Bohol, often overshadowed by its more illustrious sibling provinces in the Philippines, has a quaint charm that often goes unnoticed. This small island province, located in the Central Visayas region, is home to more than white sandy beaches and azure waters. The tranquil atmosphere, coupled with the friendly local community and the region’s rich biodiversity, make it an appealing destination for expatriates seeking a peaceful life in the tropics. But is it the right place for budget-conscious expats to settle down? Let’s delve deeper.
Living in Bohol is relatively inexpensive. Rent for a comfortable apartment or house is noticeably cheaper than in major cities. Local food and goods prices are quite reasonable. The lower cost of living makes it easy for expats to live comfortably even on a modest budget.
Safety & Security (13/15)
Bohol is generally safe with a low crime rate. The locals are friendly and respectful, but like any place, it’s recommended to exercise usual caution. The local police are approachable, and there are adequate law enforcement measures in place.
English Language Accessibility (8/10)
English is one of the two official languages in the Philippines. Boholanos, the locals of Bohol, are generally fluent in English, making it easy for expats to communicate and integrate.
Proximity to a Good Airport (7/10)
The Bohol-Panglao International Airport is a relatively new and well-maintained airport, providing connections to domestic cities and limited international destinations. While it’s not a major hub, its close proximity to Bohol is a plus.
Public Transportation and Infrastructure (7/10)
Public transportation is available and affordable but can be a bit confusing for newcomers. Jeepneys and tricycles are common modes of transportation. The road infrastructure is decent, but not on par with larger cities.
Availability of Internet (7/10)
Internet access in Bohol can be inconsistent, especially in rural areas. In city areas, it’s more reliable but might not meet the high-speed standards of some Western countries.
Expat Community & Services (4/5)
While Bohol isn’t a major expat hub, the community here is welcoming and supportive. The number of foreign residents has been growing over the years, and there are services available to cater to expat needs.
Availability of Emergency Medical Care (3/5)
Bohol’s healthcare services are decent for minor ailments, with several hospitals and clinics. However, for serious health concerns, it might be necessary to travel to larger cities like Cebu or Manila.
Natural Beauty & Outdoor Recreation (4/5)
Food, Dining & Social Scene (3/5)
The food scene in Bohol leans heavily towards local Filipino cuisine. While there are some international options, they’re not as diverse as in larger cities. Local bars and social scenes exist, though they are modest.
Cultural, Recreational Activities & Entertainment (3/5)
Cultural and recreational options are available but might not be as varied as in cosmopolitan cities. Folk music and dance events, along with local festivals, provide a peek into the cultural richness of the region.
Bohol has a tropical climate, which means it’s hot and humid throughout the year. The monsoon season can bring heavy rainfall. This might not be to everyone’s liking.
Overall, Bohol scores a B (80) in Doc’s Passport rating. It is an affordable, safe, and English-friendly location, with the added bonus of natural beauty. However, the limitations in internet reliability, healthcare services, and climate might not make it an ideal choice for everyone. Remember, this evaluation is for expats looking for a peaceful life on a budget.
As a reminder that this system is based on objective criteria and doesn’t account for your personal preferences, note that Gio of Gio in the Philippines ranks this city as #3 in his list of 5 Best Retirement Cities in The Philippines.
This evaluation is geared towards expats seeking affordable living arrangements and not those looking for vacation spots or other purposes.