Why Live in the Philippines?!

When I was trying to decide where I wanted to move the main selling points about the Philippines were that English is widely spoken and the cost of living is low.

Why live in the Philippines

Why Live in the Philippines?!

English Ability

The English is so good here you have little need to try and learn the local language.

For one there are many different languages that are spoken, so if you move from one island to another a lot like I do you would need to constantly be learning new ones.

There have been very few times where I have even thought to myself that I wished I knew the language, and usually if I had all it could’ve saved me is 5 minutes of time.

Clearly paying a lot of money and spending a lot of time to once every 6 months save 5 minutes of your time or save $10 is not a good investment, at least not for a lazy person like myself.

If you will be working in a business setting then knowing the languages may help…… but generally the people that make it high up in the business world will probably know English, or you can hire an interpreter for very little money.  I don’t see the point for the type of life I lead.

I think English will be the main language spoken here in the future, but I am not sure how far away that is.  They are teaching English in schools now and most 20somethings you come across have a good enough grasp on the language, I don’t think we are to far away from seeing it as the main language.

Legal Gambling / Poker

bingo night at casino #filipino

A photo posted by Dante (@kick2dante) on

This was a personal reason as I relocated from the US to play online poker. While you can still get away with that in Thailand it’s nice to be in a country where it’s a non-issue.

Also nice to have live casinos and cardrooms around too, unlike Thailand.

Low Cost of Living in the Philippines

Another snap reply when asked ‘why live in the Philippines?!’ is that the cost of living (check Numbeo) is very cheap – I almost never spend over $1,000 in a month.  Yet it should be even cheaper because apartments are just terrible value in this country.

You could get an apartment in Thailand that is much nicer, newer, and more modern for and 66% of the price you pay in the Philippines.

Most everything else between the two countries is priced reasonably similar, but the price for apartments is really bad in the Philippines.

I know some guys in Thailand that spend around $300-$400 a month in Bangkok and their apartments are so much nicer than a $500 apartment you will find in Manila.  I have asked many people why this is the case and no one can ever come up with a good reason.

Not having to do visa runs makes up for that a little though.

Wonder how many people this viral video has incentivized to move to the Philippines

Another bad thing about the Philippines is that the internet is slower.  You will eventually be able to find a way to get pretty reliable service e.g. a PLDT line, but overall it has even worse internet then I got in Sihanoukville.  You certainly can’t just expect to have your 3g or even 4g work anywhere you go, and the WiFi at many hotels or apartment complexes are often bad as well.

But Still

I prefer the Philippines, I find the people to be much nicer and more genuine here.  Filipina girls are so easily approachable and so glad to make new friends. Online dating sites here are full of cute and friendly Pinays 🙂

You don’t have to put up with all the visa run hassle that the expats in Thailand deal with, and I can communicate with most people I see on the street.  I just wish I could get a nice apartment for a fair price and know that my internet will be reliable.  Oh well you can’t have it all. Comment below what you reply when asked ‘why live in the Philippines?‘.

18 Responses

  1. John says:

    Are there any jobs for foreigners in Manila beside the low level call centers or ESL? I know the programmers have it easy throughout Asia, and I regret not majoring in some kind of computer science in college. But how about high level sales jobs or something along those lines?

    • NormalNomad says:

      Other than that you can work for the US Government, but that usually requires a high degree and several years of experience (although there are many different fields)

      If that doesn’t work move to Thailand.

      • Marco says:

        >If that doesn’t work move to Thailand.
        Why? Are there more/lots of jobs for westerners in Thailand?
        Such as?
        All the guys I’ve seen are either “digital nomads” or bums

        • NormalNomad says:


          Bangkok is probably 10% westerners….there are a TON of western people there, and lots of them are women.

          So yes, there are MANY jobs in Thailand for western guys…..

          • Marco says:

            >lots of them are women.
            >there are MANY jobs in Thailand for western guys

            I don’t get it, do you mean gigolo?

            • NormalNomad says:

              Have you ever been to Bangkok?

              If not, just stop talking.

              • Marco says:

                Excuse me?
                You mentioned Thailand for job opportunities, so I asked, but won’t go into any detail for some reason and somehow this turned into my responsibility for knowing what you originally meant.

                • NormalNomad says:

                  I NEVER stated Thailand was well known or good for job opportunities, I merely pointed out that it’s a far better place than the Philippines.

                  I assume most of the professionals there were transferred from the companies they already worked for as well, not that they flew over and found jobs.

        • jspill says:

          I wouldn’t say there are many jobs in Thailand, most westerners you see will be tourists (several million arrivals per month), English teachers (can’t really call that a job), business owners (then you’re an employer, not an employee), online workers (not employed in Thailand), or those living off investments / savings / retirement pensions / passive income.

          Plus a few working for a western company that happens to station them in Thailand, hard to get into that unless you already worked for the company in the West. Then some guys doing scams / boiler room stuff, bums, drug dealers.

          Just the fact that there are lots of foreigners doesn’t imply there are lots of jobs. It’s easy to stay long term without a job given how cheap it is. Some just overstay their visas and scrape by for years then jump off a balcony.

          It isn’t 10% westerners imo, it’s just you see tons of westerners in the areas you spend the most time in. Sukhumvit, Silom, Siam, Khao San, etc., the central areas for tourism and nightlife.

          This site attempts to quantify how many expats are living in Thailand – http://www.burning-bison.com/expats.htm

    • jspill says:

      Not something I really know about as I’ve never done it, you probably know as much as me – that foreigners can work, but it has to be in something where a foreigner’s greater skillset / experience is needed. And even then salaries are low.

      A friend just got a job project managing an app development / sales / web package in Manila, 70k php / month ($1380). Wouldn’t be enough for me.

      I’d rather try to learn to trade cryptocurrencies and work from home. You don’t need to have graduated in computer science. There are online courses – https://www.cryptoversity.com/

  2. John says:

    I would probably go to Thailand but I don’t want to pay $15,000 for a 5yr tourist visa. Also I would assume it was more important to speak Thai there if you want any job outside of teaching ESL.

  3. John says:

    I follow three laws really: don’t steal, don’t kill or hurt someone unless in self defence, and always keep your word:) Should I OBEY 1984 style:)?

    • NormalNomad says:

      No but you should learn how to do your own research and make your own conclusions. You want us to spoon feed you and find a job for you in Asia…..but we aren’t headhunters.

      I can tell you definitively that outside of call centers or working as an English teacher, there are certainly more jobs for a westerner in Thailand than the Philippines.

      How good is the pay in said jobs, I don’t know.

  4. John says:

    You are certainly right about doing your own research. I’m planning to make a trip soon and check things out for myself. Sites like this do provide people with a lot of information though. But I would be happy to let you know what the job market is like for westerners in Taiwan:)

  5. John says:

    I can speak some Chinese sure. But I think teaching English is a pretty good deal as it allows you to travel. So far I have spent time in Cambodia, Laos, Taiwan, and Thailand while saving money. Yeah the pay is not always great but considering the costs of living its comparable to what I could save back home. Beats working a corporate job back in the U.S. Also I have learned way more traveling than the 4 years spent writing papers and drinking beer in college:)

    • jspill says:

      I used to do it and I’d also choose the travelling ESL teacher life over working in the West. It’s better. But working online from home is way better than both, so while teaching I’d be spending all the time I could to research better options, some kind of online business, investing, etc.

      Teaching in public schools in Thailand / Laos / Cambodia pays about $800-$1200, in Taiwan / Korea / Vietnam / China about double that. So yeah if you’re living on 80% of the salary you can save a bit.

      But that’s still not a great lifestyle. You don’t have much spare time or money to blow on hookers, just have to pretty much find one cute girlfriend and live the quiet life.

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