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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
So I've been torn between Kiev, Ukraine and Cebu, Philippines based on there reputations. I'm interested in going over for about a week during October/November. It's worth noting that this is my first vacation out of my country (I'm 22), so I'm hoping to make it really memorable.
Right now I'm leaning towards Cebu because I live in Canada, and going from one cold Winter country to another isn't exactly the best vacation.
But what's there to do as a legitimate tourist activity in Cebu? Obviously I'd like to spend a lot of damn time with the local ladies, but what can I do in my personal time? Is there anything like scuba diving, or what-not? I haven't found too much on the ole Google search.
As well, does anyone know about the motorcycle policies? I've read it's the best way to get around, only problem is I don't have a driver's license. Is this the type of place that would just rent me one regardless?
Thanks for all answers (feel free to make any pro vs con arguments in regards to Kiev/Ukraine as well).
first of all, welcome to the forum.
Ok so you want to hit Cebu and for a week only? Are you flying directly from Canada? Is it from the east coast/Toronto or from the West Coast/Vancouver? If yes, I would strongly advise you NOT to go there just for a week. Let me tell you what: the flight from Canada, at least from the east coast/Toronto is one long flight. Easily 21 to 24 hours in the air either through Tokyo or through Hong Kong both of which are very long and tiring flights specially from HKG. So by the time you get there, you will have spent 1 full day just to get there and with the time difference of 12 hours and jet lag, it will take you another 2-3 days easy just to recover and to adapt to your new time zone, not to mention your environment. So by the time you've recovered from your jet lag and time difference, 3-4 days would have already gone and it'd be already time to come back. So you wouldn't really enjoy it for just a week. As a matter of fact, I would not recommend anyone flying to Asia for anything less than 2 weeks at the bare bare minimum. If you can make it at least 2 weeks, then that's a difference story. Another thing to keep in mind: the airfare to Asia and specially the Phils from Canada is not cheap. You'd be looking at anywhere between 1200 to upward of 1700 depending on the time of the year and how in advance are you going to book it? So ask yourself, is it really worth to spend that kind of money for airfare just for 1 week?
Now having clarified this, yeah Cebu is a great place, you will have a lot of fun there with the local ladies. However, it can be rough specially for a first timer to a 3rd world country. A much better option in the Philippines would be Davao City. It's much cleaner, safer and cheaper than Cebu and the ladies are as sweet if not sweeter than in Cebu. In Davao, there are nice beaches nearby and you can snorkel to your hearts desire no problem.
If you want to stick to Cebu, then that would be a good option for both nigthlife and other activities such as snorkeling and the beach. Cebu proper has no beaches but they're located an hour drive away in Mactan. The beaches there are ok, much better options are to go to Bohol where you have stunning beaches and awesome diving spots.
Also, do you have any friends or family in Cebu? If not, you may want to pipeline some girls online before you go there. Set up an account for free on dateinasia.com or if you want a higher quality girl, get a 1 or 2 months account at either Filippinacupid.com or at Cherryblossoms.com (they're about 30 bucks a month) but well worth the investment as you can find and meet some very sexy and nice girls there.
If you just have one week, then I would suggest you to look for a place closer to Canada like the Dominican Republic, Cuba or Colombia if you want nice beaches and sexy girls. Yes the Philippines is cheap and very fun (read the girls are very sexy and easy and gorgeous beaches and quite cheap) but 1 week is way too short for the reasons I mentioned above. And do not underestimate them, trust me. After you've spent 12-13 hours sitting on a plane, the last thing you want is to catch another 4-6 hour connecting flight. So keep these in mind and make your decision. But if you can have at least 2 weeks, then the Phils would be a wonderful option.
All the best.
Well you are a lot younger than I am but I too like Cebu. The other poster who said a week or so is too short is correct - sort of. Of course 2 weeks is better, a month better still. But if you were gonna be in the Philippines for two weeks or a month, you would in all likelihood go to more than just one city anyway.
Cebu is a large cosmopolitan city. There is a variety of nightlife, beaches (granted not in the city itself), museums, historic stuff. I am a guitar nut and I went to Mactan where there are many guitar builders and I loved it (particularly with the cute company I traveled with). And of course, there are lots of girls.
But I do agree about Davao. It too is cosmopolitan but smaller, cleaner and safer. Nice beaches: Paradise Island is great. It's a bit cheaper than Cebu. Of course there are direct flights to Cebu, but only an hour flight from Cebu to Davao.
BTW, I am going in October and like you have a limited time period. I will hit both Cebu and Davao. Yes, it's a long flight. Yes you may be jet lagged. So what! If an old fart like me can be meeting his girl at a hotel within walking distance of the Cebu airport and be "having fun" within an hour of arrival, you sure as hell should be able to. Whether you go to Cebu or Davao you will have a blast and will love the girls. Check our the Living in Cebu forum for more detailed info about every aspect of Cebu life, join a dating site and begin.
Have fun and let us know!
If you're 22 then why not just go teach English somewhere for a year or two? A week is useless abroad - it will take you that long to get over the jet lag.
Hi all, thanks so much for the responses (specifically Jacare, as I didn't expect anyone to take the time to write in so much detail).
I am going to be traveling from Toronto, and while I don't like spending that much money it's also not an issue from a banking standpoint. Hypothetically I could world hop for a few months on my savings, so I'm willing to splurge on ensuring I have a great time.
What I had come up with is I'd travel directly to Cebu (or perhaps Davao now that it's getting such strong recommendations) and stay for a full week. After that I was going to go to Manila for a few days under the assumption it might be a lot less fun, and then catch a plane home from there.
Opinions? Too complicated perhaps? Figuring out the scheduling of dates is already confusing me, and it's hard to find travel agencies that specialize in the Philippines in Toronto to sort it out for me.
And yes, I've already created a few profiles on LoveAsia, FilDate and Pinalove. I'm very anal retentive and I didn't want to leave things to the last minute and end up with p4p. Is it better to state up front I only want to have a good time with no intentions of a "real" relationship, or should I do the normal romance thing like North American dating?
And it's too bad I'm looking to go a bit later than you davewe, you could have shown a newbie like me the ropes.
You might also want to check out Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro. It seems like one of the prime areas for scuba diving in the Philippines if not the world. I'm not a scuba diver myself, but I made a reservation for a resort near there. It's also not far from Manila if you want to perhaps want to balance your trip between scuba diving and the Manila nightlife.
"Take a bold and unconventional action, then you'll find out who your friends are."
"Trying to find good American women is like trying to ice skate in a volcano."
Cebu Airlines books online and is quite cheap with flights between all major Phils cities. So the major cities you are talking about (Cebu, Davao, Manila) are easy and cheap to hop between. OTOH, the airports and not traveler friendly and that for that one hour flight from Cebu to Davao you will have to arrive a couple hours early at the airport and fight the crowds. But you dont need a travel agent for these short hops. Just book online with Cebu Pacific.
BTW, I don't think you want to spend much time in Manila. I would only go there for the airport.
Based on a suggestion by pete98146, I'm looking into making a stop in Bangkok for a few days before continuing to Cebu (what probably will be my primary destination) with a day or two in Davao.
In regardless to using dating sites, am I better off doing the normal North American dating type profile and romancing girls, or is it simpler to do a "I'll take you out for dinner and back to my hotel" thing?
And Davao (airport) is in the Del Norte region correct? Not the Del Sur? I don't want to set something up with a girl who's nowhere nearby.
Personally I think it's wrong to lie to these girls about what you want. Many of them are living in pretty desperate circumstances and they will be hoping against hope that you are their ticket out! They fall in love hard and fast, by all accounts, and it just seems cruel to deceive them. I have a very up-front, naughty but not explicit, profile on a couple of sites and I still get plenty of attention. As a much younger guy, you'll do very well, I should think! You do have to check that they have actually read your profile before you take things further - many express interest without reading. Also, you will be targeted by scammers, camgirls etc. Never send money, and always verify the girl on webcam before making arrangements to meet.
It's good to get confirmation that being straightforward does indeed work as well. I'm hardly a player back home, so I'm not particularly comfortable leveraging the fantasy getaway scenario.
Do you use paysites?
I'm using PinaLove because it has a good layout, and a bit of LoveAsia even though it's horribly designed. But I'm not getting as much attention (that sounds so stupid) as I thought I'd get. I've gotten a few "interests" on Pina and one chat on Love. But it's hardly the amount I was expecting.
Perhaps the age factor is working against me, where women assume I'm not a professional that can give them a nice night out. I'm starting to worry I'm going to have a very nice hotel that's incredibly lonely.
Since every is so damn helpful on this forum, any critiques or suggestions as to changing my profile?:
"Iâ€™m planning on visiting Cebu and Davao this Fall (November), and Iâ€™m hoping to meet a lovely Filipina during my stay. Iâ€™m a single Canadian male that wants to visit some of the tourist sites and activities such as scuba diving but also looking to enjoy the nightlife.
Donâ€™t let my tattoos fool you, Iâ€™m an extremely nice guy. I enjoy a lot of different activities from listening to live music and theatre, to playing sports and videogames, going out for dinner and enjoying art. Iâ€™m very caring and protective, and love being able to hold a woman in my arms and make her feel safe.
Iâ€™m not looking to get married and start a family like the older men that often visit, but Iâ€™d like to have a girlfriend while Iâ€™m in the city that I can take out for dinner or dancing. Iâ€™m a fun and adventurous guy and it would be nice to meet a girl who wants to spend the day with me to teach me the Pinay culture and cuddle up with me in my hotel at night while Iâ€™m in town.
If youâ€™d want to talk to me about hanging out and me being your short term boyfriend while Iâ€™m in the city, please send me a message. "
I think this was a nice, respectful but honest message till you got to "and cuddle up with me in my hotel at night while Iâ€™m in town." They know what you want (and they want it also) but I think that is too direct.
You are right that in this realm you may not get as much attention as the older guys who are looking for wives. But you will still get enough attention - dont worry.
But I would lose that statement I quoted.
Older guys do often get a lot more interest on Asian dating sites. Guys nearly twice my age were getting loads more emails than I was!
It is of course because scammers like to target older men, and most sites are probably 50% scammer.
Asian women tend to be marriage orientated and if they like you they'll be ultra-clingy. If you want a short term gf, stick to sex contacts sites, not dating sites. Oh, and there are plenty of hookers on DIA.
I met my Filipina on DIA but I picked her out of thousands of women I chatted with or screened, we get along great. You can always tell who the scammers are if you know what to look for.
Finding a good woman in Cebu is easier than finding a hockey game in Canada. Even if your clinically dead you'll be beating them off you with a stick. However, I seemed to get the best reception from women working at open air fish markets and Sari Sari stores, these are where the lowest income Filipinas work and shop, a few of them are hot with no expectations. Middle class Filipinas that work in Banks and office towers are bitches, just ignore them. There easy to spot, they usually wear heels, have dyed hair and white makeup on their faces 1/2 inch thick.
In Cebu City, aside from the wild night life, you can go diving, deep sea fishing and there's rest area on top of the mountain that overlooks the city. In addition, shopping at SM City and Ayalla Center malls is good, I like Ayalla the best. I personally recommend Shangri-La Mactan resort if you want to stay in a posh hotel. If your a budget traveller, Kiwi lodge should work. Crime can be a problem in Cebu City at night but you should be safe during the day, your Filipina friends will see to it.
Thanks for the tip. I guess I'm just to much of a nice guy to try to hide that intention. I'll drop it for a week and see whether or not that makes a difference.
Thanks for the detailed tips. A lot of sites give different ideas of where to meet women, and it's good to know not to try for the professional types (unless they're the ones hitting on me).
I'm going mid-range for the hotel. Want it to be nice enough to take a girl back to at least.
And I'm not worried about the city crime. I'm a fairly big guy in both weight and muscle so I'm not a good target, and not that I'm trying to sound tough but I've got a background in MMA so I can hold my own if need be. But I'll be staying away from the conflict zones for sure, a roundhouse kick does nothing against a bullet.