More and more Aussie expats are discovering the hidden gem that is the Philippines…and the fact that you can live a wonderful life in this stunning archipelago on almost any budget. Take your pick from bustling modern cities, popular beach towns, quaint villages or cooler hamlets nestled in the mountains—and enjoy what this expat haven has to offer from as little as $1,000 a month….
Temperatures in the Philippines average 27 C so if you’re looking for something cooler, there are options. Tagaytay, located in the mountains of the Cavite province only 59 kilometres south of the capital, Manila, sits at 609 metres above sea level, meaning cooler temperatures and the perfect climate for farmers. You can get fantastic local produce here and the city’s eateries take great advantage too—local spot Antonio’s was recently voted one of the top restaurants in Asia.
Higher (1,524 metres above sea level) and cooler still is the city of Baguio. Temperatures here rarely reach above the mid-20s C. It’s also where the president goes in the summer to escape the heat.
Both Tagaytay and Baguio are within a few hours’ drive to crystal clear beaches, making weekend getaways an option.
Modern City Living
If you want to live in luxury in the heart of a bustling, dynamic city, there are plenty to choose from.
Cebu City is one of the largest cities in the Philippines, but it’s a very livable place—and friendly to boot.
It’s the oldest city in the Philippines but it’s also modern and vibrant with high-end boutiques, glittering skyscrapers and international grocery stores—Italian salami…French cheese…Australian wine—getting your hands on your favourite foods here won’t be a problem.
Palawan and Boracay islands are famed for their beaches the world over, but thankfully they’re still affordable destinations. The scuba diving and snorkelling is incredible here—and the magnificently colorful underwater world of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is said to rival even the Great Barrier Reef. There are also spots where you can swim with whale sharks.
There’s no doubt about it, if you’re into adventure, wildlife and bright blue oceans, the Philippines could well be the slice of paradise you’ve been dreaming of. Each island has its own distinct flavour and one of the best things about retiring here is that you can spend your days exploring them. If you want it, it can be found somewhere in the Philippines. It feels very much like home in a lot of ways—just at a fraction of the cost.