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Consisting of over 7,000 islands and a land area of 299,764 square kilometers, the Philippines is the second-largest archipelago in the world. The country is divided into three key geographical areas: Luzon (the largest island in the northern part of the country on which Manila, the capital of the country is located), Mindanao (the second largest island in the country), the Visayas (the group of islands that lies between Mindanao and Luzon). The three stars on the Philippines’ flag symbolizes these three sections of the country.
Having the fifth largest coastline of any country in the world, the country is famous for its pristine white sand beaches and postcard-worthy islands complete with its Crystal Clear Blue Ocean and diverse marine life. Aside from its stunning beaches and islands, the country is also famous for its rice terraces, jungle-covered mountains, centuries-old historical landmarks, colonial architecture, and amazing food scene. With everything that it has to offer, it is not hard to see why the country welcomed over 8 million foreign tourists last year.
Find the latest rental rates on the Philippines property market
The Philippines is home to over 100 million people and around 12 million of the country’s inhabitant lives in its National Capital Region (NCR), Metro Manila. Metro Manila is made up of 16 cities, including the city of Manila, Makati, and Quezon City.
Most cities in Metro Manila, including Makati and Quezon City, are popular among expats around the globe due to their job opportunities. However, the city of Manila is frequented by international tourists who are curious to learn more about the country’s history and see some of its colonial architecture. There are some great attractions in the city, including Fort Santiago, the National Museum of the Filipino People, and Rizal Park.
Another popular area is Cebu City, which is located on Cebu Island in the Visayas. Cebu City is one of the oldest cities in the Philippines and many people come to this city as their jump-off point before traveling to nearby areas. Besides its historical heritage, Cebu City is also filled with a number of ultra-modern shopping malls and high rise buildings. Many people come to this city to experience its famous nightlife, delightful restaurants, as well as its amazing historical buildings, such as Museo Sugbo.
Anyone who wants to enjoy the Philippines’ pristine white-sand beaches and beautiful tropical weather usually visits Palawan. Here, visitors can go island hopping, enjoy the beaches of El Nido, or visit Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park where they will find a mesmerizing underground river.
There are several types of apartments available on the country’s market, with studio and one-bedroom apartments being the most popular types. Studio apartments usually have the smallest size with the cheapest rents in any given area. It consists of one room that acts as the living room, dining area, kitchen, and bedroom. However, the bathroom is in a separate smaller room.
One-bedroom apartments are slightly larger than studio apartments as they come with a closed bedroom that is separated from the rest of the unit. This type is popular in the Philippines as it offers renters more space, but the price is only slightly more expensive than studio apartments.
Aside from one-bedroom apartments, renters can also choose two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, which are larger than one-bedroom apartments. They are usually much more expensive than studio and one-bedroom apartments.
In some areas, renters may be able to find loft apartments. This type of apartment is similar to studio apartments, with a singular, open space without any walls separating the rooms except for the bathroom. However, lofts are usually more spacious, have high ceilings, and the bedroom is located in the “second-story” of the unit.
Besides the unit type, renters can also choose between high-rise, low-rise, and garden apartment complexes. High-rise apartments can often be found in major cities, particularly in the central business districts. They are often very luxurious and offer beautiful city views. Low-rise and garden apartment complexes usually have a smaller number of units, making them more exclusive. Garden apartments in the country have the characteristics of a townhouse (some people also refer to townhouses as apartments); each apartment unit has its own building entrance.
High-rise, low-rise, and garden apartment complex can come with various amenities, such as shared swimming pools, gyms, clubhouses, and kid’s playground. All types of apartments can also be serviced or non-serviced. Serviced apartments are usually fully furnished, with amenities for daily use, housekeeping, laundry, and other services provided.
The official currency of the Philippines is the Philippine Peso. US$1 is equivalent to around ₱49.1. However, US dollars are usually accepted in some tourist areas. ATMs that accept international cards, as well as businesses that accept credit cards, are only available in major cities, so it is advisable to stock up on cash before visiting smaller towns.
The living standard in the Philippines has improved in the last few decades, though the living cost for most foreigners is relatively affordable. Most foreigners can enjoy a comfortable, sometimes even luxurious life, with a mid-range salary in this country.
Most foreigners relocating to this country find it easy to fit in into their local Filipino community, especially since the official language in the Philippines, aside from Filipino, is English. In addition, a good range of international schools and private healthcare is widely available throughout the country. The Filipinos are also very friendly and welcoming. They have a family-oriented culture and will gladly help one another when they are in trouble.
Living in the Philippines means enjoying a beautiful tropical climate. The country experiences two seasons, including rainy and dry season. From June to November is the rainy season, while the dry season starts from December to May. It is important to note that the rainy season is prone to typhoons and the temperatures during the dry season can get as high as 40°C.
To be able to stay or live in the Philippines for an extended period of time, foreigners need to obtain Long Stay Visitor Visa. This type of visa has a maximum length of 16 months, but you have to reapply for it up to six months at a time.