Living in the Philippines
Every type of expat can be found living in the Philippines. It is not the international finance centre, like the ones you would find in Hong Kong or Singapore for example but the Philippines actually enjoys a lot of visitors from those other expat havens, as busy expats often use the Philippines as a base to relax from their busy rat race lives in such places. Cheap flights and the locality of the Philippines attracts expat holiday makers from elsewhere in the region.
Many expats are retired, or at least semi-retired. A few are on full expat packages. Some invest their savings into local businesses, such as small hotels, or the very risky bar scene (risky in the fact that you will likely lose your investment, even with careful due diligence).
If you are retired, there is not much to do except play. The low cost of living, extensive beaches, entertainment options, nightlife, beautiful people, all at a fraction of what you would have to pay in Western nations, is a recipe for a happy retirement. Visa regulations are somewhat more relaxed than comparable countries (see Thailand Expat for example).
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Like most places in Southeast Asia, it is easy to go to extremes and you will need to keep a cool head. It is unfortunate the all too many foreigners come to such a country and their lives spiral down into alcoholism and prostitution. The newbie traveller may be unaccustomed to the heady mix of the heat, cheap alcohol and unprecedented attention from bar girls and it just becomes too much for them. Before they know it, they lost their job, spent all their money and are on their way home with nothing and their tail between their legs. Hopefully, they still have their health.
It may also be easy for some people to forget that this is a third World country, especially if you spend all of your expat life in gated communities, safe and sound from the realities of life for ordinary Filipinos. First time visitors may be shocked or surprised to see armed guards in fast food restaurants in Manila and security personnel with automatic weapons outside banks.
We are very keen to hear form people living in the Philippines to add their comments to this website and help us expand the expat life section. If you can write a few lines about expat life in this country, please drop us a line and we'd be very happy to hear from you.
Use the menu to browse through our various expat topics and feel free to write to us if you think there is something to be added or changed...
Need advice? Got a question? Go to our Philippines Forum