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Davao City, Philippines
Davao City, Philippines
Davao City, Philippines

Davao, Philippines

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

Summary: With a population of 1.8 million, Davao is a coastal city (the 3rd most populous in the Philippines) with year-round daily highs in the upper 80s to low 90s. In this article, expats, retirees and digital nomads talk about the quality of healthcare in Davao, the lack of local job opportunities, the benefits of living in a subdivision and more.

Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

What do I need to know about living in Davao?

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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," commented one expat who made the move to Davao.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What do I need to know before moving to Davao?

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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," remarked another expat who made the move to Davao .

How do I find a place to live in Davao?

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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," commented one expat who made the move to Davao .

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

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"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," remarked another expat living in Davao , Philippines.

What is the average cost of housing in Davao?

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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," commented one expat who made the move to Davao .

How do I meet people in Davao?

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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," commented one expat who made the move to Davao.

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What should I bring when moving to Davao?

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

"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," mentioned another expat in Davao .

Will I be able to find a job in Davao?

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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," said another expat in Davao.

What is life like in Davao?

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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," mentioned another expat in Davao.

Is there a lot of crime in Davao?

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

"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," said another expat in Prudential Village, Daliao, Davao City.

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

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

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What are medical services in Davao like?

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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," mentioned another expat living in Davao.

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.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

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Davao City, Philippines

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Expats DavaoExpats in Davao

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Davao.

Philippines Index Davao Index
An index of all of our site's Davao information.

Philippines Forum Philippines Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Philippines on our Philippines forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Philippines Network Contribute
Help others in Philippines by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Philippines.

Expat Healthcare Advice in PhilippinesHealthcare & Health Insurance in Philippines

Expats in Philippines offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Philippines.

Best Places to Live in Philippines Best Places to Live in Philippines

The Philippines is known for its big cities, breathtakingly beautiful beaches, friendly Filipinos and low cost of living. Where are the best places to live in the Philippines? Expats, digital nomads and retirees share their favorite places to live.

Real Estate in PhilippinesReal Estate in Philippines

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Philippines.

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We asked expats and searched our forums for recommendations about where to retire in Asia. We pinpointed countries with affordable costs of living and have five great retirement locations. Please add your recommendations in the comments section!

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