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Hello.. I've been planning on my move from the USA to the Philippines for more than four years now. Finally am able to see my destination in the somewhat near future.

Been trying to figure out where to live, I'm somewhat limited because a good and fast Internet connection is a want and need of mine.

I'm open to living most places that offer good Internet and less frequent brownouts or at least a place I can safely run a generator in the event of a brownout.

I understand Manila has pretty good Internet but I don't have this verified.

Other places I'm thinking of living is Makati or somewhere in Pampanga.

Anyhow live at any of these locations?
 

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Hi Red,

Had to remove the request for speed checks as it appears as a survey type thing that is not allowed on the forum.

Good internet speed is available in Manila and other large cities. Problem would be trying to run a generator to keep internet during a black/brownout. At times the electric problem will effect the ISP as well. Best place to avoid issues would be living inside the old US Navy base at Subic Bay. Hands down, the best place around and almost never a power issue. Good internet speed in the Philippines at best, is only a fraction of what is normal there in the States.


Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Gene.. thanks. Do you know where online I can look at rentals in Subic Bay? Would you say this area is safe?
 

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Hi Gene.. thanks. Do you know where online I can look at rentals in Subic Bay? Would you say this area is safe?
Inside Subic proper is as safe as can be for sure. I'm East of there by Angeles City so am unfamiluar with contacts for rentals. There are others here that live in or around Subic that will probably chime in to help ya. For now though, take a look at the Subic Chamber Of Commerce site for some basic info. But Subic would be a must see-first stop when you get here.


Gene...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pampanga, is in Angeles City right? Are you near there? Does that area seem safe to you? Do you have good Internet speed where you are?
 

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Pampanga, is in Angeles City right? Are you near there? Does that area seem safe to you? Do you have good Internet speed where you are?
Angeles is in Pampanga Province, correct. Internet speed gets us by but is grossly substandard and unreliable.
Safety in Angeles City and the Dau area is not good, especially for a foreign expat. However, we live outside of Angeles in a Mt. Pinatubo resettlement town, elbow to elbow with the very poorest of the poor. We've lived in this location for 10 years and have never had a problem. Noisy and hot, yes, but love the town and the people..
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gene.. thank you very much for sharing. What I'm likely to do is stay at a vacation rental/hotel the first month and then figure out where to stay long term. Until this occurs I'm trying to learn the best I can via the Internet and people like you help me do just that.
 

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Have you ever considered Bacolod City?

I work for a company in the U.S. and internet connection is my lifeblood. I've been here almost a month and so far, so good.

I'm not a big fan of Metro Manila. Too expensive. Too dirty. I get respiratory infections from the smog everytime I'm in Manila. If I wanted an urban jungle, I would have stayed in Los Angeles.

What's awesome about Bacolod is that it's less expensive than living in Metro Manila and it's got the perfect combination of languid Southern lifestyle and metropolitan pace. You see sugarcane plantations on the outskirts of the city, but in the heart of it, you've got the giant malls and the brand-new buildings that house some of the biggest call centers and BPO's in Asia.

You've also got guard-gated communities, many with with American-style amenities (clubhouse, walking trails, tennis court, pool, etc.) with luxury homes to rival those in the States.

Then, there's the people. Ask any Filipino and the first thing that comes to their mind when you say Bacolod or Ilonggo (people who live in Bacolod or Panay island) is "malambing" (affectionate). There's a reason why Bacolod is known as the City of Smiles. Bacolodnons are the warmest, friendliest of Filipinos.

Arts and culture are also a very strong part of the local scene- probably more so than in other parts of the Philippines. Very few cities outside of Metro Manila support their local artists the way Bacolod does, and the art exhibits and galleries are a testament to that.

If you wanted to get away on weekends, there's great scuba diving and snorkeling to be had on white sand beaches a few hours away from the city. If mountain resorts with waterfalls and streams are more your thing, there are several on the island as well.

Last but not least, there's the food. Ilonggos love to eat out, and there's a restaurant on every block. Bacolod boasts some of the best local cuisine the Philippines has to offer. Being a sugar-producing island, desserts are part of the local lifestyle.
 

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Yea I understand for sure. I did a lot of the same thing years ago before getting married and moving here. You might try a hostel in different areas when you get here. No need to spend a lot for a place to stay for sure.
Most important though, come and spend as much time in country as possible before making any final move to be sure this is really the place you want to drop anchor. It can save a very expensive mistake and even your life in the end.


Best of luck

Gene
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have you ever considered Bacolod City?
I've not researched Bacolod but certainly will now. I'm not tied to any location other than one that is safe with good Internet. Never been to Manila but like you I'm not a fan either.

Who do you have Internet with? What would you say is the average speed? It is unlimited, truly unlimited? If not is truly unlimited an option?

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Y It can save a very expensive mistake and even your life in the end.
I've been putting myself in a position the last four plus years where it won't be an expensive mistake. It will be expensive for sure but not a mistake. As long as I'm safe it will be at worse and adventure.

I'm 44, single, w/out children, job I can work anywhere in the world with a good Internet connection. If I move and don't like it I can simply move back or elsewhere. Still though you advice is good and appreciated.
 

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Yes. That's Bacolod.

If you're staying just to get a feel for the place, I would recommend the GoHotel. Great rates, right next door to Robinsons Mall, and really strong wi-fi. My aunt and uncle, who just retired after decades in the States, have been staying there for months while their house is being built.
gohotels.ph|bacolod


If you want to rent in a less hotel-y environment, the best new-home communities to live in around here, as far as I'm concerned, are the following:

Pacific Shores in Talisay (gorgeous homes right on the shore, with an amazing view of the sunset)
Pacificshores Talisay


Ayala Northpointe, also in Talisay
Project Updates

My hubby and I are actually looking at renting a 2bd/1ba at Camella Homes for P10k a month (a steal, considering we were paying $1,650/month for our apartment in Los Angeles).
Camella Homes Bacolod - Home

Work-wise, the power outages that have happened since we got here are extremely short (around 10 minutes or so). We do have a small back-up generator with just enough juice to run my laptop and an electric fan in case of power failure but we haven't had to use it really.

Worse-case scenario, practically every mall and restaurant here offers wi-fi (my husband and I have a few restaurants that we like to go to, to order a dessert, and stream our favorite NBC shows on our iPad).


 

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Westie,

I reside in the Subic Freeport Zone and it is extremely safe with very nice conditions (stable power and internet). You can rent duplexes or some small condos/apartments for $600-1000/mo.

The internet here has residential speeds of up to 3MB (DSL) and Business Class has up to 8MB (very pricey). PLDT Subictel

There is only one provider (unless you go with a 3G solution which is significantly slower and prone to outages).

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You guys give great information, I've not yet researched Bacolod but I'm not leaning toward Subic area. Being there won't give the exact Philippine experience I was hoping for but it seems safe and will offer many things that will give me comfort.
- Somewhat normal driving
- 110/240 power options
- Faster reliable Internet
- Lack of brownouts

I'm not going to commit to anything online but will use online to see possibilities for living arrangements. One such option is this place, it looks awesome but is pretty costly.

I wonder if renting a room for visitors would be an option? This would help subsidize the cost which would be important. On top of the rent power costs would be unfun. My guess is the cost for that would be $400 or more a month. Anyone know if there would be a market for this? Would this be allowed?

I've seen some people say and apartment can be had for $150/month, anyone know if these are advertised online? I've not found them so far. I desire more than one bedroom so I might need to rent more than one. Also I will be bring my dog, a Westie so that is something I need to consider.

Gene, this thread has morphed into more than an Internet speed subject, can you adjust the title?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The internet here has residential speeds of up to 3MB (DSL) and Business Class has up to 8MB (very pricey). PLDT Subictel
Hi Jon and WOW.. I mean WOW... very pricey is an understatement. 50,000PHP.. did I say WOW?

That price makes the 3mb for 3,000PHP seem reasonable, I should say up to 3mb. You know they list up to 3.5mb for 4,000PHP.. I wonder if this really means more than 3mb but up to 3.5.

What I would consider doing is perhaps getting two connections to double the speed and route differently based on what I'm doing. Who knows.. I'm still pondering where to move. Won't be really decided until I get there but want a good feeling prior to arrival.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes. That's Bacolod.
Hi dezzirae... well so far I like all that I've read on this and other sites about Bacolod so this is perhaps a good option.

One thing I don't like is how far it is from Manila, not a deal breaker by any means. Are there flights from Manila to Bacolod?

The price points also are quite attractive. You mentioned the Internet for you is pretty good so far during your month there, I'm happy to hear that but I still wonder what kind of speeds you are getting and what company provides your Internet.

I've heard stories some people have the best Internet in the Philippines during the first month, usually a promotional month and then when locked into a contract the speed decreases drastically.

Anyone else around here been in Bacolod for a longer period of time willing to share what kind of Internet service you are getting?

Thanks
 

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You guys give great information, I've not yet researched Bacolod but I'm not leaning toward Subic area. Being there won't give the exact Philippine experience I was hoping for but it seems safe and will offer many things that will give me comfort.
- Somewhat normal driving
- 110/240 power options
- Faster reliable Internet
- Lack of brownouts

I'm not going to commit to anything online but will use online to see possibilities for living arrangements. One such option is this place, it looks awesome but is pretty costly.

I wonder if renting a room for visitors would be an option? This would help subsidize the cost which would be important. On top of the rent power costs would be unfun. My guess is the cost for that would be $400 or more a month. Anyone know if there would be a market for this? Would this be allowed?

I've seen some people say and apartment can be had for $150/month, anyone know if these are advertised online? I've not found them so far. I desire more than one bedroom so I might need to rent more than one. Also I will be bring my dog, a Westie so that is something I need to consider.

Gene, this thread has morphed into more than an Internet speed subject, can you adjust the title?
The link that you provided is in the most expensive part of the Freeport (Cubi Point). The particular unit in that link is actually nestled on a hillside surrounded by jungle. About 100m down the road is a huge fruit bat colony that attracts lots of visitors gawking at them..

I reside in Binictican Heights. There is a developer here called Subic Homes. They offer daily, short (annual) and long term (up to 20 years) rentals. Long Term Lease | Subic Homes The houses there range from $700-$1000/mo furnished. There are also independently owned rentals that can be had. Subic Homes has about 50% of the houses.

The $150/mo houses are going to be out in the areas that will be prone to brownouts, spotty internet, security concerns, etc... A friend of mine has a rental in Barrio Barretto that he just rented out for $200/mo (70Sqm, 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath). These type of rentals are usually word of mouth or a sign posted. For whatever reason, most landlords don't utilize the internet for advertising.

Not sure what kind of experiences you are looking for.

For me, one of the great things about the Freeport is that it's a great launching off spot for travel. Clark airport is a 40 minute drive away and has plenty of domestic (Cebu, Davao, Palawan) and international flights (HK, BKK, Singapore, Seoul). So I don't have to mess with Manila very often.
 

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Bacolod is a 50-minute plane ride from Manila, and between Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines, there are probably about 10 Manila-Bacolod flights daily. Costs about $30 one-way.

I just did a test for internet speed for Globe Telecom (which is what I've got), and it's 2.07mbps to download and 0.44mbps to upload.

Globe has a $30 per month Plan for moderate to heavy users like me, 2mbps, up to 3 users, primarily for chatting, emailing with large attachments, surfing, video streaming, gaming, uploading/downloading of pictures and media files.

The caveat though is that the internet provider you choose will depend on the area of town you're in. Globe works well where we are, whereas Sun or PLDT work better in others. So, in a nutshell, you have to choose your internet provider AFTER you find a place to stay.

I've only been here a month so I don't really know about the whole increasing-the-monthly-payment-after-the-first-month. As far as I know, my rate is locked in for a year at least. I'll let you know if I get a nasty surprise next month.

All in all, I was paying $45/month for AT&T internet-only service back in Los Angeles so I can't complain too much about getting internet and a landline for $30 here.



Hi dezzirae... well so far I like all that I've read on this and other sites about Bacolod so this is perhaps a good option.

One thing I don't like is how far it is from Manila, not a deal breaker by any means. Are there flights from Manila to Bacolod?

The price points also are quite attractive. You mentioned the Internet for you is pretty good so far during your month there, I'm happy to hear that but I still wonder what kind of speeds you are getting and what company provides your Internet.

I've heard stories some people have the best Internet in the Philippines during the first month, usually a promotional month and then when locked into a contract the speed decreases drastically.

Anyone else around here been in Bacolod for a longer period of time willing to share what kind of Internet service you are getting?

Thanks
 

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Hi Jon and WOW.. I mean WOW... very pricey is an understatement. 50,000PHP.. did I say WOW?

That price makes the 3mb for 3,000PHP seem reasonable, I should say up to 3mb. You know they list up to 3.5mb for 4,000PHP.. I wonder if this really means more than 3mb but up to 3.5.

What I would consider doing is perhaps getting two connections to double the speed and route differently based on what I'm doing. Who knows.. I'm still pondering where to move. Won't be really decided until I get there but want a good feeling prior to arrival.
Yeah the Business package is crazy priced. However, on one of my contracts, we had an E1 (2.048MB up and down) leased for $2000/mo thru PLDT. That also had QoS, 24/7 response/restoral and guaranteed throughput.

Not sure what your application is but two independent connections may not do what you need.

If you are looking for 2 separately routed external links, you will have to go with two providers (PLDT and Globe). And then you will find that the cross connect between them is in SAN FRANCISCO!

If you are just doing a locally shaping of your internet traffic (1 up/1 down), I do not think that is going to help you. Typically your up is always slower than your down. So a 3MB pipe will have up to 3MB burst download and 768K upload. Also, you will need a real router (at least a Cisco 800 series), so that you can properly load balance the circuits.
 
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