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San Juan, Philippines

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 05, 2023

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

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What do I need to know about living in San Juan?

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

"Before retiring in San Juan, expats should know that the cost of living is generally lower than in many Western countries, but it can vary depending on lifestyle choices. The official language is Filipino, but English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas. The climate is tropical, with a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. Healthcare in the Philippines is a mix of public and private providers. While the quality of care can be good, especially in private hospitals, it may not be up to the standards expats are used to. It's recommended to have comprehensive health insurance that covers treatment in private hospitals. San Juan is a bustling city with a rich history and vibrant culture. It offers a range of amenities, from shopping malls and restaurants to parks and museums. However, traffic can be heavy, and public transportation is not always reliable. The Philippines has a relatively high crime rate compared to some other countries, although expats who take sensible precautions are unlikely to encounter problems. It's advisable to avoid certain areas, especially at night, and to be aware of common scams. The process of obtaining a retirement visa in the Philippines can be complex and time-consuming. Expats should start the process well in advance and may want to seek legal advice. The Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) is a popular option for many retirees. The Philippines has a diverse and welcoming culture, but it's important for expats to respect local customs and traditions. This includes dressing modestly, especially in rural areas, and avoiding sensitive topics of conversation. Finally, while the Philippines offers a relaxed lifestyle, it's also prone to natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Expats should be prepared for these risks and have a plan in place in case of emergencies," remarked one expat who made the move to San Juan.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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What do I need to know before moving to San Juan?

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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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Traveling Mailbox lets you view your postal mail online anywhere and it's is affordable, simple, and flexible.
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Traveling Mailbox lets you view your postal mail online anywhere and it's is affordable, simple, and flexible.
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