Recent News On The Philippines

This City Of Gentle People Remains A Top Retirement Choice

This month’s Overseas Retirement Letter, in subscribers’ e-mailboxes now, features the coastal town of Dumaguete in the Philippines.

As we went into production for this issue, the Philippines was hit by the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall. As everyone reading this now knows, thousands have lost their lives and millions are displaced as a result of the storm surge that followed typhoon Haiyan.

As events unraveled in the Philippines, we discussed whether to hold the issue or go ahead and promote “The City of Gentle People” to would-be retirees. On Friday, Nov. 8, Asia Correspondent and author of this month’s report Wendy Justice and I watched as Dumaguete suffered rain and heavy winds…and nothing more.

As Wendy points out in her ORL report, “Typhoons usually bypass the Dumaguete area entirely, since the island of Cebu prevents most severe weather from hitting Negros Oriental.” That’s exactly what happened.

So we took the decision to go ahead and promote Dumaguete as one of the world’s top-tier retirement locations—in part because it really is a top-tier location, but also because this is a time when the Philippines as a whole urgently needs people not to turn away out of fear.

A natural disaster could happen in many of the world’s most desirable retirement locations. Thailand, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, the Caribbean, even the United States, a popular location for European expats…all have suffered natural disasters. We don’t believe that’s a reason to take those destinations off any list of the world’s top retirement havens.

What was it that encouraged us to choose Dumaguete as a place to feature for would-be retirees and expats in the first place?

In addition to its welcoming, friendly, English-speaking people, Dumaguete also boasts a warm, tropical climate and beautiful beaches and mountains that invite the outdoorsman. This is one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkeling, whale and dolphin watching, and nature activities along the coast and in the mountains.

Medical care in Dumaguete is excellent and very inexpensive. Specialists charge about US$10 for a visit. In addition, this city features the country’s first medical resort—a 100-bed hospital with resort facilities, aimed at the growing number of foreign retirees.

And, perhaps most important, Dumaguete is an incredibly low-cost place to live. A couple could live here comfortably on less than US$1,200 per month.

And the Philippines in general is one of the easiest places in the world to establish foreign residency. Complete details are included in Wendy’s ORL report.

We all extend our deepest sympathy and support to everyone affected by recent events in this part of the world, and we encourage readers to contact aid agencies to help provide relief to the people of the Philippines.

And we encourage you not to take Dumaguete off your list of potential overseas retirement havens prematurely. Yes, the Philippines has suffered a horrible blow, but Dumaguete is largely unaffected and has a great deal to offer.

Lucy Culpepper

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