Disabled Navy vet moving to the Philippines
Replies: 98 - Last Post: Apr 24, 2012 8:10 AM Last Post By: clairealgarme
Apr 20, 2012 12:15 AM
15Dumaguete also has excellent medical facilities, including Silliman Medical Centre. Very modern 140 bed Hospital attached to Silliman University.
Apr 20, 2012 12:20 AM
16Hey Kyle and wife, welcome to the Forum!
$1,380 a month is plenty to live off of if you are living in the province. If you choose to live in cities such as Manila or Cebu, you will spend much more. Simply because rent, and food is more expensive. You will also develop an addiction to taking taxi's, I say this because in your first few months in the country you will have a hard time with the weather (its very hot) so taking a taxi will offer you air condition and comfort something you don't get when you take a jeepney or tricycle. You also mentioned you are disabled, depending on your disability it my make transport within a jeepney or tricycle difficult.
If you live in the province you will find a decent house for less then 10,000 pesos a month, the real kicker is the cost of electricity, which is quite more expensive in the Philippines as compared to the USA, and Canada. Food is cheap, just make sure you don't get scammed by the locals selling goods at the market. There is two prices anywhere you go, the regular fee (Filipino rate) and the white guy rate. The only way to avoid this is if you have a housekeeper or maid doing all your bargaining without you there, or if you can speak the languages and dialects. Since you can't speak any of the languages yet, you only have one option, to hire a maid, that will cost you anywhere from 2,000-5,000 pesos a month.
In the Philippines your maid lives with you, you feed them, buy them things occasionally etc.
Apr 20, 2012 12:35 AM
17When you live outside the city, in the province you can simply go into the city when ever you like via bus or V-hire both are quite cheap.
Your $1,380 a month should be adequate enough to live comfortably if you watch your spending and don't get carried away. That will cover any visa bills, rent, food and cheap transport.
If you want to travel around the Philippines consider taking a percentage off of your monthly allotment of money and saving it so you can go traveling every 3 months or so.
Keep in mind your first month or so in the Philippines will be the most expensive as you have to set yourself up first. Buying furniture, TV etc. if you choose to live in a unfurnished house/apartment. There are furnished rooms/houses/apartments available but at a higher rate of course.
Your still young so you will be able to pick up the local languages a lot faster then someone who is 40 plus. If you really want to learn the languages, watching Filipino TV will increase your receptiveness to the languages, depending on the region you will settle in you can watch local TV which will help you learn the local dialect, while if you watch ABS CBN, (not the local station) you will pick up Tagalog. If you make friends who are Filipino and ask them to speak in Filipino you will learn a lot quicker too, they will be more then willing to teach you if you are good to them. Just ask them simple phrases then go from there. All this worked for me and I learned Tagalog, Visayan, and Cebuano fluently in my 5 years of living in the Philippines.
I also agree with the others who suggest you go for a extended vacation first before jetting off to an unknown destination with the hopes of settling there for good. Without knowing the country, or region, language or anything for that matter is not wise.
It would be a smart idea to save up a decent amount of money before moving to the Philippines on top of your $1,380 a month it will give you more security and less stressing about money matters. I suggest you save up $10,000 to take with you to use to get settled etc. Of course you won't spend it all but you can save the remainder in a bank, and put whatever left overs you have every month from your $1,380 then you can go traveling around later on.
You won't be able to buy property or invest if you just have $1,380 a month after you pay for rent, food and other things. You need a decent amount of money if you wish to invest or buy property, sums like $20,000 and up.
If there's anything specific you would like to know feel free to send me a message, I'm more then willing to share my experience(s) with you and since we are relatively close in age (I'm 19)
There's much for you to learn before you jet off to an unknown 3rd world country, with the plans to live there for good, it shouldn't be taken lightly (very serious stuff)
Apr 20, 2012 12:39 AM
18I personally think it will be hard to combine quality health care on your income with cheap island living.
For quality health care, you need to live in a place like Cebu City but usd $1380, in my opinion, is only living in Cebu City without travelling.
I rent on Leyte with my girlfriend. USD $800 is enough for me. USD $1380 would mean living well, including house maid and travelling too. However, the health care system is very poor on Leyte.
Apr 20, 2012 12:42 AM
19"Food is cheap, just make sure you don't get scammed by the locals selling goods at the market. There is two prices anywhere you go, the regular fee (Filipino rate) and the white guy rate"
Very true, but can be avoided somewhat if you do your main shopping in one of the large mall supermarkets where prices are all labelled, obviously in the markets there are no labelled prices..
Apr 20, 2012 12:54 AM
20#19 Oh of course, I was referring to the 'province life' where things are cheap if you know what your doing.
The supermarket food prices are all labelled but that also means quite more expensive perhaps just as expensive as the scams at the local market.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are alot cheaper in local markets then they are at the cities supermarkets with the exception of ripe mangos of course which are expensive anywhere you go. Meat is usually the same price where ever you go, may be a tad bit cheaper in the local province markets but take into consideration that it may have been sitting out for quite some time and they cut the meat on a cutting board that they use until it falls apart. The local market meat can be very dirty or filthy which means you could get sick. In Rustans a grocery store in major cities in the Philippines you can find affordable meats, some even cheaper then what you can find at a local market, plus you have the security of it being clean and safe to eat.
Apr 20, 2012 1:11 AM
Apr 20, 2012 2:04 AM
Apr 20, 2012 2:20 AM
Apr 20, 2012 3:07 AM
24If you shop regularly in a wet market, smile at people and chat with them and generally be nice, you'll pay the same price as everyone else. Develop "suki" (regular customer) relationships with stall owners you get along with, and they'll steer you to good deals, stuff in season, etc. Even speaking a few words of the local language (no point in trying to learn Tagalog if you're in Dumaguete) goes a long way... it's not just about communicating, when people see you making an effort and trying to learn they're impressed.
The Philippines are a place where your approach and the way you present yourself to people make a huge difference. If people like you they will often go way out of their way to help you; if they dislike you it may be the exact opposite. Obnoxious rude people often find life here very difficult.
Apr 20, 2012 3:15 AM
25Good advice from #24. When you develop regular costumer relationships with locals they will go out of their way to help you.
Always be open to learning and trying new things, when Filipinos see this they will want to help you, whether that's learning the language, or whatever.
I met so many people who were more then willing to lend a hand or teach me something, mainly because I took off my 'blinders' and was open to embrace the culture.
Apr 20, 2012 4:24 AM
26Siquior is another place worth visiting before you make a decision on where to set up base. It is a beautiful small island, ring road approx 90km (from memory). Not surprisingly very popular with expats as I was told by our "tour guide" approx 500 foreigners living there.
Not sure if that figure is accurate or about medical facilities, but it is serviced regularly by the fast and comfortable Ocean Jet to Cebu and other fast ferries to nearby Dumaguete.
Definitely worth a look imo.
Apr 20, 2012 4:51 AM
Apr 20, 2012 6:45 AM
28Should be enough to live on nicely but depends on your wife, haha. I would live in the province, cheaper and more pleasant than the big cities/towns which are clogged with traffic.Watch out for inflation though it can get out of hand, was 13% a few years ago..Visit for at least for 2 months before deciding, maybe in June/July time when the weather is not so great, there are other countries to consider which maybe cheaper like Cambodia and Laos but language is not so good for english speakers there. The weather is pretty hot and wet at times does not suit everyone.
Apr 20, 2012 11:03 AM
29Just to answer your wife's question, $1380 is not going to allow you much luxury for anything special. You really must budget carefully. That means less meat and fewer beers, few nights out, and air conditioning is expensive.
You should check about VA health care - don't think you can use it in PI. Medical care in general is cheaper, that's for sure. But on that income, you will have a tough time paying for any emergency or any heath insurance. The suggestion of living there first is a great idea. Make sure you like the place before you make the big move.
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