A small country in Asia, the Philippines is an archipelago with gorgeous beaches and friendly people, making it an ideal location for many people to live.

However, there are both pros and cons to living in the Philippines, and considering each can help you decide if the country is the right place for you.

 Philippines flag

Weather

The weather in the Philippines is one of the country’s biggest bonuses and strongest drawbacks. The weather is warm all year long, so you’ll never need to worry about snow or ice.

There will be no shoveling, and there’s no need for winter or even chilly weather clothing. For many people, this gorgeous weather is a big plus.

However, the high temperatures the country experiences are paired with high humidity, so the weather is often sticky and oppressive.

During the rainy season, rains can be torrential, and flooding is incredibly common.

The Philippines is also prone to numerous tropical storms and typhoons, which can be inconvenient at best and devastating at worst.

The country also sits along the ring of fire, which is a prime area for earthquakes and volcanoes. The area is home to several active volcanoes, and these volcanoes occasionally erupt, which can be dangerous and can cause extreme property damage.

Mountain Province, Ifugao Philippines
Mountain Province, Ifugao Philippines

Scenery

The Philippines is home to dozens of gorgeous beaches. Visitors or people living in the area can walk on the beach, soak in the views, or enjoy water activities such as swimming, scuba diving, and kayaking.

There are also many places to get closer to nature and observe native animal and fish species.

White Beach - Boracay Philippines
White Beach – Boracay Philippines

Noise

The Philippines has a very active nightlife. If you plan to live in a city or other densely populated area, especially along most of the country’s beaches, you’ll often hear music and parties.

For many, these sounds are a welcome symbol of happiness and the festive atmosphere the area offers.

However, music often plays into the early hours of the morning, so if you’re sensitive to noise, this can sometimes be an issue.

Friendly People

The Philippines is known for its friendly and polite people. Most people are more than willing to offer help or directions.

It’s also common to be greeted in a friendly way as you walk through the city, making the Philippines feel welcoming.

Because many people from all over the world move or retire to the Philippines, it’s also common to see non-natives in the area, so you won’t stand out.

Filipino family

Languages

Tagalog can be a very difficult language to learn, and there are many different dialects spoken throughout the various regions, making it even harder to communicate.

However, most native Filipinos speak English. English is taught at an early age, so most Filipino people not only speak it but are perfectly fluent in it.

This can help bridge any potential language barriers. However, it also makes it harder to learn Tagalog, as most people will speak English to anyone who doesn’t look like a Filipino.

learning Tagalog signage

Shopping Options

If you’ve decided to move to the Philippines, you will have plenty of options for places to buy furniture, home goods, clothes, or anything else you might want.

In the Philippines, walking through and shopping at malls is a true hobby, and the area is home to many large shopping centers. Three of the largest malls in all of Asia are in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

If you prefer to shop in a smaller setting or you want to get a better bargain, you can also stop at any of the street markets the country offers.

These street markets feature dozens or even hundreds of vendors so you can choose from thousands of unique items.

Purchasing items from a local mall or street vendor is often the best option for buying items in the Philippines, as having items shipped to you can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming.

Safety

Although most places in the Philippines are relatively safe, many areas are run by criminals or have high criminal activity. It’s always best to get a feel for an area so you can avoid any dangerous locations.

Most non-natives choose not to explore the city too long after dark, as it can be dangerous. It’s also a good idea to arrange transportation and lodging ahead of time so you can avoid being scammed.

Cost of Living

For many people who move to the Philippines, the cost of living is comparable to the cost of living in the United State or another first-world country.

This is because many of the same stores and restaurants are available in the Philippines, and ex-pats often gravitate toward these shopping areas.

For example, if you go to a Starbucks in the Philippines, it will cost you about the same amount as going to a Starbucks anywhere in the U.S., so you’ll be spending as much on coffee as you would wherever you previously lived.

Many people who move to the Philippines, however, integrate into a more Filipino way of life, and they eat and shop at local restaurants and street markets to get better deals.

Purchasing foods and cooking at home can greatly reduce the cost of living.

Starbucks coffee shop

Healthcare

Healthcare is not a large industry in the Philippines. Unless you live in a major city, it can be very difficult or even impossible to see healthcare specialists.

If you need a cancer specialist, for example, you’ll most likely need to travel to Manila or Makati or even out of the country to see a specialist. You’ll also need insurance or enough money to see doctors.

On the other hand, dental care in the Philippines is generally quite good and costs very little.

Central Location

The Philippines is a small country, but there are many opportunities to visit other nearby countries. Cities in China, Thailand, and Japan are only a short flight away.

However, the drastic time difference and flight time to Europe or the U.S. can be difficult for people who still have families living in those areas.

map of Philippines

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