In a survey conducted among 500 expatriates by the Singapore-based
Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, the Philippines was top
choice for expatriate living because it offers the best overall
quality of life. Among the advantages cited by the expatriates were
ability to interact with the local population (many of whom speak
and/or understand English), access to recreational activities,
value-for-money housing and shopping, and ‘‘excellent’’ nightlife.
The Philippines is also the top destination for retirees among all
countries in the world, mainly because of the presence of household
help and caregivers.
Cost of living
Living costs vary widely; the cost of living in Metro Manila is the
highest in the entire country. But no matter where you are in the
Philippines, the cost of living will be dramatically lower than in a
comparable area in a Western nation. Houses can be leased for US$300
(for an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment in an average
neighborhood) to US$4,000 (for a fully furnished four-bedroom house
in an upscale community). Hotel rates range from US$72 to US$100 a
day (for three-star hotels) to US$180 to US$250 (for five-star
hotels). In Metro Manila and suburban areas, American and
international schools offer classes for all grade levels. Tuition
ranges from US$2,800 to US$9,300 annually.
Entertainment and Recreation
Many regard Metro Manila as the entertainment capital of Asia.
Numerous watering holes, bars, bistros, and such offer an eclectic
selection of music; there are places that offer jazz, others that
feature rock, and still others that play Latin beats. Theaters and
hotel restaurants are often venues for Filipino music and dance.
Restaurants also cater to all palates, serving international
cuisine. Be it Asian food, Mediterranean fare, or Western staples,
the Philippines will surely have something to offer.
There are also many sports activities to choose from.
golf courses can be found all over the country. Facilities for
basketball, tennis, bowling, billiards, horseback riding, wall
climbing, and soccer are also available. For the adventure seekers,
the archipelago has several scenic dive and surf spots, and for
mountain climbers, mountains ranging in size from small to massive.
The Philippines also presents means of relaxing. Spas can be found
all over Metro Manila, good for a day of pampering. For weekend
getaways and longer vacations, there are plenty of places to choose
from. Subic Bay, once home to the largest US
Naval Base Complex outside the United States, has become a popular
tourist destination. While it has a Central Business District for
various industries, its beaches and ecological attractions draw in
visitors. Boracay is considered by many as a top vacation spot in
the world. A short plane and boat ride away from Manila, it is
famous not only for its pristine waters and powdery white sand, but
also for its
There are a number of good schools for expatriates' children who are
at the primary
and secondary levels. Most private schools and universities use
English as the
medium of instruction. There are international schools with
sprawling campuses in
Manila and its suburbs. These employ American, British, French,
Singaporean curricula. A number of these schools are internationally
• Southville (pre-school to college) is accredited by The
Western Association of
Schools and Colleges (WASC). Some of the majors offered at the
college level are:
BS Computer Science, BS Finance, BS BA Human Resource Management, BS
Elementary Education, and AB Mass Communication.
• Eurocampus involves two schools from two different
countries: France and
Germany. Each school has its own curriculum that follows closely
what is offered in the two countries. Both schools employ teachers
from France and Germany,
ensuring the same quality of education found in their homelands.
students transfer to schools in Germany, Switzerland, or France
• Faith Academy is an international Christian school
primarily for the children of
missionaries working in Asia.
• Brent International School Manila accepts students from
nursery to Grade 12. It is accredited by WASC, the Philippines
Acrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU),
and the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. Brent is a member of
the East Asia Council of Regional Schools and the European Council
of International Schools, among others.
• The International School (IS) Manila offers an
American-based curriculum from early primary to high school. IS
Manila also has programs for students who need an English as a
Second Language program. The students of IS Manila represent 59
different nationalities, and the faculty is a mixture of teachers
from 14 countries, forming one of the most diverse educational
communities in the world.
• The British School Manila in Fort Bonifacio Global City
provides the highest quality British education. It follows the UK
National Curriculum from Reception to Year 11. Students are prepared
for various tests, such as the National Curriculum Tests (NCTs).
They eventually take the International Baccalaureate (subject to
inspection). In all comparative assessments, students at BSM perform
National UK averages.