1.What is the weather like ?
The weather for the most part of the year is generally pleasant. We have only 2 seasons in the country. The dry and the wet season. It rains everyday from the month of June, July, August, til mid-September. It gets really hot during April, that is 40-45 and relatively cool and 15 C from December, January, and February, when the ice starts to melt from China and Japan. It brings a cool refreshing breeze.
2. When is the best time to visit?
Many tourists and Balik-bayan (returning residents) prefer to come and visit during the months of December, January, and February. The weather is pleasant and bearable for visitors especially coming from countries with a colder climate.
3.Is there a danger for me living in Cebu as a foreigner and being close to Mindanao?
Not really, you are pretty much safe as a foreigner in the northern and central Philippines. The problem zone or let's say, danger zone is down south in mindanao. Cebu is a safe and peaceful harbor especially where foreigners are concerned.
4. Can I live comfortable enough on 1000 dollars a month over there?
It depends on your standard of living. A thousand dollar a month is sufficient to have a comfortable lifestyle. Many filipino families thrive on 500 dollars a month or less. It's a case to case basis depending on the individual and the type of lifestyle he/she wants to lead.
5. Are foreigners allowed to buy properties in the Philippines?
Foreigners are allowed to buy properties in the Philippines , for non-commercial purposes , provided, they are married to a native of the country. However, there are other alternatives of owning land in the country such as a forming a local corporation, wherein a 99 year lease is applicable. We also have a special retirement program for foreigners, wherein it is possible for foreigners to acquire land and a permanent visa in the Philippines for a certain amount of fee. Please "click" below for details:
"PHILIPPINE RETIREMENT PROGRAM"
Please check your local Philippine embassy in your own corresponding country for updates of this program.
Foreigners are allowed to own Condominiums.
6. What do you advise, a condominium or a house?
This depends on your lifestyle. If you will be doing a lot of travelling, a condominium is easier to maintain. All you have to do is lock up the place and leave.
7. Are there timeshares available in the Philippines?
Yes. Foreigners who don't want to relocate but want to own vacation property in the Philippines can find a variety of timeshare resales in locations like Malay and the small island of Boracay. There are fewer high rise complexes here than in other destinations, but there are still many options available from quaint ocean-front cottages to condominium-style timeshares. Timeshares in the Philippines are either Deeded or Right to Use (a lease agreement for a set number of years).
8. What kind of medical expenses can I expect in the PI?
Medical expensese are very reasonable from qualified sometimes US trained medical doctors. My american brother-in-law who once checked in for food poisoning really enjoyed his hospital stay. Not only was it inexpensive but he claims it was like staying in a five star hotel.
9. What other places are good to live in?
It really depends on what you are looking for. If you want a city life or some country living. You might take into consideration your partner's needs. You maybe ripe for peace and quiet, while your partner longs for some piece of action that requires you to be closer to the city.
About Camotes Island:
1.Is there electricity in camotes Island?
2. Is there water?
Yes, there is water. Sources of water are from generators, deep spring wells and electric pump . The locals collect rain-water with big barrels attached to their houses.
3. Is there Telephone available in Camotes Island?
Telephones are not available all over the island. There are public calling centers in most major towns. Cellulars do pick up reception in most parts of the island.
4. Is there an internet cafe in this island?
Yes, there is internet cafe in the island.
5. How about cable TV?
There are no cable TV's in the island . However satellite is available. If you are lucky, your TV can pick up 2 or 3 local channels from the neighboring islands. Popular recreations are private videos or karaoke bars. The locals love to sing, dance, and play the guitar all hours of the day.
6. Is there a night life, or bars?
Not in this island, there are so-called local village dances called "Baile" wherein the locals party outdoors and dance till the wee hours of the morning. The whole village and visitors are all welcome..
7.Are there roads in this island, and what are the conditions of the road?
Yes, there are roads in this island. The roads in town are in a good condition. But as you head towards the countryside or sea, the roads are unfortunately in such a sorry state that my father, who grew up in this island, claims that the roads were in a better condition in his youth during the World War II. I jokingly called them, "mooncraters".
8. Are they building cottages for rent?
There are simple cottages for rent with very basic comforts. We do not have the organized or well-known chain of hotels and restaurants that exist in Cebu. There are no hotels in the island except for some simple lodges with a few clean rooms. the town also offer a tourist program called the Homestay, wherein the locals offer a clean room. Naturally, this is the best way of interacting with the people, and having a glimpse of their daily lives.
9.What about school system , is there any classes where they teaching in English, or is it all in tagalog or local Cebuano?
The students start with local Cebuano, as they grow older English and our national language, Tagalog is integrated.
10. Do they have banks in the island?
They have only one bank in the island, and it is situated in Poro. No, they do not have ATM machines.
11. Are there motorbike rentals?
Yes, there are motorbike rentals as well as jeep, trucks, and tri-cycles.
12.Where do I catch a ferry boat and how much is it?
You may catch the ferry from Cebu port. There is a ferry that travels daily to Camotes Island. The duration of the trip is normally 1.5 hours. You may check schedules and fares at this URL below.
Aznar Shipping and Palacio Shipping (Melverick) are large passenger boats that also take you to Camotes Island. They usually leave at night, and the trip is a duration of four hours. Please bring a jacket or a blanket as air-conditioning can be quite chilly!
If you are planning a trip to the islands, make sure you call the shipping agencies beforehand, for some unforseen circumstances, the trip can be cancelled.
Of course, there is also a big outrigger boat from Danao City, the Sto. Nino, that commute daily to Camotes Island.
13.As beautiful as the beaches are, why is there no one developing it for tourist resorts?
There are many reasons...it was just recently that the island had electricity. Water had also been an issue. Public transportation like boats and ferries to and fro the islands were only established in the last couple of years.One must also know the local politics in the island. There are a couple of resorts popping out in the islands, they are reasonably clean and comfortable! I am sure there will be more in the very near future.
14. We found out that Camotes or part of Camotes Island, you can never apply for title because of some kind of band. I heard that the island was declared Fish Sanctuary, or forest something. Any ideas, opinions, suggestion or knowledge if its true that if you buy a property in Camotes Island you can't apply for title?
Some parts of Camotes Island has been declared a marine sanctuary. Most of the properties in Camotes Island are only Tax Declaration properties, and they do not have titles. However, you can get a title through a lawyer, although the process is a long wait. But it is possible to get your property titled and it is worth the wait.
15. I would like to know if Green Lake park and Lake Danao Park is one and the same place?
There is only one lake in San Francisco, Camotes and it is called lake Danao. Green lake is the name and the development done by the owners of Santiago Bay Resort. Blue Lake is the development done by the local municipality. all of them is in lake danao.
About Lake Sebu:
1. Is it safe in the area?
Four years ago, at the height of kidnapping of foreigners, it was unsafe tovisit this area. Today, one must still take precautions.
2. Are there restaurants and hotels around the lake?
There are a few simple resorts and very few restaurants around the lake. There are an abundance of fresh milkfish. Part of the lake were converted into milkfish farms.