Cost Of Living In Tacloban, Leyte (2009)

I like the Palo / Tacloban area because of the history that abounds there. Palo is the site of where General Douglas MacArthur returned in 1944 to fulfill his promise to the people of the Philippines. MacArthur Park is beautiful, and has a great monument with statues to commemorate the event. Douglas MacArthur is still painted on huge murals all over the area.

The proximity to the San Juanico Bridge is great for a quick trip into the rugged interior of Samar, or down its coast to some beautiful resorts. Unlike most of the Philippines… Samar is pretty sparsely populated, south to Balangiga is the site of the 1901 Incident in which the US Army suffered its worst defeat since Custers last stand, and the subsequent reprisal by the US Military on the people of Samar.

The Airport is just 10 minutes from the house, downtown Tacloban the same, Robinsons Mall about 7 minutes away.. all in different directions. The Mahalarka highway runs through, and down to the southern tip of Mindanao, or up to the northern tip of Luzon. Planes fly only to Manila, or Cebu, and the cost is between P899 to P1, 500, depending on what day and carrier, Cebu Pacific, or PAL a lot more for last minute purchases.

We mostly eat at the house, or cook our food and take it with us that keep our food bill down to the minimum. NFA rice P25 kilo, Fish P70 to p100 kilo depending on size, Common fruits and vegetables P40 t0 P60 kilo, coconuts P10 ea, Chicken P120 kilo, pork 185 kilo, beef P250 kilo, cooking oil P70 liter, bread P5 a roll, noodles about P5 per pkg. We drink cool aid, or water. Beer, Rum, and Tuba are cheap; one liter of pop will run about P25.

We travel mainly with our motorcycle, P40 approx per liter, and go all over Leyte, and provinces attached by bridges. Haircuts are P40, and an average meal for two in a local native restraint when we do eat out is P80 total, these restaurants do not expect a tip.

We have two children in disposable diapers, and on formula, and we still get by on our monthly budget of P20, 000. We do not give money to the extended family, nor get involved in business schemes. Mama is really good at buying bargain new clothes, and shoes, our furniture is a mix of new upholstered type and also new bamboo.. We do not run our air conditioner except once in a blue moon. Lots of expats in the area, and a great American Legion Post.

Location:

Palo, Tacloban city, Leyte

Type of Residence:

Multi Story House

Size of house:

340 square meters three kitchen and laundry area, off street parking for vehicle, and motorcycles. Large balcony, and very large veranda. Gated/ sometimes guarded, middleclass subdivision.

Own or Rent:

Own

Cost of Rent:

Average rent for a small single story house in our subdivision is P6, 000; a small two story is P9, 000, can go lots higher in other areas/subdivisions.

Electricity:

P1, 200 a month average

Water:

P650 constant city water in this subdivision, clean, good drinking, but pressure falls during day, and goes back up at night due to supply lines being too small for all the house taps.

Gas:

P675 a month for shellane

Phone:

P600 Cell phones only, mostly texting

Cable:

Available, but we do not subscribe.

Internet

P995 a month, Globe line contract, great most of the time.

Power Outages:

Seldom. Usual duration 15 minutes or less

Water Outages:

None, but took a year to get hooked up, hauling water on tricycle until then.

Air Quality:

Excellent. Trash picked up every week. No burning of trash in subdivision allowed. Downtown Tacloban air quality is acceptable even during peak traffic. There is no industry here to speak of, but just became a Highly Urbanized City. Expected to draw industry.

Noise:

We have the barking dogs, motorcycles, and seem everybody is raising chickens / fighting cocks, so roosters crowing at early morning. lots of them. Otherwise peaceful and quiet Downtown Tacloban. Heavy most of the daylight hours. Light to moderate downtown after dark, and all day Sunday.

Traffic:

Always light outside the city limits except at evening quitting time when everybody is heading home.

Public Trans:

Good. Spiders ( New Cabs) P 30 and P60 will get you anywhere in and around Tacloban, but be prepared to wait for some fellow passengers or pay a bonus. Sidecar motorcycles charge P6 in town per head. Same P6 with the multicabs, and jeepneys. Trips to outer areas are about P10 to the nearest BIR, and P6 to P10 each vehicle change.

Stores:

One Robinsons shopping mall in Marisbaris with national chain stores, American fast food i.e. pizza hut, Mc'd, dunkin donuts, Gasianos Central Mall in downtown Tacloban (Small), and Gasianos dept store down the street. Several supermarkets that carry the same foods. Robinsons mall has multicinemas showing first run movies. Many nice restaurants and resort areas. American, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and German restaurants including countless native restaurants and barbeque chains. A few used car dealerships in town, seems that motorcycle shops are dominant. New 155cc business style bikes are P45,000 to P60,000 depending on make, Other new bikes as low as P32,000 (scooters) and as high as P100,000 ( Predators, and Motards) many hardware stores, Home Depot, UltraSteel, City Hardware, and lots of smaller ones.

Medical Facilities:

Three Nice Private hospitals, 2 Public hospitals, many clinics with modern equipment and well trained English-speaking doctors. Average cost of Doctors Office Visit is P300 Philhealth available for P100 a month per family.

Schools:

Tacloban area has many University's, colleges, and vocational schools, seems like half the population is students.

Lee (DECEMBER 2009)