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Cebu Living Guides - Living in Cebu

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Living in Cebu:

Living in the Philippines is not a decision to be taken lightly. The Philippines is worlds apart from the way of life that has become fairly uniform all over the western world and indeed many parts of Asia. Traveling say from London to New York you will notice some cultural differences between our American cousins and ourselves, yet the basic infrastructure is very similar to that found in the UK & other European countries.

When you arrive in the Philippines (from now on I will say Cebu, as


this is a guide to Cebu) and probably for many months after, you quickly begin to appreciate what you have left behind. For example you cannot just pop along to the local library to find some light reading for the weekend (there isn't one), or decide to take an evening stroll around the local streets.

Obviously you can walk around here, but not along the nice pavements and clean streets typically found in Europe. These are just two minor things that annoyed me when I first arrived, but believe me you will come up with a long list of things you suddenly feel the urge to do, probably because you've realised that now you can't.

At this point you are wondering why the hell is he trying to get us to come here!. Well I guess a few good points at this juncture would not go amiss, so here we go!

You can wine and dine here for a fraction of the cost when compared with Europe. I can enjoy a nice meal with my girlfriend, including drinks (in a reasonable restaurant) for £10-£15 (GBP) all in. Dining at a good City Hotel will cost from £15+ (GBP) per head for the buffet.

You can buy a 750ml bottle of 12 year old Tanduay rum for £1.30 (GBP). Two pieces of chicken, rice and a Coke for around £1 (GBP) in various fast food joints, some are cheaper still. Haircuts range from 30pence up to a few pounds. As of today 19th July 2006 petrol is around 40-45 PHP a litre and is still on an upward trend.

Manicure pedicure at around £1.50 (GBP), indulge yourself. Go to the corner shop with 60pesos in your pocket (63p) and you could come away with a two bottles of soft drink and a few bags of potato chips and some change. Getting a puncture repaired (vulcanized) will cost around 40-50 pence including taking the wheel off the car.

Renting a property is relatively inexpensive when compared to the UK but does really depend on your own personal standards. You can find a small 2-3 bedroom house from £120+ GBP/month upwards and renting an apartment can be cheaper still.

Please note that finding rental property in the above price range can take a while and will normally involve you in a lot of legwork. Most Real Estate companies do not list this type of rental. The owners of these lower price range rentals would rather get tenants via a sign hung on the door or by word of mouth. They are not prepared to pay the Realtors commission fee.

Dental work is also relatively cheap and typically of a very high standard. The cost of your air fare to Cebu could be recouped purely on the savings made having your teeth fixed here, as opposed to Europe, and the dentists are normally very pretty young women.

There are of course modern shopping malls and supermarkets so there is no need to go without the retail therapy experience. The malls can get a little crowded but that's the same the world over. Malls are often a place for ex pats to meet up and are a good place to meet new friends or the girl of your dreams!

These are just a few examples of what can be gained living here in Cebu. If you are on a tight budget, just getting by in Europe then you would certainly find it easier over here.

Well there you have it, Cebu is a fairly cheap place to live, has good shopping facilities along with good medical and dental services, coupled with fine weather a good selection of beach resorts, pretty girls and cheap beer, what more could you ask for. I am now approaching my third year here and on the whole am enjoying my stay. I will be honest and say that my original reason for coming here was primarily financial but now I am glad I did.

If you think it's a place you would like to visit or retire, then browsing through this web site will help give an insight as to what's on offer. If you would like to come over then why not let us help you when you get here. Airport pickups, hotels, sight seeing etc. Just contact us here at if there is any information or help you require.

Last Updated: August 20, 2012 10:03

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