Hello to everyone on the forum. I’ve been coming to Dumaguete every 12 to 18 months since meeting my wife in England in 1993 but finally made the jump and moved here in Dec 2016 (living out Sibulan/Ajong way). Been visiting the forum for a couple of months (yeah lurking I know!) but needed to say what a mine of information it’s been and how it’s proven invaluable for a couple of issues we’ve had since arriving, I served for 22 years in the RAF and then “worked” for the US Navy for 12 years when they had a presence in and around London (COMNAVACTUK), Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute in some small way in the future and I’m sure I’ll be making use of everybody’s knowledge here again
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- Thread: It's hotter than Lincolnshire
- Thread: Regards from Germany
First, let me say congratulations in the service to your country!
My wife and I moved to the Dumaguete area in late September last year so I can share some of my experiences and suggestions.
Unless you have been here, or to the location you plan to retire, I would recommend going to a hotel or other temporary accomodation so you can get a little familiar with the area, housing, malls, etc. Before moving I did a lot of research and checking the forums and thought I kind of knew the area but actually arriving here for the initial week or two was far more instructive. We took trikes to visit the area and look at rentals; very helpful! The principal trike driver we used was one whom another foreigner had used. Trike drivers can be a good source of information on rentals but they may have poor understanding of many Westerner desires and expectations for housing; what may be a great place to a trike driver struggling to make ends meet may look quite different to a newly arrived foreigner!!
You need to be flexible in that even nice looking rentals may be up to Western housing standards. For example, most bathrooms and kitchens we saw when looking. This all depends on what is acceptable and not acceptable for you.
You may find an acceptable house but may find surprises from the neighbors and surrounding area. Examples may include blaring music, barking dogs, burning trash, open sewers and sewer smell, outside traffic, chickens crowing (right word??) at most hours; usually you will have two or more of these at the same place. Since internet is on of your priorities then you need to make sure what the internet situation FOR THAT HOUSE before signing a lease and moving in. We did not do that and thought we could get one provider but was about 100 meters past what they could serve. We went with Globe DSL and have been generally satisfied with the service with a few exceptions.
Suggest you give yourself a year ot two trial period to see if you really, really, want to stay here long term. After this period of time ask yourself if this is the place you really want to be permanently? My wife and I have been here for six months and we will probably return to the United States in February. I think we could stay long term, but we miss our family, friends and church and will likely return.
Some people adapt well and are very happy here. Others start out excited and with time find their attitude changing and become angry and bitter. How you ultimately react to real like living here will be the ultimate judge whether you will be happy here: to the good and bad, the exciting and depressing, the beautiful and tragic, the "out of stock, sir," "mam-sir," "for a while," the impressive number of steps for getting basic services, and so forth. There is much to say in favor of living here including low cost of living, wonderful people, warm climate beautiful scenery and the opportunity for new and exciting experiences.
Since this is becoming too long I would finally recommend you check with this forum and other contacts about available housing about 1 week before leaving. Once you arrive here ask the locals and the expats and you should find something acceptable to you in no time! Suggest you negociate for a short lease, say six months instead of a long lease. At the end of the lease you will know the area so much better and can do a smarter housing search.
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You may want to introduce yourself on the new members section, so the members know enough about you so they can help you in your search. Where you are moving from is important because it will frame you expectations. Seem like you have done some research already by the questions you have asked. That is a good start, you first two question focus on the major problems here.
I will start with question #1. Electricity 24/7, I read somewhere that Dumaguete is the city of Brownout? Is this true?
Yes, very true if you want 24/7 electricity do not move to the Philippines. One time when I had a brownout in a house I just moved to, my landlady came by shortly after the power went out. I told her with a troubled look : "I have no electricity", her answer was not calming me. She replied: "How many days?" That was not the reply I was expecting, and foretold my future electrical problems.
The reality is there are brown outs here, on a somewhat regular basis. The farther you get away from a City Center the longer they seem to last. You learn to live with them. You may want to rent a place with generator, so you do not have major electrical issues. You do not say where you are moving from, but you may want to take some electrical precautions regarding the power: 1) if you are bring 110 V appliances then you may want to buy/bring red electrical tape to wrap around the sockets so you do not accidentally plug them into the 220 V standard here. 2) you may want to bring/buy here an automatic voltage regulator, because you can use your 110 V appliances and also protect your most valuable appliance because the electrical supplied here is not a constant voltage. a continuous low voltage will diminish the life of an appliance almost as much as a power surge. 3) Bring some surge protectors for some of you sensitive equipment. Electronic equipment does not react nicely to power surges when the brown out end or electrical storms (Lightening) .
Constant Internet is another problem. The service varies on location and provider. There are few members on the forum that make their living off the internet so they can advise you better than I. Before moving in I would suggest you ask those in the immediate vicinity how their internet works here. Do not anticipate a trouble free internet service.There are really only two service provides here and the seem to screw us pretty consistently with a smirk on the faces: (You welcome sir") Most times when the power goes off, then the internet goes off too... so you have a double wamy many times.
It would be easy to make suggestions on your rental search if you gave more information: What is affordable to you? (there are places of live from 10,000 P to 30,000 P a month available, knowing you budget range will speed up the process.) Type of rental: Apartment, single family, compound group? How many bedrooms? Amenties: Pool, covered parking area, enclosed yard. What you want to be close by: downtown, resto-bars, beaches, mountain/natural areas and how long you plan to stay. There are a few "transitional rentals" that are short term and supply you with everything you need down to silverware, which make moving in easy, of coarse they are a little more expensive (I know one studio that even includes a motorcycle but cost 30,000 P a month). The more information you give about what you want the faster and easier it will be for everyone. I am sure you will find a few here willing to help. Good Luck
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- Thread: Hello Coming Soon
- Thread: 11 Weeks and counting
After 35 years living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the past 5 years in Sedona, AZ, in just 11 short weeks we will be making our big move to our new house in the hills above Sibulan. I have been lurking on this forum for awhile, and enjoyed all the information on everything from health care and insurance and visas to where to get the best lechon. Finally decided it was time to sign up and say hello.
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No one replied with any suggestions about laptop repairs but I will outline my experience for those who may also be looking. I had a laptop with a dodgy charging socket due to me dropping it twice! I first e-mailed PC DOC but received no reply. Then I tried Net Solutions (near Lee Plaza) and after a cursory inspection I was told that new parts were not available. The computer is a Lenovo (quite common around here), only one year old and nothing indicated that any new parts were even required! I could not recommend this place. I then visited SST in Robinson's Mall, who said they could fix it and the fee would be P2000. They then said that as the computer was discharged (this was due to the problem with the charging socket) it would be another P2300 to "check the display". In my opinion that is nonsense; you fix the socket first and see if it charges..... there is no need to check the display unless you see it is not working AFTER the socket repair. I declined this total charge of P4300 and was thinking I might have to buy a new laptop! But then I discovered that going into Dumaguete I was always passing Algorithms but had not realised it. So I tried them. The young man I dealt with knew his business and I was able easily to explain the problem and two alternative solutions acceptable to me (the first was to repair the socket and if that was not possible the second was to make a new connection to the charging lead). he grasped that and, obviously, suggested they would try the socket repair first. They repaired it .... no problem of "cannot get parts" or "Also need to check the display for another P2300" ... they repaired it and charged me P850 (just under 25% of the fee asked by SST). I have not tried other repairers and some may be as good but I have NO HESITATION from personal experience in recommending ALGORITHMS and just wish I had gone there first (but at least I learned something about two other repairers ... and saved myself P3450).
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- Thread: Another newbie....sort of.
Hello to all, newbie here (sort of)
I have been following this site for
a little more than a year now and recently i got a msg i need to register
so, here i am. I post under Dclev, my name is Don. 58 yrs old and very interested in everything philippines !
I feel i have learned and gained a lot from this site and hope to get a chance to know or write to many of you on here. There are so many i follow. There has also been many times i wished i could reply or comment on subjects or maybe even answer some questions that i might have info on. So i owe you all a big thanx for info i have recieved and hope to pass it on.
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Here is how you deal with all the problems you are concerned with:
- Don't come here a broke bottom or live paycheck-to-paycheck. You need to have AT LEAST 1 year worth of living expenses saved up (12-50k USD depending on your expected living standards) and an additional 25-100k USD (depending on your age/medical condition) for emergency situations. (I personally won't have less than 30k USD for a year of living and 150k USD in savings for emergency situations...and I'm 33 with no medical conditions.)
- Buy several UPS (uninterrupted power supplies).
- Buy a generator that powers up automatically when the power shuts off. (100k+ pesos add 20k pesos a year for maintenance and fuel)
- Buy a business internet plan from an ISP (3-5k+ pesos/month)
If you can't do these things you very well could end up being one of those loser foreigners that has to borrow money that they never plans on paying it back just to survive (and there are a WHOLE lot of them in the Philippines). Don't come here thinking you are going to be Mr. "Big Money" or even that life is cheaper here. It is not, the same standard of living in the US will cost you double in the Philippines. If you choose to live it up you will not be doing that for long unless you have a lucrative profession or substantial savings account. You will not make poo for money working in the Philippines and you will end up going broke if you come without the proper financial backing (or a generous pension).
In the Philippines you need to prepare for failure to be able to succeed.
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I just made a forum account. It doesn't have full access to messages yet but should very soon. Please send a private message. Also thanks for the advice about the tourist visas , I thought volunteer would be allowed - shame that it isn't. Well, there's no harm in chatting to a lady about cats right. thanks !
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- Thread: New User from Bacong, Neg.Or.
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