Expat Living in Manila

Manila is attracting a steady stream of expats from across the world who choose to come live and work in this bustling metropolis. Most international companies have offices in the Makati area of downtown, and so many Westerns who come to be Manila expats on assignments choose to stay around this neighbourhood for convenience. However, those with families may choose to relocate to the affluent suburbs and commute from there.

Living as an expat in Manila is relatively hassle-free, with the traffic of the city centre the only major headache encountered. For the mostpart, it is fine to wander around the entertainment areas at night as there is a strong police presence, and costs are generally very low with a high standard of service. Plus as the majority of Filipinos speak some English, communication is not the problem it can be elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Property

Manila is well-equipped with serviced condos for international visitors who may have to reside in the city for a few months, and some luxurious abodes for longer stays...more

Speak Tagalog

Although the majority of urbanised Filipinos can speak reasonable English, it can be beneficial to learn a few basic phrases in the native tongue to ensure speedy results...more

Visas

Everyone planning to stay in Manila for more than three weeks requires some form of pre-arranged visa, and we have a comprehensive guide to all the options for you here...more

Costs

Living in Manila is cheap compared to other developed cities of a similar size, so if passing through or settling down check out our complete guide to costs in Manila...more

Brief guide to expat living in Manila

One aspect of living as an expat in Manila which people should be aware of is culture shock. This can manifest itself in different ways, from failing to deal with the noise, traffic and pollution of the city centre, to growing irritable with local people and their customs. It is important to get out and make Filipino friends, and not to cocoon oneself in an expat bubble who fails to integrate. This will lead to a miserable time in the city.

But for most Manila expats, one of the best things about the city is that it offers an interesting mix of the Western and Oriental cultures and traditions. It’s easier to find a place to stay in this city compared to other Asian countries. The cost of living is also relatively lower so they can easily get by with significantly less than what they otherwise would spend in their home countries whilst enjoying a higher standard of living

For long-staying guests, many hotels offer great discounts depending on the amount of time you will be spending in the city. There are even places which offer world class standards of comfort as well as personalised service. If you couldn’t be bothered with domestic arrangements such as housekeeping and cooking your meals, these are great options particularly because they are also located within or near the central business districts. Every kind of service that you could possibly need is easily accessible.

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