Davao!

Old Mar 26th 2009, 8:51 am
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Default Davao!

Hey guys in May/June I'm leaving Thailand and I'd like to move to the Davao for 3/4 months. Are there any decent places to live between 10-20,000 Pesos a month? Can anyone recommend a nice place?

Also What do you think about Davao?

Thank you
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Old Mar 28th 2009, 10:04 am
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Default Re: Davao!

My wife is originally from Davao, and we got maried there 4 years ago.We are London based but go "home" as often as we can.
I have been to Davao a good few times and think Davao is great place.
Its not as frantic or cowded as Manila but has all the things that you would expect of big city living.ie malls,amenities etc should you need it.


Taxis are cheap and plentiful and nowhere near as cheeky as Manila drivers with price.Always helps to have local with you anywhere in RPI.
Plenty of stuff to do-island hopping,diving,country side.Plenty of good places to eat.

A lot of people think Mindanao/Davao is not safe because of its reputation 20 years ago as a bit of a Dodge City.But I have never experienced any trouble in Davao.Feel safer in Davao than SE London.There have been a few bombs over the years but London has had more.Mayor has taken very tough stance on crime and disorder.
Other big plus points are, international airport and outside typhoon zone.Weather very consistent.T shirt 365 a year.

Peso is not great to pound for now but still considerably cheaper than Europe/States

If new to town and having a recce, Marco Polo is about as central to everything as it gets.Try to get local rate/negotiate/have good search on net for best price.
Most people on first visit go to Jacks Ridge, 15 mins taxi from centre,overlooks city-good view at night-food not bad/breeze.

Samal island-ten mins taxi/45 mins boat usually Paradise Beach resort(cheap)
Pearl Farm(expensive) both good for a day just different ends of market.

Can arrange most stuff thru hotels.


Eagle sanctuary-from memory about 1 to two hour drive.

Worth visting during festival.One just gone in March Araw Ng Dabaw is terrific day when city streets are handed over to the people.


If worried about security, stay in centre , get concierge to sort your taxis/book trips....wont take long to get familiar.

Would advise a few trips on a jeepney just to saok it all up.
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Old Mar 28th 2009, 11:15 am
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Default Re: Davao!

Thanks for that Bill!
If you get time can you give us bit more info if poss? Like cost of things in general. Whats it like for living outside Davao, how it feels to an Englishman?
I am English but staying in India at present. Planning an extended trip to RPI later this year, Nov-Dec.
Thank you
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Old Mar 28th 2009, 9:36 pm
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Good site for feel of place is Bob Martin an American guy who has been there 10 years or more. There are a few Brits posting on his site. "Live in the Philippines".Easily found with few searches of his name/site.Lots of good links/advice.

Locals very friendly- of course plenty of people with lots of schemes to spend it and so on but nothing like Manila.Not all shysters either-they can be well intentioned family members/friends, who mean well but are used to a very small budget and may be trying hard to do you a favour.Everyone claims to know someone who has some land,is a "realtor" etc etc.
Lots of Army/Cops and security with Guns-takes about 5 mins to get used to it.Everyone is so polite in RPI-you will get searched frequently-but if you are obviously not local its fairly cursoryand invariably done with big grins.

I can live with my taxi fare being rounded up as you are talking pennies-dont think I have ever spent more than a quid on a fare.

Have never fathomed the best way to save interest on cash- I know HSBC have a branch or so in Davao and I usually take my Natwest switch card and RBS Mastercard as back up.
Be careful with Mastercard/Credit cards of any variety as some stores/hotels etc any purchase some times will only process by adding 7 or more per cent.
Having two cards does allow you to get cash out of most banks/cash machines.Some banks the upper limit is equivalent to £20 or £30 as that is a lot of money there, think PNB machines you can get a £100, so would get a bigger lump out when able, usually by hotel or Mall.Cash is best.
Would take a couple of hundred quid to see you through till you have your bearings and take the usual precautions of letting your bank/card providers know your movements.
Davao city they keep telling me is the largest city either in Asia or World by area. Its not the size of population just the city limits.

Doesnt take long to get out of the area you would define as the city.
If you start to climb you can start to feel the breeze.
The oldest subdivision is Ladislawa and that has quite a few expats and locals who have made some money abroad.But it is not like a flash/horrible new money UK/US sort of place. My family in Davao always advise to stay in a gated compound if I was to live full time but I am quite happy in the family subdivision near to one of the malls which is not gated.Ladislawa is very relaxed.

Davao properties (green background on site) has a good few rental props.
There are a lot of new sub divisions springing up with hardly any built houses as the plots are all bought up by OFW's or investors. A lot are probably too far out with nothing near by and havent yet proved tehir worth as a good place to live.
I would advise nearer to city where the area has been developd for a good while.Its cheap to get about so you can leave the City with ease.
There were some new condos near SM mall last time I was over-think it was the first big condo development-quite small-but they looked okay.Sure some will be up for rent.

Also if you need a pick up-go to Rockys barbershop in Gaisono Mall, which is up a floor or two and get a wet shave and rub down(all above board).

I find the lving very easy in Davao and the people great but I am lucky with large family there.There are no great numbers of tourists in Davao-you see most white faces in big hotels-very few in street.
This to me is a good thing. Complete tonic to London.I have no wish to make you paranoid but check out the Foreign office advice re Davao- it used to say avoid all but essential travel- I think that is hugely overstated but again I am welll looked after the moment I arrive.Sure you will be fine.

Would also check out the Mayor, Mr Duterte on the internet, will help you understand the place a little more.


Big things to ponder-very easy place to get bowled over and abandon common sense. There are few, if any jobs for foreigners in RPI. Most of the expats who have survived and thrived advise to have an income stream from overseas/pension if you are planning to stay. Dont bring all your dough/reserves.Not all expats/foreigners married to locals/with girlfriends are happy with the strength of family ties in RPI-they think that the family take advantage, are a drain etc-I happen to like the way they do families -just be aware of it.

Had nearly all the jabs you can ever have but think again on this front Davao is pretty safe-not a malarial area-have only been bitten at night/ in hills and visting eagle park.A good few cheaper hotels in City than Marco-we use it cos its near to family home/memories/annual treat.
Singapore Air(our fave and many others too)fly direct to Davao.Some good deals about at the moment.Singapore is always a good base for 3 or 4 days if you fancy a stop over and need to acclimatise from Euro zone.
Thats is. Brain has seized.Best bit of RPI is the people.They havent lost their humanity.I love it.
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Old Mar 29th 2009, 4:23 am
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Default Re: Davao!

Thank you Bill
Great to wake up this morning and read all that. Informative and good sensible advice.
J5
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Old Apr 9th 2009, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Davao!

Originally Posted by johnny five View Post
Thank you Bill
Great to wake up this morning and read all that. Informative and good sensible advice.
J5
Thank you guys. Just found out the plans have changed to Makati, I'll post the details below....Sorry guys.

"Hey Mates,

I'll be in the Philippines in 2 weeks looking for lodging 3-4 months. Personally I would like to be maybe an hour - 3 hours from Manila, maybe an area an not so crowded... I have some paperwork to take care of about 1 day a week in Makati (only 2 hours each visit) so I won't might a bus ride once a week. Do you mates have any suggestions on areas to stay and approx cost of accommodations. looking to spend betweek 14K pesos - 23K pesos monthly for rent.

Aside from that I should be able to handle the rest-I'll post this message on other forums as well.

Jay "
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