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Cebu, the Next Virtual Assistant Hot Spot

Ce-where? You heard it right, it’s Cebu, an island bustling with Virtual Assistants and Virtual BizNest’s base of operations. We’re proud to call it home cause it is not just any city, it’s different in the best ways possible. Cebu is a globally-connected nexus that’s growing and heading towards the future – and here, we’ll show you what makes it stand out and why it’s the go-to place for VAs (and vacations too)!  

Queen City of the Heart

It is known as the Queen City of the South, but it isn’t actually located in the southern island of Mindanao. While it is to the south of the capital of Manila, overall Cebu is actually right in the center of the archipelago. It’s heart, if you will. So what does this impromptu geography mini-lesson mean? Well, it means that due to Cebu’s strategic location, it is in the proverbial crossroads, accessible to those in the north and the south, making it a center for local and international trade and a true cultural melting pot even by Filipino standards. Which takes us to the next point…  

Diversifying Population, Mixing Influences

In pre-colonial times, Cebu was already a hodgepodge, as the locals interacted with seafaring traders from across Southeast Asia and beyond. Today, it’s the second home of numerous expats, such as Japanese and Koreans coming to learn English, Indians and Africans studying medicine, Americans and Europeans setting up startups or coming to retire, as well as Filipinos from the other islands. So Cebuanos and those who have settled here are utterly used to living in such an eclectic environment. Even the cuisine is blending, with local lechon (roast pig) coming with kimchi as appetizer, and fried chicken using Indian curries and spices for sauce. (On that note, the local food scene is superb, as any Cebuano VA can tell you after payday.) For clients looking for a Virtual Assistant or two, going for talents based in Cebu means you’ll be working with individuals who have their fingers on the pulse of an increasingly interconnected world – because their surroundings reflect that reality. They can adapt to new trends and easily grasp different perspectives and lifestyles. This is quite handy in a wide variety of situations, from customer support roles to interacting with the clients themselves.    

A Modern City with Beach Town Chill – a Winning Combination

While Cebu isn’t located near the capital, it is no sleepy farm town by any means. It is a continuously growing and modernizing metropolis, with a population of urbanites long accustomed to eating out, shopping in malls and the general hustle and bustle of city life. At the same time, the island isn’t entirely a concrete sprawl, the mountains and beaches are always just a couple of hours’ drive away. And the pace of development hasn’t been that rapid, so people still remember what life was like in The Good Old Days.   So locals retain a good balance between work and life, the very environment still allows for outlets and escapes from stress. The cost of living isn’t excessive either. Cebu has all the benefits of urbanization, so you won’t have to worry about your Virtual Assistant’s internet access, but at the same time people have enough reprieve and can remain warm and cheerful since the city hasn’t turned into a science fiction dystopia.  

A Hub of Creativity

All this serves as fertile ground for an immensely talented and creative community. There are illustrators and graphic designers whose skills are levered by international brands. Content creators abound along with a pool of programmers who are a major boon for startups and big companies that need an edge in an increasingly competitive market. The area is just brimming with artists, filmmakers, performers, culinary maestros and plucky entrepreneurs, all of whom help enrich Cebu’s culture and make the local scene interesting.    

Safely Situated

Business and the arts are booming in Cebu because it is a safe and stable place to set up shop. Its location in the center of the archipelago helps it avoid the worst effects of typhoons. And it’s history as a prosperous trade hub with a population accustomed to mixing it up means that political or civil unrest is very uncommon. Cebu won’t be appearing in any major CNN headlines, just popping up in the news once in a while whenever it hosts international conferences and summits.  

Best for Business

At the end of the day, these are the elements that make Cebu best for business. Each one is already a compelling reason, but as a whole they become greater than the sum of their parts and is something quintessentially Filipino. Startups seeking talents to enhance their performance would do well to consider looking to Cebu for their next Virtual Assistants.   -John Li

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