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1 minute ago, manofthecoldland said:

You seem to have misunderstood.  Only and I and my GF at the time, indulged in a bit of freedom. The older woman left us there and climbed the 300 or so steep steps  back up to the distant main building., and only the 2 of us were left to ourselves for the afternoon. Sorry for the inadvertent misery you have suffered. 

No, I understood very well that you left out part of the story where the nuns came back down and joined you.  :hystery:

Sorry, I have become demented after listening to @Jake for the past 10 years!

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I geuss that makes Mindanao the Philippines Mexico... interesting place with some big cities but not everywhere is safe for westeners 

Not trying to sound negative here, but... If someone prefers to live in a place that is like the US, then why not just settle in some place in the US?  Why come to the Philippines at all? Just my

Actually...family proximity was one of our high level geography factors...on top of the others regarding things like medical and airports, etc.  There's an old saying: marry a Filipina, and you marry

2 hours ago, DaveB said:

Thought I'd go back to your original questions and provide some info on how I and my wife sat in the US and approached the "where to live in the Philippines" question.  The problem is how to sit in the States and make any sense out of the barrage of site-specific info that comes your way.  Our approach might sound pretty mechanical, and naively simplistic, but it got us started.  We did have the advantage of having traveled back and forth here quite often over the years, but deciding where to live as a settled household is another level of commitment to the geography.

We had a set of top level criteria, and sounds like you do, too.  For us: proximity of "good" medical facility - i.e., not next door, but within a reasonable distance (roughly 30 minutes), on the level of something like a typical main hospital in the States.   It would be a plus if it was Tricare certified, as I'm a retired vet.  Also need to know how I'd get to the VA in Manila as I have service related disabilities.  Wife wants to finish her degree - any universities around?  How far to the nearest actual airport that operates every day.   A biggy for us: where's the ocean?  If you just hear the word "Dumaguete" or "Boracay", you don't get much insight on how much they address those kinds of main requirements.

Two things helped us sort through a lot of place names that bubbled up - and to discover some other place names we just didn't know about: Google Earth and U-Tube travel vlogs.  Both of those are likely to elicit some big groans from the general readership here, but I'll explain.  If you can't get here, you can cruise all over every inch of the Philippines with Google Earth, and bore down to even the most obscure barangay.  So, in this forum thread, you see a bunch of place names, some of which you may never have heard of.  Go look at just where they are and get a "feel" for whether that's somewhere of interest based on your "big picture" main set of what you're looking for.  As artificial as it is - and certainly not a 100% fool proof solution - you'll at least sort out the wheat from the chaff on what particular places offer.   

The U-Tube vlog's take a little filtering (OK...a LOT of filtering).  So many of them are just raving and rambling reviews of people staying at nice resorts and a weirdly huge number focus just on food.  Skip that stuff.  When you get a place name that might be a contender, look for vlogs from people that live there and who spend some time showing you how they live.  I'll give an example: there's a guy named "Brian" who has a vlog called "Philly in the Philippines" - and all he does is walk and ride all over Angeles City doing day to day stuff like shopping, going to the doctor, getting his bike repaired, and so on and so on.  You watch a few of his videos, you get a pretty good feel for what it might be like to live in Angeles City.

So while you're stuck there in the US, these are two simplistically artificial techniques for doing some broad filtering.  When you decide it's time, pick the best geographic contender, set up a short term rental or find a resort you like or whatever you want - maybe a month to start, maybe a couple months, whatever works.  Do NOT expect to just pick your permanent house and move here.  Consider it the starter set of the solution - try out your intentions on how it fits your needs, but simultaneously get into the culture shock issues and sort yourself out and make sure this whole Philippine thing is a good idea in general.  Then, start traveling around, put those boots on the ground, and finalize where you want to live.  Then start working on housing accommodations at that place - one that meets your bigger needs and where you actually want to put some roots down  Some people have suggested that you never want to buy a house, or get into a multi-year lease on some place until you've been here at least a year.  As for the details, like "western style accommodations" - your ground work will sort out just how available that or other factors are.  Trying to resolve issues at that level of detail is an exercise in frustration - work those things from in-country.  Most of what you might be looking for in PI is probably here some place - and a lot of it is here in almost all places.  It's just a matter of you customizing the package to your preferences.   For example...right  now I'm in a Philippine house in a Philippine subdivision - with four 110v sockets mixed in with the 220v sockets.  Not a widely common thing - but it's an example of what I mean by "look for it - you'll likely find it somewhere".  

Good luck to ya.  Hope something here helped.  If you have some specifics you want to discuss with someone who is about 7 months ahead of you the "retire to the Philippines" idea (and who spent two years sorting it out and making it go), drop me a note.  

Thanks for sharing your selection process which was successful for you, DaveB. Your mentioned criteria was a good example of knowing your needs, and finding a list of acceptable starting points.

From what you wrote thus far, it seems your wife was open to many options over a wide geographic area. A lot of Pinay aren't willing to settle outside of their first language areas, but some women can speak two in-country languages as well as English and some are very well traveled, so they will comfortably consider living on many islands or other regions.

Many Pinay want to be in some proximity to their extended family members and Philippine social networks from their school years, but perhaps that wasn't so important for yours. Mine has sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. in southern Luzon, Mindoro and here on Panay and has lived parts of her life in all three locations, so we had options. She chose the most advantageous for us to settle in, and I am most pleased with the way things turned out. 

Men who already have a wife or serious long term GF aren't as free to choose from a wide spectrum of regions, but you may have been one w/o that limitation.  In most cases, many men have to comply with their wife's list of acceptable options as well, which narrows their range considerably. 

Nothing wrong with watching PI vbloggers, since more often than not, you can honestly say that you wouldn't want to trade places with them if you've already found a good geographic fit for yourself. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, RBM said:

zero karaoke,

Zero????  Gazooks...are you sure you're still in the Philippines?  Is there at least a rooster crowing somewhere in the background?

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4 hours ago, DaveB said:

Zero????  Gazooks...are you sure you're still in the Philippines?  Is there at least a rooster crowing somewhere in the background?

I have got use to the roosters, Just at the back of me about 2 meters from our back yard theirs a field of roosters on those A frames, last count 30-40 of them. I make sure the window and doors are shut though.

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21 hours ago, DaveB said:

Zero????  Gazooks...are you sure you're still in the Philippines?  Is there at least a rooster crowing somewhere in the background?

The lovely guy whom runs this tiny resort (part owner) is an environmentalist freak. He spent many years living working  in Germany in this area. A medical doctor also.

If anything he is extreme, zero food allowed near main pool, no drinks, smoking, excess noise, no running or jumping. Correct not a rooster can be heard, just popular local birds (mostly with wings, although....)

Pay off is  spotless area to read and swim, not even ants.....due to the strict enforcement of rules. For me...another plus is zero fone signal, meaning less people. At times we have it to ourselves. 

Last time there the staff gave me a big bag of avocados from the trees. 

These little jewels are around everywhere just need find them.

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3 minutes ago, RBM said:

The lovely guy whom runs this tiny resort (part owner) is an environmentalist freak. He spent many years living working  in Germany in this area. A medical doctor also.

If anything he is extreme, zero food allowed near main pool, no drinks, smoking, excess noise, no running or jumping. Correct not a rooster can be heard, just popular local birds (mostly with wings, although....)

Pay off is  spotless area to read and swim, not even ants.....due to the strict enforcement of rules. For me...another plus is zero fone signal, meaning less people. At times we have it to ourselves. 

Last time there the staff gave me a big bag of avocados from the trees. 

These little jewels are around everywhere just need find them.

Has this hidden gem a name or is it a secret?

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10 minutes ago, Old55 said:

Has this hidden gem a name or is it a secret?

Absolutely not a secret OLD but the forum is strict about posting names as can be seen as advertising. Happy to give FB name if allowed.

Please remember we are all different critters, as I remember your more into the entertainment side of life, this is not the venue, its more for those whom appreciate nature.

Having said that, far from the main pools there are cottages for day use where people as always....seem to spend the whole time eating, but strictly not near pool. Guess the owner has a difficult time to keep all happy.

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