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njs7609 commented on the Expat Report Moving to Angeles City, Philippines
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
I would tell a person considering a move to the Philippines and up to Clark to pay close attention during the look-see trip. If you are going to be assigned to this area, go out on Field's Avenue and experience the life there. It is not something that everyone can come to terms with. Seeing young girls clad in a string bikini with a number tag pinned to her bikini bottom can be a horrifying experience. I only entered one of those places two times during my 2.5 years in the Philippines. It pains me to know that people have to live like that to put rice on the table. It is their choice though, so I make no judgements. It is just something that makes you scratch your head and wonder what will become of the world in our lifetime?

Up at Clark it's not easy to find great food. Dining out is not easy. You have to search for a few good restaurants and you will end up haunting them until you leave. They do a pretty good job of Chinese food in the Philippines. Wonton soup is perfect there, but beware of the portion sizes.

Leisure activities are scant unless you like sweating like crazy on a golf course or hiking up to see Mt. Pinatubo. Of course, as I mentioned, there is quite a nightlife, but it is not for everyone. Anyone that was or is in the military has probably heard many stories that they may find inviting to this kind of lifestyle, but it's important to know that it exists.

I did not have my children with me, but the school situation up at Clark is not what it is in Manila. There are no expat schools. Children will have to be enrolled in the local school system or sent to a boarding school if American schooling is the preferred choice.

Be prepared to head into Manila to "get away" from time to time. There are now a couple of decent movie theaters up in the Clark area and a couple of malls as well, but Manila has it topped. One word of caution in the movies -- it is LOUD! Wherever you go, be prepared for the need to bring ear plugs when you go to the movies.

The Pampang Market is the place to go to find good produce and if you are so inclined, there is a wet market with meat, fish, poultry and pork. The newer local supermarkets are fairly well stocked now also. (Continue)

njs7609 replied most recently with:
Myself and my husband have recently moved to a gated community in angeles city from australia. Would love to hear any advice or recommendations you have on the area! Can send through my email if you are able to reply? Thanks in advance
A reader replied recently with:
My father was stationed at Clark Air Force Base when the base was still active. I actually went to school in Angeles City at a private school. The school is for the rich kids, but a great school that emphasize academics. Balibago is the area where the bars and night clubs are. It's terrible for Angeles City and Balibago to get a bad reputation, because of the bars and prostitution. But I have to tell you that the girls that work at those bars are not from Angeles City or Balibago. They are imported from the other islands in the Philippines and Thailand. My husband and I have traveled all over the world. Poverty is still a big problem in third world countries. The gap between the rich and the poor is too wide. So, I don't judge people who do what they do. I'm sure they have a good reason for doing the things that they do.
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Moving to Angeles City, Philippines
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
There have been some tremendous price increases in real estate over the past few years. The old Clark Air Force base is a busy international airport, growing in flights annually. You can still find some real bargains to both rent and purchase. Most of the people I know rent and few pay more than $150 a month for a somewhat worn but still comfortable American type home with 3 bedrooms and a single bath. People who pay much more than this are really overpaying. You can hire labor for about $4 a day so doing a little fix up work is really quite inexpensive. If you can't own it yourself you are better off renting. Do not trust your Filipina girl friend or even wife. I've seen several guys purchase homes in their wifes name and once the paperwork is completed the wife's attitude changes and the fellow is left outside with nothing. If you rent it's amazing how loyal a Filipina remains.

A previous poster stated that the schools there were not too good. I would strongly disagree. For about $800 a year I send my daughter to a very good private school there and after her first year she spoke and could read and write English almost as good as I. I was truly amazed at how well she was educated. Six years old and she could read almost anything. Her writing lags behind her reading somewhat but she certainly can read quickly and her pronunciation is excellent. It's mostly at university level where the schools tend to fall off. Also there was a comment about the girls in the bars wearing numbers? I've been in AC for 15 years and a lot of that time I was in bars, never have I seen a girl wearing a "number" they do wear a government issued ID that shows they are at least 18 years of age and can legally work in the establishment. The numbers thing is in Thailand, not Angeles City, Philippines.

The Philippines is a very poor country to you have to be streetwise and on your guard but it's not unlike living in most older US neighborhoods. Given the oportunity the filipinos will try to take advantage, as they themselves say "It's our culture".

I like it there and where else in the world can you live quite comfortably on $300 a week and get by speaking English? (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
I spent quite a few months in Angeles City in 2014 and 2015. I began living in a 3 bed townhouse for 30k per month, but was told there were plenty cheaper, so I did look around for something else. Unfortunately i didn't find anything really suitable, but ended up finding something nicer. It was the same size, 80sqm, but only 1 bedroom, but cost 37k per month. There were many options at about 20k but all very small and cramped with little privacy. These are prices for furnished accommodation western style with hot water etc. I met some locals paying 6k ($140) per month for a tiny single room, about 16sqm, with bathroom. If I could find a decent size house for that price, I would be very interested. As far as the bars are concerned, some of them do have girls with numbers (the larger bars) but some do not, mainly the smaller ones.
ronrecon replied recently with:
Love to know about living in Cebu city. a nice apartment of condo, with security, pool, very nice location and walking distance to certain conveniences I must live there because I am U S marine vet with minor disabilities because of Chong Hu Hospital..
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Dating and Marriage in Angeles City, Philippines
What is it like in your country of residence for someone with your relationship status (married/divorced/dating)? If you're single, how do you meet other people? Do English-speaking people tend to gravitate to certain parts of your city?
Basically life is good. The difference can be and is at times frustrating on a daily basis. But even so, I love it here and being married is fantastic. (Continue)
bluegrassky replied most recently with:
Best way for me is to take either the Swagman Hotel bus service or the Southern Cross service right around the corner from each other in ermita. Costs about 500 or 600 pesos, but are both A/C with good seats. Public buses a lot cheaper but very crowded and not as nice.
A reader replied recently with:
I am flying into Clark and then taking a bus to Manila for 2 days. But then I want to come and stay for 2-3 days in Angeles City before flying out to Hong Kong and then to Los Angeles. What is the best way (cheapest also) from Manila to Angeles City.? Thank you all in advance. JS
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