What do foreigners think of the Filipinos?

Current emigration to the Philippines - information on immigration

The country and its immigrants

Vigan Calle Crisologo © wikimedia / Simon Burchell

In 2019, 528 Germans officially emigrated to this Southeast Asian island nation (archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean). The archipelago of the Philippine Republic consists of more than 7,000 islands (about 880 inhabited). 610 Germans returned to their homeland from the Philippines in 2019. Within the 10 years from 2008 to 2017, 5,346 Germans officially emigrated to the Philippines and 5,570 moved back to Germany.

The Philippines are a country of emigration. Around 5.7 million people emigrated in 2017 alone. Nevertheless, some islands are among the most densely populated areas in the world due to their high birth rates. There is a very colorful mix of many ethnic groups. There is a strong economic contrast between a small, rich upper class and the broad majority of the population. The Philippines is one of the few countries where divorce is prohibited.

Filipino (based on Tagalog) is the official language of the Philippines and is spoken by about 80% of the population. English is an important second language for more than 50% of Filipinos, followed by Spanish. In addition, around 170 other languages ​​are spoken on the islands. Cebuano is mainly spoken in the south (central Visaya and in the north and west of Mindanao). Another important regional language is Iloko.

The climate in this fifth largest island state in the world is characterized by its proximity to the sea. No place on the total of 7,641 islands is further than 200 km from the coast. The climate can be described as mostly tropical and in the higher regions of the mountains as subtropical. In the cold seasons, there is even occasional snow on Mount Pulag.

Climate and rain © Wikimedia / Howard the Duck

The northern and eastern parts of the archipelago are regularly hit by typhoons, some of which are violent, from July to September. In the other parts of the archipelago, tropical storms occur all year round, some of which bring large amounts of rain. There will be the following four regional climate types differentiated:

  • Type Ⅰ (BLUE): Two seasons, dry from November to April and humid the rest of the year.
  • Type Ⅱ (GREEN): No drying time. Heavy rains from November to January.
  • Type Ⅲ (RED): Seasons not very pronounced. November to April relatively dry, humid the rest of the year.
  • Type Ⅳ (YELLOW): The precipitation is more or less evenly distributed over the whole year.

In the Philippines there are over 5,000 different animal species (e.g. water buffalo, parrots, flying squirrels, dolphins, crocodiles, snakes, tarsier, manabo, turtles, lizards) as well as around 14,000 different plants, most of them in the rainforest. Beautiful coral reefs attract divers.

Travel and Immigration

Changed travel regulations during and after the corona pandemic

Until further notice, foreigners are prohibited from entering the Philippines. Filipino entry visas that have been issued have been declared invalid; new visas are currently not being issued. Exceptions apply from May 1, 2021 exclusively for aircraft and ship crews, for family members (spouses, children, parents) of Filipino nationals, for diplomats and members of international organizations who are accredited in the Philippines, as well as for foreigners who are already in possession of individuals Long-term visa categories, especially different categories of business visas.

Travelers are subject to a 14-day quarantine obligation after entry, during which a PCR test must be carried out on the sixth day. All travelers, with the exception of diplomats and members of international organizations, must present a booking for an accredited quarantine facility for at least 7 days. Diplomats and members of international organizations must present a negative PCR test that is not older than 72 hours upon entry.

Source: Federal Foreign Office on May 7th, 2021

General provisions for travel and residence (until the corona pandemic)

Entry permit

German tourists (including Austrians and Swiss) with a valid passport will be issued a visa free of charge for 30 days upon arrival. A valid return or onward flight ticket must be presented upon entry.


At the local immigration authority, the residence permit can be extended up to 1 year for a fee.

Tourist visa

Anyone planning to stay in the Philippines for more than 30 days must apply for a tourist visa (obtainable at the consulate or embassy). This entitles you to one Stay of 59 days.

  • One-time tourist visa Entry for 59 days - 27 euros
  • Tourist visa for multiple entries within 6 months - 54 Euro - (allows a stay of 6 months, which has to be interrupted every 59 days by a short-term departure. Or you can extend your 59-day visa for another 59 days at the immigration authorities)
  • Tourist visa for multiple entries within one year - 81 Euro - (allows a stay of one year, which has to be interrupted every 59 days by a short-term departure. Or you can extend your 59-day visa for another 59 days at the immigration authorities. You can enter and leave as often as you like.)

Permanent visa for pensioners - SRRV (Special Retiree Resident Visa)

Retirees without a pension must deposit an amount of money in a fixed deposit account in the Philippines.

  • Retirees aged 35 to 49 - US $ 50,000
  • Retirees over 50 years of age - US $ 20,000

Monthly retirees must have earnings of at least US $ 800 per month. For married couples, at least US $ 1,000 per month. In addition, US $ 10,000 must be deposited in a fixed deposit account in the Philippines.

Long-term stay with a tourist visa

This visa entitles you to a 36 month stay. During this time you have to inform the authorities of the reason for the longer stay.

Would you like to speak the language of your new home quickly?

Work - job offer

German speaking jobs for emigrants, who can also be exercised in the Philippines, is available on the portal Osourced. Native speakers in particular are in great demand. The employers come mainly from Germany and DACH. The wages are usually below the German level but above the local level in the Philippines. Emigrants with German language skills benefit from a locally above-average wage with low cost of living at the same time (geo-arbitrage). Tip: Emigrants can still apply for a job in Germany. With a job offer, emigrating is much easier.

If you want to work here, you should apply for the residence papers in advance from the Comission on Immigration and Deportation in Manila. However, a completely normal job is very difficult to find. It is also a low-wage country.

Only foreigners who are legally married to a Filipina can get a work permit. For everyone else, there is only the option of a large international company or self-employment. However, the high minimum investment is only feasible for a few.

One possibility is to work as a German-speaking diving instructor if you can show a license. You have a good chance here. Beware of other, sometimes fraudulent, job offers (e.g. craftsmen) or job placement! With good ones English skills or something Filipino one gets along well in the country.

Due to the lockdown in the corona pandemic, unemployment has risen to 17.7 percent. A year ago the unemployment rate was 5.1 percent. Many employment relationships are informal and underemployment is widespread. Around a quarter of all workers work in agriculture, around 18% in industry and 56% in the service sector.

Homeschooling, homeschooling, free learning

An increasingly popular alternative to normal school attendance is homeschooling (home tuition or home tuition) or free learning (unschooling). Home schooling is legal in the Philippines, but we do not know any further details.

One option is the kids Teach at home in German through the Wilhelm von Humboldt Online Private School allow. As a result, children can be taught by teachers accredited in Germany according to the German curriculum and thus prepared for secondary school leaving certificate and Abitur - Info HERE.

Health insurance - safe, inexpensive, flexible

If you have your Health insurance abroad would like to take out as long as you still live in Germany, then you can use the cheapest option (from € 28.90) for terms up to 5 years use - it is called PROTRIP - information here. After this Completion of PROTRIP You will then receive your insurance confirmation as well as all other documents that you need for consulates and authorities.

PROTRIP international health insurance with individual tariff options and the option of booking an additional insurance package consisting of accident, liability and assistance insurance.

Do you already live abroad? or want one International health insurance with an unlimited term, then, depending on your situation and needs, 3 other insurances will come for you BDAE in question - Info here. These are the highest quality coverage for your stay abroad as a single or family, whether temporary or permanent.

BDAE - for more than 20 years a reliable partner for stays abroad with flexible foreign health insurance as well as worldwide legal protection, unemployment, accident and liability insurance.

Cost of living

With around 600 euros a month, you can make ends meet fairly well, but only if you rent a cheap apartment that doesn't meet Central European standards.

You would need around € 2,372.91 in Manila to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,700.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Manila are 39.64% lower than in Berlin (excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices in Manila are 35.87% lower than in Berlin (including rent)
  • Rental prices in Manila are 27.41% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Manila are 58.51% lower than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Manila are 30.33% lower than in Berlin
  • The local purchasing power in Manila is 79.56% lower than in Berlin

Average Cost of Living in Manila (from 09/2019 - 08/2020) Source: numbeo.com

restaurantØ € price
€ Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant3,111,73 – 6,04
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people.17,268,63 – 34,53
Local beer, 0.5 l1,210,69 – 2,07
Imported beer, 0.33 l2,24
1,29 – 3,45
cappuccino2,281,04 – 3,11
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l)0,620,43 – 1,04
Water (0.33 l)0,360,26 – 0,60
FoodØ € price€ Price from / to
Milk (1 L)1,501,21 – 2,07
White bread (500g)1,080,86 – 1,73
Rice (white), (1kg)0,930,78 – 1,21
Eggs (12)1,62
0,84 – 2,07
Local cheese (1kg)4,951,86 – 13,81
Chicken breast fillet (1kg)3,201,86 – 4,32
Beef (1kg) or other red meat5,203,45 – 7,77
Apples (1kg)2,211,04 – 3,45
Bananas (1kg)1,330,69 – 2,07
Oranges (1kg)2,030,86 – 3,45
Tomatoes (1kg)1,320,52 – 2,07
Potatoes (1kg)1,570,86 – 1,90
Onions (1kg)1,660,69 – 2,76
Lettuce (1 head)1,470,52 – 2,24
Water (1.5 l)0,68
0,43 – 1,04
Bottle of wine (middle class)6,914,32 – 10,36
Local beer (0.5 l)0,980,60 – 1,31
Imported beer (0.33 l)1,661,12 – 2,59

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Manila (from 09/2019 - 08/2020) Source: numbeo.com

Mode of TransportØ € price€ Price from / to
One-time ticket0,350,17 – 0,52
Monthly pass11,477,77 – 17,95
Taxi base amount0,690,69 – 0,86
Taxi 1 km0,230,14 – 0,35
Ancillary housing costsØ € price€ Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc.114,3769,05 – 205,43
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff0,130,09 – 0,14
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL)44,9529,35 – 60,42
Clothes, shoes
Ø € price€ Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)41,0520,72 – 69,04
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,...27,6613,81 – 43,16
Nike sports shoes, middle class76,1151,79 – 108,76
Leather business shoes77,0734,53 – 103,58
Ø € price€ Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult44,0617,26 – 60,42
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends6,043,45 – 7,77
a movie ticket5,184,32 – 8,63
Ø € price€ Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child170,5786,32 – 345,27
International primary school per year and child7.337,233.452,68 – 17.608,65

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Manila (from 09/2019 - 08/2020) Source: numbeo.com

Monthly rental priceØ € price€ Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center537,13379,79 – 1.035,80
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center238,81146,74 – 431,58
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center1.891,121.035,80 – 2.589,51
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center554,25345,27 – 1.122,12
Purchase price of apartmentsØ € price€ Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city - purchase2,785.861,726.34 – 3,797.94
Price per square meter - apartment outside the center - purchase1,737.131,035.80 – 2,718.78
wagesØ € price€ Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes)361.32

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Translation of the documents

With Lingoking you can have all your documents translated quickly and cheaply into the local language (or vice versa). If you use the following link or banner and the discount code "Emigrate“You will also receive a for all translations 5 percent discount: Lingoking.com

Emigration and Living in the Philippines - Conclusion

Those who have sufficient capital and can tolerate the climate can live here very well and cheaply. If you are looking for a job, you hardly have a chance, unless you are married to a local or are a certified diving instructor. In some regions there is a danger of attacks by Islamist terrorists. Some advantages of the country: nuclear-free, cost of living cheap (LHK-I 56.6).

The Foreign Office has the following warning released:
For the whole Mindanao Island applies until at least the end of 2019 Martial law. This measure includes, among other things, curfews, military checkpoints and the suspension of certain civil rights, e.g. the right to immediate judicial review of detainees.
In view of the security situation and the acute risk of kidnapping warned against traveling to the following regions or areas:
Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX), Northern Mindanao (Region X), Davao Region (Region XI), including Samal Island, but with the exception of Davao City, Soccsksargen (Region XII), Muslim Mindanao Autonomous Region (ARMM) with the Sulu -Archipelago, i.e. the islands between Mindanao and East Malaysia (such as Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan), Sulu Lake, South Palawan (south of Puerto Princesa).

English language courses

Among the multitude of language courses, I recommend multimedia language courses because you learn very quickly with this method. The link below provides you with a professional language course with which you learn Filipino or English easily and quickly can:

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