Living In The Philippines Expat Guide

Living In The Philippines Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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The Philippines is one of the destinations for retirement, not just in South East Asia but the whole world. In fact, the government of this country has supported expat in several ways. From the diverse and bustling cities to different outdoor activities, the benefits of moving to this country cannot be overemphasized.

With the brilliant weather, low cost of living, and English-speaking people around the cities, you’d want to live in the Philippines. Whatever life you’re looking for, you’ll undoubtedly find it here. Besides, it’s crowded cities to the solitude of pristine, deserted beaches, museums, and contemporary arts and style.

With a population of 110 million, the Philippines have been ranked as the 13th most populous country in the world. Meanwhile, the population is evenly split among urban dwellers, rural, and those living in the country. Other large metros in this country include Cebu and Davao, with a population of 3 million and 2.5 million, respectively.

If you’ve been surfing the internet to get the right information about living in the Philippines as an expat, look no further. As of early 2021, it was estimated that the population of the Philippines lives in a good standard of living. However, many other changes have been made to improve the living conditions.

In this article, we will walk you through the ultimate guide to living in the Philippines as an expat. Aside from this fact, we will walk you through the ten facts about the Philippines ‘ living conditions. And afterward, you’ll understand the pros and cons of living in this country. Would you love to know more? Read further!

Interesting Facts about Living in the Philippines

Living In The Philippines Expat Guide

Many people aren’t aware that there are so many things to explore in the Philippines. Filipinos have a good sense of humour, and they even know how to laugh at themselves more than any country would do. In this article, we’re going to tell you some interesting facts about living in the Philippines. Check it out now!

1.    Extremely Sociable People

We mean that the Filipinos are extremely sociable to the extent that they name the country as the texting capital of the world. This is because; it’s one of the most notable countries that send around 400 million text messages every day, corresponding to 142 billion sentences a year. However, this number is more than the combined number of daily text messages sent in the United States and Europe.

2.    Passion for Boxing

The Philippines remains one of the countries that have a passion for boxing. In fact, whenever a world-famous Filipinos fighter has a televised fight, it always seems like a national holiday in the country. And this is due to the absence of cars on the roads and even people in the mall. Besides, the Philippines national police have reported several times that there’s a drop in crime each time Pacquiao has a fight.

3.    Home to Longest Subterranean Rivers

Living In The Philippines Expat Guide

Research has made it known that the Philippines are home to one of the longest subterranean rivers in the world. This astonishing geography fact has continued drawing millions of tourists who come to marvel at the natural wonders. So, expat can visit this country because of the unique wonders of the river.

4.    English is Widely Spoken Here

Another interesting fact about the Philippines is that the English language is widely spoken. While Tagalog is their local language, there are many as 185 individual dialects in the country. Therefore, you can get to see a lot of people speaking English. Moreover, 181 of these dialects are still used, but the other four are already considered obsolete.

5.    Catholicism Coexists Peacefully

The Philippines is also among the country whereby Catholicism coexists peacefully with ancient beliefs. Even though the citizens are predominantly catholic, Holy Week celebrations in the country could get gory and bloody. And this is because; catholic beliefs are already so intertwined with ancient customs. What’s even more unusual here is that penitents can ask to be crucified on the cross voluntarily.

6.    Christmas is the Longest Holiday

Surprisingly, Christmas is the longest holiday in the Philippines. The celebration usually starts in September, as malls already play holiday songs and shopping bazaars begin to sprout throughout the country. On the flip side, Filipinos love to celebrate Christmas, and they’d filled their home with tons of decorations from September. Additionally, there are also a lot of religious activities in this period.

7.    Home to Best Singers in the World

From our research, we discovered that the Philippines are the best singers in the world. We also noticed that these folks are genetically programmed to be fantastic singers from the moment they leave the womb. Yet, they’re so humble with this fact, and they have been doing well to backing top musicians. Moreover, Karaoke is so popular in the country to the extent that locals use it to promote grocery items.

8.    Jeepney Mode of Transportation

This is another thing that made the Philippines a popular destination for expats. Jeepneys are so famous in the country as a way to get around. While they’re super crowded, passengers enjoy their trips. And their valuables are safe away from prying hands because pickpocketing is common in public/crowded areas.

9.    Filipinos Avoid Having 3 Steps

One of the fascinating superstitions in the Philippines includes avoiding stairs the contain multiple of three. According to the country’s history, this sign means that it symbolizes death. Therefore, staircases avoiding ending just three steps or multiples could be dangerous while living in the Philippines.

10. World’s Supplier of Nurses

As of today, the Philippines are known to be the world’s largest supplier of nurses. Amazingly, tons of those nurses that you actually encounter in your day-to-day experience are actually from the Philippines. For decades, these nurses have flocked to the United States for work with a highly Americanized education system. With that being said, Filipinos have long existed with the best nurses.

Pros and Cons of Living in the Philippines

Some will hate the country, while others will have tons of reasons to come back or even resides in the Philippines. Regardless of these reasons, you should understand that the pros of living in the Philippines still outweigh the cons. Without further ado, let’s quickly walk you through the pros and cons of living.


Personal Improvement in the Philippines

A special adventure to improve your lifestyle is one of the reasons to relocate to the Philippines. For westerners, you may think that you’ve reached the ceiling of your life if you have lived in the United States, but you’ll definitely see some changes while relocating to the Philippines. And as the citizens become more social, their mentality changes, helping them improve their wellbeing and thought.

Favorable Climate or Weather

You’ll definitely see or experience good weather almost all year round in the country. While you’ll think that summers are hot and perfect for toasting in the sand of some amazing beaches, there is more to explore than the typical sunbathing in your home country. Since the climate of the Philippines is like summer all year long, you can make any plan during your stay in this country.

Closer Remote Countries

When you come to the Philippines, places like Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Bali, and many others should be your next vacation. This is solely because; you can go to these countries without difficult visa requirements. Besides, the cost is quite small, and you can get a visit to countries in other South East Asia.

Home to 3D Academy

Another incredible benefit of living in the Philippines is the 3D Academy that offers multiple 1:1 classes to help you improve in your current language. If you’re not from the western world, you can overcome your weaknesses in the English language at a very competitive price. Moreover, the 3D Academy is becoming one of the countries to study English for its price-quality comparison and destination.

Filipinos Girls Are Hot

It’s no doubt that there are many beautiful girls in the Philippines. Besides, they routinely dominate international beauty pageants, bringing pride and joy to the locals. While the ladies are akin to national obsession, they made history when Alonzo Wurtzbach became the 64th Miss Universe and the third woman from the Philippines to hold the tile.

The Philippines Services Are Cheap

One of the greatest advantages of living in the Philippines as of today’s modern world is because of the cheap services. In the Philippines, services such as massages, manicures, haircuts are cheap for $5 compared to other countries in Europe and America. Moreover, massage places are all over the country. From luxury spas to the exclusive beach and low-cost service providers, you’ll enjoy living in the country.

It’s a Great Expat Community

We are sure that you’d definitely want to live in a country that appreciates expats, right? Of course, that’s a YES! And the Philippines are one of a king. This is because; they welcome foreigners, and they even allow the foreigners to do innovative things and contribute to the country’s growth.


Bad Wi-Fi Network

One of the problems you can experience in the country is that the wifi is sucks. This is because; the wifi connection is really far from strong in most places, even when they tell you they have good wifi. However, if you’re planning to relocate to this country, make sure you reside in a place with good wifi.

Living Expenses

Living in the Philippines and living in a prime location means money. The cost of living or apartments and condominiums are definitely high compared to other part of the world. However, eating in a restaurants every day can pile up your bill. This way, you can fix yourself to know what works for you while living in the country.

Noise in the Philippines

Bantay Bell Tower in Vigan

Noise could be one of the most annoying things in this country. And trust me, you’d definitely see a place that there’s noise in the Philippines. In fact, the malls have quite a bit of loud music, which could affect your stay in the country. So, be prepared for this con if you’re just relocating for the first time.

National Public Holidays in the Philippines

Date ObservedDescription of Holiday
January 1stNew Year Day celebration
February 12thChinese new year
February 25thPeople power revolution
April 3rdBlack Saturday
May 1stLabor day
June 12thIndependence day
December 8thImmaculate conception day

Cost of Living in the Philippines

As with anywhere in the world, the cost of living in the Philippines will greatly depend on the kind of lifestyle you choose. If you live like a local, eat where they eat, you can get by on a monthly budget that’d sustain you while living in the country. However, the bigger your budget, the more you spend.

Since rent will be your biggest expense, it’s essential to find the best real estate agent for proper accommodations. Moreover, if you like to live in the city, you should prepare for a bigger budget. As a bonus, rents are higher, but you can get a one-bedroom, furnished apartment for under $760.

Furthermore, no matter where you choose to live, you won’t have to purchase your own vehicle. This is due to the fact that the Philippines are known for their kooky modes of public transport, and they’re so cheap that many people can forgo other means of transportation in the Philippines. Below is a detailed analysis or description of the cost of living in this country.

Basic lunchtime menu including drink =Php250
500 gr. of local cheese = Php240
Monthly rent for 85 m2 furnished area = Php40k
Hourly rate for cleaning help = Php320
Monthly pass for transportation = $10
Monthly utilities bill in the country = $100
Domestic beer in the city = $0.99
Apartment outside of center = $150
1 seat cinema for international release = $5

Visa Applications for Expats in the Philippines

Moving to the Philippines is a great idea for those who love diverse cultures and a low cost of living. Generally, for expats looking to live abroad in the Philippines, there are a few options of visa applications. Without much talk, let’s quickly walk you through the type of visa available for expats.

Non-Immigration Visa

Non-immigration kind of visa allows expat to apply when they’re looking to work or study abroad in the Philippines. This kind of visa is valid as long as the conditions under which it is approved are met. However, to receive this work permit, you will need to have found employment in the country already.

Non-Quota Immigration Visa

The non-quota immigration visa is meant for those who are married to Filipino citizens. Not only that but it is also granted to those that are natural-born Filipinos returning to the country. While the quota immigrant visa is an investor type of visa given to those with a specialized skill set and who have enough capital to make significant, positive changes in the country.

Special Residence Retiree Visa

The special residence retiree visa is suitable for expats that want to retire in the Philippines. To retire in this country, some of the things to consider include; be at least 35 years old, and you’ll need to make a bank deposit of $50,000. If you’re over the age of 50 and receive a pension, you may be required to deposit $10,000 as long as it’s up to $800 per month.

Interesting Places to Visit in the Philippines

The Philippines is a destination that’s easy to visit. While this place is among the best destinations for expats, there are wonderful places to enjoy outdoor activities. Do you plan to travel around but wondering where to go in the country? Worry less, and take a look at the best places we listed below.

Boracay Island

Boracay Island is considered the beach capital of the country because there are more than 12 beaches in this area. More so, this tiny island is ideal for beach-goers that are after simple relaxation in the water activities or sun. For a panoramic view of this island, you can take a day trip to Mount Luho, the highest point in the Philippines.

The Island of Cebu

The Island of Cebu is another place to visit. It is considered the port to some of the best diving and snorkeling in the country. Also, if you’re an underwater enthusiast, Cebu is one of your best options for excursions that can get you close to whale sharks, sea turtles, coral reefs, and many other animals.

Bantay Bell Tower in Vigan

The Bantay Belltower is also one of the best places to visit in the country. This is because; the historical city is one of the most charming towns to visit in the Luzon region. You can take a ride in a horse-drawn kalesa through the streets and admire the colonial architecture in the country. More so, the best view of this are from the Bantay Bell Tower, and a visit to the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral is a perfect spot.

Capital City of Manila

We can say that your relocation isn’t complete without a visit to the manila city in the Philippines. There are many things to do in Manila. Some of these include; visiting the San Agustin Church and Museum, a glance to the Chinatown, visitation to Ayala Museum, manila baywalk, Fort Santiago, and many others, to mention a few.

Palawan Island

Palawan Island is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. This place is an island province that stretches from Mindoro to Borneo between the South China and Sulu seas.  In this place, you can have a look at the underground river; explore Japanese shipwrecks from World War II and many other, to mention a few.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Philippines

Is the Philippines a good place to resides?

Of course, yes! We can tell you that the Philippines are a good place to reside. This is because; the locals are extremely sociable. And with the country’s tropical climate and steadily growing economy, the Philippines are quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia.

What is considered rich in the Philippines?

It takes a lot of money to be among the high net worth individuals in the Philippines. On the flip side, if you want to achieve wealthy elite status, you’ll need around P5 000,000 in annual pre-tax income to be in the 1 percent and about P1, 300,000 to be in the 10 percent.

How do I get around in the Philippines?

Living near your workplace is recommended if you’re relocating to the Philippines. The cheapest and most used form of transportation is the jeepney, as mentioned in the article. Other options to get around in the city include the railway system, motorbikes, cabs, and other means of transportation that are convenient for you.

Do I need to learn the Philippines language?

The Philippines ‘ official language is Filipino. However, the majority in Metro Manila speak Tagalog but there are tons of dialects in the country. This means you can still find it easy to communicate in the English language while living in the Philippines. This is because; many Filipinos are proficient in English.

Is Philippines medical care good?

Of course, yes! Many public hospitals are available throughout the Philippines. In fact, Filipinos enjoy a healthcare plan called PhilHealth which reduces their medical bills. So, when it comes to medical care, the Philippines are an attractive place for expats because of the low cost of living, friendly locals, and business opportunities.

How much is the Philippine cost of living?

Well, from what we’ve stated above, the Philippines still remains one of the countries with the lowest cost of living. The price or the cost of living in this country depends on your lifestyle and location in the country.


If you’ve ever thought of relocating to one of the best sociable countries in the world, look no further. The Philippines government has a whole department that encourages expats to retire. They have a fast accelerating economy, and you’ll definitely enjoy your stay in this country. Nonetheless, refer to this guide for more information about living in the Philippines.

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