Moving to the Philippines: 5 Things You Need to Know

Moving to the Philippines is an eye opening experience. If you have never had the opportunity to visit South East Asia prepare yourself for something exciting. At first I will not lie, it will take some adjusting, especially if you are use to the comforts of American amenities (use of air condition, etc.), unless of course you are willing to pay extra for them.

Get ready for warm year round weather

First things first, before you even get to the Philippines prepare yourself for the weather you are about to experience.

Unlike the U.S. and other countries they do not have winter, summer, spring, or fall, they have rainy season and sunny season. This is mainly because it is very close to the equator.

The summer months (around March thru August or so) the weather can get pretty hot, so prepare for extreme heat, and also prepare for your skin to possible go through an adjustment period wherein it may get dry and scratchy as it adjusts to the Philippine climate.

Watch your spending

Next I want you guys to be smart and conscious about your spending while in the Philippines. It can become extremely easy to spend pesos rather than dollars because you are not thinking on those terms.

For example the rate for Philippine Peso to U.S. Dollar normally trades around $1 to 48php, so if changing $100 you will get 4,800php.

If you are not careful that $100 can spend really fast (eating out, transportation, paying bills, etc.) and you will constantly be wondering how you spent it so fast.

Foreigners cannot own property without a Philippine National


Also a big FYI for those wanting to move to the Philippines, foreigners CANNOT own property there. We have to put 60% in the names of a Philippine national and we can own only 40%, BUT we are allowed to own condominiums without any other name on the deed or title.

Remember those American amenities I mentioned, those can really add up to a hefty monthly bill if you are not careful, whether you rent or own your condominium. You can rent a place rather cheap, but again if you are need of those amenities the price may go up.

The range for renting a really nice condominium in a place like Manila (Capital of Philippines) would be $500 low end to upwards of $2,000 for high end, not including water and electric.

Of course in other areas of the Philippines prices are much cheaper. I just want you guys to be careful with your money and be willing to make necessary sacrifices to live good in the country within your means

Be aware of your surroundings

I want you guys to always be weary of your surroundings there. It is a great place but always stay safe because that is not our country.

On the street be weary of beggars and people asking for money (they may even try you in the airport, baggage handlers, etc.), because they can normally tell who is familiar with where they are going and those brand new, or fresh off the boat in the Philippines.

Carry the least amount of money as you can while walking around their, no jewelry is something I also encourage too.

Be smart when dealing with Philippines women

Although beautiful and very accommodating be weary of the women as well. The sex appeal and charm could really catch you off guard and you will find yourself spending unnecessary money for things that are not your problem.

They are very big on family so someone’s relative or baby will always have a problem, or rent needing to be paid will always come up if they start to get comfortable with you.

Don’t get me wrong the women are beautiful and accommodating and all around genuine because THEY LOVE US FOREIGNERS, but always remember for the few that are good, there will be some bad you will need to look out for.

There is a lot more for me to share but these are the basic things to prepare for as you make the transition into the expat life in the Philippines.

Anything you want me to go into detail about please let me know and I am always willing to help.


Read More: Lonely Planet Philippines

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Written by Dr. Michael Carter III

After high school, Dr. Carter, moved to the Philippines wherein he spent over 10 years living and studying in there. He was able to obtain his Doctorate degree in Business Administration and has a wealth of knowledge about the country, the people, and all that in between. He is always ready and willing to help a fellow expat in their travels to the Philippines. Contact Mike at:

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