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It’s not really uncommon for foreigners to want to stay in the Philippines. This is especially true for Americans and Europeans. The climate is tropical and even in the “cold months” you won’t see any trace of snow anywhere. The cost of living is laughably low, as the prices of everything including food and rent are very affordable. Crime is low in comparison to Western standards, and there’s no political instability in most areas. Locals even think foreigners are very attractive.

Of course, you can’t just jump right in. Here are some things you may want to know about the country before you make a decision to come here:

guns in the philippines

Guns and Americans

This is often a question posed by Americans, since they have gun rights that many don’t want to give up. It also seems to make sense in the Philippines, since the police here are comparatively inept and corrupt compared to their western counterparts.

And the answer to this question is simple. If you’re a foreigner, you can’t legally own a firearm of any sort here. You’ll go to jail and risk being deported. Even if you’re married to a Filipino, you can’t have a gun in her name—police officials will just assume the gun is yours.

Of course, it’s different if you are rich and well-connected. Even some Filipinos who don’t have gun permits can buy a gun for their home in the belief that dying from a criminal is worse than facing jail time. You can buy off the cops later. Or you can say that you took the gun from the intruder. That will work too.

But if you are rich, just hire a security firm to protect you, your loved ones and your home. When there’s trouble, the firm will be responsible for their guard’s action.


If you’re going to stay longer in the Philippines, or you have something to do (such as go to college or work here), you’re going to need a visa. The Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines is a typical bureaucracy, so there’s some red tape involved. You can find the information you need here: www.immigration.gov.ph.

What you need to understand though, is that the Philippine government likes that you’re there in their country, especially if you’re American or European. So the process isn’t really all that bad and the fees aren’t really expensive by our standards.

Owning Property

What about owning a property? In general, you can’t. But there are exceptions. You can own a condominium unit, as long as you don’t own more than 40% of the units in one building. You can get the property through a corporation, but the corporation’s ownership should be at least 60%.

One particularly clever way of getting around the rules is to have someone you trust “own” the property in their name. You can then have the property mortgaged to you, for an amount that’s much greater than the worth of the property. When the contract is signed, you need to have it notarized, and to be extra cautious, you should record the signing of the documents on video.

Living in the Philippines is a great idea for some people, but you need to jump in with your eyes open. Here’s hoping these answers helped.

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Exciting News!

I’ve written an ebook, and I’m giving it away for free!

In my 15 years of living, traveling, and building businesses in the Philippines, I’ve learned a lot. I share what I’ve learned on my YouTube channel and in this blog. But I decided it was time for me to compile all of that information in one place and create a guide for living and traveling in the Philippines.

In my ebook, you’ll learn:

  • How to deal with police corruption
  • Cost of living
  • Safety when traveling
  • Starting a business here
  • Getting a visa
  • Transportation
  • Places to visit
  • And of course…Fun and adventure!

If you’ve been searching for a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Philippines, you’ve found it here, and it’s completely free!

To get your free ebook, simply enter your email address below.

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Cost of Living in the Philippines

October 30, 2014

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. But when you look around and stay in regular hotels, eat in regular restaurants, and shop in malls […]

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The Philippines and Its Conservative Stance on Marriage

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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! Modern Philippines and Liberal […]

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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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