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thinking about moving to manila for 2 years through work

hi,
we've been offered the opportunity to live in manila for 2 years all through work, well my husband has. we.are a young.family with a 1 year old.
I am in two minds whether to move to the philippines or not.
I've.read lots of pros but the cons scare me because I think what would life be like for us and especially what would life be like for our baby.
will we be safe? will we be comfortable or always afraid? can we trust the drivers, the nannies, the food etc....?! how safe is it really?
I know it would be such a culture shock cos all we've known all our lives is australia!!
do we.take up this opportunity, what.are the benefits to us moving over there for a.few.years?
please help any advice will be much appreciated.
I probably have more questions, actually I have soooo many questions just dont think it'll fit...thats how nervous I am, especially with our first baby our 1 year old. whats life gonna be like for us as a family??

Are you coming over on an expat package? If your housing is partially covered, then can live in areas such as Makati - Rockwell or Bonfacio. Bonifacio has a huge expat community, many from Aus/NZ.  You can hire a p/t helper to take care of shopping or get a driver if not comfortable with the traffic. Lots of people can give referrals. Always check references.  My wife is also not keen on Phils and she will never be happy until back on the plane to home.  But for 2 years, thats a breeze.

If your not on a package, then need to do a little planning.

Hello lilo21,

Manila is a very safe place.  It is hot, heavy traffic during rush hours, but if safety is your concern,I don't think you should be worried.

How comfortable your family will be in Manila depends mainly on where you will be housed.  Many expats are housed in some of the posh subdivisions in Manila which is very safe and comfortable.  Even going around Manila with your family is very safe.  I think you should be more worried with traffic jams.

Western foods are available in many big groceries, there are also upscale groceries that specialize on these.  It's more expensive of course as they are imported.

Drivers if provided by the company should be reliable. If you are worried that your driver might harm you or your family, the possibility of this happening is remote. 

Nannies should be always supervised.  I wouldn't leave my 1 year old to anybody if I am not around. 

If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.

Ge0f :

Hello lilo21,

Manila is a very safe place.  It is hot, heavy traffic during rush hours, but if safety is your concern,I don't think you should be worried.

How comfortable your family will be in Manila depends mainly on where you will be housed.  Many expats are housed in some of the posh subdivisions in Manila which is very safe and comfortable.  Even going around Manila with your family is very safe.  I think you should be more worried with traffic jams.

Western foods are available in many big groceries, there are also upscale groceries that specialize on these.  It's more expensive of course as they are imported.

Drivers if provided by the company should be reliable. If you are worried that your driver might harm you or your family, the possibility of this happening is remote. 

Nannies should be always supervised.  I wouldn't leave my 1 year old to anybody if I am not around. 

If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.

True story on my colleagues former driver. The driver asked to have an advance in pay for a month, which he gave 50%. Following month, he asked for another advance and he said no. The driver pulled out a knife and threatened him. So he paid and obviously the driver quit. But then later the driver went to the barangay chief and claimed he was fired and my colleague ended up having to pay another month as was easier than trying to go to police. You dont want to make enemies of locals. I dont know of many companies that will provide for a driver unless your in the diplomatic corp.  So make sure to get lots of references and check them out.  I drive myself, just be cautious and plan for delays.

dont know of many companies that will provide for a driver unless your in the diplomatic corp.

Surely that depends on the position you hold. 

True story on my colleagues former driver. The driver asked to have an advance in pay for a month, which he gave 50%. Following month, he asked for another advance and he said no. The driver pulled out a knife and threatened him. So he paid and obviously the driver quit. But then later the driver went to the barangay chief and claimed he was fired and my colleague ended up having to pay another month as was easier than trying to go to police.

The driver pulled out a knife on him and still had the guts to go to the barangay and make up story, knowing that he owe your colleague half a month salary?

Why did your colleague needed to pay another month salary even if the barangay and police believed the drivers story?

During all of this did your colleague even speak at all?

He paid some cash to get him out of the car and then the driver complained to barangay and got more out of it. In his case, happened to be at home garage when it happened. (Condo security wont do anything.) Then went to our security team and they said its not worth going against the barangay and potentially having your family hurt (driver knows where you live) for p12k. When anyone pulls a knife on you, best to give money and get out of there.

thank you geof and dhnindc, thank you for your replies:)
the company would take care of everything as far as the hiring of drivers and nannies and yes most of accommodation costs paid for.  however safety for me comes first and  and you have made me really think a little more positive about the whole move. I've advised my husband to give me more details about where we would actually be staying in manila and yes it does sound like some of the places you mentioned geof.
the driver stories however....wow...scary!! do I really want to risk .....surely a confrontation is bound to happen in two years hahaha not.sure I'll like it!again thank you kindly for your honesty nd comments. I will most definately come back to you with more questions I'm sure.

Hi Lilo.

My husband was also offered a position here and we have consequently moved to Manila. The adjustment was hard at first, a whole new country, culture. I was stared at quite a bit. I really felt awkward and out of place. Slowly, I started making friends with the locals and have gotten to know a few expats.  There is a large community of Australians here so you should have no problem meeting any.

I have 2 young children and we have enrolled them in a wonderful private school. Most people here do have babysitters/ nannies or yayas, as they are called here. Personally, I don't have one. I prefer doing it myself. I believe it is better to find help through word of mouth. I made the mistake of advertising for help through means of sites like locanto and sulit but I came across many scam artists. I was just grateful that I found out about their scams in time.  We don't have a driver but we have a taxi driver who we call who fetches us if he is available.

It is very safe here but obviously,like anywhere, you have places that are best to avoid. And also how you carry yourself.

Filipinoes, in general are very friendly, helpful and there is a strong sense of community and family.

I hope some of this has helped you. If I can help in any other way, please let me know.

thank you lynsey.
I guess, it is just me being afraid of the unknown! I'm glad I found this website and people like yourself who kindly reply :)

Hi Lilo,

Fast forward 3 years, it's 2015 now. So how did you find Manila? I'm from Malaysia and also got a job offer in Manila. I gotta tell you, I have the same concerns. So should I worry about the safety there?

Hi Jescilla,

There's no need to worry so long as you do not maltreat anyone.  It's the same thing everywhere.
The story about the driver pulling out a knife ... I can tell you that there has to be something more to it than just that.
Since your living in Manila is work related, the people within your company's Manila office can definitely help you in finding the right people i.e. drivers, nannies, house helper etc...

English is understood by everyone so nothing will be lost in translation.
Ask them where they will house you and I can give you a more detailed idea of what the community is like.
There are huge expat communities in Manila and you can easily meet Malaysians, Singaporeans, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Europeans, Americans, Aussies, etc...
If you are housed in a condominium in either Makati, Ortigas Center or Eastwood, you will definitely find other foreigners within the same condo complex.

If you need more information, please feel free to ask away ...

As for safety,guess what It is dangerous to go out in Manila at night,even so during daytime!I
You Can Visit This Page To Find Out Whether Or Not I'm Telling The Truth:
facebook.com/ReaIImageOfmperialManilal?fref=ts

I know the original post is a few years old, but I was wondering if you would mind giving me a few specifics about the private school you sent your children to in Manila? My family will be moving there from the US in June, and I am keen to find a good school for them as quickly as possible. Many many thanks for any insight you would care to offer.  :)

I know this post is a couple years old but wanted to see if maybe anything has changed ..

I've been offered a position in Manila with a lodging and transportation stipend and large salary. I am looking at living in Makati or BGC in a high-rise condo. I would use Uber (Black) to commute to and from work while hopefully avoiding rush hour as much as is possible. It's an executive position so the work hours will be more demanding than not. I am not married and do not have kids.

What things do I need to be aware of? What might I not be thinking of? I'm generally leery of the stress and challenge of moving around the world and the not having things to the admittedly spoiled, first-world level to which I've become accustomed whether that be wi-fi speed, air conditioning, ice cubes, food cleanliness and subsequently westernized bathrooms.

Thanks in advance!

If your in BGC or Makati and travel by Uber (wheres your office), will have no problems, except for having women after you.  BGC has everything needed for a single guy, groceries ranging from high end Rustans to lower end (but still very good) Market Market. Restaurants, clubs, drinking stations. Only thing it does not have is the girlie bars of Makati, but thats a quick uber ride away.

Seriously, if your a single guy with money in Manila, the place is all you want to make of it.

Living in the "good part" of Makati is okay, BGC is better. What I can advice you is maybe try GrabCar services. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of controversies involving Uber, but again, just always be alert. As a native Filipino here, I know there are many people who will take advantage of foreigners, so if you need any advice, you can message me.  :)

try not to be so classy in public. Its ok to be cautious, my friend from Canada was robbed once even though he was staying in Cebu doesn't mean you're safe in Manila. There are many gangs here like "Budol-budol gang" - theyre good in treachery. Put CCTV in your condo.
Be safe.

Hello mam u don't need to worry to much about your safetiness here in the Phil.coz my former employer is ausi family also and they lived in Phil for almost 2yrs and nothing happened with them and my other boss also are ausi they still here in the Phil.for 8 yrs

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