Living in Cebu - In Summary
Summary of our guides to living in Cebu:
Hopefully you have read through the various living guides and decided you would like to come and visit or consider living in Cebu. To many of you, your immediate concern will be whether you can afford to make it happen. The short answer is probably a resounding YES.
There are however some big proviso's to the above statement. You have to look closely at your disposable income and personal circumstances. If you are on a very basic pension and have no savings then I would advise against coming here to live. If on the other hand you have a reasonable pension (£700+ GBP/month) and some savings then pack your bags and come on over.
I do not want to give the impression that you have to be wealthy to live in the philippines, far from it to be truthful. You do however have to consider what you would do in an emergency e.g. a major medical emergency. As mentioned elsewhere in these guides you have to pay a deposit (4-5,000Php) to even get admitted, please head my words.
Having a contingency fund in the bank of at least 150,000Php is in my opinion an extremely desirable asset and will give you the financial security to cover any unexpected event. In addition to this you will need some start up money when you arrive.
Renting may appear cheap when you see a monthly outlay of say 6,000Php, but bear in mind that the owner will probably want 3 months deposit and 2-3 months advance rent and even make you agree to a minimum 12 month rental agreement.
You will also have to buy some basic furnishings, fixtures and fittings etc. Believe me it all adds up initially and although obviously cheaper than the UK, for the first few month it will seem anything but.
Food is maybe a little cheaper here (dependant on what you're buying) in both grocery store and restaurant, as is alcohol & Cigarettes. Medical services are more than adequate, but as mentioned it will cost you money to get said treatment. However the costs are a great deal less than the equivalent service in a private UK hospital.
The people on the most part are friendly and always have a hello or good morning to offer when passed in the street. Nearly all Filipinos will speak a little English with most quite able to hold a basic conversation. Many things will get lost in translation but Hey! their English is likely better than your Cebuano or Tagalog.
Another thing to consider If your in your 60's and deemed in the UK to be over the hill or an old fart (no disrespect), here in the Philippines it means nothing. You will be shown a great deal more respect, you will certainly be able to find a younger woman who will be happy to walk hand in hand with you. You must understand that it is unlikely to start off as love at first sight on her part and may never develop into true love. But who cares your happy she's happy, I'm happy! Many a foreigner has found true love here and all power to them.
There are many places to shop, eat and get merry in Cebu City and Mactan. There are a number of bars that have a fair sprinkling of foreigners from all parts of the world, so one needn't be devoid of a place to have a good old chinwag with people that actually understand you and your humor.
I live on Mactan Island which is joined to Cebu by two road bridges. Mactan is a little quieter than Cebu City and a little more provincial, however it seems to be getting more developed every day.
Mactan is the place where most of the beach resorts local to Cebu City can be found. Resorts vary from the excellent but costly Shangrila and Plantation bay, through to several public beaches. In my experience a resort like Tambuli will meet the typical foreigners needs. You can get a day pass for around 300Php at the weekend most of which is consumable.
I have lived here for over 5 years and while I miss the family and friends I left behind, I seldom miss anything else. The pace of life here is just so laid back and leisurely.
My advice would be to come over for a visit, you will either love or hate the place. Don't let first impressions cloud your judgment, behind some of the all to visible poverty lies a people and culture that you have to experience to understand and love. Cebu is a place I am proud to call my home.
Last Updated: August 20, 2012 9:35