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Your Expat Community in the Philippines

  • Connect with fellow expats in the Philippines

  • Join exciting events and groups for expats

  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in the Philippines

  • Jacques Paillard

    All expatriates in my company joined InterNations because it really helped me get accustomed to my new life in Manila.

Our Expat Community in the Philippines Welcomes You!

Kamusta, and welcome to the expat community in the Philippines! As part of InterNations, you can interact with other expats in the Philippines and all over the world. Whether you are planning to relocate to the Philippines or are already making the move right now, our experienced and private network of expats are ready to help you make your journey that bit easier. You may want to know the answers to questions like “what are the safest neighborhoods in Manila?”, “where are the best international schools in Davao?”, or “what is the healthcare system like in the Philippines?”. Whatever you need to know, our expat community in the Philippines will be more than happy to help answer your questions. They can give you tips, tricks and advice about making your move to the Philippines simple and stress-free. Based on their own experiences and knowledge, you will gain an invaluable insight into real expat life through the InterNations Community.

With InterNations, you never stand alone. Whether you are moving to another country or going on a business trip somewhere — our communities around the world are there to make you feel at home wherever you are. Feel free to check out our vibrant InterNations Communities in countries like Qatar or China.

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Living in the Philippines: Your Questions, Answered

If you're a new or soon-to-be expat in the Philippines, you might have some questions about what life is like in this island nation. We've compiled answers to seven common inquiries to help you get started. To ask more specific questions or share your own experiences, consider joining InterNations, where you'll find a supportive community of expats who love to help each other out.

1. Is it necessary to speak the local language?
While Filipino and English are both official languages in the Philippines, it's helpful to learn some Filipino (Tagalog) for daily interactions and to build connections with locals. English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas and among educated Filipinos, so you can get by without knowing the local language, but learning it can enrich your experience.

2. What are the average rent prices in popular expat locations?

Makati City:

  • Single-room flat: 15,000–30,000 PHP (292–585 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 45,000–100,000 PHP (877–1,950 USD) per month

Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig:

  • Single-room flat: 25,000–40,000 PHP (487–780 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 70,000–150,000 PHP (1,365–2,925 USD) per month

Cebu City:

  • Single-room flat: 10,000–20,000 PHP (195–390 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 30,000–60,000 PHP (585–1,170 USD) per month

3. How safe is the Philippines for expats?
The Philippines is generally safe for expats, but it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions, especially in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. Petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur. Keep your belongings secure and avoid poorly lit areas at night.

4. What is the healthcare situation like in the Philippines?
Healthcare in the Philippines varies in quality. Private hospitals and clinics, particularly in urban areas, generally provide better care than public facilities. Many expats opt for international health insurance that covers treatment at private hospitals and medical evacuation in case of serious illness or injury.

5. How can I open a bank account in the Philippines?
To open a bank account in the Philippines, you'll typically need to provide proof of identity (such as a passport), proof of address (such as a utility bill or lease agreement), and an Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card) or other proof of legal residence. Some banks may have additional requirements, so it's a good idea to check with the specific bank you plan to use.

6. What is the cost of living in the Philippines?
The cost of living in the Philippines is relatively low compared to Western countries, but it can vary depending on your lifestyle and location. In general, housing, transportation, and food are more affordable, but imported goods and services can be more expensive. As an expat, you can expect to live comfortably on a modest budget.

7. Can I drive with my foreign driver's license in the Philippines?
Foreigners can drive in the Philippines using their foreign driver's license for up to 90 days. After that, you will need to obtain a Philippine driver's license. To do so, you'll need to provide your foreign license, passport, visa, and ACR I-Card, and pass a written and practical driving test

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Join Our Online and In-Person Events in the Philippines

Attend our many events to get to know like-minded expats, both in the Philippines and around the world! Our new online events even let you find connection and inspiration without leaving your home.

Jun 15, 2024, 12:30 PM
67 attendees
Dear Esteemed Members of InterNations Manila, We are absolutely delighted to extend our heartfelt invitation to you for our upcoming InterNations gathering in June 2024. This time, we're back in Boni
Jun 16, 2024, 8:30 AM
1 attendee
This will be an A to A run, most likely totally flat and no shiggy at all 🤣. Bring long socks and a change of clothes. We are after all in the rainy season. There is a good chance for a van leaving
Jun 22, 2024, 11:00 AM
6 attendees
Join us as we explore the concept of Shadow Work—what is it and what are the benefits? Renowned licensed quantum healer, Ms. Blar Blardony, will be our guest speaker for the casual, dinner event :)
Jul 13, 2024, 1:00 AM
4 attendees
Join our happy gang as we have our weekend in (...) Protected content (...) This time, we shall just relax and chill in (...) Protected content (...) Buffet breakfast is from 7-10 am only.

Want to see all the upcoming events in the Philippines?

Connect with Like-Minded Expatriates in the Philippines

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Meet other expats like you in the Philippines

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Embark on Your Life as an Expat in the Philippines

The Philippines is made up of a massive 7,000 islands and is located in the western Pacific. Defined by its huge cities, beautiful beaches, rice fields, volcanoes, and friendly locals, the Philippines has everything from beach paradise spots at Luzon and Mindanao to the sprawling, vast city of its capital Manila. Expats find the Philippines to be among the top five countries in the world in regard to personal happiness, according to our Expat Insider survey results. Expats also find it relatively easy to settle into the country and make friends and the country does well for families, too, with affordable and easily available childcare and education options for expat kids. The cost of living in the Philippines is also very low, which is extremely attractive to relocating expats. The destination is also very popular with retirees, and a large percentage of expats also relocated to the Philippines to be with their partner. However, infrastructure can be a problem in the country, with both underfunding and underinvestment issues.

InterNations is the largest global network for expatriates, with communities in 420 cities around the world. Meet fellow global minds in your city of residence or get to know local expatriates before you're moving or traveling abroad and never feel like a stranger. InterNations makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your expat friends, both online and offline, so you can grow your network of friends and contacts from all over the world. Whether they live in Germany or Malaysia, InterNations allows you to be close to them even if they are miles away.

The Network for Like-Minded Expatriates in the Philippines

By joining the expat community in the Philippines, you can be safe in the knowledge that all of your members have gone through a careful approval process prior to becoming a part of our growing community. Feel confident about meeting up with other expats in the Philippines by joining the various groups and attending the events held by the InterNations expat community. By browsing through the groups and events that are taking place, you are sure to find something of interest. There’s the Manila Culture Group, for instance, or you can try connecting with work colleagues and other like-minded expats through the Professional Networking Group in Manila. Don't stop enjoying yourself; keep up your interests and social life with InterNations and become part of a real community.

  • Jacques Paillard

    All expatriates in my company joined InterNations because it really helped me get accustomed to my new life in Manila.

  • Adriana Rodrigues Zon

    The idea of getting to know other expats in Manila was very appealing to me, and I've greatly expanded my network in the Philippines.

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