Lived in the rural province of Guimaras, known for some of the sweetest mangoes in the world, for over two years. Almost a year living in Savannah Subdivision in Iloilo. Our future plans for living in the Philippines involves buying our own lot and building a home somewhere on Panay Island, the Western Visayas region we currently reside in, within the next two years.
We’ve had time to research some of our best options and had at one point considered staying in our current development, but The Sainted Patient Wife has informed me she would like to explore the choices available to us outside of nearby Oton, near the town of Tigbauan, over 30 kilometers from Iloilo City.
The Google Map shown above depicts our current location marked with an “x.” The obvious question would be why consider Tigbauan, and not stay in the guarded and fenced-in enclave of Savannah that we currently reside in? The answer: property prices and the desire to own more than one lot. Plus, location. Tigbauan is close to the ocean.
According to Wikipedia, Tigbauan’s population is 54,575 and was the site where American forces landed on March 18, 1945 and joined with Filipino troops to begin Panay Island’s liberation. It is known as the “Liberation Town.”
Fellow blogger, Bob H., and his lovely wife, Carol, talks about life in Tigbauan extensively and writes in great detail about the home they constructed there. Bob has invited us for a visit and we plan to take them up on that offer and look around.
I understand that lot prices can be purchased for P1,200 (25.87 US Dollars) a square meter in Tigbauan, which is considerably cheaper than the real estate lots being offered in Savannah. Lot prices in our current enclave run from P5,000-P6,000 (120-142 US Dollars) per square meter.
The more expensive developments in Savannah are even costlier. Since my asawa wants room for a big garden, we would like to buy a lot that is 1,000 to 1,500 square meters, 28,570-42,857 USD at a 42-to-1, PHP to USD exchange rate. The lot at our home in Guimaras, 240 square meters, was barely large enough for the home my asawa had constructed there.
Bob has already done much of the “heavy lifting” and has a lot of good information about building a home in the Philippines on his website, “My Philippine Life.” One of his recent articles talked about fairly expensive ceiling fans that he had installed. He now wishes he would have gone with the standard, cheap oscillating fans that most Filipinos (and our family) use.
Bob notes that the ceiling fans don’t move enough air on a hot day. He states that a cheap floor fan is much more effective at circulating that cool air than the ceiling fans, The inexpensive floor fans are also cheaper to use than the ceiling fans.
Tips like that will help us in the planning of our next move in the Philippines and aid us in building our own home. You’d be hard-pressed to find another website with such detailed information about building a house in the Philippines as Bob’s site has. If that’s a topic that might interest you, I highly recommend checking his website out.
Nearest hospital? About 30 minutes away in Iloilo. About the same time it took to reach a hospital from our home in the States. A move to Tigbauan would probably require buying a vehicle. Regular readers of this website will know that I constantly preach about not needing to own a vehicle in the Philippines.
Since our new planned site would be far from any emergency healthcare facilities, I have to take in consideration my advanced old geezer status, age 60, and buy reliable transportation for possible emergencies and for shopping at the nearest big malls, which are also in Iloilo City. But our planned move in the Philippines is still about two years away so we don’t plan to buy any new vehicle anytime soon.
Our annual lease for our rental home in Savannah is coming up next month. I had thought about moving to the Orchard Subdivision development next to our current location since that area has 24/7 water delivery. But we’ve decided to stay put and make the most of the situation. Doesn’t make sense to incur the extra expenses of moving at this point.
While it would be great to take a daily shower or two, I’ll continue with my current pattern of soaping up and dumping cold buckets of water on myself to clean up. When you move to the Philippines there are different comfort levels you have to adapt and adjust to. I’m just going to live with the current situation.
But we’re living large now. Purchased that new refrigerator yesterday and finally have ice cubes, cold milk and cold sodas in the fridge again. My nieces and nephew are happy, too. They don’t have to make any more runs to the local sari sari store to buy 2 peso bags of ice for me. And like Martha Stewart says” “It’s a good thing.”
(Only need a measly five cents more to receive my next commission pay-out from Cherry Blossoms. Sign up today and put me over the top. I’m looking to stock up the new fridge with some cold San Mig products. This an unabashed commercial plug. Thank you!)