Manila Accommodation Options and Safety Concerns


I'm new to this forum and have a few queries I'm hoping other Expats might be able to answer.

I'm an Australian and contemplating a move to Manila with my partner (no kids) to take up an Expat opportunity near the Ortigas Centre. 

(1) Accommodation
As part of the Expat package, we'll have up to PHP 120k to spend of accommodation per month.  I'm thinking that it's unlikely that we'll buy a car there, so I'll have to rely on public transport or taxi or say Uber/Grab to get to work.  Out of these options, I've read that travelling by Uber/Grab would be the safest option, is there consensus here?  Also I'm a bit paranoid about public transport being a soft target for extremists.

Things important to me when considering accommodation are:

* Safety and 24hr security
* Modern accommodation and facilities
* A short commute to work
* Nearby access to a supermarket / shopping centre / cafes
* Nearby access to gym / sporting facilities, such as indoor/outdoor tennis
* Nearby greenspace to walk or hangout in
* Access to a swimming pool 
* Safe neighbourhood for walking   e.g. I can walk safely from my home/condo to the local shops, restaurants without needing to catch an Uber / taxi
* Close to a University, as my partner might consider studying 

Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

(2) Gated Community versus Condo Living
Am I correct in thinking that gated communities only contain houses and low-rise apartments OR are there gated communities that also contain high-rise condos? Any pros and cons that might not be obvious for both options?

(3) Safety
I've read loads of articles about crime and safety in Manila and rightly or wrongly it is my No.1 concern about coming to live in Manila.  The Aust government website … pines.aspx has some general advice, which mainly relates to issues in the south of the country, where I will not be travelling. 
Violent Crime - my understanding is that it can be avoided by sticking to the safe areas, being street smart and avoiding the dodgy areas of Manila?
Terrorism -  if you listen to the current news stories here in Aust, /!\ I AM A STUPID SPAMMER /!\ related terrorism is going to be on the rise in Manila due to the increased fighting in the south and when fighters return from Syria. Is this a fair comment, are Manila expats concerned? 

Thanks a lot in advance for your assistance, sorry if I've gone over some old ground covered by previous posts.

I may have something that fulfills your accommodation requirements.

If you can accept my "contact request" we can discuss further via private message or phone as I presently reside in Australia.

Safety is a concern worldwide these days and no more of a issue in Manila than say Sydney or Brisbane.

Cheers Pete

Hi there, I lived in manila for 2 years I was assigned there for work. I strongly suggest you rent a car with a driver, It is much safer...daily commuting in manila is a bit hard due to heavy traffic. Well, I am lucky to find a driver there who can speak fluent english and is very reliable. During my stay in manila, I stayed at Rockwell makati, there's lots of expat living there it is a guarded community and everything you need is just walking distance...there's lots of restaurants to choose from and there's also a  mall.The place is good they have nice facilities...swimming pools, gym and park where you can do your morning jog.

HI Abbey, thanks for your advice, will definitely consider Rockwell if I decide to take the position.

No worries...just in case you need a car service or any asistance when you're in manila you can contact my former driver Joel this is his number ***, he's been handling expats from different countries and is very reliable and friendly. Locals in manila are very helpful and friendly just dont trust too much cause some might take advantage.

Moderated by Bhavna last year
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Hi glove01,

I frequently travel to Manila for business for the past 10 years. From what I see according to your needs and preferences, a condo unit would be ideal for you and your partner, where you can enjoy accessibility to amenities as well as to shops and services that you need.

Ortigas area is a safe place to stay. If you are in search for accommodation, I can recommend to you a friend I know who could just be the right help. You may email her at *** You may also reach her through her mobile: ***. She can help to find you a unit in The Grove by Rockwell in Ortigas which is pretty much the suitable residential community for you in terms of safety and security, proximity to supermarkets, cafes, shops etc., and of course, to your future workplace too.

As for school, your partner may want to consider the University of Asia and the Pacific which is located just within Ortigas.

I myself am a commuter in Metro Manila, and I often use Grab or Uber. In my experience, getting a public transport such as these 2 is not a bad option at all. Drivers are courteous and reliable.

I would say you are in for a good shot in Ortigas area. All the best to you, mate!

Moderated by Bhavna last year
Reason : Please exchange contact details via the private messaging system.
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Hi mitz.gc, thanks for your reply and valuable information, much appreciated.

Hello, how about Eastwood City......(part of Quezon City) My wife and I will move their soon......

We were their in June.....very nice, good atmosphere with community feel and excellent security.


I have been to Eastwood on numerous occasions to visit a friend and his wife.   Eastwood ,as you say, is a safe vibrant little community on its own.  However, travelling from Eastwood to the airport or even to Makati during the week can be a little torturous !    But for some, it is a great community. 
Leave a note with your contact number.  You might want to meet my friends who live there...

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply and info. Yes we noticed the traffic when we travel from Shell Residences at MOA to Eastwood.
Once we live in Eastwood City we plan just to leave Eastwood at weekend when less traffic hehe
My wife plans to look for a call centre job in Eastwood City. She is fluent in English after 7 years in the UK.
I will pm you my number once we are Eastwood.
Thanks a lot 😀

The rooms are too small at Shell Residences and the commercial electricity rates will cost you a bundle. Make sure Eastwood is charging residential electricity rates, and not commercial rates.


Thanks for the reply and info 're electricity....i will do that once we decide on a unit to rent in Eastwood City.

We liked Shell but for sire the units are small by comparison to Eastwood.

While we also love MOA, by comparison to Eastwood it's very busy.

We will visit MOA maybe once a week for a change of scenery hehe.

We hope to rent a loft unit in Le Grand 3 or 2 in Eastwood.


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