(Personal Update) ‘Almost’ Homeless, Quiet in Cebu, Staying Indoors – Philippines

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Author: Reekay V.

Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam.

Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures.
— Reekay


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    1. praying this is over soon need to get back to cebu so my wife can pick me up as im still in Atlanta 🙁

    2. well… beeing homeless would be an intresting experience also. The fact that you wont be able to travel elsewhere and stocked could have made your videos pretty exiting: I just imagine you reporting from living in the slums nearby the real typical filipino life is. But ok, I am happy for you. Just saying: it would have made it really intresting because very authentic. Aren’t most people there homeless anyway? I mean sort of. I consider slums as places for homeless. Why all these apartments are empty? Well… look at filipino hotels and compare them with Thailand for example, look that filipino beaches… and compare them. The Philippines is a pretty country but has very little infrastructure. They simply do not care about nothing that much means: that country does not move on as the rest of asia does. Why that? They do not care about many things I guess but I have no pricise answer. I never ! saw any acceptable beach you easily can reach in that country. In Thailand soooo easy. In the Philippines simply all is difficult, a problem, not easy to get. That makes all beeing an adventure also but also: very very difficult. As the ex USSR… ok, we do go truth very hard times anyway but I remember pretty well that it was allways the problem in the Philippines: the people are very flecmatic. They simply wont care. A pity, because actually the Philippines are a very pretty country. Just so not intrested in something (seem to) – as they sleep forever…

  2. i have a pinoy friend in cebu, he has been a life long friend to me. If you are stuck i know he will let you stay at his house. hes has a top floor you could rent for a very small price. it has everything and is actually quite nice. if your stuck of coarse!

  3. Be safe guys! Glad you are there to give us info here in the US about what’s going on at this time in the PI.

  4. Henry, I think having a filipina with you helped. Otherwise, if you were by yourself I think you would be sleeping on the sidewalk along with the homeless people.

  5. Another good video Reekay. I was in Cebu a few years ago. Ayala mall closed is incredible. Looking forward to your condo video. Your kitchen must be really nice with a large refrigerator. Well done.

  6. Man Oh Man, That was really cutting it close. Talk about right down to the finish line. I was supposed to fly into Cebu Feb 14th, then to Baybay. Found out I would have to be in quarantine for 14 days. because of a change over in China ( just off one plane and onto another). So spoke with my girlfriend & i canceled flight. I was to stay with her in Baybay at least 3 months. I wish I did the quarantine I would much rather be locked up with her than locked up in my house in the US . Although I’m sure catching up on a lot of projects to my house LOL. Good luck & be safe my friend 🙂

  7. The president of the Philippines was speaking and talking about not hesitating to kill people and stating not to question the government. When I’m there I definitely don’t talk about the government there but if our presidents had something like this that s*** would not fly

    1. Thomas Brann seriously?? you believe what the mainstream media is telling?? exactly sir! you aren’t in the phils!

      FYI, he’s referring to the REBELS (who are one of the Phils biggest problems since then) and not to the people. you should get your facts straight!

  8. Wow, almost no cars… usually its like Indiana Jones when you want to cross the street…

  9. I’m confused….
    I have only seen a handful of your videos, but in some in Vietnam I thought you said Vietnam was less expensive and at the same time provided a higher quality of life….but you have now moved back to the Philippines ?

    1. it’s true. vietnam is about 30% less for the same (or better) lifestyle than uptown cebu (where i am currently). that hasn’t changed.

      i moved to the ph in order to spend time with my g/f, whom i met back in september (in davao) while on a visa-run from vietnam. when travel opens back up, our plan is to go to vietnam together.

  10. Hey Reekay, thanks for the update on things there in cebu. You and your significant other please stay safe my friend.

  11. I am an American living in a city south of Davao. I saw this coming about 2 months ago and started to buy extra food. I am living by myself and have over 2 months of food now. I have 2 suggestions and observations to give you. Be proactive.and not reactive. Plan for things to get much worse. Food shortages, and eventually ( I hope you are listening).civil unrest.Old prejudices against foreigners as the source of.all their problems will become more and more pronounced as things progress. Keep as low a profile as you can for your own safety. We are beginning to see government officials blame foreigners as it is an easy out for them. If things get better, great. If things get worse you are better prepared for it.

  12. Hi Reekay, keep safe both of you! I”m here So Cali and it seems like a normal day here, maybe a tad less people and cars, bit seems pretty normal even saw smog. We are a stay at home unless you need to retrieve some necessities.

  13. All those precautions seem very common sense and logical. The only problem is this whole corona virus is the biggest scam in the history of mankind. I utuber showed a book from 1989 that explained viruses. The corona virus is listed as the common cold. Good for you to find shelter. That’s quite a predicament.

  14. That’s crazy and extremely stressful. We are glad you got a place to stay. Be safe brother!

  15. Great info toward the end. The way policies are implemented is typical for a nation like the Philippines and definitely this unique situation describes what an expat can expect in case of national emergencies caused by any catalyst. The larger the defined emergency, the less personal right there will be expected.

  16. That is why I left thailand when I could. Even though New York is at the center of the crap now better than as a foreigner where you are very vulnerable to the whims of the local government and population.
    People are going to get very desperate in thailand and foreigners are going to be targets.

  17. Is Rustan’s supermarket still open? I got a text about a week ago saying they were closing until further notice but that may have been just the mall portion.

    1. yes, rustan’s at this date is still open, i shopped there 2 days ago.

  18. …Things are closed down….!!!……..Americans with $50,000 motorhomes are getting kicked- out of American campgrounds, it is THAT bad….

  19. Be safe out there. I used to live in Guadalupe Cebu city for 5 years. We are now back in the US because the kids are now in college. I still have a house there. We were planning to visit sometime this year but I’m hesitating now because of the pandemic situation. Stay healthy and amping mo diha. 🙂

  20. Was planning to move there , had few obstacles and the deal fell thru . Could be i got lucky am 74 so i would have been in trouble lol

  21. I live in It park too now. After lock down prices of condos go down. Instead of 22k i paying 15k plus internet electricity. We have big swimming pool that belongs to the condo. Owner said it hard find tenants now. It park is like same barangay so u can walk around and no need these exit pass. No problem with food in Ayala market. I think here it much better situation than in some provinces or even other country’s.

  22. Have you thought about she tries to rent a room for a month? And of course, use your money.

    1. that would not work. to enter the building, my ID would first have to be registered on the lease, along with copy of my passport. without that, only she could enter the building, not me.

  23. Living in Cordova, Mactan Island with lockdown and also over 65 not allowed out. Thankfully we did prepare ahead with food and prescriptions. We have a scooter so my wife can buy extra groceries if needed. She does have a barangy pass. Stay safe my friend.

  24. Hello Reekay, my wife and I were at Solena for a week and had to Rendezvous to manila a day before all the domestic flights were downed. We were happy to be in Manila, but the next day Duterte put Luzon in quarantine. The next day Luzon was in total lockdown and announced that all international flights will be stopped. Bad time for a vacation. Decided to return back to the States two weeks before our planned departure. At least we had a good month before all the craziness. Stay safe.

  25. Reekay yes i live in Bohol and because i am 65plus not allowed out due to 24 hour curfew but if i need doctor i can get a medical pass when my wife gets me one

  26. Hello Reekay, is the Rustan’s supermarkets is still open right now? Keep safe

    1. yes, i was just there earlier this day. both rustan’s and the metro are operating. but only part of the metro department store is open. grocery store is fully operational.

  27. Hi sorry if I missed it but what price was the apartment per month. Stay safe and take care

    1. Stan… the ‘usual’ rent here is anywhere from 45,000php to 51,000php at this set of 7 condo towers, using Airbnb. (Solinea) But due to the circumstances, we were able to get a 6-month lease at 20,000php. (not including electric or internet) This is not usually the case so, expect to pay the 45k+ rate under normal circumstances.

      I highly recommend our real estate agent, Ann Sarsona, here in Cebu City. You can contact her here.. https://www.facebook.com/maann.sarsona

  28. I’m glad you’re not by yourself during this time.. it would be very lonely.

  29. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of unintended consequences due to the lockdown, but since community spread is such a big part of it, I see the necessity.  I was skeptical at first.    I think it will be quite a while before there is normalcy.  You wil not wake up one morning and everything will be the way it was before.  I think that things will come back in phases with travel between islands and internationally being one of the last things to resume.  I don’t think that the government is going to rush to reopen the borders.It would not furprise me if it is 2021 before visas will once again be issued to foreigners  I hope I’m wrong, though.

    1. i’m of the same mind.. prepared for this to drag on for months. i’m ‘hoping’ NOT… but realistically this is yet to be contained and no uniform treatment or vaccine available yet.

  30. Looks strangely similar to Ortigas Center in Mandaluyong. Nice effects. Amazing that you do this so often. Thanks, Reekay.

  31. I was in Cagayan De Oro city before but back in Canada for a few years, bizarre to see the streets so empty when traffic was mostly at a stand still. It seems the lockdowns are more severe in the Philippines and the same in Peru…empty streets.

  32. I realised my hotel at London Heathrow airport is closed. I wish they could have auto emailed me about my booking being cancelled.

    1. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea oh yeah I was able to do Airbnb, I will try to get the train back north to home the next day. Not gonna hang around anymore because they might stop trains

  33. You have nice ‘haven’ place in Cebu now. I may rent it too when I make it back to PH… I envy you for being together with your Filipina over this rough period.
    Stay safe, positive.

  34. check with health online but masks unless they are hasmat grade dont help stop the virus. they do help if the sick wear them to stop the germs going out

  35. Careful with how you handle your mask, brother. I saw a doctor on TV today explain that touching the inside of your mask transfers germs from your hands into the mask and actually increases the probability of getting the virus. Stay safe over there. I’m an American over here in Bacolod City enjoying the lockdown!

  36. My wifes family lives in Lahug. 7 people stuck in a tiny house on lockdown. Stay safe and healthy. Godbless.

    1. wow. was that at Mirvesa? i had a booking there but a day later they canceled on me. (in lahug) said they were not taking anyone new to the building.

  37. I heard in Naga City, Bicol it’s worse if you’re a foreigner. They won’t even allow you to go buy food with a pass. It’s a catch 22. So if there is no transportation do they really expect a man’s girlfriend to load up carrying groceries? They need to treat foreigners like humans. If that happened here where I live that would be a scandal and make the international media.

    1. so insane. what good is quarantine from a virus he ‘might’ get if certain starvation gets him first?

    1. i never confirmed, but i was told the Raddison in cebu city was taking in residents, at $110usd/night. (again, not confirmed.)

  38. Yes i heard the same thing about Angeles city people over 65 were high risk and not allowed in malls or grocery stores. That could cause major problems for single men. Thank God your not on lock down in the National Capital region around Manila. I bet thats a nightmare.

    1. it constantly boggles my mind how such a simple piece of common-sense could escape the situation here. let the man buy the food he needs to survive. geez. what good is quarantine from a virus he ‘might’ get if certain starvation gets him first?

  39. I had the same issue with rentals. I had been in Philippines since Feb 15th I had paid 4 months rent 200,000php and had signed the contract but the Homeowners Association refused to consider. The owner of the property I think is going to sue them for turning away tenants that had broken no rules or special orders.

    1. i’d say you have a good case. have an attorney look into it, especially with regard to putting your very health and safety into certain jeopardy due to their actions, despite your contract.

  40. Hey Reekay. I’m here in Manhattan NYC. It’s really scary what’s happening here. Stay safe!

  41. Good to see your back in the Philippines , Just take care and Bless you both

  42. Good Day Reekay, just wanted to share with you a link to one of our evangelical missions. We pray for the safety of you and your loved ones during these dangerous times. Mabuhay from Bro. Ern, a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. PS. love your videos!


  43. Same thing down here in Mindanao region. Butuan City is like a Ghost town compared to usual, Yay. April 1st they stopped sales of Liquor, how the hell is that supposed to stop Corona Virus. I mean like there is not hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to buy. I have been sterilizing myself with Tanduay, lol.

  44. I am told that there is NO cases of the Virus in Cebu,well if that is true then why in the world would they shut the Business,I mean that is like Buying a new car and saying I can’t drive it for 6 months.

    1. Harley Man there are few cases recorded (as in very few).. the PUI(persons under investigation or have symptoms like) are already isolated and strictly monitored long before they are tested positive! they shut the non-essential businesses and public transportations temporarily (even only few cases recorded) to not to spread the virus! you know safety of its locals first before business

  45. The place to stay for tourist sounds hard to find. How about if you found a family that would rent you a room in there house? Would the local government even allow you to do that?

  46. Seriously you’re back living in the Philippines? If that’s the case I will start watching you again

  47. I had a similar experience and i am not going to go to Philippines again any time soon. I Bearley managed to fly out of the country at 24 march

  48. barili cebu here, …7/11 open, grocery store walk up and order by list at door. Also a ok pizza restaurant is open for take out . Only trycycle running, motorcycle not allowed and they are checking your pass and only 100 people can sign up for pass to get to town with atm so used remitely to send money to palawan using visa/ or checking and my usa/relatives address. On our acre facing the ocean high up we continue to raise some farm animals, and fruits and veggies…360 even stocked with the tasty brand bread we love so even ice cream. Car is in kia with dash on floor waiting parts and workers to install my a/c…had a picanto for ten years but the kia soul has had several problems and worst part is waiting for parts. my antilock brake parts have been ordered for a year now. sad.NEVER BUYING ANOTHER KIA BUT I HEAR FORD TRUCKS IN CEBU HAVE SAME PROBLEMS. So my kawasaki is way i get around.We are very comfortable and just miss our once a month few days travel. in my 20th year now and love it…i loved pattaya and bangkok but the almost no english turned me off.

  49. I am 69 but barangay captain friend gave me a pass and most look my pass and confirm with driver’s license and do not notice…maybe go to barangay captain and plead your case lol. Wife and kids do not drive a motorcycle much less the 400 kawasaki lol.

  50. I ve been in Philippines 17 yrs and ever seen cebu like that ! Keep safe na lang

  51. Lock down here in Thailand also curfew 10pm to5 am. Up to two years prison penalty for breaking it. Can’t leave country flights canceled, luckily we are in nice retirement home to stay with all comforts .finaly getting a sun tan laying on second floor deck all day I’m happy listening to Pandora radio on vpn. No shortage of food here can drive to supermarket ,requirements are face mask and temperature taken at door and hand sanitizer. I think is safer here than rest of world mostly got virus in check

  52. The United states are saying now the virus was just a political hoax by dems, the hospitals are being told to write on death certificate carona virus is cause of death. This hoax is falling apart

  53. Hi Reekay, stay safe, Australian borders are closed, I myself would love to come to Cebu and meet the lovely Cebu Ladies and have a lovely beach holiday. Its all on hold, stay safe, I will get there one day. Regards Lee

  54. I didn’t venture into Cebu. We stayed in Mactan at a resort, Blue Water $150/ night, all Chinese, elegant, free breakfast. And then onto New Town Apts., $100/night. Great view, grocery store next door, limited restaurants.

    1. Blue Water, just up the street was nice, but too expensive. All Chinese.Good breakfast though

    2. newtown was still being developed when i last lived there. i still enjoy visiting every now and then. 🙂

  55. Hi Reekay, what are you guys doing for exercise over there? Here in the states many outdoors running, biking, etc. Cardio is a good way to keep immune system healthy. I’m curious if swimming pools are open. Can’r transmit through water. Swimming is excellent exercise too. Take care! ~Rob

  56. Here in Quezon City they also allow just one person per household to leave but they are not as strict as far as days of the week go

  57. The Filipinos are very unhappy with the Chinese over the coronavirus right now, I’m hearing it a lot. Stay safe Reekay & V……

  58. I went today first time in 6weeks I drove up to Burger King and the two whopper special,I got food but I needed a change and I wanted to get out for a drive. Businesses are open which is a good thing long as people take precautions to keep themselves safe.

  59. Glad to hear you’re settled safely! I read that 4,500 foreigners were kicked to the street in Manila. Not sure what they ever did, if anything, for them. Hopefully they all either got back home or found places to stay

  60. Is zithromiacin over the counter? I thought all the antibiotics were scrip only.

    1. at the franchise drug stores you will need a prescription. but not at the smaller independent pharmacies.

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