Not So Well-Known but Equally Great Places to Retire in the Philippines

If you are considering relocating to the Philippines soon and spending the rest of your life in the country, you’ve probably heard of Baguio, Subic Bay, Tagaytay, Makati, Cebu, and Davao as the best areas to retire in. Expat-friendly, they certainly are great options.

However, there are more locations in the Philippines worth checking out. These may not be as popular, but they have their charms, particularly for expats looking to retire comfortably and surrounded by natural beauty.

1) Bacolod

Shopping mall in Bacolod City Image source: Mike Gonzalez/Creative Commons
Shopping mall in Bacolod City Image source: Mike Gonzalez/Creative Commons

A city located in Negros, it is famous for the Maskara festival. What most people don’t know though is that it is fast becoming a hub for information technology and BPO companies. The cost of living is cheaper than in Manila and Cebu, but modern facilities are present and accessible. Not over-crowded, traffic is more manageable, the locals are friendly, and the crime rate is low. Bacolod also has a growing expat community so you are bound to find someone who can provide more detailed valuable advice when you decide to relocate to the city.

2) Iloilo

Library Building of UP Visayas Iloilo Campus Image source: Nickrds09/Creative Commons
Library Building of UP Visayas Iloilo Campus Image source: Nickrds09/Creative Commons

Another booming and expat-friendly city in the Philippines is located in the Western Visayas region. One good reason to live here is the top-quality health infrastructure. Property developers are also setting their eyes on Iloilo, which means better residential areas will soon be constructed and prices won’t be that exorbitant yet. If you have children, the city has great schools too and the cost of living is again lower compared to the major cities in the Philippines. Considered the center of trade and commerce in Western Visayas, Iloilo is poised for growth, something any expat can take advantage of.


3) Bohol

Alona Beach, Bohol Image source: Qaalvin/Creative Commons
Alona Beach, Bohol Image source: Qaalvin/Creative Commons

If modern cities are not really your cup of tea and you prefer a quieter more laidback atmosphere, then retire in Bohol. Famous for its Chocolate Hills and beautiful beaches, it has a quaint rural town charm you will enjoy. Stay in the city of Tagbilaran if you still want to be near creature comforts or easier access to a mall. If you prefer to surround yourself with greenery and live in peace and privacy, move to the province and have the laid-back life you’ve always dreamed about.

4) Marinduque

Paadjao Falls Image source:
Paadjao Falls Image source:

Another rustic, peaceful and quiet place to retire in the Philippines. Free from pollution and with friendly locals, you can live in this place like a king without having to spend too much per month. There is also a thriving expat community that can provide advice and assistance if ever needed. About 100 miles from Manila, you can always go to the country’s capital by boat if you start missing the big city vibe. Check out the town of Torrijos.

Bottom line

The Philippines is a great place to retire in, especially if you have always had that vision of living in a tropical paradise. Just keep in mind that as a whole, the country is still developing. In other words, top-quality facilities and infrastructure such as those you are accustomed to in your country (assuming you come from a developed country) are not present in most Philippine islands.

It is also advisable that you visit the country as a tourist before committing to relocate. Visit several islands and cities, including the above recommendations, to get a feel for each area and determine what really fits your needs. Don’t forget to study the weather of the cities or islands on your shortlist too. Temperatures and humidity levels can play a huge role in your decisions.


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