November 13, 2017
Hello to everyone who are reading our blog now and for everyone who are interested in life in the Philippines. Today I’ll tell you how to survive in Cebu with USD $2.00 per day.
Background story: My friends from Russia for some reason all think that life in the Philippines is very expensive and only the rich can afford to live on the islands. I’m determined to show how cheap it is to live in Cebu, Philippines. In fact, I will show you that living under USD $2.00 is not only possible, but also very reasonable here.
I started the experiment in the morning. I went from 3D academy to the bakery opposite to buy breakfast: 2 buns and a coffee for 24 pesos (~USD $0.48). Not too bad for a start. Then, I strolled a little bit along the streets. I found an interesting market next to our academy, named Lahug. Lahug is also the name of our district. They sell a variety of food (both raw and cooked), groceries, etc.
If you intend to cook at home, you can buy the fresh octopus for 190 pesos (~USD $3.8), or squid for 160 pesos (~USD $3.2), shrimp of a decent size for 200 pesos (~USD $4). This is beyond cheap because you can’t get any freshly caught seafood at such prices in Russia. As I don’t intend to cook that day. Remember my goal is to show the daily expenses of a day out here. So I need to find those local people and observe how do they buy and eat the food here.
I saw something next to the market selling the raw seafood. As I came closer I saw a lot of pots in which there was a variety of cooked food for people to buy. No pain no gain I thought. So I just went ahead and order like a local. I ordered the rice and beef with soup plus a bottle of Pepsi. You guess how much does it cost? GUESS WHAT? It’s only 38 pesos (~USD $0.75) altogether! Yes you heard me right! Altogether under USD $1.00 and you get the rice, the meat, the soup and the soda! (Ridiculous price isn’t it????) I know, deep down in your mind, you might be thinking, is it safe to eat those street food? Did you have a stomach ache afterwards?! Take my word for it- NO! The food was delicious and fresh. No stomachache no nothing, except for the craving for more delicious local food later.
The afternoon passed by quickly when I had something to look forward to. A side story, Philippines is a tropical country and have the summer weather all year long. Hence, it’s super hot in the daytime until the evening. Because of that, outdoor swimming pool is very common and it functions all year long. So I decided to take a refreshing dip in the pool in my apartment and spent the whole day there till evening. All these can be done with my less than USD $500 rental per month. See the post of me renting a place in Cebu here.
Even though I don’t want to leave the comfort of the pool, the experiment of living under USD $2 per day had to be continued. So when I left the house I decided to buy some green vege and make a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers. Guess what, two tomatoes and one cucumber cost me 15 pesos (~USD $0.30), 2 pesos a small jar of vinegar sauce (~USD $0.04). So until this point, I have spent for my 3 meals:-
Breakfast – USD $ 0.48
Lunch – USD $ 0.75
Dinner – USD $ 0.34
Total – USD $ 1.57
WOW! That’s well beyond my target. What do I do with my remaining budget? Out of satisfaction, I simply bought an apple juice in a bottle for 20 pesos (~USD $0.40). At the end of the day, I felt super full and satisfied, both physically and mentally. Even though throughout the day, I felt a crave for more delicacies such as mussels and crabs, they don’t cost much but certainly beyond the USD $2.00 budget (I will share with you in another post), I did not order them. But for a normal person who just needs normal dish, rice, meat, vege, drink etc, you can for sure survive with USD$ 62 dollars a month.
I am so curious, beside Cebu, Philippines, where else on earth can you survive a day with this amount of money a month. Please try to make your own experiment and share it with me. Of course, if you cook at home many people can achieve this budget. However, you have to take the time of cooking and energy spent into account. I survived on this amount without spending a single bit of my energy. So I can safely call my friends in Russia wealthy people who can afford to live on a fairly large sum there. Of course, if you doubt my words, feel free to come here and check it out yourself. What’s more? You will feel the exoticism of the streets and you will not be starved nor will you burn your wallet having delicious delicacies here!
And now think about how many more places you can enjoy learning and travel in such a low budget? Follow us, come and study English with us and I hope that the next experiment I will be able to get you involved!
In my next post, I will share with you onnhow I tried to catch the octopus together with the locals people here.
We are a team of interns and students studying and working in 3D Academy at the beautiful island of Cebu, Philippines. You can always reach us at the social channels below. We will reply within 24 hours :)