Moving to the Philippines
Benefits of living in the Philippines
The cost of living in the Philippines is significantly lower than in many Western countries. Housing, food, and utilities are all much cheaper in the Philippines than they would be in the United States, for example. Depending on your new lifestyle in the Philippines, you can live much better than you did in the States and have more money left over at the end of the month.
The Philippines has a tropical climate and is home to many beautiful beaches and natural wonders, including the Boracay Island, which is a major tourist attraction.
The Philippines has a diverse culture, with a blend of indigenous, Spanish, and American influences. This diversity is reflected in the country’s music, art, food, and festivals.
The Philippines has a good healthcare system, with many modern hospitals and clinics located throughout the country. Health insurance is also relatively inexpensive in the Philippines, making it a good option for those who are retired or on a fixed income.
There are many affordable housing options available in the Philippines, including condos, apartments, houses, and villas. Prices for housing vary depending on the location, but in general, you can find good deals on real estate in the Philippines.
According to Numbeo, the cost of housing for expats in the Philippines is relatively low compared to other countries. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately $344 per month, while a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city center costs around $202 per month. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $653 per month, while rent for a three-bedroom apartment outside of the city center is approximately $408 per month. Expats often report slightly higher rents especially in the more resort or upscale areas.
Overall, these prices are significantly lower than in many other countries, making the Philippines an attractive destination for expats looking for affordable housing options.
Some popular areas for expats and travelers in the Philippines include Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Boracay. Manila is the capital and largest city in the Philippines, and it is a modern metropolis with a vibrant nightlife and a variety of cultural attractions. Cebu is a city located in the central Visayas region, known for its beaches, historical landmarks, and natural beauty.
Davao is a city located on the island of Mindanao, known for its natural beauty and economic opportunities. Boracay is a small island located in the western Visayas region, known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere.
There are several popular cities and towns in the Philippines for expats and travelers, including:
Cebu is an island province located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. It is the second most populous island in the Philippines after Luzon. The city of Cebu is the capital of the province and is considered as one of the most important historical and cultural centers in the country. Cebu is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Mactan Island and Bantayan Island, as well as its historical sites like Magellan’s Cross and Fort San Pedro. It is also popular for its traditional festivals like the Sinulog festival held every January and it’s famous lechon (roast pig) . The city of Cebu is considered more livable than Manila, it has a lower cost of living, less traffic congestion and lower crime rate. It is a popular destination for retirees and expats looking to relocate to the Philippines.
Davao is a city located in the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is the third-largest city in the country by land area and the most populous city in Mindanao. Davao is known for its natural beauty, with lush rainforests, waterfalls, and beaches. It is also home to a number of protected wildlife areas, such as the Philippine Eagle Center and the Malagos Garden Resort. The city is also known for its relatively low crime rate and its efforts to promote peace and security in the region. Davao is also known for its durian, a tropical fruit known for its strong smell and unique taste. The city is popular for being the hometown of the Philippines’ current president, Rodrigo Duterte, and it has been under his leadership for more than two decades. It’s considered one of the most developed cities in Mindanao and it’s a good place to live for expats and retirees.
Boracay is a small island located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is known for its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. The most famous beach is White Beach, which stretches for more than four kilometers along the island’s western coast, and is known for its beautiful sunsets. The island also offers a wide range of activities such as water sports, island hopping, and shopping. Boracay is a popular tourist destination, but it is also becoming an increasingly popular place for retirees and expats looking for a tropical getaway. However, it is worth noting that the island was closed for a period of time for rehabilitation, and it’s now more regulated in terms of tourism and development, in order to preserve the island’s natural beauty.
Siargao is an island located in the eastern Visayas region of the Philippines, known for its beautiful beaches and waves, making it a popular destination for surfers. It is a laid-back and relaxed place, with a variety of accommodation options ranging from luxury resorts to more budget-friendly options. Siargao is a popular destination for expats and travelers, with a number of activities and attractions such as island-hopping, snorkeling, and visiting waterfalls. The island is also known for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals. In recent years, Siargao has gained popularity as a tourist destination and has seen an increase in the number of visitors, particularly from international tourists.
Other popular cities and towns in the Philippines for expats and travelers include Baguio, Tagaytay, and Angeles. Each of these cities and towns has its own unique character and attractions, so it’s a good idea to do your research and decide which one is the best fit for you.
The visa requirements for long-term stays in the Philippines are minimal in some cases, but can be difficult to meet for short-term stays.
There are several types of visas available in the Philippines, each with its own specific requirements and restrictions. Here are some common types of visas:
Tourist visa: This is a temporary visa issued to tourists who want to visit the Philippines for up to 59 days. It is usually given when you arrive in the Philippines and does not require an application that has already been approved.
Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV): This is a temporary visa issued to foreign nationals who are at least 35 years old and have a guaranteed pension of at least $800 per month. It allows the holder to live in the Philippines permanently and to receive discounts on certain services and products.
Non-immigrant visa: This is a temporary visa issued for a specific purpose, such as studying, working, or conducting business in the Philippines. It is typically valid for a period of one year and may be renewed.
Marriage visa: This is a temporary visa issued to a foreign national who is married to a Philippine citizen. It is typically valid for one year and may be renewed.
The requirements and restrictions for each type of visa may vary, and it’s a good idea to carefully research the specific requirements and restrictions for the visa you are interested in before applying. If you are applying for a long-term visa, it’s a good idea to work with a lawyer or visa specialist to ensure that your application is complete and meets all requirements.
More Visa Information
The Philippines is known for its delicious food, with a wide variety of dishes influenced by Chinese, Spanish, and American cuisine. Some popular Filipino dishes include adobo, sinigang, and lechon. The Philippines is also known for its tropical fruits, such as mangoes, pineapples, and bananas.
Here are a few dishes you should try:
Adobo: This is considered the national dish of the Philippines. It is a savory stew made with meat, usually chicken or pork, that is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves, then simmered until tender. Adobo can vary in flavor depending on the region and local ingredients used.
Lechon: This is a whole roasted pig that is a popular dish in the Philippines, especially during special occasions. The pig is seasoned with a mixture of spices and stuffed with herbs before being roasted over an open flame.
Sinigang: This is a sour soup made with a variety of meats, seafood, or vegetables and tamarind as the main ingredient. Other ingredients such as kangkong, okra, and eggplant are also added.
Kare-Kare: This is a stew made with oxtail or beef, cooked in a peanut-based sauce with vegetables like eggplant, bok choy, and string beans. It is typically served with a side of bagoong, a fermented shrimp paste.
Sisig: This is a dish made from pig’s head and liver, it’s usually grilled and then it’s chopped, mixed with onions, chili, and calamansi juice. It’s usually served sizzling hot, on a sizzling plate. It’s a popular pulutan (food to be eaten with alcohol) and it’s a staple in most local bars in the Philippines.
Food in the Philippines is generally inexpensive, with many street vendors selling delicious, inexpensive meals. There are also many supermarkets and grocery stores where you can buy fresh and affordable produce.
The Philippines is generally a safe country, with low crime rates compared to many other countries in the region. However, as with any country, it’s a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and to take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.
According to Wikipedia, the official language of the Philippines is “Filipino”, which is a standardized form of Tagalog, one of the major languages of the country. English is also widely spoken and is used as a second language in the Philippines. In addition to Filipino and English, there are over 175 regional languages spoken in the Philippines, including Cebuano, Ilocano, and Hiligaynon. Most Filipinos are multilingual and are able to speak at least two languages, with many being able to speak three or more. The Philippines has a rich linguistic diversity due to its history of colonization and cultural influences.
In summary, the Philippines is a great place to live, work, and retire, with a low cost of living, beautiful beaches, diverse culture, and good healthcare. It is also a safe and secure country with friendly people and a good transportation system. The country’s multilingual society and good quality of life make it a popular destination for expats and travelers. There are many affordable housing options and investment opportunities available in the Philippines, and the visa requirements for long-term stays are minimal in some cases. The Philippines is known for its delicious food and tropical fruits, and it is a great place to enjoy a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle.
What Do People Say?
According to expats and travelers, the main benefits of living in the Philippines are:
Low cost of living: One of the biggest benefits of living in the Philippines is the low cost of living. Housing, food, and utilities are all much cheaper in the Philippines than they would be in many Western countries. Depending on your lifestyle, you can live much better in the Philippines than you did in your home country and have more money left over at the end of the month.
Beautiful beaches and natural wonders: The Philippines is home to many beautiful beaches and natural wonders, including the Boracay Island, which is a major tourist attraction. There are also many other attractions in the Philippines, including national parks, mountain ranges, and rivers, which offer opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and birdwatching.
Diverse culture: The Philippines has a diverse culture, with a blend of indigenous, Spanish, and American influences. This diversity is reflected in the country’s music, art, food, and festivals.
Good healthcare: The Philippines has a good healthcare system, with many modern hospitals and clinics located throughout the country. Health insurance is also relatively inexpensive in the Philippines, making it a good option for those who are retired or on a fixed income.
Friendly people: The Philippines is known for its friendly and welcoming people. Expats and travelers often find it easy to make friends and build a community in the Philippines.
Safe and secure: The Philippines is generally a safe and secure country, with low crime rates compared to many other countries in the region.
Good transportation: The Philippines has a good transportation system, with a network of roads, airports, and ports that make it easy to travel within the country and to other countries.
Good quality of life: The Philippines has a good quality of life, with a warm and sunny climate, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed pace of life.
Multilingual society: The Philippines is a multilingual society, with English and Filipino being the official languages. Many people in the Philippines also speak other languages, such as Spanish and Chinese, particularly in areas that are popular with expats and tourists.
Good investment opportunities: The Philippines has a growing economy and a real estate market, making it a good place to invest in property. There are also many other investment opportunities in the Philippines, including in the tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors.
Tax benefits: The Philippines has a number of tax benefits for foreign investors and retirees, including tax exemptions on certain types of income and a lower tax rate on investment income.
Proximity to other countries: The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia, making it easy to travel to other countries in the region. It is also close to Australia and New Zealand, making it a convenient location for those who want to travel to those regions.
Overall, the main benefits of living in the Philippines are the low cost of living, beautiful beaches and natural wonders, diverse culture, good healthcare, friendly people, and safe and secure environment. The country also has a good transportation system, good quality of life, multilingual society, and good investment opportunities. It is a popular destination for expats and travelers, with a number of tax benefits and proximity to other countries.
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