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If you’re traveling with a large family, this can get expensive if you do it too often (since you need to fly everywhere), but Manila is a great hub for touring the rest of SE Asia. Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand are all just a few hours away, and are generally great locations for short family vacations. Japan, Korea and eastern China are also easily accessible from here, and there are even discounted flights to Australia and New Zealand. - Feb 2017


Life in Manila is more fatiguing and frustrating than I ever could have imagined. - Jan 2016


Great post that many fight over. - Sep 2015


The city is a little messy, you'll see "bawal umihi dito" [no peeing here] signs all over the place, the roads are crowded and it's pretty sweaty here but it's a nice post. Don't come expecting this to be the Paris of Asia but you can really enjoy yourself if you make a few friends and love traveling. - Aug 2013


There is a reason this is a hardship. This post has serious issues if you have children. This is a good post for singles, couples, and folks coming from posts in third-world countries who will appreciate the shopping and large expat community. It should also be added that there is more poverty here than to be expected -- there is a VERY strong caste system and a lot of suffering (hence the availability of so many servants and inexpensive “pampering”). - May 2012


Gas is really expensive. We just got notified that we will now pay (through the embassy recreation club) $100 for 100 liters of gas. Manila also started getting a 5% COLA recently - I expect that to go up, especially as the dollar weakens against the peso. - May 2011


The Philippines is a very friendly but very frustrating place. The biggest challenge will be that you are both speaking English but almost never connect at the same level. - Feb 2010


Overall Manila is a nice place to live. Even with the daily enviromental and household staff issues, I still have so much more time to myself here than I did at home and we are able to save money. Also with all the money you save it's usually no problem to go on trips or to go home to visit for the summer. Glad to be here. - Jan 2010


The Philippines is great but incredibly frustrating. You are surrounded by people who speak English but speak it at a limited level...and they do not tell you when they don't understand. It takes a lot of patience but it is a great place with warm loving people. - Apr 2009


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