I probably should have made this my first post. I hadn’t necessarily decided to have a blog and when I did I was spending my time trying to get it set up. I still have a lot of work to do in that area, as you can see. But with that, I hadn’t prepared any posts.

How did we end up with land on Samal Island?

My wife and I had been talking about where we would live when I retired for awhile now. She, from the beginning, wanted to know if I would consider retiring in the Philippines, and I have always thought that I would consider that. The more we discussed it, the more I liked the idea, and it become obvious that it was my wife’s desire. We put off any plans to look for a place until we could return there. My wife has only been in the US for about a year and half, but we both wanted to get back to the Philippines fairly soon.

We’ve discussed various ideas on where we would live. I didn’t want to live in a big city but preferred to live outside any city  we considered. She grew up in Mlang Cotabato and Davao and really has a preference for that area, though she agreed that we would not live in the province. So we kind of narrowed down our choices to somewhere outside of Davao. I had been to Davao previously and liked it, she had lived there and really liked it. It seems  to have everything we are looking for, except we would live maybe 30 – 60 minutes outside the city.

Anki Bisaya Phrasebook Flashcards

When we finally worked out a time when we could go on our vacation, I found that I was so busy making arrangements for the trip that I hadn’t really set up plans to look at land. Our trip was more complicated than usual as we were going to spend most of our time in the province but not all of it. Even though I had been to the Philippines 3 times before and met most of her immediate family, I had not been to her province. This was something that was important to me to do.

I stumbled across the Mindanao blog (while researching other issues), and then the Live in the Philippines blog. Bob Martin got me in touch with his wife, Feyma, who does work helping foreigners find land. They had recently bought some land on Samal Island and had information and photos on their blog in regards to that. Feyma also had contacts for places outside of Davao, so I arranged to have her show us around. In my correspondence prior to making the arrangements, Feyma also relayed some pricing examples so I had an idea of what we would be looking at financially.

I’m not one to normally rush into a situation without doing a lot of research. The happens to be an exception. My time was very limited in and around Davao. We would probably not be back for another two years. That being said, I was not going to buy something that wouldn’t work for us and I had to have some comfort level with the situation, which quite frankly was a worry to me. We arranged to be in Davao three times during our twelve day trip and Feyma was nice enough to take us around two separate times. We ended up looking at the Samal Island land on both occasions, as that quickly became our focus for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that Bob and Feyma, having lived in Davao for many years, are buying the land adjoining ours. They have a comfort level and working relationship with the land owner, which played a big part in my acceptance of the deal.

So with a couple of trips to Samal Island, negotiations, discussions of how the transaction would transpire, lunch and paperwork – we finally got some land. I figure this at worst to be an investment, but with some planning and luck, to be our retirement spot. There’s a lot to do and a lot of time before we get there. I hope to blog what we go through to achieve that here.