The Philippines—an archipelago of 7,107 islands—is a hotspot for tourists across the globe. People flock to the country to visit the beaches, swim with the whales, and eat all the amazing Filipino food the country has to offer.
The Pearl of the Orient is also an economic powerhouse. It is the outsourcing capital of the world and a home to many multinational company offices, attracting expats to build their homes in the country.
If you’re planning on moving to the Philippines, here are eight things that you should remember to make the most of your living experience in the country:
1. Talk to the locals
Wherever you are in the Philippines, the locals know the windings and turnings of the city best. It won’t hurt to make a good Filipino friend or two (or as many as you’d like). If you’re feeling a little anxious about meeting new people, don’t worry. Filipinos are one of the friendliest people in the world—talking to them should be a breeze.
2. Get to know the culture
It’s not enough to just walk around malls and sit for long hours in coffee shops. Immerse yourself in Filipino culture. Attend independent film festivals, watch local music performances, eat genuine Filipino cuisine, and visit heritage centers. There’s no other way to truly know a culture other than going out and experiencing it for yourself.
3. Learn the language
Although it’s common to hear Filipinos speak English fluently, learning the Filipino language is one way you can further dive into their culture.There are many Filipino colloquial terms that lack accurate English translations: papak (eating a main course without rice) or basta (an expression that could mean “enough” or a refusal to explain things in detail), just to name a few.
4. Familiarize yourself with public transport
In the Philippines, there are a myriad of ways you can get from point A to point B. You can take pedicabs, tricycles, trains, buses, and shuttles, all of which are highly accessible for getting around the city. If you’re staying in the province, learn to converse with bangka rowers and motorcycle drivers. In Metro Manila, acquaint yourself with all the LRT (1 and 2) and MRT stations. The options for commute systems in the Philippines can be intimidating, but familiarizing yourself with each one can get you where you want to go—fast.
5. Shop at ukay-ukays
An ukay-ukay is a Filipino’s colloquial term for a thrift store. Ukay-ukays have the same concept for charity and secondhand shops. They sell pre-owned clothes, used toys, and vintage furniture at a very low price. In the city, you can find one at almost every busy street so make sure you keep an eye out for them.
6. Buy food at the palengke
The palengke, or the Filipino’s version of a wet market, will be your best friend when you start cooking food in your own home. In the grocery, your choices are limited and, often, more expensive than in the wet market. The palengke has the freshest and cheapest selection of vegetables, fruits, and meat. You’ll have at least one palengke in every city so make sure to ask around for the nearest one.
7. Prepare for hot summers and rainy seasons
Many expats love the Philippines for the warm climate in the summer. But if you’re planning to live in the country, prepare for the wet season too. Summer usually ends around late May, welcoming the rainy weather. Wear your shorts and sandos (muscle tees) from March to May. Come June, bring out those rain boots.
8. Build your home in a peaceful neighborhood
Living in a condominium near work is convenient, but the noise of the city can add to your stress. After a long day at work, a home away from the hustle and bustle of the city life is just what you need.
At Dover Hill, both luxury and practicality meet to provide its residence with spacious townhome units in a lush compound. Dover Hill is at the center of education, entertainment, and commerce, giving you access to several establishments without compromising the comfort of a peaceful community.
Dover Hill was given the Outstanding Developer Award for NCR in the Residential Low Rise Category of the 2017 Property and Real Estate Excellence Awards. INQUIRER.net/KT