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Living In General Santos City Philippines As A Foreigner

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    Living In General Santos City: General Santos City is a beautiful area of the Philippines, approximately 3 hours away from Davao City. The question we will be answering today is what is life like living in General Santos City as a foreigner.

    We will explore the overall cost of living in General Santos City, some handy tips and tricks, and ultimately the big question of should you live in General Santos City as an expat.

    What Is It Like Living In General Santos City

    General Santos City is a great alternative to Davao city. It is modern and upbeat and offers a very similar lifestyle to other Davao regional cities.

    General Santos City is extremely different from a metropolitan city such as those found in Manila. Therefore if you are looking for a laidback lifestyle, you will certainly enjoy General Santos City.

    The city can be fairly busy at times, especially if you are going around the local markets during peak times. Still, on most occasions, the overall atmosphere of General Santos City is relaxed, making it a perfect destination for retirees and those who are looking to relax.

    General Santos City is not very touristic. Therefore, you will find that as a foreigner living in General Santos City, you are looked at more often, but this is not out of disrespect as this tends to be more out of curiosity. As always, the locals are extremely friendly to expats.

    There are several markets around the city, but the General Santos City public market is the biggest and most popular. You will find plenty of foods, household items, and clothing in the market at incredibly low prices.

    In addition, there are also several neighborhoods (below) in the area, and many of these offer a slightly different cost of living in General Santos City.  North, South, East, And West Dadiangas are General Santos City’s central areas.  

    • Apopong
    • Baluan
    • Batomelong
    • Buayan
    • Bula
    • Calumpang
    • City Heights
    • Conel
    • Dadiangas East
    • Dadiangas North
    • Dadiangas South
    • Dadiangas West
    • Fatima
    • Katangawan
    • Labangal
    • Lagao
    • Ligaya
    • Mabuhay
    • Olympog
    • San Isidro
    • San Jose
    • Siguel
    • Sinawal
    • Tambler
    • Tinagacan
    • Upper Labay

    When choosing where to live in General Santos City, one area to consider is your overall lifestyle. Naturally, due to the location, the city can be fairly quiet, which may not suit all types of expats.

    Cost Of Living In General Santos City

    To live comfortably in General Santos City as a foreigner, you will need $900 – $1300. This total includes added extras and luxuries. Nevertheless, it is possible to live on a budget in General Santos City, and some can do so on less than $800 a month.

    The cost to rent a house in General Santos City ranges between 5K – 10K Pesos. However, cheaper and more expensive options are available, but these tend to change quality significantly.

    Looking at the local houses to rent in General Santos City, it’s clear to see that over 70% of house prices for a standard one-bedroom house range between the above price range.

    If you are looking to save a great deal of money on your personal cost of living in General Santos City, it’s recommended to negotiate and investigate accommodation with locals as many amazing opportunities and bargains can be had by speaking directly to locals. Alternatively, Facebook groups are very common in the Philippines for renting real estate.

    Food is incredibly cheap. Prices are slightly cheaper on average in General Santos City than in Davao city, but similar to Davao, if you can eat local street food or shop at the public market, your food costs will be much lower.

    Public transportation, gym membership, and utility are also very low in price. One consideration is electricity which can sometimes be as high as $100 PCM depending on your usage and the size of your property.

    From speaking to the residents and my own personal experience, those who spend a lot of money in General Santos City tend to put a large amount of their budget on unessential items such as traveling, tours, and luxury items. On the other hand, Expats who live a local life can save an absolute fortune living in General Santos City.

    Is Living In General Santos City Safe

    Most travel authorities recommend staying within Davao city as the security and safety inside and outside the city are different. There have been several safety concerns over the years in the Mindanao area of the Philippines.

    Typically General Santos City is a safe city for foreigners, and most visits are completely hassle-free. Based on the crime statistics, General Santos City is a safe city; however, you may wish to take caution in some situations to be on the safe side, including traveling with other people or staying in safe accommodation.

    Should I Live In General Santos City Or Davao City

    Both cities offer a fantastic lifestyle for expats retirees, and foreigners looking to live in the Philippines.

    Living costs in General Santos City tend to be slightly cheaper than in Davao city on average, but this is only fractional. The real difference is in terms of quality of life which is one consideration if you consider living in General Santos City as a foreigner.

    For example, Davao city is much more compact and offers more facilities for expats (Such as malls, things to do, etc.). On the other hand, General Santos City has a wonderful city feel and has a great community atmosphere resulting in a relaxed way of life.

    If you are thinking of living in General Santos City as a retiree or expat, it is recommended to visit for a few weeks to see how the atmosphere suits your lifestyle. I’ve discovered personally that I loved the big city and found General Santos City too quiet for me personally; however, your lifestyle is maybe completely different. This is why experiencing a beautiful city such as General Santos City is recommended.