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jimmyzr1

Just arrived in the Philippines and now trying to decide where to live?

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jimmyzr1

Hello, I arrived in the Philippines on 1/15/2018 and my girlfriend, her son and I are trying to decide where in this country to live? We met online in May, I traveled around the country a little (30 days) with her in September/ October, we visited Davao City, Iloilo, Tagaytay, Subic, only a day near Clark because of a Typhoon, a a few days in Manila. We are now staying near her family in Malolos, Bulacan, which I’m starting to get very bored with, actually both of us are.  We will be staying here until mid-April until her son is finished with the school year. 

We are hoping to find as safe an area as possible, with enough foreigners, where I will not get bored, hopefully with wives or girlfriends that have expat group get togethers, possibly as well. Another important thing, I would like to find a good, private school for her son to attend, one where her son would not get bored, and where they actually teach the students something. Another thing, it would be nice to be close enough  to an airport, good hospital care, as well. My favorite hobby in the US was metal detecting, so if close enough to a nice and safe beach area would be great as well. I would hope to make friends with other expats that may want to go out metal detecting as well, for security and to enjoy the hobby. 

We would prefer to live in a safe housing area instead of condos as well. We are looking to rent as well. We know, this is asking a lot, but I just sold everything in California and moved here, hoping for a less stressful and enjoyable life. Oh, one more thing, I am a US veteran as well and can use VA facilities as well, on occasion for checkups, but don’t have to live near Manila, but may need medical insurance as well. Thanks, I appreciate your time. Jim

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battleborn

Good luck with your search

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Lordblacknail

We live in a camillia homes sub division in talisay, Lawaan. We pay 10K per month for a two bed, two bath with a small yard. Huge kitchen. Good private school near by where my 8 year old daughter goes. We are leaving july 16 but there are other houses here to. If I had it to do over again, I would look in Minglanilia for a place with some land. Not that much farther away from Cebu, but a world of difference in having some land around you. If you are going to get a car, I would for sure say Minglanilla or some other place where you can get some land. North of Cebu is good too. Good luck.

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bmoore

She is a Tagalog,  I assume, so she may not be completely comfortable living among Bisayans unless she speaks the language. That may be another constraint.  What did you think of Subic? It is a pretty area, fair sized town (Olongapo) and far enough but not too far from the family.   Are you retired military or a disabled vet?  It may be  a pain getting VA health care if you are not.

Good Luck.

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Davaoeno
14 hours ago, jimmyzr1 said:

we visited Davao City, Iloilo, Tagaytay, Subic,

It would be a big help if you told us why you rejected each of those places 

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goggleye
55 minutes ago, bmoore said:

She is a Tagalog,  I assume, so she may not be completely comfortable living among Bisayans unless she speaks the language. That may be another constraint.  What did you think of Subic? It is a pretty area, fair sized town (Olongapo) and far enough but not too far from the family.   Are you retired military or a disabled vet?  It may be  a pain getting VA health care if you are not.

Good Luck.

I would agree Subic sounds like a good deal for you      Lots of expats     

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jimmyzr1
2 hours ago, Lordblacknail said:

We live in a camillia homes sub division in talisay, Lawaan. We pay 10K per month for a two bed, two bath with a small yard. Huge kitchen. Good private school near by where my 8 year old daughter goes. We are leaving july 16 but there are other houses here to. If I had it to do over again, I would look in Minglanilia for a place with some land. Not that much farther away from Cebu, but a world of difference in having some land around you. If you are going to get a car, I would for sure say Minglanilla or some other place where you can get some land. North of Cebu is good too. Good luck.

Hello, I’m curious why you are leaving the area there? Thanks for the information.

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jimmyzr1
2 hours ago, bmoore said:

She is a Tagalog,  I assume, so she may not be completely comfortable living among Bisayans unless she speaks the language. That may be another constraint.  What did you think of Subic? It is a pretty area, fair sized town (Olongapo) and far enough but not too far from the family.   Are you retired military or a disabled vet?  It may be  a pain getting VA health care if you are not.

Good Luck.

Yes, she speaks Tagalog, we liked the area ok, but stayed in an area that we didn’t really feel overly comfortable, also. We met some foreigners as well there. I am a disabled veteran, receiving some benefits from that as well as some other retirement.

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jimmyzr1
2 hours ago, Davaoeno said:

It would be a big help if you told us why you rejected each of those places 

We haven’t actually rejected any of the areas yet, except maybe Tagaytay, I definitely enjoyed the area there, mainly because of the weather, but it felt I would get bored there, we liked Davao City, made some friends, but my girlfriend wasn’t sure, if sh*t hit the fan one day, would we be safe there, Iloilo was nice, that looked like they are doing a lot of building there, didn’t meet too many foreigners there though. I think we will probably look more at the Subic, Clark, Visayas areas. A good private school, as well as metal detecting beaches for jewelry, maybe old Spanish shipwreck coins would be fun as well. Although, we may have to either save that for taking trips to do that. I hope to find expats that would want to take up that hobby as well, for my safety and fun, if possible.

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Davaoeno
2 hours ago, jimmyzr1 said:

. I hope to find expats that would want to take up that hobby as well, for my safety

In all honesty I think the only dangerous thing you are likely to encounter while metal detecting is sand crabs !! hehe  

I am surprised that your gf had safety concerns about Davao . I feel safer in Davao than anywhere else in the Philippines [ and I have driven many places here ]   In Davao they take safety seriously !! 

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savarity

Since you were in Iloilo, have you considered Bacolod?

I'm not sure about beaches or metal detecting, but there is a nice expat community there and it's a nice city. After visiting dozens of PI cities, I liked it the best, well it and BGC, although I still live in Cebu.

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bounder
1 hour ago, savarity said:

Since you were in Iloilo, have you considered Bacolod?

I agree.  Bacolod is very progressive.  They have a good private school (LaSalle) and there is a group of ex-pats who gather often for social functions.  It even has a new private hospital on the south edge of the metropolis. There is plenty of land available for rent or purchase around the city.  Going either south or north, there are plenty of beaches in which to do metal detecting.  

Although I live 80 km south of Bacolod, I have always felt safe walking the streets there and were I to decide to live in a city, I would have no problem settling there.  

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wondersailor

Davao is as safe as it gets in the Philippines and I feel safer then I did in the US.

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colemanlee

Ok let me add somewhere, Ormoc City Leyte, good schools, bars, shopping, couple hours by boat from Cebu, on the west side of the island so rarely get affected by storms, good expat community, beaches and lots of fun, 

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Soupeod
37 minutes ago, RangerUp said:

Unless you accidentally get hit with a stray Death Squad bullet.

Don't live on a boat in the Marina!

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wondersailor

Your right! Not Davao! Stay home! Beginning to look like Florida here anyway.

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trthebees

Dunno if it's a typo, your post says you've just arrived, and then 1/15/2018 ! So I don't know if you're well accustomed to the Philippines.

Anyway, good luck with your search. Definitely rent first when you find something suitable. No doubt you'll end up buying a few household things and sorting school and other life stuff. 

But my main point is, while you have to try somewhere and do a bit of setting up, don't mistake the entertainment, excitement, and general keeping busy of the "project stage" lull you into thinking things are great and over-committing. Settle somewhere rented, and slow up buying stuff, and try to live a normal daily life for at least several months. It'll give a better idea of whether you like the area, or your partner misses her family area, or whether you even like the Philippines and feel like a greater commitment.

 

 

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RedRanger
On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 11:46 PM, Davaoeno said:

In all honesty I think the only dangerous thing you are likely to encounter while metal detecting is sand crabs !! hehe  

I am surprised that your gf had safety concerns about Davao . I feel safer in Davao than anywhere else in the Philippines [ and I have driven many places here ]   In Davao they take safety seriously !! 

I like Davao as well, but they have a bomb blast about one per year.  I was in Digos a few years ago when the bomb went off at the bus terminal, I see after about 8 years they have finally arrested the master mind there.   Didn't Samal Island have a couple of foreigners get kidnapped by ABU Sayaff couple years ago and they beheaded one or maybe both of them?

They make take safety seriously but they still have a lot of bombings there

 

9 hours ago, wondersailor said:

Your right! Not Davao! Stay home! Beginning to look like Florida here anyway.

You are the cat who claimed you can get a condo in Digos City for like 8k per month, Still waiting fo that location,  You can PM if you want

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JamesMusslewhite

I love the Surigao del Norte area. I live in the Surigao City/Siargao Island/Dinagat Island triangle. But I am more of an adventurist type and love boating, fishing and rural living. Good place to start a business, good schools and far less bustle and hassle than larger city areas.  

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jimmyzr1

Thanks for all of the responses, I really appreciate them coming.

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jimmyzr1
7 hours ago, trthebees said:

Dunno if it's a typo, your post says you've just arrived, and then 1/15/2018 ! So I don't know if you're well accustomed to the Philippines.

Anyway, good luck with your search. Definitely rent first when you find something suitable. No doubt you'll end up buying a few household things and sorting school and other life stuff. 

But my main point is, while you have to try somewhere and do a bit of setting up, don't mistake the entertainment, excitement, and general keeping busy of the "project stage" lull you into thinking things are great and over-committing. Settle somewhere rented, and slow up buying stuff, and try to live a normal daily life for at least several months. It'll give a better idea of whether you like the area, or your partner misses her family area, or whether you even like the Philippines and feel like a greater commitment.

 

 

Yes, it was a typo, I came back here on 1/15/19 after having visited the Phil’s September-October, 2018. I also viisited 2 times to Dipolog, Sindangan back in 2009-2010, but have no interest in going back there. You make some great points about not spending too much on items until we’re sure, I’m going to like it in the Phil’s.or not. 

Also, we are going to rent for some time before deciding if the location is right for us or not. I think finding and making good friends, will be a big help for all of us as well. Her son hasn’t really had many friends growing up to play with around his own age, so that definitely important to try and find.

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JamesMusslewhite

I relate internet speeds as to kB/s during downloads. Using my current Globe Tattoo unit and using the same laptop I know the speeds from three local areas: Cagdiano, Dinagat Island, Surigao City proper and here on the little island in Day-asan (which is 14-16 kilimeters outside Surigao City proper).

Dinagat Island  - average high 550 kB/s

Surigao City proper - average high 250 kB/s

little Day-asan island - 840 kB/s

   Each location is a different Cell tower, and all local Cell services are routed first through Butuan. For the most part I am satisfied with our local services even in the more rural areas I love to dwell.

   As for the internet download speeds on Siargao Island I have no personal experience to insure I could provide factual information, sorry.

 

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TimL
40 minutes ago, JamesMusslewhite said:

I relate internet speeds as to kB/s during downloads.

 

Yikes!!!! Scary thought. Hehehe

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JamesMusslewhite
30 minutes ago, TimL said:

Yikes!!!! Scary thought. Hehehe

Well there is upload speeds. The concept of truth in advertising means little when dealing with Philippine internet services. Fact: the Philippines has one of the slowest, if not the slowest, internet speeds in all of Asia. PLDT controls the only overseas land trunks, and eventually all other internet services must link to the PLDT mainframe. All texts and internet is first routed through PLDT trunks to Singapore and then rerouted back through a PLDT trunk back to the Philippines. So I only care what the actual download and upload speeds I receive at the router, as all else is merely smoke and mirror rhetoric of deceptive company reps.

   I read on the forums often how some members receive slower that old 56k speeds. So meing on the outer edge of a deep-water mangrove in an isolated 8-hector island and being able to stream video pleases me enough. There are many members here running on far less and wish they could download or upload at 840 kB/s.         

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Thalcoozyo
On 2/2/2019 at 7:23 AM, colemanlee said:

Ok let me add somewhere, Ormoc City Leyte, good schools, bars, shopping, couple hours by boat from Cebu, on the west side of the island so rarely get affected by storms, good expat community, beaches and lots of fun, 

A very good suggestion.  Fast ferry to Cebu City makes the trip very do-able. Large enough that you can find most things that one needs. It is far enough away from Mindanaou to avoid the (perceived) issues associated therewith. You have sunsets there, with access to decent beaches. Tacloban is about 3+ hours away, if you wish to head in that direction. Ormoc City is a good suggestion.

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