Moving to the Philippines with kids


Moving abroad is an adventure for both parents and children: settling overseas is a challenge for each family member.

How was the move to the Philippines for your kids?

How did they manage to adapt to their new environment?

Share with us your experience and advice on settling in the Philippines with children.

Thank you in advance,


My teenage daughter came over to the Philippines a few months ago, but was very happy to get back home to Australia.

Her views on the provincial areas (her mums hometown) were not good ones, but she seemed OK in the Mall of Asia area, with its good Accommodation options, and more like Western style.

With the option to stay, her choice was NO.  Maybe living in Greenbelt, Makati might have been OK though, but Australia is cheaper than there.

The main reason that I am relocating my family back to Belgium once our house is sold is the quality of education here in the Philippines compared to Europe. Our kids went to several (expensive) private schools and my wife and I are thoroughly disappointed with the education that they received there.

I'm not saying that Filipino education is all bad, I'm saying that it is not what we want for our kids. Everyone should draw their own conclusions out of this statement but for us it is clear; we want more and better for our kids than what is on offer here in the Philippines.

Moderated by Bhavna 3 years ago
Reason : Your post is off-topic

Thank you for your welcoming.  I arrived a few days ago and trying to get caught up on rest.  God Bless you

Hello everyone,

@lbsp888 and ron2, please note that we should stick to the topic launched and share our ideas only about that.


ok, I was just trying to be polite

My two children, boy and girl came to live with me recently. They loved the idea of a tropical island with beach and water everywhere.  WOW, what an awaking.  Day one they were not happy.  Their Western credit card culture!  2 weeks and back home. 

Do not want to say much about the education system but this happened and it is what it is.  My girlfriend is a teacher for exceptional students. She is working on her master degree.  It quickly became apparent there was very little knowledge of anything happening or existing outside the Philippines.  Made a big impression on my children and they are only in first year college.  Their comment something about a third world. 
Someone please tell me this is the exception to the education system.

Moderator please go easy  on me....

Our then one-year-old son was able to adjust quickly here in the Philippines, even quicker than I and my husband. It's most probably due to his being very young. I think the older the child, the harder it would be for him / her to adjust to the new environment. (Think tearjerker "Inside Out" movie.)

The most horrible part of our move was the 12-hour flight to the Philippines. Our son was still mostly crawling and barely walking. He wanted to crawl on the plane's floor but we didn't allow him. So he kept crying. (We're not the type who would give baby Benadry to calm a baby.) And then there was turbulence while we were in the middle of changing his dirty diaper and the light indicating we should fasten our seat belts lit up. The experience of turbulence, stinky poopy diaper, a crying baby in a small cramped toilet is something I cannot forget.

Before we left, we ordered 4 original copies of his birth certificate, as well as our marriage license from SF City Hall and my husband's birth certificate. I also applied for a dual citizenship back in the US for my son right after I got mine. 

I got copies of my son's medical records, including his vaccination records. I asked for a referral from his pediatrician in the US for a pediatrician in the Philippines , but the Philippine-based doctor's office was too far from our place. So, we went to a different one.  One of the deadliest diseases in the Philippines, where children and the elderly are most vulnerable is dengue. Unfortunately, there's no vaccination yet for this virus.  All parents with children moving here should be aware of the signs and symptoms of dengue.

My son still cannot speak Tagalog, and understands very little. So, he's having a hard time with Filipino subjects in school. We enrolled him in a Montessori school very near our place. I've seen expats' children also going there. It's more than twice expensive than other private schools in our area. I'm happy with the school. The teachers are very attentive and they were able to notice, when my son was in preschool, that he might have a certain condition. We went to a specialist, and now he's under a special guidance program with the school in addition to going to therapy.

Both of our kids have a love for learning. I read to them when they were able to hold and keep their heads up. Now, on his own, my son can google for pictures he needs for his homework. (He still needs help in printing though.) We try to turn some of our adventures / road trips and other experiences into teachable moments. So my kids got a lesson about tide movements and gravity when we went to a beach resort in Calatagan Batangas, and they asked what the receptionist meant about high and low tides.

We have a large bookshelf of children's and young readers' books, from board books for babies to Dr. Seuss to humorous Mo Willems books to older children books such as the Borrowers and the Princess and the Goblin.

Brand toys, such as Fisher Price and Hot Wheels tracks, are expensive here, often triple to 5 times the price in the US. So, bring their toys with you. (It's not just toys but other imported brand items. Corelle plates where a 16-piece set is sold here at almost the same price as a 76-piece set bought in the US) So we usually order new toys from amazon, have them delivered to my aunt's place in California (delivery is almost always free for US$35 and up purchases), and have them shipped here through flat-rate balikbayan boxes, along with other stuff we have sent from the states. It's still a lot cheaper despite the extra cost of shipping.

Our children are happy here. We do not practice push parenting. Our kids are well loved. They know it, feel it and pass it to others.  And I think that's what's most important in raising kids wherever in the world you are.

Haha! Yes you are!

The education is terrible - the public schools are a total non starter so be prepared to send to private schools.

The private schools standards depend on the cost with the medium cost schools loaded with RI and the stards of Math and other subjects they should be teaching VERY basic

There are good schools - but the cost is VERY high

Added to all this is the fact that although the OFFICIAL language is English most kids get through school without learning to speak much - which is worrying

The Philippines is NOT a good place to bring up children

petehuk :

Added to all this is the fact that although the OFFICIAL language is English most kids get through school without learning to speak much - which is worrying

I don't think that it is English any more.

But losing the English that the older generation had is putting them at certain disadvantages now, internationally.

Language Policies in the Philippines

A few extracts:
1. Section 6.  The national language of the Philippines is Filipino.  As it evolves, it shall be further
developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.

the cultivation and elaboration of Filipino as a language of scholarly discourse, that is to say its
continuing intellectualization

The aspiration of the Filipino nation is to have its citizens possess skills in Filipino to enable them to perform their functions and duties in order to meet the needs of the country in the community of nations.

All departments/bureaus/offices/agencies/instrumentalities of the government are enjoined to do the following:
1. Take steps to enhance the use of Filipino in official communications, transactions and correspondence in their respective offices, whether national or local;

etc … ilippines/

bka nman kc sa mababang paaralan mo enroll anak mo d wag ka dto cnu ba ng pipilit sayu na pmunta ka dto sa pilipinas.... :mad:  :par:

fajardomyla :

bka nman kc sa mababang paaralan mo enroll anak mo d wag ka dto cnu ba ng pipilit sayu na pmunta ka dto sa pilipinas.... :mad:  :par:

Ummm, ??

Yes, Is English taught in school ?

p hilom diha oiiiii : :rolleyes:

fajardomyla :

bka nman kc sa mababang paaralan mo enroll anak mo d wag ka dto cnu ba ng pipilit sayu na pmunta ka dto sa pilipinas.... :mad:  :par:

Your words above translated into Filipino, by a Filipino =
baka naman kasi sa mababang paaralan mo i'enroll anak mo di wag ka dito sino ba nag pipilit sayo na pumunta ka dito sa philipines

Then translated into English =
maybe if you did enrol your child in a low school then not here no one will force you to come here in Philippines

So... "Moving to the Philippines with kids"  Education wise?   Hmmm...

@ fajardomyla > Please post in english only on this english speaking forum.


Priscilla  :cheers:

fajardomyla :

bka nman kc sa mababang paaralan mo enroll anak mo d wag ka dto cnu ba ng pipilit sayu na pmunta ka dto sa pilipinas.... :mad:  :par:


Perhaps you enrolled your child in elementary school [but I think she meant cheap low-standard school]. So don't stay here [in the Philippines]. Who's forcing you to come here anyways?

SORRY if i am getting off the topic but couldn't find any suitable existing topic/thread.
Is it necessary for children to learn/study local language in schools? I am planning to move but schools are my major concern.

Anybody know of a military school in Manila for a 12 year old?

Can I make friend with you?

Sure you can

Hi ,
Thank you for your reply! How do you like Philippines? Why do you intend to move to Philippines with your kids?

I live in Philippines, my home is in Australia, and have one Son here with me and my Wife, I think I am one of many here that thought life in Philippines would be good one, but can say it is not for me, many reasons for me not to stay, Culture, Food, Places, honestly I can say I do not see any thing nice here, even some say beach or sea is beautiful, but this is because they have not seen Australia, Australia is the best Country in the world to live in, any way I am staying till my kid is4 or 5, and back to Australia for schools, for sure not here, my Wife Sister is a teacher, how this people can teach is beyond me, they have no idea about any thing apart from Philippines, like blind leading blind, any way this is just me I know every one is different here.

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