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      New Members: Click Here   03/09/2017

      Hello. If you are a new member, and feel a bit apprehensive about posting in the "open" forums, or, just wish to get your "sea legs" prior to posting in the open forums, feel free to post anything you wish to talk about, in the Newbies Forum. No one will bother you, or give you any sort of grief. Everyone there is happy to help you get answers to your questions.


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About PeteHK

  • Birthday 03/24/1949

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Cebu and Hong Kong
  • My Blood Type
    No option.
  • Interests
    Football, fishing, movies, good food!

Philippines Experience

  • Philippines
    Visited 9 times +

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  1. Incidentally, there was a Forum poll on monthly spending at the beginning of 2015. I guess as most members are probably retired or semi-retired the poll figures give some idea of the general trend. Our spending has been in the $2500-3000 a month range for several years but as with many families the spending pattern changes over time. We eat more at home now but buy whatever we fancy rather than being too price conscious. Our spending on electricity has dropped a lot since mid-2016 as we spent quite a lot on renewing all the electrics and installing LEDs all round and two inverter a/cs. This has reduced our bills by around 30%. School fees for one of my wife's sons are now finished, just leaving the youngest in Senior High prior to university in a year's time. That's two of the three boys in the workforce! We still run two cars but fuel costs have been lower over the past two years as oil prices dropped. We live a very comfortable lifestyle in Cebu and still spend time in Hong Kong though much less than before. We also do a couple of long haul holiday/family reunion trips a year. The way I see it is that I worked very hard for 40 plus years, saved hard, spent and invested prudently and now I just intend to enjoy it in the time I have left. Just to finish, as I've said before in response to this kind of question on spending which I know interests a lot of people, Cebu is not expensive (even now) but it is not cheap either. If you want to see sky-high crazy prices try living in Hong Kong!
  2. Certainly felt the two quakes here in Banawa. The first went on for several seconds and gave the place a good shake. The second came a few minutes later and was shorter and less intense. No damage.
  3. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-03/asia-s-ugly-duckling-of-the-year-is-the-peso-thanks-to-duterte This article quotes BPI source expecting 52+ by year's end.
  4. Try Rustans in Ayala.
  5. After spotting it a few weeks ago we finally called in at an art gallery/showroom which is located in the row of shops between Maria Luisa access road going south towards Country Mall (it's the line of shops that also includes a pet shop). This art shop is not easy to spot - it has a very small frontage, no nameplate and the door is probably closed most of the time until a visitor knocks on the glass. Once you get inside you will find 100s of pieces of artwork in different styles and mediums, of different vintages and shapes and sizes. Many are by prominent local and Manila artists. The owner is Mrs Santos who used to own the art shop and framers located on Escario near the Parklane Hotel. We picked up a couple of interesting contemporary abstracts in acrylic, nicely framed for 15K.
  6. Have a dash cam in our car here and it makes us feel a bit more secure. I get the impression that some drivers, specially those coming into the main road from a side road, are a bit more cautious and careful when they see the dash cam which is easy enough as we don't have windshield tinting except at the top. As yet, I see very few cars with dash cams in Cebu though given the way the traffic situation is deteriorating so quickly they could soon become a necessity.
  7. Price to income measures of affordability in the Philippines are going to be distorted by the scale of remittances. Local income levels are not the key statistic necessarily. Furthermore, there are many owners of multiple units - both locals and some foreigners, including some Forum members. One of our Filipino neighbours owns at least five and these are not small studio apartments.
  8. The assessment of oil price vulnerability makes little sense to me given how important oil imports are to the Philippines.
  9. Yep, absolutely right. It's a tarmac section I think, pounded daily by trucks and just not up to the job. Concrete roads are the only way to go for high traffic routes here as they figured out long ago in Thailand and elsewhere. The whole traffic/road situation in Cebu City is deteriorating at a rapid rate of knots. Even less of enforcement of traffic rules - such as they are - as there are hardly any CITOMs these days. The helmet law is a complete joke and I've lost count of the number of families on a bike that I seen dicing with death with only dad wearing a helmet or not as the case may be. Complete gridlock will come one day soon, probably during a heavy rain storm, with some flooding and the break down of a few unmaintained vehicles on key roads and intersections.
  10. We bought a condo in Cebu three years ago or so off-plan and got a decent discount. We also bought a car park space as I thought that eventually car parking would become a big problem here and spaces would command a premium. In Hong Kong there is a good market in parking spaces and some property investors just specialise in them and have done very nicely. Our experience wasn't agony but then my expectations were not that high but I wanted to make sure my wife had additional assets here. The build quality was not great but nothing that a bit of additional spending couldn't put right. The problem was as much to do with the materials as with the workmanship. One thing where condos here tend to score is on space measurements. Ours is 42 sq. m. which seems right to me as the one we have in Hong Kong is almost the same in terms of net usable floor space. Hong Kong developers are the masters of games when it comes to floor measurements (i.e., gross versus net) and it's only recently that they have had to state the net floor space that can be actually be used. I expect prices here to flat-line at worst over the next 5 years or so but much depends on the local economy of course. Maybe they will take off a bit if the economy really booms and Chinese move into the market to park money they can still get out of China. The outlay for our condo wasn't that large and unlike Hong Kong, where I have bought and sold several small apartments over the past 15 years, I don't expect to make much money on it anyway. It will generate some additional income which is fine. My biggest gripe about the property sector here is the lack of transparency and the way that so little information is easily available. I am used to being able to go to property company websites and getting financial details of all the latest transactions, both sales and rentals. Alternatively, many banks offer property valuations through online banking for the most popular apartment blocks in different districts. But this is in a real market. Another gripe concerns real estate agents and their charges which I find unbelievable given the prevailing standards of service. To hit sellers for 5% and landlords one month's rent for their service seems to be way over-the-top. Hong Kong charges are 1% each from buyer and seller on a sale/purchase and half a month's rent from landlord and tenant for a rental. Since the buyer/renter is also getting a "service" why shouldn't they pay too?
  11. Some recent restaurant experiences. Spice Fusion in SM and SM Seaside is a great value-for-money place with very generous portions and a very big menu of Asian dishes. No.9 on East Benedicto Street is a very pleasant Spanish restaurant with a good layout and good food. L'Artisan in Oak Ridge Business Park on A.S.Fortuna is also worth a visit. Had a great lamb shank there a couple of weeks ago. Good value and not too pricey. The chef is French.
  12. If you want the really bad news check out the population projections from the Philippines Statistical Authority. Projected population for Cebu "metropolis" in 2045 is 6 million!!! https://www.psa.gov.ph/content/highlights-2010-census-based-population-projections
  13. I checked out the artwork in the small exhibition on the 3rd floor at Ayala this afternoon. There are some nice original oil paintings. The one's I liked were priced at around P12K to 13.5K but negotiable.
  14. It's a nice place and I also enjoy the exercise I get walking around the place. Amazed to see the Audi and Porsche showrooms downstairs. We've been twice and both times it was full of youngsters. The supermarket is quite impressive with plenty of foreign foods and good fruit and veg selection.
  15. Visit the Social in Ayala quite often and it's one of my favourites. We tried the one in SM Seaside last week and were quite happy with the experience. I tried the fish and chips although I wasn't so keen on the cream dory used as the fish. Had an interesting chat with the manager about the menu. He was keen to get feedback on the customer experience. The menu at Seaside is not a varied as Ayala and it seems more geared to local tastes. I think we will heading to Seaside more often in the future as it's a much easier drive from Banawa. Plenty of restaurant choices.