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Information On Living In Davao


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#1 ozsteve

Posted 07 April 2010 - 02:51 AM

Hi Guys,

My name is Steve, and I am a New Member (as of 3 minutes ago).  I have been 'chatting' with people in The Philippines for some time now (abt 6 months) and have to admit,  'I'm Impressed' !!  SO,  what I am looking for is some help/advice.  I have gotten myself hooked on a Filipino girl and I am now curious as to the prospect of moving over there,  at some stage.  I've done 'some' research and have some knowledge of the rules relating to re-locating.  What I am 'really' in need of,  is an idea of the cost of Living over there.  

When I do retire ( in 3 yrs) and am in a position to weigh things up,  I really need to know if I can afford to move over there.  As a Guide,  I would have access to 'approx' 80,000 Pesos per Month.  So I guess I just need to know,  could I survive on that ??  And what better people to ask,  than those already there.  Can anyone offer me advice please ??

#2 METHOS

Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:25 AM

Survive? -Yes.
Live comfortably? -Who knows...? I guess, only you can answer that question - and only after you have arrived and stayed for some time.

Does your lady friend speak English? If so, have you not discussed these things with her?

Could you pass as a Filipino, and do you speak Tagalog?

Do you have any money in savings? If not, have you considered the costs associated with visa renewal/visa runs? What about medical emergencies? -Do you have/will you have proper medical coverage? What about work? -Are you open to teaching English? Will you be supporting your lady friend? Does she have a job/how much does she make? Does she have a child/children? Will you be supporting them? Do you smoke? Do you drink? How often will you be eating out? Do you require western food? If so, how often? Have you ever been to the Philippines/will you be needing AirCon all the time?

I am not trying to patronize you, and I don't expect you to answer all of these questions. These questions are mostly just a starting point for your thought process - in case you haven't thought of them yet.

Good luck and welcome to OE.
-M

#3 yohan

Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:56 AM

View Postozsteve, on 07 April 2010 - 02:51 AM, said:

..... I would have access to 'approx' 80,000 Pesos per Month.  So I guess I just need to know,  could I survive on that ??  

The answer is a clear YES. Easy, this is a big money in the Philippines also for a foreigner..

Well, the sister of my filipina fostergirl (ok, she is almost blind) is working in a fruit assorting company and she is earning php 5000,- per month.

The elementary teacher next house is earning php 12.000,- per month.

I know a filipina woman, who is also poor, but intelligent, very fluent in English, doing this and that, really not lazy and she is so lucky if she can earn php 15.000,- to php 20.000,- per month...

Of course a foreigner cannot live with so little money.

You should focus on your visa - not really a problem, but a permanent resident permit, retirement visa for life is fine.

Also make sure, you have a good medical insurance.

Good medical care is available in the cities, but usually with the motto 'Pay cash or die early' -

You should also focus on a safe accomodation, like a condominium or house in a guarded complex.
Unfortuantely, a lot of criminality, at least where I am around in Cebu/Mandaue.

#4 ozsteve

Posted 07 April 2010 - 12:38 PM

View PostMETHOS, on 07 April 2010 - 07:25 AM, said:

Survive? -Yes.
Live comfortably? -Who knows...? I guess, only you can answer that question - and only after you have arrived and stayed for some time.

Does your lady friend speak English? If so, have you not discussed these things with her?

Could you pass as a Filipino, and do you speak Tagalog?

Do you have any money in savings? If not, have you considered the costs associated with visa renewal/visa runs? What about medical emergencies? -Do you have/will you have proper medical coverage? What about work? -Are you open to teaching English? Will you be supporting your lady friend? Does she have a job/how much does she make? Does she have a child/children? Will you be supporting them? Do you smoke? Do you drink? How often will you be eating out? Do you require western food? If so, how often? Have you ever been to the Philippines/will you be needing AirCon all the time?

I am not trying to patronize you, and I don't expect you to answer all of these questions. These questions are mostly just a starting point for your thought process - in case you haven't thought of them yet.

Good luck and welcome to OE.
-M

[WOW,  Thanks 'M'.  Um,  gee I don't know where to start replying to that one.  I appreciate what you're saying and I didn't take it as patronizing either.  I realise now I left 'MANY' variables open.  I am sorry for that.  

Firstly,  I don't plan to re-locate,  until I retire here.  I have been told it's a lot easier then.  My 'Bank Account' Deposit will only be $10,000,  once I turn 55 AND have retired.  No, I don't speak Tagalog OR Cebuano BUT my lady is teaching me 'slowly'.  She can speak both, as well as English (enough to get by).

Yes,  I will support her,  she works in her sister's store at the moment but I doubt that will continue once I arrive 'permanently'.  No, she has no kids.  And NO, I don't have medical Insurance.  I was planning to get some when I arrive.  I don't smoke, but drink occasionally.  I don't plan to eat out more than once,  or 'maybe' twice a week.  I'm not sure about the Western food 'Q' as I haven't been over there yet,  so,  don'y know how I will handle Filipino food.  I am planning my 'first' visit there,  in October.  I would also love to catch up with anyone here,  that lives in Davao.  That would be great too !!  

AS for Air-Con,  Will probably need it.  I live in a humid troplical climate now (Townsville, Australia) but only really need the Air-Con from Dec to Mar.  ANd finally,  no,  I haven't discussed this with her.  I plan (at this stage) to re-locate anyway,  due to the size of my impending pension.  I will 'struggle' to survive on it in Australia.  Cost of living here, is over 5 times that over there.  I will be there for just on 2 weeks.  I guess I can olny look around as much I can,  in the time allowed.  I do appreciate the advice 'M' !!  Thanks again.  Maybe you can help out again,  should I have any more 'Q's.  Cheers mate.

#5 METHOS

Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:43 PM

Don't worry about it, Steve. I didn't expect you to answer these questions; they are mostly just for ideas in case you hadn't thought of something. -No worries, either way.

The fact of the matter is, yes, you can live in PH as a foreigner on that kind of income/pension etc. But only after you have spent a few years living in the Philippines, will you know if you are comfortable/content with that amount. Either way, it will be a unique life experience that most people will never have - whether you are young or old.

There are so many people that are looking for a cheaper alternative to what they have available in their home country with regard to residence and retirement. -I don't blame them.
It seems like everything is getting more expensive and the cost of everything keeps going up. EVERYTHING keeps going up - except our paychecks.

The big corporations/government can charge more for a gallon of milk, increase the taxes on a carton of cigarettes, alcohol or a can of soda (and claim that it is in an effort to curb obesity and drunk driving), raise our utility costs, raise our insurance premiums every year etc. etc. etc. - all in an effort to either cover their losses during this harsh economic climate or make more money; but we can't turn around and charge more-per-hour on our paychecks, demand huge bonuses and/or slap our boss with a $30 fee and report them to the credit bureaus for not paying it - all, because they are forcing us to work less hours each week or laying us off because they don't have enough money to pay us because work is slow etc. Nope, these things don't happen because, although we are part of the majority, and we are the ones that go to work everyday and work hard to keep these businesses going, in turn, maintaining the economy, which, in turn, maintains the security and overall stability of our entire country......we are part of the working class. We are part of 'the average-Joe group' that doesn't have millions of dollars to make our own rules and send our lobbyists out to fill our politician's pockets so that we are guaranteed a loophole in the new health care bill that will guarantee our ability to make the same (or more) amount of money back even though we are forced to give health care to everyone - regardless of their age and condition etc.

Okay, rant over.

The only reason I asked about passing as a Filipino and speaking Tagalog was similar to the reason(s) that yohan made mention of foreigners not being able to live on a local salary. The fact is, you will probably be charged more (especially for rent) because you are a foreigner. Usually, the locals will automatically assume that you make more money and can afford it (which you do, and you can). Not saying that it's right, but it happens. Western accommodation aside though, you may not feel comfortable with mirroring the lifestyle of a local (e.g. no AirCon, cheap, similar and non-western food everyday, transportation, little or no imported beverages etc. etc.).

Also, as yohan suggested, security may be an issue for you. As a westerner, you will stand out. You are automatically a high-risk target for theft, so you will want to find a gated community with guarded security etc. Fortunately, you can find this type of accommodation rather easily (and relatively affordable) in PH as it is commonplace.

I also ask about your savings, because, as a foreigner (and non-filipino) looking to stay on a retirement visa, you will need $50,000 - $75,000 USD (depending on your age) in a bank account. Things may have changed now, but this is what I remember last. However, these days, you do not need a retirement visa necessarily. It is so easy to stay indefinitely on a tourist visa - as long as you can afford a visa renewal and a flight out of the country and back each year (or 16 months etc.). However, you cannot legally work if you are staying on a tourist visa. You will have to go through an employer and obtain the necessary visa/permit to do so.

If I were you, as a bare minimum, I would make sure that I have enough in savings to cover the airfare costs for an emergency trip home (I stress 'emergency', because you may not always be able to book a flight 2 weeks in advance - which may drastically influence the overall cost - and I don't think you would want to bother with keeping an open-ended ticket every year). On top of that, as yohan mentioned, I would make sure to have a hefty lump of money set aside in the terrible event that you have a medical emergency and are not covered (or that isn't covered) by medical coverage. However, you may not be too concerned about these things at your age - I really don't know. I may feel differently about these things when I am your age - or, I may feel that they are even more important. I won't know until I get there, I suppose.

#6 yohan

Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:13 PM

View PostMETHOS, on 07 April 2010 - 07:43 PM, said:

..... as a foreigner (and non-filipino) looking to stay on a retirement visa, you will need $50,000 - $75,000 USD (depending on your age) in a bank account.

If you are 60+, you need only USD 25.000,-

After the residence permit is issued, after a few months, this money can be withdrawn from the bank for any Philippine investment, you might buy your own condominium in Philippines - (similar to Thailand, you cannot own LAND in Philippines, only condominium)

It is not required to keep this money as deposit all the time.

#7 ozsteve

Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:52 AM

View PostMETHOS, on 07 April 2010 - 07:43 PM, said:



Thanks again for this advice mate.  I really appreciate it.  BUT...  I must say,  now,  after reading it all,  I'm now a little hesitant to even think about moving.  Firstly,  I won't have $50,000 to put in a Bank Account.  I read somewhere,  that IF you are 'already' retired AND over 55,  you only need $10,000. Now,  IF that is true,  then I can manage that. But again,  that aside,  it doesn't sound all that safe for foreingers over there.  I was kinda planning on a nice 'quiet' life with my girl.  Maybe it wouldn't be all that quiet OR safe for me.  I'll have to re-consider that issue too.

But being the 'naive' traveller,  I was wondering about something else,  maybe you could help me with.  If it won't be possible for me to take up 'permenant residency'  could I possibly live there under a tourist visa,  just by re-newing it on an ongoing basis ??   I guess I am just trying to find 'cheap' ways to move over there.  I have no intention of working,  for money at least.  Would gladly try and find some volunteer work,  maybe teaching English.  

I'm in a catch 22 really.  I want to be with my girl,  BUT I can't afford a life here with her.  But,  if it will too hard for me to find a way to live over there,  then I'm 'cooked'  I guess.  Epsecially if that 80,000 PHP per month,  won't be enough either.  Anyway,  I'm rambling now !!  I mainly just wanted to thank you for the advice you have given me so far.  Thanks again Mate !!

#8 METHOS

Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:22 AM

Don't worry about it so much, Steve. Take the trip over there for a few weeks (or longer, if you can) and see if you like it. Heck, spend a year over there after you retire, if you want...I'm sure you'll want to stay.

The safety issues can be exaggerated sometimes, but if you're really that concerned about it, you could always stay in one of the larger cities (e.g. Manila). I really can't see you having much of a problem unless you stay on one of the smaller islands or in a smaller city where there aren't many foreigners etc. (although, there are some areas that are more dangerous, in general, and should be avoided - just do your research). Obviously, theft can be an issue anywhere you go - especially if you don't use common sense. In addition, there are loads of forums (and groups - e.g. yahoo groups or the like) that focus ONLY on the Philippines and life/retirement/expats in the Philippines. Look for a few and post your questions/concerns. You can get great help from folks that are just like you - that are already doing what you want to be doing and have already been there, done that, so to speak. The only reason I mention other resources is because it's always good to get more opinions and advice - especially with something that is as important as this. Also, most of the regulars here at OE are not based in the Philippines. Although there are many of them that can offer you sound advice, most of it may be very generalized and/or based on short-term visits/experience(s).

Regarding Tourist visas/long-term stay: click here

That thread was published a short time ago, and visa policies are always changing. The last I remember, the PH Bureau of Immigration was open to the idea of attracting tourists to increase revenue - thus, making it possible for long-term stay (year after year). However, as things change, it would be wise to contact your local consulate or a visa service agency in your area to inquiry about it.

On the other hand, I hear it's cheaper to live in Thailand (although, you CAN live in PH just fine with that kind of pension). However, Thailand doesn't like outsiders very much unless you are rich. So, it's harder to stay there indefinitely. But, there ARE other viable alternatives (e.g. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos etc.). Seeing as your girl is a Filipina though, you're probably better off staying in the Philippines near her family.
-M

#9 yohan

Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:36 AM

php 80000 is enough money for living in Philippines, if this is really a regular inome from somewhere.

http://www.pra.gov.ph/

About retirement visa details can be found there.

http://www.pra.gov.ph/main/faq?page=1

Quote

Without Pension
  • 35 to 49 years old – US$50, 000.00 time deposit
  • 50 years old and above – US$20, 000.00 time deposit

Philippines is easy for tourist visa, and extensions are possible without leaving the country, I am not sure however how many extensions you can get. But I think, there is something like a 1 year visa, and must report to immigration every 60 days or so.

http://www.immigration.gov.ph/

More details can be found here.

http://immigration.g...d=207&Itemid=37

Extension of stay (seems to be possible up to 16 months without leaving the country)

#10 MrFantabulous

Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:32 PM

seems like the way to go for us blue collar workers.   WHen you reach retirement age your folks may not be alive, so you can freely leave your developed country and retire with your wife in a "3rd world" country so that you can afford to live on meagre retirement savings or pension.  And of course if you are a divorcee, you can find a younger girl in that country.    

But do most countries require you to live in your home country in order to receive retirement pension and governement benefits?  I thought they would require you to be in the country you worked in.

#11 yohan

Posted 10 April 2010 - 07:35 PM

View PostMrFantabulous, on 10 April 2010 - 03:32 PM, said:

.....seems like the way to go for us blue collar workers.   

.....a "3rd world" country so that you can afford to live on meagre retirement savings or pension.  



You will be astonished to see how many foreign men are living in Thailand already, 100.000s of men are doing that, mostly coming from Europe, and the majority are from UK and Scandinavian countries.

In Philippines, many are from USA/Canada, but also some from Germany. Most are single men, divorced. About American men, I heard many prefer Latin American countries and not Asia.

Quote

But do most countries require you to live in your home country in order to receive retirement pension and governement benefits?  I thought they would require you to be in the country you worked in.
Within EU and within Japan this is not the case, however there are restrictions to prevent misuse. The pension is not sent abroad but to a retirement banking account within the own native country. My father was doing that for over 18 years, while living in Japan. 

EU-health insurance cannot be used outside of EU, but he had the Japanese National insurance anyway. For that reason many EU-citizens from the German speaking area are choosing cheap EU-countries like Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria or Cyprus for retirement 



This retirement banking account of my late father could not be used with a cash card, but required a written notice with his own signature if he wanted this money to be sent abroad into a local account (like in his case an ordinary Japanese savings account), and it required a confirmation issued from the embassy every year, that the person is for real, legally living in that country and alive. 

#12 ozsteve

Posted 11 April 2010 - 10:42 AM

Thanks again Methos,  much appreciated my friend.  With the 'current' exchange rate,  it is actually a 'LOT' cheaper to live in The Philippines.  AUS dollar buying 27 Thai Baht,  but buying 44 Fil Pesos.  I did have 'designs' on staying in the girlfriend's home town of Davao.  I figured,  with 1.8 million population,  it will probably have a few things for me to do.  I was speaking to her today on Web Cam (isn't technology amazing) and she 'assures' me we will be quite safe in Davao.  LOL,  hope she's right !!  

And thanks again for the 'links' too mate.  It's really great meeting guys like you who are willing to give their time to help 'Novices' like me.  But I guess,  we all have to start somewhere.   Thanks again Methos !!  Glad to know you are here !!  :-)

#13 METHOS

Posted 11 April 2010 - 07:26 PM

No problem, Steve.
I'm sure your girl is right about the safety and practicality of Davao - after all, it isn't exactly a small city in the sticks.

View Postozsteve, on 11 April 2010 - 10:42 AM, said:

With the 'current' exchange rate, it is actually a 'LOT' cheaper to live in The Philippines. AUS dollar buying 27 Thai Baht, but buying 44 Fil Pesos.
-I don't know how you're looking at this, but I hope you're not using the exchange rate as a determining factor for cost-of-living. To give you an example of what I am saying:

Although you may get the following:
1AUD = 17,900 Vietnamese Dong
-or-
1AUD = 30 Thailand Baht

If you buy a bottle of Pepsi you may spend 13,500 Vietnamese Dong or 22.5 Thailand Baht respectively, for that same bottle of Pepsi, depending on where you are.

#14 ozsteve

Posted 12 April 2010 - 06:56 AM

I see your point mate.  No,  but I have looked at other issues,  such as fuel  prices, rent,  food costs etc,  comparing Philippines to Thailand,  and it is still cheaper to live a Fillipino life !!  Of course,  that may change in the 3 years I still have to wait !!  LOL  Thanks again Methos !!

#15 yohan

Posted 12 April 2010 - 08:01 AM

View Postozsteve, on 11 April 2010 - 10:42 AM, said:

.....With the 'current' exchange rate,  it is actually a 'LOT' cheaper to live in The Philippines...

There are some differences in pricing between Thailand and Philippines.

For sure, housing is more expensive in Philippines than in Thailand. Compare a price for a condominium in Pattaya and Cebu.
Same is true with many electric and electronic items.

Otherwise, Philippines is well-known for collecting various taxes, generally I think, Philippines is slightly more expensive than Thailand.

There are also other considerations, like weather conditions, It's more stable in Thailand, while in Philippines you might face many hours of wind and heavy rain.

If living together with a Thai in Thailand, her medical fees are not a problem, as Thai are usually covered by some health insurance, but in Philippines you pay usually cash (or die early).

Other problems in Philippines are power brownout and blackout, security is somehow a concern, postal services are often failing to deliver mail, etc. etc.

#16 METHOS

Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:00 AM

View Postyohan, on 12 April 2010 - 08:01 AM, said:

For sure, housing is more expensive in Philippines than in Thailand.
-Yes, and this is what I was primarily referring to. And, obviously, rent is probably going to be your biggest expense.

I think you'll be fine, however.

-M

Edited by METHOS, 12 April 2010 - 09:03 AM.


#17 ozsteve

Posted 13 April 2010 - 07:00 PM

Yes,  I had a look (when I 'FINALLY' found one) at a Real Estate Site,  that had 30-40 Rentals listed in Davao.  That's all I'm interested in at the moment.  And it 'looked' quite reasonable.  They some houses,  in those 'Security Proteceted Estates' you mentioned earlier,  and,  well I thought they were quite cheap.  A 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house,  fully furnished and air-conditioned,  for about 25,000 PHP a month.  You would pay at LEAST 3 times that in Australia.  Sure,  it's a 10 min drive to the city,  so what !!  I don't plan travelling into town,  EVERY day when I'm retired.

Sure,  I'm only a 'Novice' at this,  but there's one thing my Mother taught me as I grew up (God rest her soul),  She always told me, 'Son, whatever you pay in rent OR a mortgage,  just 'DOUBLE' that figure to cover all your 'other' bills and incidentals'.  NOW,  that being the case,  IF I was paying 25,000 PHP a month for rent,  then using Mum's theory,  I would need abt another 25,000 to cover electricity, Internet, Cable TV and food.  Again,  IF that theory turned out to be 'about' right,  that would leave me approx 30,000 PHP a month for 'Other Things'.  

I don't know,   would this be enough to take care of 2 people ???  I realise there's only 1 REAL way of finding out,  BUT I'm no 'hero' !!  I like to look in windows before I go into unknown shops !!  LOL  I also thank you for the tip on looking for 'Ex-Pat in Philippines' Sites.  But,  I've had no luck to date.  Then again,  I'm not too computer literate.  I only found this Forum 'by accident' !!  LOL  I DID find 1 guy,  from the Netherlands,  who now lives in The Philippines and he has his own Web Sitet.  I had a 'quick' look at it.  It's a very good site but, not quite what I was looking for.  More like a 'Forum' such as this,  is what would be good for me I guess.  But full of Expats in Philippines ONLY.  Just like you suggested.  I guess I'll stumble across one some day.  

But you have been a wealth of knowledge for me so far Methos.  Again, thanks for all your advice too !!  Funny you mentioned Blackouts in Philippines before.  I was chatting with my girl last night (on Web Cam) and she had one !!  Only lasted about 15 mins,   but yeah,  I can see how it would be 'annoying' if it happened regularly,  I aslo read that you can get your 'own' generator there, to elliviate the problem.  At a cost, of course.  Cheers mate and thanks again.

View Postyohan, on 07 April 2010 - 08:56 AM, said:

The answer is a clear YES. Easy, this is a big money in the Philippines also for a foreigner..

Well, the sister of my filipina fostergirl (ok, she is almost blind) is working in a fruit assorting company and she is earning php 5000,- per month.

The elementary teacher next house is earning php 12.000,- per month.

I know a filipina woman, who is also poor, but intelligent, very fluent in English, doing this and that, really not lazy and she is so lucky if she can earn php 15.000,- to php 20.000,- per month...

Of course a foreigner cannot live with so little money.

You should focus on your visa - not really a problem, but a permanent resident permit, retirement visa for life is fine.

Also make sure, you have a good medical insurance.

Good medical care is available in the cities, but usually with the motto 'Pay cash or die early' -

You should also focus on a safe accomodation, like a condominium or house in a guarded complex.
Unfortuantely, a lot of criminality, at least where I am around in Cebu/Mandaue.

Ok,  now for you Yohan,  now that I have 'mastered' how to 'reply' to people,  I can NOW thank you for your input and advice.  Your post made me feel a little more, um,  shall we say, 're-assured'.  Re-assured that I can survive quite well on my 80,000 PHP monthly budget.  Of course I must take into account, everything that Methos had told me too.  I live a pretty 'normal' life as such.  Hardly go out.  At the moment,  being on my own,  I do go and have a session with the boys on a Friday night.  But weekends,  I spend at home,  basically doing nothing,  except sitting here on the computer.  SO,  I'm not a HUGE party animal OR spendthrift either.  

I would like to know that I have enough money to take my girl out for dinner at least 1 night each week,  then maybe to a movie.  And maybe 1 weekend a month, go on a 'small tour or trip, say to one of the Islands.  I just hope I will have enough money to do these things.  Based on what you have told me,  I see your point when comparing my 'approx' Pension to what 'Qualified' Filipinos are earning at the moment.  And I am assuming they are surviving at least.  Well,  I would accept a lifestyle of 'surviving' at the moment,  BUT I am really hoping I will be in a position to do what I've just mentioned.  The weather conditions won't worry me,  I live in a hot & humid climate now,  Nth QLD Australia is VERY tropical ( and yes we have VERY hot, humid AND wet summers too).  Similar to Florida in the US AND similar to Asia.  So I'm prepared for that.

So,  many thanks for your input Yohan.  Much appreciated.  ANY information, advice I get now,  is really very helpful.  I DO realise that NO decision can be made UNTIL I at LEAST visit the place,  which all happens this October.  I will be there for approx. 3 weeks.  This 'should' give me enough time to at LEAST see what life in Davao might be like.  Thanks again mate !!!  Cheers   Steve

#18 abu farsi

Posted 16 April 2010 - 06:12 PM

View Postozsteve, on 10 April 2010 - 01:52 AM, said:

Thanks again for this advice mate.  I really appreciate it.  BUT...  I must say,  now,  after reading it all,  I'm now a little hesitant to even think about moving.  Firstly,  I won't have $50,000 to put in a Bank Account.  I read somewhere,  that IF you are 'already' retired AND over 55,  you only need $10,000. Now,  IF that is true,  then I can manage that. But again,  that aside,  it doesn't sound all that safe for foreingers over there.  I was kinda planning on a nice 'quiet' life with my girl.  Maybe it wouldn't be all that quiet OR safe for me.  I'll have to re-consider that issue too.

But being the 'naive' traveller,  I was wondering about something else,  maybe you could help me with.  If it won't be possible for me to take up 'permenant residency'  could I possibly live there under a tourist visa,  just by re-newing it on an ongoing basis ??   I guess I am just trying to find 'cheap' ways to move over there.  I have no intention of working,  for money at least.  Would gladly try and find some volunteer work,  maybe teaching English.  

I'm in a catch 22 really.  I want to be with my girl,  BUT I can't afford a life here with her.  But,  if it will too hard for me to find a way to live over there,  then I'm 'cooked'  I guess.  Epsecially if that 80,000 PHP per month,  won't be enough either.  Anyway,  I'm rambling now !!  I mainly just wanted to thank you for the advice you have given me so far.  Thanks again Mate !!

I have lived just north of the Davao region for over 20 years.

My income is $1050 a month. I am married with 3 kids.  My life is meager, by US standards. I am far and away the richest person in my barraguy (neighborhood).

I felt it necessary to buy a car, a house, and farming equipment. The challenge is not surviving but keeping busy on a limited income.

My car cost me P 380,000, the most economical car I ever owned too.

I have no furniture.

Medical... doctors and hospitals are really cheap here. My last visit to the doc cost me P75 ($1.50) in fees. The drugs cost me an additional $13. The drugs did not cure me.  Of the things they (doctors) missed, even after I pointed them out, during my may years here are, a melanoma, a basil cell cancer, crushed neck vertebrae. A constant annoyance, a yeast infection under my arm, is incurable with drugs available here.

Many expensive drugs are counterfeited. There is actually a series of guys in Manila who decided that it is a good idea to kill people or keep them sick to make $5. I would take this as a general commentary of the society.

Are you married? if so you can get a resident visa for about $300.

My strong suggestion for you is to simply put all your stuff in a self storage unit in the US, and plan on an extended stay. Rent everything, try not to buy a car. If you are not married, do not get so for at least 2 years, if this is your culture. You can stay in the PI for about $25 a month in visa extensions. Give yourself time to get bored, then make plans either to do something or go home. Only then will you know if you can live here on your income.

I know perhaps 4000 expats here, of those that came here after age 45, 2 have learned a local language. Sure everybody gets a few phrases, nouns, a few verbs, but to do something like offer an opinion on a political views, impossible. Lots of English here.

Yes you can buy health insurance here if you are married. But I would suggest you keep on hand plenty of cash to go to Guam and use your medicare there. Lots of credit cards offer travel health insurance for pennies.

If you want to live in a town, it will be expensive compared to the farther from town you go. I live in a remote place, I have no rent (well now I have a house, but before I had no rent). It is 65 K to the nearest town where i can use my credit card. There is nothing in my place where I can buy.. prepared food... girls... foreign foods ( you would be surprised what you will miss)... clothes...

Generally speaking I have been a failure in making close friends with Filipino men. I would guess that this is true for about 60% of those foreigner guys I know.

Anything else you would like... {snip}

Edited by Mandrunk, 16 April 2010 - 06:43 PM.
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#19 ozsteve

Posted 18 April 2010 - 07:33 PM

Thanks for that Abu.  All very interesting and helpful.  AS for my future,  well,  I'm still not 100% sure.  ALL I know is,  I will not survive in Australia,  on the pension I will get.  I will need a 'part time' job,  which is what I am trying to avoid !!  I will have the equivilent of abt 75,000 PHP per month.  From waht I have seen and heard,  I will survive quite well over there,  'provided' I live a 'quiet' lifestyle.  Which is EXACTLY what I want.

I would 'prefer' to live 'near Davao,  so my girl is near her family.  Of course,  this is all 3 years away.  At the moment,  I am planning my first trip over there,  in October.  I hope to have enough money to get my girl  out here for a holiday, 'next year'.  But,  then it will be all concentration on moving over there.  I guess,  after the things you have mentioned,  I still have some 'homework' to do.  It would really help if I got to know some Expats in Davao,  so I could at least chat with them for more information.  Maybe even meet some of them while I am over there.  I know,  nothing beats 'hands on Experience',  But it always helps to be prepared.  Again,  thank you for your input,  much appreciated.

Edited by TizMe, 18 April 2010 - 11:34 PM.
http://www.orientexpat.com/forum/19976-pointless-quotes/


#20 yohan

Posted 19 April 2010 - 04:04 PM

View Postozsteve, on 18 April 2010 - 07:33 PM, said:

..... AS for my future,  well,  I'm still not 100% sure.  ALL I know is,  I will not survive in Australia,  on the pension I will get.  I will need a 'part time' job,  which is what I am trying to avoid !!  I will have the equivilent of abt 75,000 PHP per month.  

You will be astonished, if you come over for a while to various places in Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia etc. how many are sharing exactly the same ideas as you do.

I noticed, that many Western men make some certain mistakes, as they consider too much the local girl, and forget totally about their own security.

I think, it would be good, also in your case, first of all to look for some own accomodation in Cebu, a small condominium in your own name, which will be yours (only yours, and not hers) for ever.

It is not bad in case of problems as a foreigner (NOT only regarding family problems) to have a nice (not necessarily big) accomodation in a city, not far to an international airport, not far to good hospitals, not far to shopping centers, not far to consulates and immigration and travel agencies, not far to international banking like citibank/citicard.

Foreigners for sure, when living long-term in a country, which is not their own culture, develope some certain needs for themselves (especially when getting odler!), and outside in rural areas, it's not always easy - there are weather problems in Philippines like flood and storms, there are security problems etc.

My idea is, first go and see yourself, and next step, if really interested, do not consider too much about the local girl there, but consider your own personal needs, too.

About me, I do not have such a problem with that, as my wife is Japanese, and we will retire in Thailand, where we have our own accomodation already.

I know stories between local girls and foreign men and all was working out much better than in EU or US, but on the other side, how do you know? There are also various complaints - to be on the secure side within your own place in a guarded housing in a major city in Philippines (not Davao in your case, better Cebu) you cannot be wrong.

Just my opinion.

#21 ozsteve

Posted 21 April 2010 - 01:01 PM

Thank You Yohan.  I appreciate the advice !!


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