Are you thinking about moving to the Philippines? After you arrive in the world’s second largest archipelago, your life is bound to change. This guide on the Philippines will provide you all the info you need to experience an exciting adventure, from how to get your visa to exploring the geography of the country.
Expats find the idea of moving to the Philippines appealing – who doesn’t want to live a laid-back, no-stress life under palm trees in a warm climate full of sunny days? The Philippines are the second largest archipelago in the world. Comprised of 7107 islands, this country is considered the hidden jewel of Southeast Asia.
The appeal of the Philippines is in the nation’s heritage and the diverse cultural influences. This is the ideal expat destination. When you set foot here, you will quickly become aware of the cultural diversity, nature, metropolitan areas and breathtaking landscapes that make this island country worth moving to.
Geography and how warm is it in the Philippines?
Located to the east of Vietnam, between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, the Philippines has a coastline of 36,289km. The predominant form of terrain is mountainous with large swaths of lowlands at the coast. The highest point in the country is Mount Apo, with 2,954m in height.
If you decide to move here, you will find a tropical marine climate throughout the year. The monsoon season lasts from November to April in the North-East and from May to October in the South-West. Be aware that if you move here, you will have plenty of storms, some more severe than others – the country is located in the typhoon belt and this means that the island nation experiences up to 15 storms a year.
Another thing you should be aware of is that landslides, volcanic eruptions, earth-quakes and tsunamis are more common than other areas.
The capital of expats – Manila
We wouldn’t do justice to the Philippines if we didn’t write about Manila, the country’s capital and biggest city with a 11.45 million people. Besides being the seat of the Philippine government, this city is one of the largest centers of commerce, historic landmarks and scientific and educational institutions in Southeast Asia. Because of this, Manila is considered the biggest magnet for expats who are interested in moving here.
Manila is also an important location for import and export of goods as it has one of the busiest sea ports around the globe. Adding to this, industrial developments are a common sight as new business areas are created every day. At the moment, the commercial center of Manila is Makati.
Even though the capital doesn’t have a definite city center, this doesn’t stop tourists from pouring in to take in the sights. The bustle and growth of the metropolis is never ending – a landmark of the Filipino urban culture.
Economy of the Philippines
If you plan on moving to the Philippines you will be glad to hear that the economy of the country has experienced an impressive growth in the last decades. Since the country does not rely on exports and international securities, the recession was not as badly felt as it was in its other neighboring countries of South-East Asia. Around 40 million people make up the labor force, with 32% of the population being employed in agriculture. The services sector which makes up 53% of the work force are the most likely places where an expat can find work.
Despite having a strong economy, the country suffers from high rates of poverty. It may seems surprising to an expat but despite a high GDP and a well-performing economy, the nation is faced with a large national debt. Its economy depends heavily on remittances, or money sent home by overseas workers. Another factor that affects this equation is the soaring birth rate, which some experts predict could double in the next three years.
These are some of the main things you should know about the country, should you decide to move here. The Philippines is a great country for any expat, especially if you speak English. Affordable prices, great sights, a bustling economy and a diverse culture make this island country a must see.