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By Will Irwin
Now that you have made the choice to retire in the Philippines, the big question becomes - Where? For those of you who are being led to the Philippines primarily due to a personal relationship with a Filipina, your initial residence will be where she is located. However, once you get your feet on the ground, or if you are not tied down to a Filipina, you will want to give careful consideration as to the retirement location within the country.
The 7 most common elements of such a decision are:
1. Cost of living by location
2. International airport accessibility
3. Healthcare accessibility
4. Nightlife and entertainment - gambling
5. Sports activities
7. Urban, rural, or resort location
Retirees have tended to settle in one in the following popular urban, rural, beach resort or mountain retreat locations:
Major Urban Cities
The following locations all rate positively high on the common elements 2 to 6 above:
1. Manila - highest cost of living of all the locations; population over 10 million
2. Cebu City - very popular retirement haven, lots of beaches, population over 1 million, capital of the Visayan islands in the middle of the country
3. Davao City - lower cost of living of the three, population over 1.2 million; THE city of Mindanao.
Major Rural Cities
These rural locations find themselves lacking compared to the Urban Cities in elements 2 through 5, but rank high in
1. Butuan City - in northern Mindanao; population around 270,000; near a famous top surf spot
2. Tacloban - capital of Leyte area; population around 180,000
3. Cagayan de Oro - university town in northern Mindanao, population around 425,000
4. Puerto Princessa - capital of Palawan, more remote, but the cleanest place in the Philippines; rapidly growing tourism area
5. Dumaguete - capital of Negros Oriental; university town, lots of young, hip folks, good nightlife.
Beach Resort Areas:
1. Boracay Island - many Expat owned businesses, overdeveloped like Waikiki and Miami Beach, but one of the most beautiful islands in the world
2. Mactan Island - just a bridge away from Cebu City; numerous 5 star resorts
3. Panglao Island - across a short bridge from the island of Bohol (near Cebu City) famous for its scuba diving
4. Subic Bay - big scuba diving area; population around 220,000
5. Puerto Galera - small population of 25,000 but something of a haven for foreign retirees who like to drink; lots of resorts on the north coast.
1. Baugio - favorite "get away from the heat" retreat, cool weather with lots of pine trees; population over 200,000; 14,000 foot elevation, throngs of college students
2. Tagaytay - popular, hip retreat for residents of Manila; at 6,000 ft elevation is a cool respite from heat of Manila; population around 50,000
To learn more details about each of these locations, I recommend you read my latest book "Retirement Living in the Philippines", which discusses locations, but is a comprehensive book about all aspects of retiring in the Philippines. It focuses in on the process of achieving your dream of a new life. It is available for download at my personal book website:
About the author
Will Irwin is a powerful entrepreneur and business and life coach. He has started many online and offline businesses both in the USA and in the Philippines, residing in both Hawaii and the Philippines He has started a new life in the Philippines at age 66.
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