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Borocay Island, Philippines

Moving to Philippines

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jan 10, 2024

Summary: Expats and digital nomads move to the Philippines for its low cost of living, warm climate, and friendly people. The most popular cities for expats and digital nomads in the Philippines are Manila, Cebu, and Davao. People looking for a place to live in the Philippines can search online for rental listings, contact real estate agents, or look for postings on expat forums.

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What do I need to know before moving to Philippines?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Philippines, they said:

"Don't be scared to move to Manila. It is not nearly as scary as people would have you believe. I am more scared wandering around deserted Sydney streets at night than in Manila. Of course be sensible. Dress modestly, don't wear expensive jewellery or watches etc. Look out for pickpockets on the trains - I got a wallet with a chain after my introduction to pickpockets on the LRT! You can't really live an insulated western life so try to fit in with the locals wherever you can. For example, jeepneys are often convenient, NOT scary and you really get to live the local life. Learning how to get around teaches you a lot which you will find valuable in your time here. Smile a lot! It really opens doors," commented one expat who made the move to Manila.

"Don't move in now unless you have a good contract stating details about deteriorating security. Move into Alabang since there is a brand new hospital. Prepare to pay for everything while in hospital. American style. No pay, no treatment," remarked one expat in Manila, Philippines.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Borocay Island, Philippines

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