Adapting to the climate in the Philippines

Hello everyone,

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to the Philippines is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of the Philippines?

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?

What are the pros and cons of the climate in the Philippines?

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.

Thanks in advance,


I'm an American from the Midwest and there we have 4 seasons. Being from North Central Ohio we experience longer winters and shorter summers being born and raised in it a person is adjusted to it until they have to live somewhere else. In my case I left for military service after graduation and haven't been back long enough to like it because while away I experienced places with warmer weather and I was hooked.... Now that I'm retired and living on a pension I can live wherever I want so I'm here mainly because of the weather... I'm in the North so even during rainy season it's nice every day... rain for an hour or two then back sunshine.... I laugh at other Pensioners who complain about Air-conditioning and current billing.... because in the USA where it's hot a current Bill can be as high as $300/mos.   Here if you pay $50 that is considered very high... I pay less than $25 which is laughable.... I always say that if they are in discomfort because of $50 then they should not be here.... I'm noticing that there's less respiratory illness here and many guys who have asthma from the West actually say that their symptoms are lessened by the climate...who knew?

I just hope that that is true. Not everyone likes the hot weather and for those that don't do well in the heat there are areas that are elevated and offer cooler climate. So it seems that this is a true paradise... in my opinion

Hi sirrobcentral  I'm English from London and as you know we have 4 season that tend to run into 2 cold and wet and not so cold and wet, lol. Also ex military and working on the white concrete aircraft pans in Sharjah you learn all about heat. I lived in southern Spain for 10 years so acclimatising was not a problem. I do not like air conditioning going from cold to hot to cold not good, a cool breeze from a fan is much nicer, for me anyway. My electric bill is 650 peso per month so I have no complaints.


I'm Croatian and we have there 4 seasons with very cold winters, very hot summers, beautiful warm springs and colorful but rainy autumns.

I had very hard time during my first year in the Philippines because it is always very hot, I was very nervous and I missed winter a lot. But now I'm fine with it, I found it as paradise as sirrobcentral said :) I was never sick here, so probably weather is good for health. I working from home and my air-con is turned on almost 0-24. It cost me around 3000 pesos ($70-$80). It is possible to decrease this price a lot who want.

Everyone react differently. Some of You are living on islands, in the mountains, hills, close to forests.... I had a little chance of choosing place. I live 30 minutes - or 4 hours (when high traffic) drive from Manila, in Cavite. No parks, no islands, old town house, with very hot metal roof, which makes our room on first floor sometimes unbearable. Air con is an escape, but sometimes it works, sometimes not - only drips water. Cost - 4,500 peso a month and often is replaced with electric fans.
I like tropics, however I was born in four seasons country - Poland, followed by 22 years in rather wet UK.
I have travelled around the world, enjoying weather in extreme; countries like Norway or Alaska and Thailand, Japan and Bermudas. Here, in Philippines, I am 7 years but recent climate change is giving me hard time. 2-3 years back we had a cooler December, January... not anymore... hot and hot and walking (as I do - everyday) without handkerchief is grave mistake...
If I could, I will choose Baguio or Ilocos Norte, at least Tagaytay - as my home.

Dav    I will inbox you.

Piano, I really feel for you. I hope maybe in the near future you can relocate to one of the areas you mentioned. Explore the options so that your life here will be more comfortable.

Eat 3 banana or more a week.  Replaces nutrients lost threw sweat.  Cold water showers. Wear light colors in cloths. Try to buy cotton cloths. Shop the discount bins for them. Wear a hat air can circulate threw. Stand in the shade were you can. It is not bad here in the shade. The sun here is hot. Have a back up fan & generater for power outages. Exit air from home not blow it in.  Cook outside as much as possible. Keep deep freeze outside. Less heat in the home the better. Bring American door springs with you. If you have air in the home. Keeps the doors closed. Hard to find here.  Use double curtains in windows. White to the outside to reflect back sun light. Keeps house much cooler inside. I use the expensive white shower curtains. Then a cloth curtain inside behind it. Stops heat radiation into the home. Get up early do yard work & such then. Or of a afternoon. Out in the sun at high noon can get to you. Pick were you want to live. I get sea breeze in the day. At night cool air drops from the mountain behind me. Not like being inside the city. It is humid here. So light cloths. That let air move around you.  I find button up shirts best. Just a little large. So when you move they move a little. Loose fitting shorts also. Sandle's for foot wear. I have a cobbler make mine. Good leather. Cost the same as good shoes here. But last twice as long. Good soles on them. Worst problem I had here was Philippine poison Ive. Till I learned what it looked like.

I moved to the Laguna area in 2013, after many visits over the years to various locations and stays of 10-30 days during different months.
During those visits I stayed in hotels or the homes of my wife's family, friends or business associates.
We traveled in private, air conditioned vehicles. I noticed, from the beginning, that the locals almost always turned the temperature control to the coldest settings, in buildings and in vehicles.
I grew up along the coast of Southern California, USA, mild climate, no snow, very little rain. I spent most of my time outside.
During my visits to the PI's I didn't realize that, most of the time I was inside, in artificial, air conditioning.
I'd go from air conditioned building to air conditioned vehicle, spent as little time outside as possible, and then, usually in a screened veranda or next to a pool or the ocean or a lake.
Moving here to live year round woke me up.
My first night in my new home I slept with the windows open and no screens.
I was literally eaten alive by mosquitos (and whatever else was flying or crawling around).
Started using the aircon the next day.
Bought a new SUV.
Used the aircon all the time.
The bills started arriving. Having been accustomed to the mild climate in SoCal, I'd never owned a home aircon. My retirement income required me to budget my pesos.
Stopped using the aircon, got window screens.
Most of the time it's hot and humid, so I use fans, ceiling fans, wall mounted fans, desk fans, fans on floor stands.
Moved from the gated development to Greater Manila Area, not far from the airport. Found it difficult to find parking for the SUV, and it was expensive to own and maintain, got rid of that, started using public transportation.
Add to the heat, humidity, hot midday sun, and generous rain - pollution. Most vehicles have sooty, smelly exhaust, many use diesel fuel. And the noise. Seems as if most drivers remove quiet mufflers in favor of loud exhaust, especially the motorbikes - I've been told that's done so others can be aware of them on the streets.
With the aircon off to save pesos, and the windows open, the soot settles on every surface in the house, gotta clean constantly.
With the screened doors and windows open and fans for ventilation, there's also lots of noise and smells.
Farm animals, my neighbor's keep roosters and chickens that crow and cackle all day and all night. They have a few goats that ate my potted plants.
The many dogs bark incessantly (keeping the spirits at bay?), some roam the streets, leaving poop anywhere they choose.
There's an open drainage canal is used for rubbish and even raw sewage and it does not flow unless it's raining hard. Stagnant. rotting debris (lots of plastic bags and soda straws) can have a foul odor at times. Lots of mosquitos breed there, they swarm at dawn and dusk, they hide in any undisturbed box, pail, bushes, weeds, outdoor furniture, discarded tires.
This tropical climate makes ideal growing conditions for jungle foliage, and with the plants come pollen. This is common everywhere you may go in the Philippines
I've needed to acclimate to some new allergies.
And the bugs love the weather.  There are so many varieties of ants, they will bite you, they will invade your house, infest your food, some are so small they can get into a sealed container, some will gnaw through the plastic bags food is packaged in. Many types of flies too, some bite !
Concrete is the building material of choice here in the Philippines, Most roofs are Metal. Concrete is 'High Thermal Mass' which means it absorbes heat. when the hot sun shines on the concrete walls and metal roof of your home the inside becomes a virtual 'Pizza Oven' !
So, after 3+ years living in the Philippines I stay inside as much as possible wearing little clothing. When I go out I wear loose, cotton, long sleeves, long pants ( keeps the sun and pests off my sensitive skin). I got an electric motor tricycle (Etrike). I go to the mall, park in the covered parking structure and windowshop in air conditioned comfort. Still very noisy in the mall.
But the public library is cool and quiet.
I haven't mentioned the typhoons. Mother Nature has ways of proving whose in control.
Strong winds will blow your roof into the neighbor's property, where your roof will then belong to your neighbor.
The 'Storm Surge' will bring the surf to your front door if you choose to live by the beach.
Most of the islands are affected by the weather.  Most days are tolerable for most people.
I believe the climate of the Philippines is responsible for much of the 'laid back' lifestyle here.
" let's wait till the rain stops ", " let's wait 'till it's not so hot "!
And don't forget rust and corrosion, Mother Nature at work to reclaim metal objects, like your roof and your car.
Electric wires get corroded, We have "brownouts" almost daily, some last for a few minutes, some for a day or more.
Cellphones, computers, electronic devices, are all affected by the climate.
If you're addicted to air conditioning, you might consider getting a generator (but protect it from theft, the sun, wind, rain, ants will even set up housekeeping in idle equipment.
This is only a general story of my own observations and experiences so far !

I found Citronlla oil bought at Ace hardware.  Used in 2 small lamps. Bought at uniTop Will keep mosquitoes out of home those nights with no electric.  Or setting out at night on porch.   Borax welding flux. Bought at hardware store. Brought to a boil in water & honey added does away with most ants, roachs here. 1-1-1 is the formula.  Sugar can be used but not as much.   Yes I have air here for the day.  Cool at night do to cool air coming down the mountain behind me.  I use public transit no problem there with it.

I moved here Dumaguete last August 2015 from Hawaii after 36 years. The weather there is tropical climate but not quite as hot or humid. My health has always been good 63 now rarely had a common cold the last five years until I moved here because I find myself using air con in the car but not at home so in the heat than cold car I think is my problem. But since January my right ear gets plugged and it last up to four or five days but comes back every couple of weeks I've been using salene solution and steam which helps but would like to know if anyone else experiences this systems and any solutions would be appreciated.
Thanks Ray

So, brilliantly said! All true. New President is making attempts to clean even Divisoria... Well, the cleaning education should start at schools! Perhaps it will take generation or two to change attitude.   
       Despite that, why parts of Batangas, Dasmarinias, Ilocos Norte could be clean? Some people look well after their houses and even their surroundings. In our subdivision an old lady is sweeping the street on her own initiative... Why? Because drains are blocked by rubbish and nobody can pass wet, smelly street with dry foot. Yes, we have chickens, roosters opposite our window, too. Maybe that's why our subdivision is called "Village"!

If I had moved here while I were in my 40's or 50's, when extremes in temperature was something I more easily dealt with I may have opted for that beautiful beach house in a low lying area where the temps are much hotter than some higher elevations. If I had a bigger budget maybe two houses, one in the mountains and one at the beach?  We opted for a higher elevation and slightly cooler climate and here is why.

When making our decision we first considered our budget. We researched for about four years and chose an area near Tagaytay which we could afford. For us the cramped conditions of and oft times poor maintenance of condo living was unappealing and the cost for a nice roomy condo seemed exorbitant.
We chose to build a home in an elevated area that is quiet and on a dead end street with a gate courtesy of the owner of the property who had hoped to develop the property and ran out of funds. Good for us as we are the only other home on the land which offers a clear running stream, waterfalls and some nice areas along the trail to site and relax to the sound of the rushing water. Yes we have a clear title.

The climate is consistently cool in the evenings and requires no AC. During the hottest months we sometimes use AC in the afternoon until the cooler air returns. We also find that there are simply days when we are both less tolerant of the heat use the AC. Most of the time we have our numerous large windows open throughout the house and the breezes will literally lift the curtains from the windows with only the help of a ceiling fan.

It took us both about a year to adjust to the climate after retiring here from the eastern U.S. and while building our home we lived in Imus where the temperatures are extreme and the air quality is poor at best. We were both glad to be out of Imus and I can honestly say that it is not an area I would have been happy retiring in, neither of us enjoyed it and even fans were of little help which had us scrambling to the one air conditioned room to escape the heat.

Our health is better in our new home than it was in the heat of Imus. We have found that visiting malls and crowded shopping areas on the weekend with many coughing and sneezing children and adults was something easily avoided by only visiting those businesses and malls during the week. My wife keeps sanitary wipes in her purse and we use them before eating in a restaurant and when entering our car for the trip home after leaving the mall or other establishment. While in those establishments we refrain from putting our hands to our faces and rubbing our eyes, etc. where the cold or flu virus can easily be transferred. These small changes to our lifestyle have rewarded us with much better health and neither of us experience a cold very often since making the changes. The wipes are much cheaper than the down time and the medicine.

Our choices work for us and were based on our likes, dislikes and budget. At this time we are both quite content with the choices we made for our retirement home and the climate is just right.

Living in Leyte right at the border of Southern Leyte.  The heat during the day can be horrible at times, but it definitely cools down at night (living on a mountain range).  Fortunately I own and operate a piggery so am in the barn most times.  We have a very small home and still only run AirCon in the bedroom at night for a couple hours.  I am also from Ohio, so I was used to very hot summers and high humidity.  Be smart, hide in the shade, drinks lots of water and don't try to keep up with the native folks   ;)

good thread.. my experience so far....

- grew up northeast USA, skated on ponds frozen in the winter... but later went to school in north carolina, so experienced this level of heat and humidity. In grad school took several classes in plant ID, so often spent the day outside in 99 degrees, and 95% humidity.. so not a stranger to this...

- then SoCal.... which is a pretty ideal climate, so I am back to adjusting...

- I am so happy to be here, and so fascinated by these surroundings that I really enjoy walking - I simply surrender to the  fact it will be hot and just push forward. Yeah, don't forget that handkerchief when going out the door... I notice many filipinos add a wash cloth at the back of their neck in shirts hehe. Also, somehow I think there is some health benefit to all that perspiring, and I think I lose some weight coz of it. Also, it gives me great excuse to stop at many sari-sari, have a coke or water and mingle with the locals...

- I bought some big aircon and don't feel guilty using it.... I use it when I want a "vacation" from the heat... but not as a substitute lifestyle....

- I make war on mosquitoes also... I think they love the Kano

- okie.... maybe a weird one... I had a good case of plantar fasciitis back in US... I was gaining on it through exercise etc.... which I still do now... and I love to walk... but when I came here.... not sure if its the humidity or what.... but its by the absolute best its been in 5 years... like, almost 100% gone. Not sure if its what I've been doing, or what.... but it makes the exploring so much better.

- yes, so I use walking to both explore and push myself through the acclimation process... I'm still a long pants wearer... hmm mosquitoes, and I just don't happen to go for tourist looking shorts... never a sandal guy and careful on shoes from what I noted above.

- I haven't been here that long, 3 months, after having been just a "vacation guy, but I can notice already the difference in adjustment... as noted in other threads... even on a hot day, I'll find myself standing outside in the shade, in the midst of a long walk, with a small breeze coming up and thinking.. Wow, I'm not feeling any heat at all... so I think time is a factor in this process....

- living Cebu City.... I like the city life, million things going on per block... living in a one story bungalow house (renting), circa 1962 near the provincial capitol of cebu, big mix of upper middle in the (older) gated neighbourhood (okie the gate is a tiny hut with arm.... and a guard that is one day in uniform and the next in shorts ha)... good thread, thanks.

It's all relative to age, health, lifestyle.

You can't hear the waves in the Swiss Alps. You don't get a cool mountain breeze on a beach. Your house can slide down a mountain, your house can fall into the sea.

Bear with may get relevant....

One 'key' issue mentioned in the original post was how the climate effects your mood?

Aside from all the well documented [and quite frankly blatantly obvious] reasons why you should avoid air conditioning wherever possible for numerous health reasons - I would suggest MOOD is a vital part of how 'climate' here effects one's health?

The TWO biggest killers [globally] are:


I would argue that for the vast majority of expats living in the Philippines, number (ONE) vanished the moment you got on a plane and left your 'developed' country and number (TWO) - well; you have no excuses. If you live on a mountain - walk up it. If you live on the beach - go for a swim. Weather bad? Buy a treadmill. Brownout too? Well, you are probably living with a beautiful woman - so have some sexercise.x

I suspect the biggest threat for expats in the Philippines health wise is Type II diabetes.


I think there are three words that would best describe the weather conditions in Metro Manila on most days: hot, humid, rainy.

It can be very hot during the summer. But it's not the heat that bothers me and my husband. It's the humidity, that uncomfortable sticky feeling, where the sweat and oil released through my skin take too long to evaporate, trapping dust and dirt from the air onto my skin. If it's just hot, then using an electric fan would suffice. But if it's humid, we would need to turn on the aircon to be able to fall asleep. A cool shower and a body scrub before sleeping also helps.

Our electric bill is just slightly higher when we use aircon during warm afternoons and at night. I think it's because we have inverter aircons. Also, we set the thermostat at 26 or higher, which is enough to relieve humidity and cool down our room.

In the Philippines, or at least where I live, there are micro climates. If you draw a straight line from my work to our house, it's just 2 kilometers between them. But sometimes, it can be raining heavily at home, and yet it would be dry at my work.

Then, there's the weird weather, where it can be hot and humid in the morning, and raining heavily in the afternoon. Sometimes, it rains even when it's sunny and the sky is clear. In Philippine folklore, it's said that when that happens, a tikbalang, a tall mythological creature with the body of a human but with the head and feet of a horse, is getting married. (There's a scientific explanation for the phenomenon.)

Summer is over now, and the monsoon rains have arrived. It's been raining heavily every day for the past 10 days. It's a nice respite from the heat and humidity. But it has a downside. Low lying areas can get flooded pretty quickly and residents there are already used to evacuating their properties to go to evacuation centers.

I think the most useful tool for Philippine weather is an umbrella. Back in SF, I would look like I'm crazy if I use an umbrella when it's not raining. Here, rain or shine, people bring it when they go out and use it against both the rain and the scorching sun. I would suggest buying a good one of durable material with anti-UV protection.

San Francisco weather is cold, but it's also dry. Over time, the weather there had made my already dry skin even drier. My dermatologist there suggested to refrain from using hot water for bathing or taking showers. (Yeah, right!) The humid air here in the Philippines has helped alleviate some of the dryness. And I can take cool showers too on most days.

There are weather extremes, like typhoons that bring with it strong winds and heavy rain. So, most modern houses here are made of concrete despite that it absorbs and retains heat inside the house.

I am a retired marine living in Philippines. Prior to coming here I lived in desert for 26 years. Lived on east coast of USA with all cold and snow. Travel to numerous countries with various types of weather.

For me it's hot a lot and humid in Philippines. The rainy season is a welcome break when it rains a lot. I love being comfortable here. So, I use air conditioning a lot. My electric bills is about 7,000 pesos ($146.00) a month. Use of 2 window air conditioners. This is cheap to comparing the cost of electricity in the USA. It would cost twice as much if not 3 times as much.

Mine is a little higher that that for electric here. Around 9,000 a month.  2 air conditioners. 1 small deepfreeze, 40 inch T.V. fridge. lights.  But water here is much cheaper than in America.  Around $12 a month.  In America it was closer to $70. $17 maintain fee, sewage treatment, meter fee, city tax, + water.  So I save there.  Then in America I had heat bills on gas. I use much less here.  I hear it has gone up after I left utilities.

glad to hear your positive comments.  :)

Yes James Mitchell it is a trade off on price difference. I once paid $500.00 bill in states for electric doing summer months in desert. So 9,000 or 7000 pesos are small compared to states.

Plus like you pointed out we also pay water, gas heating and cooking, trash bill, cable, cell phone, ,electric, home insurance, car insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, food, installment payments on automobile, repair bills for home and auto.,just to name a few.

Climate of the Philippines is either tropical rainforest, tropical savanna, tropical monsoon, or humid subtropical (in higher-altitude areas) characterized by relatively high temperature, oppressive humidity and plenty of rainfall.

Hi Prescilla , I love the climate here unlike the uk where every November I used to get sick with flue and Asthma I have been here going on for 2 years now and so far have had nothing like that I find as long as you drink plenty of water every day and be careful what you eat you should be ok also watch your step when crossing roads as there are no pedestrian controlled traffic lights here also Zebra crossings are a joke as nobody stops for you to cross , coming back to climate People get sick with constant use of Air con, personally We use wall fans again I suppose it depends where you live if like me you live near mountains the Air is cleaner and fresher so you get a constant cool breeze of you live in a city environment your going to get pollution which can give you problems if you have Asthma

Thank God I don't have Air Con, our new electric bill arrived this morning it is 1,250 php water is around 250-350 depending on the season  as in the dry season We water the Garden every morning and evening

Hi ,I came from a high humidity and high temp area of Texas,but I had air condition,here no AC  so it was tough getting use to at first,now I work on my house (building) for at least 7 or 8 hours a day I'm dripping with sweat when I'm through I take a cold shower and set under a fan to cool off,no AC,so it does take a awhile to adjust to the weather here,when the house is built I will use the AC just during the hottest part of the day,I like air moving so i will have a lot of fans.....

I live in New Orleans, and live with my wife a few months a year on Bohol, Philippines, in New Orleans, we have high heat days,, 30,to 33,with 90%humidity, Bohol, 30,for a high, 60%after rain, sea breeze blowing off the coast

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