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Author Topic: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas  (Read 8713 times)

Offline rainymike

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Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« on: January 08, 2008, 01:30:35 AM »
As retirement approaches quickly, I\'ve found my thoughts on the \'ideal\' retirement to be changing over time.

On my first visit, I saw a retirement community in Tagaytay and thought that it was ideal for retirement. But after a while, it began to seem a bit abnormal to be living in an enclave of older folks. On a later visit, I spent more time in Manila and Davao scouting out the subdivisions there and thought that an upscale gated community would be great. Many of the nicer subdivisions seemed like kind of neighborhood that I already live in (but without the security). But again, after thinking about it, I decided that life in those communities might be too much like suburban America (haha ... I spent too much of my adult life trying to just survive in the burbs). I also had a chance to visit Dumaguete, but thought it a little too small for my tastes (but I only had a chance to do a short visit).

My next trip will be to scout out Cebu and surroundings. I am particularly interested in midsized towns (population 300,000 to 500,000 or so). Any thoughts on these towns from people living there? Hmmm ... I guess what I\'m looking for would include the following.

Airport - regular (at least a few times a week) flights to Cebu/Manila (I get seasick and don\'t like the ferry ... lol)
Medical - a decent (doesn\'t have to be first class) hospital and clinics in the region, dental care (a reliable doctor/dentist)
Shopping - at least one decent sized mall and areas that sell local produce/goods (a place to buy durable high end products like electronics and places to buy day to day necessities like food)
Local Transport - available individual transportation (taxi or trikes) not inflated by tourist prices
Industrial area - not so much industries, but a part of town that has a variety of auto, hardware, electronics, etc. shops
Education - at least one decent private school and university
Entertainment - an area with modest nightlife - restaurants, bars, and the like
Lodging - a decent hotel (clean, air conditioning) at least 3-4 stars
Banking - part of a national chain of banks with atm service

These seemed readily available in some of the midsized towns outside of Manila, but I\'m not sure if it\'s also the case in the Visayas. Any thoughts from those who live in these towns?

 



Offline Marsjr52

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 11:25:09 AM »
Mike,

Have you tried exploring Iloilo? There are so many beautiful neighboring towns in Iloilo that might interest you. Here\'s the link: www.exploreiloilo.com. This might help you.

Good Luck for your search.

Marc

Offline shadow

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2008, 02:02:24 PM »
Mike, Ive been living in the Dumaguete area about 5 years. I have travelled pretty extensively throughout the Visayas, as well as some Luzon and Mindanao. If I didn\'t have ties here and was looking for a place to live I would look very closely at Bacolod and Iloilo, not necesarily in that order.

Larry in Dumaguete

Offline calwriter

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 11:17:13 AM »
Mike, Ive been living in the Dumaguete area about 5 years. I have travelled pretty extensively throughout the Visayas, as well as some Luzon and Mindanao. If I didn\'t have ties here and was looking for a place to live I would look very closely at Bacolod and Iloilo, not necesarily in that order.

Larry in Dumaguete


Hi Larry,

Just out of curiosity, why would you choose Bacolod and Iloilo over Dumaguete?


Tom

Offline shadow

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2008, 08:40:41 AM »
First, I didn\'t say i would choose, I said I would look very closely. The main reason, in a word, is infrastructure.

Dumaguete seems to be very slow in catching up with the world. It has no malls, allows no intercity jeepney routes, and has no taxi cabs. This means there are 4000+ smoke belching, (many burn used motor oil in place of two cycle oil) dilapidated, pedicabs plugging the streets. During busy times, it will take one 30 minutes and cost P50 to ride one of these contraptions across town, a distance of about 2-3 km.

Instead of a mall (which they have promised for years) we have Lee Plaza, who has a monopoly on most basic commodoties. They mark everything up considerably over neighboring towns and get away with it because they have no competition. They sell crappy ground pork for P170/kilo, crappy ground beef at P200+, and \"lean\" ground beef at P300. The vegetable section is a joke compared to Cebu, Bacolod, and even Tagbilaran has much better selection and pricing of basic commodoties.
 
I have not spent enough time in Iloilo to compare, but the time I have spent in Bacolod it was a whole different world from Dumaguete. In Bacolod (a larger city) you can ride a jeepney from one end of town to the other in about 10 minutes. Cost is P6. The streets are wide, well marked, modern, with stop lights and traffic signs that people even seem to see. Try finding a stop sign in Dumaguete! I\'ll give you a hint, there are two. Bacolod has taxis, jeepneys, and pedicabs, all which have their own niche in the transportation sector. The city is well organized and orderly, and for the most part reasonably clean.

On the subject of clean, about 3 years ago I about fell out of my chair laughing at the thinking process of Dumaguete city officials. They had decided that garbage collection was costing them too much. Here was their solution;

They had been running one truck per route daily for years. Instead, they decided to run two trucks per route. They ran notices in the paper that everyone would have to buy stickers from the engineers office which said \"malata\" and \"dili malata\". The stickers cost P100, and if in 30 days you didn\'t have their stickers on your cans, they would not pick up your garbage. After a few months, they were very proud of their efforts. They published in the local paper the results. Previously they ahd been collecting 61 tons of garbage per day. Now they were only collecting 29 tons per day. Where do they think the other 32 tons of garbage goes? People had stopped making garbage!

For the life of me I cannot understand how this saves them money. They now are running two trucks every day to collect half the garbage. They don\'t have to sort the garbage at the dump becuase thay always have 100+ scavengers at the dump who do that for them. (In fact, several people were injured at the dump some time back, when they stampeded the garbage truck)

Enough of my rant. The surrounding areas of Dumaguete are terrific. As soon as you leave Dumaguete city going any direction improvements are obvious. We actually live in Valencia, 10 km up the mountain from Dumaguete, and after living here 3 years we have no desire to move anywhere. I just wish Dumaguete city officials would wake up and smell the coffee, er garbage.

Larry in Dumaguete/Valencia

 


Mike, Ive been living in the Dumaguete area about 5 years. I have travelled pretty extensively throughout the Visayas, as well as some Luzon and Mindanao. If I didn\'t have ties here and was looking for a place to live I would look very closely at Bacolod and Iloilo, not necesarily in that order.

Larry in Dumaguete


Hi Larry,

Just out of curiosity, why would you choose Bacolod and Iloilo over Dumaguete?


Tom

Offline rainymike

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2008, 10:11:32 AM »
Larry,

If you don\'t mind, can you describe Valencia and life there? I\'ve not really explored smaller towns. I\'m not necessarily excluding them though from my future - although I am partial to a bit of the city life. Once I\'ve made my move, I guess I\'ll have a lot of time to explore the country. Is it a rural agricultural type of town or is it more like a newer suburban type of location on the outskirts of a larger city? Or something else?



Offline Calatrava_Kano

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 01:38:43 AM »
Hi Mike,

Your description of \"MidSized Town\" sounds to me you really need to live in  a large city.  We are in Negros and looking at your list Bacolod is only one place that would meet your requirements.  I have not been down to Dumaguette, so can not say for sure about there.   We live the province life and don\'t need all the high end foods and entertainment and do fine, but I do know some expats that just could not stand it and had to move.

San Carlos is a short ride from our place, and from what I understand its the 4th largest city on Negros.  But in my opinion it only meets 1 or 2 of the requirements you have listed.  I  have heard good things about Iloilo, I have not been there but my wife tells me its very nice.  She has lived in Manila, Angeles City, and Baguio working as a housekeeper/nanny in high end homes before we met so if she says its very nice it might be worth a look.


Brian

Calatrava, Negros Occ. / Chicago, IL

Offline up2u

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2008, 08:27:23 AM »
First, I didn\'t say i would choose, I said I would look very closely. The main reason, in a word, is infrastructure.

Dumaguete seems to be very slow in catching up with the world. It has no malls, allows no intercity jeepney routes, and has no taxi cabs. This means there are 4000+ smoke belching, (many burn used motor oil in place of two cycle oil) dilapidated, pedicabs plugging the streets. During busy times, it will take one 30 minutes and cost P50 to ride one of these contraptions across town, a distance of about 2-3 km.

Instead of a mall (which they have promised for years) we have Lee Plaza, who has a monopoly on most basic commodoties. They mark everything up considerably over neighboring towns and get away with it because they have no competition. They sell crappy ground pork for P170/kilo, crappy ground beef at P200+, and \"lean\" ground beef at P300. The vegetable section is a joke compared to Cebu, Bacolod, and even Tagbilaran has much better selection and pricing of basic commodoties.
 
I have not spent enough time in Iloilo to compare, but the time I have spent in Bacolod it was a whole different world from Dumaguete. In Bacolod (a larger city) you can ride a jeepney from one end of town to the other in about 10 minutes. Cost is P6. The streets are wide, well marked, modern, with stop lights and traffic signs that people even seem to see. Try finding a stop sign in Dumaguete! I\'ll give you a hint, there are two. Bacolod has taxis, jeepneys, and pedicabs, all which have their own niche in the transportation sector. The city is well organized and orderly, and for the most part reasonably clean.

On the subject of clean, about 3 years ago I about fell out of my chair laughing at the thinking process of Dumaguete city officials. They had decided that garbage collection was costing them too much. Here was their solution;

They had been running one truck per route daily for years. Instead, they decided to run two trucks per route. They ran notices in the paper that everyone would have to buy stickers from the engineers office which said \"malata\" and \"dili malata\". The stickers cost P100, and if in 30 days you didn\'t have their stickers on your cans, they would not pick up your garbage. After a few months, they were very proud of their efforts. They published in the local paper the results. Previously they ahd been collecting 61 tons of garbage per day. Now they were only collecting 29 tons per day. Where do they think the other 32 tons of garbage goes? People had stopped making garbage!

For the life of me I cannot understand how this saves them money. They now are running two trucks every day to collect half the garbage. They don\'t have to sort the garbage at the dump becuase thay always have 100+ scavengers at the dump who do that for them. (In fact, several people were injured at the dump some time back, when they stampeded the garbage truck)

Enough of my rant. The surrounding areas of Dumaguete are terrific. As soon as you leave Dumaguete city going any direction improvements are obvious. We actually live in Valencia, 10 km up the mountain from Dumaguete, and after living here 3 years we have no desire to move anywhere. I just wish Dumaguete city officials would wake up and smell the coffee, er garbage.

Larry in Dumaguete/Valencia

 


Mike, Ive been living in the Dumaguete area about 5 years. I have travelled pretty extensively throughout the Visayas, as well as some Luzon and Mindanao. If I didn\'t have ties here and was looking for a place to live I would look very closely at Bacolod and Iloilo, not necesarily in that order.

Larry in Dumaguete


Hi Larry,

Just out of curiosity, why would you choose Bacolod and Iloilo over Dumaguete?


Tom
I have a problem with garbage collection in Bacolod, no collection for 4 weeks over Christmas and non for the last 10 days . I have lived in poorer countries where they collect every day , I dont understand the problem?

Offline rainymike

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2008, 02:16:31 AM »
Hi Mike,
Your description of \"MidSized Town\" sounds to me you really need to live in  a large city.

Yes, I realize that. But in my initial recon, I\'m setting the requirements high. Just to make the transition smoother for me when I move there.

But you know, with every visit I make, I am getting more comfortable with a less urban lifestyle. So we\'ll see what my \'needs\' are in a year or two. I definitely don\'t exclude a more provincial lifestyle, it definitely has its appeal. But I think, a gradual transition for me makes more sense. I\'ve already put the nix on Manila living. Davao was very appealing to me, so I know that I can find a large city that I\'ll be comfortable in. At the present, I\'m exploring cities a notch lower in size than Davao.

Yes, there are trade-offs going from Manila to smaller towns. But I\'m learning that not all the trade-offs are bad ones and that there are some things that I can adapt to.


Offline samatm

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2008, 12:51:55 PM »
Hi Mike,

 ... We moved to Taipei last August and come back home as often as possible.
 

Good luck.

Jean-Marc



so coool Jean-mark.    I so miss Taipei :)   spent 10 years there and 3 in Manila... Give me Taipei in a heartbeat...but I always did enjoy my get away to the Phils.   Currently planning on moving to Cebu come October...sure wish I had regular reasons to visit Taipei often. 

Offline GregW

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2008, 10:17:59 AM »
B-Ray wrote;
Quote
WOOPIE we are on the up swing.     

Naw, y\'all all haven\'t arrived yet.  Ya gots no WalMart yet!  hahahaha   ;D :D ;)
Ako si Goyo.   Amerikano akong lawas pero Bisaya akong kasing-kasing

Offline oneiloilojeepney

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2008, 08:43:31 AM »
Hi Mike,
My wife and I have been living in Iloilo city since 2002. It has everything I want/need.

Airport - regular (at least a few times a week) flights to Cebu/Manila (I get seasick and don\'t like the ferry ... lol)

There is a brand new airport located 30 min from downtown.

Medical - a decent (doesn\'t have to be first class) hospital and clinics in the region, dental care (a reliable doctor/dentist)

There are 5 Private hospitals that are up to U.S. standards here. There are also many dentists here to choose from that are very reasonable and do good work. My GP Doctor treats many of us retired military here.

Shopping - at least one decent sized mall and areas that sell local produce/goods (a place to buy durable high end products like electronics and places to buy day to day necessities like food)

We have 5 major malls and many shops downtown to choose from. The Iloilo supermarket chain carries a wide wariety of local and imported food. Then there is always the wet markets (3) in the city limits.

Local Transport - available individual transportation (taxi or trikes) not inflated by tourist prices

We don\'t get allot of tourists here and the cab drivers here have proven to be reliable and honest in my experiance. The are plenty of trikes/pedicabs plying the secondary roads.

Industrial area - not so much industries, but a part of town that has a variety of auto, hardware, electronics, etc. shops

Plenty of local auto parts, hardware stores and computer stores around that are not in the malls.

There really is no industry here and no bigtime pollution. Farming and colleges and a few call centers is the closest thing to industry we have here.

Education - at least one decent private school and university

There are several good colleges and private schools to choose from here. There are many good private schools to choose from as well. Iloilo is know as the training center for the Visayas. U.P. is also located here. There are realy too many here to list.

Entertainment - an area with modest nightlife - restaurants, bars, and the like

There are many nice resturants here. Everything from american to german, chinese thai etc. Along with all the fast food chains. The smallville area in mandurrio has over a dozen bars to choose from for nightlife along with the dozen or so bars/resturants at the Sarabia hotel and convention center complex.


Lodging - a decent hotel (clean, air conditioning) at least 3-4 stars
There are quite a few in that category here. The best one in my opinion is the sarabia manor hotel www.sarabiamanorhotel.com . Definately a solid 4 star hotel with a pool and gym and evan an internet cafe. Middle of the road pricewise and in a very clean safe area.

Banking - part of a national chain of banks with atm service

BPI and BDO both have several brancHes downtown.

Contrary to all misconceptions we have recovered from the Typhoon and it\'s mostly business as usual here. Yeah we got hit by a 100 year storm. But that can happen anywhere. It was just our misfortune in July. Good news is another 100 years before the next one and lightning never strikes twice in the same place.  :)



Good luck with your decision.

Paul in Iloilo


Offline rainymike

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2008, 09:35:23 AM »
Thx Paul. Yes, I\'ll spend some time in Iloilo and Bacolod and get a feel for those places. They look very good on paper so far. I\'m in no hurry to make a final decision but Iloilo remains on my short list of most likely places for future settlement.

Offline GregW

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2008, 10:43:53 AM »
Well, you do have that Robinson\'s going up.  Supposedly.   ::)

Of course, by the time they get it built, today\'s grandkids will be retired already.   :D

On a serious note.  Have they made any progress on it at all?  And wasn\'t there talk of a mini SM or something going in too?

Ako si Goyo.   Amerikano akong lawas pero Bisaya akong kasing-kasing

Offline pgobeem

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Re: Seeking Thoughts on MidSized Towns in the Visayas
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2010, 08:54:08 AM »
anyone have much inofrmation on Argao in Southern Cebu

Patrick