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Cebu, Philippines

The Queen City: Cebu, Philippines

Cebu City, sometimes known as the Queen City of the south is the capital of Cebu Island. With nearly a million residents, this is a busy, vibrant place and the commercial hub of the Visayan Islands.

Outside of the city you’ll some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world: narrow coastlines with bright blue waters and limestone plateaus offset by rolling hills and rugged mountains. Fortunately, Cebu is protected by outer lying islands from the fierce typhoon winds that beat on some parts of these islands most years. Winter in Cebu (October to February) can be delightful; temperatures are about 75 degrees Fahrenheit and accompanied by gentle breezes.

Expats in Cebu come from all over the world, but the majority are from the United States, England, and Australia, plus a few from Germany. There are good numbers of men aged 45 to their mid-60s who’ve come so their pensions will stretch much further than they would back home and, often, to restart their lives with new wives and new families. English speakers will have no difficulty at all here, as English is an official language of the Philippines and most people are fluent.

Cebu is home to Mactan-Cebu International Airport, from which it is easy for retirees to fly back to U.S. And Mactan-Cebu makes it just as easy for family and friends to fly in for a visit. To top it off, the Philippines offers generous residency visas for retirees.

Cost of Living in Cebu

The two big advantages of the Philippines in general are the cost of living and real estate costs. This is a popular destination among retired U.S. military, because the people are friendly, the health care is good, and a military pension buys a better-than-comfortable standard of living.

While Cebu is one of the more expensive places to live in the Philippines, it’s still possible to live extremely well, on a modest budget.

Housing options in the city itself vary greatly. From one- to three-bedroom apartments, with separate quarters for live-in help, and three-bedroom, three-bathroom condos to lower-end apartments further from the heart of the business city, which most likely don’t have running hot water. Should you have your eye on one of these more basic apartments, rest assured a water-heater can be installed easily and economically.

Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Cebu, Philippines

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
RentPHP 19,113
GasPHP 425Used for cooking.
ElectricityPHP 1,274No air conditioning installed.
WaterPHP 425
TelephonePHP 425Monthly cellphone contract (700 pesos if landline is desired).
InternetPHP 1,700Wireless.
Cable TVPHP 1,274
GroceriesPHP 8,495
EntertainmentPHP 10,618
TotalPHP 43,749

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