Archive for Cebu on the rise

Retire richly in the Philippines: Invest in retirement homes, cheap apartments, or build and sell houses

If you’re soon retiring and looking for a retirement business idea – consider building a retirement home or a cheap apartment in the Philippines.
Why the Philippines?
-Things are so cheap here – construction materials are relatively cheaper – even cheaper if you go for Chinese manufactured materials flooding the Philippine hardware stores today.
-Lands are cheap here.
-Construction labor is so cheap here.
-Engineering and architectural services are also very cheap here.

Why the retirement home or apartment business?
-The Philippines has lately become a favorite destination of tourists especially Koreans and other Asians who are not just touring but also learning English, as we Filipinos are known worldwide as good English speakers, and teaching services here are also very cheap. These educational tourists are always on the lookout for cheap apartments.
-There is a steady rise of the Philippine population and there seems to be no decrease of it ahead, thus expect more people who will need shelter. Don’t worry about population as we continue to export overseas workers all over the world and they continue to bring a good supply of money for the economy.

One business you might want to look into also is the build and sell business. Since construction cost in the Philippines is cheap then the margin of profit in this business is really favorable as you can build cheap and sell at a relatively high price, especially when you target expats and overseas workers as your buyers.

Benefits of freelancers

Freelancers are your best option if you’re looking to save further and don’t want to hire a contractor. A contractor’s profit is around 10-20% and that is significant savings for you if you’re on a very tight budget. The 10-20% profit that should go to the contractor is the price for assuming the headaches and stress that go with a construction project – be it a new build or a simple renovation.

You can hire a freelancer for your working drawings – designs, plans / blueprints. You can also hire an engineer or a skilled foreman to supervise the construction works. There is a freelancer for all aspects of construction – electrical, electronics, plumbing, civil, designs, etc.

By hiring freelancers and bypassing the contractor, you assume the contractor’s function – project management, which is a constant source of stress and headache, the same function that most well budgeted customers try to avoid.

Uber fuels you… Literally…

If you want to go places with your car without spending for fuel then drive Uber. The uber system has recently added four token destinations a day where you can drive to your specified destinations and get riders towards your way. Taking rides for uber sometimes give you not just money for gas, but a little extra for the wallet. But I strongly suggest you don’t turn it into a career for there is no career in it. It is just for gas, and that’s it. If you’re driving on non-surge hours, and you’re driving a mini van or a car with big engine, all you’ll get is mostly just money for gas.

If you drive on surge hours (high demand hours) then you’ll get a little extra for the wallet so you can treat the person you’re meeting free coffee or what not. Believe me, I’ve been picking up uber riders for eleven months now and all I get is gas money and a little extra, so I mostly turn the app on just to pick up riders heading towards my specified destination.

There were days when I did try drive for 8-10 hours straight to test their system and I do get sometimes a clean p1,500-2,000 for ten hours but only if I’m driving the small hatchback with less than 1.0 engine. Now that I’m using a heavy bodied minivan with 1.6 engine on automatic transmission, because they no longer allow small hatchbacks, I only make a clean p500-700 for driving 8-10 hours – that’s all that’s worth my precious time burning my butt driving.

So, if you value your time, and you have other better things to do like blogging, watching the stars, or talking to your pet, use uber just for gas and that little extra for treating your prospects with that nice cup of coffee.

If you have meetings at far away places on a daily basis, Uber will be very useful for you. Imagine how much daily gas and free coffee will cost you in a month. If you want some gas money, go here –> Join UBER (click)

Benefits from Top Cebu Contractors

A lot of our site visitors ask “what do we get from TCCI”.

Here’s what we can do for you: We are a gathering of Cebu’s most affordable contractors, thus if you’re on a tight budget, you will certainly benefit from us.

Once you visit our site and request for a quote or consultation, our most capable and most interested contractors, based on your budget and requirements, will bid on your project. Unlike your visit to other regular contractors, who may even laugh at your budget, TCCI will give you the most interested contractors. So, in effect, we are a one stop shop providing you your needed bids. Most of our site visitors are looking for the best value for their money.

Let’s face it, once a contractor grows, he will start to limit the kind of projects or budget he accepts. It has something to do with scaling – once you’re big, you tend to eat big and skip the small ones, unless if you’re really hungry or in great financial need.

Your visit to our site might be your last window shop as we certainly have the best provider for your budget based project.

Planning small scale construction

Planning is one very important aspect that should not be taken for granted if you plan to build your home or plan to make renovations of an existing one. Assuming you already have a lot, or a unit, in case of renovations or house expansion, your planning starts at envisioning what you want to build. It is at this stage that you choose who will prepare the working drawings for your project. Working drawings or blueprints not only serve as guide for the workers but also to comply with the building officials requirements when applying for a construction or building permit. It is better to keep changing the design on paper than to keep changing the actual construction – since the former does not involve any cost.

Getting an architect to prepare your drawings is usually more costly than getting a design build firm since the architect will be focusing on the design only, whereas a design build firm’s design is affected by the target cost of the project. In other words, the design build company will always design based on the projected budget which is usually initially agreed upon. An architect usually prefers to be given freedom in the design and will usually assume that the owner will adjust the budget – especially when he is pleased with the design. Some architects also like to do the construction since it is usually part of the design contract that they also follow thru with the supervision of the project. Some owners also turn to a design build firm for the construction since they know design build firms usually cost lesser, than contractor architects.

When choosing a design build firm, it is important that you like their portfolio since it is their finished product that defines who they are. Choose a contractor whose costing fits your budget. Older and larger contractors are usually costly to engage with since they have a dedicated staff and their reputation allows them to demand higher costing or profits. Smaller contractors usually price lower since they have a smaller staff to keep and have a smaller market share thus every prospect they meet is highly valued thus they tend to go after the project itself, not the profits or how much they make of it.

Finally, project monitoring, reporting, and evaluation is very crucial for small scale projects since the funds are limited thus the profits are also limited so, there is very little margin for order changes. Not like the larger contractors – if the owner doesn’t like what he sees, then it can be easily demolished or changed, but for smaller contractors, every finished product or resource is very valuable. (By Engr. Josifer Bejer)

The Tiny House Inspiration

If you’re looking to downsize, cut living costs, or simply just want to finally build your own home, this tiny house is a great inspiration…


Because most of us dream of building mansions it will take us years or some even a lifetime to finally build our own house. Why not dream big right? There is no problem with dreaming big or hitting for the stars, but if you’re in a hurry and want to be alone in your own home right away, consider building small. Like Snowbell in the movie Stuart Little used to say – “I’m telling ya, Stuart – if more people gave up, there’d be fewer wars”

Building small is not surrendering your dream house, it is about starting small and working on your budget. 

Some sign up for a huge loan through a bank without knowing about the need for a counterpart funding. When you sign up for a loan, the bank will release only a small seed start up funding and they require you to produce up to at least thirty percent of the project cost before they make the bigger second and succeeding releases. 

JACCS Builder: Design, build, and renovations

JACCS Builder is a design and build and renovations company offering one of the most affordable construction services available today. Jaccs is owned by Engr. Jeffrey Sesnorio, a sibling of the owner of Elizabeth construction. Jeffrey is the backbone and main guy of the operations of Elizabeth construction, but he recently formed his own JACCS Builder. So, if you want experience and affordability, JACCS is your builder. 

Long adventure trips

In today’s era of modern travel and cheap flights, people prefer to jump straight to their intended destination in minutes instead of taking the long trip and enjoying the views…

A long adventure trip however is not about getting to your destination the fastest way, but enjoying the sceneries along the way.

Take for example a proposed long adventure trip to Mt. Apo in Davao from Cebu. The best most scenic itinerary to Davao is thru Dumaguete then Dipolog then Bukidnon. Imagine the sights you get to traverse such as the centuries old historic churches going south of Cebu, then the university city of Dumaguete also known as the city of gentle people, then through the historic Dapitan where you get to view Rizal’s life in exile, then Oroquieta City one of the cleanest cities in the country and DOH orchid awardee due to its tough campaign on smoking, then Cagayan de Oro City the real gateway to Northern Mindanao, and then just before Davao you get to pass through the canyons and pineapple plantations of Bukidnon. There is a reason why this route is called a long trip because the main point is to enjoy the beautiful places along the way.

Other proposed long trip destinations are: 1. Cebu to Mayon Volcano which passes thru Bogo City, Palompon, Tacloban, Samar, then Sorsogon; 2. Cebu to Mt. Hibok-hibok which passes thru two proposed routes – (route A) via Dumaguete, Dapitan, Oroquieta, Ozamis, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Balingoan Misamis Oriental, and Benoni port in Camiguin, and (route B) via Tubigon, Chocolate Hills, Sierra Bullones, Jagna, and Balbagon terminal in Camiguin; 3. Cebu to Agusan River in Butuan which passes thru two proposed routes (route A) via Dumaguete, Dapitan, Oroquieta, Ozamis, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, and Gingoog City, and (route B) Via Tubigon, Ubay, Bato Leyte, San Ricardo, and Surigao; 4. Cebu to Boracay which passes thru Toledo City, San Carlos, Bacolod, Iloilo City, and Caticlan; or Cebu to Anywhere in the Philippines that is accessible by a Roro boat (roll-on roll-off).

Long adventure land trips can take days yes and you can make it more adventurous and creative by sleeping in tents instead of hotels. If you are traveling in a group, you also get to save on the travel costs since you will only be spending on fuel and the roro fee for the car.

A small light car is proposed for these long land trips to further cut on the travel costs since small cars are charged less in the roro boat and also consumes less fuel. If you would like to book a long land trip for a maximum of 4 people, you may email

Office of the building official: Processing your building permit

Despite the new Duterte administration, corruption is still rampant at the municipal engineers’, city engineers’ (official of the building official – OBO) today.

There is one town south of Cebu where you cannot just simply get building permit application forms, you will have to undergo a brief orientation with the municipal engineer before he hands you the application forms. The orientation is basically about the “contractor’s tax” that he is asking. Contractor’s tax is requested at 3 to 5 percent, and the chief engineer explains this is a different kind of tax because it will have no receipt as it is a kind of mutual discreet agreement between the contractor and him. The building official further explains – if you cannot afford the 3 or 5 percent, then you may just take their supervision package of at least five thousand per month. He or one of his men will visit your project in the weekends to supervise your project. By agreeing to either the 3 or 5 percent or the supervision package, you will be assured of the occupancy permit which is issued during completion of your house project. If you’ve experienced something like this before, please feel free to share in the comments below… At first, I was a bit surprised that his assistant did not have ready forms for walk in visitors. He had to call the chief engineer who was at a different office that time.

Well it was my first time facing with such a very corrupt government official like that. Most of the municipal engineer personnel I’ve met in other municipalities before do not directly talk about how much they’re asking for; instead they try to look for the minutest insignificant glitch in your documents and they offer to fix it for you for a significant fee. One OBO personnel in one town north of Cebu insists your tax declaration payer name should coincide with your title even if it already coincides with the name on the deed of sale. Then he proceeds in offering his wife’s service to fix this for ten thousand pesos.

In my interviews with the other contractors around Cebu, most of them still do the old practice of inserting three to five thousand pesos in the building permit papers upon submission to the municipal engineer / office of the building official. This practice ensures your papers are processed faster and they even call or text you to update you on your application. Those who do not know this practice will have to suffer the consequences – to wait several months to get the building permit or be slapped with additional unnecessary requirements and other impediments. One city – very close to Cebu City is so well known by contractors to be very strict and difficult if you don’t insert some cash in your papers…

Other well-known practice is to hand out two to three thousand pesos during the OBO personnel’s site inspection on your project. By doing this, you will be ensured of a clean slate in his inspection papers.

Fine Finishing Contractors


Fine Finishing Contractors are on the rise today. They are the contractors who applies the fine finishing touches to your residential or commercial building projects.

A standard contractor’s focus is usually to finish the project on-time while sticking to the agreed-upon budget without unnecessary additional quotes which the customers hate. What usually happens is the tiny finishing details are overlooked – this is where a fine finishing contractor comes in.

The standard contractor also, tries to finish a project with just the standards set forth in the building design. Other aesthetic flares and small upgrades are taken care of by the fine finishing contractor.

Sometimes, the same standard contractor also has his own team of fine finishers who are usually highly skilled specialists with keen eyes for the minutest details.

It is very important that the fine finishers focus on the fine finishing touches only while the standard workers focus on the standards – this is called specialization.