Author Topic: Expats insights on living in RP (Cebu)  (Read 1991 times)

Offline napamoore

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Expats insights on living in RP (Cebu)
« on: November 03, 2008, 08:14:47 AM »
I found the below information on  one of the other groups I visit, and just wondered if it felt accurate to most here.
Thanks
Mike Vallejo CA

I live in Cebu and moved from Nebraska about 4 years ago.
The retirement income goes a lot farther than the U.S.
If you have savings to build a house that is of course
important after renting for a year or so.

Food is imported and Ayala SuperMetro and Rustins at Ayala has the
best selection of American foods. In most stores as SM, Fooda,
Country Mall,you may also find some American foods.

Clothing is reasonable at any of the malls especially Ayala and SM.

There are shakeys, pizza hut and new york pizza.
Its okay, but i would not rate it high but acceptable.
Some Americans buy the pork and make their own hams,
but I buy mine a Ayala Rustins.
There are plenty of JollyBee and McDonald restaurant in Cebu.

If you\'re an American, or West European than I would advise
shopping in malls where there are armed guards.

If you\'re a church goer, its hard to impossible to find a
church that resembles one like your homeland.

The part thats hard is the language and cultural gap.
Sores speak english, but don\'t really understand you and
they don\'t know the products you use. English is prevalent,
however, the locals use their own dialect and this is unfamilair
to you.

The main disadvantage is the heat unless you like Florida
where its hot all the time. I find I cannot work like I did
in the cold of Nebraska and exercise is hard to do.

Other than that its okay. You\'ll notice after some years the
cultural understanding of simple things are not the same.

If you have children thats the biggest consideration and that
requires more research. I moved here with 5 children and its
a tough go if they\'re teens when they get here. Finding the right
school at the right price and understanding their cultural thinking
is quite frustrating.

Like anthing i life, the amount of income you have is important.
The people who move from the u.s. here are quite differant from
each other, so your\'s is a tough question.

Utilities electricity is higher than the u.s. as they have only
oil generating capabilities. The streets are terrible until you
get used to them. Don\'t rely on a map, but make notes in the cab
as this place is a landmark country. There are few streetsigns
and major off-roads are like alleyways leaving the narrow highways.
The highway system is not suited for the population of 3.5 million
inhabitants. Cebu has a lot of car and the middle class seems to
do well, however, their homes are not expensive as in the u.s. and
they have the money to drive nice cars. The standard of living and
quality of life is improving vastly compared to 20 years ago.

Police crusiers are rare and most are footmen, so theres no chasing
here. Avoid hitting someone or some vechicle and be careful when you
drive to drive the same routes as varying off course could get you a
ticket. Driving around a flyover is against the law. Municipilities
make their own laws and the traffic people are more or less
interested in their little community not caring much about the
national highway traffic. This causes great holdups in traffic
as traffic control is not important, but the traffic director is
a local community representative and doesn\'t care about thru traffic.

Its a great place to live to escape being exasperated in the U.S.
You have little to worry about as you do in America where its pay as
you go and endless bills and taxes. Nonetheless every aspect of
life has differant intrepetations. A delivery service may lose an
item an expect you to make up the differance. a workman may come
and not fix something and expect you to pay again. People will stand
in line for an hour to pay a bill you later find you can pay at the
bank pronto. In small ways they think differant. You serve the
merchant more than the merchant waits upon you. Customer satisfaction
is a complete misnomer. They would rather keep the pesos from a sale
than to insure you\'re happy and continue to shop. They just don\'t
care. So, socially, most Filipino is friendly, but island thinking
people have a differant mindset and the nation school book publishers
are indiginous meaning the outside world does not exist.

Taking road trips like in the U.S. is generally not as comfortable
as the norms do not match your expectations.

The Philippines has good medical and keeping 5 to 10 thousand usd
for emergency medical would be a good referance point to begin.
Cebu has chongHai, Perpetual and doctors hospitals that are very good.
Parking is not good around hospital and perhaps a parking garage for
your vehicle and taking a cab would be best unless you want to
set for an hour waiting.
Cebu has good doctors and good medical and convenient clean labs.
Cebu has good pharmacies but the pharmacists, like veternarians,
like street dentists may or may not be schooled. Anyone aparrently
can hang out a sign. Nonetheless sticking to large modern hospitals
is reccommended especially in the beginning. If you have a dog
then email me and I can help you more. Telephones are not just
available when you want one. It may take time and outside the
city there are no landlines except if you\'re on the highway or
have an internet cafe. Cable is another city thing. If you\'re
far from the road out of town, then microwave TV and computer
is your only choice. Everything is differant but it appears the
white popultion is growing all the time due to the exaperation of
whites living in industralized countries. Now we find younger than
retirement age people coming here.
I hope this helps along with other peoples views.
Basically life is good, but you\'ll miss Slosky\'s, White Castle,
arby\'s roast beef. The meat here is tough and I just give up
on a good steak, they\'re available but not like Omaha, so I
just buy ground beef 100% or Australian imported beef and
a good hamburger oversomes the tough meat problem.
Its just not worth trying to find Omaha or Kansas City steaks
here unless you want to go to a steak house and threre\'s
some good steak houses I understand. Its just not worth the
time to me and potatoes here are like greasy. You can get
imported mashed potatoes from Canada at Ayala.
The seeds here are adapted to the climate and the good seeds
used where you\'re from are not for here. Tomotoe plants in the
u.s. requre a cool breeze at nite, so the varieties here don\'t
match the u.s. but they taste okay. Conrn on the cob is here,
but be careful as some varities are so sweet. Filipinos are
sugar lovers and often you\'ll buy bread, corn and its just
sickening sweet covering up the taste as do local snacks.
They love sugar and the snacks are always covered up with
barbeque or cheeze as they don\'t know the good taste of a natural
potatoe chip. Everything is alike but differant.

good steak, and some other things available only in the u.s.
It is wise to have someone to send you balikbayan boxes once
a year or so.
Email me if theres something specific I you need to know.
Like I say, every american here is differant in some manner
and I may not be the most suitable for your personality

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Re: Expats insights on living in RP (Cebu)
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 09:52:05 AM »
I would generally agree with most things, but there are some I do not.

If you\'re an American, or West European than I would advise shopping in malls where there are armed guards.

I don\'t think you should have problems anywhere proving you are sensible.

be careful when you drive to drive the same routes as varying off course could get you a ticket.
I don\'t believe this is true.

A delivery service may lose an item an expect you to make up the difference. a workman may come and not fix something and expect you to pay again.
Not in my experience.

You serve the merchant more than the merchant waits upon you. Customer satisfaction is a complete misnomer. They would rather keep the pesos from a sale than to insure you\'re happy and continue to shop. They just don\'t care.
I have found the exact opposite.

potatoes here are like greasy
Not the ones I buy.

Colin

Offline jonnyivy

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Re: Expats insights on living in RP (Cebu)
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 08:23:02 PM »
Isn\'t the challenge of living in the Phils all about adapting to a new way of life ? I\'ve never once thought about searching out things from back home to make things easier. Sure, the fast-food maybe not the same quality back home, but I say you can\'t find better home-made meals that the wife / mother / aunt has spent all day preparing out the back for the family. TASTY !!
A True Friend Is Someone Who Sees the Pain in Your Eyes While Everyone Else Believes the Smile on Your Face

Offline newboy

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Re: Expats insights on living in RP (Cebu)
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 10:14:46 AM »
    I have found here in Indonesia things are very similar to what you describe. After about 2 years here I just took it upon myself to learn to be self sufficient. I now bake my own bread, pumpkin and apple pies. ( I make a pineapple pie that is to die for!) Today I\'m putting 2 kilo of briskit into salt water. In about 3 weeks I\'ll have some lovely corned beef. The internet is full of all kinds of simple instructions for anything you want. I have tought my two young housekeepers to cook these things for me. It is fun and fills up my days. I also like to shop at the village open (wet) market. Once I learned some Bahasa Indonesia language, I found myself to be quite welcome there and I bargain with the best. I expect to find things even better in RP. A small can of Crisco shortining here is $5. I learned to use coconut butter instead. It is 10c for 1/2 kilo. Life is very good.    V

Offline stillbilly2002

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Re: Expats insights on living in RP (Cebu)
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2008, 03:52:22 AM »
your dead on right Colin ,stillbilly :D