Living In The Philippines

by Ed Forteau /
Ed Forteau's picture
Jan 10, 2012 / 0 comments

Life in the Philippines is unlike living anywhere else.  Living in the Philippines, you’ll almost certainly experience abundant musical and religious ceremonies and be able to enjoy the scenic beauties found throughout the 7,000+ islands.  From bustling metropolitan areas to surreal sunsets on a secluded beach, it’s no wonder so many people wish to visit, move or retire here.


Cost of Living in the Philippines

Before moving to another country, it’s important to understand how costs may compare to what you’re used to. Something in particular you should know about living in the Philippines – unless you have something prearranged, you’ll probably find it very difficult to get a job as a foreigner.  Therefore, careful financial planning is crucial.


Rent in the Philippines

How much you’re going to pay for rent in the Philippines is obviously going to vary according to the area you choose to live in and what kind of home you rent.  The most expensive place to live in regards to rent is in Manila.  You could spend anywhere from P10,000 to more than P50,000 on rent.  If you’re a foreigner, many landlords are quicker to rent to you because they believe that you’ll be able to pay rent easier than a local family.  Be aware that this means you can often be charged more, though.  Regardless, when you compare the American dollar to what you’ll pay there, chances are good that it will be much cheaper than the kind of rent you’re used to paying.


Food Costs in the Philippines

If you want to keep your food costs as low as possible, be open to trying new things.  Eating foods that are local to the area will save you quite a bit of money and one of the best parts of living somewhere new is getting try new things, right?  On the other hand, if you insist on eating only what you’re used to then you’re missing out on the entire experience while having to pay more!  It costs more to import these goods and that cost is handed down to you.  When planning your food budget for living in the Philippines, you can safely plan to spend P25,000 to P40,000 each month.


Transportation Costs in the Philippines

Driving in the Philippines is drastically different if you’re coming from the U.S. Trust me, you’re going to learn this quickly… before you even start to get ‘settled in’.  You’ll quickly learn that  1.) Road rules are largely ignored  2.) If you aren’t a local then you’re probably going to pay for an accident regardless of whose fault it was.  Many foreigners wisely choose to simply not drive.

In that case, you have taxis, ferries, buses, planes and jeepneys.  When you use a taxi, make sure they use a meter to monitor the costs vs. a fixed price.  To save the most money, use jeepneys whenever you can. Jeepnes are a military-style kind of vehicle widely used for public transportation and are cheap to use.  You can bet on spending roughly P3,000 each month on transportation while living in the Philippines.


Weather in the Philippines

Every region has its ups and downs when it comes to weather and the Philippines is no exception.  Dangerous weather threats while living in the Philippines range from typhoons and floods to earthquakes and volcanos.  Typhoons and flooding is most common from May to December.  Earthquakes and volcanic activity aren’t commonly linked to specific times of the year.  You should monitor local government alerts, as well as the local embassy.  You can even find information on the embassy’s Facebook page.


Living in Manila Philippines

Manila is one of the largest, busiest metropolitan areas in the world, compromised of over 10 million residents and 17 cities.  At the heart of Manila is Makati, but for the most part, Manila’s cities and sections have no clear, well-defined boundaries.  If you want to truly experience Manila, plan to spend at least a few days so you have time to enjoy the endless shopping, dining and entertainment possibilities.  No matter where you’re going to call home while living in the Philippines, Manila is an experience you don’t want to miss.