Goodbye Cebu, you beautiful place with your mix of oceans, forts, malls, and mountains. I came to the Philippines looking for the answer of what is the best countries to retire cheap, and it hasn’t disappointed me. The big checklist of what I want in a country includes a top 5 and so many smaller items. (I seem to be adding more in as I get pickier.)
Things I love about Cebu include all the major items and only a few minor quibbles.
I love the English speaking ability, after a month here I feel that there would be little problems communicating with the people or reading signs. I’ve been everywhere from, supermarkets to little indie punk gigs. People speak English, and you’ll have no problems with communication.
I love the $1 BBQ places, the roadside rotisserie chicken and the tasty street snacks for 25 cents. I didn’t find as much variety as I did in Thailand, but I liked what I found. A country that loves it sweet spaghetti and even sweeter desserts, you’ll the Philippines if you have a sweet tooth.
I’ll miss the $6 (180 php)massages and the $3 (90 php) haircuts. $2 (60 php) beers and $1 (30 php) rum are great if you like to drink. The cost of living here is definitely low enough to retire for $1000 a month.
Some things I won’t miss about the Philippines include roosters, spotty wifi, the heat and the lack of a decent bus system.
The Philippines love cockfighting, and I saw roosters being raised everywhere. Fun fact roosters start crowing at 3am.
Just like loud roosters, spotty wifi happens everyday. It seems like the whole place just goes up and down. I know there are private companies trying to put in more reliable lines, but at the end of the day it is a developing country.
The transportation also is missing. That beautiful LRT train system, or mass rail transit didn’t exist. It seems you can either jump on a packed minibus jeepney or a luxury taxi. There isn’t that nice middle ground.
At the end of the day, the only question to ask is the big one. Is the Philippines the best country to retire cheap? I don’t know yet, but it definitely is a place worth checking out. I’ll miss you Cebu.