Manila - Post Report Question and Answers

What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Everything you need/want you can find here. Locals are friendly. Help is cheap. SE Asia travel is easy. - Mar 2023

Some perks include: English speaking, never cold, friendly people, wide availability of western foods and brands. Delivery apps make shopping easy and cheap, and help alleviate the need to fight the usual traffic jams. Beaches are never too far away. A short flight away from the rest of Southeast Asia. - Mar 2023

Subic Bay is unique in that is a quiet, generally clean place - a far cry from the cramped conditions almost anywhere else in Asia. - May 2022

You have a lot of the comforts of home in terms of products. There are a lot of food options. - Apr 2021

Great regional travel and it's inexpensive. - Oct 2020

Fiber internet (my boys like the internet...when its working and it works about 85% of the time). - Feb 2020

People are friendly, inexpensive and experienced household help, modern conveniences, English readily understood and spoken, the schools are great, it's easy to travel other places. - May 2018

Makati and BGC, in particular, have a lot of afternoon-length activities for families, if you know where to look in the malls. Ice skating, trapeze, trampoline park, bowling, several top-flight movie theaters (including 4DX and 3D iMax), go karts, quirky museums, KidZania, romper-room gyms – you name it, and often at half the cost of in the U.S. - Feb 2017

For a Asian megalopolis you can do much worse. - Jul 2016

Driving to beaches to go diving, hiking, travel to other countries in the region. Warm weather all year long. - Jan 2016

Affordable household help. - Jan 2016

For our family the biggest advantage was ability to travel in the Philippines and Southeast Asia in general. There are some of the nicest beaches in the world here, plenty of scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing opportunities. We took several day and weekend-long trips outside of Manila. There are plenty of things to see and do here. Traveling to other countries in Southeast Asia from Manila is relatively inexpensive, and very fun. Eating out in Manila can be cheap, but there are also some very nice (and more expensive) restaurants. Massages, mani-pedis are also rather inexpensive. An overwhelming number of malls and all kinds of markets for any budget. Cheap household help. - Jan 2016

This city and country is very cheap. You can get most western creature comforts. - Sep 2015

The Filipinos are lovely people and traveling in the Philippines is not very expensive. There are many beautiful places to see while here to include the chocolate hills of Bohol, beautiful beaches all over the country and lovely countryside on Luzon. - Aug 2015

For this region, the fact that English is spoken makes life a bit easier. Household staff is not ridiculously expensive. The USG owned housing has its own water supply, which is nice. Vet care isn't bad and is very cheap and convenient. Medical care is pretty good. There are quite a few close-by other countries to visit like Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc., that are great. - Aug 2015

Flip flops year round, travel to Asian countries, cheap household help. - Sep 2014

I like the idea of using the Manila area as a jumping off point for all of Asia plus the Philippines have a lot to offer for tourism on a budget. The food is very good, and if you leave the city behind, you save a lot of money because everything costs less. - Jan 2014

Household help, easy travel away from the city, warm weather. - Dec 2013

Beaches, diving, island hopping, cheap regional travel, and friendly people. - Nov 2013

Travel, there are tons of cheap options for traveling within the country [the beaches are beautiful] and to other countries in South East Asia. We're spending less than in DC but we don't eat out a lot and it would be easy to spend more here though because of all the malls. Prices here are similar [if not higher] on clothing here, you can find almost anything you want Gap, Zara, even Forever 21 but you aren't saving anything. Household help is inexpensive and almost everyone speaks English although they really appreciate a little effort to speak Tagalog. - Aug 2013

Manila is very cheap, you can save a lot of money. There are 7,000 Islands to visit, and domestic flights are very cheap. Gorgeous Islands with white sand beaches. The weather is warm to hot year 'round with a rainy season. Filipinos are very friendly and polite. - Apr 2013

Diving, Pearls, Hired Help (including childcare). For a third world country, it has tons of American stores. English is spoken widely, so it is not necessary to learn the local language. - Feb 2013

Diving is spectacular, and the beaches are great. This is an easy base from which to travel to the rest of SE Asia. Weather is good if you like tropical (we do), although the rainy season can be a bit much. - Sep 2012

If learning languages isn’t your thing, you can get by in most of the expat haunts without Tagalog. English, at some level, is spoken by most of the Filipinos you will come into contact with, but you will have constant reminders that it's not a first language among locals here. If you enjoy beaches and diving, there are numerous travel opportunities. If you enjoy hiring other people to take care of you, your children, your car, your home, your pets, etc . . . then you can sit back and ponder the universe whilst paying someone else to handle your home and children. - May 2012

Manila is a great place to live, you can eat out for relatively cheap, you can save money, or do what we did and blow it all on travel to the other amazing Asian countries nearby!Pampering is also SUPER affordable here!Less than $10 for a 1 hour foot massage, about $25 for a 1.5 hour massage at a fancy spa, facials for less than $12, laser hair removal for $20/treatment!Etc, etc, etc!If you're stressed out while in the Philippines, you're not traveling and pampering enough. - Mar 2012

Going on weekend vacations outside the city. There are many resorts, beaches, vacation spots, snorkling, scuba diving, etc. - Jan 2012

The country offers lots to persons who want to get out of Manila. There are endless diving opportunities. Even with a two or three year tour, you may feel you won't get to all of the spots you want to dive. In addition to diving, beaches are abound on the islands though accommodations are not to US standards - i.e. expect a Motel 8 room as luxury and less for the more remote places. The mountains in the north - Baguio and Banaue - offer a nice break from the heat and dirt of the rest of the country. If you need a break from the islands, you're an easy hop to South East Asia with daily direct flights to Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, and more. - Jul 2011

Great jumping off point for travel throughout Asia (I have visited India, Thailand, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam during my tour); availability of great helpers and drivers, lots of beaches to enjoy throughout the Philippines with inexpensive flights on Cebu Pacific or PAL carriers. - May 2011

The weather is warm year-round. Manila is a 20% hardship post, so there may be opportunities to save money. Domestic help is cheap and plentiful. - May 2011

Because of the Filipino fascination with the United States, you can find just about anything American in the Philippines. The Philippines, outside of Manila, is a beautiful country with friendly people. Domestic travel is easy and inexpensive, and if you live in the right neighborhood then you can save a great deal of money. The tropical weather is a big plus, and if you have always wanted to learn to dive, then the Philippines is the place to do it. - Feb 2010

Advantages to living in Manila is the cost of living in general and ability to afford to hire household help. Also it's a easy hop to many Asia locations so you can travel to a lot of other countries, such as China, Thailand, and Australia during holiday breaks. Weather is decent..don't ever have to bundle up the kids. Rain can be depressing during the rainy season though which is why a lot of kids at international schools just go home during our own summer June-July. People speak English although you can still be often misunderstood. - Jan 2010


Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More