May 21

Flag of the PhilippinesThe Philippines is a country in South East Asia with breath-taking natural features and scenery on over 7.000 islands. You will find pristine beaches, volcanoes, rice terraces, hot springs and waterfalls aplenty in a very pleasant tropical climate. People are genuinely friendly and most of the Pinoys can speak English, so easy communication is guaranteed.

Despite its continuous economical downturn over the recent years, more Expats and Westerners love to move here for retirement and longer vacations. And for a good reason – the Philippines offer very comfortable and affordable Cost of Living conditions for the avid long-term traveler:

Following in the tradition of the Cost of Living Chart for Bali (which I updated with todays exchange rates for better comparison), you can find the costs for day-2-day items of the Philippines in this article. It includes local equivalents as well as international food, drinks and entertainment options.

The chart below was assembled with the help of Gerry, a Filipino advertising copywriter in Manila. His curiosity for anything about Filipino has led him to places around the Philippines such as Palawan, Boracay, Camiguin, Bohol, Batanes, Cebu, Quezon and many others. Check him out at his site Inner Sanctum.

The prices are mainly taken from department stores and supermarkets around Manila. Depending on your location in the Philippines, costs can be higher or lower. Sometimes on smaller islands prices go up, due to higher transportation costs. But local produce like meat or vegetables can be cheaper, as well as housing costs.

Here is the low-down:

The inflation in the Philippines is currently at a rate of 8.3%, although the government targets a corridor of 3-5%.

Good for you - if you can earn an income in a country with less inflation and your base currency is stable or appreciating, you still save more or spend less over a year – even with rising prices in Peso.

Comparing the prices above with Living Costs in Bali, there are several differences. While food and drinks prices seem to be lower in the Philippines (after all the country produces one of the cheapest and most delicious beers – and the local Tanduay Rum comes at unbeatable bargains), housing and transportation costs are generally higher than in Bali.

Although there are changes in the works for Indonesia, with a recent spike in petrol prices just days ahead, which are reflected in the mentioned chart.

Be aware though, that the housing costs above are mainly applicable for Manila, you can live cheaper in the countryside and on not so populated islands. Very popular with Expats or western Retirees are for instance the southern regions around Cebu, which offer cheaper costs of living, less traffic and pollution and short ways to natural wonders.

The Philippines is also a more westernized country than Indonesia, with more international food options and fast-food chains, than anywhere else outside the United States. It features also some of the biggest shopping malls in Asia – if not the world – around Metro Manila.

Would you like to see additional items or expenses in this list?

Please let me know via the Comment Form and I will update the spreadsheet accordingly.

Check here for all inclusive deals.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

or save article to your Facebook with 1 simple click:


written by Chris

110 Responses to “Cost of Living Chart – Philippines (in Peso, Dollar and Euro)”

  1. Christine GilbertNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Wow this is great, the list is so comprehensive. I’m totally stealing your idea and posting one for Madrid this summer. Want to guess how much it more it will be for Spain? 10X? Maybe I won’t… It will be too sad…

  2. Nomadic MattNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    200 dollars for hair extensions! wow!

  3. CathyNo Gravatar SWITZERLAND Says:

    I got a very nice haircut last March for only 40 pesos or 80c!

  4. GerryNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Matt and Cathy,

    The prices I collected for wellness service and products are at the uppermost end of the scale here in Manila. There is such a wide choice of salons and spas here, I chose to quote the most expensive ones since I cannot really vouch for the quality of services and products in the lower ends of the scale.

    I’ve experienced going to lower priced salons only to be disappointed by the quality. However, in higher priced salons and spas, you get your money’s worth.

    Cathy is right, there are US$0.80 haircuts and there are also hair extensions that cost from US$50 to US$70, but it’s a hit and miss deal. Cathy is lucky for finding a good hairdresser at that price. Usually, top-caliber hairdressers are snapped up by high-end salons or they tend to work abroad (mostly in cruise ships).

    The botomline is, Manila is like a fun big maze where you really have to be adventurous if you want to find the cheapest deals at the best quality (Manila residents have “secret” places of their own which they don’t tell anyone, usually).

    But if you want to be sure and have no time to seek those little secrets, best that you go high end just to avoid the hassles : )


  5. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Agree completely that it’s probably a question of standard. I remember having a haircut on Boracay for something around PhP40. But then – I usually go for a sub-average all-or-nothing cut with that electric hair clipping thingy. Within 10 minutes everything is over. Hair grows so fast here in the tropics anyway, that you’re actually only a few days completely bald. ;-)

    Gerry – many thanks for elaborating a bit more on the prices. It’s quite clear now that everyone can find what one needs based on his/her own subjective expectations.

  6. MikeNo Gravatar CHINA Says:

    I am thinking of go to the Philippines next. Can’t wait to check out the country. I have a feeling I will be there a while.

  7. lissieNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Philippines are definitely on my to do list, wheres the best centre to fly from KL? Bangkok? What are the in-country air fare prices like: with so many islands and my sea-sickness I could see a flight or 2 happening!

  8. GerryNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Mike

    Please do visit the Philippines. As Chris has told me, it is one of those countries that are on a traveler’s “blackbook.” Our beaches are among the best in the world without the hordes of people on it or the great expense to have to shell out.

    I have to admit, many are disappointed when they disembark here in Manila. The airport is squalid, the roads are traffic-choked and there are slum areas.

    But just two hours away from Manila and you’ll get to see white-sand, deserted beaches in Zambales (try to look for Anawangin Beach) or great surf camps in La Union province, some four hours away by land.

    A plane ride away and you’ll see even more fantastic beaches from Boracay to Palawan (which is where you’ll find the famed Tubbataha Reef and countless islets which resemble those you can find in Phi Phi, Thailand or Ha Long Bay in Vietnam–without the flock of tourists).

    It’s quite common that the Philippines is mostly judged because of Manila but the country is so much more beautiful than what travelers initially see. Yes, the infrastructure here is quite below par compared to Thailand or Malaysia and are not tourist-friendly. But if you want a vacation that really takes you away from it all, then the Philippines is the place to visit.

    Hi Lissie,

    Domestic airfares are cheap since there’s an ongoing price war among the airlines. Prices range from $150 to $200 (two-way) depending on the airline and the distance from Manila.

    Currently, the cheapest (and with the newest fleet) is Cebu Pacific Airline although I had a bad experience with them this summer since the flights got delayed or cancelled. Philippine Airlines (PAL) has a new domestic sub-brand called PAL-Express. Their planes are also new though being the flag carrier, they charge a bit higher (on the $200-range, two-way). But PAL-Express is mroe reliable and they fly out of the newer airport terminal here in Manila. The old domestic terminal where all the other domestic airlines fly out is simply too crowded and chaotic.

    Hope this helped!


  9. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    In addition to Gerry’s comments I just want to mention that the 2 main international airports are Manila and Cebu. If I remember correctly Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways fly into Clark Base (a few hours north of Manila) as well, at least from Singapore.

    While from Manila you can fly to almost anywhere in the country (even to fly to Palawan you probably have to fly into Manila first) – Cebu is a bit more relaxed, less hectic and offers abundant island paradises in short proximity (Bohol, Bantayan, Malapascua, Moalboal, …)

  10. yatotNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    thanks for promoting the philippines… by the way… in our place there is this barber shop near a gasoline station that I go to have a haircut… they are my barbers for 18 years now! the haircut only costs 35 pesos!!! of course, without shampoo… but still it’s very cheap!!! :) )

  11. euniceNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    You have just motivated me to travel Philippines! I believe the islands must be awesome!

    Can we exchange links? Please consider my travel blog –

    Hope to hear from you soon. :)


  12. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Eunice, you got mail! ;-)

  13. kAMILLENo Gravatar VIRGIN ISLANDS, U.S. Says:

    philippines will one day have lots of money

  14. ArelleNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Lissie,

    From KL, Malaysia, there is a flight to the Philippines, (Clark Airport). Try visiting, It’s about P 8,000 ($200) roundtrip , so one way, is about just half that.

    Clark is about an hour and a half away from Manila. There are buses from Clark Airport that can take you to Manila for less than $10.

    Should you want to visit a nice beach? like Boracay which is the most famous beach of 2007 according to yahoo. There are daily flights from Clark Airport to Caticlan Airport (Boracay), visit about $130 roundtrip.

    I hope you get to visit Boracay and enjoy 4 kilometers of powdery white sand beach.

    Welcome to the Philippines.

  15. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    There are as well some nice secluded bays with crystal-clear water on the other side of Boracay. They are equally amazing and it surely pays to go there for a day trip via rented bike or simply flank down a moped taxi or tricycle.

  16. Mark HNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Under a dollar for a beer. Bargain… :)

  17. Calvin Michel SidjajaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris, this is a nice article, I’m pretty interested on ASEAN, but since I never go outside my country, I’m pretty oblivious with the actual living cost. Philippine is one country I’m intended to visit in future, this post makes a good reference.

    But I’m pretty surprised though, hair cut for man is… 9 dollars? Wow, and here I think $2 is a rip-off already (Bandung). The Macdonalds price astonished me, seems like law of one price really working here. :) )

    Anyway, nice blog! ;)

  18. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Calvin, yes, if you read the other comments above you will see that some prices are more on the higher end. Gerry – who compiled the actual prices – wanted to make sure that it’s the right quality and you aren’t disappointent about the outcome. So, if you are happy with a standard plain-vanilla hair cut, you won’t have troubles finding that as well in most salons near you. ;-)

  19. thorNo Gravatar ICELAND Says:

    i did have plan to visit philippines but after i do read about how things cost there then i think thailand is better , i have been there 2 times and most of things seems be much cheaper there..for exsample massage, renting room , haircut, etc:)

  20. RiaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Wow, I am impressed by your website. I am a Filipino but I havn’t really explored my country that much. I bumped into your website when I am looking for information on the cost of living in Manila. My daughter is going back to Phil for university. This is really good inforamtion. Thank you.

    One thing that I would like to recommend, go diving or snorkeling in Moalboal (South of Cebu). It is spectacular. I went snorkeling in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and Phi- phi Island in Thailand and I thought it was beautiful. But I didnt know I would find spectacular scenery 18m deep in the ocean in my own backyard. The corals are jsut beautiful and very colorful. I have never stepped foot on an acquiarium after I went diving in Moalboal. I heard Palawan and Masbate are also good places to dive. I have to try it out one day.


  21. AmandaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Things are more than I thought. I thought money would go further there …. thanks for the detailed info.

  22. Rudy ValmonteNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    WOWOWEE!!!Great info. My family and I are going to the philippines and stay for awhile. We take vitamins and take medications. What is the average price of quality vitamins and other supplements. And the cost of prescribed medications. Thank you rudy

  23. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Rudy, if I remember correctly, prices for vitamins, medications and supplements are quite high, actually like in most Asian countries. There isn’t any special Philippine bonus to them, which makes some sense, if you think that those are mostly imported brands. Maybe it pays to check for some local alternatives or generika, which should be more based on local production costs. :-?

    Or even better – eat plenty of healthy foods and skip those artificial supplements. ;-)

  24. janeNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    This site is nice because you get to promote my homeland. I currently live in Angeles, Clark Philippines I work as a nurse and mind you most of our patients are foreigners (German, Koreans, British, Aussie, Americans) I guess they prefer to stay here in Angeles because there are cheap hotels here and its near to airport where you can also travel to Thailand, Singapore, Hongkong, Boracay and Subic. There are salons here that offers hair cut for forty pesos with shampoo and blow dry. Inside the SM clark mall there are salons for men that offers 80 pesos with good quality already. My other friends part time job is english tutorial for koreans. I guess its too cheap to live here thats why they stay longer here. :)

  25. janeNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    to rudy,
    medications and vitamins are not that expensive as I can afford to buy my own vitamin. for me its way cheaper than medicines abroad. I got enervon multivitamins for 150 pesos its 30 pcs in a bottle. goodluck on your visit to wowowee!

  26. RoyNo Gravatar REPUBLIC OF KOREA Says:

    I am wanting to find out how much to stay and food expenses in boracay island and does anybody have any sugggestions.


  27. ArelleNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Roy,

    i frequent Boracay, food can be as about P 100 / USD 2.20 (for a quarter roast chicken, rice and drink) to as high as P 1000 / USD 22 (for a seafood feast). Buffet along the whitebeach at night is about P 300 /USD 6.70 (choices of meat, poultry, and seafoods dishes,rice or pasta, desserts,sometimes with mongolian bbq).

    Accomodation during peak season which starts Mid October to Mid June of the following year is about P 3,000.00 (USD 60) and up, almost half less if from mid June to mid October. I have stayed at for only P 1,900 USD 40/night. you can also check for promos.

    Enjoy a boracay holiday.

  28. Cost of Living Chart - Goa, India (in Rupees, Dollar and Euro) | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] Cost of Living Chart – Philippines [...]

  29. LynnNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Awesome site! it is sad knowing that you guys know better than I do. I was born in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental and moved to Hawaii and stayed there for about 12 years. From Hawaii, I moved here in Chicago. I read that my home(Sipalay) has one of the best beach. You guys might want to check this area. It takes about 5 hours drive from Bacolod City. I honestly afraid to go to Boracay. I always think of negative when I heard or read something about Boracay.

  30. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Hey Lynn, Hawai doesn’t sound too bad for me either! Thanks for the tips regarding Bacolod, I heard a few people already talking about it. Why are you afraid to go to Boracay?

  31. RyanNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    I think Lyn is talking about Sugar Beach in Sipalay… My partner wanted to visit that but it is sooo inaccessible. Oh I was in Boracay over the hollidays. We spent at least 300 Pesos each for a decent meal at D’Mall.

  32. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Yup, some places in the Philippines take quite some time to get to. Almost like an adventure trip on its own. But that’s maybe a good thing as well, so only a few locations are overdeveloped and it will take years, before the Philippines will be as popular as Thailand, Malaysia or Bali – if ever. Hard to say what we should wish for, some infrastructure is good too and unfortunately the country seems to be on the losing end for the last couple of years. Hope that they find the right direction and a good way between both extremes of mass tourism and Robinsonade. ;-)

  33. LynnNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hello/Aloha/Kamusta Chris! I didnt visit Boracay yet so i should not make any negative comment until i see the place. Boracay is just my neighbor island.
    Ryan – above is the website you can visit. 1990 was my last visit/stay and can’t really give any further info. i heard that there are lots of tourists from europe. also, i heard that sipalay is a good place for diving.

  34. RyanNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Thanks Lynn… the thing is, you know right now, I still work for the corporate world – I only am able to do micro-vacations – so places like Sipalay (which apparently take hours by land from the new main airport in Silay and or Dumaguete is something called a luxury of time for me (that’s why Boracay, and Palawan is convenient for me – just get off the plane and a short boat or road trip). I really dont want to be on the road longer than my actual stay right? I’d like to visit it though and will keep that in mind. :)

  35. azumiNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    this is actualy a good site!! i read alot of good things about philippines which is very nice..i just have one question for chris,do you know any site where i can find a cheap airfare from FLORIDA U.S.A – MANILA PHIL? hope you could help me with this…thanx in advance and more power.

  36. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    azumi, the sites I usually use are and, which have local equivalents as well. Depending on your location, your mileage will vary, especially from the US, I’m not sure at all. ;-)

  37. SargeNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    My wife is from Davao and we usually spend the winter months there. Cost of living really depends on where you are and who you are with. For instance, when I get my hair cut on the island of Samal (beautiful island by the way) where we live, it costs 40 peso. If I go into the mall in Davao it will cost me 150 peso.
    Now if you are moving there or even on vacation, be careful and always look around for a better price no matter what you do. Some will jack up the price (to include taxi) because they know you are a foreigner and have a lot of money. Others will not. If you are with a native, have them negotiate the price with out you around.
    The Philippines are a beautiful place to visit and live, just pay attention to what you are doing and you will have a great time. There’s much to see and do.

  38. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Good advice, thanks Sarge! Unfortunately this jacking up of prices is very common in Asia.

  39. MarkNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Great job. I am an expat living in the Phil now for a while. You have hit the highend as some have mentioned but thats what is good about it. You expect to pay “X” and it turns out to be a little “x”. I am about to expand our operations to Bali and your link was bang on what I expected. I am sure once I am there I again will find better prices (or maybe not as we will be in Legian St!). Thanks

  40. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Mark, those thumbs-up should go to Gerry, who helped to fill out the spreadsheet. For Bali, I’m sure that the price inflation wasn’t that much yet from the time I compiled the spreadsheet. And the economic downturn would’ve done its share also to keep prices at bay. Gasoline prices in Indonesia even went down again (subsidized more again – why only? Ah elections upcoming!) ;-)

  41. RaymondNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    I just thought I would update your cost list a bit. I am an american who has been living in the Philippines for the last 3 years. I stumbled on your site while researching moving to India. I have been offered a position in India and my Filippina wife and I are considering making the move. I will be able to live anywhere in India since I work via the internet. Unfortunitly the company requires me to live in India or I would never leave the PI. Any help you can give me in the transition would be appreciated.

    2o Hope Cigs 17 php (My brand)
    Marbarro 35 php
    flip flops 15 php Branded long lasting (125php)
    T-shirts 110 php
    jeans 500 php Jag Jeans 1000 + php
    good BBQ 145 php dinner for 2
    coke 24 php 1 liter
    Red hourse (Beer) 54 php 1 litro
    Tandaway Rum 36php I never bought it though
    Inported hard drinks 1500 +
    rent 2500 (STudio) – 6000 2 (Bedroom) apartment

    Please do your own conversion since I havent seen a us dollor in forever I don’t keep up with the exchange.

    To all those who petioned to stop medical transcription being sent over seas…. my family thanks you………… NOT!!!!!

  42. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Raymond, thanks for the updated prices. Looks good though! What kind of questions do you have regarding your transition to India? I’m no expert and I never worked for an Indian employer, but will surely try to help together with other readers of this site.

    One thing: as you mentioned that medical transcription petition; you will love the cheap medicine and good quality medical services in India! Check out my article about Medical Tourism in Goa.

  43. robertNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    US$51 a day for a room? Raymond says 2500php ($51) a month for a studio??? … bali, it is 50000 idr ($5) a day for a room..

  44. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    robert, I’m not sure, if Raymond meant the 2.500-6.000 Pesos rent per day. Currently on my Tricycle Trip around the country I stay in standard hotel rooms from 300-1.000 Pesos/night. The average is more like 600-800 Pesos. That usually includes TV, hot/cold water and Aircon. I heard from many Expats (depending on their location) that you can rent a small apartment for anything from 5.000-15.000 Pesos/month, of course much higher also, if you expect western style facilities or compound security etc.

    Maybe someone else can also comment on this? ;-)


    hi thanks for your interest about our country. let me give u some of the list of the cost of product and services which you wanna know.. Before I go on let me inform you that philippines has a lot of regions.. For example if you wanna go to manila living there for a few weeks might be more expensive than going to davao city, cebu city or cagayan de oro city.

    here’s the list:

    haircut for men : 10-50php , if u want it more expensive then u go to a salon for example in a mall u can get it for 150-600php . it really depends where u go.

    haircut for women :- 50-100 ; more expensive salon 300- 1000 php

    marlboro red – 35 php
    red horse – 55 php for 1 liter
    condo- in makati city u can rent from 5500 php (studio type not yet furnished)- 15000php ( studio type fully furnished ex. cityland)

    2- storey apartment in cagayan de oro city would cost less for about 6,000php with 3 bed rooms already.

    if you dont want to get an apartment in cagayan de oro city you can rent an inn for only 450-800/ night and it’s air conditioned with hot and cold water. if you wanna stay in a hotel then the rate is from 1500- 2500 depending on the room and hotel you choose.

    you can also eat a good bar-b-que in cagayan de oro for 13php/ stick and a rice for only 4 php. and it’s already good. that’s in bar-b-que station infront xavier university ( ateneo de cagayan university)

    *** there’s a lot of inexpensive things to buy here in the philippines it really depends where u go.

    if you wanted to ask more information about the philippines feel free to ask me and I’m more than willing to help! thank you and Take care!

  46. Ken & May RouschNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    My wife and I are planning to retire in the Philippines, specifically Anitpolo City.
    Could you give us some idea of the cost for a two bedroom house in a reasonably nice area? What about the costs involved with electricity, air con,
    TV, washing machine…etc.

  47. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Michelle, great additions! Thank you for that!

    Ken & Mary, it’s hard to give you any concrete prices, myself I’ve never been to Antipolo. I would recommend that you come here for a couple of weeks/months, stay in the area of your choice and get adapted a bit. You will find much better deals the longer time you take yourself for it and the better your will know the area. Some other items you asked are pretty much universal and examples are in the sheet above, just scroll down to ‘housing’. ;-)

  48. Antono AnastasiNo Gravatar MALTA Says:

    I am visiting the Philippines between January and February with my girlfriend, staying mostly on the main land around Manila.
    Can anyone give me an indication of the expenses, like basic comfortable accommodation, daily cost of food and such.
    Also we would like to do some scuba diving, any suggestions on locations and costs??
    Health and Happiness.

  49. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Antono, most items above are still valid. Add maybe another 30% just to be on the safe side for budgeting. The wrecks around Subic Bay are usually the first stop for divers, accommodation tends to be cheaper the farther; but better value for money, the closer you stay to Manila.

  50. LeslieNo Gravatar CANADA Says:


    My husband, myself and my 7 year old son are re-locating to Makati with my husband’s company. My question is education for my son. He is currently in grade 2 studying French all day and learning English at home – and I would like him to continue in this (and learn Spanish as well!).
    Are private schools better or would the public schools suffice? And what are the costs associated with either type of schooling?

    Thank you

  51. Todd P.No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey folks,
    I’ve been reading the comments here and at other websites about the cost of living in the P.I. and I have come to the conclusion that it can range from embarassingly cheap to almost American depending on where you live and what kind of life-style you have. My Filipina asawa and I own a homesite in Lian (we will build a house there in a year or two), and our plan is to pay off everything before we retire from the USA. So, our house & lot, furniture, appliances, vehicle, even a boat will be paid for before we leave here by world’s end on 12-21-2012 (hehehe); we also have a couple of rental condos in Makati for income, and will have about P1M in the bank for “emergencies”.
    I believe that if you properly prepare for a retirement there (or even just a long-term vacation), then you truely have nothing to fear. I’ve been there 3 times, staying several months each, and found the prices extremely low, even in Manila (where it is much higher than elsewhere). If you have family or friends there, so much the better. Of course, I would not advise anyone to run out of money anywhere, but with proper planning, that would be really hard to do in the P.I. (IMHO).

  52. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Unfortunately I’m the wrong person to ask about children eductation, schooling and costs, Leslie. Maybe one of the other readers can help out?

    Todd P, right! You hit the nail on the head! With proper financial planning you can survive well enough almost anywhere in Asia. And the P.I. is an especially good location. Best of luck for your permanent move and maybe we will bump into each other some day! :D

  53. KristineNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hello Leslie,

    There are a lot of private schools located in your area (Makati). If you want, there are also a lot of international schools located in Taguig (very near Makati), such as International School Manila and The British School Manila. These are all located at Bonifacio Global City. I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the place. :)

    Hope this helps. Thanks!

  54. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Kristine, thanks for helping out Leslie! =D>

  55. AugieNo Gravatar HONG KONG Says:

    Having lived in Baguio, I find these prices kind of high. Manila seems to be the benchmark of high prices when I comes to the Philippines. I have been here for three years now, and my first apartment was a 3 bedroom (rather small bedrooms) and I paid 8000 pesos a month. This was a brand new apt mind you, in a good neighborhood. Since that time I have purchased a house and without a rent/house payment, I live embarrassingly cheap. All other prices listed were pretty close. My electric bill is probably half of what Manila would be because in the mountains we don’t need A/C at all. Probably the main reason I live here. No heat or A/C needed………ever. As a retired PC tech, I started up an internet cafe a couple of years ago. This was originally to supplement my retirement, but it has done good enough that it pays for my living expenses completely. :) In my case the key was careful planning and not showing my American face too much. My wife did all the scouting for big ticket items. Like many people on this thread mentioned……they will jack the prices if they know they are dealing with foreigners. Another tip is DO NOT shop for anything in the Philippines online. If it is online, they are pricing it for people with enough money to get online. In the case of my house, I paid 30% less than a comparable online price for the same house. Same goes for vehicles. Stateside, you can really get some good deals online, but from my experience, it is the reverse here. People with internet access in the Philippines have more money to spend. Hope this helps……….

  56. Ron WhiddenNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    I’m tired of living to pay the bills in Canada. I’m 57 years old and can walk away with about $150,000 in my pocket. How could I make a life for myself in a place like the Philipines? I’m quite seriuos about this. It would take me a year to get my affairs in order and then I’m gone somewhere for good. Just have to decide where. I would have a small pension of about $1000 a month. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    British Columbia

  57. Todd P.No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey Ron,
    I would recommend a homesite at San Ireneus Waterfront Estates in Lian, Batangas. You can buy a small lot there for about $9,000, or a large one (about 350 sq.m.) for about $35,000 or so – which is what we did! Their contractor, LGTM, will build you a house ranging from a 2-bedroom bahay kubo for about $9,000 to $13,000 or a western-style house for perhaps twice that. You can see a video clip on YouTube by searching “subdivision sa lian”. It has a small mountain to the east, and a view of the South China Sea to the west. It is far enough away from the city to enjoy a quiet life, but close enough that you could drive to Lipa City, Batangas City, Tagaytay, or even Manila if you wish in just a couple of hours or so. There is a small hospital (a clinic really) nearby, and large hospitals in the cities I mentioned. My realtor is the neice of the owner; contact Samantha at and tell her you were referred by Todd & Hazel. Keep the rest of your money in savings for the future; your pension will be ample here in the province.

  58. SunnyNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Todd has provided a very useful piece of info. A small house costing US$18,000 (land $9k, building $9k) in total is very affordable. May I know the other details:
    1) right of foreign ownership
    2) is this a leasehold of 99 years of freehold property
    3) What are the other paperwork
    4) Is this place under threat of natural disasters like tsunami, flood, famine, fire or earthquake
    5) What is the transport available to Manila, and the cost of a return ticket to Manila?
    6) What is the climate? Is there any extreme weather below 15 degree celcius or above 30 degree celcius?
    7) What is the price of a condo with 24/7 security there?
    8) What is the price of broadband internet connection? Is it reliable?
    9) What is the crime rate like?
    10) How common is English there?

    Perhaps we could start another section here to discuss about good places to set up a permanent home in Malaysia and the Philippines for nomads. As I mentioned earlier, these 2 countries offer retirees with around US$50 to invest (in bank deposits or stocks) a permanent visa program. It’s not a bad idea for nomads with an extra US$50-80 to apply for such a VISA and to buy a small house in one of these countries. First, they can store most of their belongings there and carry as light a bag as possible while travelling around the region. Second, they may want to take a few months’ break every year from travelling, so this house could be used during such periods. As we grow older, we may also reduce the amount of travelling gradually. Third, we can diversify our investment by putting a portion of our nest egg in either country.

    Unfortunately, the government of Malaysia had just made a bad decision to increase the minimum investment to RM500k (around US$130k) for foreigners buying a property there. So, it’s not longer attractive fro nomads to buy a Malaysian property just to store things and live in occasionally. It’s going to hurt the Malaysian property market. I think it’s really a lousy policy. The increment is 100% from the previous minimum of RM250k. So, I’d like to hear more recommendations regarding property in the Philippines instead. I will probably hold back my investment in Malaysia also, since its government has made investing in Malaysian properties less attractive to me. So, my attention is not shifted to the Philippines. Malaysia has lost my business and investment.

  59. TravisNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey Ron,
    If you are seriously looking at retiring in the Philippines, take a look at Samal Island or pull up Island Garden City of Samal Philippines. It’s a beautiful island just a 15 minute boat ride from Davao. There are about 100 expats living there. Folks from Germany, Canada, USA, Swiss etc…My wife is from there so for the last 5 years we’ve spent the winters there. Next year will be the permanent move. The vice mayor (soon to be the Mayor hopefully) is a good friend of mine. They are really good at taking care of the expats (as long as they are not trouble makers). You will find Davao is a big city so most things are available. It has the lowest crime rate in the Philippines due to a mayor that will NOT put up with thieves or drug dealers. You might say he has his own hit squad on blacked out Honda motorcycles. As far as the island, very little crime. It’s very peaceful. People are always waving, smiling and saying hi to me even if I don’t know them.
    If you shop around you will find good banks or banks like here in the US. Interest rates in the big banks are low. Rural or cooperative banks like we use have CD for 1yr at 13% with a min. investment of 500,000 peso or $11111. US on the island. They don’t have to pay taxes and they are always investing. Just don’t take a loan out. 15 – 30%.
    Property values are still pretty decent but are increasing. 4 years ago we got 3 acres or 1 hector on the ocean for 50k US.. That same piece is twice that now and continues to go up.
    If ya have any questions, give me a holler. Would be glad to help..

  60. Todd P.No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Sunny,

    The Philippine government recently went in the opposite direction from Malaysia, actually making it easier to retire here. Of course, marrying a Filipina makes everything easier (and more fun), but you can also get a Special Resident Retirement Visa (called SRRV) if you are at least 35 years old with $50,000 invested for 6 months, or if you are at least 50 years old you need only $10,000 (USD).

    1) right of foreign ownership – Someone with an SRRV can own up to 1,000 sq.m. of land – which is like the size of 3 large lots here at San Ireneus. Our lot is 332 sq.m. and it is ample room for a house and garden; I don’t know what you’d do with 1,000 sq.m…..
    2) is this a leasehold of 99 years of freehold property – Well, I’m not an attorney, but my understanding is that you own it and can pass it down to your great-great-grandchildren if you wish.
    3) What are the other paperwork – The most important is called a CEDULA form which your realtor can get for you. It is what gives you “government authorization” to own the land.
    4) Is this place under threat of natural disasters like tsunami, flood, famine, fire or earthquake – Tsunami, didn’t hit here; flood, only if Antarctica melts; famine, only if you run out of money and refuse to pick bananas; fire, only if you barbecue indoors; earthquake, yeah, they have a few occasionally (I’m surprised you didn’t ask about volcanoes…)!
    5) What is the transport available to Manila, and the cost of a return ticket to Manila? – Bus and automobile mainly. Bus tickets are about $20, and if you own your own car it’s less than a 3 hour drive.
    6) What is the climate? Is there any extreme weather below 15 degree celcius or above 30 degree celcius? – Climate varies a little bit but in the Batangas Province it is usually between 21-31 degrees celsius, with cool sea breezes being the rule along the coastline, and warmer inland.
    7) What is the price of a condo with 24/7 security there? – Dunno about that one; it depends on where you buy it. The San Irenenus Waterfront Estates is a gated community, but of houses – not condos. Try any of the neighboring cities (see my earlier post) for condos. If you want a luxury condo, try Boracay Island to the south; very expensive, but worth it.
    8) What is the price of broadband internet connection? – The Philippines offers DSL and Cable Broadband; prices vary with the company and method, but it is reasonable. Is it reliable? – Yes, generally. Certainly much better than their dial-up (very unreliable).
    9) What is the crime rate like? – Where? City or Province? Manila is about the same as New York, with the most common crime being pick pockets and purse snachers. In the province, as long as you don’t steal your neighbor’s rooster he will probably leave you alone.
    10) How common is English there? – Almost as common as Tagalog, especially in the big cities.

    One other thing, incidently: For some reason, the Pinoys value fair skin (especially with blonde hair). If you are a Kano (Amerikano, but also applied to Canadians, Australians, British, Germans, French, etc.) then you are regarded as a VIP. The good news is that you will be treated as a special visitor (even if you live there); the bad news is the prices go up as soon as they see you coming (have a Pinoy do the haggling for you).
    ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

  61. Todd P.No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    BTW: Does anyone know why my Gravitar never shows up here? I log into it, etc., but it still doesn’t show… :-?

  62. SunnyNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Thanks Todd for the detailed info. So is there volcano eruptions there?

    Looking at these facts, it seems that Todd’s recommendation is worth consideration for nomads. I am waiting (I believe it will happen) for the Malaysia government to change its foreign ownership policy of cheaper private property. If it doesn’t, too bad, I am not going to invest a dime there. It can wait and dream about rich investors queueing up to migrate to Malaysia with RM500,000 to buy their properties, but that day isn’t going to happen any time soon. The Philippines, on the other hand, is on the right track. Both Malaysia and the Philippines have vast land and plenty of poor people looking for jobs. There is no reason for either of its govt to make it more difficult for middle-income foreigners from developed countries who are willing to become long-term tourists there. Even if they are rich, why would they want to waste good money on expensive properties in Malaysia that they have no desire for? Isn’t it better to put the money in stocks, holidays or golf club membership?

  63. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Augie, great tips about life in Baguio! I’m yet to visit, heard it’s very nice there and was not hit directly by the devastating typhoons last year. How is recovery in the surrounding areas progressing?

    Ron Whidden, Todd P, Travis and Sunny – nice conversation and plenty of tips! I will try to check out Samal also, when visiting Davao later in March.

    Todd P, about the Gravatar picture, it should show up, if you have registered there. The trick is to use the same e-mail address in the comment form here, like the one you used to register at

  64. Todd P.No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey Chris, it’s a no-go on the gravatar. I am using the gravatar linked to this email address, it is rated G, I have emptied my cache, and I have already gone to the gravatar website to login. It still doesn’t show, and I have no idea why. According to their FAQ, if I have done all of the above, the only other possible reason is that the website is not configured properly. It’s no biggie – but still….. :( (

  65. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Todd P. – it still is a biggie for me, as something is not working how it should. Hm. I will try to look into it and play around a bit with the code on my end here in the next couple of days. Hopefully we will get that resolved somehow. :-?

  66. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Todd P. – the funny thing is, I can see your Gravatar currently in the MyBlogLog Widget (the ‘Please also travel to’ box) in the lower right side. You look like a Boat Captn with a full beard, right? Hm, I really wonder, what it can be then….still searching…

  67. Todd P.No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey Chris,

    I have been communicating with Gravatar, and they say that my email address is listed with the first letter of each word using a capital letter (same as I use on your website). But, I should try a login using all lower case letters because of something to do with the way your website script is written. Here is their quote:

    “The site itself should be lowercasing your email address before making its link to You might want to tell them that their implimentation is wrong (they can see ) In the mean time, please try using your email address in all lowercase letters.”

    Maybe that means something to you?

  68. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Todd P., the problem is that I’m only using a Plugin to display the Gravatars of visitors; so am pretty much dependent on how that works, as I don’t edit the code myself. Am not so much of a tekkie, to be technical enough to fix the problems in html/php directly. Though I’m still checking, if there is a general problem, might have to try also a different plugin. Not so easy though, to get the formatting right again. Sorry, that I can’t find a quick fix right away…will try my best…

  69. AmandaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    :-/ I am doing a paper for my future NPO that I want to start in the Philippines.. how much would you say internet and phone bills are per month?

  70. mhey santosNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Wow…Chris and Todd are more Filipino than us :-) …thank you for your great comments about our country. Im Mhey Santos, certified real estate broker. I’d like to share also that most of our foreign investors are amazed how low the prices of brandnew house/mansions here in Alabang ( Daang-Hari is new road connecting to Cavite). Most investors are simply waiting for their properties to appreciate say in 2-5years time while enjoying their stay in most expensive village with world class amenities which is only 10minutes away from the business district. Im also into selling foreclosed properties, offering flexible terms of payment,so you can still channel the rest of your money to other businesses. Most of our investors here are into build and sell. So far, real estate here are doing very very well and our investors are very satisfied with their prefered investments, thank God. Again, maraming salamat po for sharing your experiences. Ive come to realize how rich our country is. Too bad I’ve never been into places you mentioned yet. If God’s will, it is my dream to tour around Philippine Islands first before I go and visit other countries :-)

  71. TravisNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    For those that are interested in purchasing property in the Philippines, it’s a great place to invest but be extra careful who you do business with. Always, always ask a broker for foreigner references.. Too many people are trying to take advantage of foreigners. Get with other foreigners that have been around the block before you make the deal. I’ve seen it too many times. Trust but verify…

  72. MikeNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hi everyone
    Great reading about the prices, i am planning on coming out to Manila for three months from June to september, i came out there back in 2006 and loved it, working with my fellow martial arts instructors.
    I will be working with them again for 3 months, was wondering what would be the chances of getting part-time work teaching english in Manila, or working as a fitness instructor as I am coming from the United Kingdom and i run my own Personal fitness Training business in the UK.
    Any ideas on how much money would be good amount to live on for 3 months?

  73. willNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    he great info could some one live in philp for about 1500 a month canadain

  74. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    will, some could, some could not. It all depends on your standard of living and demands. Thus the chart of common goods and prices for you to mirror your lifestyle behavior. Sorry, I don’t know you…so can’t do that for you. ;-)

  75. JulesNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    I am considering a permanent move to Manila(via work). We are a family of 5. I am keen to get an understanding of the real cost of living there. Does anyone have a good source of info for this?

  76. Todd P.No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Jules,
    You have just found a good source of info for this – scroll up for a detailed breakdown of expenses to suit your lifestyle! Most folks can live comfortably on $1,000 to $2,000 USD per month, but that really depends on things like do you own or rent, do you live simply or like a king, are your kids in college, etc. I know some Filipino families of 5 who all sleep in 1 room, and others who would insist on a 5 bedroom mansion in a luxury gated-community. The interesting thing about the P.I. is that you can choose a lifestyle and neighborhood based on almost any income level – the choice is really just up to you! That said, Manila is more expensive than the province, as is true with most big cities. Good luck!

  77. ayveeNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    OMG U guys R craysee(crazy)! 400 pesos for haircut?! I swear 3 years ago I got my hair cut at some not too fancy place in Calamba, Laguna, AND THIS GUY CUT MY HAIR LIKE A SHAOLIN NINJA OR SOMETHING OF THE SORT! He was better than those advertised pros. This dude was quick and precise, and very entertaining!
    Soon after the haircut, he gave me shoulder massage, then up to my neck,loosened it, and then “CRACKLE-SNAP!” hE CRACKED MY NECK IN THE MOST DELIGHTFUL WAY! He turned me to face the mirror, and the haircut was nice and neat–better than I expected.
    And the cherry to top the cake was when he said “100 pesos plat (flat)!” I handed him a crisp $5 greenback and told him to keep the rest. This was a fraction of what I would’ve paid, for much more than what I would’ve gotten in the U.S., after all. He took the money with a curious smile, as if to make certain that he was to indeed keep the rest.
    That was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten for five dollars.

  78. SargeNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    400 peso for a haircut? Must be Manila. I’ve had my haircut many times in different places and haven’t spent more then 200. On the island it cost me 50 pesos plus a little extra for a tip. This too includes massage..ahhh …., Ayvee, can I make a suggestion? Please don’t tip too much. I made that mistake before because like you say it’s only 5 bucks. What happens is they start to expect that and when the next foreigner comes in, they will think he is a cheap skate if he doesn’t pay the same way.. Just a suggestion…thanks

  79. MarkNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    In Manila, in terms of food:
    A Big Mac costs P102 (around $2.5 US)
    A kilo of pork costs at most P180 (around $4.5 US)
    A 1.5 liter bottle of coke costs P45 ($1.13 US)
    155g can of sardines cost P11 ($.25 US)
    55g pack of instant noodles costs P6.50 ($.13 US).

    Of course, if you’re going for the high-end products, costs will be much higher, it’s all up to your pride. (We never see foreigners buying food at our wet markets, where food is a whole lot cheaper). A single person can live healthily on P100 to P200 ($2.5-$5) on food a day, if you’re gonna chow on fast food and such you’ll be looking at P500 ($12.5) a day or more.

    Also, a taxi ride around the metro costs around P100 to P200 ($2.5 to $5). You can spend way less (around 50-75% less) if you take public transport and walk a little.

    Electricity may be your biggest expenditure at around P320 per 100kWh. Our home with an airconditioners running around 30 hours total per day, washing machine, microwave, a few high speed sewing machines, a computer on for almost 24/7 costs us P14,000 per month (around $350).

    Rent depends on the place. Low-end studio type condominium units are around P10,000 ($250) a month.

  80. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thank you for the Manila pricing update, Mark. Am sure, it will help Jules and others to get a better feeling for it.

    Ayvee and Sarge, there you go! For some, 400 Pesos for an haircut is absolutely acceptable, while others would probably perfectly happy with a 40 Pesos haircut. My favorite place to cut my hair in Pinas was in Tagbilaran on Bohol and it was also only 40 Pesos. But then – for me it’s a pretty straight-forward machine cut and done within 10 minutes. :D

  81. SargeNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Chris, Seriously 400 for a haircut? wow, I think I will stay in southern Philippines :-).. The most expensive place I have seen here was 200. I guess it’s like everything, depends on where you are and who you know..A few years ago when we remodeled our bath, we got bids that were miles apart. I always have my wife negotiate the price now while I hide…

  82. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Yup Sarge, sounds like a great strategy to me! :D

  83. SamNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi, I am planning to come to the Philippines in September… Where would be the best place to go? I will be trying to live on US$1,000 a month and would like to live somewhere which has beaches, nightlife, and city life and where is reasonably safe. Within my budget I will want to have a furnished studio apartment (preferrably in a secure complex or building) with the internet.I was going to go to Makati but I am having second thoughts as it may be too crowded and expensive for my budget. I’m hoping someone on here will have some helpful suggestions so I can continue my research. I have no real plans when I get there and I don’t know anyone there yet, I just plan to chill out for minimum 3 months and maybe more, and just have fun with the locals and other tourists.

  84. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sam, you might want to check out this post, which I did after staying 6 months traveling around the Philippines. It has also plenty of other links to Philippine-related articles. Or click on ‘Philippines’ in the topic cloud in the upper left side of the page.

    It’s hard for me to give specific recommendations, as I don’t know your preferences and you yourself say, that you don’t have any detailed plans yet. The above posts might help you to get a better overview of what is available in this beautiful country. Have a nice trip! ;-)

  85. Philippines and Bali soon directly connected » nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] Lol! It would be so easy now to continue looking for your other island paradises or enjoying the cheap costs of living in Pinas for a while, while maintaining a base in one of Asia’s other most developed yet still affordable [...]

  86. DavidNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    Nice article do you have any idea on the housing and property prices in Cebu

  87. DominicNo Gravatar OMAN Says:

    Hey guys plannning on going to philipines after the rainy season … I wanted to know the expense of Tavel there .. And do clubs or bars have a cover chage … And a scoop on any other city other than Manila, on the luizon island. Thanks

  88. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    David, it would definitely depend on location, the area, surrounding infrastructure, make/build and equipment of the place. I know of some local friends, who pay between 3-6K Pesos located directly in Cebu per month for small apartments, but your mileage will vary. You will probably pay more, due to being a foreigner (I assume), as it is common customs almost anywhere in Asia.

    Dominic, for expenses of traveling in Philippines you can check the above spreadsheet under transportation. Also, domestic flights are quite cheap, usually reliable and a very good way to get from A to B over larger distances. After all, Pinas is an island nation. There are also ferries connecting the closer islands, here prices vary depending on distance and if you bring a vehicle or are just a passenger. You can check my tricycle diaries for some more infos on ferries.

    Clubs and Bars can have or have not cover charges. Also it depends on what Club it might be, normal local discos in Cebu usually charge between 50 to 100 Pesos cover charge, which include 1-2 beer, softdrinks or Tanduay Ice (Alcohol Mix Drink). Clubs on the other hand usually charge no cover charges, but drink prices might be higher inside.

    Watch out for shady clubs and bars in Manila, especially lining Roxas Boulevard, where you are lured in for free and offered cheap drinks and adult shows. The bill that will come later can break the bank and probably your arm or neck, if you decide to dispute them and make close contact with the bouncers. :D

  89. Sonam GagaNo Gravatar BANGLADESH Says:

    Hi friends,
    I am planning to study in Philippines. I have never been there before, so can some one please tell me the living expenses out there?
    How can i know more about Philippines?

  90. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sonam Gaga, what additonal costs that are currently not covered in the spreadsheet above are you looking for? To know more about the Philippines, Google could be your friend, a good start could be for instance to typing ‘philippines wiki’ into the Google Search Window.

    Alternatively, you could just click here, or on the word Philippines in the topic cloud in the upper-left corner of this site, to get an overview of the many articles I published regarding that topic. :D

  91. livinginthephilNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    wow!! :-o the prices are so expensive.. I live in the Philippines and I’ve been to Thailand.

    The Philippines is cheaper than Thailand so there’s a need to change the prices.

    even if the prices only refer to high end salons, shops, etc. it’s still too expensive.

    for example, i can buy an egg for 5 pesos in the grocery of major Philippine Malls. and non branded shirts cost less than 100 pesos. For example, the non branded shirts sold in Boracay cost 75 pesos for small size, 85 for Medium and 110 for L.

    As for non branded slippers, you can buy one for 60 pesos.

    and the list is VERY WRONG when it said a Pair of Jeans (non-branded) costs 1500 pesos. I buy branded jeans all the time. and I got a pair of jeans from Forever 21 for only 795 pesos and Lee for 999.75pesos. so it’s impossible for non-branded jeans to cost 1500 pesos. the most would be 500 and that is if you don’t know how to haggle.

    The wellness section is too expensive too. A haircut in David’s salon is worth 250 pesos more or less for women and around 180 pesos for men. and that’s the senior stylist haircut.

    The only salons that ask 600 pesos or more per haircut are the very expensive salons which offers free massage, iced tea or coffee, and have 3 people working on your hair (the first one washes your hair, the second one blow dry your hair, the third one cuts your hair) so these are the very expensive salons.

  92. JaqNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    This has been most helpful shedding a lot of light as to what I should expect! I haven’t been home to the Philippines for 25 years and so I really appreciate the research and the sharing! Awesome work Chris!

  93. IeftinNo Gravatar ROMANIA Says:

    Philippines seems to be a very good location for travel and living. However, I am impressed by the prices from Philippines. The life seems to be very cheap. I have a question. The dentistry treatments are expensive ? I am planning to travel here and to solve some dental problems. Thank you !

  94. LewisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hey guys, thank you for lots of beautiful comments about our country. Sure thing that you will enjoy your stay here with our world renowned beaches and resorts, crazy night life, extensive bargains and most of all our hospitality. Philippines will surely be a home to you. Try also visiting Davao City, unlike Manila and Cebu, Davao is more livable and offers a peaceful and better living. Davao is the only City in the Philippines to have a central response emergency system “911″. Crime rate averages 0.8% and our City police is consistently number one in the whole country. Prices of goods and services are a lot cheaper without sacrificing it’s quality. Davao is home to scenic mountain resorts and white sand beaches too.

  95. gemlnNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    aww! amazing post and thanks for promoting Philippines. :D

  96. LucyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    the only thing with Philippines is that you can only stay for 59 days. Is there a way to extend this?

  97. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Lucy, that is not completely correct. Until recently it was perfectly possible to stay up to 18 months within the country without the need for visa runs, as described here. You just had to visit one of the countless immigration offices scattered around the country, pay your extension fee and you were set to stay until then.

    Although there seems to be a new regulation in place now, whereas you can stay initially for the 21 days without Visa and then can extend one time 1 month the usual way. After that you would have to apply for an ACR card, which is a bit expensive but sort of a one-time thing to extend your stay as usual.

    Maybe somebody else has any updates on that? ;;)

  98. muraliNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    I am Murali,i had a change to get in to manila for 1 year trainee in IRRI.i will receive 600USD,is it ok for living there….please provide some information

  99. kennitoNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Actually you do not enter the Philippines without a Visa. You receive a 21 Tourist Visa when you arrive in the Philippines (yes, right at the airport as your bags are being inspected). You may be asked, at this time also, to show proof of your exit flight.

    The Tourist Visa extension system is based on a 59 day cycle; in other words, within every 59 calendar days the Tourist Visa must be extended if the alien intends to stay in the Philippines. Because you receive a 21 day Tourist Visa upon your arrival you must, within that 21 days of receiving your initial Tourist Visa, if you intend to extend you visit beyond 21 days; but because the Tourist Visa extension system runs on a 59 day cycle your 2nd extension is for 38 days (=21+38), thus bringing the Tourist Visa holder into the 59 day cycle.

    About a year or so ago ACR (Alien Certificate Registration) were made mandatory I believe on the first 59 day Tourist Visa extension. I’m not sure if anyone can tell you what benefits foreigners get from the possession (and purchase) of their ACR card, but it seems to keeps the Bureau of Immigration happy.

    And finally, here’s a heads up for travelers planning on visiting the Philippines: the Bureau of Immigration here in the Philippines is a government office of the Republic of the Philippines …. not an office of your government. Because they can make important decisions about your being able to stay here in the Philippines (and you really don’t want to add a DEPORTATION stamp to your passport now matter what country its from) it is very advisable to treat them with the respect they are owed.

  100. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi kennito, thanks for those insights into the ACR Card! On top of that there were some news, that maybe the initial 3 weeks of visafree entry will be extended to 4 weeks, as it is practice in other Asian countries. I read about that here, but as with all being said, it seems to be just talks at the moment. Would be a great start though, to make the Visa process also ‘more fun in the Philippines’. :D

    Hi murali, 600 USD seems to be okay to get by as a trainee. Not much to recommend here, maybe try to talk with other trainees and see how they cope and to get the best ideas about deals on housing, shopping and clubbing in the area where you will stay?

  101. stephen somersNo Gravatar IRELAND Says:

    Is it possible to retire in the philipines on 5,600 PHP per month ? With a reasonable standard. Living in the counrtyside near a beach ?? :D
    I am thinking of retiring in the Philipines on 100 euro per month. That’s 5,600 Php. Do you think that’s possible ? Looking at the spread sheet I see that a rented room and food is just about all I could afford per month. Do you think that its sutainable or would I be struggling at every corner ?
    I don’t want to live in the cities, more like the countryside near a beach. Simple living.
    Also the question of immigration. The cost and how long the stay. I see that there is new legistration for up to 2 years. Do you know what that entails and the conditions envolved ?
    I realize having a girlfriend there makes life easier and 2,3,4 or 9 hundred euro would be ideal. But 100 euro is on the cards for the moment. Perhaps in a year it may change.

  102. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Stephen, to be honest, if you are any other nationality than Filipino, 5.600 Pesos/month would be almost impossible. The reason is simple: visa costs. Although following the newest rules you will get the first 4 weeks free, every monthly extension would cost you between 2-3.5K Pesos alone. There is almost nothing left for food, housing, transport. The country flag says you might be from Ireland, but even with the famous Irish frugality, it would be an almost impossible way to live a decent life.

    If you consider, that on a local average salary (i.e. in a department store, employees earn anything between 100-300 Pesos a day), even Filipinos struggle to make ends meet, if they don’t stay for free with their parents, it would be pretty hard for you as a foreigner to even get by. For a reasonable existence for any frugal foreigner in the Philippines, I would estimate your budget to be at least 12-15K Pesos/month, if not more.

    A girlfriend would only help in that regard, that she might be able to cook for you with lower costs than eating out, but still you would have to provide a living for her as well, basically doubling your costs for transport, medical, etc. I wouldn’t consider that as an option to lower my overall expenses, which girl would stay long enough with anyone living a life like this? ;)

    P.S. I edited your comment and added the additional information you provided via e-mail to reflect a better picture of your question.

  103. ClaudeNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Please pruff your price, i paying 1 egg 4,20, one st migel bier 22,00, Mango 30 to 40 per Kg

  104. kazzNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    yeah chris, pruff your price! you’ve got san miguels listed for 25 but he’s only paying 22, you must be RONG! don’t bother putting down a number unless you can prove EVRY SINGLE STORE IN THE PHILIPPINES CHARGE EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAY, U LIYER

    this poor guy moved to the philippines on your advice and now his budget for eggs is all messed up lol

  105. Anthony The Travel TartNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    I really enjoyed the Philippines – very friendly people, plus you can buy many San Miguels there!

  106. JacquelineNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:


    I’m going to Makati City for work with a 2-year visa end of the year. Appreciate if anyone could help me on this.

    1.. Do you think earning PHP35000/ month will be enough to cover the needs? (excluding accommodation)

    2. Safety issues/ crime rates


  107. That Parvis FellaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Jacqueline. That is more than enough. A rank and file staff will earn about PHP15000 and will thrive well with that. So you will be more than fine with that earning. And Makati is a “high-end”, wealthy city, so it’s safe there. Any where outside of that is well….just keep a firm eye on your belongings all the time. Good luck on your work!

  108. TiaraNo Gravatar SLOVENIA Says:

    Hey guys, glad to find this site. U answer many of my questions with your posts.
    However, I would like to know your personal opinion where to u think is the best place to try start a new life with about 600usd income every month and 50.000 on the side with in ur early 30s

  109. Todd PNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Tiara, That would be adequate for almost anywhere in the P.I. provinces, but if you want to live in a major city you should have twice that income. It also depends upon your desired standard of living – basic, middle class, upper class. IMHO.

  110. NadNo Gravatar not found Says:

    Anyone you know affected by typhoon? How much would you need in dollars to fix a small house whose interior got damaged by typhoon?

Leave a Reply

Hey, if you want a picture to show by your comment, why not get a gravatar?

;-) :twisted: :roll: :oops: :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :evil: :cry: :arrow: :?: :-| :-x :-o :-P :-D :-? :) :( :!: 8-O 8)