The Foreign Exchange
Expat Exchange
Expat Exchange
A World of Friend Abroad
May 22, 2023

11 Best Places to Live in the Philippines

The Philippines is a very popular destination for expats, digital nomads and retirees. People move to the Philippines to enjoy its lower cost of living, beautiful beaches, bustling cities and welcoming people. If you're moving to the Philippines, it may be hard to decide where to live. Here are some highlights from our article, 11 Best Places to Live in the Philippines:

La Union

La Union is a coastal province about 165 miles north of Manila with a population of over 800k. One member said, "La Union is a very popular surfing area with surf schools, sandy beaches, nice restaurants and expats. Renting a place near the beach might be expensive, but there must be cheaper around. It's about 4 - 5+ hours drive from Manila and one hour from Bagiou. I liked the place. But it does flood badly in places -- so be careful." Another expat said, "I live in the province of La Union, about 135 miles north of Manila. I love it here on so many levels. While it is not perfect, the cost of living is as low as anywhere in the country. I am on the leeward side of the island of Luzon on the South China Sea, so typhoons are only tropical storms if they come this way. Get away from Manila and look around. I live very well on my income which is about $2500/mo."

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With a population of over 110k, Subic is a coastal city about 100 miles east of Manila. One expat advised, "If you are a first timer coming to the Philippines, I'd first remind you that this is or can be a dangerous 3rd world country to just drop in on and stay. That said and for those reasons, I'd suggest an area outside of but close to the old US Navy base in Subic Bay on Luzon Island. Good area with complete infastructure on base that is hard to find anywhere else. Borcay is simply too expensive when Subic offers more for far less."

Borocay Island

With a population of less than 50k, Borocay Island is a 1 hr. flight south of Manila. A member described life there saying, "I live in the Yapak area of Boracay (third part). The island is about 7.5km long by about 2km wide at it's maximum and 800m at it's minimum and split into 3 areas. First third near the jetty port that you land at tends to be more local's properties and not a lot there. Second part is the centre where there's hundreds of restaurants, bars etc. Modern rentals available there but small plus cost more. Third part is a lot of high end resorts and condominiums. A few quiet and nice beaches there only a few restaurants but there's a small Mall and cinema, golf course etc. Transport wise I have a motorcycle but there's hourly free transport via an air con van or jump on an E Trike for 40 peso to the centre."