What to expect when moving to the Philippines

Hello everyone,

Is there anything you wish you had known before moving to the Philippines? For example, transportation, internet speeds, types of housing, aspects of the culture or social life.

In your opinion, what's the most important thing to know about the Philippines?

When would you recommend someone should begin planning their move to the Philippines?

What were the most helpful ways you found to get organised? For example, did you use a checklist, were there any particularly useful websites or apps?

What advice would you give to future expats preparing to move to the Philippines?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Which website is the best to start to look for employment opportunities in the Philippines?

Hi RiaanLineveldt,

You may have a look at the websites indicated in the Work in the Philippines article.

All the best,

this is el!

id like to share some things that you should expect before you move to philippines..

1. philippines is a democratic country.. here, you can do all you want but id like to suggest that you also consider and study the culture and laws of our country.. people here are sometimes sensitive and most of the time conservative.
2. we have a lot of festivals here. this a happy place for you to live.
3. filipinos loves to eat. we have a lot of restaurants all over.
4.you can do a lot of things here. we have sea adventures and mountain adventures.
5. enjoy white sand beaches here in the philippines.. you will love it..

Thank you for the kind response. I am not an expert about the lifestyle and traditions about the Philippines. But I have done considerable research about the country. Its similar to South Africa in many ways. There might be slight differences. Both countries are fantastic tourist destinations.

I believe I am ready to embrace the country, the culture, the lifestyle and the people.  ;)

My suggestion is for anyone thinking of moving here, to visit this country for as long as possible and do as many trips that are possible as well before you sell the house quit your job or whatever.  Keep it easy for yourself to return if things here are less than you expected.  To live here, one must be very patient and live here with such terms as " I will be there soon" and "Just wait sir!"    :)

i prepared by letting all my documents translated and officialysed by the Philippines consulate in belgium ,this was a good thing witch saved my a lot of time and money.
by having long conversations whit my future wife on skype i understood things are quit different here ,so i lookt on youtube as much as i as posibol about life here,so that i was allredy kinda familiar to the poverty of many and how ppl interakt.but i stil had to lurn a lot once here.
been here 3 yrs now and i am quit happy that i came,i cal it the best desission i ever made hahaha.
for the moment we live in a small provincial town that i can highly recoment,Mati City in Davao Oriental.we have very nice beach resorts some whit waves other whit very calm flat sea ,have seen no crime here ,ppl very frendly as in most of the country,and all things like supermarket,public market ,bus terminal,barangay ofice ,city hall hospital ,police bureau and so on are whitin 10 minutes, or les ,walking distance .prime lokation to live and unexpensive rent ,5000 peso a month for a recently build small house,1 bedroom .
i wood say to forget about western mentality and be redy to adept to lokal mentality ,this will safe ya a lot of haertburn hehe.
for the rest life here is great for those who know to apreciate it.

greets Dirk

ps i always answer private messages ,for those who seek more info.

Thank you for your advice Dirk.

First thing i would have liked to know is not to play the good samaritan and try to help others, it only attract wrong people around you, philippine is full of scamers, specialy officials such has, police, custom people, judge, mayors etc, everybody wants your money and they are willing to go to extrem to get it!

Be smart,, hire a good investigator to check the background of people!

Second, how beautiful and feminin are the woman there! In private only! In public they tend to act like a no class individual! Most woman are the one feeding the family with her hard work, the men are only there to copulate, and do they ever do!

The pinays are wonderful, attentive, and sometime they use that agains you to control you.....and your assets!

If you see an car or bike accident, dont stop to help, even if your a nurse etc, they will accuse you for the accident and you will pay the medical bills!

And last, never forget that philippine is a third world country and there is poor people everywhere, and at times you will see gore things, you will be extremly shock!

Never forget that you will ear foreigner complaining all the time about the killing and violence in philippine.

Always 2 side to a story, stay away from trouble and you will love philippine

The absolute rudeness and inefficient operation of the Immigration Department

Davao immigration i find very polite and helpful never had problems there.
it helps a lot to show due respect and politenes wen interakting whit ppl ,not only oficials and not only in the Philippines,i been around the world a few times and all the times i had very few problems as long as i stayed away from problem arias that can be found all over the world.as a wise man know's "wen whit the romans ,do as the romans"

greets Dirk

'Inefficient operations' !   That is a very, very mild description!   Has anyone visited the main post office near Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport ?   It is like nothing ever advanced in technology from what may have existed in 1930!   
All government agencies, whether it is immigration, the post office. city hall, or licensing bureaus, are buried under mounds of forms and paperwork which must be filled out by hand.  Any kink in the system seems to be resolved with additional forms to be filled out and more officials to deal with....
At Philippine government agencies, you must be prepared to be chased to many different wickets,  fill out endless forms by hand and you need to be very, very patient with the procedures...
Otherwise, life here in the Philippines can be great!

Unfortunately being close to Manila,  had to go to the head office.
Funny how they kept loosing paperwork until visa extension had expired,  after paying yet another overstay penalty,  the paperwork suddenly appeared.  Refund of overstay penalty,  no way,  it appeared it was our fault they lost paperwork until another fee paid

Davao emigration,1 form to fill ,7300 peso and same morning leave the office whit 6 month visa extension

greets Dirk

Hi riaan

How are you today?

Thanks for your response as well

You will for sure love philippines..
Just let me know if you need my help..
I help people find a home here in cebu philippines

Real estate broker is my profession

wen looking for a house to rent it is a lot cheaper to just move around surching and ask local ppl to do so to.to give an example wilevisiting a frend  we came up on a house for rent and just coud not beleeve the price ,3 bedroom master bedroom had remote control aircon and waterheater in the shower,2 bathroom large living space extern kitchen and huge garden whit 4 mango tree's,less than 5 minutes walk from the beach,this was in Atorga about 20 minutes drive from Davao city,the price for the rent was 5000 peso a month.
now we live in Mati city Davao Oriental in a newly build 1 bedroom house at a prime location as things like market ,supermarket ,bus depot ,ATM,police station ,city hall and hospital are all whit in walking distance,and this is a location were there is no noise after sun down .price again 5000 peso.
whit real estators never will you find a nice house at such low prices,this i can asure you .
so hire first a place from were you can do your investigations and once you find what you think you want, visit this place a few times on different times so you can get familiar whit the naiborhood and find out if there is evening or night noise ,this is something that expats often find disturbing .
only when you are satisfied about the place sign rental contrakt hehehe

greets Dirk

Expect that you will get overcharged for a lot of stuff, e.g., rent, taxis, frmale company, tricycle rides, etc.  This is mainly because such behavior is to be expected from an extremely poor population who have been inculcated with a strong belief that it is okay to bilk foolish and ignorant foreigners who they believe are in Phil. to get something or take something from them.  Not all Philipinos feel this way---probably only 75 percent.

Is depend where and which location that you plan to stay. I been here almost 2 years so far no problem. Filipino is friendly enough, Traffic is common here especially in EDSA. Let me know if you need anything to assist with, I am well known here in Manila. Everything need to be careful, people will take initial to charge more. Here public transport is a lot. If you want more secure and safety you can download this.
Uber/Grab apps for fixed taxi fares with receipt.

elmio24 :

Hi riaan

How are you today?

Thanks for your response as well

You will for sure love philippines..
Just let me know if you need my help..
I help people find a home here in cebu philippines

Real estate broker is my profession

Hi, I would like to find out about accommodation in the Philippines. 4/5 beds furnished and in or close to metro areas. Is this something you are able to advise on?


Where are the best places to live to raise a family?

You will probably receive 10 different answers from folks who live in 10 various locations throughout the Philippines.  The answer is very subjective, unless you are spelling out your own specific requirements.
For example:  rural or city environment, or cooler  temperatures where you will need to live at a higher elevation .  If you can afford private education, that will greatly influence your decision as well. 
Undertake lots of research and read what others have experienced in the Philippines in various websites such as  'myphilippinelife.com'

Hi Bob604,

Thank you for the reply, we would like to live in or close to metro areas. Close to schools and business.

As I don't know the country, there are many questions that need answering. Thank you for sharing the resource.

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