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Cost of Living in Philippines

The Philippines has always represented good value for foreigners and expatriates. The cost of living in the Philippines can vary widely. Not only must you consider where you want to live, but also what you’re comfortable standard of living in the Philippines maybe. Even though the cost of living is low, it is easy to let your expatriate lifestyle spiral out of control and you can spend as much as you have if you're not careful.

Obviously, the large city centres tend to have the highest prices. It is possible to live very cheaply if you're willing to live as a local Filipino but it's likely you'll grow very tired of such a lifestyle and find yourself craving the home comforts your expatriate friends will be enjoying. If you're on a full expatriate package, with housing benefits, etc. it's possible to live a very extravagant lifestyle.

Food and drinks are very cheap in the Philippines. A regular individual spends around €200 every month. One can eat in middle class restaurants every day since each meal would roughly cost €3 to €4. There is also more expensive food in hotels and fine restaurants that can reach up to €150 for a meal and accommodations.

Filipinos prefer buying raw goods like meat, fish, eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables at the local market to save more. The key is finding the best places to purchase these products from the myriad of stores available in cities and places throughout the archipelago. Another aspect of your groceries should be the purchase of bottled water as part of your grocery list.

The Philippines’ agricultural products are bountiful all-year round especially in surrounding provinces and the southern regions. Food in the capital city, Manila can cost twice as much compared to buying in other growing cities like Cebu and Davao.

The usual meat products in the country are pork and beef. Poultry and eggs are also staple food sources. The Philippines has several varieties of fruits and vegetables like mango, papaya, cabbage, eggplant, durian and beans which are sold at less than €1 per kilo. Fish products like tuna and marlin are abundant in the southern island of Mindanao. The country also manufactures drinks like goat milk and fruit juices.

Buying clothes in the Philippines can be considerably cheap. There are several types of textiles sold in all surrounding provinces that can cost only a fraction of the price compared to buying in Manila. Most expatriates travel down south when looking for exotic clothes like batik and tribal accessories since these are much cheaper.

On the average, Filipinos spend around €100 every month on clothes. Cars and electronics cost the same as in Europe and most brands are imported from Japan, the United States and China. The influx of china-made products has also caused locally made wares to decrease in price. The quality of these products is not as good but nevertheless very affordable. If looking for designer brands, expatriates can venture into Manila since there are several malls and shopping centres housing popular names from Europe and the US.

Housing in the Philippines is very cheap but expatriates may have to change their citizenship or be married to a Filipino citizen before being allowed to own land. The high population count in Manila makes the city very expensive and congested to live in, so the options can be the other highly urbanised cities in the country, such as Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.

In the capital Manila, there are over 10 million residents. It will be ideal to rent a condominium units that are plenty in the downtown districts or a two-bedroom apartment. Rental rates are around €200 to €300 every month for an excellent quality and spacious condominium. Living in smaller houses and apartments can cost around €100.

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