moving to the philippines - recommendations for where to live?

Hello everybody and hope all is good with you..Im an American guy living in NewYork. I am 38 years old and am engaged to a beautifull woman from Ormoc City in Leyte province..We will marry when she gets her visa and travels to me..I have been to the philippines in 2008 and visited Cebu, Ormoc,and Bohol..I had a great time..Im thinking of living in the Phills one day soon and was not sure where to live..I was thinking Cebu, Ormoc, or Taclabon..Im not sure to buy a house w/lot or a condo..Can somebody give me some information?.. Thanks very much..

more details?

Can you share some more details about what you are looking for?  Are you wanting to be in a big city with excitement, or do you prefer to be in the middle of nowhere, cut off from civilization whenever it rains?

My wife and I live in Dumaguete - it's an ok place, crime is not too bad, etc. There are annoying things everywhere - in Dumaguete for instance there are so many two-cycle motorcycles (which pollute much more than four-cycle) riding around downtown.  Where we live right now we're happy with the internet (we have both smart bro and globe broadband because a backup is required) - but some other neighborhoods don't have good internet.  

Cebu is too crazy for me - the one time I drove my motorcycle there I was almost smashed up in a few accidents, and not because I was stupid: the drivers there are just even more crazy and plentiful than here in Dumaguete.

Thanks for your response

Thanks for your response Peter..I don't want a crowded crazy city but don't want to be in too quiet a place either..If something happens, I want to know there is good health care nearby..I also want to be able to buy products Im used too..Eat in good restaurants is also important..So I guess close to a big city but far enough away it does not affect me..My fiance is from Ormoc so we have talked about Tacloban which is a medium sized city not small like Ormoc but not big like Cebu or Manila..And Tacloban is much more modern then Ormoc..Your right about the internet..She has globe in ormoc and lost connection many times..As far as driving I think I will hire a driver and avoid the headaches of driving and avoiding accidents and where to park..

that's reasonable

That's a good idea to hire a driver, if you've got the funds.  Looks like not a lot of traffic yet on this site.  I mostly know about Dumaguete and Cebu, both of which have good health care.  Doctor's appointment for less than 10 US, walk in! Of course the best thing is to keep healthy in the first place.  I don't know about the other cities but there's a Dumaguete-specific forum called DumagueteInfo though I won't vouch for its quality.

I will be married in July to

I will be married in July to a lady who is working here in the U.S. If I sold everything and moved to Bohol would I ever find any work?



Hi Mike, welcome to the site.  Of course you could find work, but most likely it would be at a wage you would not consider acceptable.  If you can tell us more about your skills we might be able to offer you more insight.


Driving, in philippines

Hi, its nice to know that i amnot only one who checken out in driving there, iwas in Paranaque, metro manila, its the  worse place for any foreigner to try to drive, and about those tricycles you are right the polute more than any thing, i think philippines should have some sort of regulations on those things, drivers are nuts, they dont obey any of the traffic rules ,. i have been driving here in Canada for the rest of my life but there is no way i will be driving there unless its in a very remote area dont know where any more, every where nowdays is full of traffic

living in the phil.

you can't own property in the philippines unless a philippine citizen is on title. you can own a condo though without them on title. however keep in mind that if your wife is on title to the house, she can sell it out from under you anytime without you having any recourse. its really better to rent since your payments will be the same, and it could take YEARS to sell a house there. cebu is a nice place with its international airport, and is a good jumping off point for many other nice places in the visayas. ormoc or tacloban are ok but you will own the house forever so keep that in mind.. resales there are not very common, although on panglao island they have nice condos there. but with rentals you can be out in a minute if you have to be. also the more remote you are the less in facilities they will have.. like running water and electrical service and basic plumbing...lots to consider before moving here. email me if you want to know more.   good luck...kev

Retiring to the philippines?

Hi everyone,

I am new to this site so please help.

I am have found a filipino lady who lives in Cagayan de Oro, we met over two years ago in which time become engaged,I have visited the philippines twice now and have decided that I want retire to her country as I am nearly due to retire.

I would like to know what proceedures I will have to do to make this happen, I live in the UK

Any info would be of great assistance

forget it,mate.u will not

forget it,mate.u will not find any work at an acceptable wage in the fils..u best have at least $1,500.00 U.S.dollars every month or you will be so,so,soooorry

Just show up and be sure you

Just show up and be sure you have at least 1200-1500 US dollars and you will be fine.Live near the beach in opol(stay away from balan compound).the locals throw garbage in the water so stay out of out for motor-cycle thieves and get a weapon in your g/f's name.Mindanoa is unpredictable as it gets sooooo,just trust only ur g/f and keep to urselves and relax,mate,retirement is good here.local hospitals are ok,so dont get sick..


I suggest stay at Balan Beach Compound. Here's a Blog I found about Balan Beach and it has image gallery for you to see. My brother stayed there for 6 months and totally happy with the place. The girls that worked there are totally harmless and just want doing there best to live up to the standard of so many foreigners from different parts of the world. This place is private and it's very clean and safe. When they said something about a "garbage" it's not being thrown inside the compound. We are talking about Balans Beach Compound here not the filipino way of living. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PLACE AND DEFINITELY WORTH A TRY:   



good place to live

I also married a Filipina from Ormoc City.  I have been ther several times and will retire there next year.. Our house is being built right now and will be over 2600 sq. ft. for just over 80,000 U. S. dollars.  I haven't heard of a lot of crime there, and the area we're moving to is just outside the city and still very quiet.  Also they have just opened a new indoor mall with a large grocery store.  Everything else we are looking for is there.

i want to live in the

i want to live in the philippines but Dont want to have to marry anybody.. how long can i have a tourist visa for??

Bohol is a beatiful place

Bohol is a beatiful place ,But as a forighner I would find it hard to work there.Dont forget its not the US or Australia,The average salary in the Philippines is arourd $4-$5 per day.


I was wondering about working in the Phillipines, i have met a wonderful woman from Bolacan.  I can do construction. but i also am a chef.

If you are looking at an income of 40-50 dollars

Hello there...ex pats...!!  I am fro Canada....been all over the Philippines...3 times....going again in March for some dental work


and to meet my girlfriend.... in Cebu.


I plan to retire there in 2 years when my pension is ready.


As far as work...if you are looking for something for yourself or your filipino cousins...check out this site!![...]


you can earn 40-50 dollars US every day from home...check out the forums and the payment veriifications


Thanks Richard

living in the philippines

can you live comfortable, on $1000.00 a month?

It hard to imagine how I

It hard to imagine how I would spend $1000/month much less $1500.

My wife and I think its more like $500 per month with property paid for in a semi rural area.



Hi Sir

Sir I'm Legacy an American Citizen living in the Philippines. If you need any help processing documents needed to stay as a resident of the Philippines I could help you on that because I have personal contacts at the Philippines Immigration they can do that for u real quick. If your interested just let me know sir.

living in the philippines on $1000 amonth

I would say you can live comfortably in the philippines for $1000 a month. We have an australian friend who bought a land from us near the beach and build his native house for under Php200,000pesos so he doesn't have any monthly rent to pay for the house, most people here in Siargao Island dig their own well for natural spring water supplying the entire house, so we don't have to pay water as well, just electric. Usual monthly bills for electric with complete appliances is under Php3000 so the rest of your money will be spent for food and other personal extravagant.


When you entered Manila, Never entered in a TAXI without asking if they are on the meter. Taxis with meter are registered so it will be safer to hire them.

How is this possible?

I am trying to find a decent source  of income for my Filipina Fianc'ee before I move there so I can retire while she has her own money and this way I'll always know if shereally wants to bewith meor is just desperate.  Please send me some info  about your internt source of income.  Thanks or should I say Salamat.

Living in the Philippines

I too am considering living in the Phillipines as an Expat.  I don't have a gf yet and will wait till I get there to start my search.  To many liers and cheaters on the internet today.

As I understand it, you can live there for an unlimited period, depending upon your age.  Retirement age is easier, but you can also extend your visa for up to one year.  Then, simply leave the country for a few days, and come back for another year.  Since they don't require a visa, it's pretty easy.

Here's a couple sites I found that might help you get started with your research.  Do lots of it.  I've been to the Philippines a number of times and it has both it's good and not so good points.

Hope this helps. Good luck and God bless,


Cagayan de Oro

Did you ever get to the Philippines to meet your girlfriend?  I also have a girlfriend in Cagayan de Oro.  I've read that the further south you go in the Philippines, the more dangerous it is.  But, all the information on the Cagayan de Oro website seems like it is a nice city.  Would love to hear about your experience.

Cagayan de Oro

Have you actually visited Cagayan de Oro?  I have a girlfriend there and plan to go in August or September.  However, I've heard the further south you go in the Philippines, the more dangerous it is.  But, the Cagayan de Oro city website shows a very peaceful city.  My girlfriend says it's a very nice, safe place.  But, she's filipina.  

I'd appreciat your input.  Thanks much.

I was in Cagayan de oro 2

I was in Cagayan de oro 2 years ago

I felt safe there. I went walking a lot. No-one paid me any atttention

There are other foreigners living there. I felt safe there

I wouldnt go any further South though.




My name is David Cambell. I could use so assistance getting residency there If you can help.

My email is


Thank you and best Regards

the longest is

the longest is husband usually stays there for about 2weeks and the immigration officers know that but they still give him a year to stay..if you want to stay longer, just go to other country for like a week or two then go back to the philippines to get another year of visa.. it is better coz if you pay the extension fee, its more expensive than airfare going to another country.. but you can check the immigration site of the philippines for more infos..

Hello all my name is Ron am

Hello all my name is Ron am retired and planning to move to phillipines in next couple of years where should i start

Where to live in the Philippines

I've done quite a bit of research, and my wife is Filipina.  I think Subic is one of the best.  It lends itself well to foreigners trying to ease the transition.  Here's a link you might want to read.


My name is Rady and i have been talking to a girl from Cotabato City,and she wants to come here.How long will it take for her to get a Visa to come to the USA.

Depending upon their workload

Depending upon their workload in the Government offices, it could take up to 8 months to get the visa issues.  She will also have to obtain a number of documents from the Philippines incuding notarized documents from the schools, police, etc.  Then, she will have to be interview by the American counsel in the Philippines and take a class.  It can be quite frustating and time consuming. What you don't want to do is get married in the Philippines and try to get a spouse visa. That could take up to 2 years.  I never figured out why.

I did this about 9 years ago and it only took 6 months.  But, that was before cutbacks in the government offices.  My suggestion to you is that you hire a visa attorney.  There are a number of them on line.  They can cost you up to $2,500, but you'll save yourself a ton of headaches and time.

Hope this helps.



visa process


    Can you recomend an attorney? I recently married a filipina in the phils, plan to retire there some day but a few years off. Was planning on filing the papers myself but keep reading suggestions like yours. Can an attorney really speed up the proccess? Should it be an attorney in the USA or one in the Phils?



Jim, It's been 9 years


It's been 9 years since I used one.  Can't even remember their name now.  But, there are many on line.  Just check their track record and only pay a flat fee for their work, and only part up front and the rest upon completion.  It should be a US attorney.  You don't need a Philippine attorney.  That would just confuse the issue.  Since you're already married in the Phil, you'll need a K-3 or a CR1 Visa.  It shouldn't be too expensive, but be prepared for lots of paperwork, especially in the Philippines, and much frustration with those government agencies.

Here's a couple attorneys and agencies I found on line to help you get the visa.  But, you should do your own research.

Good luck, and stay in touch.


your contacts with imagrations

waiting to sell my property in Brazil,, shouls sell in the next few months,,  if possible I woould like you to contact your people  at imagrations, and also do you know if there is a way to circumvent,, the philippino ownership, if you purchase property there

Thanks alot

hope to hear from you



where u live now,my name is Randy and i just met a girl from Cebu, thinking bout going there soon, can u tell me bout Cebu


my g/f living in Cebu what  is the best way to bring her here? marry there or here

moving to philippines

Hi i have a fiancee in Pagadian and thinking to move there i am 55 have a forklift ticket and also a semi-trailer licence grew up on a mixed farm have storeman experience and have worked in different factories my question like many others could i find work there ? or maybe a business i will have appro $30,000 AUD or would it be better to try to bring my fiancee here to live and maybe retire there in 10 years time ? i like the life style there but am a little worried how i can support my fiancee will appreacheate all answers  thanks Chaz

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