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Questions about Cost of Living in the Philippines

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby Twobrains » January 19th, 2013, 12:41 pm

Having recently been in Davao myself, I concur with most of the info PD has given, though I would bump the estimates up by about 20% for safety. I was on a budget of £60 a day, including hotels, excluding flights. Most days I was easily under budget, but I don't drink very much and I don't eat at the most expensive places. I found the hotels to be of a very poor standard compared with Thailand or Vietnam, much less value for money.

One thing to note: if you go out for a night on the town with a girl, in the vast majority of cases you WILL be paying for her cover, food and drinks too. No complaints, that's just how it is there.
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Postby publicduende » January 19th, 2013, 2:09 pm

Banano wrote:How about us western food lovers who like beef steak/ schnitzel, chicken,lamb,piza,pasta, food quality burger..you need at least 2 meals a day

In Thailand its impossible to live on 1k if you eat western style food, western food is more expensive thn it is in the west and quality of meat is sub par, also wine is pricey

Can you still live on 1K a month in PH?


You probably mean "US food lovers" :) I am personally a huge fan of seafood, and can't stresss more how delicious, fresh and cheap seafood is in any Davao restaurant. If poultry and meat are what float your culinary boat, KFC and their own local brands (Max's, Jollibee, etc.), have the most delicious fried chicken I have ever tried: think free-range, organic, lean and super-tasty chicken that's cheaper than the hormone-laded, antibiotic-pumped stuff you can get in the US or the UK. I have never actually tried a burger during my time in PI, but have tried several chicken and pork dishes, from adobo to BBQ to grilled liempo (pork belly). They're all out of this world delicious, and will never cost you more than $5, even in the best restaurants in town.

Pasta is a national craze, especially spaghetti bolognese. Unfortunately they serve it the American way, glue-like overcooked, so not my cup of tea :)

All in all, why stick to McDonald's if you can eat much healthier, delicious and cheap. Fish is not fattening. You can have a 500g pusit (squid) and a serving of shrimps (which in the PI are as big as our tiger prawns) charcoal grilled, and sweat it off during the day. The only way you can get chubby, and quite a few Filipinos and Filipinas are indeed chubby, is by eating a lot of rice and bread. Which is what large swathes of the population do, as they unfortunately can't afford fish everyday.
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Postby publicduende » January 19th, 2013, 2:11 pm

Twobrains wrote:Having recently been in Davao myself, I concur with most of the info PD has given, though I would bump the estimates up by about 20% for safety. I was on a budget of £60 a day, including hotels, excluding flights. Most days I was easily under budget, but I don't drink very much and I don't eat at the most expensive places. I found the hotels to be of a very poor standard compared with Thailand or Vietnam, much less value for money.

One thing to note: if you go out for a night on the town with a girl, in the vast majority of cases you WILL be paying for her cover, food and drinks too. No complaints, that's just how it is there.


The less desirable thing is actually living in a hotel. I can clearly see that, for a any stay longer than a month, renting a flat is probably a better option in terms of privacy and cheaper. For 2 weeks at a reasonable hostel in Samal I paid more than what I could have spent for a month renting a one-bedroom luxury condo (around 25,000 pesos).
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Re: Questions about Cost of Living in the Philippines

Postby mct » March 15th, 2013, 3:24 pm

yatterman1 wrote: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?


I'm living independently and no longer have a free board and lodging at the family home:

1. rent for 1 bedroom apartment including association dues- mine is a studio albeit in a nice neighborhood and an upper middle class gated community or what is known as village/subdivision here (the dwellings range from an apartment like mine or a mansion with a land area of 2,500 square meters) that is approximately costs US$250/month (although it's not rental fee but a mortgage since part of it paid for already).

2. average food - bought from the canteen or unpretentious eateries and the supermarket costs me $125-150/month.

3. water bill - US$10-12/month (I don't do laundry but bring it to a laundry shop, which costs around $6-7 every week so rounded off to $30/month for laundry)

4. electric bill - I work during weekdays and I travel for work too. What I have are just the basic stuff: microwave, electric fan, airconditioning unit, personal refrigerator, water dispenser, TV, DVD, laptop and IPad, CD player, kettle, hot plate (I seldom cook). It ranges from $30-50/month.

5. cellphone bill - I did away with a postpaid plan and now on prepaid: $15-25/month depending on usage.

6. internet - either using prepaid internet or at internet cafes: $30-50/month, depending on usage.

7. transportation - I ride cabs mostly so it adds up to around $130-150/month. If I ride bus, jeepney or train, it's easily reduced to only $50-60 or about 1/3, including weekends.

and others you may want to know:

8. recreation - breakfast, lunch or dinner at mid-range restaurants and other stuff, $10-30 for each time depending on where I go.

9. grocery items (excluding food items) - costs $40-50/month

I hope this helps!
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Postby zacb » March 15th, 2013, 3:55 pm

Winston wrote:
yatterman1 wrote: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?


A loaf of bread costs between 40 and 60 pesos depending on the quality, which is around a dollar.

I think most people do not even get their food from supermarkets. They get it from outdoor markets in the morning which are cheapest.

The average person there makes only 100 or 200 dollars a month. I know many girls who only make 300p a day and half of it goes to food and transportation. So I have no idea how they eat at all or pay any bills in their homes. It doesn't add up. And no one can really explain it.
I think it is probably the blackmarket/lax tax regime. Since they only show part of their income, it appears less thaan it already is. I believe for a gowing country 30-40% blackmarket/piracy is the norm, contrasted with 10-20% for the developed world. So I think that those things might explain it.
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Postby mct » March 18th, 2013, 2:39 am

zacb wrote:I think it is probably the blackmarket/lax tax regime. Since they only show part of their income, it appears less thaan it already is. I believe for a gowing country 30-40% blackmarket/piracy is the norm, contrasted with 10-20% for the developed world. So I think that those things might explain it.


The black market, yes, or what is referred to as the "underground economy" in economics. Almost everyone I know, from the rich-rich to the lower classes, derive income or spending means from such. And not necessarily illegal.
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Postby In2dadark » November 22nd, 2013, 10:58 pm

I pretty much live on fish & brown rice. Just naturally 'went' there'. I'm older & it took time. Guess I'll be happy while I'm there. I do like nuts & chocolate from T2T. I suppose for nicotine gum I'm SOL? It helps my condition, I'm not a smoker. I get a scipt from the VA for it. Wonder if they'll forward.


publicduende wrote:
Banano wrote:How about us western food lovers who like beef steak/ schnitzel, chicken,lamb,piza,pasta, food quality burger..you need at least 2 meals a day

In Thailand its impossible to live on 1k if you eat western style food, western food is more expensive thn it is in the west and quality of meat is sub par, also wine is pricey

Can you still live on 1K a month in PH?


You probably mean "US food lovers" :) I am personally a huge fan of seafood, and can't stresss more how delicious, fresh and cheap seafood is in any Davao restaurant. If poultry and meat are what float your culinary boat, KFC and their own local brands (Max's, Jollibee, etc.), have the most delicious fried chicken I have ever tried: think free-range, organic, lean and super-tasty chicken that's cheaper than the hormone-laded, antibiotic-pumped stuff you can get in the US or the UK. I have never actually tried a burger during my time in PI, but have tried several chicken and pork dishes, from adobo to BBQ to grilled liempo (pork belly). They're all out of this world delicious, and will never cost you more than $5, even in the best restaurants in town.

Pasta is a national craze, especially spaghetti bolognese. Unfortunately they serve it the American way, glue-like overcooked, so not my cup of tea :)

All in all, why stick to McDonald's if you can eat much healthier, delicious and cheap. Fish is not fattening. You can have a 500g pusit (squid) and a serving of shrimps (which in the PI are as big as our tiger prawns) charcoal grilled, and sweat it off during the day. The only way you can get chubby, and quite a few Filipinos and Filipinas are indeed chubby, is by eating a lot of rice and bread. Which is what large swathes of the population do, as they unfortunately can't afford fish everyday.
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Postby maxtazm » December 19th, 2013, 8:04 am

ya i noticed a lot of food in the phillipines sucks too
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Postby Rich » February 12th, 2014, 9:36 am

I have a question: there's this girl in the Philippines that I used to be involved with quite a few years ago. I've kept in touch but we're just friends now. I don't send her money or anything like that. It's purely the odd email here and there.

Anyway, about a year or so she got knocked up by a Korean guy. He promised marriage but it never eventuated. Apparently he comes from a well off family. She comes from a poor family who live in a shack on public land.

It got me thinking: what would be a reasonable level of monthly financial support for her from someone living in a first world country? She lives in Davao city. Her family income at the moment is just 8,000ph per month or less than $200.
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Postby Seduction Sebi » February 18th, 2014, 11:16 pm

Please don't make the same mistake so many guys did before you and finance a girl who is together with other guys while you are abroad and who just uses you as a cash machine. Try to find a girl who doesn't want your money and who is into you for who you are. Against the opinion of many feminists those girls really exist in the Philippines.
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Postby Rich » February 22nd, 2014, 12:32 pm

Seduction Sebi wrote:Please don't make the same mistake so many guys did before you and finance a girl who is together with other guys while you are abroad and who just uses you as a cash machine. Try to find a girl who doesn't want your money and who is into you for who you are. Against the opinion of many feminists those girls really exist in the Philippines.


Thanks Sebi but I'm not intending to send her any money. But just to be clear, all women want our money, regardless of whether they come from the PI or Sweden. Cross cultural studies show that women want men who have money, are intelligent and are older than them - in that order. Maybe the odd girl will be into you "for who you are" as you put it but apart from very rare exceptions, it really is a case of "no cash, no gash" or as they say in the PI and other countries, "no money, no honey". It took me years to get this but I get it now.
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Postby davewe » February 23rd, 2014, 1:21 am

Rich wrote:
Seduction Sebi wrote:Please don't make the same mistake so many guys did before you and finance a girl who is together with other guys while you are abroad and who just uses you as a cash machine. Try to find a girl who doesn't want your money and who is into you for who you are. Against the opinion of many feminists those girls really exist in the Philippines.


Thanks Sebi but I'm not intending to send her any money. But just to be clear, all women want our money, regardless of whether they come from the PI or Sweden. Cross cultural studies show that women want men who have money, are intelligent and are older than them - in that order. Maybe the odd girl will be into you "for who you are" as you put it but apart from very rare exceptions, it really is a case of "no cash, no gash" or as they say in the PI and other countries, "no money, no honey". It took me years to get this but I get it now.


Why is it an either/or thing?

People have been postulating on and writing about love since civilization began and I don't think anyone's gotten it 100% right for all people.

There are the guys who think, "I am young, good looking and have a big Johnson - that's why she loves me."

There's the "I have money, power and fame - that's why she loves me."

There's the "I am smart and have great character - that's why she loves me." The list goes on...

Let's reverse the question. Think about when you were absolutely in love with a woman - not just hot for her. "Did you just love her for her big tits?" "Her cute nose?" "Her skin color?" "Her intelligence?" In all likelihood, while you might be able to make a list of characteristics you like about her, you cannot explain why you love her. It is a mystery - just as mysterious as how we are able to fall out of love with someone.

A woman would be a fool to involve herself with a man without a job or money (though some do), but that doesn't mean she only loves you for your money.

That said a wise man will evaluate why a woman is with him, but a foolish man throws away a good woman because of is fear of why she loves him.

Or more simply, my wife says, "Money is important, but I would never marry a man I did not love."
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Postby Rich » February 23rd, 2014, 2:11 am

davewe wrote:
Rich wrote:
Seduction Sebi wrote:Please don't make the same mistake so many guys did before you and finance a girl who is together with other guys while you are abroad and who just uses you as a cash machine. Try to find a girl who doesn't want your money and who is into you for who you are. Against the opinion of many feminists those girls really exist in the Philippines.


Thanks Sebi but I'm not intending to send her any money. But just to be clear, all women want our money, regardless of whether they come from the PI or Sweden. Cross cultural studies show that women want men who have money, are intelligent and are older than them - in that order. Maybe the odd girl will be into you "for who you are" as you put it but apart from very rare exceptions, it really is a case of "no cash, no gash" or as they say in the PI and other countries, "no money, no honey". It took me years to get this but I get it now.


Why is it an either/or thing?

People have been postulating on and writing about love since civilization began and I don't think anyone's gotten it 100% right for all people.

There are the guys who think, "I am young, good looking and have a big Johnson - that's why she loves me."

There's the "I have money, power and fame - that's why she loves me."

There's the "I am smart and have great character - that's why she loves me." The list goes on...

Let's reverse the question. Think about when you were absolutely in love with a woman - not just hot for her. "Did you just love her for her big tits?" "Her cute nose?" "Her skin color?" "Her intelligence?" In all likelihood, while you might be able to make a list of characteristics you like about her, you cannot explain why you love her. It is a mystery - just as mysterious as how we are able to fall out of love with someone.

A woman would be a fool to involve herself with a man without a job or money (though some do), but that doesn't mean she only loves you for your money.

That said a wise man will evaluate why a woman is with him, but a foolish man throws away a good woman because of is fear of why she loves him.

Or more simply, my wife says, "Money is important, but I would never marry a man I did not love."


No, what I'm saying is, it's not a mystery, based on extensive research. I firmly believe what your wife said - she could never marry a man she did not love. The question is: could she fall in love with a man who was not financially secure? You're doing well in life, Davewe, and have a good job and you earn a good living. You're intelligent, which certainly directly relates to your earning abilities. You're also older than your wife. Bingo - that's the formula right there. It's not bad that women like guys who have money (or have the potential to earn money), it's just how it is and always has been.

Now, what do men like? A woman with an excellent hip to waist ratio. So in answer to that question, when I've been in love, it probably has had something to do with her tits and ass. Lord Robert Winston writes well on this subject in his book "Human Instinct" (from his TV series). He writes: "Men the world over choose mates whose hip measurements are much bigger than their waistlines. The preferred waist-to-hip ratio appears to remain the same, at 0.7. this ratio remains constant for Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren as well as Audrey Hepburn and Kate Moss."

I love Audrey Hepburn. Roman Holiday is such a lovely movie.
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Postby davewe » April 8th, 2014, 4:53 pm

Rich wrote:
davewe wrote:
Rich wrote:
Seduction Sebi wrote:Please don't make the same mistake so many guys did before you and finance a girl who is together with other guys while you are abroad and who just uses you as a cash machine. Try to find a girl who doesn't want your money and who is into you for who you are. Against the opinion of many feminists those girls really exist in the Philippines.


Thanks Sebi but I'm not intending to send her any money. But just to be clear, all women want our money, regardless of whether they come from the PI or Sweden. Cross cultural studies show that women want men who have money, are intelligent and are older than them - in that order. Maybe the odd girl will be into you "for who you are" as you put it but apart from very rare exceptions, it really is a case of "no cash, no gash" or as they say in the PI and other countries, "no money, no honey". It took me years to get this but I get it now.


Why is it an either/or thing?

People have been postulating on and writing about love since civilization began and I don't think anyone's gotten it 100% right for all people.

There are the guys who think, "I am young, good looking and have a big Johnson - that's why she loves me."

There's the "I have money, power and fame - that's why she loves me."

There's the "I am smart and have great character - that's why she loves me." The list goes on...

Let's reverse the question. Think about when you were absolutely in love with a woman - not just hot for her. "Did you just love her for her big breasts?" "Her cute nose?" "Her skin color?" "Her intelligence?" In all likelihood, while you might be able to make a list of characteristics you like about her, you cannot explain why you love her. It is a mystery - just as mysterious as how we are able to fall out of love with someone.

A woman would be a fool to involve herself with a man without a job or money (though some do), but that doesn't mean she only loves you for your money.

That said a wise man will evaluate why a woman is with him, but a foolish man throws away a good woman because of is fear of why she loves him.

Or more simply, my wife says, "Money is important, but I would never marry a man I did not love."


No, what I'm saying is, it's not a mystery, based on extensive research. I firmly believe what your wife said - she could never marry a man she did not love. The question is: could she fall in love with a man who was not financially secure? You're doing well in life, Davewe, and have a good job and you earn a good living. You're intelligent, which certainly directly relates to your earning abilities. You're also older than your wife. Bingo - that's the formula right there. It's not bad that women like guys who have money (or have the potential to earn money), it's just how it is and always has been.

Now, what do men like? A woman with an excellent hip to waist ratio. So in answer to that question, when I've been in love, it probably has had something to do with her breasts and a**. Lord Robert Winston writes well on this subject in his book "Human Instinct" (from his TV series). He writes: "Men the world over choose mates whose hip measurements are much bigger than their waistlines. The preferred waist-to-hip ratio appears to remain the same, at 0.7. this ratio remains constant for Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren as well as Audrey Hepburn and Kate Moss."

I love Audrey Hepburn. Roman Holiday is such a lovely movie.


Totally agree. Hell I still think Sophia is beautiful!
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Postby Winston » August 22nd, 2014, 5:52 am

If anyone wants to know about cost of living in the Philippines, listen to these interviews with Larry Elterman by Steve Hoca. They are very informative.

Part 1
http://www.happierabroad.com/podcasts/Larry_Elterman_Interview.mp3

Part 2
http://www.happierabroad.com/podcasts/Larry_Elterman_Interview2.mp3

To get Larry Elterman's guide to life and love in the Philippines:

http://www.happierabroad.com/ebooks.php#philippinesguide
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