I hope to retire to the Phiippines soon. I wish to live in one of the areas with cooler temperatures. I know there are others. But I would like to stay in Luzon. I am focusing on Tagaytay and Baguio. I would like your comparison of them for weather, cost of living, need for a car, and anything else you'd like to add. Thank you for your help.
I lived in Baguio many years ago and loved the city. All that was once so attractive has been lost in the hopeless congestion of a city grown far beyond capacity. Driving is a nightmare. Water and power is a problem. Construction is rampant. Still, there are expats there who wouldn't live anywhere else. Best to get a taste of it yourself. We moved to Bohol which I liked much better. We are going back to the Philippines next year to see Lucban, Quezon.
Tagaytay and Baguio surely are the first two places that come to mind when places with cooler temp are mentioned. However, there is a third option --- Manolo Fortich --- in the province of Bukidnon down south in Mindanao. New York Times calls it a "retirement haven" (see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/greathomesanddestinations/a-retirement-haven-in-the-philippines.html)
Am heading to the Philippines in January and among the places I will visit is Manolo Fortich. I won't be retiring till 10 years later but am seriously looking at settling somewhere in the Philippines. Manolo Fortich is on my list of potentials.
Tagaytay is great ,You cant beat the weather here.. . On an average 4 celcius cooler than 15 miles away or Manila..., there are a quite a few expats here if you want to mingle..Plenty of jeepneys motorized pedicabs & trikes to get around, or buy a car.plenty of nice restaurants..A new theater will be open by Dec 2017....yes, busy on the weekends,, but you cant have everything,,
Been to Baguio and Tagaytay many times. Baguio is very cool but it does seem to rain an awful lot. The city is set on top of a mountain and the area does suffer from landslides. Getting out of Baguio means driving down the mountain every time. Lennon road has beautiful views and waterfalls but is under constant repair, again due to landslides. Baguio city is very busy, session Street is where the shops and restaurants are. It feels safe walking around at night. Some nice places to visit. Strawberry farm is worth visiting some really good strawberry jam. Downside for me is being on top of a mountain, and the risk of landslides. Earthquakes can be devastating there, I went there after an earthquake a large hotel had fallen down the mountain side. I like Baguio, it's a nice place, busy but nice. Tagaytay is also very nice some nice restaurants overlooking Taal lake and volcano, live bands etc. In Tagaytay itself it's a bit expensive but just outside is much cheaper. As said before weekends and the traffic builds up really badly. Quite a bit to do there not at all bad at all. Downside it's more expensive in Tagaytay proper
Landslides are a definite risk in Baguio. Our subdivision was hit just a hundred yards from our house. Over ten people killed in Benguet the year we lived there. My friend's wife was killed in an earthquake. One day the whole mountain is going to collapse under the combined weight of stupidity, ignorance, and asphalt! But to be fair, there are expats who wouldn't live anywhere else.
Hi Morgacj2004, I will be there for a week as I want to get a feel of what is life really like there. It is miniscule in area and in what it has to offer in terms of activities compared to Baguio and Tagaytay obviously. But it is that smallness and stillness that makes me shortlist Manolo Fortich. I want to spend my sunset years writing and M F is perfect in my mind. I will give you an update on what I have discovered there when I return in March 2018. By the way, I will also be in Baguio for a week to do comparison It has been 40 years since I last visited the place.
Hi Calzia, no you are not being negative. Your point is valid. I do realize that NYT article was written awhile ago. I have scoured the internet for any article of substance about Manolo Fortich since that article but found none. Hence, I am making a week-long trek to find out things for myself. To get a realistic assessment of M F, I will also be connecting with locals, including those from the neighbouring city of Cagayan de Oro. Will also head to Baguio to do some comparison. Will give an update when I come back from that trip.
We lived in a small village in Bohol. I liked it but too hot for my wife and they don't speak Tagalog well. Lucban doesn't have the altitude of Baguio, but isn't terribly hot. We've never been there but others speak well of the location. Urban Philippines is very challenging. An hour from a city is close enough, less expensive and usually safer.
Yeah Tagaytay by far First and foremost it's only one hour from an international airport We learned to just stay home on the weekends especially after 12 noon and do our running during the week because of all the people that comes up here to escape the heat from manila on the weekend
Tagaytay may have bad traffic on the weekends though that does leave five days without the weekenders that allows you to travel, sightsee, visit your favorite resto, bar or shopping center or go to the movies. You can also travel about 1/2 hour to 40 minutes to the S&R shopping club (like Costco in the US), where a wide variety of imported goods can be found, though the prices can be a little high.
Tagaytay also has two public markets that offer not only veggies, fruits and local grown coffees but beef. (The quality will be up to you to decide),
It is also close to five malls with a wide variety of restaurants, spas, department stores, hardware stores, appliance stores, coffee shops and a few very modern dentist offices.
The utilities are also very reliable (for us), in the Tagaytay area. Electric, water and internet are dependable, especially when compared to the daily outages some expats speak of in other areas.
Tagaytay has a private hospital and two public hospitals (public are a bit dated) and a new specialist center in Silang. The Asian hospital is about an hours drive or less and has a good reputation for more serious hospital needs.
Within about an 1 to 2 hours plus driving time you have a wide variety of beaches available as well as a short trip via ferry boat to Mindoro and it's beaches.
Baguio may be cooler but we have found our area to be breezy most of the year and much cooler than the lowland area surrounding us.
There are also areas around Tagaytay like Mendez which is normally even cooler than Tagaytay as well as Laurel, Amadeo and Indang.
If you'd like to try your hand at sailing, the Taal lake yacht club offers classes and rentals.
Consider not only the area but the utilities and proximity to services unless your budget can afford you a backup power system and a dependable well and filter system.
I like Baguio myself, and I'm not familiar with Tagaytay, so can't really compare. With Baguio, you just have to keep in mind that it's an urban lifestyle, not a small village. There's traffic, and air pollution, etc. But the weather is nice and the people are friendly, not as tourist-oriented as you find in a place like Sagada, that would only be a farmers' market town if there weren't any foreign tourists.
Manila fortich is a rural community in the province of Bukidnon in Mindanao. It's peaceful and quiet but very few amenities. You have to drive to Cagayan de Oro, about an hour away for medical and entertainment. Check out Valencia in Negros Oriental. It's cooler and closer to Dumaguete, a university town where a lot of expats live. Dumaguete is a lot nicer, cleaner, and safer than Cagayan de oro.
Did you ever get to Manolo Fortich? If so I would be most interested in your feedback. I have similar parameters and have been considering Baguio and Tagaytay. My fiancee tried CDO for a year but it is too hot for me, hence the search for a cooler place.
Noodles - I have been considering Tagaytay myself. I have never been to the RP but plan on retiring there in about 10 months. I have been doing a lot of reading and heavy research for about a year now. You can window shop for Homes and Condos for sale and rent on-line easily for the area. There are usually decent descriptions regarding how closely located these homes are to Malls, Churches, Schools, and Tagaytay downtown itself.
Draks - I assume that you mean the poverty, the inefficiency, the lack of certain things - and the unbelieveable Beauracracy (?). Plus polution, overcrowding in Cities, etc.... I have a Pinay waiting for me - who said that she would help guide and interpret with officials, and help or do negotiations - due to "Skin Tax".
Fader yes a guide/gf is essential for hand-holding until you get the hang of things. Be careful though. It is hard to get to know a Pinay for who the really are: expert pretenders & actresses. It’s common to see dispossessed Westerners in their 50’s begging for money because their gf took their passport, money, phone (everything).
Goslig, makes a good point Fader. There are many good Filipina, But there are just as many deceptive ones. It’s like walking in a rice field around landmines. You know they are there, so you have to be very very careful. Defined a good one, the family also has to be very good as well. Poor fam but there are just as many deceptive ones. It’s like walking in a race feels around landmines. You know they are there, so you have to be very very careful. Defined a good one, the family also has to be very good as well. Problematic family, usually very problematic girlfriend. They will take you for everything, and what you have left they will extort you. The bad ones, are really bad. The good ones, because you know grief cause you to smile every morning and so on . But another caveat has to be said here. Filipina, are experts, world class, at the long con game. They can go for two, three, five years, without letting down their guard. So, into years you think you found the love of your life, maybe, maybe not. Again, don’t get me wrong there are many great Filipina . I think the odds are around 5050 these days. The odds are used to be a lot better, before social media and western expectations. Just my opinion folks, from living in the Philippines on and off for many years. I would like to listen to your opinion too.
I think the best way to handle a Filipina, is to always hold the cards. Never let your girlfriend start making decisions for you. Also, I urge everyone to get one or two private investigators to investigate their online activities, as well as their social activities and their families social activities. I have given us advice to many friends . I have save money with this advice.
Surf and Goslig - I hear you loud and clear. Walk softly and carry a Big Wallet - that YOU control. I've got a pretty good Poker Face. I can be seen as a totally cool, nice, kind person. And I am all those things. But underneath I am very aware and have my Radar on. Great advice. I think that the internet/social media and the corruption of the West is probably starting to ruin the Philippines. Plus Hollywood. The attitudes and violence is a constant barrage on all cultures, but the gentler culture of the RP is being negatively affected - and it will snowball.
Dark - I think your best off having your radar on at all times in the RP - good for you ! Yes the internet has hugely negatively effected the RP . Here is a sign you want to watch out for - a Filipina who has 2 or more cell phone - red flag for various reasons !!! ( at times ) , #2 , more than 1 FB account . MOST , dont admit they have 3+ FB account and instagram plus other ( under fake names , et al ) , but the figure that I god up at one point was in the RP every person has ( mean ave ) 3.2 FB accounts .... having more than one is another red flag . The internet is perfect for the RP to facilitate "Chicka Chicka" and " key board warrior-KBW's) "... as well as your usual extortion, Trolls,set-ups, stalkings and sex-tortions and defamations .....
Social media and its left wing agenda is fast ruining the RP and many countries like it !
Dont get fooled however. This is not a white -foreigner only issue. Filipinos will turn on each other in a heartbeat esp if there is money involved. My elderly mother- in law who is a US citizen has dementia and recently returned to her home in Cebu for good. She snuck out one night with all of her jewelry and 3 k in USD funds. Needless to say the neighbors who are much poorer and who run a bbq stand took advantage and confiscated everything. My sister in law contacted the police. Big mistake for the neighbors, as my mother in law is married to former cop from Cebu. One of the high ranking police Officials knew him from before and took immediate action arresting the couple. They had already used the 3k to purchase a new motorized trike that the husband is driving, police did get most of the jewelry back and the criminal case is ongoing. My in laws will have to also open up a civil case. They have known these neighbors for many many years and even had the husband shuttle them around ( tricycle driver) also paying him to do odd jobs. BE VERY CAREFUL WHO YOU TRUST IN THE PI. Needless to say my mother -in laws, sons are ready to take the law into their own hands. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. Just another day in the PI.
Surf, you are spot in about navigating women here. I see you have been here awhile. The women will charm your pants off, which is where many of the problems begin. If the guys here would just court these women for several months and just concentrate studying the behavior of the woman, their mannerisms, opinions, and especially spend time listening to her about family, they reveal themselves. And if they tell you in a month that they love you, it isn’t love. Don’t be flattered. Family behavior plays a huge role. If there is an ongoing conflict, that will be her normality and eventually you will be dealing with the same toxicity.
catabis- back and forth to my second home - The RP, actually for many years . I have many dear friends on Negros and beyond both Pinoy and Expat. Love the country, the people , and love watching the RP grow and develop . I donate my time and money to causes there as well ! hmmm, yes, the girls are taught to put on a face at a young age . Study the Family well, ask neighbours... hire a PI investigator if you serious about a women . They are lovely women , SO man friendly , BUT you must get the right one. If you get a Long-Con one , your life can be hell ! sadly , there are many that I would not recommend my friend / friends date . In the city 30-40%, in my estimation, can be real bad , a nightmare for you- beyond belief ( house gone, bank account gone, Motor gone, and so on....) . In the province it is less . Oddly it relates to how western and/or how much internet time they have and how many social media accounts . Social media pulls them into the vortex of greed, extortion, and fraud ( my opinion) . Hence the need for a PI , and comperter experts to do some work o "your love of your life" :)
Dont get me wrong - some are just super and tell you to watch out for the scammers and takers ... best be warned right ? If I save just one guy - my job is done ! :)
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