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  1. Hello and thank you for the acceptance. I have read the real estate threads posted on this forum more than once, learned a lot, great info, yet, hard to understand how the RE functions here. I lived in the the PH on n’off short and long stays for quite a few years now, time has come to decide where I want to retire. I was planning to retire on Bohol island that I have visited often, the land and cost of construction were very reasonable not long ago. Lately, say, 1-2 years ago, I’ve seen crazy things happening there. Lands that I visited 3-4 years ago offered at 600 to 900 pesos sq.m but unsold until this day they now asking for 3000+ pesos. The locals and few of the expat community I talked said is “because of the new Panglao airport.” Scratched my head and thought to myself: There is an airport in Tagbilaran for many years,2 -3 flights a day to Manila. Question: What the new airport brought to the region other than noise and pollution added to the existing, making Alone Beach eligible for a closure “a la Boracay”? The upping of the real estate came as a cherry on the pie of another problem, that is the cost of living, labor and construction materials that raised dramatically. I am wondering if a real estate bubble is near us; wondering also if Portugal, Greece, even Spain isn’t an alternative, better infrastructure, good climate and food, same cost of living. My 300K Swiss Francs (= same number in $US) might be a better investment and lifestyle. My Filipino GF agree. What is your experience? I know there are some long time residents knowledgeable real estate people on this board to explain what drives the prices up? strong migration of foreigners especially Chinese and Koreans? homecoming of OFW heavily investing? Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. Any suggestions as where to stay on Bohol, would you pre book or just wing it? I have pre booked Cebu and Bantanyan island. Thanks Ash.
  3. The wife and I took the Ocean Jet ferry to Tagbilaran on Monday for a 4 day/3 night short vacation in Alona Beach, Panglao. The Ocean Jet is just what the name says it is. Imagine setting in tourist class on a jet and that is Ocean Jet…. except the seats (ours anyway) are hard plastic. The Ocean Jet ferry is fast and efficient… and totally devoid of any sense of romance and adventure. Hmmmm, sounds like modern air travel. In less than 2 hours we were on the pier in Tagbilaran. We got in a cab and headed to Alona Beach. It was about a 30 minute taxi ride and along the way my wife talked with the taxi driver. Hey, she talks with everyone. She ended up renting the taxi and driver for the “Bohol experience” the next day. The car was a new Avanza, plenty of headroom and a little higher off the ground. It turned out to be a good choice for touring the island on Tuesday. I recommend it for us non-Hobbit size people. We paid P2,500 for the car and driver for the day. We stayed in Alona Beach at the Alona Studios Hotel about 20 minutes walk to the beach for about P1,200 per night. It is a quiet and peaceful place and you can meet the owner, Mike, as he spends a lot of time at the bar next to the pool. He is a refugee from Sweden. Actually, there are 2 pools, one big and one small. The guests are a mixture of short stay tourists and longer stay “residents”. It turned out to be a nice place to stay. On Tuesday we started the day at 10:00 and headed to the Loboc River for the “floating restaurant” lunch cruise. It lasts about an hour and the river scenery is nice. The food; however, is atrocious. I guess most people don’t mind because of the ambiance and the whole “floating restaurant” idea. After loading my plate and sitting at our table, I asked my wife the name of what I though was a local delicacy. She replied, “chicken”. It neither looked nor tasted like chicken. The bad food aside, the one hour cruise is pleasant and relaxing. The Loboc tourist scene is well organized and efficient so there were the standard music shows and souvenir shops located along the way so, along with the 3 piece band on the boat there was always something going on. I would have wished for more peace and quiet, but everyone on the boat was having a good time. Before the cruise left the dock we had time to visit the Loboc museum and church right across the street, It was actually an interesting place. If you have any interest in the Catholic history of Spanish colonialism you should visit. And here is a segue to an aside: I have also visited the “floating restaurant” on Olongo island, just east of Mactan. They (there are a few) are not really floating as they stand on piers, but the effect is the same because you have to take a boat to get there and you are trapped there until the boat leaves. Anyway, my point is the food there is also less than desirable (I hope that was polite enough). What is with the bad food at “floating restaurants”? After the cruise we stopped at a tarsier viewing facility. We saw 4 different tarsiers but, being daytime, they were pretty much asleep. The sign says that they have night tours so if you want to see active tarsiers maybe you can visit at night. The sign also said to wear long sleeves and long pants and to bring mosquito repellant, so I will be limiting my tarsier viewing to the internet. But the braver among you should go for it! After the tarsiers we stopped at a butterfly breeding facility. The tour included explanations of how butterflies are bread and viewing of both wild (outside the enclosure) and bred (inside) insects. Maybe the best part was the beautiful gardens. It was one of my favorite stops in Bohol. The tarsiers and the butterflies were stops along the way to the chocolate hills, which the driver explained are not chocolate this time of year because it is rainy season; they are green not brown. Green, brown, or hot pink, the Chocolate Hills are spectacular. As a geologist in a former life, I was intrigued by how the hills were formed but, the science aside, the view is worth the drive. I have been told that there are more “chocolate hills” farther north near the town of Tubigon, so they are on the list for the next trip. Anyway, Wednesday was reserved for walking around the small town of Alona Beach and actually visiting the beach. Alona Beach is a nice little town with many hotels, big and small, expensive and cheap, and many Korean and Chinese tourists. I will wrap this up with a comment about the ferry ride back. We took the SuperCat, which is now called 2GO back to Cebu. It is also less than 2 hours, and also similar to the airplane experience. The one big difference is that the people who operate the SuperCat are under the erroneous impression that all of there passengers want to watch horrendously bad and loud video for the duration of the trip. We were subjected to “Fast and Furious #X” (fill in the number, they are all the same). I know this because the film had Vin Diesel, Duane Johnson, and many, many fast and loud cars. What else could it have been? I politely asked if there was any place on the ferry that did not have TV (a minor semantic point since it was actually a video) and was equally politely told, “So sorry sir. No sir”, by a young lady who immediately went back to her all engrossing texting after she delivered the news to me. So, our 2 hour “flight” was marred by an extra dose of unnecessary noise. I guess the boat operators didn’t want us to forget what country we were in. (OK, I apologize for the sarcasm at the end…. but just imagine how much nicer the PI would be with more peace and quiet). All in all, it was a good trip to Bohol. I recommend it for a trip out of town.
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