What type of area to go for long term success/ first timer?

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Posted (edited)

For example, a slower paced 100K type Laoag, or a larger metro area like Cebu? I would prefer a slower pace can anyone tell me what is up here ? the pros/cons of a small town vs big city, tribalness, dating, environment, lifestyle etc or is it about the same experience everywhere ? There are so many locations/options , why does everyone stay in hell realms like manila and angeles, why not live in nowhere i dont get it I am trying to understand

Edited by Old55
Removed the more snarky bits
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Posted

What is your question?

Are you looking for an area to live?

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Posted (edited)

It basically boils down to your individual needs and desires.  

Metro area & larger city:

Pro: Access to better health care, public transportation readily available, large shopping malls, western goods available, more entertainment such as movies, restobars, sporting events, etc, better/faster internet, closer to airports, available western style housing, easier to "blend in" as an expat, etc 

Con: Often extreme air pollution, traffic that comes to a standstill for hours, many beggars, locals not normally as friendly, flooding due to poor building practices, rampant petty theft and crime, crowds everywhere that often lack what westerns would call "common courtesy".  Cost of living is higher.

Province or small town:

Pro: Cleaner air, less traffic, less litter, fewer people, less "people noise" pollution, you can know and be accepted by your neighbors.  In general a less stressful environment and more healthy environment than what you find in a large metro area  Cost of living is lower

Con: Limited or non-existent medical and dental, shopping limited, lack of entertainment (clubs, movies, restobars, sporting events, etc), limited public transportation.  Government services (driver license, visa renewal, etc) normally not available locally and require trip to a city.  Internet often intermittent and slow.

You can find a compromise or blend of these qualities by living at a distance from a larger city but then transportation to/from the city can be a major problem.

Think about where you live now.  Do you, or would you, prefer to live in the city or in the country?  Now take the negatives of city/country and multiply them several times for both city and country.  That should give you an idea of what to expect in metro versus province for living in the Philippines.

These are my personal opinions of course. :smile:

 

 

 

Edited by Mike J
Correct cost of living remark
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I have spent some time in Laoag    Nice place   one department store downtown and a smaller mall on the south side across the river   If you like simple living Laoag is fine    If you are a person who needs a variety of restaurants and shopping you might get bored in a small city like Laoag

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Depends on what you like.  I am a city boy. I get bored out in the province. My wife is a province girl, she does not like the crowds of the city.  We settled on a small town - not perfect for either of us - but I can get to the city in an hour.  I have friends that love the province, some love the city. It is not a one size fits all answer.

No one can tell you what area you would like. If you give us more information about your likes and dislikes we can make recommendations, but ultimately your comfort level is up to you.  

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Whilst it's always helpful to ask advice, the question is a bit like asking  how much a  meal costs, too many variables and very pesonal and specific to the individual.  

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, anabolic said:

For example, a slower paced 100K type Laoag, or a larger metro area like Cebu? I would prefer a slower pace can anyone tell me what is up here ? the pros/cons of a small town vs big city, tribalness, dating, environment, lifestyle etc or is it about the same experience everywhere ? There are so many locations/options , why does everyone stay in hell realms like manila and angeles, why not live in nowhere i dont get it I am trying to understand

My understanding of how it usually works is.... a man is often already in either a long term relationship ( like marriage to a Filipina and living in his country with her) with a woman.... has met and developed a potential long term relationship with a woman either through on-line or short trips here, or comes here free and clear of current relationships.  If he is already committed to a particular woman, he is most likely then to live where she has language, family, an existing social connections.  Once he chooses a 'significant other', his geographic location choices are limited by a large number of social, economic and cultural reasons and realities that revolve around his woman's comfort zones.  If she's from MNL or Cebu, he usually ends up there despite the urban living drawbacks,  Often the same applies for a woman from a more rural area, with the drawbacks of rural life. 

The fellows who come here unattached, are either in search of a meaningful relationship, or not initially interested in such. They do their pre-trip research and find places mentioned in the media sources that appeal to their interests..... e.g., scuba diving, the bar scenes, mentioned tourist attraction sites, areas where there are hobby interest groups and attractions, etc.  Often they meet a girl and his options of where to live is usually tied to her. 

I have met quite a few guys that come here, then stick and stay where they first landed since they are trying to get a read on and adjust to/ adapt to the sometimes overwhelming newness of the culture differences. Some are wary of venturing much beyond their starting locales since they have established new comfort zones. Their adventurousness had limits. They want and need to quickly establish stability, security, and predictability.  If all goes fairly well, they develop geographic allegiance. For peace of mind, they are now convinced that they are living in the better or best of Philippine living spots. I am no different. We accent the positives and dismiss. ignore or  blow off the negatives.

Others are natural born travelers who seek out the new and different and get quickly bored when rooted.  When the novelty newness wears off, they start focusing on the irritants and move when the balance shifts, in search of greener pastures.

My standard advice to single men is to first find a compatible place in keeping with your personality and needs. Then find the woman of your dreams, since a qualifier most likely exists right there.  However, must do just the opposite, and often end up living in places that are poor fits for themselves.

 

Edited by manofthecoldland
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Posted
16 hours ago, anabolic said:

For example, a slower paced 100K type Laoag, or a larger metro area like Cebu? I would prefer a slower pace can anyone tell me what is up here ? the pros/cons of a small town vs big city, tribalness, dating, environment, lifestyle etc or is it about the same experience everywhere ? There are so many locations/options , why does everyone stay in hell realms like manila and angeles, why not live in nowhere i dont get it I am trying to understand

Very hard question. I moved to Cavite City, Cavite in 2002. It was a bit challenging at first, but I just went with the flow. Several years later I moved to Noveleta, Cavite only a few kilometers away because I found a very nice house were I could have many dogs. Close to Manila if I need to go there. The dirt roads that my GF and I used to go biking on every morning are all now paved and housing developments and malls are popping up all over the place. When a Kenny Rogers Roasters place opened up close to us I wanted to move further away but just can't do it. Too many roots where we are now. My sons school, friends, etc.

Good luck with wherever you decide to live. I just wish a Taco Bell or a Wendy's opens close to us soon. I'm sure it's just down the pike like everything else. :wave:

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yes excuse me old55, basically my dream scenario would be to rent/buy? a house eventually in the middle of nowhere, in a small province, not near any civilization , with one good woman, raising children, maybe an older vehicle for transportation, but this will obviously take some time I am brand new to the country. maybe I should just start in Laoag not Cebu ? What about San Fernando ? 

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2 hours ago, anabolic said:

yes excuse me old55, basically my dream scenario would be to rent/buy? a house eventually in the middle of nowhere, in a small province, not near any civilization , with one good woman, raising children, maybe an older vehicle for transportation, but this will obviously take some time I am brand new to the country. maybe I should just start in Laoag not Cebu ? What about San Fernando ? 

If you have no ties or commitments why not do a little traveling around before you decide? 2 or 3 star hotels are all over the place if you want to save money. You may even meet your life partner in your travels. You will get a lot of "hey joe's" along the way. Don't take it personally. The further you get from metro areas the more you will stand out as a foreigner. They usually only see us on tv. You will do well if you keep your senses intact, and don't drink (if you do) with people you don't know. There are many places that you might be looking for between Manila and Tagaytay. Small towns. Good luck.:smile:

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