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Davao City, Philippines

Davao, Philippines

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jan 06, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of Davao, Philippines is 1.6 million people. People describe Davao as a vibrant and bustling city with a rich cultural heritage. Expats love living in Davao for its friendly locals, affordable cost of living, and its tropical climate. The weather in Davao is typically hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit. The average cost of living in Davao for an expat is around $1,000 USD per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is around $400 USD per month, and a two bedroom apartment is around $600 USD per month.

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What do I need to know about living in Davao?

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

"The best is to have some work over internet from outside the country. It is more an investment country over here than a job finding country," said another expat in Davao.

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What do I need to know before moving to Davao?

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

"You can view homes on line! Contracts are usually in English, Most people are polite here. So be polite. Put yourself in their place. They are trying to make a living, too. Choose a place with security. When you find a side of town you prefer, drive around the neighborhood. Our first year everyone on our street had dogs and chickens. Very noisy at night. Subdivisions and condos have animal laws so you can get some sleep," mentioned another expat in Davao .

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How do I find a place to live in Davao?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"We found a corner 2br condo (pool) on facebook under Davao House Rent. The neighborhood is central to most things; malls, easy taxi service, resto’s, Security is a must. Remember expats cannot own land. That is important if you are going to build," remarked another expat living in Davao , Philippines.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Davao?

"Fairly typical for city life; 2br condo, weight room, pool, kiddie pool, wifi, AC, hot water, furnished, elevators. Most expats have either a decent condo with amenities, build/buy a house or rent in subdivisions. Some choose the subdivisions with clubhouse and pool. Those are more room, usually also furnished with wifi. We had a house for a year. It was nice but more money and it usually takes a car. That means driver's license at the DMV (LTO here), insurance, repairs, gas and all the other goodies. You can taxi anywhere in Davao for $5. It's a consideration," added another expat who made the move to Davao .

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What is the average cost of housing in Davao?

If you are thinking about moving to Davao, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Housing costs run about 40% of US prices and are usually furnished with linens and silverware (flatware). Most have a few cups and plates to get you going, a rice cooker, micro, fridge and a pot and pan are almost always included! We buy a few things as we need them," added another expat in Davao .

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How do I meet people in Davao?

When we asked people living in Davao about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Diving, rotary, NGO like tree planting or animals or street children. Church groups," added another expat in Davao.

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What should I bring when moving to Davao?

People living in Davao were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"AN exit plan!!!! 50% end up leaving that country due to the stupidity. I swore when i moved there it was forever.. LOL oh what fool I was," added another expat in Davao.

"Wish I had brought: Golf clubs, Ecco shoes, long sleeve polos, a few decent wide brimmed hats, and golf shoes (really). Wish I had left: Scuba gear (no fish, no corals), a few pair of long pants, dress shoes, prescriptions, short sleeve polos," remarked another expat who made the move to Davao .

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Will I be able to find a job in Davao?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Davao, they reponded:

"Fruits! Fruits! Fruits! Vegetables! Shipping, tourism, BPO/callcentre, The most people find jobs just asking around," explained one expat living in Davao, Philippines.

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What is life like in Davao?

When we asked people living in Davao what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Socializing, eating, drinking, living a nice and happy life in and surrounded by nature," commented one expat who made the move to Davao.

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Is there a lot of crime in Davao?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Live in a highend subdivision that INFORCES its rules and regulations. There is a reason EVER single house has an 8 ft wall and barbed wire around the top.," mentioned another expat in Davao.

"There are scams in bars, and some places I would not walk at night. I avoid the Muslim areas. I am not easily intimidated. Foreigners cannot own guns. But my wife can. Our house has very effective perimeter security," commented one expat who made the move to Prudential Village, Daliao, Davao City.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Davao accepting of differences?

"They are diverse and they accept differences. Majority is catholic, then Muslims and Buddhist. Not so much atheist. People pity the atheist over here," added another expat who made the move to Davao.

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What are medical services in Davao like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Davao, they replied:

"Public health care is minimal. Private is more expensive but covers a lot more and is needed in the Philippines," said an expat in Davao.

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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.

Davao City, Philippines

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