Cost of Living in Cebu

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In 2020, Cebu will be celebrating its 455th Founding Anniversary. This old city is one of the three metropolitan areas in the Philippines alongside Manila and Davao and is considered as the capital of the Visayan region of the country.

The city has almost more than 250,000 families with an average of 4 people in the family, making the total estimate of a million people in the town. Young people with ages ranging from 18 and above are said to comprise more than 60% of the total population. This is quite noticeable as you will see more adults in malls, business hubs, and other crowded areas.

The City of Cebu even ranked 12th in the world’s 100 Super Cities while it is the country’s 9th most competitive city. Indeed, Cebu City has emerged to become one of the heavily urbanized places in the Philippines. Tons of celebrities and political figures come and go in the city, and more investors are looking to set up a business in Cebu.

However, the city’s modernization has also affected the cost of living in Cebu. What was once a small town is now filled with sky-high condo, high-end restaurants, and luxury cars. There has certainly been a shift from the humble and simple lifestyle of the Cebuanos as they are now currently known as one of the best people to travel and party with.

If you are looking to stay in Cebu, here are several expenses that you must first take into account.

Housings Costs in Cebu

The city has many housing options. With hundreds of condos and apartments, you can find decent places to live anywhere. Depending on your preferences, housing costs will vary, taking into account the location, size, and amenities that you will choose.

Renting a place in Cebu

Cebu is not only an excellent place for people in business, but it also houses thousands of students from different provinces in the country. With prominent educational institutions such as the University of San Carlos, University of San Jose Recoletos, and the University of Cebu, cheap rental options near these schools are sought after by students.

Currently, a one-bedroom unfurnished apartment with a common comfort room will only cost about 4 to 5 thousand pesos. On the other hand, if you are looking for a condo that is furnished and with several amenities, then you will find yourself in a price range of more than Php15,000.

For rental properties with more than one-bedroom, condos will usually cost at least Php30,000. However, if you want to save, then there are definitely tons of rental properties in different nooks, which you must visit personally.

Needless to say, there are also tons of dorm sharing options that you can avail of. Many students come to Cebu to review for a licensure exam, which is why dorms are also widespread in the city.

Buying a place in Cebu

The city is a real estate haven because there remain thousands of properties that are left unused and uncultivated. There are cheap lot options for those located in the northern and southern parts of the Cebu province, such as in Danao, Talisay, and Mambaling.

However, in the Cebu City proper, house and lots do not come cheap. High-end properties are found in Banilad, Talamban, and Lahug, where affluent gated communities such as the Maria Luisa Estate Park, North Town Homes, Paradise Village, and Beverly Hills Subdivision is located. To own a property in these areas, the average house and lot start at 15 Million Pesos.

Nonetheless, there are also cheaper options that are found in other residential areas such as Guadalupe, Labangon, and Banawa, although they are further from the city proper.

How to look for a place in Cebu

Thanks to the internet, most rental and sale listings can be found on various real estate websites. You would not need to personally go to a house to examine whether it fits your taste or not. In addition, there are hundreds of Facebook groups where you can find house rentals and sales in Cebu.

But if you want to be presented with options, then there are many real estate agents in Cebu that can help find the perfect place for you to live in Cebu.

Utility Costs in Cebu

The Visayan Electric Company charges electricity rates in residential areas in Cebu at a price of Php11 per kilowatt-hour. The water rates of the city start at Php14 for the first ten cubic meters.

Costs of Other Basic Necessities in Cebu

One great thing about Cebu is there are accessible marketplaces. Malls generally have more expensive rates, and they are usually crowded. That is why street markets, such as those in Colon, Carbon, and Tisa, are more preferred as fresh vegetables and fruits are found there.

If you want to skip getting groceries, there are also hundreds of fast food chains and restaurants that you can eat out on. Malls and establishments are found virtually in every corner of Cebu.

Are you too tired to go out?

Then you do not have to stay hungry as you can satisfy your cravings by ordering through mobile applications such as FoodPanda and GrabFood. In no time, your freshly made food will be served right at your doorstep.

Buying clothes in Cebu is never a problem. Just like any other urbanized cities, it has tons of locations where you can purchase your new OOTD’s.

While there are hundreds of clothing stores found in malls, the city is also filled with the local version of the thrift shop, also known as ukay-ukay. With clothes that cost about Php10 only, your fashion outfits are easily achievable. You can find these ukay-ukays in Carbon Public Market, Colon Street, Mango Avenue, and Jakosalem Street.

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Transportation Costs in Cebu

Cebu traffic has worsened throughout the years as more and more people prefer to own personal vehicles. However, there has also been a significant improvement when it comes to public transportation.

Jeepneys and multicabs are the primary mode of public transportation in Cebu. The minimum fare starts at Php8. These vehicles can be found anytime of the day and even at night, so you definitely do not have to worry about getting home.

Recently, the government of Cebu City has introduced BEEP, a combination of Bus and Jeepney. The minimum fare of Beep is a peso higher than regular jeepneys at Php9.50. However, it is more comfortable as it is air-conditioned, and you have an allocated seat space. For when you are in a rush, most people have turned to Angkas, a motorcycle-riding app.

There are also taxis and GrabCar rides that you can use to go around Cebu. But if you have a private car, here is the list of oil prices as of December 2019:

  • Diesel price – Php40 to Php47
  • Gasoline price – Php50 to Php57

Entertainment Costs in Cebu

As the capital of the Visayas area, Cebu City is filled with hundreds of activities that you can do for a day or two. Malls such as Ayala, SM, and Robinsons Galleria are available for your shopping and cinematic needs, with ticket prices starting at Php250.

There are also outdoor activities for the adventure spirited. Skydiving starts at Php19,500 while you can experience sky walking right at the heart of Cebu for only Php550 located in the Fuente Circle.

You can also enjoy clubbing and partying in Cebu. It is most active in January, where the Sinulog Festival starts rolling in. You can enjoy a drink in high-end clubs such as Rumour, Trademark, and Morals, and Malice. For a relaxing and chill experience, there are many bars such as Pipeline, Harrisons, and The Park Social located in I.T Park, a popular mixed-use business park in the center of Cebu.

Related: Cost of Living in Manila 

Educational Costs in Cebu

As previously mentioned, Cebu houses a lot of prestigious universities. For bachelor courses, you can enroll in these universities with tuition fees ranging from Php20,000 to Php35,000.

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Salaries and Earnings in Cebu

As a center of business hubs in the Visayas, there are many jobs that you can find in Cebu. In 2019, the Department of Labor and Employment has set the minimum wage at Php368 in the cities.

The city also has one the fastest hiring rates in the BPO Sector, with call center agents earning as much as Php20,000 a month. From January to May of 2019, these BPO companies have seen an increase of 19% in its hiring rate, with over 120,000 jobs posted.

Aside from the business process, outsourcing companies, Cebu also houses other competitive economic industries such as tourism and agriculture. In addition, the city is also known as a digital hub with jobs such as web development, digital marketing, programmers, graphic designers, and other information technology-related work.

As per the job fair held by DOLE in May 2019, the following are the top ten most in-demand jobs in Cebu.

  1. Nurse
  2. Sales Representatives
  3. Creative Professionals
  4. Accountants
  5. Purchasers
  6. I.T. Developers
  7. Call Center Professionals
  8. Drivers
  9. Civil, Industrial, and Mechanical Engineers
  10. Teachers

On the other hand, I.T. Specialists still maintain as the highest-paid workers in Cebu City. Fresh graduates can earn as much as Php25,000, while managerial positions already earn up to a whopping Php94,000. Customer service managers and executives saw an increase in salary due to the fact that more people are traveling and shopping in the city.

There are hundreds of job opportunities that you can find in Cebu. Several online platforms provide an easy way to be notified of any job listings. You can log in to websites such as MyNimo or Job Street, which are two of the biggest online recruitment hubs in the city.

Weather and Climate Conditions in Cebu

If you live in the center of Cebu, be prepared to stock ice-cold water as the city can become hot and humid, considering the number of people living in the area. The average temperature of Cebu City ranges from 23°C to 32°C. To avoid windy and stormy travel, the best time to visit the city is from January to April.

Cebuano Communities

As one of the melting pots in the country, there are tons of varieties of Cebuano communities that you can associate with. No matter where you go, you will find a lot of foreigners and locals with different interests. In addition, Cebuano’s are very fluent in English, which is why many foreigners love to stay in the city as there is no language barrier.

Nonetheless, Filipinos are known to be very hospitable, which is why anyone can definitely join a community and makes friends quickly. Communities that have a high number of members are composed of those who enjoy playing Frisbee, trekking, hiking, camping, and you can even find foodie groups.

Fun Facts about Cebu

The City of Cebu is historically known as the first place for Spanish settlement, particularly with regard to the story of Lapu-Lapu and Magellan. As such, it is in the city where Christianity was first thought. As such, the highly anticipated Sinulog Festival celebrating Santo Nino de Cebu is one of the biggest festivals in the entire Asian continent.

Dubbed as the Queen City of the South, Cebu stands amongst the country’s megacities. In fact, it is actually the country’s oldest city upon its declaration in 1565 by the Treaty of Cebu signed during the Spanish colonization era.

The city is also most notably known for their Lechon. Lechon is a popular roasted pig dish that many world-class chefs are fond of, one of which is Anthony Bourdain, calling it the best pig he has tasted in one of his food programs.

Without a doubt, living in Cebu is something to look forward to. The city is not only filled with exciting places to explore, but the locals are also very genuine and friendly, which makes the whole experience more fun and carefree.

So, if you are planning to stay in Cebu for quite some time, make sure to take note of these expenses and locations where you can enjoy and experience the lifestyle and culture of this age-old historic city.

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