Are Things Cheaper In Philippines

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As a frequent traveler, I have always been on the lookout for budget-friendly destinations that offer a great experience without breaking the bank. That’s why I was drawn to the Philippines, a country known for its stunning beaches, rich culture, and friendly people. But what really caught my attention was the rumor that things are cheaper in the Philippines. So, I decided to dig deeper and find out if it’s true.

After months of living and traveling around this beautiful archipelago, I can confidently say that there is some truth to the notion that things are cheaper in the Philippines. Of course, like any country, there are expensive areas and affordable ones. However, overall, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle here without spending too much money.

In this article, we’ll delve into all aspects of living in the Philippines from food and dining to accommodation and outdoor activities to give you an idea of how much money you’ll need for your trip – or perhaps even consider moving here permanently!

Overview of the Cost of Living in the Philippines

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how far your money can go when living in the Philippines. The cost of living in this beautiful country is generally lower than in most Western countries, making it an attractive destination for those who want to stretch their budget.

Housing, transportation, and even healthcare are significantly cheaper here compared to other parts of the world. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment within a city center can cost around $300-500 per month while a similar-sized dwelling outside the metropolitan area could go for as low as $100-200 per month. Public transportation via jeepneys or tricycles (motorcycle with sidecar) is also readily available at very affordable rates starting at around $0.20 cents per ride. Healthcare services are also relatively cheap with consultation fees ranging from $5-$25 depending on the facility and location.

Moving on to food and dining….

Food and Dining

When you’re in the Philippines, get ready to indulge in mouth-watering local cuisine that will leave your taste buds wanting more. From classic dishes like adobo and sinigang to street food favorites like balut and isaw, there’s no shortage of delicious options to try. And the best part? Food in the Philippines is incredibly affordable, making it easy to explore all the different flavors without breaking the bank.

Here are a few tips for dining on a budget in the Philippines:

  • Look for small eateries or street vendors instead of fancy restaurants. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get a more authentic experience.

  • Don’t be afraid to try new things! Some of the best meals I’ve had in the Philippines were ones that I had never heard of before.

Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, spicy or mild, there’s something for everyone when it comes to Filipino cuisine. And with prices that won’t make your wallet cry, you can enjoy as much as you want without worrying about overspending on food.

Next up: let’s talk about transportation options in the Philippines and how they compare to other countries.


If you’re used to efficient and reliable transportation systems, you might find yourself frustrated with the bumpy and crowded rides in the Philippines, but don’t let that stop you from exploring all the beautiful destinations this country has to offer.

Public transportation options include jeepneys, buses, tricycles, and motorcycles. Jeepneys are a popular mode of transportation in the Philippines; they’re known for their colorful designs and cramped seats. They operate on set routes but don’t adhere to strict schedules, making it difficult for first-timers to navigate.

Buses are also available as an alternative for long-distance travels between cities or provinces. They have air-conditioned coaches and varying levels of comfort depending on your budget.

Tricycles and motorcycles are common modes of transportation in rural areas where roads may be too narrow or unpaved for larger vehicles. They’re usually cheaper than other options but can be uncomfortable during long trips.

With patience and an open mindset, navigating the Philippine public transport system is an adventure worth experiencing.

If you’ve had enough adventure traveling by public transportations around the Philippines, there’s always another option – renting your own vehicle! Car rentals can range from Php 1,500 ($30) per day for smaller cars up to Php 5,000 ($100) per day for luxury SUVs. Some rental companies even offer chauffeurs so that you can sit back and enjoy the ride without worrying about navigation or traffic rules – which can be quite different from what you’re used to!

Regardless of your choice of transportation, there are many affordable options available in the Philippines that’ll allow you to explore this beautiful country at your own pace.


Looking for a comfortable place to stay during your travels in the Philippines? Let’s dive into the world of accommodation options. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable choices available, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts.

Here are three things you need to know about accommodation in the Philippines:

  1. Location matters: Prices can vary greatly depending on where you choose to stay. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider staying outside of major cities or tourist hotspots.

  2. Hostels are a great choice for solo travelers: With dormitory-style rooms and communal spaces, hostels offer an opportunity to meet other travelers and save money at the same time.

  3. Luxury doesn’t have to break the bank: While 5-star hotels may be out of reach for some budgets, many upscale properties offer discounts during off-peak season or through online booking sites.

As you plan your trip to the Philippines, keep these tips in mind when choosing your accommodation. And if you’re wondering whether shopping in this country is as wallet-friendly as its lodging options, let me tell you – it definitely is!


Let’s delve into the world of shopping in the Philippines and discover all the great bargains available. As someone who loves a good deal, I can confidently say that shopping in the Philippines is definitely cheaper compared to other countries.

From street markets to high-end malls, you can find almost anything at a fraction of the price. One of my favorite places to shop is Divisoria, located in Manila. It’s a bustling market filled with vendors selling everything from clothes to electronics at incredibly low prices. You can haggle for even better deals and walk away with bags full of items without breaking the bank.

Even in high-end malls like Greenbelt or SM Aura, you can find sales and discounts on designer brands that are hard to come by in other countries. Overall, shopping in the Philippines is definitely worth it for those looking for great deals and unique finds.

When it comes to entertainment, there are plenty of options available as well.


When it comes to entertainment in the Philippines, there are a plethora of options that won’t break the bank. From free and low-cost activities like hiking or visiting local markets, to nightlife and bars where you can enjoy drinks with friends without spending too much money.

Additionally, cultural events such as festivals and concerts offer a unique insight into Filipino culture that everyone should experience at least once.

Free and Low-Cost Activities

There’s no shortage of fun stuff to do in the Philippines without breaking the bank! As a traveler on a budget myself, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many free and low-cost activities there are.

For starters, you can head to one of the country’s many stunning beaches and soak up some sun. Some popular options include Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao. Not only is it completely free to lay out a towel and relax, but you can also go for a swim or rent snorkeling gear for just a few dollars.

If you’re more interested in exploring nature, there are plenty of hiking trails that won’t cost you anything. Mt. Pinatubo is one popular spot that offers breathtaking views after an intense hike through lahar fields. You can also visit waterfalls like Kawasan Falls or Tappiya Falls for a refreshing dip after your trek.

And if history is more your thing, many museums offer free admission on certain days or have very affordable entrance fees year-round.

But once the sun sets, don’t worry – there’s still plenty to do! Let’s talk about nightlife and bars next…

Nightlife and Bars

After spending your days exploring the free and low-cost activities in the Philippines, it’s time to experience the country’s vibrant nightlife. The country is known for its lively bars and clubs that offer affordable drinks and fun entertainment. Whether you prefer a laid-back atmosphere or an energetic party scene, there’s something for everyone in the Philippines.

One of my favorite places to visit is Boracay Island, which has a reputation for being one of the best nightlife destinations in the country. Here you can find beachside bars and clubs that stay open until dawn, serving up delicious cocktails at affordable prices. The island also hosts regular parties where locals and tourists come together to dance and have fun under the stars.

But if you’re looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of cozy bars tucked away throughout the city that offer a more intimate setting to unwind with friends over a few drinks.

As much as I love experiencing the local nightlife scene, I also enjoy immersing myself in cultural events. From religious festivals to art exhibits, there are numerous opportunities to learn about Philippine culture while having fun at the same time.

So let’s explore some of these exciting events together!

Cultural Events

You can broaden your cultural horizons by attending various events in the Philippines. These events include religious festivals and art exhibits, and they offer a lot of fun. The country has a rich history and diverse culture that is celebrated through different festivals and events throughout the year.

One of the most famous religious events in the Philippines is the Ati-Atihan Festival in Aklan. Performers dress up in colorful costumes and dance to the beat of drums in honor of Santo NiƱo. Apart from religious festivals, there are also art exhibits held across the country. These exhibits showcase traditional Filipino art as well as contemporary works.

The National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila houses some of the best collections of Philippine art, including works by renowned artists Juan Luna and Fernando Amorsolo. Attending these cultural events not only allows you to learn about Philippine history and culture but also provides an opportunity to interact with locals who are proud to share their traditions with visitors.

It’s worth noting that many cultural events are held outdoors, allowing you to enjoy both aspects simultaneously.

Outdoor Activities

Exploring the great outdoors in the Philippines can offer a bang for your buck, as it’s a steal compared to other destinations. From hiking up mountains with stunning views of rice terraces to diving into crystal clear waters teeming with marine life, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Here are three must-try experiences that won’t break the bank:

  1. Island Hopping – The Philippines boasts over 7,000 islands, and island hopping is one of the best ways to see them all. With options ranging from party islands like Boracay to secluded paradises like Palawan, you’re sure to find an itinerary that fits your budget.

  2. Surfing – With waves suitable for both beginners and pros, surfing in the Philippines is a popular activity that won’t cost you much. Spots like Siargao and Baler are known for their consistent surf breaks and laid-back atmosphere.

  3. Trekking – The country is home to numerous mountain ranges such as Mt. Pulag or Mt. Batulao which offer spectacular views and challenging hikes.

With so many affordable options available, exploring nature in the Philippines offers an unforgettable experience without breaking the bank.

As someone who’s explored most parts of this beautiful country through outdoor activities, I can attest that it’s possible to enjoy these experiences on a budget without compromising on quality or safety. However, there are ways to save even more money while traveling here if you know where to look and how to plan ahead.

In the next section, I’ll share some tips on how you can maximize your savings without sacrificing fun or adventure during your trip to the Philippines!

Tips for Saving Money

Saving money while exploring the great outdoors in the Philippines can be a challenge, but with these tips, you can make the most of your budget during your trip.

First and foremost, plan ahead and research free or low-cost activities in the area. The Philippines has numerous natural attractions that don’t require an entrance fee, such as beaches, waterfalls, and hiking trails.

Secondly, consider staying at budget-friendly accommodations like hostels or guesthouses instead of high-end resorts. Not only will this save you money on lodging expenses, but it will also allow you to immerse yourself in local culture and meet fellow travelers.

Additionally, opt for public transportation like jeepneys or tricycles instead of pricier private tours or taxis.

By following these tips, you can enjoy all that the Philippines has to offer without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, the Philippines is a great destination for budget travelers. With its stunning natural beauty and affordable prices for food and lodging, it provides an ideal environment for those seeking adventure on a shoestring budget. Whether you’re looking to hike through lush forests or relax on picturesque beaches with crystal clear waters – there’s something for everyone here at an affordable cost!

Conclusion: Why the Philippines is a Great Destination for Budget Travelers

With its breathtaking natural attractions and wallet-friendly prices, the Philippines is an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers looking to enjoy a memorable adventure without breaking the bank.

The country offers a wide range of experiences that cater to different interests and budgets. From exploring the stunning beaches of Palawan and Boracay, to trekking in the scenic rice terraces of Batad or Sagada, there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise.

One of the reasons why the Philippines is an affordable destination is because of its low cost of living. Food, transportation, and accommodation are relatively cheap compared to other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand or Vietnam. In addition, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available such as street food stalls and guesthouses that offer comfortable accommodations at reasonable rates.

With a bit of planning and research, it’s possible to stretch your travel budget further in this beautiful archipelago. Overall, if you’re looking for an adventure-filled trip with plenty of opportunities for exploration and relaxation at an affordable price point, then look no further than the Philippines!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average salary in the Philippines?

As someone who’s lived and worked in the Philippines for several years, I can say that the average salary in the country varies greatly depending on your profession and location.

According to recent data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the average monthly income in 2020 was around PHP 24,000 ($500 USD). However, this figure is significantly lower outside of major cities like Manila or Cebu.

It’s important to note that although salaries may seem low compared to other countries, the cost of living in the Philippines is generally much lower as well. This means that while you may not earn as much as you would elsewhere, your money goes further and can provide a higher quality of life overall.

How does the cost of healthcare compare in the Philippines to other countries?

As someone who values their freedom, I’ve always been interested in how the cost of healthcare compares across different countries.

In the Philippines, healthcare is generally affordable compared to other developed nations. However, it’s important to note that access to quality healthcare can vary greatly depending on location and income level.

Private hospitals tend to be more expensive than public ones, but offer better facilities and services. Additionally, certain medical procedures may require patients to travel outside of the country for treatment.

Overall, while healthcare costs in the Philippines may not be as high as some other countries, it’s crucial for individuals to carefully consider their options and prioritize their health needs accordingly.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Are there any restrictions on bringing in foreign currency to the Philippines?

As someone who’s traveled to the Philippines, I can tell you that there are restrictions on bringing in foreign currency.

The country’s central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, requires travelers to declare any amount exceeding 10,000 USD or its equivalent in other currencies upon arrival.

Failure to do so may result in confiscation of the funds and possible legal consequences.

It’s important to note that this is a measure put in place to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, but as long as you follow the rules and procedures, you shouldn’t have any problem bringing in your foreign currency.

Overall, while it may seem like an inconvenience at first, these regulations ultimately contribute to maintaining a safe and stable economy in the Philippines.

What is the tax system like in the Philippines?

The tax system in the Philippines is like a maze, and it can be difficult to navigate without proper guidance.

As a foreigner living in the country, it’s important to understand the various taxes that you may be subject to. These include income tax, value-added tax (VAT), and customs duties.

The income tax rates range from 0% to as high as 35%, depending on your earnings bracket. Meanwhile, VAT is imposed on most goods and services at a rate of 12%. Customs duties are also applied to imported goods based on their classification and origin.

Understanding these taxes can help ensure that you comply with local regulations and avoid any potential penalties or fines. While navigating this maze may seem daunting at first, knowledge is power when it comes to taxes in the Philippines, so take some time to learn about them and stay ahead of the game.

How easy is it to find work as a foreigner in the Philippines?

Finding work as a foreigner in the Philippines can be both easy and challenging depending on your qualifications and field of expertise. In general, industries such as teaching, healthcare, and IT have high demand for foreign workers.

However, the job market is competitive especially in major cities like Manila. It’s important to have a valid work permit before starting your job search and to network with locals through social events or professional organizations.

Salaries for foreigners may not be as high compared to Western countries but living expenses are generally lower which can make up for it. Overall, with the right mindset and preparation, finding work in the Philippines can be a great opportunity to gain international experience while enjoying the country’s tropical climate and warm hospitality.


In conclusion, after my extensive research and personal experience living in the Philippines, I can confidently say that it’s indeed a great destination for budget travelers. The overall cost of living is significantly cheaper compared to other countries, making it an attractive option for those on a tight budget.

However, while the prices may be low, the quality of experiences and adventures in this country aren’t compromised. From delicious street food to stunning beaches and natural wonders, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in the Philippines.

So if you’re looking for an affordable yet unforgettable travel experience, I highly recommend considering the beautiful islands of the Philippines as your next destination. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem!

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