5/06/2010

WHERE TO STAY IN THE PHILIPPINES ?

All year long I got e-mail from people asking me ‘‘where is the best place to stay in the Philippines’’? Baguio, San Fernando (la Union), Olongapo (Subic Bay), Manila, Tagaytay, Legazpi, Iloilo, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Surigao, Cagayan de Oro, Davao? So many nice and different places to stay!
They are retired foreigners settling all over the country, generally in the ‘’Asawa’’ (wife) family place, because it’s easier in so many aspects of the daily life.
When people ask me ‘’Where is the best place to retire in the Philippines?’’, I usually answer ‘’come, visit and make your own opinion’’. Every city is different, and offers different benefits (and drawbacks too), so just do some research before making your decision. I can give you some information regarding some places but I lived before in Manila, Quezon City and Ternate. I don’t know about living in other places, I only visited.
Every body is different, has different interests and desires vary from person to person.
Maybe you are a person who likes a lot of privacy and quiet? If so, may be you would be making a mistake by settling in a city. Perhaps some secluded beachfront in the middle of nowhere would be more suitable to you. Philippines are a very noisy country. Roasters, children, karaoke, music all around, vehicles …
Baguio, located in the mountains, offers a cooler climate with more rain. Baguio is the summer Capital of the Philippines, also known as the City of pines because it sits among lush pines trees, which is unusual for the Philippines. This is not really a tropical atmosphere as you find in most of the Philippines.
San Fernando with beaches and a lot of sailing boats owners is located about 200 kilometers North of Manila.
Olongapo former Subic Bay American Navy base, offers a lot of amenities and duty free shops (free port). Manila, (I don’t care for Manila) the capital, has every thing you can imagine but it is polluted, hot, crowded, a lot of traffic jam and expensive.
Tagaytay could be a good alternative to Manila. Fifty kilometers in the south of the capital, cooler, a lot of foreigners are living there. But there is Taal volcano! If you are hooked to your foods that you enjoy in your home, better to stay close from a larger city like Manila, Cebu or Davao and a few others, to ensure that you will be able to get a good supply of imported goods.
Cebu City in the visayas, center of the country, is the favorite when it comes to retirement destination. Cebu is hugely popular among foreigners coming to the Philippines. Cebu is also going the way of Manila when it comes to overpopulation and such, though, so at some point in the future it may not be such a desirable destination. At this time, though, Cebu probably has among the best infrastructure to be found in the Philippines, good shopping, good access to air travel, both domestic and international.
Davao City. A lot of people are scared to death when they think of coming to Mindanao, let alone living there. Many foreigners consider Davao as the best place to live in the Philippines. Davao is extremely safe, despite all that you can hear about danger in southern Mindanao. Davao offers many of the advantages of Manila and Cebu, while maintaining more of a ‘’small town’’ feel.
Cagayan de Oro City. Many of the same comments regarding Davao apply here. Cagayan is a safe place to live. It offers many activities for foreigners, and makes for a nice retirement area.
Keep in mind that Mindanao, the big island in the South, is outside the typhoon belt, so no matter where you choose to live in Mindanao, you will experience better weather than in many other Philippine destinations.
Legazpi is very close from Mont Mayon, a very well known active volcano and it is a prone typhoon area, but nice surrounding. Hope to you.
Surigao and specially Siargao Island is the paradise of surfers with the famous cloud 9.
Angeles City: This is probably the favorite retirement heaven for singles Americans men, and Australians are starting to favorite it too. There are a huge number of US military retirees here, due to the fact that this is the former home of Clark Air Force Base until it’s closing in the early 1990’s. Angeles City is famous for it’s bar scene, with plenty of liquors flowing, and plenty of girls dancing at the bar. Not really for a family life.
Of course, expats choose many other towns and cities in the Philippines. I have just listed a few places that seem to have higher expat population. A higher number of expats means that you are more likely to find the goods and services that you expect or hope your new home to have.
More information, contact me.

1 comment:

Jamie Pinner said...

I'm still for cebu, ehehehehe

By the way, have you ever heard about yummy-cebu.com? I hear they just started a new contest called Mama's day out!