Philippines Expat Forum - thinking of moving to cebu or iloilo

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boboy
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9/13/2011 22:56    
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Hi all, I'm thinking of moving to Cebu or Iloilo PI by Jan 2012. Can anyone provide us with info; local community, cost of living, business potential, schools, etc. My monthly budget is $3500. Thanks

amanasan
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9/14/2011 02:18    
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Hi. I am from Cebu but living in Manila now.
First let me inquire, are you married, kids? what kind of area would you want, urban or province like. what business are you thinking of. how old are your kids.

boboy
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9/14/2011 05:46    
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I don't want to sound like an idiot, but is urban equivalent to city living and province to rural? I prefer living in a city environment. I've got a few option regarding starting up a business...it depends on the area I move into and what the local environment is like. I'm single with no kids.

pinaymentor
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9/14/2011 09:30    
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yes boboy, urban is city, suburbs is countryside...

rcampsr
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9/15/2011 22:18    
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Hello Boboy,

Cebu would be more advisable, much more potential than Iloilo. It is a larger city with most government services available there. I have to travel there by ferry from Ormoc City, Leyte, every time I need to go to the B.I. for my Visa processing since it can only be done in Manila or Cebu for residency issues.

You can live nicely on a budget of $3,500.00USD, that translates to about 145,000.00PHP here in the Philippines. My rent here is 8,000.00PHP a month for a large 2 bedroom apartment. Electric runs me 4,000.00PHP and 100.00PHP for the monthly water service. My housekeeper is 3,000.00PHP a month and nanny is 2,000.00PHP a month. My budget here is 60,000.00PHP and that does not include my USA bills. I find Wells Fargo Bank works well because of their international transfer ability for me in transferring money to my Philippine Bank.

If you plan on making it a permanent move, I would recommend that you make sure your legal documents are approved by the Philippine embassy in your country, as this is one of the problems I encountered after moving here.

If you enjoy fishing then bring your fishing things with you, you can not buy rods or tackle here, no one sells the stuff here.

Hope this helps, RAC

boboy
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9/16/2011 05:53    
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rcampsr,

Thanks so much for the info and it's good to hear my budget of $3500 will be sufficient enough. It's helpful for my planning process.

Although, after conducting some research both via online and speaking with Filipinos here in the US, I think I'll be bumping my budget up to $6500 in order for me to live in a gated community that's close to the city (I prefer living in the city).

I found out Wells Fargo is a good bank for transactions in the PI, which is good because I already bank with them.

How is the real estate market doing there in Cebu? Are there a need for new developments? Are there available spaces for a theme/water park? Do you knoe if the Japanese tourist or other tourist for that matter frequent Cebu?

The reason being is I've got a few ideas/options for starting a business there, but it depends on the local community, cost of living and its market. I'm sure just like anywhere else and with the current financial market situation, I've got to be very cautious on my venture.

Again thanks for your info and look forward for more.

rcampsr
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9/17/2011 05:02    
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Hello Boboy,

I do not know that much about Cebu other than what I have seen on the TV and heard on radio. There is a lot of construction going on there and a lot of offerings for homes and condos.

My budget here in Ormoc City is about $1,700.00USD a month and I live quite well. What adds to the amount to live here is if you get a car and driver, buy a large home and hire lots of help to maintain it.

There are a large number of gated communities, but you have to watch and see if there are squatters living in a community next to the gated community.

I have found Google Earth is a good way to look at a city or area that you are interested in. This way you can see access routes and flood zones and other things that may help you make a decision.

As for businesses there, I would contact the government agencies there that deal with business improvements and find out what is being constructed and what businesses are operating there in the area of what you have in mind.

Since they have an international airport there, I am sure the tourist level should be good for the area. Again the department of tourism could help you with that type of information.

I have also found it helpful to search the Philippine law library and see what the requirements are for ownership, operation of businesses by foreigners and also property.

If you are part Philippine I would get your dual citizenship ASAP so your plans will be easier to realize, including visas.

I came here to see if I liked the country and have some medical issues taken care of, but fell in love with the lady taking care of me and have married this beautiful Pinay and now looking at my permanent residence in the Philippines.

They also love their loud music, karaoke and disco, which is great cause I like it too.

Hope this helps you in planning your return to the Philippines.

Take Care, RAC

boboy
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9/17/2011 09:08    
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RAC,

Firstly, congratulations on your new found love and marriage. It sounds like a fairytale come true...may you have a blissful life with your wife.

Thank you much for your information and I will use every bit of it in the planning of my move. I've got a few of my staff flying there to assess the area for me, but it's always good to hear first hand from expats already living and experiencing the life.

I've also researched the idea of dual citizenship, but I think I'll have to hold off on it until I'm comfortable with the idea (a few concerns I have). Although, I'm half Filipino, I've never known the that side of my culture since my dad passed away when I was 7; my mom remarried and so I was raised with the American side of me, but I've been yearning to know my Filipino culture side and it's one of the reason I'm moving to the phil (it's also and investment decision)

One day I'd like to invite you and your family over (on me) to Cebu when I get settled. This is a small gesture for my appreciation of your assistance; you've been the only one who've been practical and understand my requirements. Once again, thanks and hope to meet you and your family.

I will conduct a google earth assessment of the surrounding area; appreciate the advise...thanks.

Regards, Boboy

amanasan
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9/17/2011 19:46    
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Hi Boboy, reading the thread, I am glad you found an expat with an experience, rich enough to guide you in your future decision.
As a Cebuana, I say welcome to Cebu. I am very sure, the hospitality,warmth, smiles and opportunities abounding will make your stay and decision easy for you.
Any help in connecting with people and friends in the area let me know. I have a Filipino couple , residing in LA, friends who just built their house there and would be moving soon from LA to Cebu. Their house would be completed by January, situated in a hilly part i think overlooking a beach area of Talisay, Cebu.
Welcome to Cebu Boboy!

boboy
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9/18/2011 12:15    
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Hi amanasan,

I thank you for the warn welcome and I'm looking forward to finally getting to know my other half of my culture. I've heard so much about the phil and I've been yearning to know and live the culture.

I would love to stay in touch with you and RAC because it's good to know about what I'm embarking on from those who are living and experiencing the place and lifestyle. Forgive me if at times I sound spoiled, but it's due to my not knowing the Filipino culture like I should. However, I'm sure once I get there I'll be learning and integrating the culture into my day to day living.

I'm traveling to Cebu around Nov. or Dec. and thinking of staying there for as long as they'll allow me so I can get a feel on what I'm about to embark on. It will also enable me to have a better understanding on the possibilities of starting a business.

I have a few of my staff arriving there next week to conduct research on requirements, location (my future residence / business location) and the community.

I'm taking it you're Filipino and I hope you'll be able to help me understand the culture. It would be greatly appreciated. Again, thank you for the warm welcome.

Sincerely, Rob

amanasan
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9/18/2011 18:52    
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Hi Rob, you are most welcome. I am glad you are visiting Cebu ahead of your desire to move. In that way you will be able to know if it is the place for your to embark or not. December, being Christmas, you will surely be able to experience the Filipino/Cebuano holiday celebration. and January is a month to see as the famous "Sinulog " festival and Feast of the Sto. Nino de Cebu. That is one celebration that all must see.
Anything I can do to make your understanding of Cebu and the Philippines better, do get through. If you play golf, I have a medical doctor brother who is a member of the famous Alta Vista Golf course in Cebu, who would be happy to go a few holes in the course with you.
Being born, raise and has experienced Cebu for half of my life, i say I know the place would be able to give you much, depending of course on your need.
Again, feel free to patchup . My mobile is +639177040905. email ad is aida.manasan@gmail.com. I work as Financial Planner and Investment Consultant and partly incharge of tourism for Davao City.
Again welcome to Cebu, welcome to the Philippines Rob.!

boboy
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9/19/2011 00:54    
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Hi amanasan,

Yes, I've heard about the upcoming festivities in Cebu, hence, the choice of my travel dates. I' looking forward to it' what a way to start out my new life...hahaha.

I appreciate your offer and I have your contact details added on my cell phone. Speaking of which, how is the cell phone service there? Will I be able to utilize my American mobile phone? What is the cost of obtaining DSL for my tabliet?

Yes, I do play golf, but I think this time around 'll be busy with my research. Thanks for the offer.

Sincerely, Rob

amanasan
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9/19/2011 01:12    
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Hi Rob!
It is expensive to use your American provider as your contact phone here in the Philippines. However, you can maintain that for you to be able to get thru US, the cheaper way.
Here we have 3 telecommunication companies, Globe, Smart and Sun. I use Globe at P1,500.00 a month that gives me both a mobile landline and a mobile number in one sim card. with my utilization, i usually pay around P3,500.00 a month. Rate of exchange, safe at P43.00 to a $.
for dsl, all telcos can give it to you ranging from P1,000.00 to P5,000.00 depending on your need. Speed depends of course on the plan.
Hope this could help.
best,
Aida

amanasan
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9/19/2011 01:14    
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Rob, follow up to better explain.
My mobile is a monthly lock up of P1,500.00/mo, but when i go overboard with with utilization, i pay the difference.

aida

rcampsr
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9/19/2011 21:16    
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I had Verizon International Cell service in the USA and it was great there for the cost of calling, but out of the country was extremely expensive. I got a Smart prepaid phone here and loaded it with 1,000.00PHP and it has worked out great for the amount I have to call the USA and Philippines. I now have a Globe land-line and 3G DSL, to use for my calls and internet (2,300.00PHP/Mo.). Smart makes a wireless adapter for your laptop to access the internet anywhere, as long as you are in a city with smart service.

Your USA credit is worth nothing here so you may want to bring financial statements with you so you can establish credit here.

Sa for the culture and living here, I found it helpful to search Google for Living in the Philippines and Philippine Culture. I found some extremely good information listed there that helped me to get acclimated to the culture before I came here.

There are also a lot of wheeler and dealers here and scams galore. Also, there is some language misunderstandings you have to watch out for. They say one thing to you, but what you think they said is completely wrong, my wife and I are always stumbling thru misunderstandings because of this.

Hope this helps, RAC

boboy
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9/19/2011 22:43    
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RAC,

Once again thank you so much for such valuable info. I'll be utilizing the services you've advised me on. I'm not quite worried about the cost as it'll be charged to my company account.

I did considered my credit worth being a new immigrant to the country, hence the reason I've increased my monthly budget to $6500. I believe this should cover most of my utilities and other costs.

I was warned of the wheeler dealers and scams occurring there in the phil. I know I've got to be guarded at all times and I'm hoping I could hire trust worthy staff from the local community to assist with weeding out the wheeler dealers and scams, but from what I was told, even local hired staff can be my worst enemy. At the moment we're in the process of identifying organizations to assist with my transition period.

Once again, thank you for the valuable info.

Boboy

pogikai
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9/20/2011 00:29    
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Hi
I AM CURRENTLY LIVING IN ILOILO FOR 6 YEARS BY NOW.ORIGINALLY FROM SWEDEN.
MY OPPINION IS THAT IT IS BETTER TO LIVE IN CEBU. CEBU IS MORE INTERNATIONAL AND A LOT MORE TO DO. ILOILO
IS TO SMALL. NOTHING REALLY TO ENJOY HERE.
BUT I GUESS THERE ARE MANY OPINIONS . HOWEVER THIS IS MY OPINION

amanasan
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9/20/2011 01:37    
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Hi Rob, how are you today.
Regarding the scams, yes it is true that it could be present everywhere you go, Cebu is not an exception. So it pays to know the people who are from Cebu themselves.
I would be very happy to let you meet the people credible in the area and perhaps help you establish whatever it may be.
Whatever I can do where Cebu, Davao, Manila and Subic is concerned, let me know.

boboy
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9/20/2011 03:42    
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Hi Aida,

I'm doing fine thanks; yes I believe there's scams no matter where you go, to include here in the US, but it helps to have people in the know to sift through the mess.

Aida, it would be greatly appreciated to meet credible people from Cebu during my transition into the area. I will get back to you with my travel dates once I'm organized with a few more details.

Just to give you an idea of services I'll be requiring upon my arrival there in Cebu; I'll be requiring a lawyer, accountant, and a recruiting team. By meeting up with people (not necessarily in this order) in the profession mentioned will enable me to coordinate necessary legal and financial requirements to facilitate my move into Cebu.

Would it be possible to communicate in private as oppose to an open forum? I'm not really a public kind of person...if you know what I mean. Thanks.

Sincerely, Rob

amanasan
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9/20/2011 03:49    
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Hi Rob, my email ad is aida.manasan@gmail.com. My skype name is aida.manasan.

do let me know which account you are most comfortable. I am online now.

amanasan
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9/20/2011 04:44    
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Rob, do get thru me via my email or skype as indicated. Or any other suggestion?
Re lawyer, my nephew is currently with an American Law firm based in Manila. He goes home to Cebu every weekend because he teaches law in one of the prestigious universities. He has been handling corporations of filipino americans here who have purchased some properties in Cebu.
we can talk about the other areas of concern that you have thru the email or skype as indicated.
let me know,
aida

boboy
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9/21/2011 08:12    
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pogikai,

Thanks for your info, I really appreciate it. I hope your enjoying yourself there since you've been there for 6 years.

Sincerely,

boboy

iCeD
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9/7/2012 10:04    
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Hi...Is yyou ad still active?

All times are ET.  


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