You’re probably wondering, is Dumaguete really the best and cheapest place to live or retire in the Philippines? The answer is a resounding YES!!!
I can just imagine all the foreigners living in other parts of the Philippines thinking “Who does Brenton think he is, where we live is pretty good and possibly better than Dumaguete, how can he back up such a claim?.” I can imagine Filipinos being proud of where they live and thinking “No way, where I live is much better, Brenton is surely mistaken”. I can even imagine Bob thinking “Brenton has been here for only two years and he really thinks he knows it all.”
Yahoo Finance claims that Dumaguete is the 4th best/most affordable place to retire globally, no other Philippine city receives a mention, and therefore it is only fair to conclude that Dumaguete is by far the best place to retire in the Philippines. That’s my unbiased claim backed by solid facts and I’m sticking to it…he he he.
This is what Yahoo Finance had to say about Dumaguete…
“One of the greatest advantages of retiring overseas can be a dramatically reduced cost of living. Indeed, if your retirement budget is modest, your best options for enjoying a rich, full, comfortable retirement are not, I would argue, to be found in the U.S. … but elsewhere.
If your nest egg is small, but you don’t want to give up on the retirement lifestyle you’ve spent your entire working life dreaming about (who does?), here are nine places worth a close look.
4. Dumaguete, Philippines
Monthly budget: $1,000
In addition to its welcoming, friendly, English-speaking people, Dumaguete boasts a warm, tropical climate and lots of opportunity for outdoor adventures, including world-class diving and snorkeling and whale and dolphin watching.
Dumaguete sits right along the ocean, with attractive beaches to the north and south of town. This is also a university city, meaning an abundance of inexpensive restaurants that cater to “starving” college students. Foreigners have the opportunity to make friends with educated professors and aspiring students, take classes and enjoy cultural opportunities not typically found elsewhere in the Philippines, including theater, ballet, art shows and libraries.
Medical and dental care is good, with a new hospital under construction and international-standard health care available in nearby Cebu.”
Read the full article here.
I will now elaborate on an extra point the review failed to cover, that is safety. There really are so many more reasons, but you can buy Bob’s book “Where To Live – Dumaguete City” for all the other reasons.
Dumaguete is part of one of the safest regions in the Philippines.
Safety really is the number one consideration for most people retiring or visiting the Philippines. Dumaguete is labeled -”The City of Gentle People” and they really live up to their name. I go walking or running many nights without feeling any danger, unfortunately this is just not the case in many large cities in the Philippines. Davao I believe is an exception, there might be many other exceptions as well and I just don’t know of them.
I was curious why many Filipinos in this region really could be so gentle, therefore I started asking people to explain this for me. An old Filipino friend from Dumaguete explained it like this. He said “Most people from the Visayas are often more gentle by nature, we have always been here and haven’t had to fight as hard for what we have. Many Filipinos from Luzon have had to struggle a lot more because of factors like insurgence. Many Filipinos from Mindanao are immigrants and have had to battle hard for survival. Consequently because of social and environmental factors, the Filipinos from the north and south really can be much more aggressive by nature than us Visayans”.
Dumaguete is also safe for natural disasters. Historically there is a low mortality rate from natural disasters. Earthquakes can hit, but they aren’t so brutal, because the known epicenters are in Bohol Island in the east and about 60km north in Ayungon a coastal town, therefore earthquakes don’t hit as hard and less carnage is caused in Dumaguete.
It would be almost impossible for a tsunami to hit, because all the other islands guard Dumaguete from this type of disaster.
Typhoons can and will hit the area of Dumaguete but more often than not they have weakened before they get here and the full force is felt more on the outer islands closer to the open sea. The worst case scenario is that if a typhoon does hit Dumaguete, it causes flash flooding of the rivers. If you don’t live near the rivers or flood prone areas you are safe. Sadly, three years ago approximately 35 people dwelling on the river banks died when a powerful typhoon hit this city. To my understanding, if you were away from the river there was no major risk of death.
I have heard locals make claims that the region is so safe that even many serious criminals from Luzon and Mindanao come here for some rest and relaxation and as a safe haven. Naturally they don’t cause trouble while they are here or I guess the government may ship them back to where they came from.
Last year a crime gang from Mindanao robbed a pawn shop in the city centre for 5 million pesos. They had grenades and hand guns with them. After the robbery, there were police everywhere throughout town on what felt like every street corner and who knows how many undercover police were lurking around as well. The authorities were so set on getting them and consequently apprehended them in the next town. You can run but you can’t hide!
In summary, I would go so far to say that don’t waste your time looking at other places to live in the Philippines, just buy Bob’s book and move to Dumaguete. If you are living elsewhere already, start packing now! When you get here, you can treat me to lunch for the good advice, you won’t regret it.
I have lived in Dumaguete for over two years already and plan to be here for many years to come, it really is that great. Please appreciate that I’m in no way being biased, just presenting the facts… he he he.
I am happy to hear any feedback on how good the town/city is that you are living in.
I am also more than happy to hear any objections to my claims that Dumaguete is the best place to retire in the Philippines.
If you’re not yet living here, where are you considering moving to? Hopefully it’s Dumaguete after reading this!