Moving to Philippines

Looking for year-round sun, crystalline waters…and a constantly expanding economy? Welcome to the Philippines! With its 7,000+ islands, tropical marine climate and the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ that is its bustling capital city, Manila, this diverse Asian nation is the perfect place to land if you’re looking for both urban excitement and tranquil, lush landscapes.

As the second-largest archipelago in the world, the Philippines offers you the chance for endless exploration of its magical, mountainous islands. You may very well find your dreamlike paradise isle here. With over 32,000 kilometres of coastline, you’re sure to never run out of beaches to discover!

Still, Filipino urban life will call you back. With their warmth and welcoming spirit, Filipinos love a fiesta! With its multitude of cultures and booming port, Manila is its own land of opportunity. Import/export, construction, the legal profession…numerous sectors have regional offices based here.

So, bring your briefcase…and your bathing suit!

Finding Accommodation

Rents in the Philippines are highest in Metro Manila. Many expats choose to begin their search for accommodation by inquiring from colleagues, acquaintances or friends, as this is a way to find some of the best, safest properties. Still, searching internet listings on targeted expat property websites or in daily English-language Filipino newspapers can prove fruitful.

Leases on upmarket flats in the Philippines usually run for twelve months as a minimum, and tenants are expected to pay full rent up front, providing post-dated cheques. If you are not able to commit to a year’s lease, serviced flats provide a solution to this.

Education

Basic education in the Philippines runs from ages 5 to 17, with a state-run system that is modelled on the American system. The school year usually runs from June through March, although non-state schools are free to choose their starting date, within the guidelines of early June to late August.

Increased public spending on education in the Philippines over the past decade is paying dividends: the standard of schooling is very good. Despite the multitude of languages spoken here, English remains THE language of the Filipino educated class and of business. Therefore, English-language tuition is omnipresent and relatively inexpensive!

Culture

Filipinos are known for being open and friendly to Westerners: 400 years of Spanish colonial rule and 50 years of American administration changed Filipino culture forever! This is one factor that makes this country particularly attractive to Western expats. After all, 75% of Filipinos have a relative working abroad.

Another major benefit to living in the Philippines is the stunning biodiversity, which not only provides breath-taking jungle and sea to experience, but also means markets overflowing with an awe-inspiring variety of fruits, vegetables and seafood, all at very affordable prices. Life in the Philippines is a feast for the senses!

Good to Know

Many expats will tell you that Filipinos are amongst the most affectionate and caring people in the world, and this extends to physical expressions of friendship and camaraderie: don’t be surprised if friendly hugs quickly come your way, or if Filipino women seem eager to touch your children! It’s all meant in the best possible spirit.

Perhaps this is why expats in the Philippines are ranked as some of the happiest in the world (according to a 2014 Gallup poll) …or could it be the easily-accessed, inexpensive childcare? A hidden benefit of living in this lush country is the affordability of highly qualified, excellent childcare providers.

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