Living in Cebu – Pros & Cons
My first time in Cebu I absolutely hated it. I just had an unlucky first week and it made me hate the city. I had come from Angeles City and thought the traffic in Cebu was terrible.
I thought everything was too far apart and you wasted to much time getting from one place to another. Just everything went wrong and I vowed to never come back.
I’m glad I broke that vow because now it is one of my favorite cities in the world. The traffic is nowhere near as bad as I thought, could get around on a scooter if I wanted to, and things really aren’t that far apart.
All I needed to do was go clear my head and come back with an open mind, and then I found out I really liked it.
It just felt a lot different to Angeles where I could get around by walking.
Pros of Living in Cebu
My favorite part of Cebu has to be the Ayala Center Mall and IT Park. These are as nice of places as anywhere I have been in Asia. Sure you could say that parts of Makati and Greenbelt are just as nice, but they are so overcrowded that it takes them down a notch. When you are in Ayala or IT park you feel like you are back in the western world.
There are lots of good restaurants to choose from in both and they just have a great ambiance. I am not a big fan of hanging out in public places but both of them are nice places to chill.
Cebu is actually very easy to navigate once you get the hang of it. It didn’t take me long to learn most of the jeepney routes and you can get all around the city for so cheap. Taxis are pretty cheap too but jeeps are almost free. Good luck being in Manila and asking a girl to take a jeepney to your place, if she isn’t from that area she will have no clue how to get there. But living in Cebu you can give her simple and easy directions that she can follow to get to you.
It is just a very laid back city despite its big size. Certain places have some hustle and bustle to them but overall it has a very laid back feel and that is what I like. The people are very friendly and it is not hard at all to make new friends. There are some tourists here but not nearly as many as you will find in some other major Asian cities.
Because of the lack of westerners the girls who like them are starved for attention, so they all go online to the dating sites. I’ve had more success on dating sites like Pinalove.com in Cebu than any other city.
Cons of living in Cebu
The worst part about Cebu is probably that the internet is awful. Don’t show up at a hotel here expecting to use their wifi to do anything important, odds are that isn’t gonna happen. Also don’t expect to use any 3g or 4g unless you somehow luck your way into being in the right area. This makes it a hard place for a digital nomad to enjoy, but when there is a will there is a way.
It is pretty amazing that the city can be located on the water yet there is no good beach anywhere close. I really don’t even understand how that is possible, but I guess it is the same way in Manila. It seems that you have to travel at least a couple hours to find any semblance of a good beach, and who wants to travel two hours there and two hours back just for a day?
Bohol is near enough for a weekend trip I suppose, and so is Camotes, but I am not the type of person that wants to put in long hours of travel just for a weekend.
As much as I like the Ayala Center and IT Park outside of those two places there really isn’t much character to this city. There are some things to do like adventure parks and Mango Square for nightlife, but it just seems like there should be more here. And it seems like 90% of the good restaurants in the city are at Ayala Center and IT park. I get almost all of my meals from them.
The last one is more of a Philippines thing then a Cebu thing but the price for apartments and hotels is way too high, particularly if you want to be near the center of the city. You would get twice the value anywhere in Thailand as you will get in Cebu or most anywhere in Phils.
Overall Cebu is great place, but I think it is a much better place to live then it is to take a vacation to. I know many people who have come for a week and not really liked it, but I bet if they moved here after a month they would love living in Cebu. Question is will they ever come back?