Prices have gone up so living in the center is not that cheap anymore. Another thing: low-quality tourism has grown uncontrollably in the past few years due to lack of planning from the City, becoming a true nuisance for locals, especially in downtown. The city feels overcrowded and noisy, too much for its size and population--yes, it is a big village, not a buzzing city. Other than that, the weather is generally quite good, and although public transportation is bad, you can move around pretty easily. Not and "absolute gem" by any means (architecture is horrible other than in the center), but livable.
Pros and Cons of Living in Manila, Philippines
happykoala400 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
Pros of Living in Manila
Affordable to live
Warm all year round
Good air quality on average
Many Nomad List members have been
Very easy to make friends
Roads are pretty safe
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
Difficult to do business
Quality of education is low
Not safe for women
Not family friendly
Hostile towards LGBTQ+
Many people smoke tobacco
happyleopard410 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
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.
goldenkoala386 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
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.
blackbutterfly667 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
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.
happyostrich128 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
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.
yellowduck771 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
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.
tinypeacock763 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
Really bad city to live and to visit unless you have money to live in BGC.
blackelephant230 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
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.
purplerabbit549 Discussion Fanatics last edited by
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" .
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