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?
This is based on Davao City and quite up to date, as I have been there only a few weeks ago (Dec 2012).
1) The vast majority of properties rented to Filipinos aren't of a standard and quality a foreigner would easily adapt and live in. Many of those properties don't even have air conditioning. Townhouses are usually 2, 3 or more bedroom and probably too big for a single foreigner wanting to spend a few months in the Phils. The best bet for "one of us" is a studio or 1 bedroom in a condo, which would be anything between $100 and $250. Davao is a very nice and safe city, it is only a pleasure to live in a relatively central area (like Poblacion, Bacaca or some parts of Buhangin) or a well-served peripheral one (like Matina or Ecoland). A excellent site for rented properties is http://www.ayosdito.ph
. Do yourself a favour and take the time to browse through local offerings, as properties listed in specialised expat sites and forums have a massive premiums charged by the middle man du jour
2) Define "average food". I can see some people here have wildly different opinions of Filipino food. Perhaps they sticked to those seedy restaurants in Angeles City or Manila, where they administer US fast food quality stuff, or worse. Again, my experience in Davao City is one where the food was absolutely delicious and, at least by my standards, as cheap as it gets. How can anyone say Filipino food sucks if one can have an excellent kinilaw (sliced cucumber and ginger and lots of lemon marinated tuna/grouper sashimi) for less than 100 PHP ($2)?? Or a gorgeous charcoal grilled 500g squid for about 200 PHP ($4)? If I were to live in Davao I would eat at a grill or restaurant at least once a day, and I wouldn't pay more than 300 PHP per day. So 300 * 30 = 9000 PHP, or $200. If one wanted to stick to home cooking or simply live on garlic rice and chop suey vegetables with the odd chicken/pork adobo, I am sure they could easily cut that figure to a third, so 3000 PHP or $70.
3-4) Water and electricity are, at least in Davao, more expensive than Europe compared to average wages. Electricity consumption massively depends on how long you leave your air con unit on during the day. Based on a 4 to 6 hours of air con a day, I would say essential bills shouldn't exceed 2000 PHP ($50) a month.
5) I couldn't tell, as I had a top-up micro SIM from SMART, the mobile network owned by Philippines' larger telecoms provider PLDTC. http://store.smart.com.ph/st/catalog/52/
If you're planning to use your mobile a lot, there are popular plans that include unlimited calls & texts to SMART numbers or even all networks for a fixed daily fee, usually between 20 and 50 PHP. So let's assume it's 30 PHP * 30 = 900 PHP, or $20.
6) This varies a lot. One expat guy I met had a popular solution called SMARTBro, a USB key that offers fast 3G Internet. This looks like a nice synopsis: http://www1.smart.com.ph/bro/products/
I was told the standard domestic broadband packages cost about 2000 PHP a month for a 1 or 2 Mbit, up to 10000 PHP for 12 or 24 Mbit. Not all areas in the Philippines are covered by fast broadband services, even some in metro Davao.
7) Taxis in Davao are quite cheap, from a minimum of 40 PHP ($1) to 150 PHP ($3.5) to cross the city side to side. The fares can add up to quite a lot if you use them multiple times a day. If you don't have any urgency and you're only running through the main roads, a jeepney is a lot cheaper, usually 10/15 PHP, but will easily get stuck in traffic and takes ages just to churn a couple of miles.