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The Republic of the Philippines is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. This Southeast Asian country consists of around 7,641 islands that are divided under three main areas: Luzon (the largest, northernmost island that includes the capital of the country, Manila), Visayas (a group of islands that include Cebu and Panay, among others), and Mindanao (the second-largest island in the Philippines, located at the southern end of the country).
Home to over 100 million people, the Philippines is Asia’s eighth-most populated country. With such a large population, the country boasts over a hundred ethnic groups, with a mixture of foreign influences, which have enhanced the uniqueness of the Filipino identity.
Welcoming 8.26 million international visitors last year, tourism in the Philippines is booming. From beautiful beaches and mountains to heritage towns and buzzing cities, it is easy to see why tourists love this country. The influx of international tourists and expats has created a high demand for housing and rental properties in the country. As a result, developers are constantly creating new projects to answer the demand.
Metro Manila is the national capital region and the second most populated region in the country, with more than12 million people living across its area of 619.6 square kilometers. It consists of 16 cities, including the city of Manila, Quezon City, and Makati to name a few. Most cities in Metro Manila are popular among expats who work in the business districts. However, the city of Manila, the capital of the country, is particularly popular among tourists. Visitors who come to this city tend to flock in the National Museum of the Filipino People, Fort Santiago, Rizal Park, the San Agustin Church, and Manila American Cemetery.
Referred to as the “Second City” of the Philippines, Cebu City is another popular part of the country. It is a dynamic metropolis that is famous for its buzzing nightlife and historical landmarks. It has numerous amazing attractions, such as Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro, Museo Sugbo, Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, Cebu Taoist Temple, and Casa Gorordo Museum.
Those who want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the Philippines’ megacities usually choose El Nido as their destination. It is located at the northern tip of Palawan Island. This area gained massive worldwide attention for its limestone cliffs, pristine white beaches, clear blue waters, enchanting mountains, and scenic coral garden.
The Philippines has many different types of property available to rent that will fit any budget and preference. Your options range from condominium units, apartments, freestanding houses, villas, townhouses, and commercial properties.
Condos and apartments are very popular amongst young expats, since they offer convenient, sometimes hotel-like, living experiences. The types range from studio types and one- to three-bedroom. Condos and apartments usually offer similar amenities, such as swimming pools, 24-hour securities, parking spaces, playgrounds, and gyms.
Filipinos, foreign retirees, and big families usually prefer freestanding houses or villas. Both types offer more privacy and space to their renters compared to condos and apartments. Freestanding houses in the Philippines come in several types, including bungalow- multi-story, single-detached, and single-attached. Luxury houses are also available throughout the country, but they are usually located within gated communities.
Townhouses, sometimes called townhomes or row houses, are considerably less expensive than freestanding houses and villas, but they offer much more space than condo and apartment units.
The Philippine Peso is the official currency of the Philippines. The exchange rate from US$1 is around ₱49.1. It is important to be aware that ATMs accepting international cards are only available in big cities. Therefore, you should ensure you have cash before you travel to smaller towns. Credit cards are accepted in numerous businesses in the major cities.
The cost of living in the Philippines is determined by your lifestyle choices. However, just like other Southeast Asian countries, the cost of living is relatively low and most foreigners can live a comfortable life with a mid-level salary. Those who are on a budget can eat their meals from street food vendors, which are cheap and delicious. The public transportation modes in the country are also inexpensive.
The Philippines is Asia’s largest Catholic country, with more than 92% of its population follows the religion. Filipinos are known to be very friendly, and they value traditions, cultures, and families.
Most of the country experiences a tropical climate, but due to its vast size, the climate may be a bit different in each region. There are generally two seasons in this country, including dry and rainy seasons. The dry season lasts from December to May. The temperatures during this season can reach 40°C. The rainy season, from June to November, is prone to typhoons.
To be able to stay in the Philippines for an extended period of time, Long Stay Visitor Visa is needed. This type of visa has a maximum length of 16 months, but you need to reapply for it 6 months at a time. A permanent visa is available, but you need to show funds or income as proof.