• Manila
  • National language of the Philippines is Filipino (Tagalog) and English, which is widely spoken by the population.

  • Population of the Philippines is approximately over 105.72 million. Approximately 11.5 million reside in Manila, the country's capital

  • The culture is predominantly Christian Malay. Approximately 80% of the population are Catholics.

  • Typical expatriate cities in Metro Manila are Makati City, Ayala Alabang (Muntinlupa City), and the Ortigas Center in Quezon City

  • Housing: Typical foreign housing areas in Makati City are Forbes Park and Dasmarinas Village; Greenhills, Greenmeadows and Corinthian Gardens in Quezon City; and Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City. There is a minimum guaranteed lease period of 1 year (most landlords prefer a 2-year lease), with the rental paid 12 months in advance, plus 2 months’ rent as a security deposit. This deposit is refundable at the end of the lease term. Expatriate rentals are quoted in the local currency of the Philippine Peso. Aside from hotels, temporary accommodations such as serviced apartments are available

  • Schools: The more popular schools for foreign children are The International School Manila (, Brent International School ( and The British School Manila ( Other schools catering to different nationalities are the Japanese School, Deutsche Schule, and Ecole Francaise de Manila

  • Transportation: The transportation most foreigners use is private cars with drivers. It is not common for foreigners to drive themselves due to very congested road conditions and concern about road accidents. Taxi services are relatively good

  • Healthcare: The healthcare system foreigners use or foreign healthcare systems accepted by the top local hospitals, depending on the hospital, are International SOS, Blue Cross, Bupa International Insurance (London), Vanbredo Insurance (Belgium) and Ibero Asistencia (Guam). It is strongly advised that you consult your medical insurance company prior to travelling abroad to confirm whether your policy applies overseas

  • Work permits and visas: For an expatriate to work here, the foreign immigration policy requires a 9G Work Visa, an Alien Employment Permit (AEP), an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) and multiple Exit / Re-entry Certificates. Since the process takes 4 to 6 months, a temporary Provisional Permit to Work (PPW) can be secured, pending approval of the 9G Work Visa

  • Banking and currency: Banking systems are of international standards, with each bank having different deposit requirements, from a low of PHP25,000 to a high of USD50,000. A copy of the individual's Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) is required. The local currency is Philippine Peso (PHP)

• Is it safe?
The city of Manila is a safe and fun place, and like any other city in the world, visitors can enjoy it more if they take common sense precautions to ensure their safe and comfortable stay here.

• Additional tips:
While in the hotel, do not let strangers into your room. If you must leave valuables in the room, keep them in a place not easily visible. In public areas never leave your purse, bag or valuables unattended. Do not carry large amounts of cash or wear expensive jewelry. Do not accept invitations from a friendly stranger. Beware of people who "accidentally" bump into you, they may be pickpockets. Do not go out alone too late in the evening (11pm). Be wary of persons posing as policemen and always be aware of your surroundings.

Should you feel unsafe for any reason, simply approach any of the security personnel at the malls or hotels and they will assist you.

• Is tap water safe to drink?
Per the Philippines National Water Works and Sewerage Agency (NAWASA), water in Metro Manila
is safe and potable. However, we strongly advise travellers and expatriates to drink only
bottled water.

• Can the trailing spouse work?
Yes, but they must apply for a working visa.