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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.DSC

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. Fullscreen capture   AM

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.DSC

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.DSC

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!)

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20 thoughts on “Planning Our Next Move in the Philippines

  1. Dave: We’re in Oton and have 240 sq metres with our 3br bungalow on it, there is not much space for a garden the size Melinda wants, but the location is handy to everything as you know. You could do a lot worse than look closer to everything in the immediate Oton area.

    Cheers for now.

  2. Are you testing new layouts? this last one doesnt seem to work well with the colors. The first one was a nice surprise. Randy L is a nice writer and puts together many things nicely that I have learned. Be nice to know more about him and hear his stories.

  3. I showed Meriam your map and your plans… She said Tigbauan was the better place to live… Just remember you will be living a VERY boring life there…

    Remember you will never own a house in the Philippines… Just pray that someone does not start a pig farm next door… If you rent you can move…

    Something is wrong with this text editor… Can hardly read what I am typing.. The type is very faint… Good luck Dave… 😀

    1. We have 4 G-Malls here in Tagum City… Plus the NCCC Mall, The 168 Mall and rumor has it that Shoe Mart is buying land to build a new mall… Yep! Meriam is happy!!! 😛

  4. Off-topic…but can you bring back the previous layout? This new one is terrible on a mobile phone. Also, the new font is not good for web design. And the combox text is barely readable as it is being typed and the submit button is almost invisible. I don’t like to be a complainer…but look at the positive side, if I didn’t like the site, I wouldn’t be trying to give you my unsolicited opinion. heh heh 🙂

  5. Dave, you may want to take a look at Miagao which is close to there. Bob Hammerslag said he really liked it in one of his articles.

    http://myphilippinelife.com/miagao-iloilo-philippines/

    He said:
    “In our opinion, Miagao should be a top pick retirement destination for those who are looking for and can adapt to life in Philippine a small town. Here’s why. A major University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV) campus is located in Miagao. Its presence, and the students and faculty associated with UPV give Miagao a more upscale, genteel character than most Philippine small towns. It has more amenities and services than other towns of its size. The municipal infrastructure and maintenance are exceptionally good. The Miagao public market is one of the cleanest, friendliest, best-run markets we’ve seen in the Philippines.”

    I quite liked Miagao when I was there, it is one of the retirement places I am looking at, but it might be too small for me. I might prefer a small city and will look at some others the next time I am in the PI. Plus if you buy land in Miagao before I start living there, your property value is sure to go up when I arrive. 😉

  6. Basic question, Dave. In buying your lot or eventually building the home, what is financing like? Or is financing available?

    Sounds like the project should keep you plenty busy.

    1. Dave W. ~ Home or construction financing can be dependent on several factors. Mainly 1) Income and 2) Age. You will never get a 30 year mortgage like in the USA. Even 20 year mortgages are almost unheard of. A 10 year mortgage is more feasible to many of the banks, and will likely be age dependent. You should check with the different banks as they each have their own lending guidelines. For example, PNB has specific programs for Filipinos that live and work in the U.S. Here is a link to a notable lender that can answer many of your questions. http://www.hsbc.com.ph/1/2/personal/loans

  7. Dave,
    You have plenty of time to plan for your new house. My G/f wants me input on her new house when i get there so she can make changes if need be. I know at the very least we will be putting a wall and gate around it. She also wants space for a garden too. I’ve already been told i will be doing the weeding lol. It’s not as big as house as yours will be, but it is fine for us and will be all paid off. Have a nice day.

    1. Dave, if you get a chance, can you take a picture or two of that wall you mentioned. We are getting close to building our wall and I need ideas. No hurry…thanks.

  8. followed Bobs site on building his new home in tigbaun since the day he turned the first sod of dirt .Actually i visit one time and met Bob…but Im sure he forgets as that was a couple of years ago.As I recall he was ripped off to the tune of p100.000 by a contractor in the early days of construction.Another time Bob and Carol were absent for a few days and left instructions that no concrete be poured during there absense as the steelwork was not complete.When they returned a few days later …guess what.While digging the footings for the retaining wall ,the labourers did not bother to inform him of what would happen during the coming wet season ,All the footings filled with mud and had to be redug.The joys of housebuilding in the Phils.I am a roofing contractor with a sound knowledge of building (built two homes for myself in Australia)but I wouldnt tacle building in the philippines unless i had a cardiac nurse on standby at all times and a room reserved in the mental hospital.Please think long and hard friend Dave.

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