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I was invited by Charles to guest post as I am the admin over at RetirePhilippines.com and I just wanted to say thanks to Charles for the invite and will now continue into the post “is the Philippines the place to retire?”
I have been here 4 years already and arrived ahead of the economic collapse of the West in time to get money out of the UK and slowly see it lose its currency value by around 30% on the exchange rates and local prices rise in line with inflation. What has happened since then though is adjustments to things here which many people forget or don’t realise as things start to come from one perspective.
What do I mean? well we notice the price of food going up here in the Philippines but have we been badly affected by fuel price hikes? answer is generally no because most retirees and expats here are either on two wheels or using public transport. The Philippines is also capable of supplying a lot of its own food and due to cheaper rents you can even get a place with a lot big enough for growing your own food. All in all the life is less complicated here which also makes it a lot cheaper. In reality be it the U.S. or UK we are used to travelling miles to get our food from the supermarket and don’t take that price into account. The Philippines on the other hand generally has supermarkets within walking distance or a quick ride which means even if the food sometimes seems more expensive in comparison if you way up all the costs involved with a vehicle in another country your probably getting things on par or cheaper.
Add to that the other things like cheaper medical care for the Americans, can’t beat that on the Brits because its free there are a lot of good reasons to retire in the Philippines. From a British perspective where my gas bill in the winter costs P9,000 a month in comparison here in the Philippines my gas for cooking (no heating here!), air conditioning, rent and all bills except for food comes in at less than P8,000 a month in reality the Philippines offers me a good lifestyle and the ability to live at around one third of the cost of the UK.
I will say though the term Philippines is over 7,000 islands! so if you head into one location and don’t like it travel around first as so many people I know settled for a few years in a location they weren’t happy with to take a day trip out or a visit to a friend to find less than a few hours away a place they really love. In all honesty the further you are from the cities the cheaper life gets so if your looking for that picture postcard image you have in your head it can be a reality because most Filipino’s are heading to the cities for work leaving the provinces in many cases more and more desolate as the populations drop. I recommend taking a trip to Negros if you come to Cebu and you can see the stark contrast between two islands and two cities.
Another big thanks to Charles for the invite to guest post.
Hello my name is Charles Harman, your tour guide and your friend while you are in the Philippines. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone waiting for you in the Philippines standing ready at the Airport to pick you up and get you settled into your hotel? I am a Private Tour Guide for the island of Cebu and Bantayan Island in the Philippines. Just let me know when your flight is scheduled to arrive at Mactan International Airport and I will be there to meet you. After you go through customs and baggage claim and when you exit the building, just go across the street to the waiting area Just look for the guy in the Blue TexasRangers Ball Cap with the big “T” on it brought to me by my first tour of Cebu. Private Tour Guide is only $197 ( per day, Per Person, up to 4, Half off for Wife and/or children.) Even though you leave the US alone you will have someone here, almost like family, to help you along on your great adventure. I am a Texan displaced to the Philippines with my wife and three children. If your wife is with you She goes for half price as do your children, however I am easy we can negotiate a good price for this tour even if you have several family members. Friends need to pay each as one person. Talk to me about your situation whatever it is. The tours start whenever you want that day to start and end I’m yours for 24 hours. I can take you around to see Cebu City at night, Don’t worry I won’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight. You can call me any time toll free at 1-571-970-9195, 520-1412 PLDT.
.$197 Per Person, Per Day – Includes Ground Transportation and Tour Guide(Up to 4 people, which is a correction to banner above) .
What is the difference in my private tour guide and the majority of the tours you see on the Internet? Basically most tours are a 1 to 4 hour tour of a specific list of places around the city. They pick you up at a predetermined location and time, take you around and drop you off at the end of the tour. If you see something along the way and want to take a look at, most tours will not stop to check it out, I will. I have been on planty of tours like this. What makes my tours so different is the fact that they can be customized on the fly. I will pick you up at your hotel and return you there at the end of the tour. I will be at your disposal for the entire day, that’s 24 hours. That means from when you choose to start your tour be it 6:00 am or 10:00 am, I will be there, and throughout the day more like family meeting you and taking you around. I can take you where you want to go or use a list of places to see (see below). I can customize your tour by your specific interests and desires. Interested in seeing first hand how the Expats are living here? I can take you around to meet and talk with them. Want to see varous communities, I can do that also. Want to visit beach resorts or malls, that can be arranged as well. Therefore my tours are very loosely scheduled and flexible. And I can stay with you as late as you want. Want to take a Christian tour and visit missionaries and churches we can do that also as I am a Christian myself. I am a non smoker and non drinker. I am not easily provoked or prone to anger even on the roads of the Philippines. I believe you will be delighted with my tour.
Update: Take the tour “Go Natural” We, that is Bernard my Brother-in-law who is a Filipino and knows the city, myself and you will use local transportation as in Jeepneys, Taxi, and motorcycle to get around to the various tourist spots in town. Travel as the Filipinos do.
Call me toll free any time:
1-571-970-9195 MagicJack (toll free from USA)
63 32 520-1412 PLDT Philippine Long Distance Telephone Charles_Harman@rocketmail.com email@example.com
Visit Fort San Pedro Location: South Osmena Boulevard near port area.
Magellan’s Cross Location: Magellan Street, across from Cebu City Hall, near port area.
Casa Gorordo Museum Location: Along Lopez Jaena Street
Santo Nino Basilica
Taoist Temple in Hollywood hills
Waterfront Hotel and Casino
Mountain Trek up the mountains near Cebu City
Custom Tour of Cebu
Custom designed to your tastes and desires
Drive up the east coast of Cebu for a visit of some of the best places to retire on Cebu.
Visit Bogo City
Visit San Remigio
Visit Beach Resorts
Rick Ryan (Custom Tour)
November 15th, 16th
Retirement Tour #1 (custom tour) Scheduled on November 15th and 16th 2011. Completed successfully. Left to right Marianne Harman, Rick Ryan, Charles Harman, last dinner at Pier One in Parkmall Cebu City.
Retirement Tour #1 November 15th and 16th Completed successfully The Band at Pier One Cebu City
Disclaimer: The agreement between you the guest, and myself the tour guide is as follows. You agree to pay me up front $197 or Php 8,500 for the day’s tour and for each day of the tour before we head out each day. You have the choice to pay me up front for the entire tour or buy the day. I supply the vehicle and fuel only, and myself as the tour guide. If we travel to another island I Pay my fees and fares and hotel, and you pay your fees and fairs and your hotel costs. I do not pay for or supply you with food or snacks and drinks.
End of Disclaimer.
Larry Haydon has taken my Northern Cebu Tour and had a chance to meet the mayor of Medellin Ricardo Ramirez pictured here.
32-520-1412 (PLDT Cebu Philippines)
0-923-837-8509 (Cell Philippines)
571-970-9195 (USA TOLL FREE CALL)
When I first came to the Philippines in 2004 I had my own tour guide with an Air Conditioned (Air-Con) 14 passenger van used to take us all over the place. Many trips to Cebu City from Northern Cebu. His rate back then was around $85 per trip. And that was usualy just to one place. One trip was from our house in Bogo, down to the Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City and back. Php 4,000 for each trip.
Mactan International Airport Baggage Claim Area just after going through Customs and Immigration’s.
This is where I will pick you my Private Tour travelers just down to the left outside the Baggage Claim Area.
Luxary at affordable prices – Goldberry Suites near the Mactan International Airport.
There are plenty of five star beach resorts on Mactan Island and Cebu Island.
For the Private Tours, you have the option of choosing a 2010 air-conditioned sedan at no extra cost or a nice air-conditioned van for the additional cost of $150 per day (leased). These are nice new Toyota Hi-Ace 14 passenger vans and are very comfortable and you have plenty of room. (See photo of both at the new website, link below). The structure of this tour is very loose, pretty much up to you where you want to go as long is it is on the island of Cebu. I will make some suggestions on the new website. I pick you up from the airport, Baggage Claim Area, transport you to and from your hotel and around the island of Cebu. I will be the guy holding up a sign that reads M&M Retirement Tours. At the end of your stay I will take you back to the Airport for your flight home.
Map of Cebu, Main route runs along the east coast and is all two lane road.
Troubled Intersection, One of Many in Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City.
We have a major intersection in Lapu-Lapu city near where I live that crosses another major intersection. (see photo above) During rush hour this intersection is impossible to negotiate from any direction due to heavy congestion of motorcycles cars and bicycles. When the traffic cop stops the traffic in one direction, all the motorcycles squeeze out from between cars in the lanes and converge on the opposite lane completely blocking that lane. I was in a friends Suzuki multi-cab at the opposite end waiting for the traffic cop to allow us to cross the intersection. My friend said look there all the motorcycles have blocked the oncoming lanes so no one can get through, there was traffic wanting to make a right turn but could not due to maybe 25 or more motorcycles blocking the lane. We noticed one car was actually halfway up on the curb trying to get around the corner. When the traffic cop finally let us proceed, we crossed the intersection and found ourselves right up against a wall of motorcycles, and I mean we were right up against them. They had just begun to move forward, we had to stop and wait for them to go around us. Personally I think this should be illegal, and the police should station several traffic cops at troubled intersections like this and start ticketing these motorcycles. I bet that would put a stop to that bottleneck. It makes the traffic on the other lane stop because cars can’t make that right turn and you have a traffic jam. If the first motorcycle that moves over to the oncoming lane gets pulled over and ticketed the next would think twice about proceeding into that lane. If there are many already standing on the oncoming lane the cops should converge on them and start ticketing them, I bet most would move out of the way rather quickly and hopefully think twice the next time, to avoid getting a 200 peso ticket. You want revenue for your city here’s one small way to make some and get traffic flowing a little smoother. In most countries you would not be allowed to do this yet here the traffic cops just sit there watching it happen while doing nothing about it. This intersection is a huge hazard just waiting for a fender bender to happen. And one crazed motorist could plow into these motorcycles taking out several at a time, not a good situation. I hope someone reading this is able to do something, but presume the situation will replay itself at each similar intersection throughout the city. Another thing that would help keep this from happening would be to install steel fencing in the center of these intersections keeping traffic in line. In other areas of Cebu City they have installed these fences to prevent people from running across the streets. Several deaths have occurred due to people being run over because they were standing in the middle of the road. Why can’t they install this type of fencing at these troubled intersections to prevent these motorcycles from even getting out of line and getting into the oncoming lanes especially areas that are not truck routs. If they did the cops could easily corner them and ticket them, they’d be trapped by the fence. The only problem I see with the fence idea is traffic wanting to make a right then an immediate left would have to go down the street and turn around to make that turn. But during the day you are not allowed to make a left into this intersection either you have to make a right and go down and turn around and come back to cross the intersection. This no left turn is in effect until 8:00 PM nightly, so I say why not the fence.
I received a 200 peso ticket recently because I was in the left lane that should cross the overpass but should have been in the right bypass lane, as I was going into the bypass lane. I was nice to the traffic cop because I realized I was in the wrong an paid the ticket later. But why don’t they place these traffic cops at these congested intersections so traffic can move more smoothly instead of the bridges looking for people in the wrong lane. I was actually trying to get into the right land but could not due to traffic beside me that would not allow me to get into the lane but I am not one to argue with a cop about anything just be nice and get through it.
Just looking at it made me gain 10 pounds, but soooo good....
A friend asked me today who this website and blog is for so I want to try to answer that here. This site is for anyone of retirement age from 40 or less to 80 and up. For anyone with a source of money they can live off that is large enough to sustain a family of 3 in the Philippines or at least $1000 a month. Or for someone with an online internet business and you can run it from virtually anywhere. Some specific cases are: Someone who has retired from active work and you are in your 60s probably married and your children are all grown and living their own lives. If you are on social security you can make it here and use that for your retirement. You can live here and your dollar will go a lot farther than it would in the USA. For others you are a military retiree retiring at age 40 or so. When I retired from the USAF I was 40 years old my daughter was 9 and my son 7. I opted to go on into a second career in computers. But you don’t have to, you can stay in early retirement move your family here to the Philippines and live the rest of your life here. Therefore this site is for all retired military with young family’s. you can make it here on $1000 a month or less. You can also add to your income by creating a business see my post on Q&A and 7 reasons on the side bar. This website is for the out of work older adult 62 and up because you can apply for social security early and then move here. This website is for the divorced or sep0arated, you can retire here and who knows start a new relationship if you so desired. If you have a medical retirement you can also make it here. I know of an 81 year old man who moved here looking for a change in his life and a little adventure he was in a wheel chair when he arrived here. So this site is for anyone in a variety of situations where you can retire, and at any age. Things are getting pretty bad in the US especially for the older folks trying to make ends meet. Come here and you can live on a lot less, eat for less and medical is less,. For the military retirees there is a VA hospital in Manila, you would want to live somewhere near there if you have a medical condition that needs hospitalization. doctors are cheap here and there are retirement communities her as well.
Nailon Beqach Resort Cebu Philippines
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Charles Harman Charles_Harman@rocketmail.com 571-970-9195
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