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For many foreign tourists, the prices charged by some hotels and commercial establishments in the Philippines may seem normal by Western standards. But that’s because these are “Western only” establishments. Regular Filipinos can’t afford them at all.

filipino pesos

But when you look around and stay in regular hotels, eat in regular restaurants, and shop in malls like Ayala or SM, you will notice that the prices are actually low. In fact, in most cases they’re ridiculously low.

So if you are staying for a long while in the Philippines, here are the relevant facts you need to know:


In the Philippines, just about everything can be bought cheaply. Just take a look at the low wages in the country and it’s easy to understand why. Consider the fact that the minimum wage in Metro Manila (the most expensive part of the country) is PhP 466 a day. Divide that by the exchange rate of PhP 43.72 to a US dollar, and that’s less than $10.66 a day.

This is also the reason why so many educated Filipinos are leaving the country for “greener pastures.” Medical doctors go to the US or Europe to find work. Some of them would even work as nurses abroad and they would still be earning more than the doctors working in the Philippines. Certified teachers work as nannies abroad, and when they come back home they can afford to buy a new house and even a nice car.

If you want to work in the Philippines, you will probably not make as much as what you’re earning now but with the low costs of living here, it really won’t be a problem.


In general, you can get a nice 1-2 bedroom house or apartment in a safe neighborhood for about $350 – $450 a month. Some apartments even cost less than that. Of course, when you get to the high rise apartments (condos) near the business centers, the rental cost skyrockets—the rent can only be afforded by rich Filipinos or by foreigners who are willing to pay high rent that’s almost as expensive as their mortgage payment in the US/Europe.

But not many foreigners want to live in Metro Manila. That’s not where the beaches are, after all. However, employment opportunities in the provinces are fewer, but if you have your own business, then this is a better option for you.


The prices of food are also unbelievably low. To really save up, you may want to go to the “wet markets” where most Filipinos buy food ingredients. This is where the prices are lowest, although admittedly the sanitary conditions may not be at par with Western standards. But if you live here long enough, you get used to it.

You may also want to buy from grocery stores, which tend to be a bit pricier. But many Filipinos can afford it, especially those belonging to the middle class.

Finally, if you want, you can just eat out. This isn’t practical for most Filipinos, but for an American it should still come out cheap. A daily visit to McDonald’s isn’t in the budget for most Filipinos, because it costs $3 for each meal. If you can afford to spend $10 per day on food, then you can afford to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Restaurants also aren’t pricey. You can order an appetizer for $3, main course for $5 and a cold bottle of beer for less than $2.

There’s just one rule you need to remember. If your salary is good enough for you to live in the US/UK comfortably, then in the Philippines you can live like a king.


In 2011, Malta became the latest to join the rest of the world in legalizing divorce. Now there are only two holdouts left. There’s Vatican City (do they even have marriages there?) And then there’s the Philippines. That’s right—this is one country where if you get married, there’s no way out!Weddings 1

Modern Philippines and Liberal Views

It’s a rather strange concept when you think about it, since in many ways the Philippines is a very modern country. Everyone has a cellphone, for example, and despite what you may have heard about the poverty situation here, everyone owns a TV. A lot of people have cable TV, and they have DVD players as well. Teens listen to American pop and hip-hop, while their elders are stuck on the 80s new wave and 90s alternative rock. Women wear skimpy shorts out in the streets.

Filipinos actually have modern views about sex too. Now it’s no longer a scandal when people engage in sex before they get married, and adultery among men is actually “normal”.

Officially Conservative

But you may notice that most Filipinos are still conservative. For women, it’s very rare to find one not wearing a bra out in public. Then you’ll also notice that people behave courteously towards their elders and strangers.

There’s also a difference about what’s tolerated and what’s approved of. People living together outside marriage is tolerated, but openly sanctioning it is a different matter. And that’s what the divorce bill is all about.

The Roman Catholic Church is against the very idea of divorce because the priests and bishops feel that it’s an attack on the very idea of family. The Church is so conservative here that the idea of condoms is tantamount to abortion, which is also very illegal here.

Right now, married couples can and do separate and find new partners. It’s just that they can’t get remarried. A Filipino can get the marriage annulled and the Church agrees to this all the time, but this is a privilege granted only to the rich (because it’s expensive!).

Filipino Weddings

So if you have your heart set on getting married here, you may want to get some legal advice first. And you should also try to get the blessing of a priest. Most people think of weddings as events that happen inside a church. If it’s on the beach, then it’s just a legal procedure. It may be fun and exciting to have the wedding on the beach, but it sure is different than what they’re used to.

But if you’re a foreigner, then it’s probably all right. Most people here accept that foreigners do things differently, and they don’t assume that they’ll take to all the local customs. Besides, the scenery can be a great come-on, and Filipinos always love a good reason to get together and celebrate.

When it comes to weddings, it’s always a big celebration for Filipinos. Maybe that’s because they expect the marriage to be (officially) forever. And perhaps they’re right. After all, there’s no divorce in the Philippines.


Common Wildlife in the Philippines

September 30, 2014

In the Philippines, you can find a lot of exotic animals in their zoos and also find even more excitement underwater when you go diving. But even walking in the streets can give you a very adventurous time, especially if you live in the US or Europe. Dogs. Filipinos love their dogs. Although there was […]

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Friendly Dolphins in a Friendly Country

September 16, 2014

In the US, you have to go to Sea World to see a dolphin. But at Badladz Resort, you can just go to the water and play with the dolphins. Bring your kids along and they’ll have something to brag about to all their friends back home.  But one of the strangest things about the […]

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Strange and Unusual Dancing in the Philippines

September 2, 2014

The Philippines embrace many different cultures from around the world. Take any dancing fad that’s famous anywhere, and you’ll find someone here who not only knows the dance steps but can probably teach you all the moves as well. In fact, parties and other celebrations in the Philippines always involve dancing. People like to dance […]

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Filipino Sailors and Shipwrecks

August 19, 2014

The beaches in Puerto Galera offer great spots for divers, and you can find lots of marine life and even sharks in your dives. But you can also explore several wrecks under the sea. It can give you flashbacks of watching Titanic, except that this time, you’re not watching a movie. You can see what’s […]

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Reasons Why Diving in Puerto Galera is Very Popular

August 5, 2014

Most people come to Puerto Galera because of the stunning beaches. But this place is more famous for its dive sites. There are about 40 dive sites in Puerto Galera and they are absolutely world-class. We’ve asked many tourists around here to find out why they prefer to dive in Puerto Galera than in any […]

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The Best Diving Spots in Puerto Galera

June 28, 2014

Puerto Galera has always been one of the most popular tourist spots in the Philippines, and one of the reasons for this is the great diving spots like nothing you’ve ever seen before. There is a treasure trove of diving sites in Puerto Galera as there are at least 30 dive sites you can choose […]

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The Best Beaches in the Philippines

June 28, 2014

The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, which means you will many options when it comes to choosing the best beaches in the Philippines. You can probably come up with a list of the top 50 beaches easily, simply by checking out forums online. But how do you define “best”? Is it […]

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Meet Bob , the biggest sea turtle around.

June 15, 2014

This right here is Bob , Bob is our resident Green turtle that lives here pretty much year round , Everybody loves to meet him since he is such a large figure sitting under the water. 95% of the time we go to visit him he is there and what is even better is that […]

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