Living and retiring in Cebu is very popular by many foreigners. Cebu is the queen city of the south. It is about 365 miles in the south of Metro Manila. The province is part of the Central Visayas region and you can reach it in an hour by air and about twenty-two hours by sea.
Cebu’s land features are composed of rugged mountains, rolling hills, coastal plains, and limestone plateaus. The province also has narrow coastlines which is famous for its white sand beaches. It has three big islands namely, Camotes, Bantayan and Mactan. Camotes Island is quite hilly while the two other islands are generally flat.
Its native dialect is Cebuano. Tagalog is widely spoken and understood as well as English and is widely use in education and business transactions. As for population, the total population is about 3.85 million.
This island is indeed the perfect destination for every tourist because of its moderate weather the whole year through which has no marked dry and wet season. So you can literally enjoy the sun the whole year through for it is endowed with tropical climate. Its temperature ranges from twenty-three degree to thirty-three degrees Celsius or seventy-three to ninety-one degrees Fahrenheit.
The coldest month is on January and the hottest is May. Rainy season usually starts in July which brings heavy downpour sometimes.
The Philippine currency is peso which is equivalent to one hundred centavos. The next widely accepted currency in the country is the US dollar. You can easily change any foreign currency in local banks, money changers, hotels and even shopping malls. Not all establishments there accept foreign currency however foreign credit cards may be accepted in major resorts, restaurants, shops and hotels. Foreigners are advised to carry less cash but always carry enough amounts of small bills and coins.
Private companies or firms are usually open from eight in the morning till five in the after, Mondays to Saturdays except Bank institutions who operates nine in the morning till three in the afternoon, Mondays to Fridays only. Government office hours starts at eight in the morning till five in the afternoon, Monday to Fridays only.
- Electric.Zhe island’s electric power relies mostly in the geothermal energy which is supplied to the Visayas- Panay grid where the province is a part. Diesel and thermal generating plants are the other sources of electricity in the province. Power is evenly distributed in the province by the Visayan Electric Company or VECO for metro Cebu and the rest of the mainland is distributed by Cebeco or the Cebu Electric Cooperative.
Other island municipality like Bantayan Island is served by Bantayan Electric Cooperative and for the Camotes group of Islands which consists of towns of Pillar, San Francisico, Poro and Tudela is being served by Camotes Electric Cooperative.
The good news is, thw island is going to have its home based power plants in Toledo City through the Global Business Power Corporation and the other is in Naga City through the Korean Electric Power Corporation. This will certainly add more power capacity securing the province growth in the coming years.
- Water. Distribution of water in the city is supervised by MCWD or Metro Cebu Water District. Water distribution outside Metro Cebu is being supervised by their local water district cooperatives if not by their municipal governments.
However, the city provincial government has started working on huge volume water supply development for them to be able to supply the whole island and they plan to partner with private sector to achieve their goal.
- Telecommunications. Cebu city certainly holds major telecommunications companies like the PLDT, Smart Telecommunications, Globe Telecommunications to mention a few. So wherever you are in the province you sure will be able to connect to your love ones. Internet connection is no problem and internet cafes are plentiful in the province. Wireless internet connection is widely used in the province.
Lifestyle and Culture
Just like any other province in the Philippines the island has colorful lifestyle and culture. You can describe it as a combination of both modern and traditional lifestyle as the common saying goes, it’s more like a meeting of the east and west.
But it’s truly unique as it preserved its tradition up to the present while embracing too the modern ways of this times. The province is known to be Philippines cradle of history and Christianity, having experience the Japanese, Spanish and American occupation and later on change into the center of the regions economic, cultural and social activities. In the midst of all modernization still holds on to its traditions and it has never changed over the years.
Cebuanos loves to eat and they have these various delicacies which will surely hold your attention. You often see this plentiful during exhibits and you can even shop for these in different grocery stores in Cebu.
As always rice is the staple food of Cebuanos and since the place is classifies as island province, expect it to have plenty of fish either dried or fresh, shrimp, seashells and other sea foods. Poultry and livestock produce as well as vegetables can be readily accessible too.
The most common food you will find along the streets and stalls are Puso which is a boiled rice wrapped in coconut leaves and a Barbecue. These foods are customary and you can find this just anywhere you go. There are also lots of international restaurants whether you want Chinese, European or Korean food. Name it you sure will find one so there is no worry that you will get hungry in this island.
The most famous and grandiose celebrated patron is the Holy Child Jesus. History tells that image was given by Ferdinand Magellan o the wife of Raja Humabon the chieftain of Cebu. This story is often re-enacted during the Sinulog Festival.
The population is mostly Roman Catholics and you can find one of the eldest churches in Central Visayas there. The church is found is Boljoon which is said to exist more than 400 years already.
Fiestas and Traditions
Probably the most popular festival in Cebu is the Sinulog Festival which is celebrated every third Sunday of January. The festival is celebrated in honor of the Infant Child Jesus. Other famous festivities include Siloy Festival which is celebrated every August. The festivities are done in honor of Rose of Lima its patron saint. Next in line is the Mantawi of Mandaue City, Kadaugan sa Mactan, Palawod Festival andmany more.
Recreation and Entertainment
Since Cebu has a tropical setting it is understood too that it has clear white sand beaches best for vacation getaway and even a thing to enjoy for those who retired in the island. Popular resorts abound the province like the Alegre Beach Resort in Sogod. Another destination which one should not miss is the Badian Island Resort and Spa which is considered a world class resort.
If you love nature and love to see sanctuaries then you have come to the right place. Experience nature at its best in Olango Wildlife Sanctuary which is about six miles in the east coast of of the city. This sanctuary is home to seventy-seven different species of migratory birds.
Another sanctuary site is the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary and Art Gallery. You will be amaze to see about fifty-three butterfly species and various types of moth. If you go down south then you will find the largest Orchid Display in the whole of South East Asia in Moalboal. You will find various species of orchids which you find in Hawaii, South America and Asia alone.
Indeed the province offers a lot of recreational activities from water activities like diving to upland activities like heritage walks, golf and even eco tourism adventures.
In the heart of the city you will find various entertainment venues like bars, shopping malls, restaurants, discotheques, internet cafes and specialty shops.
Living and Retiring in Cebu
Living in Cebu definitely offers a different kind of life to foreigners since it provides a relaxed and slow pace of life compared to what others might say. The living cost has increase for the last months but the same thing happens too for sure with other countries since the price always depends on the price of oil.
Indeed Cebu is a good choice since it offers a lower cost of living and if you want you can even retire away from the city and head on to the province around and experience much lower cost of living because prices reduce even further. One example for that is rent for houses, cost of real properties and even prices for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as meats and fishes. Indeed you can live a good life here even on limited budget.
Why Choose Cebu?
- The number one reason why expats choose Cebu is because the cost of living is cheap without alienating you from the modern amenities of city living.
- When it comes to shopping, Cebu city is definitely not behind. It has one of the largest shopping malls worldwide. SM Mall is truly massive and provides for all your shopping needs. Other smaller malls include Ayala Center and Robinsons which is a favorite of foreigners living there.
- The island is accessible to other provinces in the Philippines. You can easily get a plane, ferry or bus to go to most places in the country.
- Going around the city and even further out of the city is easy through public transportation like jeepney, bus or private transportation.
- Experience beautiful islands and world class resorts you find there.
- It is known for its medical facilities and it’s among the best in the Philippines. The three highly regard private hospital is the Cebu Doctors Hospital, Perpetual Succour Hospital and Chung Hua Hospital.
- Living there means less traffic and pollution compared to other metropolitan city like Manila.
- Air travel is much easy since there are plenty of direct domestic flights from the airport to other destinations in the Philippines as well as in Asia.
- Peace and order is maintained there and crime rates are generally lesser.
Sea travel is also available in going to there parts of the Philippines. There are quite a number of shipping companies that caters to island travel and even international destinations. This number will surely grow since provincial government is planning to build am international airport in the town of Liloan in the north and Naga City in the south.
Traveling by land is being serviced by several bus companies like the Ceres Bus, Rough Riders Bus Company, Cebu Bus Liners to mention a few. There are also vans for hire too and taxi companies.
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