I would appreciate it if anyone could help. I am thinking of moving to Cebu City with a friend. We are moving in order to live a better lifestyle and to be able to spend more time monitoring our financial portfolios.
We are considering several places in the world, in particular Goa India, but are concerned that the communications ( broadband internet / wireless internet connection / mobile phone signal) will not be up to the task. That is why we are considering Cebu City as it sounds like a large city which will be more reliable.
Is there any other place in the Philippines which would meet our criteria below? (Manila? Subic Bay? Angeles City? or is Cebu our best bet? If so which part of Cebu City? Would Lapu Lapu be a good/cheaper option?
The criteria that the place where we move to must meet are the following 3 points.
1)Extremely cheap cost of living ��� we will have around 30,000 pesos each to spend (this will include rent) a month. We don���t expect an extravagant lifestyle but we must be able to live comfortably (eat out several times a week, nightlife on a weekend).
Can we reasonably expect to achieve this in Cebu City?
2) Excellent communications: It is essential that we have a broadband internet connection and have an excellent mobile phone signal to make international calls. I cannot emphasise how important this is. Is Cebu City up to the job?
3 It needs to be a nice place. I have heard mixed reviews about Cebu (polluted, dirty, crime). Will it be safe for 2 British tourists to live in Cebu or are we going to be massive targets (particularly from Islamic extremists).
We have heard a lot of good things too. We are not easily put off by the above and will not be negative when we arrive ��� if there is easy access to beaches, nice bars and restaurants and friendly people then I think we will enjoy Cebu and not be too pessimistic.
We are looking to rent a 2/3 bedroom apartment/condo (2 bedrooms would do). Maximum price 20,000 pesos per month. The lease term I am thinking of is around 3 - 6 months, although a longer/shorter lease would be considered.
A balcony / terrace is needed. Access to a swimming pool would be nice although I realise we may be pushing it a bit now on our budget.
It is essential that we have a broadband internet connection in the apartment. A standard dial up connection or internet cafes nearby is not good enough for our needs.
Also I need to be in an area which has an excellent mobile phone signal. I need to be able to make international calls. I am thinking it would be best to buy the mobile phone when I am in Cebu as I do not know what the best network would be. Would I be able to buy a mobile phone on a contract as a tourist?
Also would it be best for me to bring a laptop over to Cebu from the UK or would it be better and cheaper to buy one in Cebu?
Finally, how welcome would we be in the Philippines considering we are entering on a tourist visa? Are we going to be rushed out of the country or do travellers find it easy to get extensions for these tourist visas? We are looking to stay here as long as we can. I have heard that many tourists keep getting these extensions and end up staying for years. Is this realistic or are we going to be forced out of the country after a few months?
I would appreciate any help anyone could give us to any of the questions as we really cannot afford to get the location wrong when we make the move.