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Makati City, Philippines

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 02, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Makati City, Philippines. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

What do I need to know about living in Makati City?

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

"Expats considering retirement in Makati City, should be aware of several key factors. Firstly, the cost of living is generally lower than in many Western countries, but it can vary depending on lifestyle choices. Healthcare is affordable and of good quality, with many doctors speaking English. Makati City is known for its modern infrastructure, high-end shopping malls, and vibrant nightlife. It's also the financial hub of the Philippines, making it a bustling and dynamic city. The official language is Filipino, but English is widely spoken, especially in business and tourism sectors. However, learning some basic Filipino phrases can enhance your experience and interactions with locals. The climate is tropical, with a dry season from November to April and a wet season from May to October. It can get quite hot and humid, especially during the summer months. The Philippines has a residency program for retirees, known as the Special Resident Retiree's Visa (SRRV), which offers several benefits, including exemption from customs duties and taxes for the importation of personal goods, and the option to live, work, and study in the Philippines. Safety can be a concern in certain areas, but Makati City is generally considered safe, especially in the central business district. However, it's always important to take standard precautions, such as avoiding less crowded areas late at night and not displaying expensive belongings in public. The food in the Philippines is a blend of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and American influences. Makati City offers a wide range of dining options, from street food to high-end restaurants. Public transportation is widely available, including jeepneys, buses, and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT). Traffic can be heavy, especially during rush hour, so it's important to plan your travel accordingly. Lastly, the Filipino people are known for their hospitality and friendliness, so expats often find it easy to make local friends and integrate into the community," said one expat in Makati City.

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What do I need to know before moving to Makati City?

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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.

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