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Home loans to expats from local banks


I have had a couple of inquiries from expatriate clients who are not married to a Filipino regarding the possibility of getting a loan from a local bank to finance their home purchase here in the Philippines. So is the option of borrowing from a local bank possible for them? The answer to this question would vary depending on which bank you are talking to.
To shed light to this concern, I met with a couple of bank officers and here is what I was able to get from them:

While it may seem quite straightforward, the more stringent part of the loan application process would be to prove that the expat applicant will be staying here for good and that their purchase will be used as their permanent residence in the Philippines and of course, their capacity to pay off their loan.
We also have to keep in mind that they are only allowed to apply for a loan for the purchase of a property that is covered by a Condominium Certificate of Title for obvious reasons. Also, it is very crucial to know if your expat client is purchasing the property for his or her permanent home or as an investment.
Now, although a guarantor or co-borrower is not required by most of the banks that I have interviewed, I ascertain that this would still depend on the result of the applicant’s credit assessment that will be conducted by the bank.
As for the loan per se, bank’s would usually offer a maximum loan payment term of 10 years with an interest rate similar to what they would give to a local borrower.

Cebu Shopping

Cebu Shopping

Some say shopping is a great stress releaser. Most of all, shopping is a fun activity especially when you are in a foreign land.
Being atop tourist and business destination, Cebu has something to offer for all types of person. From water sports enthusiasts to businessmen, party goers to shoppers. Major to minor shopping centres are strategically located in different parts of Cebu for accessibility.

Life at Ayala Center Cebu

Ayala centre Cebu located at Cebu business park is one the biggest shopping malls in the region. Ayala mall offers first-rate shopping experience for Cebuanos and tourists. Others fondly dubbed this mall as the “shopping centre for elites” because of its exclusive and high-end boutiques. Supermarkets,clothing stores, accessories, fitness centre, first-class dining establishments, coffee shops and state-of-the-art cinemas and beautiful landscaped gardens are what to expect in Ayala mall.SM City Cebu is the biggest shopping mall in the region and the fourth largest shopping centre operated by SM Prime Holdings. The mall is also the 11th largest shopping mall in the world with a gross floor area of 268,611 square meters. Since its first opening in 1993 SM City Cebu remained to be the top shopping portal for shoppers of all ages until today. Hence, SM Cebu has everything you need from appliances, beauty shops, health and wellness centre,apparel, entertainment, home improvement, computers, bookstores, ATM’s, and others.

SM Seaside is the largest SM mall in the philippines and is a great experience

Two other shopping malls located at the heart of the city are Robinson’s mall and Elizabeth mall. Though these two are smaller version of SM Cebu and Ayala, boutiques, entertainment centre, supermarkets and souvenir shops, gaming area, dining establishments are also available. Other shopping centres include: Metro Gaisano and Gaisano South.

Night Life

Night life in Cebu

As most night owls would agree, Cebu has its share of wonderful night spots and bars. The uptown area (which is located at the Fuente Rotunda stretching to Mango Avenue) for one, is like a sleepless haven every night, especially during weekends. People flock to the popular night spots such as Mango One; a collection of various restos, restaurants and shops and Mango Square- where disco houses, videoke bars and night clubs are numerous. In addition, fine dining with acoustic bands are in season these days. Grill houses such as City Grill, Mango Grill and the Boss Grill have respective live bands to entertain diners. All of these dining spots are still located along the stretch of Mango Avenue.

If you like to combine dancing, loud music, partying and meeting girls then the night clubs will certainly be for you. If it’s your first time in Cebu then I’d recommend you head straight to Mango Square where you can find six popular nightclubs clustered all in one area.

For those who are more inclined to tireless dancing, Sunflower City or NASA is the place for you. Not only do they offer great live band entertainment, food and drinks are superb, as well.

Moreover, Crossroads and IT Park offer various types of night entertainment especially for those who want to hop from one club to another. Crossroads, which is along Banilad and just near the Banilad Town Center (BTC), is a street filled with restaurants and resto bars. Vudu Club is a place where lots of foreigners can be seen with DJs tuning the party scene. K1 is Cebu’s premier karaoke bar that offers fantastic drinks, at affordable prices. What’s more, transportation is never a problem since a lot of taxis are waiting just outside these bars.

With all these Cebu sights and sounds at night, there will never be a boring time for party animals.

Just a word of caution however, male foreigners should be aware of hookers preying along at bars to get some of your dollars.

The area around Mango Street and Ayala shopping mall are popular places for people to buy investment property in Cebu

Historical Places In Cebu

Historical Places

Although Cebu City is already a bustling metropolis, its historical heritage and richness can still be felt everywhere. Similarly, their traditions of celebrating fiestas to honour patron saints are prevalent throughout the whole Cebu province.

Every 3rd week of January, the Sinulog festival is celebrated throughout the city with people from everywhere willing to witness the celebration every year. The Sinulog Festival is actually a history in itself with the ultimate purpose of honouring the Senor Sto. Nino, believed to be the infant Jesus. Majority of the Cebuanos are devote Catholics thus, people flock to the Basilica el Minore del Santo Nino especially on Fridays and Sundays no only to pray and pay respect but also to witness the grandeur of such an old structure that dates back to the Spanish era.

Magellan’s Cross

Another historical place noteworthy in the whole Visayas region is the Magellan’s cross which was planted by Magellan himself on April 14, 1521. It is presently housed in an old kiosk with wood adobe and red brick tiles. The Magellan’s Cross also marks the spot where the first Christians (Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana) were baptised by Fr. Pedro Valderama and continues to attract all kinds of tourists up to this day.

Fort San Pedro


Another noteworthy historical edifice in Cebu City is the Fort San Pedro which is the smallest, yet oldest fort in the Philippines. It is a triangular fort which served as the first Spanish settlement in the country and was built in 1738. Just outside Fort San Pedro is a popular park for strolling and picnics. Plaza Independencia is Cebu’s most historical plaza with the obelisk of Legaspi as the most dominant feature. Additionally, numerous historical structures can be found all along Cebu’s provincial towns such as old churches and monuments. Thus, every traveller will surely be enticed with Cebu’s rich culture and history. You can still see some of the spanish influence in the current architechture when you are looking particularly for houses for sale in Cebu

Lapu Lapu Shrine
lapulapu shrine

A shrine to Lapu-Lapu who was the person who beat Magellan in battle and killed him Lapu-Lapu became the first national hero. Mactan Island is now also called Lapu-Lapu city in honour of him. This battle was chronicled by Antonio Pigafetta (c. 1491 – c. 1534) who was an Italian navigator born and was paid a huge amount of money accompany the Portuguese captain Ferdinand Magellan and his Spanish crew on their trip around the world. Of the 260 men who embarked upon the circumnavigation with Magellan in 1519, Pigafetta was one of only 18 who in 1522 returned to Spain after Magellan’s death having managed to complete the circumnavigation under the captainship of Juan Sebastián Elcano.

Getting Around Cebu

Transportation Services

Getting around the second largest metropolis in the country is easy with the varying types of transport available. The “King of the road” or jeepney represents the innovativeness and creativity of Filipinos. In Cebu, jeepney is the most popular mode of transport with a conductor to call in passengers. Tourists are advised to beat the handrail of the jeepney using a coin for the jeepney to stop or simply tell the conductor the place where you need to stop for him to beat the roof of the jeepney. For only eight pesos (minimum fare) you can go to your desired destination given that you took the right route.

If want to get around the city or anywhere in Cebu without the hassle of transferring from one jeepney to another, taxis are available. Air-conditioned taxis are accessible anywhere in Cebu with built-in stereo for comfort and light entertainment. In addition, make sure to ask the taxi driver if there is a metre or use the metre before getting in to avoid being ripped off. Flag down rate starts at 40 pesos and additional 2.50 pesos for the succeeding 200 metres (actual fare plus ten pesos as directed by Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB)). Another common type of transportation which can be found in remote barangays and cities in the province is tricycle. The regular motorcycle is designed with seating capacity on the side that can carry six passengers. Motorcycle fare ranges from 8 pesos to 20 pesos per person depending on your destination.

Filipinos are known worldwide for being a survivor and the ability to cope with the everyday challenges. With the soaring price of gasoline, trisikads are considered the best cost cutting transport. These three-wheeled non-motorizedbikes are typically available in suburb areas and barangays. Tartanilla or horse-driven carriages are also accessible in Carbon and Ermita areas.

Car Rentals

Car rental services these days are very much appreciated by travellers the world over. This is because they offer the individual plenty of advantages.

One benefit is the freedom to decide exactly how you want to explore a certain place. Another, a person will not have to depend on and be limited by public transportations when exploring a locale. Since there are many kinds of cars for rent, a traveller can easily cruise the city with a compact car or go tour dirt tracks with a four wheel drive whenever he wants. Additionally, the variety of vehicles offered by car rental companies will provide the tourist many options as to how fashionably he can travel. For those who are on budget, a lot of reliable and economical automobiles are certainly available. For those who have the money to spend, it is an easy matter to avail of luxury cars.

If you have decided to rent a car on your next trip, here are some things you might want to know. Number one, a lot of car rental agencies can be found near airports so you really do not have to stress over this. To make it more convenient, you can book online the car you like and have it waiting for you even before your plane hits the tarmac. However, understand that you need to posses a driver’s license and a major credit card before you can rent a vehicle. If you cannot drive, just pay extra for a driver. Finally, you should consider getting car rental insurance for your peace of mind.

Arriving in Cebu

When all bags are packed and you are ready to go, when all preparations are right in place, it is now time to board your flight to Cebu City- the premier business and holiday destination of the Philippines.

This Place Ain’t Normal

Cebu City can be reached within 1 hour by direct flights from Manila, the Philippines’ capital city. If travelling internationally, be sure to have an ongoing flight tickets or visa in passports as airlines do not allow passengers to board without it. As wikitravel.org advises, “Foreign visitors may fly direct, non-stop to Cebu from Doha, Hong Kong, Busan, Koror, Singapore, Taipei, Kaoshiung, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.”

Upon arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), routine checks of baggage and pertinent travel documents will be done by airport authorities. Upon getting off the plane, hiring rental cars can be arranged with the help of travel agencies accredited by airport management. Or, if you have a pre-arranged accommodation, most hotels provide transportation service for their expected guests. Alternatively you can take a metered taxi from the taxi rank, the cost to Cebu is about 250 -300 pesos. The yellow taxis are more expensive. 

The Heart of Cebu City

There are also a lot of taxis which can be hailed right at the arrival area. However, be aware of drivers offering a “fixed” price for a certain destination because they generally demand higher fares, which is about 50% more from metered taxis.


Cebu City alone can boast of different types of accommodation to every type of traveller. Be it for business, leisure or both, the wide range of accommodation Cebu City houses can cater to different needs and preferences of every visitor. From first class hotels, resorts and spas, Cebu has it. Some hotels provide lesser rates if you know where and when to look. Likewise, for the budget conscious traveller, there are numerous pensions and lodging houses scattered all along the metropolis. With regards to accommodation on far-flung islands, almost every coastal town has beach resorts and villas that provide shelter to eager tourists. Weary travellers on the other hand, who just happen to be passing along, can avail of lesser rates through pension houses.



An Over View of Cebu

Cebu City also called as the Queen City of the South, is located in the Visayan region at the Southern part of the Philippines. A magical place, it’s one of the great tourist destination in the Philippines. It has a number of lovely beaches, world-class beach resorts, finest diving spots in the world making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It offers an exciting range of water sports activities to visitors like skim boarding for example.

Cebu City, the provincial capital, is located on the island’s east coast. The prevailing dialect is Cebuano or Bisaya, but English and Tagalog are widely spoken. Cebu’s main claim to fame is its colourful festival, held every third Sunday of January, known as the Sinulog.

Cebu, it has a lot to offer, from the great beaches and diving spots, great food, polite people the “Cebuanos”, and mostly all things are affordable especially the street food “pungko-pungko”.
From a sleepy fishing port back before Magellan discovered it, Cebu has evolved into a bustling metropolis with various interesting sights and sounds. Being the first and oldest city in the country, having the oldest school (now University of San Carlos), and holding the oldest street (Colon St.), Cebu indeed has its share of firsts, loaded with historical richness. The Magellan’s Cross now found beside the famous Sto. Nino Church, is history in itself.

Fondly called “The Queen City of the South”, Cebu sits along narrow coastlines with plateaus and coastal planes found all over this long, slithering island. To date, a lot of five star hotels and first class accommodation are seated in Cebu which caters to all types of tourists and business travellers. Being one of the most prosperous cities in the country, Cebu can be a good base for low-cost business and investment.

Similarly, Cebu is a great vacation getaway because of its pristine beaches, hot night spots, world class dining and modern shopping malls. In fact, it is the southern Philippines’ seat of growth and development not only in terms of economic progress, but also because of its high tourism rate. Koreans make up for majority of foreigners staying in Cebu City, while others are from Asian and Western countries. White pristine beaches, fantastic diving sites, magnificent islets and rich culture, certainly makes a visitor keep coming back for more of Cebu.

We welcome you to Cebu and should you wish to stay here longer then we have some great properties for you to rent or buy.