Living in Cebu happened mostly by chance for me.  I met Jessie in a video chat program about five years ago.  It might even be close to six years ago.   We formed a friendship that grew over time and then became a romance about a year later.   She lived in Tacloban which is Leyte Province in the Central Eastern area of the Philippines.

Jessie suggested Cebu City as the place to live.  There are several reason for that but one of the

Seal Of Cebu Province

Seal of Cebu Province for Information Purposes Only

biggest is that Cebu City is a far more modern city than what most of the Philippines offers.  It has one of the largest malls in the world.  It was ranked number four but I think it has fallen behind since then.  It certainly is a huge beautiful modern mall.  She reasoned that living in Cebu City, a more modern location with more Western accommodations might make my transition easier.

Personally, I could care less about malls. I’ve not set foot in the place in about two years.  While Cebu City does offer a more modern, slightly more Western feel that most of the Philippines it is still totally Philippines.  Trust me, there are many things missing there that required an adjustment.

For me, no car, no going to Wal-mart or Walgreen’s at 2am was an adjustment.  I’m a night owl, heck, maybe I’m a vampire.  My skin falls off if I get too much sun exposure.

I have not even seem much of what Cebu City has to offer.  I’ve never been to a bikini bar.  There are tourist attractions I’ve never seen.  Something called The Top, a mountain overlooking the city. The Taoist Temple, and old Spanish fort and many other things.  Mostly money holds me back.  I’m always running short of cash at the end of the month.

I think Cebu City was overwhelming for Jessie.  She’s not nearly as exploring in nature as I am.  My poor health and finances holds me back.  Otherwise, I’d be all over these Islands.  I can’t count the number of times I walked into some area that she didn’t want to go.  She’s become bolder now. She’s not as timid as she use to be.

Location of Cebu Province

Living in Cebu -- Area in Red Indicates Location of Cebu

Living in Cebu turned out to be a good choice for us.

After a few months, we learned of a nice place in Bogo City. It is about 120Km north of Cebu City.   Jessie was reluctant but once she saw the house we could get at half the price we were paying in Talisay (small city outside of Cebu City) she was all for it.

Once we went to the BBQ by the Bogo Bay, she began to fall in love with the place.   I don’t think she’s all that fond of her usual monthly trip to Cebu City but she likes it here.  She likes to go the city but it is a tiring trip.  There are buses with aircon (air conditioning) now.  That makes it possible for even me to make the trip in a day without being sick for days afterwards.

There is far less pollution in Bogo City than there is in Cebu City.  Most of the larger cities the Philippines have major problems with pollution.  Even here, I have a lot of problems with lung infections.  Even before I stupidly started smoking.

If my health was better,  I would enjoy living in Cebu even more.  And I don’t know anyone that has enough money.  More money would also increase the pleasure of my choice to live in the Philippines during retirement.

Cebu is a pretty good place because:

  1. The cost of living in Cebu is significantly less than living in Manila.
  2. Typhoons are fairly rare in Cebu.
  3. Earthquakes are not as plentiful in Cebu as many other areas of the Philippines.
  4. There are no active volcanoes in Cebu.
  5. Crime is in check but there are still problems in that respect.
  6. Fewer kidnap for ransom gangs operate in Cebu than Mindandao or Luzon
  7. Less communist and Muslim insurgency activity in Cebu compared to many other areas of the Philippines.

Those seven reasons that come right off the top of my head.   There are more, some of which I already discussed in this article.

Choosing to live in the province might not be right for everyone but most of the people that visit Bogo City love the place.  Most never make it over to the little gem known as Bantayan Island.  If I was rich and could charter a flight whenever I wanted, Bantayan Island is the place I’d live.  The extra round trip travel time to Cebu City by bus would be a big disadvantage for me.

Over all, if you are going to live in the Philippines, I think you should strongly look into living in Cebu.

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