Monday, April 9, 2007

Living in 'Paradise'

It was not my first trip to the Philippines, as I had made many Business trips - Manila, mainly, but did take a few 'holidays' to Cebu to discover where 'Sha-Sha' came from.

Cebu was the Capital of the Philippines a long time ago, and they have their own dialect - 'Cebuano' or 'Visayan' (Bisayan), unlike 'Tagalog' as spoken in National Capital Region (NCR). Most Philipinos however understand Tagalog, wherever they come from, as they watch many Films and TV shows in Tagalog, as well as singing Tagalog Karaoke songs (of course?).

As 'Engineering Manager - Asia Pacific', I was on a pretty good salary, and could afford to stay in top Resorts back then.

I selected 'Plantation Bay' Resort and Spa, not because it was a bit cheaper than the 'Shangri-La', but because it was a bit different from such International 'chain' Hotels.

But, I was not on 'that' nice 'fat salary' any longer - just this 'Retainer' of US$1,000 a month.

I could no longer afford such 'upmarket' Resorts. I started by staying 1 week @ 'Cebu Marine' Resort in Mactan. After this it was just 1 week in the 'Golden Peak' Hotel (Php1,200 a night if I recall?)

'Sha-Sha' on the previous trip to Cebu we made together about 6 months earlier, had decided to use her life savings (from working abroad 10 years) to put down a Deposit on a 'House & Lot'. This was in a Subdivision, South of Cebu City and was a 120sq m lot, with just a 30sq m 2 bedroom 'bungalow'. She said it was so her daughter could live there, whilst attending San Carlos University.

Well we would all be living there now, and I offered to pay the 2/3 balance on this House/Lot purchase, offered as 24 Interest Free monthly payments of just over Php18K/month. I did not mind, as this was not not much more than renting a decent house - but after 24 months, nothing more to pay!


boostah said...

Incredible story, glad everything worked out ok..

hey you can check out my vid/audio blog if ya like at

not as interesting as this!

Anonymous said...

Your story is inspiring.. I am Filipino born but a British citizen. I've spent half the years of my life in the Philippines and the other half in the UK (born in the Phils, studied in UK, worked in the Phils and then back to UK to find better money). I'm thinking of retiring in the Philippines within a couple of years and I'm really looking forward to it.