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Old 01-09-2013, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Charlotte North Carolina
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A foreigner’s life in Iloilo City | My Philippine Life

Iloilo does not get nearly so many foreign tourists as Cebu and Manila. Places like Boracay, Dumaguete and Bohol see more tourists and have many more resident foreigners than Iloilo. Sometimes, I can spend the day in the city and not see another foreigner. A big part of the explanation must be that these places have much better beaches, but I also think that the Ilonggo character is part of the answer. I find Ilonggos, male and female, to have a reserve and seriousness which differentiates them from the more outgoing Cebuanos and even Tagalogs. They seem serious, proud, industrious, honest, and pious compared the more fun-loving Cebuanos or Tagalogs. Beyond the reserve, I find Ilonggos to be honest, kind, and courteous, but don’t expect them to fawn over you because you’re a foreigner.

You won’t see this in Iloilo
There’s certainly nothing unusual about young Cebuanas dating foreigners but this does not seem common here. While Iloilo has a few “girlie bars” it does not have the kind of pervasive sex tourism/bar scene found in Angeles or Cebu City. Casual dating of a “white” guy would not be considered proper by many Ilonggas. I rarely see young Filipinas with older foreigners, a very common sight in Cebu. Many of the Filipina-foreigner couples appear to be married couples who have grown plump together over the years. In short, Iloilo is not the best choice for the foreigner looking for a good time.
The upside of this is that the foreigner is more a curiosity than an opportunity and is generally left in peace and treated with respect. It’s unusual for me to be overcharged or otherwise taken solicited or taken advantage of because I’m a foreigner. There are not so many beggars. Sometimes when I do see children begging money, they will approach other Filipinos or my wife but not me. I have never been approached by prostitutes or other hustlers as I have been in Cebu City and Manila. I wonder if the relative lack of begging and prostitution relates to Ilonggo pride.
In six years I have never had even a hint of a problem with crime or pickpockets. On the contrary, we have experienced so many acts of kindness. I left a bag with cellphone and digital camera behind when getting off the jeepney. Fellow riders stopped me to be sure I did not forget the bag. If I drop something, multiple people rush to make sure I get it back.
However, does have a community of resident expats, many who have been in Iloilo many years. Expats hold meetings twice monthly on the first and third Wednesday of the month at Langford Place Cafe, which near the SM City mall. Langford Place is just off Diversion Road behind the Philippines Airlines office. The get-together starts at 3:00 p.m.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Macao
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I felt that way in Iloilo as well. Davao as well. The locals in Iloilo (and Davao) have enough pride in themselves, and comfortable enough with what they earn, they remain aloof from the foreigners more or less.

As opposed to Manila, Cebu, etc...where foreigners are perceived to be a walking ATM machine.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Iloilo City
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I am an Ilonggo and beaming with pride while reading the OP. It's true, Ilonggos are not likely to go ga-ga over celebrities or foreigners which may sometimes perceived as arrogance. But it's mainly due to the strong elitist roots.

Nevertheless, Ilonggos take pride in their work and do not scam people(foreigners), or degrade their honor just to get some extra cash.

We show our hospitality not because we want a piece of foreign money, we are hospitable because we are proud.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:14 PM
 
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Sounds like a great place.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:00 AM
 
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I actually find Iloilo to be one of the better places to live and raise families. It's not a tourist spot, but it has lots of charming centuries-old houses, shopping, a waterfront for promenading, a soccer culture, good food, a university and an Ateneo campus. In the western world, this would have been prime real estate.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:23 PM
JL
 
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seems like a quaint place to raise a family without distractions...do many expats live there?


Liveable Iloilo City - YouTube

Last edited by Oldhag1; 10-27-2014 at 04:56 AM.. Reason: Copyrighted material
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JL View Post
seems like a quaint place to raise a family without distractions...do many expats live there?
Maybe the ones who work in the BPO sector but I don't expect the expat population to be as large as Cebu. I know some immigrants from Manila who live there but they are mostly doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:26 AM
 
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Sorry to revive an old thread...what sort of social life could a young expat (26, male) expect here? I will be there for a year, working full time. Dating, making friends etc.?
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mellow88 View Post
Sorry to revive an old thread...what sort of social life could a young expat (26, male) expect here? I will be there for a year, working full time. Dating, making friends etc.?
Don't expect to have a very big night life. Night life is only Friday and Saturday.
Iloilo is just starting to grow so it is just a very simple place and so life is very simple and eating out is cheaper than the capital.
Ilonggos are very friendly and genuine.
Dating ? I guess like anywhere else, women are open to that.
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:19 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,153,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
Don't expect to have a very big night life. Night life is only Friday and Saturday.
Iloilo is just starting to grow so it is just a very simple place and so life is very simple and eating out is cheaper than the capital.
Ilonggos are very friendly and genuine.
Dating ? I guess like anywhere else, women are open to that.
I like how Americans ask how's the dating scene in city X and city Y? It's the same anywhere you go. If you aren't appealing back home, chances are you won't abroad.
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