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All things considered, Where is the best place to settle in the Philippines?


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I have been considering Cebu. Not in the city but on the outskirts hopefully near water. No, I haven't been there yet which is why I am asking the question and relying on you guys experiences and knowledge since you have been there in the Philippines for a while.

So where would be a good place to consider? We are open to just about anyplace I guess.

You see the original plan was to retire on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, which is where my wife was living for 18 years before we met. But in looking at the daily cost of living and real estate/rental costs it is very cost prohibitive. So we are looking at the Philippines. We would like to find a place that has mountains next to the ocean if possible. We understand that the Philippines is a 3rd world country but we are looking for a place that has some of the modern day conveniences that we are accustomed to . Any suggestions from you guys would be great! In advance, Thanks for the advice!  

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I understand the whole..."You need to come here and experience places to know and make a decision"... matra. What I'm looking for is opinions from you guys, info if you will,  on the locations that you have experienced. I look at it as information gathering so we can make a better "informed" decision on where to start our search once we do get there. 

Are there places that we should stay clear of? i.e. crime areas, congested cities, under developed areas that will have little in the way of services, over priced touristy areas and so on....

I have asked my wife but she hasn't lived there in over 21 years so a lot has changed since she's been there....

So... educate me...

again... thanks in advance. 

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Start in Cebu City. You can take day trips on the bus to Moalboal, Dalagute, Oslob, and many other nearby towns. You can also do day or overnight ferry trips to neighbouring islands like Bohol, Panglau, Negros, Bantayan, or even take a one hour flight to Davao on the island of Mindanao. There are many other options but Cebu city is a good central place to start. 

Edited by Lou49
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You may want to do some research before you decide. The Philippines has alot of areas that could become problems in the future. Might want to use this website to steer away from some of the problem areas.  https://hazardhunter.georisk.gov.ph/

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If you want mountains by the sea and can put up with small town living and yet be a couple of hours drive from Iloilo or Boracay consider San Jose de Buenevista in Antique or Antique in general.  Not many expats and not much hustle and bustle and there may be a shortage of some creature comforts but it is beautiful there with good diving, fishing and seafood.  


Edited by Hobbit112
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"All things considered, Where is the best place to settle in the Philippines?"

That is your question. I could answer briefly - there is no "best" place here. There are many places that are better or worse than others. It is very personal and there are so many parameters to consider.

I agree with HK that you will get a different opinion from each of us. And I also agree that it really is best to come here and explore first-hand. Opinions are just that...and often flawed and subjective - mine included.

I will tell you a little about Davao.

It is a large, sprawling city with several large malls and many shops and stores where you can get almost anything you might want, including many western and European goods. I just bought some Murphy's Stout yesterday! But this comes at a price. Traffic is often heavy and gridlock occurs with the smallest traffic accident, VIP motorcade (the pres is from here an visits often) and during rush hours and beyond. There is deep flooding in some areas during the occasional heavy rains and they lock up traffic in many areas for hours.

I consider the city to be safe, generally, from insurgents - and everywhere you go - like malls, banks, etc., there are either soldiers, police or rent-a-cops with guns who search everyone on their way in - look in bags, light frisk, please remove your hat... It is quite different from the relaxed to non-security in most western countries and even in many parts of the Philippines.

The city proper is dirty and noisy. The surrounding areas are much nicer. but goods and services are less available and the road system is so often choked with jeepneys, trucks, tricycles and a number of nitwits who simply don't know how to drive and so gum up the works.

Having said all that, I am happy to be here. We are in the process of building a home on the edge of the town on the side of a mountain. Not much view at our location, but the air is cleaner, it is quiet most of the time and I feel relatively secure. I have spent time in tropical 3rd world countries for over 25 years and have just become accustomed to some of the inconveniences here. I prefer these to living in the west where life just seems to fast and complicated for me. And mostly the people I meet are super friendly and many are helpful and generous.

Many others will voice their opinions here for you and their choices and they all will have good and valid reasons. Again, that's why I really think you will need to put feet on the ground and check out so many of these places... We will do what we can to offer advice and assistance.

Good luck P2.  

Edited by Tommy T.
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