The cost of living in Puerto Galera is higher than the cost of living on Siquijor Island where I lived before moving here. I guess the main reasons are: closer to Manila and very touristic. Where Siquijor is still developing its tourism.
When it comes to reachability and infrastructure of roads, I think Siquijor is better of. Roro’s and banka’s almost every hour and wide stretched roads even through the mountains. As for Puerto Galera: only bankas, if you want a Roro you have to go to Calapan since the Roro departing from Balatero is out of order due to maintenance and has been quite a while.
The Calapan National Highway is a good road, but that’s it, most other (side)roads end up in dirt roads after a few metres. There is no such thing as roaming around here, like you can do on Siquijor.
Back to the prices. Water, first life essential: in Puerto Galera you pay 1 peso per litre as in Siquijor only 50 centavos.
Soft drinks are more expensive, depending where you drink one prices can be as high as 80 pesos on the beach and 25 pesos in local eateries. On Siquijor prices were an average of 45 pesos, while at local eateries sometimes only 15 pesos.
Seafood is more available here and about the same price, although crab and prawns are extremely expensive, for local standards. So is steak. There is not much variety on seafood on Siquijor and the fish are rather small. here you easily buy a seafood platter for 650 pesos and a grilled boneless bangus at the sugba sugba is 150 pesos.
That is another thing, sugba sugba here is more expensive also, specially those near the beach. Try a local eatery neat Muelle Pier and you find yourself paying the same prices as on Siquijor. So I guess it is tourism that drives up prices.
A pizza Margarita on Siquijor is cheaper than a pizza Margarita in Puerto Galera
And evening to a nightclub, drinking 5 drinks may costs you 6000 pesos before you know it, since the drinks you buy for the girls are standard 250 pesos and you have to pay for the company as well.
Housing: I rented a western style 2 bedroom house with big garden, hot water, near a road on Siquijor for 15,000 pesos, including internet, not included electricity and water. Here I rent a small, but comfortable and newly build western style studio for that same price, water is included, but not the internet.
So you might say: I rent my bedroom from Siquijor for the same price I rented the whole house on Siquijor.
If you are preparing your budget for the Philippines, you might like to read this post How much money do you need to live in the Philippines
My landlady is a bit shady about the electricity bill, and since it is my first month, I am expecting that bill anytime now.
Be prepared to pull out your wallet when you come to Puerto Galera
Well long story short, it is do able, I can live here on my budget, no problem. But I have to keep track of my money more focussed here and divide my dinners between cheap places and more expensive ones.
Here is the cost breakdown of my first month in Puerto Galera.
|subject||amount in Php||note|
|rent||15,000||studio apartment, including water, no internet|
|drinking water||80||4x20 liters|
|internet||1,400||1000 pocket wifi, 400 phone internet promos|
|groceries||4,049||I do not cook, but I do eat breakfast in my apartment|
|eating out||8,693||1 or maybe 2 meals a day|
|motorcycle||1,240||3 fuel tanks and a new oil filter, mechanic payment and tip|
|travel||556||boat tickets to Batangas, jeepney|
|clothes||1,030||flip flops, underwear and 2 t-shirts|
When you live on a budget it is wise to calculate your money daily. I keep track of my finances in an app. Yet this month I came up with a new category: ‘not accounted for’, I had to add 661 pesos to that black hole, for for a moment I lost track of what I spended where.
PLEASE NOTE THAT:
- These prices are according to my lifestyle and maybe not yours.
- This blog is only to give you an indication, no solid facts.
- These prices are based on 1 person, no alcohol, no smoking.
- The date of this article is: October 2017