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Located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is composed of around 7,640 islands and a land area of 299,764 square kilometers, making it one of the largest archipelagic country in the world. The islands can be categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon (the largest island where Manila, the capital of the country, is located), Visayas (a group of islands that include Cebu, Panay, and Negros), and Mindanao (the second-largest island in the country).
The Philippines is a popular tourism destination in Southeast Asia, welcoming around 8.2 million international foreign tourists last year. The country is known for its lush tropical flora and pristine beaches, but it has a lot more to offer. From the large malls in Metro Manila and Historical Architecture in Cebu City to high rolling plateaus of Mindanao to the UNESCO-listed Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan, the Philippines is one of the most diverse and fastest-growing countries in the world.
Learn more about the Philippines apartment market through trends and average prices.
While the Philippines consists of more than 7,000 islands, only 2,000 islands are inhabited. About 12 million people live in the country’s National Capital Region (NCR), Metro Manila, which consists of 16 cities, namely the city of Manila, Makati, and Quezon City. Most cities in Metro Manila are frequented by expats looking for job opportunities but are not very popular among international tourists. Most people only come to Manila as their starting point before traveling to other areas in the country. However, the city of Manila has some interesting attractions, such as the Museum of the Filipino People, Casa Manila, and Fort Santiago.
One of the Philippines’ top destination among foreign tourists is Cebu City. This city is the perfect combination of cosmopolitan living and island coast. Here, visitors can enjoy a buzzing nightlife scene and world-class dining. It is the oldest city in the country, so visitors will see a lot of historical buildings scattered around its area. Some of the more popular attractions are Fort San Pedro and Casa Gorordo Museum.
Many people come to the Philippines to enjoy its pristine beaches and clear waters, and El Nido is one of the most popular destinations and is part of Palawan Island. It has picturesque beaches, coral reefs, limestone cliffs, and a clear blue ocean filled with all kinds of fishes. It is a popular spot for diving, swimming, and kayaking. It is also used as a jumping-off point for island hopping to the Bacuit Archipelago.
Buyers can choose between high-rise, low-rise, and garden apartment complex when it comes to buying apartments in the Philippines. High-rise apartments are mostly luxurious, offering city views and a range of amenities. They are mostly located within central business districts in major cities. Low-rise and garden apartment complex can be found in numerous area around the city, they usually give a more ‘exclusive’ feels for the residents as the number of units available are smaller than high-rise apartments. Garden apartments are typically very similar to townhouses. Some people in the country may even refer to townhouses as apartments.
All types of apartments in the country usually provide a range of amenities, such as shared gyms, swimming pools, parking spaces, kid’s playgrounds, clubhouses, and 24-hour security. In addition, high-rise, low-rise, and garden apartment complex also come with a wide variety of unit types, ranging from studio room, one to three bedrooms, loft room, and penthouse.
Studio apartments are the smallest type, and usually the most affordable as well. Due to its price, this type of apartment is very popular among single, young professionals. Besides studio apartments, one-bedroom apartments are also popular for young professionals who need to have more space since the price is only slightly more expensive than studio apartments. Penthouses are the biggest and most expensive type. They have luxurious furniture and are equipped with high-end appliances.
The Philippine Peso is the official currency used in the Philippines. The exchange rate from US$1 is approximately ₱49.10. You can typically use US dollars to pay for goods and services in some tourist areas. It is important that you stock up on cash before traveling to smaller towns as ATMs accepting international cards can only be found in major cities.
The cost of living in the Philippines is relatively affordable, especially when compared to the cost of living in Europe and the United States. Most foreigners are able to live comfortably in the country on very little.
The Filipino people are known to be friendly, warm, and religious. The country is the only country in Asia that is predominantly Catholic, with around 86% of the population being Roman Catholic. Islam is the largest minor religion in the country. In fact, some portions of Mindanao are majority Muslim.
Located within the tropics near the Equator line, the Philippines enjoy a tropical climate and the weather is mostly warm all year round. In general, there are two seasons in the country: dry and rainy season. December to May is the dry season, while June to November is the rainy season. During the rainy season, the country is prone to typhoons and floods. However, it does not rain every day during the rainy season.
Foreigners who want to stay or live in the Philippines for an extended period of stay will need a visa. The most common type of visa is the Long Stay Visitor Visa, which is valid for a maximum of 16 months but has to be reapplied for up to 6 months at a time.
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