Today, let’s look at another City where expats might want to call home! Let’s travel to Bukidnon, in Central Mindanao and make a virtual visit to Malaybalay City. Before we get started, let me say that Bukidnon is one of my favorite parts of Mindanao! It’s a beautiful place, and most of the province is in the Mountains. Bukid, in Bisaya, means Mountain, so that is where “Bukidnon” got it’s name! I spend time in Bukidnon as often as I can!
For today’s column, I interviewed Nick Nichols. Nick has a consulting business here in the Philippines called Asian Energy Advisors. Nick is a regular reader of this site, and a former resident of Davao City, and the USA before coming here. I’ve known Nick for a few years, although it has been a while since we’ve seen each other in person. Nick tells me that he has been living in Malaybalay for about 10 months now! From everything I can tell, he likes living there very much!
Nick says that a high end rental house in Malaybalay would probably go for about P20,000 per month. Although he didn’t give a low end, based on my own personal experience, I would guess that you could find a place as low as P5,000 or even less per month. Remember, this is a small town, so Nick advises that you will find a few simple restaurants, not a lot more. No malls, fitness centers and such. If you move to Malaybalay, you are looking at living a simpler life.
The cost of living in Malaybalay is generally low. You’ll pay about P120 for a Lechon Manok (roasted chicken).
For transportation, you won’t find any taxis in town, but Jeepneys (actually Multicabs) and tricycles are readily available. For longer distance travel by air, you will need to drive about 2 1/2 hours to get to the nearest airport.
Nick says that there are a number of foreigners living in Malaybalay, but most of them keep a fairly low profile. There are not really any regular gatherings of foreigners in town. The people in town are friendly, though, and Nick never feels that he is in any danger in the area.
For recreation, you won’t find beaches in the area, remember that you are in the mountains! What you will find, though, are cooler temperatures – the climate is very pleasant and cool. Nick says that they never use air conditioning at their house! Now, that would save a little money on the power bill. Speaking of electricity, Nick says that currently there are numerous brownouts, but that it is due to some upgrading of the electric lines in the area, and brownouts should fade when this work is done.
If you are looking for imported goods to keep you in your eating habits from back home, Nick cautions that imported goods are generally not available in Malaybalay. He says that a trip to the City (CdO) would be the best way to get such items.
Cable TV is available in town. I happen to know that Nick also has broadband (DSL) for his internet, although I believe that his service is not always good.
For me, I believe that Malaybalay would be a bit small for a place to live. However, for a getaway place, it would be great! I particularly enjoy the nice weather there, and the rural atmosphere!