• Discussion Fanatics

    Pros of Living in Manila

    ✅ Affordable to live

    ✅ Warm now

    ✅ Warm all year round

    ✅ Good air quality on average

    ✅ Many Nomad List members have been

    ✅ Very easy to make friends

    ✅ Good hospitals

    ✅ Roads are pretty safe

    ✅ Democratic

    ✅ Everyone speaks English

    Cons of Living in Manila

    ❌ Freedom of speech is weak

    ❌ Not very safe

    ❌ Pretty slow internet

    ❌ Not much to do

    ❌ Very sweaty and humid now

    ❌ Nomad List members didn't like going here

    ❌ Not many Nomad List members right now

    ❌ Feels crowded

    ❌ Difficult to do business

    ❌ Quality of education is low

    ❌ Not safe for women

    ❌ Not family friendly

    ❌ Hostile towards LGBTQ+

    ❌ Many people smoke tobacco

  • Discussion Fanatics

    Not great not terrible. Lots of scammers and dirty streets, but also great and cheap food. Mobility isn't a highlight, but condos have a huge infraestructure and you can easily do everything you need (working, groceries, gym etc) without even put your feet outside. Never felt 100% safe, as some streets are really dark at night. Anyway it's a good choice considering value for money if you find a nice place, otherwise Bangkok is way better.

  • Discussion Fanatics

    Manila and the Philippines in general are an absolute horrible place to stay or live. The whole country looks like a slum. The food is horrible (mainly rice and burgers). Completely unhealthy. The air pollution is high. Fun level is absolute zero. Internet is bad. Accommodation is pricey for very low quality. Would never recommend this place to anyone. Go to Bali instead much better.

  • Discussion Fanatics

    Coming here from Bangkok was kind of a shock. Most areas are slum except for a few developed enclaves mainly around BGC. Due to the limited developed land area equivalent housing options are more expensive and less flexible than say Bangkok. Internet is horrible (walk around with phone in the air for signal bad), public transport hugely lacking, Grab rides sometimes take over an hour to book due to driver supply caps after reopening from COVID lockdowns, food options are limited and often unhealthy. Looking forward to going back to Bangkok and the more developed cities here in Asia. Maybe if you're into crazy adventures with third world style karaoke and other sketchy nightlife this is your place. Beaches could be nice for a few days -- I'm more into cities though. Not to completely trash this place, maybe with more research and local connections you're able to make your stay more enjoyable, but you shouldn't expect the convenience you'll get used to elsewhere.

  • Discussion Fanatics

    I find the score of LGBTQ and racial tolerance for this city to be highly inaccurate. Is this score more about perception? I find LGBTQ-friendliness in Manila to be higher than Bangkok or Taipei maybe even friendlier than other known cities such as London, Stockholm, Mexico City or Los Angeles. The hospitality culture makes it really friendly towards people of different race, too accomodating to a fault sometimes. Makati, BGC, Eastwood I've stayed in these areas for years and this is completely a first world bubble, so it is highly safe, walkable, livable and everything is just a walk's reach away as traffic can get extreme in Manila. Internet speed in cafes or public areas are quite slow or absent but the ones in your accomodation or hotel is fast. What I like about this city is like your living in 2 worlds, you can go to an area where it is 3rd world (you can find really budget items there), but at the same time you can go back to your first world gentrified bubble in Township areas such as McKinley Hills, BGC, Ortigas or Eastwood City. During weekends you can rent a car and go to mountains and beaches around Manila.

  • Discussion Fanatics

    If you stay in the area immediately around Greenbelt then it's great. There's a cafe called Antipodean that serves all day breakfasts with excellent bacon and eggs, I stay 2 mins walk from there. I've stayed at Gramercy Apartments in Poblacion in the past and that wasn't good. That area is not very walkable and not much nearby except for some trendy bars. Being close to Greenbelt means you have everything you need in the malls. Also, if you're a single guy, then it's a wonderful place for dating, especially if you have the courage to talk to locals that you see in day to day life. Greater challenges are around eating nutritiously. I think Filipino food is underrated for its deliciousness but it's definitely not healthy. To better understand the Greenbelt area, it's a series of Malls (Greenbelt, Ayala, Glorietta, and some other mall). Collectively there would have to be upwards of 200 restaurants, so I'm sure there's a healthy option in there somewhere, just need to find it. It's true that there's not a lot to do in the city outside of nightlife. And the infrastructure makes it a headache to get around. That's why I recommend staying in this part of town. In this part of Makati you can just walk everywhere. I've heard good things about BGC but have never visited.

  • Discussion Fanatics

    Really bad city to live and to visit unless you have money to live in BGC.

  • Discussion Fanatics

    Eastwood City hands down best places for nomads in Manila. Why? 50-100 mbps from Sky or PLDT. Closely guarded community where you can feel safe. Everything you could want is inside the community- condos for rent short or long term fully furnished over 100 restaurants (both fast food and fine dining and some american franchises too), 7 screen movie theater, bowling alley, billiards. Many unique shops that are centered around activities. Pet friendly. Also, has 2 grocery stores, at least a dozen convenience stores, barber shops, massage and day spas (you can even get a professional massage right in your room), laundromat. The mall has anything you might need to buy for your condo.

  • Discussion Fanatics

    Manila is an incredibly welcoming city and cheap to live. Accommodation in ultra luxurious condos is reasonable foot massage whilst tapping out emails (£7 per hour) makes working from here a no brainer. Agree living in the Greenbelt area is a no brainer. Vegetarian choices can be limited in some places but excellent (and so cheap!) Delivery services are available, including diet chef stuff which is unaffordable anywhere else. The streets feel safe inside Makati and the areas around greenbelt and I have never felt uneasy in good areas, which is not the same as London where you are constantly feeling at risk. Bureaucracy is tough in Manila though. Just chill, queue, take your laptop to keep you busy, and remember to be unstintingly polite - locals do not deal well with confrontation and you do well to empathise with them rather than get off by being "right" .

What is discussplaces?

DiscussPlaces is a place to make new friends and share your passions and interests. Quench your thirst for knowledge, discuss places with other aficionados, and swap recommendations. Are you an aspiring foodie who dreams of living in New York? Or perhaps you are looking for the best chicken wings in Cincinnati? Then this is the place for you! Any one can join in with a passion or interest – whether it be talking about their favorite restaurant in Barcelona or raving about their latest trip to Italy. Join us!

This page shows discussions around "Pros and Cons of Living in Manila, Philippines"


nomad list white check mark list members bangkok

Add a quick comment about your valuable suggestion to help us improve.

We are glad to make you happy, kindly share this feedback with your friends and family to know as well

Where is it?