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Moving to and Living in the Philippines

I am working on an idea I have about moving and living here in Davao and in the Philippines.

There are many areas to write about and give my views. Relationships, housing, people, money, banking, friendships, driving and many others.

As I work on these articles I realize I have only lived here a little longer than a year and my views are from my observations. There are people here who have lived here longer and have different views and different situations here.

I hope I will get comments asking me things they are interested in knowing and then there will be many who will disagree with what my views are. This is good since nobody has the same situations and we can learn from each other.

13 Responses to “Moving to and Living in the Philippines”

  1. Lab says:

    A few years ago my wife and I were in Davao City. We were eating snacks in Victoria Mall. We were asking ourselves before if it is good to stay to retire in Davao. At the mall we saw a family of foreigners. They look like Americans. My wife mentioned that these foreigners are not even afraid to l;ive here in Davao when they do not know how to speak the dialect how much more for us?

    Davao has an abundance of fresh fruits,vegetables, fish and meat. The weather is just like in San Diego, California. It is cooler. It has long stretches of beach line, accessible by air and sea. One question asked was about safety and security. We asked a taxi driver if there are hold-uppers in the city especially on a taxi ride? He stated that it does not happen in the city. For your safety just be careful where you go. It is just like anywhere in the world. If you go to bad areas of any city the likelihood of one getting mugged is very high. So stay away from those areas.

    We visited the Robinsons Bloomfield Development in Lanang, Davao City. It is close to the airport, pier and the golf course. I like the area. I do not know if there are lots still available. The price of prime lots is I think comparable to any place. I’ll visit your site to check for news more often. Thank you for sharing with us.


    • Bruce says:

      Thanks for stopping by.
      As you mentioned about safety, I have heard and found Davao is one of the safest cities in the Philippines. That has alot to do with Mayor Dutarte. He decourages crime and criminals, drugs and terrorests.
      I cannot compare the weather here to San Diego. I have lived in So. CA and miss the cooler nights and dryer air. To me it is more like Florida.
      There is a lot of land avaliable but like anywhere else, prices are going up. There are 2 new malls planned and one almost completed.
      I look foward to hearing more from you and would love to meet you on your next visit.

  2. badette says:

    Hi!Many thanks for this wonderful site you have.It is just a coincidence that I found this site of yours.

    I was born in Davao and lived there with my family before we moved here in US.I agree with you our dear Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is one of the main factor why Davao City is considered as one of the safest and peaceful city in the Philippines(that is what I know before being voted for).In Davao we can use our cellphone in public places(esp.busy markets like Bankerohan,Agdao or Magsaysay)even in public utilities……anywhere without fear.Mayor Rodrigo Duterte I believe was the only mayor in Philippines who bravely mentioned the names of these so called “bad guys” nationwide and threatened them to leave the city.I saw him live in television before in his office of slapping the back of the holdapper because how many times this guy was being caught in this activity and presented to him.That is why Mayor Duterte is very loved by people esp. taxi drivers in Davao I should say.

    As for the commodities food is really cheap in Davao compared to Manila and Cebu (except for the anchovies “danggit and “pusit” of my favorites….)But for clothes and shoes Manila is cheaper I think.But thanks for the Ukay-ukay.People resort to these and I tried it also in some boutiques and found “brand new” ones with their tags still intact he.he.he.Yes,I’ve heard malls,condominiums were underway…..As mentioned of one of your readers here there are many prime lots available like Robinsons Land(before moving here we were offered to get a lot but we declined coz it is not practical and we needed our money to start here).They can try also Dona Vicenta Village or Marfori Heights because some lots(with house) are for sale too and considered it is accessible to malls,churches,schools,universities,airport,beaches.

    By the way,I didn’t mentioned to you that my parents(both are deceased)their hometown province is in Pangasinan but they decided to lived and raise a family in Davao after they got married so all of us 3 children were born in Davao.My uncle a distant relative of my father when he was assigned in Davao as a med’l representative he chose to stay and got married .Another uncle who’s hometown is Cavite and was assigned in Davao as a gov’t employee chose Davao and married my aunt.During my younger years I asked them the same question..”why they decided to lived and settled in Davao?”Same answers they gave me.

    Bruce am looking forward to visit your site again.More power!

    • Bruce says:

      I am very glad you found my site too and I hope over time you will take the time to read my articles from the beginnings. And will comment if you see something you would like to comment on.
      I have met other Filipinos that decided to move here for the same reasons. So in this case, many foreigners and Filipinos see “Eye to Eye”
      I have heard of Ukay-Ukay shops with new items with tags. I have not taken the time to locate them. Maybe I can find sneakers my size, I am a 12 E, and it is hard to fine the wider widths.
      Where in the US do you reside, maybe I can swap stories too.
      Thanks again and tell your friends.

  3. howard says:

    i was told that it is not safe for me as an american to ride a tricycle in davao city but I have to take the taxi? I own both a taxi and tricycle in davao but i have never been there my drivers drive them. What is it like if i visit there in 2009 ? I wason a tricycle incebu city and no problems. so will i be safe in davao? Have YOU rode tricycles alot ?

    • Bruce says:

      In Davao it is safe for you on Tricycles a Jeepneys in Davao, I have not and never heard of any trouble. Just know the cost because some drivers will try to cheat a foreigner just as taxi drivers will sometimes. The big scam from drivers is they have no change. Also tricycles are not allowed on main roads, only side roads and sub-divisions. I have a car, so do not use them often, but sometimes will if it is a short drive.

  4. woody says:

    hey buddy,i like your site here. i am an american considering marrying and moving there to davao.we have our sites set on a 3 hectares farm in the toril area.i was wondering what u think of this i dea? would it be safe for us? i want to give our future children a good opportunity.
    also the women there are so different than in u.s. im not used to hearing from a woman”whatever u like or want my dear” refreshing not to argue about what color the sky is,if u get what im sayin about american u find this common?or should i be weary?
    thank u and good luck mt friend

    • Bruce says:

      About Toril, there have been some NPA troubles in that area. I would be cautious.
      Also, please take your time and be sure. If you do not know, a foreigner cannot own land here so if you buy land, it will be in your girlfriend/wife’s name. If anything happens to you or between you too, the land and house is hers, not yours. You willing to do this from just knowing her online? Please read my article “Moving to and Living in the Philippines (finding that special filipina)
      I suggest you visit her and this country for more than a short visit or just one time. Even after many trips, living at her home and meeting her family, you do not know how life is here until your actually living here. Also, if you move here, do not burn any bridges back home and keep a return option if necessary.

      • Dale Butler says:

        Bruce I am an American an planning a trip to the Phillipines I am to go to Davao to visit friends who live near there you really think it is safe for American there I have heard from many here on the computer don’t go hope you can help thanks

        • Bruce says:

          I can answer about Davao. I feel it is safer than many other cities in the world. At times I am out alone during the day and night and never felt worried for my safety. Sure there are areas I would not go alone or even with a Filipino, but there are places in all cities in the US you would never go.
          About other areas outside Davao there are safe places and some not safe.

  5. Steve says:

    My wife want us to live or just have a home in davao, In truth i saw a lot of business opportunity lots of land that i could build a home of comfort. But the laws of foreigner owning land and business sucks there so i decided to let idea go. She felt it is a trust issue but did not argue it. I tried to explain in business all must be considered. At this time i am ok with the idea that I will buy a home there cheaper then hotels. I heard that in subdivision you can own is this true? I know a foreigner can own the building not the land how does this work in a subdivision/gated community.

    • Bruce says:


      All you can own is a condo. A foreigner is allowed to own a home but not the land. What some have done for a home, in a subdivision or not is have the title to the house in the Foreigners name and the land in a Filipinos. Then have a long term lease on the land. Then have a power of attorney drawn up giving the foreigner control of signing anything to do with the sale of the land.

  6. Don Eudy says:

    Bruce I live and work in Las Vegas, Nevada… U.S. I have been to Davao City three times this year and I love it there. The people are very warm and friendly, they really try to please a visitor and make him feel welcome. I Had no fear for my safety and thanks to Mayor Duterte Davao City is now the most safe city in South East Asia. He is no longer in office but his wonderful daughter is now mayor. I am an American and I will move to Davao City this year to retire. I have worked all over the world and I find the people in the Philippines to have the best family values and Christian values of any country that I have been to. I find the people to be very honorable and honest. I really felt honored to visit a country that still likes Americans … well not like but love Americans.

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