Expat living in Davao City: Oh yes, the beautiful city of Davao that is located in the South of the Philippines. One question that is commonly asked about living in the Philippines is what is Davao like for foreigners?
As someone fortunate to experience living in Davao City as a foreigner, I will share the latest data, information, and personal experience today. Aside from today’s ultimate question of what Davao is like for foreigners, we will also be exploring; retiring in Davao as a foreigner and covering some unique advantages of living in Davao.
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What Is Davao Like For Foreigners – Expat living in Davao City
You will experience a unique way of life when living in the Philippines because every city and country is different. As an expat living in Davao City, you will experience a unique way of life. For example, Davao is a more relaxed way of life than other cities such as Cebu and Manila. Nonetheless, the everyday hustle and bustle of city life, such as heavy traffic, remain.
Many expats living in Davao City report that the city’s quietness is both a benefit and a disadvantage. For example, some cities can be too quiet, and this can lead to boredom and, in some cases, loneliness. In other words, living in a calmer city can lead to isolation; thus, we have recently published an article documenting how to make friends in the Philippines!
The food in Davao is fantastic. However, suppose you wonder what it is like as an expat living in Davao city as a food lover… In that case, you will surely love living in Davao as there are plenty of restaurants, street food vendors, and markets situated around the city. However, even though the cuisine in Davao city is delicious, it can sometimes be slightly unhealthy.
The people of the city are fantastic. They are incredibly kind and welcoming to foreigners, and they make the city what it is. So if you are looking for friendship or any other commitments, you will undoubtedly find it living in Davao as an expat. In fact, in recent years, Davao City has become a slight hotspot for foreigners looking for love in the Philippines.
For those interested in the history of Davao City, it has to be said that the city has experienced a transformation stretching over several years. President Rodrigo Duterte has initially been the mayor of Davao city. The city has won countless awards for safety and is well documented as a safe city to live in.
Despite this, there have been some controversial topics and actions during the transformation of Davao City. The majority of Davao city locals highly respect the current president. Still, the US state department received several reports that questioned certain vigilante groups such as the DDS. The ombudsman closed the case in 2009, stating they found no evidence that the alleged group existed.
The island of Davao is extremely large. Therefore, the safety inside and outside of the city is slightly different. For example, there are tonnes of security and police in the city and not so much outside. Consequently, we recommend visiting your local embassy or travel authorities for the latest information and safety news regarding living in Davao as a foreigner.
Cost Of Living In Davao As A Foreigner
The minimum cost you will need as a foreigner living in Davao city is $900 (44K Pesos), but a more realistic budget is around $1400 – $1600 (69K – 78K Pesos). The latter will include enough to live comfortably in Davao as a foreigner, including some additional cash handy for extensions, emergencies, and insurances.
One of the highest living costs in Davao is rental accommodation. A standard studio unit can be rented for around 18K Pesos ($365). A more luxurious unit, for instance, in a one-bedroom apartment, can be rented from 23K – 30K Pesos.
The overall food costs will depend on how much you eat, but similar to other neighboring countries, the Philippines’ price remains relatively low. A staple diet such as rice and meat will set you back a few dollars here and there, and if you are deciding to eat street food, you can save so much more. Davao is one of the best places to live as a foreigner in the Philippines if you are on a budget.
Costs include utilities such as electricity and the Internet. Internet is relatively standard across the Philippines, and a strong Internet connection can cost around 1500 Pesos ($30) though there are cheaper options available. Electricity is an interesting topic as prices can be pretty high compared to other Southeast Asian countries. It’s best to budget between $30 – $80 for electricity depending on your accommodation.
Advantages Of Living In Davao
There are many different types of advantages of living in Davao city as a foreigner. We have made the transfer of information more straightforward thus, included below are the advantages of living in Davao in bullet point form.
- Classified As A First Class Highly Urbanised City
- The World Health Organisation has Praised Davao Smoke-Free Policy
- Davao Has Many Malls Which Are Highly Accessible
- Easy Access To Other Regions Of Davao, Including Beaches And Resorts
- Easy Access To Samal Beach
- Financially Beneficial Location For Starting A Business
- Frequent Public Transport
- Friendly Locals
- High Level Of English Proficiency
- Low Cost Of Living
- Many Attractions And Parks Such As The Peoples Park
- Quieter Way Of Life Compared To Other Cities In The Philippines
- The Safety
- Unique Real Estate Opportunities
- Warm And Tropical Climate
Retiring In Davao As A Foreigner
Is Davao city a good place to retire as a foreigner? Many retirees living in Davao confirm that retiring in this area is a fantastic decision. This is because some retirees prefer the beautiful sceneries that you get from a city such as Davao, but also they wish to enjoy the beaches, which is possible thanks to the nearby island of Samal.
Many also enjoy one unique advantage of living in Davao, which is being different. Statistically speaking, Davao is a less tourist area than the other areas. Tourism has slightly increased over the last several years (pre-pandemic), but it remains a much lower tourist area than others.
But retiring in Davao as a foreigner is not for everybody, especially if you like the modern way of life and the busyness of a city such as Manila. Moreover, you may find living in Davao to be too slow as, on average, it has a much slower way of life than other cities. But, on the other hand, if you are looking for a much quieter way of life, and seeing some beautiful scenery, then Davao may be perfect for your retirement.
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