Over the centuries, the Philippines has gained an interesting cultural mix. The local population is Malayo-Polynesian, and there are 87 different native languages in the country. Add four centuries of Spanish rule and 100 years of American influence, and you get a country like no other in Asia. Here are 15 reasons why you should live in the Philippines.
1. The food is divine
Because of the many cultural influences absorbed by the Philippines (Austronesian, Malay, Spanish, Chinese and American), the local style of cooking differs somewhat from other Asian countries. Popular dishes include paellas and cocidos (from the Spanish era), pancit (noodles), torta (omelette), longganisa (Philippine sausage), and puchero (beef in bananas and tomato sauce). The national dish is the Adobo, which is pork and chicken stewed in a vinegar sauce, mixed with cooking oil, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and soy sauce.
2. It has some of the best beaches on the Planet
Whether you’re into beaches for their sand, their water, or their remoteness, you will surely find something to fit your needs. With more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines have plenty to offer everyone! Palawan was ranked first as the best island in the World by Conde Nast Travel Magazine, and you can believe that its beaches won’t disappoint. Bounty Beach (in Malapascua), Calitang Beach (in El Nido), White Beach (in Boracay) and Paliton Beach in (Siquijor) are also amazing beaches to relax on.
3. Everyone speaks English
Although the Philippines have a total of 87 native tongues, English is the only common language that ties the population together. You don’t need to worry about any language barriers, since everyone everywhere will make themselves understood through English.
4. Low cost of living
The cost of living in the Philippines is very cheap compared to that of the United States or Canada. While in the US one can get a three-course meal for two people for around $50, in the Philippines you can purchase the same amount for a quarter of the price. A one-bedroom city-center apartment in the US would set you back nearly $1,000, while in the Philippines it would cost around $200.
5. Purchase your own luxury penthouse
For about $523,000, you can purchase your own 2 153 sqft, split level apartment at Tivoli Gardens, overlooking the swimming pool and the lovely Pasig River, in the Coronado neighborhood of Mandaluyong City. The modern equipped kitchen comes with a five-ring gas range, a double door Samsung refrigerator, and a microwave. There are two bedrooms upstairs, and 4 downstairs, all with fitted wardrobes. The penthouse comes with four parking spaces and is located close to the Makati, Mandaluyong and Ortigas Business Districts.
6. Small, cheap townhouses for couples
Small townhouses can be bought for as little as $26,000 in the Monte Brisa neighborhood of Rizal, perfect for a young couple! This one features 3 bedrooms on 2 storeys, one bathroom, a lovely kitchen, and a comfortable living room and a dining room, all in 538 sqft.
7. The diving here is phenomenal
Speaking of beaches, if one of your great loves is marine life, then the Philippines is the ultimate place for you to enjoy stunning and very colorful underwater creatures. Some regard the country as Asia’s beach capital, and it has unparalleled possibilities regarding diving sites. Yapak (Boracay), Balicasag Fish Sanctuary (Bohol), Mactan Island (Cebu) and Monad Shoal (Malapascua) are some of the best to consider.
8. You can visit UNESCO-protected Rice Terraces
The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras are 2,000 years old, offering an amazing glimpse of an evolved and living cultural landscape. They have been protected by UNESCO since 1995 and are located in the remote areas next to the Cordillera Mountain Range, on the island of Luzon. The unique landscape that these rice terraces offer is a must-see for anyone visiting or living in the Philippines.
9. The wildlife is unique and beautiful
The waters surrounding the many islands of the Philippines officially have the highest level of biodiversity in the World (no wonder the dive sites are so awesome). It is one of the 17 megadiverse countries on the Planet, so if you love wildlife in all its glory, then the Philippines is the place to be. Some of the most interesting endemic mammals are the Philippine deer, the tamaraw of Mindoro and the Philippine tarsier.
10. The temperature isn’t so bad either
Local temperatures range between 70OF and 90OF, with January as the coldest, and May as the hottest month. There are three main seasons in the Philippines: a hot, dry season from March to May, a rainy season from June to November, and a cooler, dry season from December to February. The western area of the country is part of the typhoon belt, which mostly affects the Luzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas regions.
11. Active, colorful nightlife
If you’re looking for a night out on the town, then you should choose either Manila or Boracay as your base. Both cities are famous for their abundance of bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes, clubs and club lounges. The most popular party places are Palladium, Raven and Valkyrie in Manila, and Epic Boracay, Area 51, and Club Paraw in Boracay.
12. Festivals all year round
If you prefer local cultural events to partying to international sounds, then you’ll be happy to find that the Philippines don’t exactly shy away from festivals. There are hundreds of them happening all year round in various places in the country. The Ati-Atihan Festival is probably the largest in the nation, consisting of a week-long street celebration, held in the third week of January. The Black Nazarene Procession is a religious festival, taking place on the 9th January and on Good Friday, where Filipinos parade through the streets with a life-sized, black wooden statue of Jesus. The MassKara is a costume and mask festival held every October, similar to the carnivals of Latin America.
13. You can even hike up volcanoes
One of the most popular outdoor activities is hiking up the Taal Volcano, to enjoy the amazing view. The volcano itself is located 50 miles south of Manila, and is surrounded by a lovely lake with the same name. The hiking to the top of the volcano is moderate – you don’t need to be an experienced climber. And even though you’ll occasionally break into a sweat, the view from the top is totally worth it.
14. The Philippines even has chocolate hills!
The Chocolate Hills of Bohol are an interesting geological formation located in the province of the same name. More than 1,700 hills covered in green grass are spread across an area of more than 20 square miles, and they turn brown during the dry season, hence the name “chocolate hills”. It is one of the most visited sites in the Philippines.
15. Shop ‘till you drop
The SM Megamall located in the Ortigas Business District of Metro Manila was opened in 1991 and is the third largest shopping mall in the world, with a daily foot traffic of 800,000 people! The fourth largest mall in the world, the SM City North EDSA, can also be found in the Philippines, in Quezon City. They both have restaurants and hundreds of stores with everything from sports equipment and food to clothing.
Whether you’re looking for a place where you can party, dive, eat delicious meals, enjoy nature, or even shop, the Philippines is one of the most colorful destinations imaginable.