Photo: A boat with your name on it, Coron, Busuanga Island.

Philippines forum

Best place to live for 2-3 months

Posted by placeshifter on 26/7/2010 at 02:28

My girlfriend (and our 3 year old child) currently live in Seoul, South Korea. I make my living through the Internet so we have great flexibility in where we can live.

We're searching for a place where we could spend 2-3 months every year (December - February) that has charming & atmospheric architecture and neighborhoods; is surrounded by beautiful nature; offers delicious, affordable cuisine; and just an overall pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere and weather.

I am currently considering Luang Prabang in Laos; NE Thailand (Udon Thani vicinity); as well as Baguio, Vigan or Bohol in the Philippines.

I was curious if somebody who knows the Philippines well could provide their insights on Baguio, Vigan or Bohol as possible places to live for 2-3 months; or suggest any other cities/towns that I may have missed?

I would very much appreciate your insights and advice.

#1 placeshifter has been a member since 26/7/2010. Posts: 22

Posted by goonistik on 26/7/2010 at 16:12

My family used to go to Baguio for an annual vacation but that was in the 1970's. It was a lovely place and I have fond memories of the place. However, the city just grew without any planning and it is just too crowded for my taste. The mountainsides that used to be green, now contain precariously perched houses. You used to be able to smell the pine trees.

So I really miss the "Old" Baguio and I wish you could have experienced that. If you google for "Old Baguio" you will find lots of people like me who miss the "Old Baguio".

If I really want to experience the mountains, I would go to Sagada. Sagada is a small and very peaceful town with this strong idyllic vibe. So it makes a nice change of pace from Metro-Manila.

The food in Sagada is okay. I ate a lot at the yogurt house. Than I went to Chef Aklay's buffet.

A lot of the snow birds hit the Philipppine beaches from December to February. But that period, IMHO, is the best time to go to the mountains.

#2 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 


Posted by placeshifter on 28/7/2010 at 15:42

Thanks -- unfortunately, Sagada looks like it's very touch to get to from Baguio...which may make it tough with a kid in tow. I'll look into it and thanks again for your help.

#3 placeshifter has been a member since 26/7/2010. Posts: 22

Posted by Babalugats on 5/8/2010 at 12:25

I would recommend Vigan. If you're into history, you may appreciate the old houses and churches. It will take an hour and a half to reach the province of Ilocos Norte. The old church in Paoay is a must-see, and the U-shaped, white beach in Pagudpod is one of the most gorgeous coastlines I visited.

#4 Babalugats has been a member since 21/3/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 73
 Where has Babalugats been?   Website   Twitter   Google+ 

Posted by goonistik on 17/8/2010 at 12:21

Baguio, while it has deteriorated, has some good things going for it. November to January is probably the best time to stay there for the climate. It starts getting a bit warmer (though still pleasant enough) in February. It is also less crowded at this time since this is not the peak tourist season.

The wet market is also nice and clean. It has one of the nicest public markets I've ever seen in the Philippines. So shopping for your food is easy.

Baguio is also more cosmopolitan than Vigan. Between the two, I'd prefer to stay in Baguio from December to February, just for the mountain weather.

I guess it really depends on whether you prefer to be near the beach or to be in the mountains.

#5 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 

Posted by goonistik on 17/8/2010 at 12:37

BTW, you might want to look up the water supply situation in Baguio. There might be a water shortage.

#6 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 

Posted by Tennouji on 1/9/2010 at 20:20

I spent the night in Baguio on the way to Sagada. It just seemed like a busy, dusty city to me. Sagada, however, was wonderful: a lovely atmosphere and very pretty. Great if you like hiking. Not so great seeing the same other tourists in the same places to eat. As far as I remember, there was only one resturant that opened after 8pm. I was totally disappointed with Vigan, the "historical" section is basically just one street that is full of souvenir shops. So wasn't remotely worth the 12 hour bus ride from Manila!

#7 Tennouji has been a member since 22/9/2007. Location: Japan. Posts: 129

Posted by millionario on 12/11/2010 at 00:27

For a real getaway I'd suggest Romblon Town (very atmospheric place, very few tourists, friendly locals, close to Manila by ferryboat).
Baguio should be OK if you find some house in the suburbs - town center is a bit too much traffic right now, pollution - city market is great though, some nice restaurants also.
Bohol - OK but avoid Panglao Island. Tagbilaran has some nice commodities like a mall.

#8 millionario has been a member since 22/6/2004. Posts: 25

Posted by bluereef on 20/3/2011 at 06:14

Hi, I jus joined this today.

53, single from San Fransico, Bay Area. usa. I just got back march 10,2011 from living in the Philippines for 6 months. I also hav been all over south east asia last few years. I love philippines due to friendly warm people all over and 90% +? speak English, low cost to travel in country by air, boat, taxi Jeepney etc. Unlimited nice beaches warm water jungles, country and many places to see.

To live for a few months anywhere in Asia i like Philippines. So much to see and do and so easy and cheap to travel all over. I stayed last trip 6months in panglao,Bohol and cebu but have been Palawan, Manila, Bagio, Genral Santos city, Dipolog, Siqujour, Camotes, Camaguin, Batayan, Naga city, boracay.. I love the phils and will return soon for another 6 months.

I wish I knew why previous reply said about Bohol jus dont go panglao because i was just there and loved my stay, rented a nice big 3 bedroom new house all furniture kitchen wares sheets towels ref. free good wifi ..house near the beach (12000-22000 peso per month) and stayed there went all over the island of panglao, Bohol lots easy trips by boat to cebu many flights direct to manila from bohol airport. lots clean nice beaches, many snorkel,scuba dive sites,Island hopping (from alona beach rental of your own small boat with driver for all day island hopping about 1200-1500 peso can fit i think 6 or more of you all included its your boat for the day) safe friendly clean place.

For me it was a great home base to explore more of the phils from because very easy 30 minute ride tricycle 250 peso from alona beach area of panglao to tagbilran airport (about 900-2000peso philair or cebupacific) to manila 1hr 15 minutes. Or tagbiliran boat terminal about 500peso one way or 600-800peso promo fair on nice big aircon boat to cebu 1hr 45min. I feel very safe when i drove my rented motor bike (2010 model Honda Xrm 4000peso month) all over the island Chocolate Hills east west north all over very nice.

nicest Mall ICM (Island City Mall) lots stores includeing big food store and across street is big local market for freash fish (Blue marlin steaks only 2 or 250 peso per kilo great on the grill ). I hav lots info on phils, cell phones, taxi, boats travel etc feel free to ask.

I also love my travels all over vietnam, up the makong from vn to Cambodia see angkor wat etc and Thailand Phiphi island, changmai. All over China, Bali was nice but just love phils so many islands and best is the friendly warm hardworking good filipino's. If you want unlimted warm water white sand beaches and easy travel English speaking i would say Philippines just my opinion.

Sori for long reply i am new here hope it helps someone.

Take care/ Ingat ;-)

#9 bluereef has been a member since 20/3/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by Krokonoster on 29/5/2011 at 19:08

@placeshifter : Where you ended up going?

I got similar plans now. Only know El Nido, which is great but would rather go live some place new a few months (on a shoestring budget)

#10 Krokonoster has been a member since 29/5/2011. Posts: 3
 Website   Twitter 

Posted by goonistik on 29/5/2011 at 19:39

@krokonoster

What are you looking for in a place? Is it just you or are you bring along family? Mountains or seaside?

#11 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 

Posted by Krokonoster on 30/5/2011 at 13:59

@goonistik

Just me and the wife.
1) Seaside, Mountains a big bonus.

I've been to El Nido before, and it's just perfect. However we'd like to go to some place "New" if you know what I mean.

#12 Krokonoster has been a member since 29/5/2011. Posts: 3
 Website   Twitter 

Posted by goonistik on 30/5/2011 at 20:32

What time of the year are you planning to go? Because the monsoon season is beginning and typhoon season is coming (approx July to October). So it would be better to stay out of the typhoon belt.

So you are looking at the islands of the central Visayas like Panay, Siquijor, Cebu, Negros, Bohol and Camiguin. Though given the proximity of these islands and the short ferry trips between them, you can travel around without a problem. If you want to go somewhere that is not as touristed as Cebu and Bohol, I'd say Siquijor is a good bet.

Northern Mindanao is also an option.

#13 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 

Posted by Krokonoster on 30/5/2011 at 20:42

Thanks for the info, will search and read.
Actually it's still way off, next year Feb when my contract ends here. Figured start planning early this time.
Last time we went to Philippines in July...wasn't that bad actually.
A quick hard rain nearly every day, and I think one storm. I guess it get worse after July.
But yeah, won't be going in the monsoon season this time.

#14 Krokonoster has been a member since 29/5/2011. Posts: 3
 Website   Twitter 

Posted by goonistik on 31/5/2011 at 07:28

You were in Palawan which is way out of the typhoon belt. It is Luzon that gets hammered by typhoons. In Feb, you can pretty much go anywhere you like.

#15 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 562
 Where has goonistik been? 

Posted by gwapo on 4/6/2011 at 18:52

Nobody has yet suggested Tagaytay City. Nice cool climatedue to the elevation,score of restaurants overlooking Taal lake and volcano,easy reach of Manila and airport,there is a small Robinson's mall recently opened and both SM and Robinson malls in Dasmarinas 20 minutes away.Very popular with expats, especially Koreans

#16 gwapo has been a member since 4/6/2011. Posts: 49

Posted by heresieL on 6/6/2011 at 15:36

Been in the Philippines and I know you will love your stay there. Unlimited things to do and places to choose from.

#17 heresieL has been a member since 6/6/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by migsaquino on 12/7/2012 at 09:24

El Nido, I must say! That place is a slice of heaven on Earth. Trust me. ;)

#18 migsaquino has been a member since 12/7/2012. Posts: 15
 Website 

Posted by gwapo on 13/7/2012 at 08:06

migsaquino
What is the stability of the available internet in El Nido?
Could be a concern to the OP who states that he makes his living online

#19 gwapo has been a member since 4/6/2011. Posts: 49

Posted by touristdriver on 14/7/2012 at 22:57

My vote goes to Sagada! Love the climate and the atmosphere. Resto are cheap and great IMO. Menu 5 in Log Cabin was the 2nd best meat i've ever had. Friendly people, zero crime rate (according to some bloggers ). Pretty quite at night. If you love city life... you might find sagada boring after a few days/ weeks.

#20 touristdriver has been a member since 12/11/2011. Posts: 9

Posted by letmeinplz on 9/8/2012 at 06:20

For a real getaway I'd suggest Romblon Town (very atmospheric place, very few tourists, friendly locals, close to Manila by ferryboat).
Baguio should be OK if you find some house in the suburbs - town center is a bit too much traffic right now, pollution - city market is great though, some nice restaurants also.
Bohol - OK but avoid Panglao Island. Tagbilaran has some nice commodities like a mall.

#21 letmeinplz has been a member since 6/8/2012. Posts: 15
 Website 

Posted by travelinasia on 26/8/2012 at 14:21

Hello, if you will be planing your trip at the Philippines, the best option is Cebu where in you will be able to enjoy the city and go sightseeing and visit great beaches!

Here's a great site in order for you to know Cebu better:

http://www.livecebu.com/placestosee.htm

#22 travelinasia has been a member since 8/8/2012. Posts: 18

Posted by palawandave on 28/8/2012 at 07:05

I have lived in Baguio in the 80s and it was great back then, but pollution from the traffic and hustle bustle of the city would put me off now. Vigan is fine, lots of architecture from the world heritage site. LP in Laos is great too, but consider Baler, Aurora province, 6/7 hrs from Manila. The helicopter scene in Apocolypse now was filmed there, and even today it's a 20 minute walk along the beach and all you can see is one lonely hut. Aurora is the most forested province in the Philippines with lots of waterfalls. Baler itself has a quaint museum and the beach is very safe for children. Cheap for rental houses.You will find no fast food restaurants here such as Macdonalds, Wendys, Jollibee but some wonderful local restaurants. Surfers come here from dec-feb. Look into this idyllic spot. I have lived in Palawan for 18 years , so obviously i enjoy it. Consider Port Barton as opposed to the disorganised and over priced El Nido. Forget Bohol and Panglao Island too, many old foreign men with young locals.

#23 palawandave has been a member since 25/2/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by travelinasia on 16/9/2012 at 10:34

Baguio's weather is very cool and windy but Vigan and Bohol are great choices as well since there are a lot of beautiful scenery, so much to explore.

#24 travelinasia has been a member since 8/8/2012. Posts: 18

Posted by Jenny34 on 20/9/2012 at 22:57

Hi, if you are travelling to the Philippines, a fun city to visit would be Angeles City. Go Hiking on nearby Mt. Pinatubo Volcano, rent and ride a motorcycle through picturesque rural towns and countryside, or go ultra light flying over Mt. Pinatubo's spectacularly eroded volcanic lahar fields!

Here's a good site for booking Hotels in Angeles City:

http://www.angelescityhotelsphilippines.com

#25 Jenny34 has been a member since 20/9/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by gwapo on 23/9/2012 at 09:22

Jenny34
The Op requested suggestions about places in Philippines with charming and atmospheric architecture and neighbourhoods surrounded by beautiful nature offering affordable and delicious cuisine with an overall pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere

Can you please explain why you think Angeles City may qualify in at least one of the Ops requirements. Surely Basilan would qualify more

#26 gwapo has been a member since 4/6/2011. Posts: 49


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.