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Old 16-09-2016, 11:37   #1
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Pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

looking for more input here, as i started the research for my plans on an early retirement in the philippine island community.

1 incredible weather and surroundings, setting, aside the prep for occasional typhoons

2 cheap cost of living. on shore i've lived there like a king for a 3rd the cost of here in the states. and on the water i expect should yield roughly the same. i've gotten berthing quotes at some lovely, typhoon safe, marinas, with electric, water and wifi for as little as $5/day USD, ($20/day USD for non-member) put me down for a membership!

3 boat maintenance help is a ridiculous small fraction of what it is in other more developed areas in the world. because it's such an employers market, i find myself always paying more than what i'm even asked. just think of those unpleasant jobs of bottom painting, cleaning, waxing, pumping out waste, etc?

4 friendly island mentality from both locals and foreigners. i've found no more hospitable place in my travels

cons:
1 safety concerns in a less regulated part of the world. some regions worse than others i'm told. don't know how to measure this, but the thought of pirates is a very big concern. one thing i can do there very cheaply is pay for 24 hr security aboard my vessel, also choose my region of stay wisely

2 long way home from good technical support. while there's an overabundance of your more menial work force, i don't find the same degree of your skilled techs on these remote islands. i don't get a good feeling about having some sort of component go bad on a modern sophisticated vessel, particularly european or US import. i've been advised to stay away from bringing in the latest and greatest from outside markets, and settle for somewhat a lower tech, but more locally supported vessel.

all being said, i feel i can be on my retirement visa with a 30 foot something liveaboard in the pacific for at least half the cost of a typical USA scenario. did i mention the weather??

some devil's advocates please comment?
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Old 16-09-2016, 12:09   #2
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

Howdy and Ahoy!

I see you are a new member. Welcome aboard CF!

I was in the Philippines (Davao on Mindanao) earlier this year for about 5 months. My plans changed and I am now back in the USA.

I am no expert on the PI. But, I had considered living there long term, and thought I would buy a boat in Langkawi and sail in the PI. Here is a link to what I wrote as a report back to CF, sharing my experience there. You will also see some photos (aerial) of one of the most noted places where boats stayed (until recently a popular place) until recent terrorist events made it more risky (more on that in other threads).

Samal Island Philippines (SE Mindanao, near Davao)

Here are links to the previous discussions about the Phiippines. There is a lot of good info there embedded in those threads. There are several CF members who currently liveaboard in the PI and others who have or have visited extensively in the past.

My suggestion: Look over the threads found via this link. Dive into them and you will find pearls of wisdom.

https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...nes&gsc.page=1
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Old 16-09-2016, 12:21   #3
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuccifilms View Post
some devil's advocates please comment?
I take it you are from the US.

The current president of the Phillipines seems determined to pick a fight with the US and might stir up some anti-US sentiment. I'd keep an eye on that.
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Old 16-09-2016, 16:49   #4
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

much appreciated. i was hoping for someone like you to catch this thread. although, you never did say what got you to change your PH plans? also, you mentioned samal island. they have a beautiful and cheap marina there. my wife even owns 3 lots of property with a view of the marina. however, i heard of some canadians recently had their boats taken siezed by terrorists, who ended up executing them. i've been advised against the mindanao region. if that recent event is enough to X off at least that area. i've only been considering north palawon and luzon region as a safe locations. i'll also be going through all related info. i can find on the board, as you suggested. thanks
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Old 16-09-2016, 17:46   #5
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuccifilms View Post
much appreciated. i was hoping for someone like you to catch this thread. although, you never did say what got you to change your PH plans? also, you mentioned samal island. they have a beautiful and cheap marina there. my wife even owns 3 lots of property with a view of the marina. however, i heard of some canadians recently had their boats taken siezed by terrorists, who ended up executing them. i've been advised against the mindanao region. if that recent event is enough to X off at least that area. i've only been considering north palawon and luzon region as a safe locations. i'll also be going through all related info. i can find on the board, as you suggested. thanks
I don't want my answers below to discourage you or anyone else from visiting PI or making your own plans or decision to invest or live there. I am glad I went there, and consider it a good experience for me, even if it did not turn out to be what I hoped it would be.

Others on this forum have had different experiences (in different locations) and we all are different too.

My decision to leave the PI before I expected did not have anything to do with not liking PI or the culture or the people or the place, nor was it based on feeling unsafe. I made a lot of friends, and enjoyed the place and people. I went to explore a possibility for my future (business related, not personal, not marriage), and spent enough time to see what I needed to see to reach a decision for me. My decision was based on my business interests.

But, since you mentioned Samal and wrote something about the killings there, I will focus my following remarks on what may be most important to anyone reading this thread.

Yes, the Mindanao area is considered the most risky island to visit for non-Filipinos and has had very recent acts of "terrorism" including an explosion in downtown Davao that killed and injured many in a public market. I wrote more about this in another of the linked threads.

Just last fall (one year ago in October) four cruisers were taken by terrorists from Samal's Marina ("yacht club") and were not found despite a massive manhunt by the police and military. Later, two of the foreigners (both Canadians as I recall) were killed, with one beheaded and his head thrown into a public square (City Hall as I recall) in the city.

Before that, the Samal island Marina was highly recommended to cruisers and considered "safe" harbor. That changed dramatically when four cruisers were taken by a gang of armed men who approached the marina by boat and while there was an armed security guard somewhere on the gated Marina property.

Before that, there had been other terrorist activities, including bombing of a movie theatre at a shopping mall. And, over the last year I have noted several sailors have been taken from their boats by "pirates."

So, it is a place that can be literally a grave risk, mostly for foreigners (non-Filipinos).

As for the other islands, you will find other answers, in those linked threads where other cruisers will give you their view of their experience (on Mindanao, Samal, and other islands too).

In short, I think you will have to make your own judgement on what you consider "safe" for you or how you desire to live.

I prefer to live in a place where I can travel freely, go outdoors, walk at night, visit the countryside, interact with locals, go camping, go trekking, go sailing when and where I want, and to live in a society where rule of law is practiced. I am accustomed to traveling alone, and yet when I mentioned I wanted to go hiking and to a volcano outside of Davao, my friends said it was unwise and too risky to travel by bus or car to the location, because I was a foreigner, and far too risky to be in the countryside as a foreigner (even some locals did not feel safe doing this). So, those kinds of limitations of movement and activity did not fit the lifestyle I enjoy.

One thing I should mention here, is that one of the foreigners I met and talked with told me that he did not feel safe even walking on his own plantation due to the risk of being kidnapped (on Mindanao). He was very serious about this, and regretted this as he bought a big plantation, had lived in PI for years, had married a Filipina, had a child, and ran a business.

Another plantation owner (smaller land holdings) was born in PI, married a local, but had blond hair and a German last name. He stood out visually. He also expressed his concern for safe travel and the risk of kidnapping, etc. Very similar story.

Others told me similar stories. And, some locals (Filipinos) advised me against traveling alone anywhere outside of Davao, some said even IN Davao, and several advised against it in Cebu and Manilla too. These were local Filipinos I befriended who expressed their concerns about my safety, and they were at different times and from different areas (some from Cebu, some from Manilla, some from Mindanao, some from Davao). Their message to me was very consistent and took place over several months. While I was in Davao, I never felt threatened (I felt safe) and every night walked the streets alone to go to dinner or shopping etc. So, while I felt "safe" about town, several of my local Filipino friends and acquaintances thought it was UNsafe for me to do this.

One thing that is currently happening and that is the increased "extra judicial" executions (killings, murders) of possibly thousands of people since the election of the new president (Duterte). This is discussed in those threads too.

Good luck on your decision.
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Old 16-09-2016, 18:09   #6
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

I think the Philippines get enough typhoons every year to cross this area off from my potential list of places to spend any extended time living on a mooring. Typhoons are not 'occasional' there as you put it, they are regular. You will get hit, the only question is how soon.

BTW make sure you can be there as long as you want. You know there is such a thing like a visa. Make sure yours will last as long as you want to be there.

BTW 2 there seems to be a nice brand new dictator there .. I lost his name ... the one who called Obama son of a bitch last week. Good starter for any US long term visitor. ;-)

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Old 16-09-2016, 19:34   #7
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

We just spent 2 weeks traveling around Manila and Cebu. Here is my take. The cost of living is cheap but the col in other more civilized places isn't much worse. A slip for 5-600 month( not sure what the membership includes) can be found a lot of other places in the world.
Healthcare is terrible.
Water is not safe to drink unless bottled ( we watched water places filling 5 gal jugs with a hose from city water supply and resealing them then selling them as filtered RO, w unsafe water inside.
There is garbage everywhere it is a very 5th or 6th world country.
Electronics, tools, parts, etc cost way more then even in the US. Only food and utilities , labor and housing is cheaper.
Yes you could afford an armed guard 24-7 for about $300.us a month if thats what you want. (Remember the marina with the executed cruisers had armed guards as well)
They do and can get Typhoons there. One just missed manilla and blasted Taiwan.
Their sewage Runs right Into the water way(not that the US doesn't lol). We actually walked passed a huge Cebu city tank truck emptying its foul smelling waste via a 4" hose right into a creek running Into the bay for an hour.
Drugs are a huge problem and with 50% unemployment rate leads to a lot of crime. Might be sort of safe in a marina but if it on a mooring isolated leaving the boat , how safe for how long???
Add in the potential piracy / Muslim extremist/ issues and its just not that attractive for long term. At least ten different people we spoke to in Cebu had come from Davao and Mindanao and said they didn't feel safe going back.
The Filipino people are great and very courteous ( even the guys huffing drugs smiled and waved) and kind, I do believe that President Dueterte is making an impact but he has a plateful!



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Old 17-09-2016, 01:07   #8
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

i've visited several parts of the philippined, and it sounds to me like you're speaking more from a manila perspective when it comes to cleanliness.

i'm not a constant consumer of electronics, so for me the day to day living of basic goods and services still comes out to a 1/3rd of what i spend in the states.


on safety, i've long since ruled out staying in the mindanao region. but i have lived in areas heavily populated by foreigners that seemed as safe and friendly as anywhere else i've been in the world.


so overall, i remain open. the verdict is still out
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Old 17-09-2016, 10:27   #9
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

I live in the larger region (I'm in Macau), have been to countries throughout SE Asia numerous times, and given some thought to retiring in one of them (some 10 years hence). I came up with a shortlist consisting of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Because of the typhoons as well as safety concerns the Philippines is (sadly) off the list. At the moment I am most in favour of Malaysia, which is relatively safe, politically stable, with a friendly populace, low living costs, as well as policies welcoming foreign retirees. Moreover, English is spoken by quite a lot of people so communication is not going to be as hard as in, say, Thailand.
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Old 17-09-2016, 10:56   #10
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

My two cents... Back in the mid 1990s I lived in the Philippines for a bit for work, spending time between Manila, Antipolo, and Subic Bay.

Last visit was in the 2000s.

Filipinos generally are welcoming and friendly, but there's a stong cultural/historical legacy of colonialism. People see a white face, assume American, and expect pesos for everything - even sometimes just to stay out of your way. Wealthy Filipinos also encourage this as it helps keep the peace between extreme wealth and poverty. So your service experience will vary wildly, and "professionalism" isn't really a motivator, personal goodwill/peso is better motivator.

This extends to the police and military . We made sure we had good personal relationships with NCOs and police sergeants - also important to recognize that almost all were on the take. Chinese/Taiwanese/Korean business investors were getting kidnapped and "rescued" by police, and basically were being extorted for cash by cops out of uniform, and rescued by cops in uniform.

That can be frustrating for some.

Contrary to the press, the Filipino president isn't really focused on stirring up poop with America. He's basically a Filipino strongman, "white mob" if you a descriptor that fits the Filipino schema. Use disproportionate force to sort out the ppl you deem enemies, and deal with the consequences later. Our president critized the extrajudicial killings and there was a minor diplomatic snafu, but Filipino and American strategic interests are so closely aligned in the south China Sea and Islamic militants - long term wrelationship will be god.

As others have mentioned however, there's a certain element of risk beyond Malaysia orThailand . Megamall in the Filipino cities have always had shotgun guards and metaldetectors and anyone worth any money has personal security, driver and gunman who sleeps in the garage house.
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Old 17-09-2016, 12:05   #11
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

Just in the news, last year hostage taken Hotelmanager Kjartan Sekkingstad has been released alive.
Good news after the two beheadings.

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Old 17-09-2016, 12:46   #12
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

You should consider reviewing information on Noonsite.com —

This is also a well organised website and the home page covers the topics you can review.

I would also review your home countries policy on its nationals travelling to and from the Philippines.
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Old 17-09-2016, 13:30   #13
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

Welcome mates to our land. newbie here at CF.

drop by my place when youre in town which is bout an hour from Manila. be glad 2 show u around hehe.
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Old 17-09-2016, 13:57   #14
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

nuccifilms, I could write many pages here about Filipinos. As said they are friendly happy people until they aren't. They are easily offended by things that we take as granted in Western culture. You have to understand the meaning of "Face" and indirect approaches on almost any sensitive topic. If you embarrass, make them lose face, question their truth, insult their race, or things similar to this...you can be in risk of big trouble.

Couple of years ago a woman chef from America was given a supervisor job at a nice hotel. She caught one of her shift workers stealing quality meat to take home to her family. She reported it to management and the lady was dismissed from her job. Two weeks later she was murdered on the grounds of the hotel.

Those Canadians that were slain....had a Filipino girl taken at the same time the other hostages were taken...she has yet to be rescued. Can you imagine her fate at the hands of these men? You mentioned Palawan...Puerta Princessa...this is going back some years ago...but I believe some missionaries were taken hostage and slain during the rescue attempt.

I have worked in the health care industry for 40 years...and mostly Filipinos as my coworkers...I know the culture pretty well. Even people who were born and raised there take extraordinary precautions when travelling home. They will not wear jewelry. They will not wear name brand clothing or carry expensive handbags. The locals know just by the color of skin who is local and who is American Filipino.

My coworker's niece was killed for 50 dollars American because the wife thought this young lady was too friendly with her husband. The wife has since disappeared and they are unable to bring her to justice. No one is talking. No one is stupid enough to talk. Her husband is the mayor.

It is one of the most corrupt political systems on this planet. You could live there for 10 years and still not know what is going on in the Asian mind. They will show you one thing but it can be very different than what you think. I am married to an Asian and lived in Asia most of my young life from 8-20 overseas. I am sure you have seen many things with your Filipino wife. They are nice women...

It is a beautiful country. I was tempted also to consider it. Cebu is the only place where I would consider. There is a fairly large expat community there. Also the hurricanes seem to land in certain areas much more frequently than other spots. But if you aren't there during the 'season' ....December, January, and February all of my coworkers want to go home because it is the best weather window. If you like hot and sticky...and murderous...it is paradise. Such a pity.
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Old 17-09-2016, 14:16   #15
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Re: pros and cons to mooring in the philippines

Give Philippines a few years under Duterte to clean up. Then enjoy the glorious there.
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