Dumaguete, Philippines

Dumaguete: A Top Destination For Hanging Your Hat

There are many good reasons to consider retiring in Dumaguete. Located along a sheltered coast on the island of Negros, the city is protected against most of the typhoons that periodically batter many of the Philippines’ 7,107 islands. The weather is tropical and balmy—rarely too hot, but occasionally cool enough to wear a light sweater or jacket in the evening. Dumaguete offers excellent medical care, too—care that has been getting even better since the city was named one of the five top retirement destinations in the Philippines.

Dumaguete is rich in natural beauty, with an abundance of indoor and outdoor activities. It is also a place where you can take advantage of one of the best residency programs in the world. It’s easy to see why several thousand foreigners have decided to make Dumaguete their permanent home.

The local tourism office describes Dumaguete (pronounced “Doo ma GET tee”) as “bustling yet charming,” and this really does describe the city well. When you first arrive, you may be put off by the cacophony of loud motorbikes and a cityscape that looks a bit “well used,” but as you linger, the town will grow on you. The longer you stay, the nicer Dumaguete becomes, and many foreigners who originally traveled here for a vacation have remained for years. English speakers will have no difficulty at all here, as English is an official language of the Philippines and most people are fluent.

Silliman University, which was founded in 1901, is the province’s largest school and it’s a commanding presence in central Dumaguete. The college campus covers over 610,000 square meters, mainly in the downtown area. Silliman was Southeast Asia’s first private American university, as well as the first Protestant university to be founded in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.

In addition to offering a wide range of classes for degree-seeking students, Silliman hosts a teaching hospital, several museums, and the largest library in the southern Philippines. Frequent art exhibits and cultural events, including concerts and ballet, are offered at the university.

Cost Of Living In Dumaguete

Dumaguete is a place where you can take advantage of one of the best residency programs in the world and the cost of living is extremely inexpensive. It’s easy to see why several thousand foreigners have decided to make Dumaguete their permanent home.

The Philippines encourages foreign retirees to immigrate to the country through the use of excellent incentives, including duty-free importation of household belongings. The financial requirements needed to qualify for a Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV) are very low.

Housing is a very good value in Dumaguete and the surrounding area. If you can manage a housing budget of US$400 to US$500, you will have no difficulty finding a modern and comfortable home.

One of the other advantages of living in a university town is the abundance of inexpensive restaurants that cater to “starving” college students. Dining out is a very popular and affordable pastime here. Prices in the restaurants here are as low as you’ll find anywhere. Two people can enjoy a fine Western meal at one of the better restaurants in town, complete with drinks, for about US$10. If you want to go out for local food, you can expect to pay less than half that.

Medical care in Dumaguete is excellent, in part because it has been targeted by the government as one of five areas in the Philippines designated as top retirement hubs. Dumaguete’s Silliman Medical Center is considered one of most modern hospitals in the country and specialists here charge just 500 pesos for a consultation (click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.)

Dental clinics are also located throughout Dumaguete. The quality of care is good and prices are quite reasonable. A checkup and cleaning at most clinics will cost around US$10, and other inexpensive dental services are also available.

Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Dumaguete, Philippines

Click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.

Rent PHP 15,320  
Gas PHP 217 Used for cooking.
Electricity PHP 3,060 Air conditioning used most days and at night.
Water PHP 217  
Telephone PHP 217 Monthly cellphone contract (700 pesos if landline is desired).
Internet PHP 650 Wireless.
Cable TV PHP 440  
Groceries PHP 10,944  
Entertainment PHP 8,750  
Total PHP 39,815  

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