Zol And I recently left the Philippines after 6 years of living there. We have relocated to Houston Texas. We documented our struggles of getting from the Philippines to the US. Additionally the life we experienced while living in the Philippines. Though we are two years removed from the Philippines it remains in our hearts. I write now about the items needed for the expat to return to the Philippines and what life will be like. Also throwing in the flavor of being back in the USA.
In my time in the Philippines I have lived in many different places. The first place I lived was Lapu Lapu (Cordova). Though it was not bad getting off the island was always a chore. The road and traffic was beyond belief. It has since then gotten much worse and traffic at all hours is horrible. The living conditions on Cordova was nice and for the most part it was quite all the time. Then I moved to Talisay Corona Del Mar. This was a nice little subdivision and all in all it was good. The price you pay was to high for what you get. This was 3 years ago and I paid 16K for a small two bedroom flat. The water pressure was just horrible and if you wanted a shower then you needed to take one at 4am or midnight. Not what you would expect from a upscale community. Though it was guarded and the streets were clean and fairly organized. The public amenities cost extra on a per use basis. They were in need of repair and last time I checked the showers at the pool still do not work. I then headed to Balanbam and enjoyed the life out there. The biggest problem was need for shopping and stores to support the community. There is no night life and really just small town living. They have improved the area since I first moved there with three Gisanos. Two in Toledo and One in Balanbam. Yet it does not carry the western favorites many as myself enjoy. So we moved back across to the Mountain. We lived in St Jude Acres in Pardo/Bulacao. That was a mistake. The roosters at all hours and Karokee just blarring from various directions. Overall it was not a very clean or quite place to live. People that live there are able shield themselves from the noises and pollution that happen in the area. With Dump transfer station plant located in Inawayn. The roads are getting more use to get to the transfer station. Finally I am in Vista Grande which is leaps and bounds above other places that I have lived. It is amazing what the quite and peace can do for comfort here. Having a bad location can sour a person quickly.
What is the point of this. When you get here and are planning to live long term. You must take time to find a location that suits your lifestyle. If you are light sleeper or want some fresh air then you must hunt around. Paying more does not guarantee you anything as many rentals are over priced. Water pressure in all areas except this one has been an issue. Dogs, Roosters and various other nastiness have been issue in some of the locations. So do not sign some long term lease until you are sure the area is where you want to be.
Since I have rented many places here. One thing that is next to impossible is getting your security deposits returned. I did at my last place in Pardo. Yet it was an exception not the rule. Because of that I never give more then first and one month security. I have seen places that have 20,000 worth of furniture/TV yet say I want 2 months security (24,000 pesos). Not realistic. Better to rent a place that is unfurnished for 7K with one month and buy your own. Do the math. It is a huge savings. Plus you may never see that security deposit again. Unless it is consumable make sure the rental contract states as such.
So Location Location Location can make or break you here.