Cebu City: The Queen City of the South (Doc’s Passport Score: 83)

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This city offers a great mix of urban life and natural attractions. It’s the Philippines’ second largest city, serving as a magnet for Filipinos from all over the country seeking employment opportunities.   Some of my readers may be interested to know that an estimated (very roughly) 91,339 single adult women in Cebu City.

In Cebu, you can enjoy Western amenities, modern apartments and condos, and a dynamic dating scene. The city has plenty of nature spots, from waterfalls to beautiful beaches. However, be prepared for traffic and pollution that comes with its bustling city life.


Safety & Security: 12/15

Living in Cebu City, you’ll find that it’s generally safe. But, like anywhere else, it’s important to keep your wits about you and avoid unlit or unsavory areas, especially late at night. The city is increasingly popular with expats and tourists, which has helped in fostering a safer environment. Remember, though, as the city grows, it grapples with issues like petty crime, traffic congestion, and pollution, which are common in developing urban centers.

Affordability: 13/15

Here’s the cherry on top for many expats: Cebu City is delightfully affordable. With a lower cost of living than many Western and Asian countries, you can live comfortably on a moderate budget. Whether it’s rent, groceries, or dining out, you’ll find your money goes a long way here.

Proximity to a Good Airport: 8/10

Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Philippines, and it’s quite modern and well-equipped. It offers direct flights to and from many key cities in Asia, and even some long-haul destinations. Plus, it’s just a short drive away from the city center.

Availability of Internet: 8/10

Internet service in Cebu City has significantly improved over the years, though it might not yet be on par with the ultra-high speeds available in some Western countries. You’ll find plenty of places with reliable WiFi, especially in business districts and upscale residential areas.

Public Transportation and Infrastructure: 7/10

Public transportation in Cebu City is an adventure in itself. Jeepneys, tricycles, and taxis are the primary means of transport. However, the city is working on improving its transport system with new bus routes and ride-hailing apps. Infrastructure is continually improving, but expect a blend of ultra-modern buildings with traditional and aging structures.

English Language Accessibility: 9/10

English is widely spoken in Cebu City, given its status as the Philippines’ educational center. Many Filipinos are bilingual and have a good command of English, making it easy for expats to communicate and get around.

Availability of Emergency Medical care: 4/5

Cebu City has several reputable hospitals and clinics that offer quality healthcare services. However, as the city is still developing, it might not have the same level of medical facilities as some Western countries.

Expat Community & Services: 4/5

There’s a growing expat community in Cebu City, drawn by the affordability and tropical allure. The city offers several services catering to expats, from international schools to businesses that specialize in helping foreigners.

Natural Beauty & Outdoor Recreation: 4/5

Cebu City is a stone’s throw away from stunning natural wonders – white sandy beaches, stunning waterfalls, and diving spots rich in marine biodiversity. However, within the city, green spaces are limited.

Cultural, Recreational Activities & Entertainment: 4/5

Cebu City is brimming with history, art, and culture. From ancient churches to colorful festivals like Sinulog, there’s a lot to see and do. For night owls, there’s a vibrant nightlife with plenty of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Food, Dining & Social Scene: 4/5

Filipino cuisine, anyone? Cebu City is famous for its Lechon (roast pig) and seafood. The city has a lively dining and social scene, ranging from traditional Filipino carinderias to high-end restaurants.

Climate: 4/5

It’s tropical island living in Cebu City, with warm weather all year round. The city has two seasons – the wet and dry season. For some, the constant heat might be a turn-off, but for sun-lovers, it’s paradise.

Final Results

Cebu City, with a Doc’s Passport Score of 83 (Grade B), is an engaging mix of natural beauty, affordability, and cultural richness, making it an excellent choice for expats on a budget. With a growing expat community and increased safety, it’s certainly worth considering as your next home.

It is worthy of note that Gio of Gio in the Philippines ranks Cebu as his #5 pick in his 5 Best Retirement Cities in The Philippines video.

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