Negros Island Philippines: One of the best Places for Expats
Negros Island in the Philippines is just one of the beautiful islands in the Visayas region. It is made up of two provinces which are Negros Oriental in the central region and Negros Occidental in the western region. The island is in the South Western section of the country. The most important cities are Dumaguete in Negros Oriental and Bacolod in Negros Occidental.
Getting there is easy, there are daily flights to and from Metro Manila, served by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific as well as lots of ferry lines connecting Negros island with other islands. The island is sheltered from storm since it is in the western section and it is always the eastern side which is often hit by typhoons. Let’s take a closer look of the island’s both provinces.
Facts about Negros Oriental
Dumaguete City is the capital of Negros Oriental. It is known as the “City of gentle people” since the locals are friendly, kind and fun loving. They celebrate many festivals like the Sinulog Festival. This is one city where you will find high literacy rate and most high English speaking population. That is because of the presence of the oldest university in the country which is the Silliman University – the first protestant university in the Philippines.
If you talk about infrastructure and business this is one place which is well developed thus a very good place to invest. You will find lots of restaurants, shopping malls, night clubs and other entertainment establishment. Unlike the western part of Negros whose dialect is Ilonggo or Hiligaynon, the locals of Dumaguete speaks the Visayan language.
This is one of the best places to retire in Phillipines for foreigners who plan to move in the Philippines. You can see the city is well organized and has the center for education but most of all if offers low cost of living compared to other cities in the country like Cebu. Its strategic location makes it a perfect jumpstart to other places like Siquijor Island, Cebu and even Mindanao. Most people, even the local tourist love Dumaguete. They claim it has a certain aura that keeps you want to go back again and again.
Why foreigner love to stay in Dumaguete
What attracts most visitors in this city is their bay walk along the seawall where you will find plenty of food stalls as well as plenty of chairs and table being set up for the customers. You can see then every night and you get to taste the best fresh food you ever have.
If you want to buy their local produce as well as fresh sea foods then you can go to their big city market. If you prefer fast food then you can find several Pizza shops and of course the famous Jolibee and McDonald. Internet cafes are also available. You will enjoy walking leisurely in Silliman Avenue where you can find several shops like National Bookstore, donut and pastry shops, internet cafes and a lot more. This is really one great city.
Accommodation is no problem too for you will find plenty of hotels that fit your budget. The Vintage Inn is affordable and you get a clean and nice room. This accommodation is rated as the best value for those tourists on a budget. It is also close by to the city market and is just across the terminal of mini buses bound for Sibulan. Sibulan port is where you can catch a pump boat ride or fast ferry to Cebu. You can also reach Cebu by land by catching a Ceres Liner bus. Travel time is about four hours from Dumaguete to Cebu by land. Here you will find some more affordable Hotels in Dumaguete.
Things to do
You can tour around the city for a day and you can do that on your own. You can rent a motorbike for a very affordable price probably less than 500 a day. There are various restaurants serving different international cuisines. You can also find a Mexican Restaurant there and they have a dive shop where you can buy or rent diving equipments.
The region has plenty of tourist attractions to offer and that includes their famous Waterfall. The waterfalls of Pulangbato as well as Casaroro are just awesome and this is at Valencia. There are other waterfalls in Canlaon City namely Pantao and Quipot. Other attractions that you will find are caves which you will find in Pandalihan and Mabinay. Tourists from all over the world visit that placebecause of its natural limestone formation.
Aside from natural sites you get to see historical landmarks too which existed since 1760’s. You will find four bell watchtowers which serve as a warning system for the locals whenever they pirates attacked the place.
Most locals of the island are involved in the agriculture industry. There major agricultural products are root crops, sugarcane, corn, coconut, rice, copra, vegetables and fruits. As for those living in the coastal area, fishing is its major source of income. Aside from fishing, cattle ranches are also a big business in Negros Oriental.
Province of Negros Occidental
The capital city of Negros Occidental is Bacolod which is famous as the “sugar bowl of the Philippines”. Its major product is sugar and there are two sugar mill in the province namely Central Azucarera De La Carlota in La Carlota City and Victorias mill in Victorias city. Sugarcane is the largest agriculture plantation in the province and it has much control over the economy. In fact it generates big economic growth in Negros Island. Aside from sugarcane, they are also involved with livestock and poultry industries. The province is also rich with metallic and non-metallic mineral.
Negros Occidental is by far the largest province second to Cebu and they are famous for its colorful festivals. The province consists of thirteen cities and nineteen municipalities and each of them celebrates their own festival in honor to its patron saint. The most popular even the province celebrates is the Masskara Festival every month of October as well as the Panaad Sa Negros both in Bacolod. There is also the Sinulog Festival in Kabankalan City, Mudpack Festival of Mambukal and the Pasalamat Festival in La Carlota City.
Activities & Attractions in Negros Occidental
Negros Occidental just like Negros Oriental is endowed with so much beauty and you can clearly see that with their natural resources. Enjoy the sight of their magnificent waterfalls and majestic mountains. Some of the popular sites you should not miss include the Guintubdan waterfall, Canlaon Volcano. Of course you should visit the latest hot spot for tourists, the Paradiso beach resort located in Hinigaran.
One favorite pasttime of the local is cock fighting. That is probably why the province is also known as the “Rooster land of the Philippines”. You sure will find the finest breed of cocks here thus they are one of the largest cock fighting producers in the country. Every month they export over fifteen thousand fighting cocks all over the Philippines.
What is about living cost in Negros Island Philippines
Cost of living in the island is cheap compared to Metro Manila or most other cities in the Philippines. There are many expats settled down in this province with their Philippine wife and live a good life on a budget of less than $1,000 a month. You can buy a nice house for less than a million pesos. You can choose from different subdivisions or what they usually refer as gated community. The average utility bill for a family of three is around 5,000 PhP. The electric consumption is already for two laptops, hot water heater, electric iron, electric oven/toaster, TV, DVD player, refrigerator, three electric fans and one split type air con. Water bill average to 500 PhP and 250 PhP for a month supply of bottled water to drink.
Average monthly cost of Living in Negros Island Philippines
As for communications the average expense per month is about 1,200 php for Internet connection and cell phone loads. The average expense for clothing expense per month is 1,500 which are for two adults and one child. For the housekeeper the average monthly pay ranges are from 1,500 to 2,000 php. Although there are some instances where they send their maid to school and they pay for her tuition and allowance. As for food, the average expense per month is 10,000 php excluding expense when eating out. Average expense for eating out is 5,000 php and these covers several days in a week.
Entertainment expense like going to watch movie or go out to a music lounge once a week amounts to about 2,000 php. Car expense is around 5,000 php a month that is for car insurance, repairs and maintenance and fuel. For the medical expense average cost is around 6,200 php for health insurance and 1,800 php for any medical emergencies. The total cost of living is more or less 30,000 php. For this amount you can live comfortable already with your basic necessities met.