One of the most common questions we get asked at Owl of Asia is, what is life like in the Philippines? is the Philippines expensive, is it fun? is it challenging at times, or is it all of the above?
If you are thinking about moving to the Philippines, you have a fascinating time ahead of you as the Philippines is one of the best upcoming countries to live in South East Asia. Like every country, it has its pros and cons depending on your lifestyle. There may be certain benefits to the Philippines that will tempt you to live in this beautiful country.
Throughout today’s article, we look at what life is like in the Philippines by covering some of the most popular topics. These include; the overall vibe of living in the Philippines as a foreigner, the cost of living in the Philippines, the locals, and a few other categories.
What Is Life Like In The Philippines
The Overall Vibe Of Living In The Philippines As A Foreigner
The first section is the overall vibe of living in the Philippines as a foreigner, and this is a significant area as the vibe of an area can make or break a new living destination.
One of the significant concerns for many foreigners traveling and living in the Philippines is the safety of the Philippines. Many parts of the Philippines are safe and secure; however, just like many countries over the last decade, there have been instances where crime has sadly prevailed in the short term.
There are also public safety concerns when looking at living in the Philippines as a foreigner. This includes natural disasters, which can be expected, especially in Davao, which is located in the South of the Philippines. Nevertheless, most stays are trouble-free.
The Philippines is still developing in many parts of the country. Some industries in the Philippines are also in the development stages, so if you are interested in business, you may find many opportunities in the Philippines.
The Philippines as a whole is a very welcoming country. You may find a mixture of cultures in the Philippines. Historically speaking, there is a mixture of Spanish culture. Still, post World War 2, the Philippines is heavily influenced by American culture. In modern times, the youth of the Philippines are interested in Korean culture, which expresses itself through fashion, food, and TV series.
The Philippines is an excellent place for individuals who are looking for a fresh start and a new life, as you can completely rewrite yourself in this beautiful country.
Poverty Is More Visible In The Philippines
Unfortunately, poverty is genuine and very visible in the Philippines. Manila is not the only place where you will see poverty, but it is one of the most significant locations for the homeless community.
I’m going to be completely honest and say that the poverty in the Philippines is heartbreaking. I was born in the UK, and if you’ve never been to the United Kingdom in certain areas, you may see homeless individuals. Still, in most cases, they are older adults and have food, water, and items surrounding them… in the Philippines, seeing children and, in some cases, babies living on the streets is heartbreaking.
There is a lot of support, and there are many charities set up hoping to reduce the homeless status of individuals in the Philippines; however, it can be difficult to rehouse a homeless individual long-term due to economic factors.
Many foreigners and locals living in the Philippines support the homeless community. Still, if you are looking at life in the Philippines, it is essential to remember that it may be something you witness, and there may be times when people are pleading for money.
Cost Of Living In The Philippines As A Foreigner
We have spoken about the cost of living in the Philippines when we covered the retirement guide in our most recent article. Throughout this article, we looked at the cost of living in the Philippines versus Thailand for those looking to retire.
Therefore we will cover some of the basics for those interested in living in the Philippines.
The cost of living in the Philippines can range anywhere from $800 – $1500 per month. For those who enjoy the luxuries of life or have any health concerns, you may wish to budget on the higher end of this target.
Overall the Philippines can be slightly more expensive to live in than Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.. One of the charms of living in the Philippines as a foreigner is that it is a country that is highly diverse in terms of living expenses. Meaning that if you are looking for a lower cost of living in the Philippines, it is possible.
English Is Spoken Very Fluently Through The Philippines
A few years ago, I was reading an editorial about the history of the Philippines, which is something I needed to know for an article I was writing. I stumbled on this section covering spoken English in the Philippines, and a fact stood out to me, which states there are more English speakers in the Philippines than there are in the original home of English – England!
If you have a very, very thick accent, you may have difficulty communicating; however, communication will not be an issue for the most part. English is not only appropriate in the Filipino educational system. It is essential. One reason outsourcing centers have boomed in the Philippines is the high level of spoken English in the country.
During my travels around the Philippines, I found that everybody I came across spoke some English level. In Manila, I found that English was more used than Tagalog in specific settings. However, in Cebu, Bisaya was a more spoken language in English. Interestingly I found those in Manila to use more complex terminology, but this was perhaps due to the business setting I was in rather than the city itself.
The People And The Culture
The Filipino people are some of the friendliest and most joyful individuals you will meet living in Asia. As mentioned, high levels of spoken English make communication much more manageable. The Philippines is well known to be a very welcoming country, and this is felt almost instantly, which is why many expats have fallen in love with the Philippines.
There are excellent and lousy citizens in every country, and I say this as I know that many people like myself are realists and see both the good and the bad of a situation.
The culture in the Philippines is one of the historical records and is a fascinating journal into the growth of what we now call the Philippines. A large part of the population identifies as Catholics. There are also many other large religious communities in the Philippines, such as Christians and Muslims. Expats find the Philippines to be very respectful in terms of different beliefs.
What Is Life Like In The Philippines As A Foreigner?
Life in the Philippines can be a very eye-opening experience in many ways. Many foreigners who have traveled around South East Asia have decided to live in the Philippines long-term. The tourism board pre covid shows that more travelers were entering the Philippines than in previous years, and some experts believe once COVID is more manageable, these numbers will soon return.
As a foreigner living in the Philippines, you may be seen as slightly different, but this is not bad. I had the fortune of staying in very remote areas, and it was a daily occurrence that locals would touch my skin and ask for pictures. This did not happen in the major cities, but only when I stepped off the grid, so it is something to remember if you are backpacking around these areas.
You will feel very early on in the Philippines the high level of respect Filipinos have for visiting tourists. This is a very nice feeling as it’s always nice to feel respected.
A good piece of advice for anybody looking to start a new life in Asia is to take a small break in each country, and you will find very quickly that one country will appeal to you more than the others. For me, the Philippines felt like home, and if you can feel like this, then it is straightforward to live in the Philippines or any other country that you choose.
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