Life in Isabela Province?
First I would like to say hello to all on this site as I am new and just strying to get my bearings figured out. I do have a question though for those on this site who actually live in Phil: Does any one live in or near Isabela Province in Northern Luzon?
I ask this because my wife is from a village near Iligan and I am very interested in moving there when I leave Iraq at the end of this year. My wife is not crazy about the idea of going back to "the Province" but I know I don't want to live any where around Manila or Paranaque where she is staying now with a sister & brother-in-law. I am an old "country boy" at heart & wouldn't mind living in "the Province" but am curious to know if there are many/any other Expats living around there.
If any one has any advice about another nice area to live in that is fairly inexpensive and still on Luzon please let me hear from you.
I have been to several places around Phil over the years but I would like to live on Luzon if possible & affordable.
Any help, thoughts, or advice is appreciated.
While I must admit I've never been to Isabella or the area close to it, I do live on Luzon close to Angeles City.
Isabella from what I have been told is a beautiful area for the most part. However, let me give you a few drawbacks to living there that might be at least part of the reason for your wife not wanting to live there again.
First is the weather dangers during rainy season. The last several years that entire area has been ground zero for the center of several deadly typhoons as they slam into Northern Luzon. It can and does flood sholder deep and higher within minutes.
Also, being close to her family, the constant requests for financial help for every possible reason under the sun will never end. It just doesn't stop. Eventually when you yourself do put a stop to giving it can make her family resent the two of you and actually put you in danger from a family member. She, I'm sure knows far more about these things and is most likely trying to protect you.
For sure Manila is not a good place to live unless you like big cities. There, the best living is in a condo 40 floors above the ground.
All areas on Luzon have their good and not so good points for living. For us, we are in a Mt. Pinatubo resettlement 9km from Angeles City. There is not a beach here as we are far inland. But being a resettlement, the cost of living is extremely low.
We already own our home here so no house payments. Our total monthly expenses never go over $150.00us dollars including internet service and a private schol for our daughter.
In Angeles City proper one can rent a furnished apartment for P15,000 per month. In Subic the pricing is about the same I think.
At least close to Angeles, all services are available within minutes. There are several major shopping malls in Angeles that even have Ace Hardware stores inside!
San Fernando is about 40 minutes from Angeles and also has several large shopping malls.
I'd suggest renting tempory housing in central Luzon until you have a chance to really look around and decide whare you want to put down roots.
But would strongly advise against Isabella for the reasons stated above as well as the lack of major services-including quality medical services.
Thanks. You definitely brought up some points I hadn't thought about. Yeah I've already experienced that money request from family deal...I'm sending her 17 year old sister to college now...and Dad gets a few thousand "P" a month too. My wife was working at a Mall in Dubai when we met & after her contract ran out last year I got her to go home which she did as far as going to her sister & brother-in-laws in Paranaque. She was considered the "bread winner" for the family since she was un-married & working over-seas and they pretty much expected to receive most of her wages every month which they did because it is her family. Now that we are married & I am American they still want her to support them...more now than before I feel. I feel the tension when I am there...even though everybody is friendly I feel like a big gobbler the day before Thanksgiving!!! Don't get me wrong...I love her family but I just don't see where I can continue to support them forever & us have a family too. No matter I am glad that she is out of the Middle East & I will be too within this year. In Dubai especially I continuously saw the foreign workers abused & misstreated & the UAE cops could care less. The Emirates & mostly 99% of all the Arabs treat all their workers like trash...especially the tiny little Filipinas...they know if they go to the Authorities they'll just be deported & lose their income...most don't even bother to complain...even after being physically abused & raped. It is sad & makes me sick every time I go through there & see it.
Any way I am definitely going to start looking at the Central Luzon area or South East...may be around old Subic...I am familiar with that general area from my Marine Corps days back in the early '80s.
I hope to hear more from you in the future. I notice you post here a lot...I look forward to corresponding with you again.
Thanks for your reply post. When I was living at home in the states I ended up knowing many guys that married girls from here. Also since living here for the past eight years I've gotten to know more expats from many countries that are married to or are in a relationship with Filipina girls. Most all have gone through the same thing with family support and never ending emergencies that usually dont really exist.
Here, they are the shark and we are the meat in the water. Terrible to say but true.
Until you have been her for some time I agree, your best bet is to live in an area where there is plenty of distance between the two of you and her family. Prevents the constant knocks on the door and asking.
You'll really be surprised at the changes in central Luzon. Even the main gate at Clark now sports a huge SM shopping mall.
The best part is going from Angeles to Subic there is now an express way-highway. So its no longer a three hour ride. Takes just under 30 minutes now.
Yea, I know foreign workers in the middle east are treated quite badly. Must be a sad thing to see personally.
Don't know if you're aware or not, but there are many airlines now flying into Clark from many areas. It might save you from having to travel by bus from Manila up to this area when you get back here.
Glad to have you on the site and will be good to read and reply to your posts.
Yeah it sounds like you've gotten to know quite a bit about the do's & don'ts of being an Ex-pat in Phil. After my past history of experiences & my most recent visits I am looking forward to getting there and settling in where we end up. My wife has a very good friend from her working in Dubai days that is from near Bacolod & she suggested we also take a trip there when I get back to see how we feel. Of course my wife gives me that typical "you're the man...you will decide" but because I love her so much & respect her feelings I want her to be comfortable also. She is actually in agreement with the thought that we need to get away from her family & therefore would readily agree (I think) if we lived elsewhere beside on Luzon.
I know from past experience that the farther South you go in the islands the more dangerous it gets for foreignors, especially on Mindinao, with groups like Abu Sayef. I think Negros Occidental or that area is most likely as far South as I would consider especially at this point. I still want to check out the Subic area again though just to see how much it has changed in nearly 30 years. I do know that I will definitely have to make sure there is an SM Mall somewhere near since my wife has gotten very used to being able to run in to one for most anything she needs...or desires! No I really have to say that I feel very fortunate with my wife because she is not very materialistic & is happy with the basics.
Any way thanks again Gene for responding & please forgive any errors in grammar or spelling...I try to peck out a few messages at work in between jobs.
Take care there & I look forwrd to hearing from you again.
Subic and beyond
I know that the very Southern part of the Philippines can be quite dangerous, yet there are those expats that live in places like Davao City that enjoy it and have never had a problem. A number of years ago I lived in Masbate Priovince. An area that is called “The Wild West Of The Philippines.”
I lived on a very small island and daily wondered the jungles in places where there were only walking trails and no foreigners ever set foot before me. The place was full of NPA fighters all the time. Made friends with them as well as the army on the other side of the law. Never once did I have a problem of any kind.
I’m told that the area of Bacalod that you are considering is a beautiful area. Also the cost of living would be lower for the most part than in other areas but I doubt there will be shopping mall in that area.
Yea, you’ll have fun looking around the Subic base and general area. Its still kept up pretty well and traffic laws are enforced 100% of the time. Great stores, restaurants, and hotels.
Off base, Olongapo has grown a lot as well. The old Kong’s Hotel is still there and has great food. Over the hill headed towards Zambalas there are many great beach resorts to spend some time.
How soon will you be getting over this way? I guess you know that the rainy/typhoon season is about here again. So that can effect what you do while here and even flights to and from the states.
Thanks for another great response. I am planning to take an R&R in May & fly from here in Iraq through Dubai & back over to Phil. By then I should know what our future is here in-country and can plan appropriately. I will pick up my wife & do some traveling around to the Subic area & then most likely down to Bacolod to check it out. I think I have her convinced that I will only be happy away from any big cities and most happy in a rural environment. I have been here in Iraq for the past 3 years and I only want a simple chance at peace & quiet & hopefully in a nice tropical setting.
Yeah I really plan on getting back over to the Subic area at least to check out all the changes. I actually have a man here that I work with that lives near Angeles City & he was at Subic back in the US Navy on board the USS Independence. I was in & out of there from 82-84 with the Marine Corps and I am sure that Olongapo has changed much since those days...hopefully. It would be fun to see that whole area again as an older more mature fellow instead of the foolish & crazy young Marine.
I really love the Philippines & the Pinays...the people are great for the most part. Any way take care brother & thanks again for the responses each time.
Hey, I do live in isabella, a nice little place on the outside of Santiago. It is awsome I love it, you wake up to birds chirping and some kids playing nearby, the sun blowing in the window. No traffic, no load noise, their isnt a day i am not invited to a goat BBQ. My wife was the same didnt want to leave manila. The reason is because they remember what it was like growing up and how hard life was, they for some reason cannot fathom the idea in living in the province with money they just cant conceive the idea. However once they move they forget all the bad things and remember the good, now we are one of the richest in Santiago, not bragging just stating facts, we bought are 1 Hectare for 30,000 Pecos. we are building a 1600 SqFT house for little over 1 million. There is a lot of post about not having the amenities in the province but, a short travel to santiago we have everything manila has. My contractor friend of her uncles friend, was a contractor in the states for like 18+ years so he knows what I like :) Their is literally nothing I cant get, we have a equivalent to a home depot that sells literally everything we can even buy a 80 GL hot water heater for the whole house. we have fiberglass installation walls, and if you want you can even get sheet rock. it is primarily rice country so all the roads are always covered with rice, and you can even see some modern day farmers running big-rig johndeers, a short 15 minute drive you are in alicia, a farm town literaly, anything to do on a farm / ranch you get it in alicia. even barbed wire, it is also cattle country so beef is cheap. buy a grown goats for 300 pecos. they have a few KTV bars never been in them but, i see them going to the house, maybe one day ill go. Santiago It is very clean and nice roads, a airport in cauayan only 25K from Santiago. If you take a bus from manila Victory liner is 600P one way and can take 8 hours if your lucky. Always go at night or you will be 16+ hours stuck on a bus. m,w,f a flight from manila - cauyan. $90 round trip then 30 minutes to santiago always take the plane which is Cebu air. if you are going into business then go into something to do with farming. It rains almost everynight all year round for only 30 minutes and maybe once a week it may rain during the day. So if it doesnt rain for 2 nights in a row then you are in a drought :) but, it isnt muddy it just makes everything clean. all the resturants manila has and cellphone service also, we use globe but, their is also sun, TM and talkntext. I can go on but, bottom line is we have everything you need plus a great market for fresh milk and vegies. OH< manila you get tiny veggies but, we get full grown once their a full grown tomato in manila is a little pebble but, we get fist size regular for cheaper than what you buy in manila so it is a bonus, fresh milk if you like. we have the sweetest well water so we dont need to buy bottle water, and just to clairify with the installation we have due to the massive trees in our property plus the house instalation with smoke windows it is cool, verry cool actually and dont need to run the A/C like you do in manila.
Somehow I managed to miss your post here:confused2:.. I think you'll find that Olongapo looks a lot the same. Hard Rock Cafe is still there as well as Kongs Hotel and cafe. I still like the food at Kongs and not a lot of money. The old base at Subic is the best part to me. Not quite as well kept as before but still a great place. Lots of expats living on base too. Many hotels, restaurants, and now even a shopping mall on base. Beats the heck outa living back in the states and anywhere here will seem a welcome change after Iraq I would think. For the ease and convenience of life, you might just decide on Subic or the surrounding areas as the best place to live.
Drop a note and let us know how you're doing these days. Sorry about the delayed response - I just didn't see the post here.
|All times are GMT. The time now is 10:19 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.