Friday, June 15th, 2018

Location, Location, Location


After the initial decision to retire in the Philippines, the first question to be answered is where to settle down.  That can almost be harder than making the initial choice to move.  The Philippines consists of approximately 7,107 islands ranging from, no formal name given land masses of about 4,000 square meters to Luzon weighing in at 104,688 square kilometers and everything in between. The 3 largest cities Manila, Davao City and Cebu City are all located on different islands and each one of them have a particular feel and culture about them.

Montage_ManilaThe City of Manila (Filipino: Lungsod ng Maynila), or simply Manila, is the capital of the Philippines and one of the 17 cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila. It is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay, on the western portion of the National Capital Region, in the western side of Luzon. Manila is one of the central hubs of a thriving metropolitan area home to over 19 million people.  As of 2009, Manila ranks as the world’s eleventh largest metropolitan area[4] and the fifth largest urban area by population. Manila is also ranked as one of the most densely populated cities in the world.  The city itself had more than 100 parks scattered throughout the city.
Manila occupies a total land area of 38.55 square kilometers,  is the second most populous city in the Philippines, with more than 1.6 million inhabitants. Only nearby Quezon City, the country’s former capital, is more populous. The metropolitan area is the second most populous in Southeast Asia.
Manila lies about 950 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong, 2,400 kilometers northeast of Singapore and more than 2,100 kilometers northeast of Kuala Lumpur. The Pasig River bisects the city in the middle. Almost all of the city sits on top of centuries of prehistoric alluvial deposits built by the waters of the Pasig River and on some land reclaimed from Manila Bay.
Manila is bordered by several cities in Metro Manila such as Navotas City and Caloocan City to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong City to the east, Makati City to the southeast, and Pasay City to the south.

For much more information than I can put here visit Wikipedia (Manila) pagewikipedia-logo_391_480

davao-cityThe City of Davao (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Dabaw; Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Dabaw) is the chief commercial center on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, which only exists in the minds of the locals. It is also one of the Philippines’ most progressive cities. Its international airport and seaports are among the busiest cargo hubs in the southern part of the Philippines.

Davao City is also one of several cities in the Philippines that are independent of any province. The city serves as the regional center for Davao Region (Region XI). It has a population of 1,363,330 (2007 census) and is named by the Foreign Direct Investment Magazine as the 10th “Asian City of the Future”.[1] In recent years, Davao City has emerged as the business, investment and tourism hub for the entire southern Philippines. The city boasts of some of the finest beaches and mountain resorts in the country and its proximity to the Philippines’ most captivating diving spots as well as its highest peak, Mount Apo.  The land area of Davao City is 2,443.61 square kilometers. It is divided into 3 congressional districts, which are further divided into 11 administrative districts containing a total of 184 barangays. Almost 50% of its total land area is classified as timberland or forest. Agriculture utilizes about 43%. This is reflective of the fact that agriculture is still the largest economic sector. Big plantations that produce banana, pineapple, coffee, and coconut eat up a large chunk of the total land area.

Davao City is approximately 588 statute miles southeast of Manila.  Traveling by sea, its location from Manila and Cebu is 971 and 593 nautical miles (1,098 km) respectively.  It is the capital of the Mindanao and is the biggest urban market in the growth polygon called BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area)  Presently, built-up areas used for residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial purposes represent about 10% of the total land area. Under the approved land use plan built-up and settlement area will cover 15% of the total area while agricultural will be maximized with 67.19%. The remaining 17.68 will be devoted to forestry and conservation.

For much more information than I can put here visit Wikipedia (Davao City) pagewikipedia-logo_391_480

The City of Cebu (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Sugbo; Filipino: Lungsod ng Cebu; Spanish: Ciudad de Cebú), is the capital city of Cebu and the second city in the Philippines, the second most significant metropolitan center in the Philippine Islands, and known as the oldest city in the country.

The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu, and is the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. Cebu is the Philippines’ main domestic shipping port, and is home to more than 80% of the country’s domestic shipping companies. Cebu also holds the second largest international flights in the Philippine Islands, and is a significant center of commerce, trade, and industry in the Visayas, and Mindanao region. According to the 2007 Philippine census, the city has a population of 798,809 people.

Cebu City is the center of a metropolitan area called Metro Cebu, which includes the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Talisay. Metro Cebu has a total population of about 2 million people. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Lapu-Lapu City is only a twenty-minute drive away from Cebu City. To the northeast of the city are Mandaue City, and the town of Consolacion, to the west are Toledo City, the towns of Balamban, and Asturias, to the south are Talisay City, and the town of Minglanilla. Across Mactan Strait to the east is Mactan Island where Lapu-Lapu City and an aquarium attraction are located.
Before being colonized by Spain in the 16 Century, Cebu was a trading center with a pagan and Muslim population. On April 7, 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu. He was welcomed by Rajah Humabon, the native chieftain of Cebu, who together with his wife, and about 700 native islanders, were baptized by the Spaniards on April 14, 1521. Magellan, however, failed to successfully claim the Philippine Islands for the crown of Spain, having been slain by Lapu-Lapu, a datu in neighboring Mactan Island on April 27, 1521 in the Battle of Mactan.

On April 27, 1565, Spanish conquistadors led by Miguel López de Legazpi, together with Augustinian Friar Andrés de Urdaneta, sailing from Mexico, landed in Cebu. The Spaniards established settlements, trade flourished, and renamed the city on January 1, 1571, from San Miguel (Saint Michael) to Villa del Santissimo Nombre de Jesús (Village of the Most Holy Name of Jesus). During this six year period of exploration, and conquest by the Spaniards, Cebu City was the capital of the Spanish East Indies. Cebu City became a charter city in 1936.

Cebu City has a land area of 291.2 square kilometers (112.4 sq mi). Of this, 55.9 square kilometers (21.6 sq mi) is classified as urban, while 235.2 square kilometers (90.8 sq mi) is classified as rural. To the northeast of the city are Mandaue City and the town of Consolacion, to the west are Toledo City, the towns of Balamban, and Asturias, to the south are Talisay City and the town of Minglanilla. Across Mactan Strait to the east is Mactan Island where Lapu-Lapu City is located. Further east across the Cebu Strait is the Island of Bohol.

The city is politically subdivided into 80 barrios or barangays. These are grouped into two congressional districts, with 46 barrios or barangays in the northern district, and 34 barrios or barangays in the southern district.

For much more information than I can put here visit Wikipedia (Cebu City) pagewikipedia-logo_391_480

If large metropolis’ are not your bag and your looking for something a bit more rural there is plenty of that as well. Even though the Philippine government has classified places as cities does not mean that are what you might consider a city. IMHO, some of the city classifications would be no more than a town where I’m from. Take for example Mati. It is about 2 1/2 hours drive from Davao City.  My wife is from Mati and I would consider it a town, but its proximity to a large city and conversely its remoteness give it a rural quality, along with the fact that the majority of the population are either farmers or fisherman.

Mati is a municipality in the province of Davao Oriental, Philippines. It is the capital of the said province. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 105,908 people in 21,293 households. Residents of Mati are called Matinians.dahicanbeach

Mati is now considered as one of the hottest tourist spots in the Philippines. The Department of Tourism has had a road show in Boracay and in Bali, Indonesia to promote the place and to invite investors to do business in the virgin white sand beaches of Mati. Dahican is one of the most popular destinations in Mati with clear waters and a 17-kilometer pure and fine white sand shore. Indeed, Mati is the best-kept secret of Davao Region. []. Masao is also very known.Tourists from Finland, Australia, USA, Japan and Korea have enjoyed the resort. Also, local tourists from Surigao and Davao abound in Mati to experience the totally different aura of Masao. There are a lot of places in Mati that are truly haven: Camp Jericho; Tourism Complex; Waniban Island; the sleeping dinosaur; the Pujada Island and a lot more. Pujada Bay has also been considered as among the richest bays in the South East Asia. There are 15,700 species of sea creatures that can be found in the Pujada Bay. Lobsters, Sea Cow or locally known as Dugong, hammerhead shark, blue whale, manta ray, and different kinds of turtles are just among the many sea animals that can be found in Mati. Scuba diving is also experienced here.


On the far side of the spectrum one could always decide to settle down in a remote village.

Anywhere from 10-200 families, each family with its own small house.  The Village is small enough to be managed without any kind of real administration, small enough for each to know all and small enough for all to feel like one true family. In these villages there is enough work for all, enough food for all, plenty of work potential to increase activities manifold in different areas of possible work. Agriculture, mariculture, aquaculture or a variety of smallest family busiess such as carpentar, boat builder, etc.

Make sure when you are in the crucial decision stage that you visit locations that you think you want to spend the rest of your life and “Live Local” for a time and see how the local population lives. Make sure that you are comfortable in your surroundings. Keep in mind that like anywhere else, the further you get from a metropolis the less accessibility you will have to foreign items and imported goods. “Living Local” will take on a whole new meaning 🙂

Where ever you choose to settle down and enjoy the good life, you can be rest assured that the culture and hospitality of the Philipino people will astound you.

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6 Responses to “Location, Location, Location”
  1. Vanessa aka Banot says:

    I still thinking about the towns in between Mati and Davao City, cheaper lots is a big advantage for our home construction. It’s not that i want bigger house, but i do like big yards.

  2. rich says:

    noooooooooooooo, 🙂 too far from golf 🙂

  3. Vanessa aka Banot says:

    Less than an hour is too far now??? Doesn’t seem like here in the US honey??

  4. Tom says:

    You could always try Jungle golf. It’s quite challenging. If your ball is swallowed by a Python or a monitor lizard you get a free mulligan. 🙂

    I am looking at Cebu City myself as a starting place. I’m going to look around a little more after I get there before I settle in one place.

    • rich says:

      Ya ive been there sooo many times and spent so much time there, im like 99.9 percent decided on the Davao City area. Thats a concept, what do you get for getting kidnapped? lol

  5. Tom says:

    -1 stroke and a time out. 😎

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