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Questions about Cost of Living in the Philippines

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Questions about Cost of Living in the Philippines

Postby yatterman1 » Thu May 06, 2010 6:02 am

Can i get the average price for the following:

1) rent for a 1 bedroom apartment (per month)
2) 1 month of food (average food)
3) water bill (per month)
4) electric bill (per month)
5) cell phone bill (per month)
6) internet (per month)
7) transportation if I use it a lot (per month)

I know it can vary but can i get some sort of ball park estimate?
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Postby Winston » Thu May 06, 2010 9:48 am

In the Philippines in Angeles City:

1. You can get that for between 80 and 150 dollars, as long as you don't live too close to city center.
2. Depends on where you eat. But if you eat the cheapest food, you can do that for only a few dollars per day. But that food sucks. Even expensive restaurants can suck too. You have to know where to go. Most of the fast food sucks too. To eat in foreign owned restaurants, you have to spend about 5 dollars per meal. Even if you buy groceries and cook, the cost is almost the same, if you use good groceries.
3. Water bill is about 5 dollars per month if you don't use too much.
4. Electric bill, if you use the aircon everyday, is around 70 dollars a month. If you don't use aircon, it may be only 20 dollars a month or less. Some claim that their aircon costs are much higher though.
5. Cell phone? Well there are monthly plans but I use a prepaid plan. Depends on how much you use it. Calls to other cell phones are 7 pesos per minute and text messages (SMS) are 1 peso per text, or 1.5 pesos if you text to a different carrier.
6. Internet is about 1000p per month, but that's on a two year contract. If you use prepaid internet, it's about 20 pesos per hour, same as in the internet cafe but the connection is more unstable.
7. Jeepneys are 7 pesos per way, and Trikes are 50p and up to most places. Depends on how often you use them.

Hope that helps.
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Postby yatterman1 » Sat May 08, 2010 9:29 am

As for food what if you just buy things like ramen noodles, tv dinners, cereal, frozen pizzas, bread, peanut butter, etc.

I mean as is I can get by on $150 a month for food and I live in the states. Surely the eating the same foods I eat here in the US, in the phils would be much cheaper, right?

feel free to correct me if im wrong though. I would be very interested in seeing how much these items cost in the phils.
Last edited by yatterman1 on Sat May 08, 2010 10:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Repatriate » Sat May 08, 2010 9:36 am

The phillipines sounds like it has lower quality and more expensive costs than Thailand. The filipinos i've met in Thailand have pretty much said similar things. They said the cost of living/standard of living in Phillipines makes no sense when compared with the average income. They also said that corrupt businessmen price fix and do all sorts of shady stuff to keep the economics level skewed.

How the hell do people live there if they are priced out of basic living essentials?
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Postby globetrotter » Sat May 08, 2010 9:54 am

Repatriate wrote:The phillipines sounds like it has lower quality and more expensive costs than Thailand. The filipinos i've met in Thailand have pretty much said similar things. They said the cost of living/standard of living in Phillipines makes no sense when compared with the average income. They also said that corrupt businessmen price fix and do all sorts of shady stuff to keep the economics level skewed.

How the hell do people live there if they are priced out of basic living essentials?


They aren't. If they were priced out they would all be dead from starvation.

The key is to not buy anything in a Box, Bag or Bottle. Bottled water in large 5 gallon jugs, refill a water bottle and reuse. Buy food from street stalls or inexpensive restaurants. Winston hates the RP food but I know many who don't. This will keep food costs very very low. $150 a month for food is very high in Asia. Think $30-60.
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Postby Repatriate » Sat May 08, 2010 1:33 pm

globetrotter wrote:
Repatriate wrote:The phillipines sounds like it has lower quality and more expensive costs than Thailand. The filipinos i've met in Thailand have pretty much said similar things. They said the cost of living/standard of living in Phillipines makes no sense when compared with the average income. They also said that corrupt businessmen price fix and do all sorts of shady stuff to keep the economics level skewed.

How the hell do people live there if they are priced out of basic living essentials?


They aren't. If they were priced out they would all be dead from starvation.

The key is to not buy anything in a Box, Bag or Bottle. Bottled water in large 5 gallon jugs, refill a water bottle and reuse. Buy food from street stalls or inexpensive restaurants. Winston hates the RP food but I know many who don't. This will keep food costs very very low. $150 a month for food is very high in Asia. Think $30-60.

So basically you have to keep a rock bottom "quality" lifestyle with a constant diet of a reknown shitty cuisine. I enjoy European fromage and the occasional wine. I guess I would be f***ed in the Phillipines?

I suppose the comment about pricing people out of basic living is exaggerated but it seems pretty ridiculous. I will still visit sometime but what i've been hearing about the major cities is very negative thus far and this is from well traveled asian expats that I trust.
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Postby globetrotter » Sat May 08, 2010 2:08 pm

Repatriate wrote:
globetrotter wrote:
Repatriate wrote:The phillipines sounds like it has lower quality and more expensive costs than Thailand. The filipinos i've met in Thailand have pretty much said similar things. They said the cost of living/standard of living in Phillipines makes no sense when compared with the average income. They also said that corrupt businessmen price fix and do all sorts of shady stuff to keep the economics level skewed.

How the hell do people live there if they are priced out of basic living essentials?


They aren't. If they were priced out they would all be dead from starvation.

The key is to not buy anything in a Box, Bag or Bottle. Bottled water in large 5 gallon jugs, refill a water bottle and reuse. Buy food from street stalls or inexpensive restaurants. Winston hates the RP food but I know many who don't. This will keep food costs very very low. $150 a month for food is very high in Asia. Think $30-60.

So basically you have to keep a rock bottom "quality" lifestyle with a constant diet of a reknown shitty cuisine. I enjoy European fromage and the occasional wine. I guess I would be f***ed in the Phillipines?

I suppose the comment about pricing people out of basic living is exaggerated but it seems pretty ridiculous. I will still visit sometime but what i've been hearing about the major cities is very negative thus far and this is from well traveled asian expats that I trust.


Your reply is pure cultural bias. The lifestyle is not rock bottom with renowned shitty cuisine. I eat tasty noodles, soups and stews, fresh pickled vegetables, fruit, etc.

If you want to eat European fromage and have wine with dinner, then you want to live an upper class TV based lifestyle. Stay in the larger Asian cities like Shanghai, Singapore, HK and Tokyo. They have those overpriced restaurants there in abundance. Be prepared to spend exactly the same amount as you would in Paris or NYC.

Why would you post such a response into a thread about eating cheaply in the RP? It makes no sense to do so. You actually expect to be able to buy European cheeses in the Philippines in Cebu? Get real, get a clue.

If you wish to go broke attempting to live an Upper Middle Class Manhattan/Paris/Moscow/London TV lifestyle then this thread is not for you.

Bring your $1M, rent a large apartment in Shanghai for $10,000 a month, fill it up with outrageously expensive furniture and go eat in the priciest restaurants all that you want. There are wine shops in China, too. You can buy very expensive wines should you wish to. Have fun. Spend it all!

I have lived that life and find it spiritually empty.
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Postby Repatriate » Sat May 08, 2010 2:17 pm

globetrotter wrote:
Repatriate wrote:
globetrotter wrote:
Repatriate wrote:The phillipines sounds like it has lower quality and more expensive costs than Thailand. The filipinos i've met in Thailand have pretty much said similar things. They said the cost of living/standard of living in Phillipines makes no sense when compared with the average income. They also said that corrupt businessmen price fix and do all sorts of shady stuff to keep the economics level skewed.

How the hell do people live there if they are priced out of basic living essentials?


They aren't. If they were priced out they would all be dead from starvation.

The key is to not buy anything in a Box, Bag or Bottle. Bottled water in large 5 gallon jugs, refill a water bottle and reuse. Buy food from street stalls or inexpensive restaurants. Winston hates the RP food but I know many who don't. This will keep food costs very very low. $150 a month for food is very high in Asia. Think $30-60.

So basically you have to keep a rock bottom "quality" lifestyle with a constant diet of a reknown shitty cuisine. I enjoy European fromage and the occasional wine. I guess I would be f***ed in the Phillipines?

I suppose the comment about pricing people out of basic living is exaggerated but it seems pretty ridiculous. I will still visit sometime but what i've been hearing about the major cities is very negative thus far and this is from well traveled asian expats that I trust.


Your reply is pure cultural bias. The lifestyle is not rock bottom with renowned shitty cuisine. I eat tasty noodles, soups and stews, fresh pickled vegetables, fruit, etc.

If you want to eat European fromage and have wine with dinner, then you want to live an upper class TV based lifestyle. Stay in the larger Asian cities like Shanghai, Singapore, HK and Tokyo. They have those overpriced restaurants there in abundance. Be prepared to spend exactly the same amount as you would in Paris or NYC.

Why would you post such a response into a thread about eating cheaply in the RP? It makes no sense to do so. You actually expect to be able to buy European cheeses in the Philippines in Cebu? Get real, get a clue.

If you wish to go broke attempting to live an Upper Middle Class Manhattan/Paris/Moscow/London TV lifestyle then this thread is not for you.

Bring your $1M, rent a large apartment in Shanghai for $10,000 a month, fill it up with outrageously expensive furniture and go eat in the priciest restaurants all that you want. There are wine shops in China, too. You can buy very expensive wines should you wish to. Have fun. Spend it all!

I have lived that life and find it spiritually empty.


I'm no snob. I live off of Thai cuisine (street included) and think it's generally better than most of the international restaurants in NY and LA combined. What I will not abide by is grease slop in a plate or stir fried chili pate which seems to be the order of the day in the Phillipines. I was just curious as to what the alternative costs were if you wanted some deviations from the norm.

For the record I eat raw pork sausage and enjoy ant larvae. I just enjoy cuisine that's not total shit and if I need an escape from a possibly inferior food culture I need to know if I can do so. That's where the fromage and wine comment comes from. Although I would substitute that for basic vegetables and asian spices if need be.

Alright here's a better breakdown. What are the prices of prawns (all types), crab (all types), and daily caught fish? That's all that matters to me. I can create something with that.
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Postby FuzzX » Sat May 08, 2010 3:33 pm

I'll take any of that over the French Fries, Chicken Wings and Pizza they have at the truck stops here in Canada.

Only a year of shitty food to go.
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Postby Repatriate » Sat May 08, 2010 5:20 pm

FuzzX wrote:I'll take any of that over the French Fries, Chicken Wings and Pizza they have at the truck stops here in Canada.

Only a year of shitty food to go.

I would sooner suck poutine through a straw than eat some of the salty shitty dishes they have in the phillipines. Believe me i've had a good cross sectional "appetizer" and I thought it was unbelievably bad. Literally the worst cuisine ever.

Soggy overcooked rice, salty greasy fish/meat, and a helping of salty sauce.

Brown dried pie looking crap. tasteless and repugnant.
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Postby dano » Sun May 09, 2010 2:53 am

Repatriate wrote:
FuzzX wrote:I'll take any of that over the French Fries, Chicken Wings and Pizza they have at the truck stops here in Canada.

Only a year of shitty food to go.

I would sooner suck poutine through a straw than eat some of the salty shitty dishes they have in the phillipines. Believe me i've had a good cross sectional "appetizer" and I thought it was unbelievably bad. Literally the worst cuisine ever.

Soggy overcooked rice, salty greasy fish/meat, and a helping of salty sauce.

Brown dried pie looking crap. tasteless and repugnant.



I agree. All of my experiences with Filipino food and everything I have heard about Filipino food seems to conclude that that cuisine from this country sucks without exception. The pineapple and the bananas are worth trying however.
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Postby Repatriate » Sun May 09, 2010 4:23 am

Filipino food has always been a mystery to me. How did it end up sucking so much? They have all the resources that other surrounding SE Asian countries have yet it's like they never learned how to cook or something.
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Food in the Philippines

Postby Nate » Sun May 09, 2010 6:42 am

Repatriate wrote:
FuzzX wrote:I'll take any of that over the French Fries, Chicken Wings and Pizza they have at the truck stops here in Canada.

Only a year of shitty food to go.

I would sooner suck poutine through a straw than eat some of the salty shitty dishes they have in the phillipines. Believe me i've had a good cross sectional "appetizer" and I thought it was unbelievably bad. Literally the worst cuisine ever.

Soggy overcooked rice, salty greasy fish/meat, and a helping of salty sauce.

Brown dried pie looking crap. tasteless and repugnant.


I have a house in the Philippines. I spend a bit more than half my time there on average, and this year it will
be most of the time that I spend there. If you were to visit, I could have our cook make you up some "Soggy overcooked rice, salty greasy fish/meat, and a helping of salty sauce. Brown dried pie looking crap. tasteless and repugnant." if it would make you feel better. To be fair, I sometimes have trouble finding decent restaurant food in provincial areas, but if you have the right cook you might chose some lumpia (spring rolls) appetizers, or perhaps some tinola- a light chicken soup with herbs (excellent by the way!) or Filipino style "roastbeef", that is very thinly cut slices of steak fried crispy brown, or some Filipino style fried chicken- very good on two counts, all natural and just better flavored. You might also ask our cook to cut off a slice of the wahoo fish steak in the fridge. It is similar to Marlin and grilled over coals it is excellent. Some fluffy jasmine rice might go well with all this, or perhaps you would like a fruit salad to go with your meal. Our mangoes are excellent- honey sweet and fiber free. Pineapples
cost about 23 cents ( 10 pesos ) and the cores are so tender that you do not even need to cut them out. Our fridge is usually a cornucopia of all kinds of tropical fruit and fresh squeezed tropical juices to be poured over ice.

All of our food is bought locally and prepared very fresh. I have no trouble eating well here. I do not need imported foods in general, though I do buy a few. For example we do use imported Italian extra virgin olive oil as well as imported wines. With something even as mundane as peanut butter, after a little experimentation I found a Philippines brand that is just fine- in fact I prefer it. I'm sure most people do not come to the Philippines for the food, and in many cases I like Thai food better, though in many instances I find Thai restaurant food to be awful- a far cry from the great fare you might find in a quality Thai restaurant.

I do find provincial Bohol lacking in quality restaurant food. My Girlfriend is opening a cafe in Bohol this coming year. I am sure you would not be disappointed if you were to come in for a meal. The bar will feature an excellent selection with many of the mixers made with fresh tropical fruit juices instead of the fake crap found in typical bars in the USA. If one is living in the Philippines there is no reason for your palate to suffer, though If you are just visiting in a hotel and living off the local eateries you will not be very impressed.
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Postby yatterman1 » Fri May 14, 2010 4:49 am

I am still interested in knowing what the cost of basic groceries is in the philippines...for example...how much does a loaf of bread cost?
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Postby julia.sadie » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:53 am

The cost of living in the Philippines is comparatively low. This is why a lot of people here make a lot of money working at call centers. This is also why many US and European countries outsource some of their data processes in the Philippines (low costs).
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