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Retirement Paradise- Top 10 Best Places To Live In The Philippines For Expats

(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 592
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Whether you are looking for a quiet tropical paradise or vibrant nightlife, you will find the best places to live in the Philippines for expats are all surprisingly affordable. This article gives you insights and perspectives from expats already living and enjoying retired life in the Philippines.

This topic was modified 2 months ago 2 times by Marco

   
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(@Bill Sanders)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 2
 

I am planning on residing in the Philippines and wish to know if Dumaguete is recommended for retirement (minimal congestion, and family oriented)


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 592
Topic starter  

Hi Bill,

I love Dumaguete. As my article mentioned, it is severely underrated as a retirement destination. Depending on where you live, the traffic is minimal. While going through the heart of town gets more congested with trikes and people walking in the middle of the street, you don't with the parking lot traffic of Manila.

For raising a family, that depends on your thoughts on education. Your kids will not get the prestige of attending the more renowned international or private schools in Manila. Whether that matters depends on you and how you want to handle your kid's higher education.

Cheers,

Marco


   
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(@Scotty)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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IT'm considering Taguig and Tagatay but was surprised by the Subic recommendation, I never considered it. Can you buy a Burgman super size scooter there, like a 600cc, and is it advisable given the risk of bad drivers there maybe will run you down. Maybe better to drive between cities at 2 am on a Sunday night?


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 592
Topic starter  

Hi Scott,

I am unsure about the Burgman availability. I know Royal Enfield are readily available. The great thing about Subic is that traffic rules are stringently enforced more than anywhere else in the Philippines.

Cheers,

Marco


   
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(@ray patton)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
 

Despite the good side and low cost of living.
Its a tough hard life living in the philippines
If you move to Phil from USA.


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 592
Topic starter  

Hi Ray,

I don't believe anyplace is perfect. After living in 15+ countries and visiting another 50 or so, every place has pros and cons, goods and bads. Regardless if you are looking at the United States, Philippines, Colombia, Thailand, Austria, Portugal, etc...There are advantages and drawbacks of every place I've lived. For me, the GOOD outweigh the BAD things in the Philippines, but everyone has different priorities and tolerances. What do you feel are the hard parts of living in the Philippines?

Cheers,

Marco


   
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(@David)
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Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 1
 

Marco - great article! I have been seriously considering moving/retiring in SE Asia (from the US) for several years. I have kept in touch with a Filipina woman who worked on a cruise I took, and she half-jokingly states that she's going to find me a Filipina woman lol. Seriously, I'd rather live there with her than in the US. Money goes SO much farther!

If that doesn't work out, how would you compare the Philippines to Vietnam for ex-pats? I've been looking at Da Nang as a possibility.

Thanks - and congrats on what sounds like a great life!


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 592
Topic starter  

Hi David,

I really enjoyed Vietnam. I lived in Hoi An, a beach town about 30 minutes from Da Nang. The Two biggest differences between the Philippines and Vietnam are the Language and Visas

Visas- There are no long-term visas. Every month you had to leave the country and return to get a new visa. I did it for severals months before I was sick of the visa runs. Compared to the Philippines were US citizens can stay up to 3 years on a tourist visa or get permanent residency through the Philippines retirement visa.

Language- This is HUGE. English is an official language in the Philippines. Nearly every everyone speaks it. This makes day to day life easier and you can make genuine friends in the Philippines, because of shared language and culture. In Vietnam, communication is much harder.

You can read about my recommendations on Vietnam on these articles on Vietnam:

Cost of Living in Da Nang
Is retiring in Vietnam worth it?

Cheers,

Marco


   
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(@Kenneth)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 1
 

Dumageute - You mentioned good Medical Care there... Where? We went a few time to the Silliman University Medical Center, and the service was substandard.. long wait, doctors not always available and what if you have a serious emergency.. good luck getting a ambulance to your house or driving in the traffic as the only have one road in and out of town.. We live there and moved as it lacks medical. Plus tons of expats from Australia, and America. Lots of barangay noise, barking dogs, and burning of trash and coconut.
Beautiful Beaches for sure.
Shopping cheap.. yet still stick with Robinson or SM grocery stores.. lacking western foods.
Many move there living like a Filipino, poor and low rent.. Like you mentioned,, It about Quality of Life.. nice place to visit for the beach and water falls.. but living there,, don't believe the hype.. Also very Dusty and dirty..


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 592
Topic starter  

Hi Kenneth, you should check out ACE Hospital in Duma. It's a newer facility. That said, "Good" is a relative term. I would get any minor treatments, broken bones, checkups, and routine care in Dumaguete. But if you need any serious medical treatment, Manila is really the only place in the Philippines I would go. Also, I recommend always maintaining International Health Insurance with emergency evacuation and medical repatriation coverage. If I need an air ambulance or a flight back home to get serious medical treatment, I am covered. You can get a free quote for expat medical coverage and see if it works for you.


   
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 Matt
(@Matt)
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Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 1
 

Do you have any insights or opinions about Leyte Island or Biliran? I'm engaged to a "provincial girl" from the town of Leyte. I'd like a safe place to raise a family with relatively modern amenities, but still be close to her family.
Cebu is an option because it's not far, but traveling to northern Leyte from Cebu can still be an all day affair, especially if you take the ferry to Ormoc.


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 592
Topic starter  

Hi Matt, I don't have much information Leyte or Biliran, because those areas are not hotspots for most expats. I will give 5 quick tips about foreigners living in the about living in the provinces.

You will stand out. While this is true for most of the Philippines, it is 10x so in the province. This is unnerving for many expats.
You will be considered rich by everyone. This means everyone will see you as a walking ATM
Lack of food options. This is hard transition for many foreigners. Depending on where you go, finding international restaurants or familiar western foods at the grocery is going to be tough
Healthcare and hospitals are generally crap. If you need any treatment, it's best to head to a city for anything more serious than a sprain ankle.
Living near your girlfriend's/wife's family is a VERY different adjustment. Cultural differences and power dynamics when foreigners have to deal with in-laws and extended family 24/7 can be verry stressful


   
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(@Peter Rice)
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Joined: 6 months ago
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Good to have feedback even if negative !


   
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(@marco-expat)
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 592
Topic starter  

👆🏾👆🏾👆🏾👆🏾 100% agree. I strive for transparency. Not every place is perfect for everyone and every place has has pros and cons. I encourage my readers to provide feedback good and bad.


   
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