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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I've been married to a filipina for about 20 years. I've been over there some 15-20 times and have been to a number of islands and resorts, etc. My wife's family is in Leyte, but we used to own land in Palawan (sold it some years ago to help my business in the US). My heart still belongs in Palawan, and I just turned 65, closed my business, and we've decided to retire in Palawan. I know the pros and cons, so please, with all due respect.....I don't need the dissertations on China's threats in the South China Sea or negatives from those who don't / didn't like the Philippines, etc. I get it, I have a pretty good grip the "risks" or downsides to the island or living in the Philippines as well as the wonder and beauty of the island, the people, the culture, the politics, and so on.

I'm interested in connecting with Americans, Europeans, or english speaking expats, filipinos, and others who are living in Palawan, plan to, or are curious about it. We'll be relocating in a few weeks....shipping our entire lives over there. It's a challenge, but I'm up for it, and am truthfully ready for the slower pace. We are going to try to find a small farm type property outside of Puerto Princesa City....perhaps to the NW of the city in the hills/mountain area, or the Bacungan area. But, we're open to something within 30 minutes drive. We can't afford, nor do we want to live right in town. For now, I have a house I am going to rent from an American friend I met there years ago, and who came back to the US to get his kids in college here. He will get them through college, then return. So, we have his place to rent and take our time settling in and finding our slice of paradise.

Though I am the type that wants to stay busy, I'm not interested in doing much business there, and I know that business is tough there. We will likely do something on the internet and a few things to make some extra bucks, but with a good social security, once we buy a place, build if need be, get a car, etc, etc we'll have a nest egg and an income sufficient for our needs. We'd like to do a little bit of growing our own organic food/animals, do a little internet stuff.....and, I have a few books in me, am an artist, and am still a minority share partner in a tech startup in the US, etc.

Hope to hear from anyone wanting to share, chat, meet up there, etc! thanks pogi (John)
 

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Just recently an American friend, actually a future brother-in-law, and his lady who is my Asawa's sister had a few days stay in El Nido on Palawan and said it would be a good place to settle if he ever thought of moving here. That is some distance from the area you speak of. I have not been there so its only his thoughts that I am relaying.

He has a condo in Datona Beach.

Fred
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fred, El Nido is at the north end of the island of Palawan. Beautiful place, but perhaps not the best place to settle. The reason I say that is that it is a bit isolated, hard to get to except by prop plane (which has limited flights) or driving from Puerto Princesa City...perhaps 4-5 hours. They are starting or at least planning a road all the way from El Nido south to Brookes Point (maybe 4 hours south of Puerto Princesa City), but that will be quite some time for completion. I used to own land in El Nido, but had to sell it years ago for business reasons. Too bad, because it would be worth a ton today. But, being so isolated at the time, and even now, it would only be an investment, not ideal for living there. The town of El Nido is small, lacks many amenities and things of basic need. Really it's just for tourism at this point. If they are into off grid living or don't mind being hours away from the main city it offers a lot of beauty and beaches.....and tourists who pop in and out. PPC is the main city there, the capital of the island and has pretty much everything....and is growing like crazy. Palawan is a wonderful place all in all. I encourage one to visit and check it out. John
 

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The beauty of El Nedo is like mostly due to its isolation. Once there is a decent road will it be very quickly destroyed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gary, I hear you.....unfortunately, to some extent this is the way of the world and humanity. I / we see the same in every country all over the world. Not unique to Palawan. I am hoping that, at least in my lifetime there, it won't get too bad and I can enjoy as much of the pristine nature of the island while it lasts. In planning to get land outside of the main PPC area, I should be able to enjoy a little of paradise for quite some time. Going in to town will no doubt get increasingly hectic over the years, but that's the point.....live outside of town, grow most of my own food, try to be somewhat self-sufficient without being totally off the grid, etc. Wish me luck! thanks... J
 

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Fruit trees and vegetables

Gary, I hear you.....unfortunately, to some extent this is the way of the world and humanity. I / we see the same in every country all over the world. Not unique to Palawan. I am hoping that, at least in my lifetime there, it won't get too bad and I can enjoy as much of the pristine nature of the island while it lasts. In planning to get land outside of the main PPC area, I should be able to enjoy a little of paradise for quite some time. Going in to town will no doubt get increasingly hectic over the years, but that's the point.....live outside of town, grow most of my own food, try to be somewhat self-sufficient without being totally off the grid, etc. Wish me luck! thanks... J
Good plan Pogi, I do that also to help curb the costs of retirement, I can only plant certain vegetables though because our soil is sandy and near the lake I grow a lot of Gabi (taro root) I didn't care for it at first but it's grown on me it's good in stews and also it can be made into fries and chips, hot peppers seem to grow in the back yard well.

I planted as many fruit trees as I could and finally half of them are starting to bear fruits, I have calamansi, tamarind (San Palo), papaya, guava, chokeberry (bignay), avocado, cocoa, manzanita berries, sugar apple (atis), santol (cotton fruit), starfruit, dragon fruit, Guyabano.
 

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Hello Jan,

Good luck to your move. There is no question Palawan is so beautiful. I went there to visit last year and I loved it. Now, I am on the process of moving hopefully this year trying to buy a slice of land outside PPC specifically at the Talaudyong Area. Hope everything will work out. It's nice to know that there some expats living in Palawan. By the way, I lived here in Florida closed to Orlando.

Regards!
 

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Good Luck!

Hi John,

How are you? Hope all fine.
Your post is from January, so maybe you are already in Palawan and all the objectives that you have written here 10 month ago are already achieved. Anyway I would like to read a update of your living experience in Palawan and explain to you my situation.

My name is Marc, I am from Barcelona and my wife is filipina. We are working in another country, but 5 month ago we bought a land in Palawan because was a good opportunity and I am in love with this island, people and culture. We are planning to move to Palawan in one or two years definitely and read your experience here will be high appreciated.

My land is in Narra, 1 hour and 30 min from Puerto Princesa, is a very calm place and close to the beach (beautiful and practically virgin beach). My ideas are very similar to yours, practically the same, except that I am not artist, my passion is science. I have coconut, mango, rambutan, duhat, durian, calamansi, lanzones and others fruit trees (and I am planning to plant more), some bamboo and I am planting some seasonal crops. Additionally I have 2 carabaos very friendly (it is not a joke, they are very friendly). So, if you have not find any place yet, we can contact and see how we can help each other. I am planning to do much more things there and if someone would live there, it would help me a lot.

Update me and good luck John!!

Marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
moving to Palawan

Hi Marc,

yes, my wife and I relocated to Palawan in Feb of 2019. We purchased an 8 Ha. farm in Brgy Sta Cruz, about 28 KM north of Puerto Princesa City. Things moved pretty quickly, as we sought and found a titled property vs more cumbersome routes with tax dec properties, etc. We made extensive improvements to the property, including a 400m gravel entry road, complete with a concrete bridge and culvert over a spring, water tower, our own dedicated 25KW transformer and powerhouse, purchased a pickup truck and tractor with accessories (loader, backhoe, mower, disc plow and tiller), and built several kubos, sheds, etc to start with. All within the last 8 months. Interesting thing is however, that my business interests in the US have begun to grow substantially, my partners there are hinting at wanting me to return, I have a new granddaughter back in the US, and I may end up having to decide between farm life here and business interests in the US that could bring substantial investment income in the future, as well as being able to watch my GD grow up. Tough choice. I do love it here. At this point, we are enjoying working on the farm, planting lots of tropical flowers, fruit trees, etc and loving the view, the springs, the river and being on the land.

Though I couldn't help you around the Narra area, I've learned a lot about PPC, how government works or doesn't, made some good contractor and other contacts, learned a few lessons, and other stuff that may be of value for you and any others moving here. Should I end up returning, it wouldn't be for quite some time.....and, especially if I sell the farm. So, let me know how I might be of help to you.....

good luck with your future plans, John
 

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Hi John,

First of all, congratulations for your granddaughter! What a blessing!
Secondly, congratulations for your successful start and adaptation! It is impressive to achieve all in this short time.
I will come to Palawan on May 2020 (for vacations) and it would be so interesting to meet you and visit your farm, as an example for my future projects, if you are still there.
I would like to request you, all of your contacts (telephone, email) related to the development and construction of your land. If you want, you can send me a private message.
Additionally, if you want to sell or rent your farm, or you need someone to run your farm for you during some years, please let me know; I am always open to new possibilities. I am now 32 years old, a postdoctoral researcher in chemical science, an expert on bio-resources and bio-materials, with many innovative ideas that can be useful in organic farming life.
Anyway, I hope that all will be good for you and your family!

Marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
moving to Palawan

Marc,

I will put together some sort of list for you of some contacts and information here in Palawan. I'm not sure how to private message here, but I'll look into it and get back to you.

Per the farm and your interest, I will be deciding something in the next few weeks, but am leaning toward selling the farm and returning to the US. It's tough, as I do love it here, but opportunities and a granddaughter await. Land here is more expensive than in Narra, and I've put significant amounts into the farm already. I don't know if you have the funds or interest, but we could discuss it. Should I pull the trigger, it will go on the market around year end.

I assume I'd still be around in May, when you get here, unless the farm sells quickly and everything moves like clockwork, which is unusual here in the Philippines. So, I look forward to meeting you and being of any assistance I can.

John
 

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Messaging

Marc,

I will put together some sort of list for you of some contacts and information here in Palawan. I'm not sure how to private message here, but I'll look into it and get back to you.
John
John it might take a while for you to message Marc he is new and will need to make more posts before the PM's or messaging option becomes available and I think it's 5 postings.

But once he's established you send a message by clicking on his name and then you'll get a drop down box and select "Send Message". If you decide you need to contact now you can send me the message and I'll send it to Marc.
 

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The beauty of El Nedo is like mostly due to its isolation. Once there is a decent road will it be very quickly destroyed.
Well, much like Boracay, it is being ruined. Too much of a cash cow it seems being riden into the ground. We went there first in 2009 and swam in the bay right in town, and was all clean, etc. Crowded for tourism, but clean. Back there in 2017 and twice and many people, an Ayala resort just on north end of town and the bay was filthy gray water. Tourist boats/islands getting over used and seemed to me it's going to need an "intervention" much like Boracay at some point. We have relatives who run an inn and store there, and live about 15 minutes north(?) near some beautiful unspoiled beaches we went to with them. Hopefully someone comes to senses and fixes things before too late.
 

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Well, much like Boracay, it is being ruined. Too much of a cash cow it seems being riden into the ground. ....
In a country with literally thousands of good to great beaches, Why don't they spread around the wealth and limit the load to what a location can handle for sustainable tourism?

I know the answer, this is the Philippines and long term thinking is not their strength.

I was recently at Alona Beach in Bohol, same thing it is getting overcrowded, no parking too many boats, mess and pollution all around. My Airbnb was however about 12 kms away and only a 5 minute to a beach that was deserted during the week and might have 20 or 30 people on it on a weekend. It was bigger and nicer in its natural state than Alona Beach. A single resort there would have not overloaded the beach, it would remain a great place for tourists to come to and spend money.
 

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Hi
I am Australian moving to Palawan with my soon to be Filipina wife later in 2020.
Interested in settling on the West coast of Palawan on the beach hopefully. Anyone know if there is any big surfable waves around? Looking at the Quezon area maybe.

Cheers everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
safety on the west coast of Palawan

Northwoods....I tried to reply, but it appears it got lost, so here goes again. I live on the east coast of Palawan near Puerto Princesa. However, I do watch the news with regularity and have traveled to the west coast and around most of Palawan. I consider the entire island relatively safe, and would freely travel anywhere alone. Palawan is perhaps not unlike any island, country area, city, etc like anywhere else in the world in that there may be areas to be more aware, cautious, etc at times. It is true that there seem to be a few pockets like Quezon or Brookes Point in the very south of Palawan, where criminals or jihadi wannabees tend to seek refuge and get off grid, away from authorities. But I have heard of no violence per se, only a few arrests.That's largely in Mindinao and Manila. And, criminals seeking refuge in lower populated areas is not unusual on any island in the Philippines or in any other country for that matter. There were a couple of kidnappings some 10 years ago, but the authorities are having none of that today and seem intent on protecting Palawan, the tourist industry here, and the politicians and "hollywood" types who own property around the island. If there is any concern, I would focus on the west coast from about Napsan up through Port Barton, San Vincente and up to El Nido. All very safe and occupied by lots of foreigners, politicians, etc.
 
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