Retire on $1000 Month in Cagayan de Oro Philippines

Retire on $1000 in Cagayan de Oro Philippines 
Cagayan de Oro Philippines Cost of Living  
Best Cheap Food, Accommodations, Flights 
White Water Rafting Cagayan de Oro Philippines 
Cagayan de Oro Philippines Nightlife  
Cagayan de Oro Philippines Walking Tour 
Best Retire Cheap in Paradise Locations in the World

This is my Retire on $1000 Month in Cagayan de Oro Philippines post.

This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube Channel for Vagabond Buddha. I travel the world and write retire cheap reports. I gathered the data for myself for many years but now I also share the data with you.

My goal was to find the best retire cheap in paradise locations, so I could retire early in paradise, at a younger age when I had more energy to enjoy retirement.

After visiting 65 countries, I was surprised by how many choices I had. The other thing that surprised me was that it was so cheap to travel the world, I could keep going. I didn’t have to actually settle on one country. Travel for travel’s sake was educational and invigorating.

So I just keep moving forward instead of picking one place and calling it home.

In 2016, I started Vagabond Buddha to share the information with you. I share my favorite places around the world where you can live on half as much money as you probably thought possible.

Just click the “More Information” link below this video, for all my information about Retire on $1000 Month in Cagayan de Oro Philippines and 50 other of the best retire cheap destinations Worldwide.

Cagayan de Oro Philippines Cost of Living

One of the biggest mistakes you can make living internationally is to fall in love with the first retire cheap in paradise location you visit. It is better to “date” several of our recommended paradise locations before deciding to go steady with one. Watch my video of the Top 10 Mistakes International Retirees Make before you head out on the highway looking for adventure. You should at least know the major mistakes are before a little plan Stan, to set yourself free.

If you decide to live like a local instead of creating your old life in a new country, you could save buckets of money on food, accommodations, and transportation.

A nice dish in a local restaurant in Cagayan de Oro is around 80 Pesos ($1.60 USD) per person. That same dish in a tourist restaurant could easily cost four times as much.

Locals can easily find a middle class apartment for less than $200 USD per month plus utilities of around $110 USD including Internet. Yet, if you want a high-end apartment in a new building, you could easily spend $400 USD (or more) per month depending on square footage and amenities. See Numbeo for Cagayan de Oro.

The below numbers are for a temporary visitor. So the rents are a little higher than discussed in the previous paragraph. As such, some people may be able to save a little in rent and a little more by cooking at home. There were no hostels in Cagayan de Oro so we are giving the price of the cheapest hotel per night on this day.

Estimated Cost of Living Table
















Hostel/per day (No Hostels)





High-End Restaurant





Neighborhood Restaurant





Food Cart










Bus (Jeepney)











Per Month





Per Day




Here is a free report explaining, “How The Cost of Living Table Works

This estimated cost of living for one month, for one person, as a temporary visitor. It only includes rent, 2 meals per day, and local transportation. I usually have oatmeal for breakfast in my room, so I don’t count that. For a full understanding of what it would cost you to live here, visit Numbeo for Cagayan de Oro.

and add any items you spend money on.

Never move anywhere until you have visited first personally to verify the living costs for your lifestyle and needs. I am not guaranteeing these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different depending on lifestyle and the time since this post.

Here are the livability factors I would use to determine whether or not you could Retire on $1000 Month in Cagayan de Oro Philippines.

Cagayan de Oro Livability Factors

High means a factor is very livable, low is not. Medium means that factor is in the middle of the spectrum.

Walkability: High. I rate Cagayan de Oro as highly walkable. The sidewalks are not in very good shape but everything is close that you need in daily life if you stay in the central area. If something is not close enough for you, jump on a Jeepney for 10 Pesos and you’ll be there inside 10 minutes.

Internet: High. We had our own router in our Airbnb apartment and the Wifi was great. The great Wifi we had is called Globe at Home (20 Mbps down, and 11 Mbps upload, at 6:30 PM). You will be fine if you are Internet hogs like us. Also, there is another fast Internet solution even if you stay in a hotel. Just go to one of the coworking spaces in town. They are below about $5 USD per day and include unlimited coffee.

Food: Medium. There doesn’t seem to be as many international food choices in Cagayan de Oro as you will find in other medium-sized cities in SE Asia (600k people living here in 2015 census). Plus, there is a very meat-centric diet in the Philippines. There were not many Vegan (or Vegetarian) restaurants listed online, so we cooked a bunch at home (Please correct me if you know otherwise). We ate at one and it is on our best cheap food and life video for Cagayan de Oro. We shopped at these two grocery stores (one, two) and were able to find almost everything we needed. So we just cooked at home while in CDO. There was no night market here. Food will not be a concern here if you eat animals and fish.

Weather: High. Average highs (days) range seasonally from a low of 85F/30C in January to an average high of 90F/33C in April. Average lows (nights) range seasonally from a low of 71F/21C in January to a high of 74F/23C in May. The rain varies substantially by season. June through October, over 8 inches (200 mm) of rain falls spread over 17 days per month, whereas, November through May, 5 inches (100 mm) of rain falls on average in 10 days of the month. I am generalizing here.

Things to Do: Medium. This is a typical mid-sized town in the Philippines. There are malls and festivals. There is a beautiful countryside to explore with lush mountains and streams, kayaking, and white water rafting. There are beautiful loving people, and even the beautiful Miss Universe of 2015 (Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach) is from here, though she is in New York today, according to her Facebook post (“Should I stay?”). One of the most beautiful islands in the world is just a short bus and ferry ride away (Camiguin Island, 3-4 hours total). We head there in 48 hours, check back for pictures and video. The center of city life seems to be malls, movies, drinking, family, and food (nothing wrong with any of that). Welcome to the Philippines (We love our Filipinos in the USA).

Expats: Medium. With English speakers running everywhere around you, you may not need as many ex-pats around you to feel at home. But you may need tips on where to find stuff. Check out these Facebook pages (Facebook 1). (Facebook 2). (Facebook 3). (Facebook 4). They may know where to find sugar free tomato sauce for your Marinara or refried beans without lard? They may also know where you can get a nice apartment for $300 per month. Just be careful who you listen to. Some will tell you how much it costs to recreate home here instead of how to live fabulously as a local.

Medical: Medium. Here are the top 5 hospitals in Cagayan de Oro according to this source. I recommend asking the ex-pats on the Facebook pages before an emergency happens.

Exploratory Visa: High. For your exploratory visit to the Philippines, Americans (and Malaysians) can obtain a 30-day free visa stamp upon arrival at the international airport (in Davao). We were able to get a 29-day extension for a total of 59 days in less than an hour in Davao last week. Here is the immigration office in Cagayan de Oro. It cost us $60 USD to extend 29 days in Davao. We needed only your passport and the money there. There is no longer a picture required for the extension application which you can complete in 5 minutes at the office. I am told, you can get additional extensions of up to 6 months with some proof of solvency. As stated in my “Top 10 Mistakes International Retirees Make,” I recommend you spend several months here (at least 3 to 6 months), before considering obtaining a retirement visa.

Retirement Visas: High. There is a Visa program for people 35 to 49 years of age if you are healthy, active, and able to deposit $20,000 in an approved Filipino retirement account. This Visa allows you to live in but not invest in the Philippines and you can pay extra for dependents. You just need the money, a medical clearance, and a police clearance. The most popular visa allows investment in the Philippines and requires a larger deposit. For those 35 to 49 years, with a $50,000 deposit, or those over 50 years with $10,000 deposit, either, that can also show $800 monthly income for individuals or $1,000 for couples, you will have the right to invest in the Philippines. Or, if you are over 50 years, you can avoid proving income with a $50,000 deposit. Income requirements can be shown with the Social Security Administration stating your benefit amount.

Real Estate: High. Rents are cheap. This is not professional advice. But I would not buy real estate in the Philippines. If someone recommends that you buy in the Philippines, they probably have a conflict of interest with you. Just lease month to month. The rents are cheap and you can just hand the keys back to the landlord when you leave. If you want to own real estate, buy in a more economically safe country (i.e. USA) and live off the rents in a cheap country like the Philippines. Hire a property manager to manage your real estate at home. Some people will tell you clever ways to get around the limitations of buying property here, but I suggest you balance their advice against what they will gain personally if you buy.

Banking: Medium. This is not professional advice. Leave your money in your home country bank and take money out as needed at ATMs. When you are in a foreign country, it is much easier to get into a mess than to get out of one. If you want to store money outside your home country, don’t put it in developing country banks. Put it somewhere safe, like Switzerland. If you decide to put money in the banks here to get a visa, you will probably end up fine. Just understand the risks are higher.

Pollution: High. Cagayan de Oro is on the ocean so the air seemed fairly good. I was surprised to learn it was merely average when we were there. Maybe it is all the Jeepneys that seem to be spewing smoke out the back. In general, it is better to not swim rivers or lakes near cities in SE Asia unless there is some government periodic testing you can verify. The further you get from cities and industrial areas the safer the water generally there is lower risk. There were very little observable pollutants in the air in Cagayan de Oro while we were there. In the dry season, you will experience dust especially on roads of Cagayan de Oro that are not paved. Like most of SE Asia, it is not unusual to see single-use bags strewn about the city or piles of garbage in open fields.

Cagayan de Oro Overall Desirability Score: High for nature lovers and medium for cultural explorers. There are beautiful mountains and rivers to explore starting around 30 minutes from Cagayan de Oro. Plus you are just a short flight from some of the most beautiful beaches, jungles, and mountains of the Philippines. The people are lovely here in Cagayan de Oro.

If you are finding any value here, could you please like it, comment, share or subscribe? Your simple act of kindness will move us up in the Google and Youtube search rankings so our business grows faster.

If you would like to learn how I fired my boss and started traveling the world, click the “More Information” link below and grab a free copy of my EBook:

How to Fire Your Boss and Travel The World

Cagayan de Oro Facts and History

Here are some interesting Cagayan de Oro facts and history.

Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City is located on the northern-ish side of one of the largest islands in the Philippines. There were about 700k people living here during the last census of 2015.

It doesn’t get much international attention because there are not any memorable white sand beaches within an hour of the city as you will find in Davao, the largest and most famous city on the south side of the island. But that could be positive if you want to hide among fewer ex-pats and be more of a novelty as a westerner here.

Plus you are just a few hours by bus and ferry from one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines with famous white sand beaches. Or you could fly to many other white sand beaches in the Philippines when the mood strikes (without being surrounded by ex-pats when you are ‘home’).

If you love white water rafting and kayaking in (freshwater) lakes and rivers, you will be happy and excited to know about (CDO).

Human remains were found locally carbon-dated to 300 AD but the commercial influence was able to influence politics and build over the top of some of the archaeological evidence. Not a political concept limited to the Philippines.

The aboriginals associated with these societies were acknowledged by invading Spanish colonists as early as 1622. They were remembered as animists traditionalists paying tribute to local Islamist leaders to avoid conflict. By the late 18th century, the animists were paying tribute to Spanish Roman Catholic influence to avoid death or conflict. I have seen no evidence that aboriginals pay tribute to any gods other than Christianity or Islam. The present-day Chinese worship Taoism or Buddha.

In 1898, Americans assumed control from the Spanish under the Treaty of Paris. The Americans won a war of independence against the locals in 1900 but later gave independence to the Philippines in 1946, after helping the Philippines push out the Japanese in 1946.

During World War II, the Japanese controlled this part of the Philippines. Two hundred Japanese soldiers retreated to the Jungles after losing Cagayan to Filipino and American forces. Of the two hundred Japanese, only 38 survived by cannibalizing 70 Higaonon tribal people.

Please subscribe to or our Youtube Channel to watch us move around the world. 65 countries so far.

To find out about retire cheap in paradise members-only benefits, watch the following video.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for your interest in our Cagayan de Oro Philippines Retire Cheap $900 Month information. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

2 thoughts on “Retire on $1000 Month in Cagayan de Oro Philippines”

  1. Dan…where in the Philippines is the most Western like? I know the Philippines is a developing country, but where can i find the most modern subdivisions with no roosters and drive a scooter 15 minutes to the city?

    1. Hi Tom, Stay where I list above as ‘where we stayed’ on the ‘accommodations’ link above. I don’t remember hearing any roosters there. In general you want to stay in larger cities in a high-rise in upper floors or in the country in gated communities. But you have to visit the place before booking long term. Boots on the ground and listen. 🙂 Best, Dan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *