When you first come to the Philippines you will find things are cheap. Cheap rentals, cheap car hire etc. etc. but the longer your here and a bit of research you will find you have already been overcharged. The costs of rent can fluctuate just on the fact your a foreign national which could mean the rent being three times that of someone local. Crazy side of that being if your a retiree they should actually give you more respect as your a long-term renter not someone likely to disappear in the small hours. The best way to find reasonable priced rentals is to search the Expat forums for people going back to their home countries for a short while looking for someone to watch their houses while away. Another method is searching all the classified ad sections on the internet with things like istorya.net, sulit.com and cebuclassifieds.com when you contact people do it via text as you can get a lot of information (including price) without actually giving it away that your a foreigner. Then there is the option of finding people like me who will help you find a place that meets your needs via my many connections here in Cebu.
The other thing you need to look at is how long are you going to be here. If its only short-term I would advise just booking into hotels as this allows you the ability to move if not happy there or if you want to travel round. If its only for a few months you may find some landlords request at least 6 months on contract so you may end up paying a bit more just to get them to agree to a short-term lease/rent. Longer term I would look at what you need presently and if you want something bigger later at least you’ve kept your budget realistic so that this allows you to search for your ideal property. E.g. take on a 1 bedroom apartment for a couple of months while looking for a farm. All in all I find getting a property rental pretty cheap here and its unlikely to change anytime soon due to the constant construction work which can only mean an excess of property rather than a huge demand.
In the provinces we pay P3,000 per month for a 1 bedroom house but I know a similar sized property in Cebu city could cost as much as P20,000 so like most places on the planet its all about location.