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 Living in Cebu


[ Moving to the Philippines ]
[ How to Retire in the Philippines ]
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Here some helpful "Living in Cebu" information

with a bag, suitcase or container - with your full household or just the personal belongings.

Here a few precise facts about the Philippines that might help you in your decision making process:

Life is comfortable and simple here. You find all household goods and appliances (220v at 50hrz) locally - usually far below typical European and US prices. Climate all year is moderate to tropical - with temperatures between 20 degrees C to 30+ C. Hence no need for winter cloths ...

Many of the houses, cottages or apartments come fully furnished with local made clean furniture. Keep in mind that most people spend their days and evenings outside - thanks to the nice climate day and night - the Philippines is a country for outdoor life, in the garden, on the beach, where ever you love.

Already mentioned in sufficient detail - any kind of cloths - nice and even custom tailored - is available at a fraction of European or American prices - hence little reason to bring all your cloths with you here. Most of them may be too warm for tropical climate anyway.

Any kind of furniture can easily be found here locally - even in the outlying provincial areas. Here are a few examples:

At an average, the cost of  "comfortable" living here ranges from $800$ to $1,200 a month.

  • European and US mattresses will not do here. They will rot and attract mildew within weeks. They are made of the wrong material and react to the high humidity. Especially during rainy season. Local mattresses (large) will sell for $20 - 40. A complete bedset for 3 people (bed sheets, pillows, pillow cases and mattresses) can be found at around $50.

  • A complete kitchen set (2 gas, 2 flames, with various pots, deposit for gas bottle) will be approximately another $50.

  • Living room furniture are available in various sizes and levels of comfort and luxury - always at a fraction of European or US prices

  • If you have an empty or only partially furnished house here - then you may completely furnish it with all accessories, including Hi-Fi, etc for less than $1000.

  • Sporting goods of any kind that is used and played here can easily be found even in the cities.

  • The same applies to hardware utensils, tools, garden tools, all kind of accessories you may need is all available even on islands or can be purchased in any larger city in the Philippines.

  • Shipping household goods and cars over here can be complex. With a resident visa, you are allowed one of everything duty free except a car, for which the duty is about 100% of its value. A new Nissan Sentry costs over $20,000. A locally built personal jeep costs about $5,000.

  • Forget your car/automobile. Here the import duty can be 100-125% of 6the deemed value. Not your notarized value. The duty officers value. Cars and other motor vehicles are of course available here locally, new or second hand, even local brand !

Cost of Living - Philippine currency (peso) currently is at $1.00 (USD) = $ PHP. Peso dropped due to the rise of fuel prices in the world market. Hence - if you love to restart a new life here in the Philippines - you may as well leave all your old life and memories behind and come empty handed just with a bag or suitcase including your most important personal utensils and get all else as needed here.

On the other hand, of course every once in a while foreigners arrive here and have more or less their entire household coming by sea freight in a container. Typically a container coming from Central and Northern Europe or the US may take approximately 2-3 months. Which may not including custom processing for importation to the Philippines. Such a container freight trough a reputable agency doing all the formalities needed for you may cost you approximately $4000. If the goods are for personal use, there won’t be any import duty. A tax can be imposed if the contents are deemed non-personal. When entering the Philippines there is no problem with the things you bring in as long as they are for personal use. If you bring say five laptops you will most likely pay taxes on four of them. Use your head when bringing things into the country.

Watch out what you bring. Here you may not find spare parts for models and brands of household appliances you used to have at home. That is valid for imported vehicles, cars, motorcycles as well as for TV, Hi-Fi and other appliances from overseas.

Many factors to consider when moving here. The essence however is that it might most likely be far cheaper for you to come empty handed and get all new here as far as you need anything at all for your household.

A Philippine House Maid/Assistant:

If you will have no family here to help assist you, or, if you are older or like to get some help for your house hold , it is very easy to get a part time or full time housemaid for your household.

A full time employed housemaid typically is around $100 to $200 a months plus food and accommodations if she lives with you. If your own household is too small to accommodate her during working days and the household help lives far away, you may offer paid home transportation at least once a week or find an accommodation in a separate boarding house. For a slightly or fully handicapped persons living here, it might be far easier and much cheaper than at home in Europe or USA / Canada.

It is quiet common for many to have at least a part time help for the house hold. It has 2 key-advantages:

  • It gives local people suffering from lack of employment opportunities a chance to improve their family income by working for your household, cleaning, laundry, gardening, cooking or shopping for you.

It may help you to be self sufficient even in older age or with a disability with a little help from outside for those jobs your can not perform. A housemaid may take care of you like a care giver at an affordable price and with a smiling face and heart.



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Site last Updated: 13 April, 2007