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Deciding which city to live in the Philippines...

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

Do you prefer living in Manila, Makati or Cebu City?

Manila
2
17%
Makati
1
8%
Cebu City
2
17%
Other
7
58%
 
Total votes : 12

Deciding which city to live in the Philippines...

Postby GenYguy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:07 pm

I guess I'll include a poll for the biggest cities. Only those who are living in the Philippines now or have lived in the Phils should answer the poll... As for the poll options, I know there's a lot of people who aren't city people; I'm more interested in seeing the votes from those who are and then comparing the results between Manila, Makati, and Cebu City.

I have read a lot of stuff online about the places that expats tend to flock to in the Philippines: Manila, Davao, Cebu, etc. I wanted to ask the HA community now. I apologize in advance if a thread like this exists here already but I looked already. I am most interested in information specific to the different kinds of girls in the different areas of the Philippines, the quality of food, cost of living, quality of life (yes I know it's a third world country, but I'm an American who's used to creature comforts :P), and taking these four things into consideration in your evaluation. Weather is a factor too I suppose. For the girls, I'm looking for a place with no shortage of girls (which I assume would be in a city), and also girls who don't hold any prejudices against younger men (because I've heard that that prejudice actually exists in the Philippines, even with the younger girls). Not interested in bars (I don't drink) or P4P (I'm cheap); I'm an introvert also and prefer not to get involved in large groups of Filipinos and opening myself up to getting taken advantage of. Also forget the island of Mindanao (fyi, where Davao City is), it isn't just the safety issues on that island but I have my own personal reasons for avoiding this island.

So I guess if I want plenty of girls that leaves Cebu and Manila? I haven't done enough research yet to know all of the cities that make up the metro parts of Cebu and Manila. I know the big cities obviously: Manila and Cebu City. I know the basics, like Makati is more expensive than Cebu City, so you'll have to make a good case for Makati. I'm curious about the other parts of Metro Manila though. What about the other smaller cities? Same with metro Cebu.

I just got the list of cities from Wikipedia to make it easy for you guys.


Here are the cities that make up the metro area of Manila: Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, as well as the Municipality of Pateros.


Here are the cities that make up the metro area of Cebu: Carcar City, Cebu City, Compostela, Consolacion, Cordoba, Danao City, Lapu-Lapu City, Liloan, Mandaue City, Minglanilla, Naga City, San Fernando, Talisay City


Lets just stick with these cities in this thread. Unless you guys know of any other city gems that aren't on Mindinao?

A lot of choices guys right? If this was an easy question for me to answer I wouldn't have come to these forums. I want to hear about any gems you guys have found in the Philippines. Share your personal experiences/photos, those are great. Also, if any of these cities are to be AVOIDED, I would appreciate knowing which ones, and why!

Before you say I should visit these places, I have not been to the Philippines before but I've already decided I want to live there, so give me some good advice please. If you think a place is good, tell me what you think the approximate income requirement to live there would be. I may leave here sooner if it's a place that isn't as expensive, and conversely I'll have to build a larger monthly income if it's an expensive city like Makati...
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Postby Rock » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:23 pm

I vote for Makati.

The areas in Metro Manila you tend to see expats live are Makati, Ermita (ghettoish but convenient transportation networks), Ortigas (too much of an office/business district area), and up and coming may be vicinity of Mall of Asia and even vicinity of airport.

Why not Cebu: The only viable urban area there for what you seem to be looking for would be Cebu City - Mango Square area, IT Park area, and perhaps Ayala Mall area. It's just too small there. Even Lad doesn't wanna live there cus he feels it's too easy to be known by everyone. There are some middle class and classy local girls in Cebu but nothing like the scale you see in Metro Manila. Cebu does have a large concentration of Koreans in certain areas along with very low cost Korean food and massage places. Lapu Lapu and other cities in that area are too spread out and not urban enough. It would feel like being in provinces.

Costs: the things that vary the most from place to place are accommodation, food, and transport. But all three can be controlled, even in so-called expensive areas. In Makati, you can probably find 10,000-15,000 Pesos all-in for a decent studio with Cable, Internet, and A/C. You will probably need to avoid the prime slivers - middle of Fort, Greenbelt area, and Rockwell for example. But area on Gil Puyat Ave. near train tracks has a low cost condo complex and you might even be able to find something in vicinity of Gramercy on Makati Ave. (perhaps Millenium building 1 bed since it's older) which is a fantastic location for convenience. For transport, learn the jeepney routes and familiarize yourself with LRT/MRT/Train. But stored value tickets for those modes so u don't have to stand in silly line for a card each time you use it. If you use jeepneys, busses, and occasional taxis, your transport costs will be very low.

Buy your food at a supermarket and as much as possible, a wet market if one is nearby. Then cook for yourself and prepare your own foods and drinks. Sometimes you can visit select restaurants or food courts. I'm thinking around 500-1,000 Pesos a day for good foods and drinks with a few restaurants and dates thrown in.

Quality of Life: IMO, best is in Fort not far from High Street. If you can find a low rent studio there and don't mind being a bit suburban relative to central areas of Metro Manila, you can think about it. There is a big shopping mall there (Market Market) with plenty of food options including supermarket, food courts, and restaurants. But it is not a real 'Filipino' district. Lot's of richer people and well healed Asian and even western expat families and kids. There is some nightlife there too but it sounds like you don't like clubs.

Area I mentioned around Gramercy is not bad and you can walk to a decent park, Rockwell, or even Greenbelt/Glorietta/SM Makati in 10-20 minutes each. Other area I mentioned is on a popular jeepney route which goes to both Buendia MRT and Gil Puyat LRT. But immediate vicinity there is not as convenient. Genrally, Makati is noisy with lots of traffic and people except for the escapes and enclaves - Condo areas, Greenbelt, Rockwell, etc. But it's generally well policed and safe, even red-light district. Assault risk along Makati Ave. and surrounding areas is much lower than many other parts of Metro Manila.

I think Metro Manila has the broadest selection of girls, the largest quantity, and the most anonymity, all good things. It doesn't matter so much if you are in Makati or Manila. Both have are well plugged into transport networks. But Fort, which is on edge of Makati is a bit less convenient transport wise.

If you have to squash down your costs, rents are biggest variance and you can get down to single digit rents if you compromise on location. Wet markets are a way to save a lot on food.

Just off the cuff. Hope it helps. Perhaps someone like Mr. S could give a more comprehensive answer.
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Postby Mr Natural » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:39 am

Wow. At the risk of being rude I am just going to be very honest here. First you post a thread titled "Deciding which city to live in the Philippines..." but then upon opening it I see you are only interested in certain neighborhoods of two cities, which you know about from Wikipedia. You have decided to move to one of these places, and definitely not Davao, even though you have never even visited the entire country! Are you serious? Sadly, I suspect that you are.
You then say you are looking for a place with no shortage of girls, which reads to me that your aim is pumping and dumping. You "don't want to get involved" with the locals, except (apparently) just to f**k a lot of women. No? That's really going to help the reputation of the rest of us Western guys. The Roosh forum and the jerks there are probably who you should be asking this.

Sorry, just being honest.
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Postby GenYguy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:48 am

Mr Natural wrote:Wow. At the risk of being rude I am just going to be very honest here. First you post a thread titled "Deciding which city to live in the Philippines..." but then upon opening it I see you are only interested in certain neighborhoods of two cities, which you know about from Wikipedia. You have decided to move to one of these places, and definitely not Davao, even though you have never even visited the entire country! Are you serious? Sadly, I suspect that you are.
You then say you are looking for a place with no shortage of girls, which reads to me that your aim is pumping and dumping. You "don't want to get involved" with the locals, except (apparently) just to f**k a lot of women. No? That's really going to help the reputation of the rest of us Western guys. The Roosh forum and the jerks there are probably who you should be asking this.

Sorry, just being honest.


Feel free to mention other places with no shortage of girls, as long as it isn't on Mindanao.. Yes, I am not going there to get settled down, I'm only 20 dude; I'm going to enjoy being single. Lets be real, guys choose to live in the Philippines for the cheaper living and the easy women. For a young and single guy who isn't rich like me it's perfect. I only want and need some close friends, and in the Philippines, I would trust an expat first over a Filipino unfortunately (and there would be a smaller language barrier). I have already made some expat friends on Facebook there and they are all I really need. I have nothing against Filipinos and I hope I find a few close Filipino friends, but it will be a slower process.

As for Davao City and Mindanao, I don't mind visiting it, and I plan to visit Davao City first actually, but I have my own reasons for not living there. After a brief stay in Davao I'll be leaving Mindanao.

I don't care about the reputation of the West, the West can go to hell haha. You can rest assured Mr Natural that my generation is screwed. The culture of the West is deteriorating and my generation is known as Generation Debt, put the two together and it's gonna get real ugly. I'm going to be one of the lucky ones that escapes this hellhole. I've been brainwashed by rap and hip hop since I was a kid to pump and dump women along with most of my male peers. In truth, sex is inconsequential when pregnancy isn't involved (since the only evolutionary reason for sex is childbirth), which is why I'm getting a vasectomy before I go and will always wear a rubber. Besides, babies are only a financial liability and a liability for the planet now with the growing overpopulation. People still need to have sex though...

I already checked out Roosh forum and found a good thread there about the girls, but not so much about the other categories I'm interested in and putting it all together.

Thanks for the great information Rock. :)
Last edited by GenYguy on Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Ghost » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:47 am

Just stick around Manila and its districts or Cebu. Those are the most westernized places anyway, and you said you like creature comforts. The girls there (Manila + districts) aren't as nice anyway. Don't pump n' dump girls who don't deserve it. I find it hilarious that you're essentially planning out your life at 20 years of age. Have you ever been there before? Googling stuff doesn't really prepare you for going abroad. If you go only for p***y, you'll be burned out within a year more than likely. Do you have an actual interest in the culture and language? Do you like the climate? The food? If not, are you going to be able to afford stuff you like all the time?

"Before you say I should visit these places, I have not been to the Philippines before but I've already decided I want to live there..."

Forever? For a year? Without ever having been there? Making decisions before you've done anything is not such a good idea...
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Postby GenYguy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:12 am

Ghost wrote:Just stick around Manila and its districts or Cebu. Those are the most westernized places anyway, and you said you like creature comforts. The girls there (Manila + districts) aren't as nice anyway. Don't pump n' dump girls who don't deserve it. I find it hilarious that you're essentially planning out your life at 20 years of age. Have you ever been there before? Googling stuff doesn't really prepare you for going abroad. If you go only for p***y, you'll be burned out within a year more than likely. Do you have an actual interest in the culture and language? Do you like the climate? The food? If not, are you going to be able to afford stuff you like all the time?

"Before you say I should visit these places, I have not been to the Philippines before but I've already decided I want to live there..."

Forever? For a year? Without ever having been there? Making decisions before you've done anything is not such a good idea...


Ya it's looking like Manila or Cebu. I heard that as well about the girls in Manila, and that the girls who go there for work and school become more corrupted. Cebu sounds cool though; I heard about this place called Moalboal from my expat buddies, it's a more provincial, diving community (about 26k pop) but only 2.5 hours by bus from Cebu City. Here's a cool video on it http://vimeo.com/47626704 Could be fun living in Moalboal and doing most of the deeds in Cebu City... Cebu is still a good place to be I think because of the easy access to the nearby islands. Not to mention the cost factor of living somewhere cheaper with easy access to island hopping, and a variety of girls who are likely to be less corrupted by western influence. If a girl is willing to screw you when you just met, then she deserves it, haha. Takes two to tango.

Ya I'm planning out my life now while I'm 20, are you mad that you didn't start planning sooner yourself? I grew up with the big internet bubble and I use the internet for everything pretty much (including planning my life). Nothing can prepare you for going abroad, except.. preparing. Doh.

I'm living with my parents at the moment, so why would I want to just visit and then come back here and live with my parents? LOL. I'm staying there, and if I don't like it I'll check out other cheap countries. Besides, you need to be in a country for at least a year to get a real feel for it imo.

Nah, getting burned out on p***y is a socially perpetuated myth. In fact, the guys who have encouraged me to chase p***y are old dudes who have been doing it for decades and they are still going strong in the Philippines. Sort of have an interest in the culture, language no. Everyone speaks basic English there, and eventually English will be the primary language there. Only basic English is needed for shagging. :) If I find a cool Filipina that wants to teach me though (I've talked to several online who have offered to when I get there) then I'll learn a thing or two.

I've lived in California my whole life; I haven't experienced the climate of the Philippines. My closest expat friend in the Philippines is from California though and if he could handle it, so can I; I'm younger and healthier than he was when he went.

Food, meh. I can eat anything, lol. I can eat healthy food. I'll be learning how to cook my own healthy food like Rock suggested.

For a year at least. Don't care if I haven't been there before, I have invested too much time planning for this to not be in it for what you might call the "long haul", but a year actually isn't that long.
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Postby Mr S » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:25 pm

Duplicate
Last edited by Mr S on Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mr S » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:33 pm

Manila is basically a dump. Makati is better but the nightlife gets old after a while if your not doing the P4P bar scene to mix things up or interested in traveling up to Angeles City to relieve the Manila boredom from time to time. Cebu is small so you'll get bored over there too after a while. IF you want a larger place to hang where there will be a mix of different types of girls but you can still be your introvert self or act like an extrovert when you want to go to Olongapo/Subic area. There are a mix of normal/P4P chicks that visit frequently and a decent variety of different nightlife on the beach as well as within the base. It'll be cheaper than being in Manila area too but still within a decent drive time by bus of less then 3 hrs. Plus you would be right on the beach. When I used to go there I used to get picked up on all the time by chicks as well as guys trying to hook me up with girls, and they weren't all bar whores either, although they are around if you want them. It's relatively cheap place to stay too in comparison to the cities you mentioned.

If I didn't have to live in Manila area I'd live there. It's the perfect place cause its in the triangle vicinity of Manila/Angeles City and Subic Bay. All less then 3 hrs drive to manila, only 30 minutes away from Angles City. It's not the greatest beach in PI, but it's adequate if your mostly interested in chasing girls rather than worrying about the quality of the sand or water
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Postby GenYguy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:04 pm

Mr S wrote:Manila is basically a dump. Makati is better but the nightlife gets old after a while if your not doing the P4P bar scene to mix things up or interested in traveling up to Angeles City to relieve the Manila boredom from time to time. Cebu is small so you'll get bored over there too after a while. IF you want a larger place to hang where there will be a mix of different types of girls but you can still be your introvert self or act like an extrovert when you want to go to Olongapo/Subic area. There are a mix of normal/P4P chicks that visit frequently and a decent variety of different nightlife on the beach as well as within the base. It'll be cheaper than being in Manila area too but still within a decent drive time by bus of less then 3 hrs. Plus you would be right on the beach. When I used to go there I used to get picked up on all the time by chicks as well as guys trying to hook me up with girls, and they weren't all bar whores either, although they are around if you want them. It's relatively cheap place to stay too in comparison to the cities you mentioned.

If I didn't have to live in Manila area I'd live there. It's the perfect place cause its in the triangle vicinity of Manila/Angeles City and Subic Bay. All less then 3 hrs drive to manila, only 30 minutes away from Angles City. It's not the greatest beach in PI, but it's adequate if your mostly interested in chasing girls rather than worrying about the quality of the sand or water


Sounds perfect for me. I'm curious why you say that Cebu is small, when Cebu City has a pop of nearly 1 million and the metro area is the second largest at over 2 million, second largest after Metro Manila. What do you mean by small?
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Postby davewe » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:25 pm

Ya it's looking like Manila or Cebu. I heard that as well about the girls in Manila, and that the girls who go there for work and school become more corrupted. Cebu sounds cool though; I heard about this place called Moalboal from my expat buddies, it's a more provincial, diving community (about 26k pop) but only 2.5 hours by bus from Cebu City. Here's a cool video on it http://vimeo.com/47626704 Could be fun living in Moalboal and doing most of the deeds in Cebu City... Cebu is still a good place to be I think because of the easy access to the nearby islands. Not to mention the cost factor of living somewhere cheaper with easy access to island hopping, and a variety of girls who are likely to be less corrupted by western influence. If a girl is willing to screw you when you just met, then she deserves it, haha. Takes two to tango.


I think this might be a nice plan (at least for me - an older guy) but it's entirely different from your original question. PI is not like the US in many ways and one way is the environment outside the cities. Go 2 hours outside of L.A. and you are still in a city or suburb. Go outside Cebu by 2.5 hours and you are in a different world. It's a world I like personally but a young guy might want excitement and clubs and bars, etc.

As to the why Cebu seems small - it doesn't to me. But if you live in a city of 17 million, 1 million seems small. If you live in NYC, Denver or Milwaukie or Portland seem small too. But you certainly can find nightlife in Cebu if that;s what you want. You can also find crime and pollution and traffic there as well. Maybe not as bad as Manila, but still bad.

Up to you to decide what you want but at 20 I am guessing you want city life, not provincial life.

Good luck!
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Postby pandabear » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:42 pm

Angeles City looks like a lot of fun.
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Postby GenYguy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:28 pm

davewe wrote:
Ya it's looking like Manila or Cebu. I heard that as well about the girls in Manila, and that the girls who go there for work and school become more corrupted. Cebu sounds cool though; I heard about this place called Moalboal from my expat buddies, it's a more provincial, diving community (about 26k pop) but only 2.5 hours by bus from Cebu City. Here's a cool video on it http://vimeo.com/47626704 Could be fun living in Moalboal and doing most of the deeds in Cebu City... Cebu is still a good place to be I think because of the easy access to the nearby islands. Not to mention the cost factor of living somewhere cheaper with easy access to island hopping, and a variety of girls who are likely to be less corrupted by western influence. If a girl is willing to screw you when you just met, then she deserves it, haha. Takes two to tango.


I think this might be a nice plan (at least for me - an older guy) but it's entirely different from your original question. PI is not like the US in many ways and one way is the environment outside the cities. Go 2 hours outside of L.A. and you are still in a city or suburb. Go outside Cebu by 2.5 hours and you are in a different world. It's a world I like personally but a young guy might want excitement and clubs and bars, etc.

As to the why Cebu seems small - it doesn't to me. But if you live in a city of 17 million, 1 million seems small. If you live in NYC, Denver or Milwaukie or Portland seem small too. But you certainly can find nightlife in Cebu if that;s what you want. You can also find crime and pollution and traffic there as well. Maybe not as bad as Manila, but still bad.

Up to you to decide what you want but at 20 I am guessing you want city life, not provincial life.

Good luck!


Thanks :) interesting observations about city life here and abroad.. Well I might get into the bar and club scene, I've never been to a bar since I'm under 21 and this is the United States, haha. I like the sound of Olongapo though, and I definitely want to hit some beaches. It's under 1 million population so the drawbacks of city life won't be as bad there as in Cebu City.

Province life, city life, I prefer city life with province girls, ha! Some of my expat buddies swear that province girls are better! Still considering Moalboal though, my close expat friend says even with 28k pop there will still be plenty of girls... and the living would be so cheap.
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Postby GenYguy » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:52 am

pandabear wrote:Angeles City looks like a lot of fun.


Yeah, definitely if you're into the bar scene and P4P. Anyone here had experience with non paid girls in AC? Anyone actually lived in AC?
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Postby Mr Natural » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:13 am

Ghost wrote:I find it hilarious that you're essentially planning out your life at 20 years of age. Have you ever been there before? Googling stuff doesn't really prepare you for going abroad. If you go only for p***y, you'll be burned out within a year more than likely. Do you have an actual interest in the culture and language? Do you like the climate? The food? If not, are you going to be able to afford stuff you like all the time? .. Without ever having been there? Making decisions before you've done anything is not such a good idea...

Exactly. This is a kid who, evidently, has never lived on his own away from his parents in his own country, probably has never even left the USA. Yet he has decided to move to a 3rd world country based on stuff he has read on the internet. Wow, talk about some culture shock coming, or just plain shock.... But I guess we can at least admire his sense of adventure, ignorant as he may be.

GenYguy, you don't want to hear this because deep down inside you know it's true - you do need to AT LEAST VISIT THERE FIRST. You don't have to go back to your parents, do some backpacking and travel around the world, literally. Maybe teach a little English here and there to keep from going broke. But Ghost is right, reading about it on the internet aint the same.
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Postby GenYguy » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:31 am

Mr Natural wrote:
Ghost wrote:I find it hilarious that you're essentially planning out your life at 20 years of age. Have you ever been there before? Googling stuff doesn't really prepare you for going abroad. If you go only for p***y, you'll be burned out within a year more than likely. Do you have an actual interest in the culture and language? Do you like the climate? The food? If not, are you going to be able to afford stuff you like all the time? .. Without ever having been there? Making decisions before you've done anything is not such a good idea...

Exactly. This is a kid who, evidently, has never lived on his own away from his parents in his own country, probably has never even left the USA. Yet he has decided to move to a 3rd world country based on stuff he has read on the internet. Wow, talk about some culture shock coming, or just plain shock.... But I guess we can at least admire his sense of adventure, ignorant as he may be.

GenYguy, you don't want to hear this because deep down inside you know it's true - you do need to AT LEAST VISIT THERE FIRST. You don't have to go back to your parents, do some backpacking and travel around the world, literally. Maybe teach a little English here and there to keep from going broke. But Ghost is right, reading about it on the internet aint the same.


I might take your advice, sorry if I came across rude in my previous reply. I am doing SEO writing for a living so I can work from anywhere in the world writing articles on my laptop. I still feel much better about it from watching videos on Youtube of the places I want to live and asking about different places on forums like this one. The "shock" will be expected, at least.
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