't. Just like Knoxville, I am sure there are places that you just DONT go to, same here.

But the one thing that no one has brought up yet is the big dog in the room. Will you have a steady income. This is not a place to be if you do not have sufficient resources. (the amount needed is a continuing debate) but a steady guaranteed income is a must in most cases. 

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