Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is located on the east shore of Manila Bay. Manila is home to extensive commerce and some of the most historically and culturally significant landmarks in its country. In 2012, Manila was listed as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.


Intro to living in Manila:

Filipino people are known to be inviting and friendly and weigh a strong importance of spending time with their families and friends. Filipinos are also well-known for their open personalities and caring nature. There are many beautiful islands of the Philippines waiting to be explored. Manila is also a great place to have diving excursions. Whether you are in the mood for a beautiful nature hike or visiting the SM Mall of Asia, one of the biggest shopping centers in the world, you will never run out of ideas on what to do next. Not only can you enjoy the beautiful view of this city, but Manila’s location also makes it convenient to travel to other nearby countries.

Manila is also a major hub for cultural events and home to many museums and cathedrals. The Philippines celebrate Noche Buena, the equivalent of Western Christmas Eve, which involves abundances of food and mingling with family, friends and neighbors. Furthermore, Manila Day is celebrated annually on June 24 as each district throws its own fiesta.

The Philippines is known for its delicious food and its sweet desserts. One of the Philippine’s most famous dishes is Lumpia, or fried spring rolls made with meat or vegetables. The most well-known Filipino dessert is called Halo-Halo, which directly translates into “Mix Mix”. Halo-Halo is a combination of shaved ice mixed with a variety of sweet treats, commonly placed in a tall glass. With Manila’s hospitable nationals, unforgettable events and varieties of savory food, you would have no trouble living a fun-filled life that embraces the Filipino culture while also the ease of living in a primarily English speaking city.

Cost of living in Manila, Philippines

Lunchtime menu in the business district Php230
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) Php160
1/2 Kg (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast Php96
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk Php79
12 eggs, large Php83
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes Php58
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese Php160
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples Php142
2 kg (4,5 lb.) of potatoes Php120
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket Php41
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality Php404
2 liters of Coca-Cola Php64
Bread for 2 people for 1 day Php46
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area Php54,912
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 2 people in 85m2 flat Php4,831
Internet 8MB (1 month) Php2,418
40” flat screen TV Php29,457
Microwave, known brand, 800/900 Watt Php4,824
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) Php256
Hourly rate for cleaning help Php234
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) Php2,405
1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M, …) Php1,523
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or similar) Php3,719
 1 pair of leather business shoes Php3,229
Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 140 CV 6 vel. (or equivalent), with no extras, new Php1,018,390
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas Php44
Monthly ticket public transport Php779
Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 Km. (5 miles) Php412
Personal Care
Medicine against cold for 6 days (Frenadol, Coldrex, …) Php172
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, …) Php233
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) Php147
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) Php184
4 rolls of toilet paper Php65
Tube of toothpaste Php89
Standard men’s haircut in expat area of the city Php277
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub Php1,011
2 tickets to the movies Php422
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) Php814
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant including wine and dessert Php1,343
1 cocktail drink in downtown club Php311
Cappuccino in expat area of the city Php139
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) Php50
iPod nano 16GB Php13,960
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) Php7
1 month of gym membership in business district Php2,565
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes Php62
These prices are based on abundant and consistent data. They are very reliable. They are based on 4,440 prices entered by 524 different people.

Latest price update: July 20, 2015.

Manila position in our World Ranking

  • the world 145th out of 199
  • Asia 9th out of 18

Resources: •  Internations •  Expat Exchange •  Manila Guide •  Expatistan