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DaveB

considering retirement in the philippines new home area?

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Just checking back in, poking around the forums, and thought I'd put out a real generalized question.  As mentioned before, my Filipina wife and I will be retiring to the Philippines next March.  We've been married 30 years and have traveled quite a bit around various parts of the Philippines.  Last March we were getting serious about just WHERE we want to live, so we visited Malay province (between Kalebo and Boracay), and Dumaguete.  We were going to come back in April and look around Subic - Zambales in general.  Virus lock down shut off that idea for the time being.

I have some hopeful thoughts about the general Subic area, but want to walk the ground for a few days to confirm it is a good area to live there.  I have some general selection criteria: reasonable distance to an airport and a decent medical facility; be able to at least look out the window and see the ocean, if not actually live ON the ocean; a university near by because my wife wants to finish her degree.  Subic area (and by that I mean like a 10 mile circle around Olongapo, but no desire to live IN Olongapo) seems to have all these.  It has some additional advantages in that my wife is from Mabalacat, just outside Angeles City, so visiting the family is only about a one hour drive.  Also, the new Clark Medical City hospital, also about an hour away, is a VA contractor, so treatment there for some service related injuries just gets charged directly to the VA (saves the hassle of visiting the Manila clinic).  So...that's my rose-colored view of potential life in Subic.

Would like hear a reality check from someone who actually lives there.  Does the above sound at least realistic?  From just looking at maps and Google Earth and other internet sources, I'm leaning toward living kind of north of Olongapo up toward Subic City or east in the hills out toward Bangal.  One consideration is that one hour drive on the Subic/Angeles expressway to Angeles City - don't want to have to spend another hour of fighting traffic just to get ON the expressway in the first place.

Hoping someone can drop me a reality check.  Still hope to get there before end of year and visit in person (last time I was in Subic was about 35 years ago when it was still a Navy base).  Part of my "tour plan" is to get a good van driver or a realty agent and have them haul us around for a day or two visiting places and house rentals.  If anyone has any leads on such people or any other ideas on how best to work the ground, would love to hear that, too.

 

 

Moved into a new topic & edited your title

Edited by Old55
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Hi Dave,

I live in Subic Freeport in the old Navy base housing, but I don't know the area north of here that you mentioned.

See below in red.  Anything I say is pre-covid!

13 hours ago, DaveB said:

Just checking back in, poking around the forums, and thought I'd put out a real generalized question.  As mentioned before, my Filipina wife and I will be retiring to the Philippines next March.  We've been married 30 years and have traveled quite a bit around various parts of the Philippines.  Last March we were getting serious about just WHERE we want to live, so we visited Malay province (between Kalebo and Boracay), and Dumaguete.  We were going to come back in April and look around Subic - Zambales in general.  Virus lock down shut off that idea for the time being.

I have some hopeful thoughts about the general Subic area, but want to walk the ground for a few days to confirm it is a good area to live there.  Be careful where you walk!  My wife and I looked at Cebu and Davoa before Subic.  We took a shuttle up into the old Navy housing and walked several miles (in December).  I was sold!  You won't find many places that are so quiet in the Philippines, with above average housing.  I have some general selection criteria: reasonable distance to an airport Clark is one hour away and the new terminals should be opening this year, and more flights added. and a decent medical facility; The closest top tier hospital is Medical City in Clark.  Baypointe in the freeport is currently downgraded and can't even do surgery.  Lourdes in Barreto is ok but not great.  My two kids were born there.  Several hospitals in Olongapo but not that great.  be able to at least look out the window and see the ocean, if not actually live ON the ocean; That is almost impossible in the freeport unless you want a small condo or very expensive house.  There are some areas in Barreto, but for me, the ocean is not much to talk about there.  a university near by because my wife wants to finish her degree.  There might be some schools in Olongapo that would work.  Not sure.  Might depend on her specialty.  Subic area (and by that I mean like a 10 mile circle around Olongapo, but no desire to live IN Olongapo) seems to have all these.  It has some additional advantages in that my wife is from Mabalacat, just outside Angeles City, so visiting the family is only about a one hour drive.  Also, the new Clark Medical City hospital, also about an hour away, is a VA contractor, so treatment there for some service related injuries just gets charged directly to the VA (saves the hassle of visiting the Manila clinic).  So...that's my rose-colored view of potential life in Subic.

Would like hear a reality check from someone who actually lives there.  Does the above sound at least realistic?  From just looking at maps and Google Earth and other internet sources, I'm leaning toward living kind of north of Olongapo up toward Subic City or east in the hills out toward Bangal.  One consideration is that one hour drive on the Subic/Angeles expressway to Angeles City - don't want to have to spend another hour of fighting traffic just to get ON the expressway in the first place.  Correct.  In perfect traffic it might take you 25 minutes from Barreto to the expressway entrance.  Add more the further you go north.

Hoping someone can drop me a reality check.  Still hope to get there before end of year and visit in person (last time I was in Subic was about 35 years ago when it was still a Navy base).  Part of my "tour plan" is to get a good van driver or a realty agent and have them haul us around for a day or two visiting places and house rentals.  If anyone has any leads on such people or any other ideas on how best to work the ground, would love to hear that, too.

I know of one realty agent who people like.  I know them a little bit.  Unless you are really serious about buying, I doubt that they will haul you around for very long.  I know a good van/driver service.  If the owner was the driver, he would give you a great tour but I am not sure if his drivers would be that great.

Are you looking to rent or buy?

A big downside to this area is the long, long rainy season.

Moved into a new topic & edited your title

 

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Thanks to "On my Way" for taking the time to cruise through my post and respond with some great insights.  I might mention, I was on a different ex-pat forum for a while and all I saw was a lot of pissed off people arguing politics, complaining about everything on the planet, and chucking rocks at one another.  Never got any decent information flow going.  I was reminded of a line I heard: "some people aren't happy unless they're mad".  This forum has been just the opposite, so kudos to any members reading this.  It's been refreshing to find some people willing to help with good info.

To address some of your thoughts, we do intend to rent rather than buy (I sold my house as a first step to leaving the US, and prefer to just not get tied down...we are going into this with more of an "extended vacation" mentality, so want the flexibility to bounce if we feel like it).  I'm a bit adverse to the free port zone - seems more like living in San Diego than the Philippines, which kind of undercuts some of the general reason we're moving to the Philippines in the first place.  We will have a decent income stream, so willing to pay a bit more for rent if we find just the right thing.  Our general plan is to just hole up in a monthly rental some place for a month or two, and then use that to chase down a longer term lease/rental arrangement.  

Appreciate the insight on the extra driving time.  It lends a bit more credence to the idea of maybe living more to the east, but that is based entirely on me looking at Google Earth.  Gotta get out there and drive around and see if it is somewhere I want to live.  In that regard, would love to get your van contact info.  I'll file it for now, until we can put our return trip together.  My current understanding is if we flew into Clark today, we'd have to go through 14 days of quarantine, and since my wife still works, that eats her vacation up right there.  I'm hoping that lets up before end of year, but at the worst, we'll just immigrate in March, hole up for the two weeks (maybe at my mother in law's house), and go from there.  Regardless, I'd love the van owner contract info, and I can work with him to set up transportation for us before we get there.  Might even consider having him meet us at Clark.  

If you happen to think of something additional to pass my way, I'd appreciate you dropping me a note.  If anyone else on the forum has inputs on this discussion, also love to hear from them.  My next near term big event is to get my 13A visa going.

Thanks again.

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Dave you have good insight and a well thought out plan. IMO you and your wife will do just fine. :thumbsup:

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By the way, for OnMyWay.  I realize I may have been a bit disparaging about living in the Freeport Zone.  Hope you didn't take it as a personal affront that you decided to live there.  I'll apologize for any off the cuff comment about the area, especially from someone who hasn't yet been there (and I do intend to tour it, too).  I just happen to enjoy the bustle and "going native" feel of the country - seems like it's cheating if you don't hear a rooster crowing nearby.  Perhaps after a year or so of wallowing in it, I might be at your door step wondering if you have a room to rent.  Gotta give it a try and find out.

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2 hours ago, DaveB said:

 I just happen to enjoy the bustle and "going native" feel of the country - seems like it's cheating if you don't hear a rooster crowing nearby. 

I live in the freeport, and I would say it's cheating if you don't have a monkey sitting on your roof...or Aeta people selling mangoes on the side of the road.

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LOL...I'll keep it in mind.  It's all part of the adventure.

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6 hours ago, DaveB said:

By the way, for OnMyWay.  I realize I may have been a bit disparaging about living in the Freeport Zone.  Hope you didn't take it as a personal affront that you decided to live there.  I'll apologize for any off the cuff comment about the area, especially from someone who hasn't yet been there (and I do intend to tour it, too).  I just happen to enjoy the bustle and "going native" feel of the country - seems like it's cheating if you don't hear a rooster crowing nearby.  Perhaps after a year or so of wallowing in it, I might be at your door step wondering if you have a room to rent.  Gotta give it a try and find out.

You may find that  that gets old really quickly. The downside of most rural /province places is the predominance of roosters. Bear in mid they start at about 3am...........not forgetting that all the locals have one too that they hold as they walk around petting and stroking and paying an inordinate amount of attention to the wellbeing of said rooster.

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32 minutes ago, Freebie said:

You may find that  that gets old really quickly. The downside of most rural /province places is the predominance of roosters. Bear in mid they start at about 3am...........not forgetting that all the locals have one too that they hold as they walk around petting and stroking and paying an inordinate amount of attention to the wellbeing of said rooster.

Yes, I could never take that.  Roosters and barking dogs.

6 hours ago, DaveB said:

By the way, for OnMyWay.  I realize I may have been a bit disparaging about living in the Freeport Zone.  Hope you didn't take it as a personal affront that you decided to live there.  I'll apologize for any off the cuff comment about the area, especially from someone who hasn't yet been there (and I do intend to tour it, too).  I just happen to enjoy the bustle and "going native" feel of the country - seems like it's cheating if you don't hear a rooster crowing nearby.  Perhaps after a year or so of wallowing in it, I might be at your door step wondering if you have a room to rent.  Gotta give it a try and find out.

No worries.  It ain't for everyone!

I forgot to mention.  You might want to look in Morong, just outside the freeport to the south.  I know a guy who got a nice house with a pool right next to the beach there.  It is only 30 minutes to drive into the freeport for shopping, etc.

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2 hours ago, Freebie said:

..not forgetting that all the locals have one too that they hold as they walk around petting and stroking and paying an inordinate amount of attention to the wellbeing of said rooster.

A lot of the locals around my area play with their 'chickens'

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