Cost of Living in the Philippines
Updated: 2022-07-08T02:15:37Z
minute read


Conventional wisdom dictates that living in the province is more efficient (expense-wise) compared to living in urban areas. They were right about that, but…


Cost of Living in the Philippines
"people-standing-on-wooden-dock" by Quang Nguyen Vinh is licensed under CC0



    There are exceptions.


    Many factors can affect your decision to relocate to the province. This is especially true if you are used to the convenience offered by the city.


    My wife and I worked for 10 years in Manila. That time was more than enough to get used to the upsides of living there.


    It was also enough to feel the impact of its loss when we decided to go back to our province and live in a 3rd class component city in Surigao del Sur.


    The statement above is actually ironic, given that we grew up in that very same place.



    How Much Do I Need to Live Comfortably in the Philippines


    An article published by laid out the annual income satiation of each country, where the Philippines is clocked at Php1.3 million.


    For a Filipino to be satisfied, income wise, he/she needs around Php108K/month.


    Read Full Article Here: Measuring Happiness - The 5 Stages of Happiness



    Low Cost of Living in the Philippines


    I've pulled some data from to compare the expenses of cities close to Surigao del Sur.


    Cost of Living in Manila VS Cost of Living in Davao


    Cost of Living Comparison Manila vs Davao


    Cost of Living in Davao VS Cost of Living in Butuan


    Cost of Living Comparison Davao vs Butuan



    Cost of Living in Rural Philippines


    The city where we reside doesn't have any data to be registered on the numbeo website.


    But I can attest that the expenses of most items are similar to Butuan and/or Davao. In fact, some items are more expensive compared to these cities due to logistics.


    Both cities are the closest to ours, but it will still take 6-7 hours via bus to travel there.


    Below are some of the pros and cons I've observed after living here for more than a month.




    • The air is free from pollutants emitted by industrial companies. There are no fossil fuel-driven industries here (for now).
    • In the place where we reside, key stores are in close proximity. It only takes around 5 minutes to walk from our home to the wet market.
    • Even though our place suffers from logistic issues, the prices of basic food items like veggies, fruits, meats, and fishes are relatively low.
    Lakatan banana (Php25 per kilo)


    Disadvantages (Sort of)


    • Not all items are available. One such item is brown rice. I've searched most stores, but they only sell black and red rice.
    • If you read my previous article, you already know we have a pet cat. Unfortunately, the specific canned cat food we want (the cheapest one) is not available.
    • The electric and water supply are kinda uncertain. Blackouts and water supply cut-offs are frequent here.
    • Even though the cost of basic food items are low, the wages here are also low. Given that other items rises across the board, like the fuel price. The ones earning below the set minimum wage takes the hit.


    The first two disadvantages are more of a personal aspect than a general one, which can obviously be solved by either traveling to Davao/Butuan or ordering the items online.



    Is Living in the Province for You?


    If you are single, the decision totally depends on you. However, if you have a family, it is a team decision.

    Relocating is even more difficult if you have children that are already in school and have friends there. You need to consider their well-being too.


    Here Are Some Questions to Ponder before Making a Decision


    1. In the possibility of losing your job because of relocation, are you ready to accept an earning that is less than what you are earning now?
    2. Your current job type may not even be available in the province. Do you have another set of skills or a business idea that can generate an income ?
    3. Concerning the above items, do you have any buffer funds to weather the storm?
    4. Are you ready to face major lifestyle changes like the nightlife?
    5. Did you and your partner (if you have one) mutually decide?
    6. Is the decision to relocate even align with your future plans?


    Pray vigorously until the answer comes.



    Closing Thoughts


    Let us be honest, one major reason why many countryside settlers want to go to major cities is the job opportunity.


    Who does not want to earn a high income?


    This was one of the reasons why we set out years ago.


    But now that the pandemic opened the possibility of remote work, it is possible to earn a city-rate income while still living in the province.




    What you should do today


    Are you planning to relocate to the province? What are your doubts and apprehensions? Share your perspective in the comments below.


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    "Happiness is a place between too little and too much."
    - The Introvert's Perspective by ÆlfRæd (ElfCounsel)
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