Hello. New resident living in Davao.

Hi, I'm the only American expat here on this website in Davao. Would like to meet other members to make new friends and learn more about the city we live in.
I spent the last 4 years vacationing to other cities and islands in the Philippines before I was married this year in Davao City.  Currently semi-retired, but that could change if opportunities avail to me.

Hello Good Sir! Thanks for choosing to live here in the Philippines.

Hello Maro, The longer I live here the more I love this city. So much to do and more to discover. I'm curious if you know which radio stations play more American music or English speakers on radio. Any suggestions?

@ dhenderson
I am just curious about your selection to live in Mindanao?  Although there are Americans there, what are your personal views about the US State department travel advisory to not go there?  Also what are your thoughts about meeting in public places with other foreigners that may be there or visit you? 

What do you think about the wording of:

In particular, the embassy is aware of threats in several locales in Region 11 (the Davao Region), Region 12 (North and South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani), and in Maguindanao, the travel advisory said.


"In western Mindanao, terrorist, insurgent, and criminal gangs regularly conduct kidnappings for ransom, including the kidnapping of a foreigner in Dipolog City in early October 2015 by unknown assailants. In central Mindanao, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) remain active in the Cotabato City area, and in the Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces, where the government maintains a state of emergency and a greater police presence. While there have been no recent reported terrorist threats or incidents within the Davao City or Surigao city limits, eastern Mindanao is not free from threats. In September 2015, assailants believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group kidnapped four individuals from the popular resort island of Samal, a 15 minute boat ride from Davao City. Two other individuals narrowly escaped kidnapping in the same incident. There have been no reports of U.S. citizens in Mindanao targeted specifically for their nationality; however, general threats to U.S. citizens and other foreigners throughout Mindanao remain a concern."

Source: … rning.html

The British warning is even stronger than the US.  It reads:
"Still current at: 28 December 2015
Updated: 23 December 2015
Latest update: Terrorism section - in December 2015, the Philippines authorities warned of a high terrorism threat in parts of the country, including: Palawan; Malay, Aklan (Boracay Island); the southern portion of the Negros island region; and a number of areas in Mindanao


Hello Calif-Native,
My wife lived in Davao City and this was where we decided to live out of necessity. Her daughter is in private school here, and her business connections were important to start a successful business while living in the city. There are many warnings about visiting or living in Mindinao. I believe this is very serious and do not travel alone anywhere outside of the city. The current mayor Duterte runs the city with a steel fist. He proudly boasts having killed over 1700 criminals in the city. It is known that there were death squads who killed most of the criminals here in the city. For the most part, I do feel safe here. The kidnappings do happen but in other cities outside of Davao. The incident on Samal Island was at the harbor with foreigners who worked in southern Mindanao. I have been to Samal island with family many times to Pearl Farm and other resorts and always felt safe.  Once we have a few businesses running here in Davao City, we will move up north to Luzon where the climate is cooler.  Davao City is the safest city in Philippines and is listed as the 4th safest city in the world. Thanks.

Thanks for the info and response.  Take care.

dhenderson :

Davao City is the safest city in Philippines and is listed as the 4th safest city in the world. Thanks.

It WAS listed at number 4 out of 349, in 2013, but it is now shown at position 56 out of 443 in 2015, after Makati.

Makati, Philippines    Rank:  39  out of 443.      Crime Index:  22.08      Safety Index:  77.92
Davao, Philippines    Rank:  56  out of 443.      Crime Index:  25.33      Safety Index:  74.67

But these comparisons (of places I have lived in and consider safer) make me wonder, about the accuracy of statistics.

Brisbane, Australia    Rank: 159 out of 443.      Crime Index:   36.45      Safety Index:   63.55
Adelaide, Australia    Rank: 198 out of 443.      Crime Index:   40.40      Safety Index:      59.60
Sydney, Australia        Rank: 222 out of 443.      Crime Index:  43.20      Safety Index:   56.80
Lausanne, Switzerland    Rank: 231 out of 443.      Crime Index:   43.78      Safety Index:   56.22
Gold Coast, Australia    Rank: 279 out of 443.      Crime Index:   48.65      Safety Index:   51.35

Thanks for your update. Makati has made such great improvements in the last 3 years. I love this part of Manila. My favorite hotels are in Makati. The crimes here in Davao City are mostly robberies at homes without good security and pickpockets. That is why we have installed home security system and cameras.

hi Devin
i am here in davao 4 years , if you need help txt me here,,,

Hi Mike,
Good to see your reply.  Hope your Christmas was very nice. I'm always looking for the restaurants that taste most like food from California. Tiny Kitchen, Coco's, and TGIF, Italianni's at Abreeza Mall are closest tastes to home. I'm curious if you have discovered other great places to eat, either American or other nationalities.  Still looking for authentic Mexican food, but have not found it. What are your favorite places to eat out?  Do you like Filipino food or do you regularly shop at S&R?
Thanks, Devin

Hello Devin. I decided to move to Davao from Central Luzon due to cost of living and security issues and, so far, am VERY happy with my decision.


Hi Scott, Welcome to Davao.  I'm only 2 months settled in, yet I really like living here.  Traffic is not too bad compared to Manila and I have a S&R located 5 minutes from home.  Just like Costco from home.  My wife and I are both employed and keeping busy.  I'm curious to hear a few of your likes and dislikes in the city.

Well, so far, I like everything about the city except the traffic situation, outdoor smoking ban, and I haven't found a good swimming hole yet.

Hey people! Wow, it's so nice to hear that there are other Americans in Davao. I plan to move to Davao as early as December this year or early next year. It's amazing how many Americans I see at the mall, whenever we saw one another we nodded like we're acknowledging we found some secret treasure here in the Phils hehe. I was there not a month ago, I do plan to go and marry my girlfriend there. Any advice, wisdom and experience you all can impart would be greatly appreciated!

Hey, are any of you guys Veterans? I happen to be the only VA and American Legion accredited Veterans' Service Officer in the whole southern Philippines and I was approached by a Legion officer in Manila and asked to look into opening an American Legion Post in Davao City.

Would this interest any of you?

Good Morning,

I currently live in Bohol, but will move to Davao City in late March.  Maybe, we can have a cup of coffee when I arrive.



I am a member at large in AMVETS, but I would be interest in American Legion.  We will be moving to Davao City in late March.  We currently live in Bohol.


Sounds good Richard. Let me know when you arrive.

Your information regarding Davao City is incorrect and misleading. Obviously you have no personal experience of living in Davao City. It's consistently rated one of the safest cities in the world and has a strong law and order Mayor. I suggest you don't give advice about things of which you have no personal knowledge. I have lived here for years and to witness violence and aggression is rare. Try Chicago for gun related murders and compare.

Hello Norm Allard,

To whom are you talking? Anyway, everyone is giving his opinion so please respect others' point of view and we are all on the forum for mutual help, respect and conviviality.

Thank you,

Good Morning Norm,

I have heard there is an American Legion Post.  Do you have any contact information?  We will be moving to Davao City in April.


In sorry I don't. I'm an Australian and my friends are from all nationality's


Working on getting that set up. Thanks for your interest. Shoot me a private message when you get to town.

Scott Rosen
Veteran Service Officer

in Matina,Davao, is a restaurant owned by a Dutch national and on thursday often expats meet there the adres can be found on google ,name of the restaurant is "de bonte koe"

greets Dirk

It just shows how much BS is given as advice. I have lived here for four years and my buddy 12. We have never witnessed violence of any kind. Check your geography as places you mention are not in Davao City which is the safest city in the Philippines and equal safest in Asia. Try visiting Chicago lol.

If you crave Dutch hospitality you can also try De Boerterij in Matina across from S&R. A good mix of expats.

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