The 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?
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