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Why live in the Philippines?

Side show

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Hi Everyone

I have just joined but have been interested in living in the Philippines for a few years ( I am single).

I am planning to spend a few months travelling around the Philippines early next year before making a permanent move - if the virus allows it.

I prefer the Philippines to other Asian countries as I like the culture, they can speak English and its a beautiful place to live.

However, other than Thailand I have limited travels to Asian countries like Vietnam or Cambodia.

My question is for those who have lived in other Asian countries why did you settle on the Philippines - what advantages or disadvantages did you find?

Thanks Neil

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I have not lived in other Asian countries so cannot offer an answer.  But I did want to welcome you to the forum. :thumbsup:

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8 minutes ago, Side show said:

why did you settle on the Philippines

Welcome to the forum Side. :hello:

I think you will find that most of us are married to Filipina women or had a Filipina girl friend prior to moving to the Philippines.

Then the reasons to stay are that most here on the forum are retired and the cost of living is lower than the home country. As you said english is widely spoken. After these basik reasons you will find all sorts of other minor reasons but those are the big ones in my opinion :thumbsup:


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I enjoy living here because the people are foreigner friendly in the provinces. They are quick to smile and have a positive disposition when politely approached. They focus on living in the present and are appreciative to secure the survival basics of human life. The majority of people here do not feel entitled to much of anything, unlike citizens of western societies, where the list is endless. 

You can live a simpler life here if you wish, and choose the level of technology and complexity to engage in. That's not always possible anymore in many advanced countries. 

You do have to either adapt to, or ameliorate the discomforts that may come with the tropical climate. Solutions exist. But that's a universal problem set that you have to deal with, no matter where you chose to live.  

Living in a place with a high heat index (see air temp + humidity % charts) can be a  challenge if you haven't confronted them before in a continuous manner. Likewise re dealing with insects. Seasonality means something quite different than the places most westerners are accustomed to.

You, yourself have already encountered many of these factors during your SE Asian travels to date, and probably know what to expect.... so I am adding comment mostly for others contemplating moving here who may not have spent time in the tropics.

Good luck  with your future trip here.


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I think its wise to visit a few places in Asia and see which fits your style. Im happily single ( was married to a filipina for many years ) but happy to live here . but I also lived and worked in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan , China and Philippines.. so im very aware of the differences of each country and was fine to make my decision to live here post retirement.

however given some of the goings on with Covid 19 here and the chaotic response , or lack of response from federal govt here and LGU's plus erosion of various freedoms I might decide , post pandemic to spend half my time in Europe and half here.

Philippines is good for traveling around ( if you are ok with buses and ferries etc.. there are no trains) plus planes which were always full and always departed Manila at ungodly hours, but being on some of the excellent islands for weeks at a time, one can have a very easy going life and there are plenty of pleasant well educated ladies with whom you might wish to share your time.

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7 minutes ago, Ozapriliaguy said:

I came to the Phils during the recession in 2008/09.

There is a whole lot about what you say is true. There is no doubt that it is much more frustrating here to live than in 1st world countries. 

In my opinion economic expats get frustrated a lot more than those of us who have been long married to a Filipina and  retired here by choice, and yes I am one of those military types :hystery:

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1 hour ago, Ozapriliaguy said:

I have never lived in any other Asian country. I came to the Phils during the recession in 2008/09. Met a girl and decided to come back to give living here a trial - like you intend - before permanently moving here. In 2010 I came here for 5 months and decidied that, yeah - I could live here.

So, I sold up everything and moved here in 2011. Visiting somewhere and staying even for a few months is VERY different from living in the same place day in, day out. Getting close to 10 years here and I'm about ready to go back to the First World. Nothing here works, not the electricity, not the water, not the people, not the government. 

There are some things that are cheaper than the West. Car/motorbike registration, cigarettes, spirits, and water for example, but not much else. Power costs the same as Oz, as does fuel. All electrical items are more expensive and poor quality. Nothing in the country is built to last. 

Unless you want to live on dried fish and rice, maintaining a Western diet will be expensive as everything is imported. Don't believe the fallacy perpetuated by a lot of expats that it's cheap to live in the Philippines. A lot of then are US ex-army on $4000US a month. You can live anywhere on that amount.

Expats often rabbit on about how friendly the people are, and it's true, but like all Asians that's only the face they show. In their mind foreigners are all millionaires who deserve to be parted from their money and they will try every opportunity to make sure you are.

If you can afford it, come and live for a year or two, once the shine of living in a foreign country wears of, then you can make an informed decision..oh, and make sure you LOVE dogs, because everyone has least one non-stop barking mongrel.

I agree in part with much you have posted, but not entirely with any of it!  

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