Living In North, Central and South Philippines (2009)

For cool and breezy the most famous location is Baguio. Up in the mountains north of Manila. However, you would be far from any beach. Tagaytay City is also a possibility. Never been there but I've heard it is cooler than Manila and certainly breezier. Either of these locations would expose you to more typhoons.

Getting into a less typhoon belt area brings me to Cebu and Dumaguete City. Cebu City has all that you will ever need in terms of shopping malls and imported western food products. Dine at the local karenderia or have a fine dining experience at many of its' sophisticated restaurants. It's truly a world class city. To be cooler I would recommend living up in the mountains (hills really) behind the city. Somewhere around Busay. This would meet your cool and breezy requirement as well as keeping you within 30 minutes of the beaches. Another plus about that area is they grow such wonderful vegetables and beautiful flowers in that area. Proximity to Cebu City means all your other criteria will be well met.

Or another place I really like on Cebu is Danao City. Not much shopping there but it's still close enough to Cebu City that you can easily go there for a day of shopping. What is does have is a nice little city, right at the base of the mountain and some lovely beaches in the area. I find the town square to be particularly picturesque.

If you can do with a little less sophistication and much less shopping opportunities then Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental province on the island of Negros (neighboring Cebu island) might fill your bill. Silliman University and hospital are good but if you need major medical care you'll probably have to trek on over to Cebu. It's cooler up around the Valencia area there.

For clothing, cotton, cotton, cotton. No polyester! It's a humid country and you'll need clothing that "breathes". I like large, loose fitting short sleeve shirts like the Hawaiian style. Cargo shorts are my norm when there. I prefer sandals but sneakers are good sometimes too. Keep a couple of long pants, some nicer shirts and shoes handy in case you need to visit a government office. Did I mention you'll want to wear cotton? :-D

Racism in the Philippines?

As African-Americans you will not have any conflicts with the locals. You are a foreigner and the famous Pilipino hospitality will over come you. Truly wonderful, happy and caring people. And the smiles they have will take your breath away. The only instance where there might be any conflict would be with another expat, sad to say.

By: Greg W. Goyo