Moving/Relocating To The Philippines: 10 SECRETS Nobody Knew

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The Philippines is an island nation in Southeast Asia with a long and rich history. With influences from many countries over the years, the Philippines has become a melting pot of cultures and traditions that you will find very captivating.

Moving to the Philippines also brings you closer to beautiful beaches, modern cities, and very friendly and hospitable people. However, living in the Philippines has pros and cons that you must consider if you want to move.

If you plan on moving to the Philippines, check out this guide. We’ll share with you 10 secrets that will help your relocation, such as the Philippines’ cost of living, state of public transportation, the job market, and so much more.

1. The Pros Of Moving To The Philippines Outweigh The Cons

As with every country, there’s always a positive and negative side that you will need to weigh before making a final decision. Here are some things you should consider if you are considering relocating to the Philippines.


The Philippines Is Very Westernised

Because of its history, the Philippines has a very strong western influence. Many Philippine traditions and cultures have been shaped, especially by the United States and Spain during colonial occupation.

Almost Everyone Can Speak English

English is, in fact, one of the official languages of the Philippines and is an instructional language used in schools. Because of this, English is widely spoken, and it is common for most Filipinos to have a working knowledge of English. You will probably never need to worry about a language barrier.

The Cost Of Living Is Very Low

The cost of living is surprisingly low compared to most western countries. When you consider the exchange rate to the USD or the Euro, your cash can go a long way, especially considering the price of goods, services, and housing.


The Weather Can Get Very Hot

The Philippines has a tropical climate, and days can get particularly hot during the summer months. The high humidity also contributes to the higher temperature, which reaches its peak from  March until May.

There Are A Lot Of Islands

The Philippines has more than 7,000 islands. Because of these, specific infrastructures are difficult to build, such as telephone and internet lines, interconnecting bridges and roads, etc. Accessing the more rural provinces will take considerable time and effort during travel.

2. The Cost Of Living Is A Fraction Of Other Countries

As of 2022, the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Philippine Peso is 1 USD equals 56 PHP. This rate has fluctuated around 50php over the past few years. Your foreign currency can go a long way when converted to Philippine currency. An expat with a monthly pension will have no problem with expenses due to the low cost of living.

According to recent studies, the cost of living in the Philippines is roughly 52% lower than the US average, while rent is, on average, 78% lower than prices in the US. A single person will only need about 480 USD for monthly costs, including groceries, utilities, and transportation. A small family of four will need about 1,600 USD.

When it comes to renting, you will have a lot of choices. A single-bedroom apartment can go as low as 90 USD up to 720 USD, while a three-bedroom apartment can fetch anywhere between 180 USD to 1,960 USD. Rent varies greatly depending on where you wish to settle down. The closer you are to the major cities, the higher the price. If you choose to live further out in the suburbs, the lower the rent goes, giving you space to save money.

man on top of jeepny

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3. There Are A Lot Of Great Cities To Choose To Settle Down In

Being an archipelago, many of the Philippines’ cities have formed their own identities and make for many promising choices for you to settle down in. The country is divided into three major island groups, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Each island group has major cities that constitute each region’s economic and lifestyle centres. Here are some destinations that you should consider for your relocation.

Baguio City will be your best bet if you do not like the heat. Baguio is a city in the mountains of Northern Luzon with an elevation of more than 5,000 feet. The chill mountain air and mild weather year-round make for a great summer destination, if not a new home to settle down in.

Makati City is one of the country’s premier commercial and financial hubs and is perfect for those who enjoy city life. Makati is pricier than most Philippine cities but has a higher quality of living, better amenities, and better housing choices.

Cebu City is the centre of the Visayas region and is a city that has a great mix of urbanisation and culture. It has modern shopping malls, business centres, restaurants and the lifestyle that comes with it, but it is still close to tourist destinations such as beaches and neighbouring islands.

Ilo-Ilo City is a quickly developing city that offers modern amenities but a quieter touch and a laid-back lifestyle. The city is clean and beautiful, has a rich culture, and the cost of living is also very cheap compared to the major cities.

Cagayan De Oro City is a port city on the southernmost island, Mindanao. Serving as a gateway to the neighbouring provinces, Cagayan de Oro enjoys a strong economy that supports an urbanised lifestyle while remaining affordable.

Davao City is a major city in Mindanao and the largest city by land area in the Philippines. It is a highly urbanised city and a region’s centre for finance and industry. Despite this, Davao’s living cost is relatively low, and expats can live comfortably here.

cityscape photography of buildings and boats

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4. Get To Know The City Through The Traditional Public Transport Known As The Jeepney

Public transportation in the Philippines has become a cultural symbol for the country. The signature transport of choice, the Jeepney, is known for its colourful decoration, crowded seating, and somewhat confusing routes.

The Jeepney is the country’s most common mode of transportation, with an estimated 600,000 units. The base fare is only 0.23 USD which gradually increases based on distance.

Rail transportation is available only in Metro Manila, the country’s capital, and neighbouring provinces. However, more railway systems are being constructed in other areas.

Buses are also available in cities and provinces for land transportation that are too far for Jeepneys, roughly destinations that require more than two hours of travel.

Finally, taxis, ride-sharing, and bike-sharing services are common within the city.

5. Virtual Employment And Other In-Demand Jobs In The Philippines

Over the past few years, the Business Process Outsourcing industry has become big in the Philippines. Government agencies have been actively supporting the development of the industry, intending to make the Philippines a BPO destination in the region, further reinforcing its booming economy. This is also why the digital nomad community is quickly gaining momentum in the country. As of today, here are some of the most in-demand jobs available in the Philippine job market:

Freelance Virtual Assistants and Back Office Associates are similar in arrangement but differ in the tasks that they handle. But ultimately, remote work has seen a surge in the Philippines, especially during the post-pandemic era. These jobs include appointment setting, data entry, research, administrative work, and more.

Call Centres in the Philippines have continued to thrive and still provide thousands of jobs all over the country. From technical support to sales and marketing, the country’s propensity for English has made it a choice destination for foreign clients putting up help centres.

Digital Media Marketing and Content in an age of internet and connectivity, digital marketing has become a very promising industry that provides many job opportunities.

Finance jobs such as accounting, data analysts, financial advisers, and other related positions are always in demand. They will find a healthy job market waiting for any applicant.

Education in the private and public sectors is seeing a resurgence in job opportunities, especially during the post-pandemic era when students return to school. The Philippine Government even made more investments in education to support the new job posts.

6. You Won’t Run Out Of Beautiful Places To Visit And Vacation In

Made up of over 7,000 islands, the beaches in the Philippines are some of the best in the world. Aside from beaches, there are also several places that you should not miss the chance to visit if you plan to relocate to the Philippines. Here’s a list of must-see destinations that you need to go to ASAP!

El Nido, Palawan, is a beautiful beach in Palawan with pristine blue waters, white sands, and breathtaking views.

Calle Crisologo, Vigan is a trip down history as you walk along the streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town looks like it is lifted from old books, lined with old houses and cobbled streets showcasing the strong Spanish influence.

Intramuros, Manila is a walled area home to landmarks that tell the story of the Spanish occupation. The cobbled streets and preserved buildings are another trip down the history books.

Siargao, Surigao del Norte, is dubbed the surfing capital of the Philippines. Famous for huge waves and beautiful waters, Siargao is a favourite tourist destination for those who want to lounge and relax and for those who want a bit of adventure.

Puerto Princesa Underground River, Palawan is anotherUNESCO World Heritage Site. Also known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, this natural wonder runs for about 1.5 kilometres and takes you on a spell-binding journey through a cave and along the underground river.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol is a very peculiar sight to behold. Up on one of the viewing decks, you can see for miles around more than a thousand small hills that turn brown during the dry season. It is a favourite destination for tourists and one that you should not miss!

aerial photo of body of water between mountains

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7. Join In On The Fun And Celebrate Festivals And Holidays With The Locals

Depending on where you are staying, there is bound to be a festival that celebrates a local patron with dancing, food, and many extracurricular activities. The fiesta is alive and going strong in the present-day Philippines, and throughout the year, many celebrations with their unique traditions are observed. If you want to connect with the country and the Filipino citizens, joining in on the fun is a great way to do so. Here are some of the most prominent celebrations you need to check out:

Sinulog, Cebu City, is a religious festival of the city’s patron, Sto. Nino. It is a week-long celebration with music, street dancing, processions, concerts, and fun-filled parties.

Dinagyang, Ilo-Ilo City, is derived from a word which means “merrymaking”. Similar to the Sinulog festival, Dinagyang is in honour of Sto. Nino, as well as the pact between the Datus and the locals. It is celebrated with floats, street dancing, and parties.

Panagbenga, Baguio City, means “a season for blossoming” in the region’s local language. This festival is a month-long celebration featuring amazing floats made from flowers.

MassKara, Bacolod City is aptly named since Bacolod is also known as the city of smiles. The MassKara Festival is a giant masquerade festival where locals wear masks adorned with flowers, feathers, beads, paint, and anything else that your creativity can think of!

Giant Lantern, San Fernando City, is held during the weekend leading up to Christmas eve. During the festival, gigantic lanterns made from locally sourced materials will parade through the streets, showcasing their fantastic designs.

8. Enjoy The Food That’s Unique To Every Island And Province

Much like the various festivals, each region and island has its flavour to showcase. If you are going to live in the Philippines, you should try as much food as you can as every island’s version of one type of food will be vastly different to the next. If you’re making a list, though, here are some that we recommend.

Lechon is the common name for a full-roasted pig. This is a staple in most Philippine parties and one of the favourites everywhere you go.

Kinilaw is raw fish; usually tuna, marinated in a local version of vinegar and calamansi, a small cousin to the lemon, spices, chilli, and salt.

Balut is favourite street food in the Philippines. It refers to duck eggs incubated anywhere between 14 to 18 days.

Durian is a very infamous fruit that has a very strong pungent smell. It’s a case of either you love it or don’t, but it is most definitely a must-try.

Sisig is a dish made from chopped-up pork, traditionally made from the “Maskara” or face of the pig. It is mixed with lots of onion, chilli, and spices, cooked on a sizzling plate, and topped with an egg. This is another favourite, which has many variations using other types of meat.

Adobo is a chicken dish flavoured with vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, pepper, and garlic. It is often hailed as the national dish of the Philippines and is a staple on any Filipino table.

variety of fried dishes on banana leaf

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9. There Are Options For You To Stay Permanently

If you wish to stay in the Philippines indefinitely, you may apply for a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV). An SRRV is awarded to individuals 50 years old and above who wish to stay in the Philippines indefinitely.

This is a special non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals who wish to make the Philippines their second home. This gives you an indefinite stay and multiple entries/exits.

Another way to permanently stay in the Philippines is to avail of a Permanent Resident Visa. It is awarded via a valid marriage to a Filipino Citizen as long as the spouse’s home country has an immigration reciprocity agreement with the Philippines. To check the complete list of these countries, refer to the Bureau of Immigration website.

10. Engaging With Professional Movers Make The Trip So Much Easier

Save a lot of time and energy by engaging with a professional moving company like Sanelo. Our team is always ready to help you with your move, whether for local or international relocation.

Stay relaxed and stress-free as you will no longer have to carry your luggage or worry about excess baggage, knowing our shipment protection services protect them.

Conclusion On Moving To The Philippines

There are several reasons why moving to the Philippines is a good idea. It’s a country full to the brim with natural beauty, a rich and colourful history, and an equally diverse culture.

If you are looking for a job, there are several employment opportunities in technology-facing industries. You will be closer to dream destinations and fun events all over the country while tasting delicious food. If all of this sounds good, start planning your relocation today.

For more tips and secrets on moving to other countries, check out our other articles about moving to Spain, India, and China.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving/Relocating To The Philippines

Is Moving To The Philippines A Good Idea?

Yes. The Philippines is a beautiful country rich in history and culture while still having the amenities and services of a modern economy. It also has a very low cost of living, so you can adjust comfortably.

Do You Need A Visa To Enter The Philippines?

It depends on which country you are coming from. There are currently 157 countries that are allowed visa-free entry and may stay in the Philippines for up to 14, 30, or 59 days.

Are There Expat Communities In The Philippines?

Yes. The Philippines is a very popular destination for many expats. The language, the westernised culture, the low cost of living, and relative ease of entry have made the Philippines a destination country for many foreigners.

Can I Contact Sanelo To Ship My Belongings To The Philippines?

Yes, please call or email us today. A representative will be glad to assist and give you the best service that caters to your specific need and situation.


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