Thoughts Of World Domination

in City Life

A Change Of Pace – Why I’m Choosing Cebu City Philippines As My Home For The Next 4 Months

ARRRGHH! I’m Pumped!

Now maybe it’s the four instant coffees and two coca colas I’ve downed over the last hour (it’s 11:34pm right now and I’m wired like a stray [phillipino :-s] dog who just found an unattended trash can), but more likely it’s because for the first time in nearly 2 months I’ve had a full day where I felt settled.

I arrived in Cebu City nearly a week and a half ago. I stayed with Ritche & Lee, owners of LMR Infotech solutions (highly recommend them if you’re looking to have iphone apps built).

Ritche & Lee From LMR Infotech Solutions

I’ve been spoilt since I arrived here! Fast internet connections at the LMR office, excellent shopping & chill out spots at Ayala and SM malls, a baller ass peer group doing cool stuff online and improving their lifestyles, chill nightlife and finally: accommodation in a condo with a cool housemate & nearly perfect working conditions .

After speaking to a friend today who’s travelled around most of the Philippines & is a native to the country, I’m convinced that the surrounding areas of the city contain enough sights to feed my wunderlust. Good beaches, stunning (and cooler weather) mountains & some breath taking scenery, I can dig it.

Cebu city just feels right to me, which is weird after my previous post ragging on city life. It’s not the ‘city feel’ that I like though, it’s the opportunities I feel this city presents, it’s almost like I’ve arrived at just the right time.

At the end of one of my favorite TV shows right now, How To Make It In America, the main character Ben Epstein looks out across New York city, having just signed a lucrative business deal, and says to his companion:

“I used to feel like it was mocking me, like it represented everything I wanted but couldn’t have. Tonight, I feel like I got a shot.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself! My second day here, right before donning a full body neon-orange ‘suit’ and zip lining from one tall ass building to another with my friend Tanya, I looked out across Cebu city and had that “world is mine” feeling that is always followed up with mental imagery of me as Scarface, for some reason.

Lewis Quartey As Scarface

I’m ready to step this up!

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you listen to this podcast episode by Dan & Ian from TropicalTalk Radio on the TMBA blog. Their thoughts and discussion on mission statements & ‘being an expat’ is gold!

Their talk around the topic of time and how you can reach autonomy and build positive relationships at an accelerated pace living in Asia resonated with me so much! Go and listen and tell me you’re not pumped to move out to the tropics and build your own business tommorow, leveraging everything the ‘location independent’ lifestyle has to offer!

Tuscania Condominium Cebu

Home is where the productive workspace is

All this is to say that I am officially setting up shop in Cebu city for 4 months or more. With MyFreeOnlineStore coming out of the development stages and ready for me to start with promotion, and the e-commerce development & marketing side of things ramping up, 4 months to focus on biznazz and improving my lifestyle (finding a decent gym for example) can only be a good thing!

If you’re in or near Cebu city and want to meet up and grab a coffee, get in contact via email or on Twitter. If you feel like pointing out some of the benefits/drawbacks of Cebu city that I have yet to experience because I’m a n00b – or if you have similar plans to set up shop in the Philippines or anywhere in Asia – I’d love to read your comments below!

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  1. Love the photoshoped pic.

    From everything I’ve seen so far (2 times to Davao, 2 times to Cebu) I’d prefer Davao.

    Biggest advantage of Cebu over Davao is probably
    a) better nightlife
    and
    b) easier to go to neighboring islands for a weekend getaway.

    However, none of the trips that you can do from Cebu (Bohol, Duma, Malapascua) are day-trips, so you might as well hop on a PHP 1000 flight from Davao to Cebu if you wanna go there.

    On the other hand, you can go on great island-hopping daytrips in Davao.

    Worse nightlife in Davao is not really a disadvantage, it’s probably better for you in the long-run =)

    I’d say biggest advantages of Davao over Cebu are
    a) Cheaper.
    b) Hiring staff is 50% cheaper as well.
    c) City is more quit, peaceful, lots of green-spaces.

    • Great feedback David. I can imagine Duma being 100x better then Cebu in terms of lifestyle, getting out and going island hopping, perhaps renting a bike and cruising around and enjoying being a rockstar on nights out due to being the rare foreigner.

      Couple of points that, mentally, are holding me back from Davao:

      – As a rare foreigner, on a day-to-day basis can you really feel ‘comfortable’ in Davao – as in can you shake that feeling of “I’m not from here and all these people know it”. I’m finding that there’s a bit of comfort in anonymity here in Cebu, even if the constant looks from pretty ladies is flattering.

      – Does Davao shut down after a certain time. Like in Mindoro, where you cant do anything but go to a (quite intense) bar after 9pm if you don’t want to stay in?

      – In terms of staffing, are you aware of a certain limit to the abilities of staff in Davao? I know I’m generalizing and talking about a city full of people as if they’re commodities, but my impression is that any Filipino with real chops is going to follow the money and head to Manila or Cebu to try and make it? Just a thought.

      I’m looking out for deals on flights to Davao, I think the only way to settle this internal battle of “where in the philippines should I call home” is to hit the ground and get a feel for the place.

      Thanks again for your comment David!

      • -) I personally don’t care (or even notice sometimes) when people are staring at me. I think there are less than 10 foreigners below the age of forty in Davao – you’ll get tons of stares.
        I think that’s the biggest problem of Davao – not getting the stares but having very few like-minded people around. Cebu is a lot better, but I’d say the Philippines is not the place to be in general if you wanna hang out with successful (online) entrepreneurs.

        -) I don’t think everything shuts down at 9, there are bars and restaurants that are open longer. Almost all “not so intense” places close probably between 10-12 though.

        -) Depends on what you’re looking for. Finding a highly skilled programmer or designer will probably be hard. However, finding someone for your call-center, to edit a podcast or do SEO – all the stuff where only proper English and a common sense is required will be easy and cheap.

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