12 Tips for Living in Manila, Philippines
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An expat talks about living in Manila, Philippines. He explains that mainly move to Manila for the low cost of living, friendly people and warm climate.
Why Foreigners Like Living in Manila
Foreigners mainly move to Manila because of the low living costs and the fact that many people in the Philippines speak English. Beside that people generally are friendly.
Cost of Living in Manila
Living costs including the lease of a small furnished apartment depend on where the apartment is located. In a non luxurious area they normally do not exceed 1200 USD per month. Public transportation is cheap.
Expat Clubs & Organizations in Manila
Expats can join various clubs where members are of their own country of origin through contacts with their embassies. Events are organized by the club and there is a small membership fee. Local clubs like chess or golf clubs maybe contacted through the internet. There is also a membership fee. Non-profit organizations exist. Usually you have to be introduced by a member.
International Schools in Manila
There are several international schools - Brent School and International School are nearby if you are living in Makati They offer a k-12 curriculum in English
Manila's Malls & Markets
Shopping can be done in malls or markets. They are located in practically all cities in Metropolitan Manila.
Public Transportation & Jeepneys
Public transportation is available in my area through jeepneys or MRT/LRT (Metro Rail Transit or Light Rail Transit). They are not very reliable but generally safe.
Climate in Manila
There are two main seasons. The rainy and the dry season. The rainy season is characterized by frequent typhoons (July - December) The dry season is very hot and humid (January - June).
Restaurants & Nightlife
There are lots of restaurants selling local and international food. Bars and discos offer a wide range of entertainment until the early morning.
Public & Private Hospitals in Manila
There is a public hospital nearby and also a private hospital. Emergency services in the private hospital are good - Not in the public hospital. Quality of care in the Public Hospital is not recommendable for Westerners. In the Private hospital it is reliable and good.
Expat Health Insurance
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Swimming can be done in the public pool of a sports stadium rather close to where I am living. Golfing in a nearby golf course by members of the golf club. Hiking in a public park nearby.
Visa & Residency
A residency permit can be obtained through a yearly quota system or if you are married to a local person- on the basis of the marriage. Foreign visitors upon their arrival in the Philippines are granted a free tourist visa for 30 days, which may be extended to 59 days through the immigration. Before the expiry of the 59 days visa the foreign visitor may extend his/her visa to 60 or 180 days more. The tourist visa maybe further extended up to 3 years.
Crime in Manila
Petty crime occurs often in the Philippines. Pickpockets are all over and there are a lot of thieves. There are also a lot of fraud cases.