Cebu – The First Night (February 22, 2017)

by FI Fighter on February 22, 2017

in Philippines, Thoughts, Travel Updates, Updates

Hey everyone, I am now writing to you all from Cebu! I arrived last night, and was initially planning on heading on over to the beaches today, but I woke up to some heavy rainfall this morning…

Oh well, that’s just the way things go sometimes…

When it comes to Cebu, although this is my very first trip out to the Philippines, it’s had a special place in my heart for awhile now… You see, when I first started getting serious about achieving early FI in 2012, I started hitting the books hard and doing a lot of research into investing. By mid 2012, I had won my first Rental Property, and was starting to develop an addiction for real estate. Fast forward to February 2013, and I had just won my second deal, so I was even more hooked… Well, in February 2013, my brother had just returned home after a nice, relaxing vacation out in the Philippines… His first night back, I must have talked his ear off about my latest deal and how I was working incredibly hard to get to the End Game so that I could finally check out of the grind forever!

And just, you know, kick back and enjoy the good life for a change…

The good life…

My brother knew all about it…

Damn, man, the Philippines is a pretty incredible place… It’s sunny and warm, the beaches are beautiful and blue, and the people are just so carefree and happy… I saw these little kids playing outside on the streets, and their smiles were so genuine and warm… Like, I was out in the countryside, and these people don’t have much to their name, but they just go along their own merry way… It was so awesome to see… It really makes you realize how simple life can be…

To which I responded:

Hey bro, if the Philippines is really so amazing like you say it is, what’s to keep you from just staying there longer, or indefinitely? Why’d you come back to the Bay Area? Why can’t you have this simple life that you crave so much?

My brother paused for a long while… Finally, he said:

Shit, I don’t really know… Why don’t I just stay out there?

By mid February 2013, the country of the Philippines became our rallying cry for early financial independence. Cebu, in particular, had become our “light at the end of the tunnel”…

Why Cebu?

Well, I don’t really know… I think it’s because my brother once told me that Manila is a lot of fun, but too crowded and polluted… During his time of island hopping, he liked Cebu since it seemed to be a province that provided the perfect blend of everything… Cebu wasn’t too crowded, but it wasn’t desolate either…

It was just right…

So, throughout the remainder of 2013, and probably up until the day we both retired and checked out of The Game for good, we always talked about Cebu… For us, Cebu had become the End Game…

And it’s crazy, because although I’ve been out here in Asia since the end of June 2016, it’s only now, after 8 months or so, that we finally decided to make it happen…. It’s surreal for me to know that I’m now writing to you all from Cebu…

The dream has finally become a reality…

And it’s kind of overwhelming…

How fast everything happened…

Here’s the rental house, which we’re paying $38 USD/night. 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom… Security guards out front…

Pretty spacious kitchen.

We watched the NBA All-Star game replay last night…

First meal out in Cebu.

Garlic rice.

Buttery shrimp.

Similar to Vietnam, I’m already finding the Philippines to be much more friendly on the wallet than Silicon Valley and Hong Kong… I believe the taxi ride (Grab) from the airport to the rental house set us back ~$4 USD… and it was a long ways away, maybe a 30 minute trip…

Early FI on a budget?

You know it!

Who says it can’t work?!?

I know, I know… It’s like comparing apples vs. oranges anytime you want to compare and contrast different countries… But as someone much smarter than me once said:

There are many AMAZING places out there in the world. You can have a good time anywhere. It’s all about your mindset.

Which helps explain why I never bought into the whole notion that I needed $3 million in net worth before I could retire comfortably… in the Bay Area… when I’m over the age of 50…

Screw that!

Don’t get me wrong, I will ALWAYS be grateful for my time in Silicon Valley… It helped me become the person that I am today…

But I also had a blast living out in Hong kong…

And Japan was loads of fun…

And Vietnam was an incredible experience too…

And Cebu?

So far, I’m loving the fact that practically everyone you meet knows how to speak good English… The weather is plenty warm… The air feels fresh out here, being so close to the water… They were playing American music at the airport, restaurant, shops, on the streets, everywhere… All the signs are in English….

Assimilating out here for a Western dude like me couldn’t be any easier… The locals are so friendly and welcoming.

Really, what more could I ask for?

 

Early FI is all about the freedom to be able to do whatever you, whenever you want…

 

For me, it’s all about the simple things in life.

 

Warm weather. Fresh air. Good food. Great company. Health.

 

I don’t need millions of dollars to have the time of my life…

 

Working in a cubicle all day, everyday from 9-5 trying to make people you don’t care about happy, now that’s a total drain on life… Life’s too short to just piss away like that… Over the last year or so, I’ve realized how simple life can be…

 

Cebu.

 

4 years in the making… Finally… The dream is now a reality.

 

I have found my blue beach and fountain of youth…

 

The Simple Life.

 

Fight On!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MirandaNo Gravatar February 22, 2017 at 6:51 pm

I’m a Pinay who just stumbled on your blog today and I’m already hooked reading your posts…. and then I read this-so wonderful and touching. thanks for your post and keep them comin’!

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2 RudyNo Gravatar February 23, 2017 at 12:48 am

Hi Jay,

Great choice! Cebu is a vibrant place. They have got their own mini Silicon Valley there; Cebu IT Park 🙂

You got a great deal with that apartment, where do you search for the places?

Have a blast!

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3 SGNo Gravatar February 23, 2017 at 4:31 am

Craving those Buttery shrimp @7 in the morning. Congrats Jay for turning your dream into a reality.

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4 Dividends 4 FutureNo Gravatar February 23, 2017 at 5:38 am

Why I am looking at food at 830 in the morning. Love your updates and your writing style, keep them coming 🙂 This is what it is all about.

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5 ConorNo Gravatar February 23, 2017 at 8:36 am

Love the blog Jay. Keep it up. How long do you plan to stay in Cebu? Also, what’s your retirement number (if it’s not 3 million)? Do you have one in your mind? I feel like most people do.

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