Philippines

Philippines

Philippines is a land of tropical islands — 7,107 to be exact. As well as being beautiful, the Philippines is cheap, cheap, cheap. You could enjoy a great life for very little outlay.

In some expat areas, 2-bedroom apartments rent for 14,000 pesos ($300) per month. Renting may be the way to go if you dream of beach life instead of big city buzz. (But beaches are never far from anywhere.) Although there are ways around the law, foreigners can only own condos–and these are mostly found in big cities.

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Fast Facts About Philippines

Philippines
  • Population: 105,720,644
  • Capital City: Manila
  • Climate: Tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
  • Time Zone: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
  • Language: English (Official) Filipino
  • Country Code: +63

Archives

Keith Hockton thinks he is the luckiest guy in the world living in Malaysia and working as a travel writer.

Travel Wherever You Want, Whenever You Want

I happen to think that I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world. Not only do I live in Malaysia, a beautiful country on so many levels, but also I love what I do. I travel at will, pretty much at the drop of a hat. I’ve enjoyed complimentary meals and hotel upgrades along the way.

berlin2

Make it Your Job to Be Outrageous

“Follies are the only things that one never regrets,” said Oscar Wilde. Agreed. But travel writers needn’t look far to find excuses for their follies. After all, writers have a reputation for eccentricity. Whatever bizarre situation you find yourself in—and if any awkward questions arise—you can always blame it on the job. Why were you buying contraband from gypsies in the Czech woods? (“It’s my job.”) How come you spent half the night in a Berlin anarchist squat? (“It’s my job.”)

Bull Jumping and Cockroach Racing

Bull Jumping and Cockroach Racing

The devil masks worn for the Diablada de Pillaro (The Dance of the Devils) in Pillaro, Ecuador, have spawned a whole school of art. It’s well worth joining the thousands of onlookers to see the elaborate processions that take place each night from New Year’s Day to January 6. The feast of Edina Bronya, which essentially represents Christmas for the people of Ghana, in west Africa, falls this year on January 2.

The Pensionado Program in Panama gives you discounts on everything from health care to entertainment, stretching your 401K further.

Living Overseas on Your 401K

According to Fidelity Investments in 2012, those aged 55 and older had an average balance of $143,300 in their 401k account. But is this enough to retire on? Maybe not in the U.S., but retiring overseas can be much more affordable than retiring in the U.S.

CamelRacing

Camel Racing, Irish Stories and Island Rum

Begin November with a little panache at the 119th Argentine Open Polo Championships in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires. Not so much a sports event as a key occasion in the local social diary, it runs from November 5 to the end of the year. For something more exotic, check out camel racing. India’s Rajasthan desert in Pushkar hosts the Pushkar Fair from November 6 to 17.

Your dollar will stretch in the Philippines where the cost of living is low.

The Top Three Best Places to Retire Overseas For a Low Cost of Living

Your quality of life could vastly improve if you retire overseas…and you could spend much less than you ever thought possible. In IL’s Annual Retirement Index 2013, 23 countries are covered ranking the best destinations to retire overseas today. Cost of living is one of eight categories in this Index and is an important factor for many who are considering overseas retirement.

Bjork and Lindsay Ostrom have proved that
you can make a portable living from a food blog.

“We Earned up to $7,000 a Month from Our Food Blog”

In March 2012, my wife Lindsay and I decided to quit our jobs, sell our cars, and move to the Philippines for a year. Lindsay would teach at a school for orphans called the Children of Hope School, and I would help the orphanage with their website. I knew that it would be a life-changing experience and a chance to see a beautiful part of the world. I also knew that it would be a time when we’d see a decrease in our income. But we had a solution.

“Everyone is friendly” and English is widely spoken on the Philippine island of Boracay. © Jessica Ramesch

Tropical Boracay: A Diver’s Paradise

I’ve heard about the sunsets here. At first, rays of gold and fuchsia shoot down from the sky. White deck chairs, cabanas, and boardwalk bars are thrust into a rose-tinted world. At the last minute, the setting sun changes from tangerine to blood orange…then a lurid flicker of red disappears out on the horizon. A 50-minute flight from the capital, Manila, the Philippine island of Boracay is a place of in-your-face beauty.

boracay-philippines

A Perfect Day in Tropical Boracay, the Philippines

A 50-minute flight from the capital, Manila, the Philippine island of Boracay is a place of in-your-face beauty. There’s no waiting to get to the beach to see if the stories are true. The minute you step off the plane, you can see that the postcards don’t do it justice. The sands are as white as they say, if not whiter…a pearly glitter that stays cool under your feet.

Balloons,Bangkok

Balloons, Bangkok and Burning “Bööggs”

On April 1 only a fool would miss the feast on offer at Le Pince d’Or Crab Festival in Martinique, an island in the eastern Caribbean. In the capital of Fort-de-France, riverfront restaurants each set up a stall to sell matoutou (a spicy crab stew), as chefs compete to make the best bowl.

HowToTryOut

How to Try Out Life in Asia—Three Havens Where Renting is Easy

Buying property anywhere as a foreigner always means jumping through a few hoops. But in Asia, there’s an added complication: Legal restrictions on how (and if) foreigners can buy property are common. It’s a big reason why so many expats in Asia rent instead of buy.

cebu-phillippines

Cebu: Fun, Friendly and Affordable Island Life in the Philippines

The expats who have discovered Cebu find that it offers the nation’s best overall value. In a country where your dollar stretches (and stretches and stretches), that is saying something. Locate Cebu on a map and it looks tiny. But don’t let that fool you—this place has hundreds of beaches, in addition to rocky mountains, limestone plateaus, and coastal plains.

bulabog-beach-boracay-phili

Enjoying a Better Life on the Island of Boracay in the Philippines

Welcome to Boracay, the Philippines. This place has stretches of coastline that could put some of the world’s most popular beaches to shame. The tiny bone-shaped Island, south of Manila, is considered by many a local to be the crown jewel of the Philippines. And in a nation of over 7,000 islands, that is saying something.

cebu-city

How One Expat Found a New Lease of Life in the Philippines

Weekdays, Paul squeezes in a little work. A perpetual smile on his face, the 64-year-old moved to the Philippines five years ago. There he found a new love and a new lease on life. Coming of age in the 1960s was fun. For Paul, the idea that you should “live for today” (and not worry about tomorrow) resonated deeply.

Happy-Go-Lucky in the Philippines

Happy-Go-Lucky in the Philippines

Sundays begin with family. They arrive early and, before long, we’re on our way to the beach. We swim, eat, swim…and eat again. It’s a pleasure watching people enjoy the simple things,” says expat Paul Whiteway. “The perfect Sunday ends with music. Like a lot of local households, ours wouldn’t be complete without karaoke. The more we drink, the louder we sing.”

Easy Island Living on Small, Safe, Friendly Cebu

Easy Island Living on Small, Safe, Friendly Cebu

Wala’y problima! “No problem” is the answer to everything here. Filipinos are known for their unnerving optimism and ready smiles. I’m finding that they simply refuse to get upset. And they have a hard time understanding why anyone would lose their cool over anything that’s not life or death. In the Philippines, any day you’re alive is a good day. And the days are especially good in Cebu.

Beachfront Living In Asia

Beachfront Living in Asia

Ao Nang beach on mainland Thailand is known for its white sands, crystal-clear blue waters, and the limestone cliffs that rise majestically from the sea. There, 83 different islands sit just offshore in the bay. You can hire a local boat to explore, find a deserted beach, or go rock climbing or sea kayaking at nearby Railay Beach.

Boracay’s White Beach is lined with resorts, shops, restaurants, and more. But there are many quiet beaches like Yapak (aka Puka Shell beach) for those who want to get away from it all.

The Philippines: Your Low-Cost Island Paradise

If you’ve ever dreamed of living in Asia, now may be the time to start considering the Philippines. IL Editor, Jessica Ramesch, is just back from a scouting trip there and she loved it—listen now as she gives you the scoop.

Live Large for Less on the Exotic Islands of South East Asia 2012

Live Large for Less on the Exotic Islands of South East Asia 2012

White sands, the scent of spices, the call of the east. Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines are so much more than exotic vacation spots. Enticing expats and retirees from around the globe, these fabled lands of South East Asia still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas.
Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South-East Asia is the best resource available to help you get to know this paradise that is South-East Asia.

News and Notes from Around the World

News and Notes from Around the World

On the Cover This Month… Chile’s Lake District is a wonderland of sparkling freshwater lakes, snow-capped volcanoes, and green forests, often with the towering Andes as a backdrop. With all this natural, unspoiled beauty, it can feel like the last perfect place on earth. And today, more and more expats are choosing to live here. […]

boracay-white-beach

Boracay, Philippines: Life on a Picture-Perfect Beach

It all started when she and her daughter, Nadine, were sitting in a café in San Francisco. They were talking about the tiny island of Boracay, which they had loved during multiple visits to the Philippines. Known for its bright white sands that never get hot even in 100 degree weather, Boracay is the very picture of perfection.

Why This “Little China” Is the Best Value in Asia

Why This “Little China” Is the Best Value in Asia

Investors who bought into the Chinese growth story early have done spectacularly well. Over the past five years the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE:FXI), an index that tracks China’s 25 largest companies available to international investors, is up almost 110%. Today, a “little China” has emerged. And it promises to make investors equally dazzling returns.

Start a New Life in the Philippines on $800 a Month

Start a New Life in the Philippines on $800 a Month

I’m exploring Zambales province on the west coast of Luzon, the Philippines largest island. I’m staying in the Subic Bay area…but there’s more to it than the 262-square-mile Freeport Zone (SBFZ)—a U.S. Naval base until 1992.

Where I'm Looking to Buy Right Now

Where I’m Looking to Buy Right Now

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008 Read more about international real estate in International Living Postcards–Saturday Edition “What are the best real estate investment opportunities for 2008?” Here are four markets that have my attention as we move into this new year: Cambodia. The real estate market in this country has evolved dramatically over the last seven […]

Palawan-the Philippines last frontier

US$1 equals 52.58 Philippine peso In Maricaban Bay in Palawan, the Philippines, I saw more fascinating marine life in two hours than I had seen in the last 20 years. Snorkeling among a pristine coral garden, riotous in purples, reds and umbers, I enjoyed the company of three species of starfish (red, white, and purple), […]

Ditching the rat race for the simple life…at sea by David Rich

Every few months I log on to www.7knots.com to sample who, in the wide wonderful world of warm waters, needs yacht crew. This year my ad of choice read: “Crew Wanted: 47-foot sloop Karni in the Philippines.” As I was going to be flying to the Philippines in a month’s time, I e-mailed the contact.Minutes […]

Paradise for a pittance in the Philippines

When the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago needed a model for its $40 million “Wild Reef” exhibit, they used Apo Island in the central Philippines. But the ersatz exhibition can’t match the variety of the real Apo, which hosts more than 1,000 species of fish and wildlife and more than 400 types of coral. Multiple world […]

Spear fishing, pristine white beaches, exploration, and storms—a life at sea

Spear fishing, pristine white beaches, exploration, and storms—a life at sea

Every few months I log onto www.7knots.com to sample who, in the wide wonderful world of warm waters, needs yacht crew. This year my ad of choice read: “Crew Wanted: 47-foot sloop Karni in the Philippines.” Seeing as I was flying to the Philippines in a month, I e-mailed the contact, fishing for the exotic in a distinctly different flavor of international travel.

The primeval island of Coron—inhabited by the indigenous Tagbanua peoples and haunted by powerful spirits

The primeval island of Coron—inhabited by the indigenous Tagbanua peoples and haunted by powerful spirits

“I think the engine is shy of the foreigner,” Renejal muttered as he fiddled with the engine of the outrigger. We were in the middle of the gulf, halfway between Coron Town and Coron Island, in a flimsy wooden boat being tossed by the waves. It was the second time the engine had died, and the waves were pushing us toward the open sea. It was also the second time, in less than 20 minutes, in the company of the Tagbanua, that my presence had caused shyness and breakdown. The first time—at the pier—Rogelio Aguilar, the chief of Cabugao village and Renejal’s father, had acted in a tetchy and furtive manner when he met us. Averting his gaze, he sheepishly explained to Rose, my girlfriend, in Tagalog: “I am shy of this foreigner, and I have prepared the best bed for you.”

Paradise for a pittance in the Philippines

Paradise for a pittance in the Philippines

When the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago wanted a model for its $40 million “Wild Reef” exhibit, they used Apo Island in the central Philippines as a model.

But the ersatz exhibition can’t match the variety of the real Apo, which hosts more than 1,000 species of fish and wildlife and more than 400 types of coral. Multiple world conservation groups have deemed Apo Island one of the finest coral-reef sanctuaries in existence.

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