CEBU, Philippines – Adding boost to the twin economy drivers of Cebu - tourism and Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry, the Cebu Investments Promotions Center (CIPC) will lead the promotion in making Cebu as the premier second-home -destination in the world.

CIPC managing director Joel Mari Yu announced that the center will initiate a comprehensive program that will need the full support of related agencies such as Philippine Retirement

Authority (PRA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT), the property developers, local government units (LGUs), and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to fast track this plan, make the world know that Cebu is the new “second home destination” in the world, next to Spain and Dubai.

“We have a very good value proposition, the tropical climate, beaches, world-class medical facilities, shopping, and dynamic economy in business

. Let’s capitalize on what we have – our resources,” Yu said on the sideline during the CIPC 15th anniversary held Thursday at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

This unique promotion program, that will lump together tourism and investment in one, is expected to attract wealthy market in the world, to consider not just visiting Cebu, or seeking medical attention, but to decide in living here, or making the province as their second home.

“Everybody in Europe wants to buy a property in Spain or in Dubai because these countries have an attractive program for foreigners wanting to buy properties,” Yu said.

According to Yu, Cebu is already on the top and is already a preferred ICT investment site and favorite tourism destination, now Cebu will move on to higher level of promotion “hitting two birds with one stone.”

Cebu has been desperately positioning itself as a medical tourism hub in the country in the last two years, but this bid still has to take off. Yu said inviting the international market not just to visit Cebu, but to live here is one of the most effective tools to boost the medical tourism industry in
the province.

According to Yu, Cebu has to come up with a bigger program in terms of promotion, and taking advantage of rich pool of investors looking for “vacation homes” investments outside of their respective countries, could bring more money to Cebu.

Already the DOT has launched its “Live Your Dream” program with the same concept, selling properties in the Philippines to the international market.

Yu said CIPC will coordinate with DOT on this matter, but Cebu will have its own “Second-Home” promotion program.

DOT’s Live Your Dream” campaign, is an investment-tourism strategy to lure foreigners, such as the active retirees to invest on “vacation homes” in the Philippines.

If the campaign could attract at least 1,000 foreign buyers, and each would buy at least US$100,000 worth of vacation home, it could easily generate US$100 million revenue for the Philippine economy.

DOT secretary Joseph Ace Durano earlier said that this concept was developed following the high satisfaction rate of the Philippines, as a destination to foreign travelers.

Record shows that Philippines generated 87 percent satisfaction rate among foreign tourists. Read the original article here
Posted by: philippinetech | October 26, 2009 (edit)

Philippines. Live Cheap. $500 Month Budget

Let me just give you a general budget breakdown. First keep in mind that the house and property we live on is already paid for by my wife. Cannot own property in Philippines if you are a foreigner (can lease) so we do not have any mortgage payment or rent. But local rents in nearby Iloilo City run from $100 a month on up. We’ll look into those rents in a future blog. Also note that we are supporting a total of eight people in this household in addition to helping out an additional five members of the family that live in a nipa hut in our front yard with their food and electric bills. Here’s a monthly breakdown (in approx USD) : Read this Iloilo bloggers budget to live on $500 dollars a day here in the Philippiines, a budget retirement blog

Also read my Living in the Philippines Retirement blog here which has one blogger writing he can live on $700 a month
Why Retire in the Philippines Expat?
And an earlier writer that also confirms $500 a month is done by a few foreigners
Live in the Philippines on $500 per Month
Posted by: philippinetech | October 11, 2009 (edit)

Philippines as a retirement haven: An uphill climb?

In my March 9, 2009 column, I quoted three of the several reactions of readers of different nationalities on my piece on February 16, 2009 headed “Philippines: A retirement haven?” Honestly, I didn’t expect such piece will elicit numerous reactions from readers all over the globe. Among others, I showed comments and reactions from two foreigners who now reside in the Philippines and a Filipina who now lives in Spain.

To recall, Byran Bellamy (apparently residing in Cebu) then talked about how the Philippines lost its marketability to foreigners-retirees and why Mexico tops as the world’s most preferred destination. He emphasized that “in Mexico you can own property in some kind of a renewable 50-year lease. Here (in the Philippines), as a foreigner-retiree, you can’t own real property on a similar program”. Apparently, Mr. Bellamy is opting for ownership of an abode he can call permanent home.

On the other hand, Mrs. Hill Roberts (a Filipina), who is apparently married to a foreigner and has since stayed in Europe for three decades said something on some foreigners visiting our country and who more often complained. She declared that “still, to be reading silly, stupid, downright racist comments can make every other Pinoy cringe, naturally. But what I am trying to say is-that many of the expats living there now somehow, I get the feeling are only half-educated.” Obviously, Mrs. Roberts prefers quality retirees or visa holders.

Moreover, Mr. Guy Aelvoet (another foreigner-retiree), expressed his disappointments over his sad experiences on the inconveniences brought about by the bureaucratic red tapes in obtaining the country’s special resident retirement visa (SRRV). Apparently educated, he further said that “I totally agree with your views and would like to add some of the experience I am having trying to get a resident’s visa as a retiree. It’s not enough that I have invested some 30mm Peso in an apartment and will deposit the required US$ 20K (not to be seen again…) but I have to submit a police record which has to be authenticated by my country of birth and submitted for stamping by the Philippine embassy there. So far so good. The only problem is that to obtain that police record, I have to request it by physically be present then get it officially translated by a court interpreter then authenticated by the Ministry of Justice then further authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and only then can I submit it to the embassy. Talk about red tape. I can’t ask my embassy here to authenticate. Not permitted. So much for the Friendly Retirement Visa action being taken by the government.”

With months passing since I wrote about this topic and the deluge of comments and reactions I received early this year, I thought all the while that my March 16, 2009 piece is already a passé by this time. Surprisingly however, last Friday (October 9, 2009) I received another reaction from Mr. David Kuracina. Apparently, a retiree from Ottawa, Canada, he wrote “thank you for your wonderful article. As a 57 year old Canadian with the resources to settle abroad and live very comfortably I have wondered why your lovely country does not embark on a program offering more incentives to people such as me. Malaysia seems to get the nod. Nonetheless I do plan making a foray to your country in July 2010. I hope in the meantime to read that there may be additional incentives for people such as me! Many thanks for sharing your article!”

With the seemingly undying interest in our retirement program, revisiting it is necessarily imperative. Indeed, it’s been over two decades that the nation’s visionaries are consistently harping on the possibility of establishing huge retirement villages for other countries’ aging population. Today, however, the frustration is just as high as that lofty dream and as deep as a retiree’s final resting place.

Never fault our line agencies, however, because whether their efforts are inadequate and so limited, it is a fact that they’ve done their best in promoting it. We must realize though, that success in every undertaking does not rest solely on best-effort basis. More often, when we give our best on the more appropriate courses of actions, better results are achieved.

As usual, just like any business endeavor, for this to succeed, we must understand what the customers (prospective retirees) needs are. Therefore, first and foremost, we should know their (retirees) preferences. Definitely, our potential customers are those who are willing to be away from their families and friends and have the money to give away for paid comforts and caresses. Therefore, rich countries with superior retirement benefits are great potential.

Though they can be easily identified, let us not forget that the real issue is-they can recognize us. For easy recognition, this country should be on top of the list of their preferred destinations. How? That’s the challenge. One thing though, these retirees decide based on their priorities. Priorities include, among others, proximity to their homes, cost of living, weather, availability of telecommunications, infrastructure, safety (peace and order), best health care, investment priorities and tax incentives (should retirees find a way to invest their retirement pay). Their main consideration really is whether what we are to offer are far greater than those offered in their home countries.

With these criteria in place, you can’t see our country on top nor as one of the top thirty (30) preferred destinations in the International Living’s 2009 survey. This year’s survey has a new leader in Ecuador. Last year’s leader, Mexico, is comfortably behind at second place. Inarguably, because of these two (2) countries proximity to the USA, it comes naturally as the first choice. Other Latin American countries like Panama, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica are also in the top ten (10) rankings. Surprisingly, however, while Latin American countries have the edge and will probably dominate due to their proximity to the huge markets, our neighbor, Malaysia, installed itself as Asia’s best by being placing 16th (13th last year) of the world’s most preferred. Likewise, Thailand was impressive at number 19 (20th last year).

What Malaysia did is not earth-shaking after all. They simply studied it long and hard. They started it five years ago when they launched “Malaysia-My Second Home” (MM2H) by offering foreigners, particularly retirees, to live permanently in their country. They started by giving five-year visa with unlimited entry/exit privileges and without minimum annual residence requirement. Permanent residency is also a possibility after a five-year stay. Retirees may also bring in household effects duty-free, and import or purchase one vehicle locally, tax free. Income tax incentives are also offered for investing retirees. Notably, recipients (foreigners) are eligible to buy houses at a cost of not less than RM150,000.00 (or roughly US$41,677.50 at the current exchange rate) each. More importantly, for purposes of owning the house, they are also entitled to borrow from local banks 60% or more of its cost or value.

On the other hand, what do we (Philippines) offer to these foreigners (retirees)? The Philippine Retirement Authority’s (which promotes and grants Special Resident Retiree Visa) website simply bragged about, among others, “our world-renowned Filipino hospitality, our diverse culture, and reasonable standard of living”. Other incentives include the option to retire permanently, and exemptions from income tax over retirees’ pension and annuities; exit and re-entry permits of the Bureau of Immigration; annual registration requirement of the Bureau of Immigration; customs duties and taxes with regard to the importation of household goods and personal effects up to US$7,000.00; and travel tax, if the foreigner-retiree opts to stay in the Philippines for less than a year from the last entry date.

The country’s time deposit requirement in obtaining the visa (PRA accredited banks’ certificate of inward remittance is necessary) ranges from US$10,000.00 to US$50,000.00 depending on whether one is a pensioner or not and his/her age. While it seems that our time deposit requirement is not stiff, its subsequent conversion is irrational. These required time deposits can only be converted into active investment through purchase, acquisition and ownership of a condominium unit; long-term lease of house and lot, condominium or townhouse for a period not shorter than twenty (20) years; and purchase, acquisition and ownership of golf or country club shares.

Comparing our country’s and Malaysia’s programs, any ordinary citizen can simply tell why ours is bound to fail. It is just too inferior. We shouldn’t brag about our serene beaches and hospitality because Malaysia and other countries have that as well. The disparities are very evident and are all in Malaysia’s favor.

Apparently, Malaysia’s incentives to foreigners-retirees to purchase house and lot and offers of numerous incentives for those who may go for businesses make our country’s restrictions (condominium, long-term lease & club shares) in the conversion of the required time deposit mockingly obvious.

However, Malaysia’s being on top should not be a source of envy for us but an inspiration. Since geographically we are similarly situated, the possibility of taking a sizeable slice of that huge pie of moneyed retirees is a possibility. Taking it from Malaysia’s experience, we can still be a preferred destination. All we need to have is the right direction, supported with more appropriate legislations. Do this and the Philippines as a retirement haven won’t be an uphill climb.
Posted by: philippinetech | August 11, 2009 (edit)

Living in the Philippines on $770 a Month

7/28/09 blogger Philfaqs Read his many blogs here

An interesting discussion seems to have come up here about living in the Philippines on $770 USD per month. A reader on another venue asked me my opinion as to him living here in the Philippines on US $770 a month and my response was, “well, not knowing how many people you are talking about, your ‘money smarts’ in general or the level of convenience you call ‘normal’ or ‘modest’ in your life, it might be problematical.

I think for many people, “Can I live on $X a month?” is the wrong question, since rightly or wrongly they believe their income is fixed and beyond their control. A better question would be “How would my standard of living on $X be compared to my home country?”

That’s a very hard question to answer, because so much depends on personal priorities. Support from family is also a major factor; if I didn’t have a local family network to tell me how things work I would probably be paying much more than I do now.

My advice to people is always spend a few months in the place where you are considering living and take an intelligent interest in what things cost. Then you’ll have a reasonable grasp of what you can expect for your income. But unless you have very unusual spending needs or priorities, you will always have more for your money in Phils than in Australia, USA, Japan or most European countries.

Could you live on $750.00 a month? Sure you could, a lot deprnds on your life style, can you go native? Up the road from me is a new apartment complex (4 units) they range from $30.00 to $50.00 a month. Fancy no! Clean and neat, yes. Can you eat local food 3 meals a day? Go with out a car? Remember a good paying local job is about P8,000.00 a month. $750.00 a month is approx. 33,000.00 pesos (depending on the rate), So yes you’re doing well. And knowing that with $750.00 a month in the states, you would be homeless. I say if your reader is of a mind to, he’ll live OK here. I do know a few Americans here tht live on the same amount or less and they seem content.

An wxoweiwbcwd call center worker in metro Manila makes only around P20K per month, including bonus for shift work and weekend work. A teacher in an exclusive private school, with a master’s degree can expect about P18K to start. A taxi or Jeepney driver can ecpect to clear about P500 a day,P 10K/P15K per month depending on how many days he works. My local electrician (with a trade school degree and soem years expereince with the local electric company, in other words he doesn’t just call himself and electrician, he actually knows somehting)n usual gets P800 a day 9when he can find work).

So can a foreigner live of P33k or so a month? Absolutely. The question most Americans have to ask is not ‘can’ they, but ‘will’ they, and that is the rub.
Posted by: philippinetech | July 14, 2009 (edit)

Why Retire in the Philippines?

For many foreigners, retirement time is just around the corner. The prospect of trying to live on a pension, in old age is a daunting one. For some, moving to retire in another country such as Mexico (for North Americans) or Portugal and Spain (for Northern Europeans) is an option which has been successful. But why not consider retiring in the Philippines?

Over the last decade, the Philippines has become a retirement haven for thousands of foreigners, particularly the Japanese, Korean, and Northern Europeans. Along with Thailand and Malaysia, the Philippines developed communications, infrastructure, and service delivery systems specifically geared to meet the needs of foreign retirees. The principal appeal for retirement in the Philippines is the lower cost of living.

Read the complete article here’
Hey Joe! Philippines!
blog about my experience in the Philippines. I post as a learn new things and includes everything from exchange rates to medical issues.

American Observing Philippines
The mission of this website is to battle and conquer modern stereotypes that people of the United States have about the present-day situation in the Philippines and elaborate on the positive reasons of why Americans like to visit there. Pictures Included! Although all non-Americans and especially Filipinos are encouraged to join the site for free and expand our collective knowledge together !!

Living in the Philippines
I am an Australian living in the Philippines with GF, though currently in Australia. My blog describes some of my experiences living in the Philippines, renting houses, dealing with relatives, buying foreclosed property, looking at properties.

Cebu restaurants & Cuisine
My weblog is about Cebu, so you’ll know something new through my precious experiences. It’s really informative for people who wanna know about Cebu Island for vacation and sightseeing!!

Manila muse
I’m an expat living in Manila and this is a random chronicle of work, travel, and all the things that make life here rewarding and entertaining.

Wiseman Travels
We recently moved to the Philippines from the U.S. and this blog is about our travels and adventures in Philippines and greater SE Asia

Samberly Says…
A mom of 3 from Texas is learning how to make the Philippines home for her family. We started out in Manila, but will end up in Subic Bay. This is our adventure…

Living In The Philippines
Many infos, tips and hints about Living in the Philippines as a foreigner. All about visa extensions, immigration stuff, finding or buying land or house in the Philippines, cost of living and much more. Please enjoy and welcome to the Philippines

Yehey Manila Your window into the heart of the Philippines “Metro Manila”

Manila Muse Expat work, recreation, and reading in Manila

secret wombat
Life in the Philippines in words and photos; random thoughts on life in general

Grooving Fungus
Originaly from UK. First overseas job was in Hong Kong, then Philippines, then Singapore, then Malaysia. Now back in The Philippines…..I am paid by the mile.

Philippines Blog
An informational blog about life in the Philippines as seen through the eyes of an Aussie English teacher living in Manila, the Philippines.

The Expat
The musings of an Aussies living permanently in the Philippines
Philippine Bargains
For those of us that are interested in saving money here in the Philippines or prepare for moving here. Please also forward it on to people you think might be interested. Everyone is trying to save a few pesos these days and this is a good place to start. Recent articles include how to live on $500 a month, airplane and boat promos,where I can get the magicjack, top 40 websites in Philippines, E banking, where can I find the rate of exchange, transportation, newspaper links, lcd best buys, cell phone promos, landline specials, listen to music online, internet providers in Philippines, skype without your computer on, where can I find free wi-fi spots, generic drugstores locations, computer stores, medical tourism in Cebu, and where to get your photos printed.

Orient Expat Forum

Expat Blog Philippines

Your Guide to Living In The Philippines Valuable tips and advice to foreigners in dealing with the transition to Philippine culture and society.

The resources listed below are from Transactions Abroad

Expat Blog is a worldwide directory of blogs related to expatriate life, with listings for the Philippines.

Expat Web Directory provides listings of expatriate discussion groups and forums for most countries, including the Philippines. is an online community for expatriates, has a section on the Philippines, with classified ads, links, and a bulletin board.

myPH – International Living in the Philippines,, is a guide to international life in the Philippines, with news for expatriates, visitors and foreigners about lifestyle, business, working, entertainment, nightlife, travel, holidays, tours, resorts, hotels, airlines, advertising, marketing, buying and selling, with a forum, bulletin board and links.

Tales from a Small Planet,, is a webzine with news, stories, links, excellent message boards, and other resources for travelers and expatriates; the Philippines section features “Real Post Reports” by expatriates , as well as useful links. is a website dedicated to British expats around the world, including a general forum on the Far East, including postings from the Philippines.

British Expat is a site for British citizens living abroad, featuring a British Expat Forum, with a section on Asia, including thePhilippines.

Posted by: philippinetech | July 14, 2009 (edit)

Philippine Bargains

Also read my Blog for those of us that are interested in saving money here in the Philippines or prepare for moving here. Please also forward it on to people you think might be interested. Everyone is trying to save a few pesos these days and this is a good place to start. Recent articles include how to live on $500 a month, airplane and boat promos,where I can get the magicjack, top 40 websites in Philippines, E banking, where can I find the rate of exchange, transportation, newspaper links, lcd best buys, cell phone promos, landline specials, listen to music online, internet providers in Philippines, skype without your computer on, where can I find free wi-fi spots, generic drugstores locations, computer stores, medical tourism in Cebu, and where to get your photos printed.


Ann Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Ann said...

In life, always has been and will be, because there is no only winners and losers, there are always two sides, and they are so connected with each other, which present them separately is simply impossible - Therefore, children need to pull myself together and desperately try to change the course of events.

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