One of the most important factors for expats to have when they move to the Philippines is the ability and desire to have contact with people either from their own country or at least a country that shares the same values and understandings. In short we like to talk to others about the problems we have and take advice from people who have been in the same position.
Bars are great places to mix and be sociable, but they are not normally the best place to get information. Let’s be honest drinking too much makes it difficult to remember what you have been told and those giving best advice can have that vital information tarnished with alcohol and exaggerations. So where is the best place to go.
For myself one of the best ways to get information is to read online forums and expat websites. It is so difficult in the Philippines to get black and white information as most things here are tarnished with corruption, bad systems and policies that are only sometimes enforced.
Cebu is a place with many expats that make it their new home. So online forums can have a great assistance even before you leave the country of your origin. It is also a place to see when people disagree with information. Hence, a debate follows and it is normally in that debate that you learn the most.
As mentioned there are numerous places online for expats to look at and here are just a few. Please feel free in the comments to add more or let us know if some of the forums are no longer working so we can update this for new people coming to Cebu City.
One of the sites I read the most is http://www.cebuexpatsforum.com/
Some of those sites also have an offline presence that will welcome new and returning expats and update them on what is happenning and ensuring a real social feel and not just an information forum. Most forums are great places to meet like minded friends.
Here are a few more sites to check out too.
Culture and lifestyle
Cebu is a kaleidoscope of varying cultures and lifestyles, a meeting of east and west, a fusion of things traditional and modern.
This is influenced by the various phases of Cebu: being the spot where Philippine history began, becoming the cradle of Christianity, experiencing American and Japanese occupation, and later on transforming itself into a regional hub of everything— from arts and craftsmanship, to business and information technology.
These, plus the convergence of various personalities and groups from varying backgrounds give the island a culture and lifestyle that is uniquely Cebu.
Traditions remain unchanged over the years, while every taste of things that are modern is embraced.
Forty-four towns and seven cities, various urban centers and countryside, islands and mountain ranges, age-old crafts and new technology. These diverse factors give the many faces of Cebu but still, all lead to one culture of excellence and piety, and a lifestyle of stylish fun all rolled into one.