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Pre-trip Trip Report

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

Pre-trip Trip Report

Postby davewe » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:06 pm

Returning to the Philippines in one week. From Cebu will be spending 5 days in Bohol, checking out Tagbilaran, Alona Beach, and Panglao. Next - a few days in Dumaguete. Finally, a week in Alcoy, Cebu, where my wife's family lives.

It occurred to me that most trip reports are by their nature, after the fact. Why not see if anyone has any questions before the trip. Now, since I am married, I will not be reporting on the girls scene, dating, p4p or anything like that. Other than a vacation, my personal goal is to scout potential places to live in the future, so my eye will be open to issues like cost, infrastructure, shopping, people, environment, expats, weather, etc.

I have been to Alcoy several times before, so have some feel for that area, but never Bohol or Dumaguete.

So if anyone has any interest in these out of Manila and Cebu areas, let me know.

Here's some pics of Alcoy:
http://adventuresofpaupau.blogspot.com/ ... -cebu.html
davewe
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Postby Jester » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:12 am

My interest would be where I can live with a beach breeze, swimmable beach (not all large sharp rocks) and broadband internet, by the month or with a lease. In other words long-term rates, not resort hotel rates. With interior photos.

And of course group pictures of the girls doing their best to "represent".

Also level of English ability among working class.

And is there decent coffee?

Brandy or whiskey?
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Postby manly5000 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:44 am

What's the cheapest you can pull off living a basic, simple life in a hut by the beach like in those pictures? How much per month USD including food if you're completely removed from the tourist areas and do all your own cooking?
Out in the world living the dream!
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Postby davewe » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:50 pm

manly5000 wrote:What's the cheapest you can pull off living a basic, simple life in a hut by the beach like in those pictures? How much per month USD including food if you're completely removed from the tourist areas and do all your own cooking?


I have an online friend in Alcoy that I will be meeting when we get there. He says he lives in a nice home on (or very near) the beach - 3 bedrooms - for $200/month. I will be interested in seeing what a $200/month house on the beach is like.

I discovered a German man (lots of Germans in Alcoy) who has a nice home (he has it for sale) and built an apartment behind the home. We are renting the apartment for 500P/day ($12). The apartment is also available for rent monthly for 10000p/month ($230). It has aircon, wifi and access to his pool. I'll posts pics.

These two examples are not nipa hut living but should give some kind of idea of how you can live in a provincial area.
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Postby davewe » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:54 pm

Jester wrote:My interest would be where I can live with a beach breeze, swimmable beach (not all large sharp rocks) and broadband internet, by the month or with a lease. In other words long-term rates, not resort hotel rates. With interior photos.

And of course group pictures of the girls doing their best to "represent".

Also level of English ability among working class.

And is there decent coffee?

Brandy or whiskey?


Don't know about brandy or whiskey, but here's what they do to mix drinks on Tingko Beach.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/72792992@N00/13781699043/
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Postby Jester » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:38 am

Good Lord, DaveWe, are all those pics really
yours????
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
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Postby davewe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:20 pm

Jester wrote:Good Lord, DaveWe, are all those pics really
yours????


Yep. Are you meaning the Kenyan pics - been on safari twice? I'll set up separate folders for Dumaguete and Alcoy and Bohol.
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Postby Jester » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:23 am

davewe wrote:
Jester wrote:Good Lord, DaveWe, are all those pics really
yours????


Yep. Are you meaning the Kenyan pics - been on safari twice? I'll set up separate folders for Dumaguete and Alcoy and Bohol.


You really live the life!!!!
"Pick a point and go to it."
-- Dr John Hunsucker, speaking about canoeing on Georgia's Lake Lanier, with its irregular shape, and 1000 miles of meandering shoreline
Jester
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Postby davewe » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:54 am

Posted some pics from previous visits to Alcoy, Cebu.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/72792992@ ... 850161103/
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Postby davewe » Tue May 06, 2014 5:01 am

Trip reports are coming. But one thing that occurred to me is that many guys struggle with international travel because there are so many snags and screw ups. Despite my plans and best efforts, I assume things will go wrong and try to just enjoy it anyway. Here's what went wrong on this trip:

1. Lost the first day due to a missed connection (fog at SFO). Airline put us up at Embassy Suites and we left the next day. It took hours on the phone and in person to reschedule the trip.
2. I love snorkeling and we had the opportunity to snorkel off Bohol. Unfortunately the wife almost drowned when she got her wet shoe caught on some coral.
3. Got a bit ripped off on the trike ride from the ferry docks at Dumaguete going to our hotel. Just a few bucks really.
4. The new apartment I rented in Alcoy was not as ready as I had been led to believe. The aircon did not work nor did the wifi. No curtains on the windows which bugged the wife (can't imagine why). So the next morning we left. Fortunately we had no problem getting other accommodations.
5. Flight back home was rocked by hours of turbulence. Passengers freaked out and throwing up. Wife was seriously scared.

But guess what? It was a great trip and we can't wait to go back. That's Happier Abroad, I guess.
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Postby Jester » Tue May 06, 2014 5:24 am

davewe wrote:Posted some pics from previous visits to Alcoy, Cebu.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/72792992@ ... 850161103/


She seems very light-hearted and playful.

And seems to put quite a grin on your face.
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Postby davewe » Tue May 06, 2014 5:57 pm

Check out my blog @ www.marriedafilipina.com
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Postby hammanta » Tue May 06, 2014 6:19 pm

Awesome Trip report and pics. I must say there is something enticing about a brown skinned girl in a Hawaiian Sundress. I always make sure my girl wears one ; ) haha The Philippines is truly a beautiful and friendly place if you know where to look.

P.S. What type of camera do you use?
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Postby davewe » Tue May 06, 2014 7:01 pm

Bohol/Tagbilaran/Alona Beach/Panglao:

We took the "fast" ferry from Cebu to Bohol. It docks in Tagbilaran, which is a city of about 100,000. The ferry ride was about 2 hours and pleasant. They even ran a movie to watch.

I wanted to check out Tag since if I ever moved to Bohol this would be, if not the place to live, at least the place to go for malls, medical, etc. It has all that but I would not call it an exciting or beautiful city. But there were a couple major malls, a movie theater, etc. I didn't partake in any night life - doubt there is much.

Alona Beach is a really nice one. I would compare it quite favorably to Boracay. It's still touristy, but not as crazy with tourists as Boracay. Dinner on the beach is fun. As with all the touristy places, there are plenty of boats to take you island hopping.

Island hopping with an exclusive boat for just the 2 of us was 2000P (<$50) though this did not include some minor park fees and snorkeling equipment fees. The island hopping started very early to see the dolphins, then we went to a couple other islands for snorkeling, etc. Virgin Island (yes we laughed over the name) is incredibly beautiful and the pics appear as if you are walking on water.

On another day, instead of taking a standard tour of the island, we hired a car for the entire day (2000P) so that I could customize what we wanted to see. Only thing we missed was the Bohoc River lunch cruise, since apparently this shut down due to Holy Week. We hit some of the standard tourist spots (Chocolate hills, bamboo bridge, manmade forest). Bohol is a beautiful island and I am sure you could spend many days wandering deeper into it and away from the normal tourist spots. Panglao, which is actually a different island from Bohol, would be a place to consider living.

All in all Bohol is a beautiful destination. Not sure if I'd want to live there, although being only 2 hours from Cebu is a plus.
Last edited by davewe on Tue May 06, 2014 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby davewe » Tue May 06, 2014 7:09 pm

Dumaguete/Valencia:

From Tagbilaran City in Bohol, we took a fast ferry to Dumaguete City (in Negros). Dumaguete City is similar in size to Tag, but different in nature. It has 4 colleges/universities and an almost cosmopolitan feel. Nice restaurants are everywhere, several nice malls, etc. This is a city I would considering living in or close to. There are hundreds of trikes in the city. The fee to go anywhere in the city via trike is 9-10P (<25 cents). The city fronts the ocean and the view there is very nice.

Valencia is a suburb very close to Dumaguete. I wanted to see what it's like, since it seems to be where many expats live. It is very clean and quiet. The overlooking lots have spectacular views and there are plenty of very expensive homes, no doubt owned by "foreigners." I have to assume this is pricey. However, lots closer to sea level can be bought cheaply (our driver had purchased such a lot) and while didn't have the view, the neighborhoods were still clean and quiet. I was impressed and thought that this is an area I would consider living in.

While I wasn't exactly looking for the girl action, I have to assume that with so many colleges (including Silliman) there will be plenty of girls there to meet.
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