11 Best Places to Live in the Philippines

Last Updated – Apr 5, 2022 @ 4:46 pm

Home to over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is blessed with amazing provinces and cities – all of which can serve as your new home.

If you are planning to move to another place, you may be wondering what will best suit your needs, budget, and lifestyle. The good news is you are not the only one who’s asking this question.

Leaving your home to move into a new and unfamiliar face is never easy. This is not only physically taxing, but also mentally and financially as well.

To make this easier, here’s a guide to the best places to live in the country.

7 Factors to Consider When Deciding Which City or Province Is Best for You

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding which place is best for you. Here’s a list of things you should consider as you weigh your options of where to move.

Cost of Living

Your finances should always be on top of the list as you decide where to move. Keep in mind that you need to cover the initial cost of moving, such as paying for the removals and hiring movers.

Apart from that, you also need to take a look at the cost of basic things like rent, food, and utilities, but also the more hidden and less obvious costs like transportation, gas, car repair, and emergency medical expenses, among many others.

Job Opportunities

Wherever you decide to move, keep in mind that jobs are very important factors to consider.

Looking for a job takes time and effort, so you need to make sure that you will have access to a good source of income.

If possible, take a look at job opportunities in the area you are considering moving to. You can do so by searching online job boards or asking around. If you work remotely, this is not a problem.

Safety

Safety should be one of your top priorities when choosing a place to live. No matter how good a place is, if you do not feel safe, you will not be able to fully enjoy your new home.

If you have kids, then safety is even more of a concern. You should take a look at the crime rate, peace and order, and social climate.

If you already have friends in the area, don’t be afraid to ask them about its safety.

Commute & transportation

You may not think it’s important, but the time you spend on your daily commute is wasted time.

If the place you are moving to would mean longer hours spent on the road, then you need to think twice.

If you don’t have a car, it’s important to look at the other modes of transportation in the area such as public transportation like jeepneys or tricycles, and taxi cabs.

If you plan on going back frequently to Manila for work or to visit family and friends, you should also consider the ease of travel.  

Related: How to Buy a Car in the Philippines

Proximity to relatives & friends

The people you care about most are your family and friends.

Choosing a place to live that’s near to your relatives or friends can help you feel more at home.

Weather & climate

Just like in any other country, the Philippines has a variety of different kinds of weather and climate.

If you have an extreme preference for a certain kind of weather and climate, consider those areas when looking for a place to live.

School system (if you have kids)

If you have a family, then finding a place to move to that has a good school system is very important. You want to ensure that your kids will have a better education in the place you will live.

Thankfully, the Philippines is home to a lot of good school systems with a top-notch education. 

Learn More: Tuition Fee Guide in the Philippines

Lifestyle

This is a very important and personal factor to consider. You need to make sure that the place you move to has the kind of lifestyle you want to have.

Do you want to live in an urban or a rural area? Do you want to live in the city or near the beach? Do you want to live near your family and friends or in a place you can call home?

These questions may seem trivial, but choosing a place that aligns with your lifestyle can help you adapt to your new home.

Recommended Reading: How to Invest in Real Estate in the Philippines


11 Best Places to Live in the Philippines

Now that you know about the factors you need to consider when choosing a place to live, here’s a list of the best places to live in the Philippines.

Davao City

If you are planning to move to Mindanao, then one of the best places to live in the region is Davao City.

Considered as the biggest city in the Philippines, Davao is a prime example of a place that has it all – from safety and security, to world-class hospitals, and top-notch education.

Image via SunStar

In terms of cost of living, Davao City is ranked as one of the most affordable places to live in the Philippines.

It has lower rent prices compared to other big cities, and the cost of groceries, utilities, and transportation is also low.

On top of that, Davao City is also home to the Philippine Eagle Foundation where visitors get to see the rare Philippine Eagle.

Some of its major landmarks include Ateneo de Davao University, Abreeza Mall, SM Lanang Premier, and People’s Park.

Why you should consider living here:

If you are looking for a place where you can find a balance between city life and nature, then Davao City is a good place to consider. 

Davao City is famous for having both islands and highlands.

While you get everything you need in a big city, it’s only a 15-minute barge ride away from Samal Island, which is home to picturesque beaches.

Love hiking? It’s only a couple of hours away from Mt. Apo.


Baguio City

If you are planning to move to Luzon, then Baguio City is one of the best places to settle.

It has a lot to offer – from being a commercial hub, to a city rich in history. The education system here is also highly acclaimed. 

Aside from education, Baguio City offers a lot of other things to do. It’s known as the summer capital of the Philippines, and it boasts a lot of interesting places to visit such as Camp John Hay and Mansion, Mines View Park, and the Igorot Village to name a few.

Why you should consider living here:

If you hate the heat, Baguio City is the perfect place to move to. It is also known for having cooler temperatures as compared to the rest of the country.  

It is also a good place if you are planning to move your family, as the city has many good schools and universities.


Tagaytay City

If you are planning to move somewhere in Luzon, then the quiet and peaceful city of Tagaytay is a good place to move in. It’s known for its scenic views, as well as other interesting places to visit. 

Aside from the cool mountain air and great weather, Tagaytay City also offers one of the best views of Taal Volcano, which is located nearby.

Image via TravelScripture

Tagaytay City is also very safe and peaceful, making it a great place to start a new chapter in your life.

Some of the most notable landmarks in Tagaytay include People’s Park in the Sky, Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria, and Breakfast in Antonio’s.

Why you should consider living here:

If you want to raise your quality of life without moving too far from Manila, this place is an amazing choice.


Cebu City

If you want to move to the Visayas, then Cebu City is one of the top choices.

It’s a bustling city that offers a lot of activities. Cebu City is popular for having easy access to white sand beaches, and is the best place to visit if you want to take a vacation.

Image via Zany Jadraque

Aside from that, it’s also one of the most visited destinations in the country because of its many shopping malls and entertainment areas.

This vibrant city is known for its warm and welcoming culture, making it great for anyone new in town. The city is also very safe and peaceful.

Aside from that, it offers a lot of things to do. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and it is home to Basilica del Sto Nino, Magellan’s Cross, and the Sugbo Mercado.

Why you should consider living here:

If you are looking for a city that’s close to the beach and has a lot of shopping areas, then Cebu City is a great place to move to.

It’s also a top choice for people who want a place where business and leisure can both be enjoyed.


Iloilo City

Iloilo City is one of the most underrated cities in the country. It is one of the biggest cities in the Visayas, and it’s also a major hub in the region.

If you are planning to move to the Visayas and would like to have a laid-back lifestyle while still having access to a great education and quality healthcare, this place is a perfect choice.

Image via Iloilo Today

Aside from education, Iloilo City is also known for offering a lot of exciting things to do and see. 

Some of its major landmarks include the Iloilo International Airport, Iloilo Convention Center, and the Iloilo Business Park.

Why you should consider living here:

Many people crave to have a quiet lifestyle that is free of traffic, pollution, and other problems that come with living in a big city.

With a growing population, it’s hard to find a place where you can simply relax and forget everything.

However, Iloilo City is one of the best places if you wish to have a peaceful life. Aside from that, it’s also a good choice if you want to lower your living expenses.


Santa Rosa, Laguna

If you are planning to move to a nearby province of Metro Manila, then Santa Rosa, Laguna is one of the best places to consider.

It’s not too far from the capital, and its location makes it a great option for those who want to experience the best of both worlds.

Santa Rosa is famous for its clean and unpolluted environment. On top of that, Santa Rosa offers a lot of things to do, making it a popular tourist attraction.

Some of its major tourist destinations include the Enchanted Kingdom, Museo de Sta Rosa, and Sta. Elena Golf & Country Club.

Related: Best Country Clubs in the Philippines

Why you should consider living here:

If you want to lessen the burden of your monthly expenses and you also want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila, then Santa Rosa is a good place to consider.

It offers a lot of things to see at an affordable price.


Makati City

It’s comes as no surprise that Makati City is one of the most expensive places to live in the Philippines. However, it’s still one of the best places to live in the country.

Makati City is known for its busy and vibrant lifestyle, making it a perfect choice for those who want to experience urban life.

Image via JC Gellidon

It offers a lot of exciting places to visit, making it a popular tourist destination for both foreigners and locals.

Some of its most notable tourist destinations include Greenbelt Mall Complex, Rustan’s Makati, and the Ayala Museum.

Why you should consider living here:

If you want to live in a place where you can afford to experience a luxurious lifestyle, then Makati City is one of the best places to move to.


Clark, Pampanga

Clark is a great place to move to if you want to live in a place that is safe, secure, and where you can enjoy a quiet and peaceful lifestyle.

The city is also very close to Manila, which makes it a great option for those who have friends and family in the capital city.

Image via Business Mirror

It’s one of the most sought-after destinations in Central Luzon, and it boasts a lot of interesting places to visit such as Angeles City and Subic Bay.

A lot of people consider it a good place to start a business because it has an industrial park and a lot of big companies are located around this area.

Why you should consider living here:

If you are a business person and are looking for a place that offers more opportunity, Clark, Pampanga is a good place to consider.

Here, it will be easier for you to find a job, and you will have a chance to network with important and influential people. 


Dumaguete City

Known as the “City of Gentle People,” Dumaguete offers a lot of interesting things to do such as nightlife, beaching, dolphin watching, and many more.

Aside from the breathtaking natural scenery and the friendly locals, Dumaguete City is one of the most peaceful cities in the country.

It’s one of the best places to live if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing place.

This place is considered one of the most visited destinations in the country, and it boasts a lot of interesting places to visit such as Rizal Boulevard, Silliman University, Apo Island, and Pulangbato Falls.

You’ll definitely not run out of things to do here.

Why you should consider living here:

If you’re looking for a place that’s close to the beach, has beautiful locations, and is an affordable place where you can enjoy a quiet and peaceful lifestyle, then Dumaguete City is a great place to call home.

This city is also a top choice for retirees, and families who want to put their kids in top-tier universities.


Bacolod City

If you want to move to the Visayas and would like to experience a lively city that offers a lot of exciting activities, then you should consider moving to Bacolod City.

Bacolod City is also known for its very friendly culture. Known as the “City of Smiles,” this place is an ideal choice for those who are looking for a place where they can feel welcomed and at home.

Image via Lamudi PH

This city is also known as one of the best homes for foodies in the Philippines, especially for Inasal and Cansi lovers.

If you love desserts, living in this city will get you an endless supply of Piaya, Half-moon Cakes, barquillos, and Biscocho.

Why you should consider living here:

Bacolod is a good place to live if you want to earn an income by starting a business. The city offers a lot of business opportunities, making it one of the top places to invest in.


Batangas City

Though it’s just an hour-and-a-half drive from Metro Manila, Batangas City feels like a world away from the capital.

If you need to go back to Manila often, this is also a great place to move to because of reliable and extensive road networks to make traveling easier.

Image via Barako PH

Despite having an urbanized area, moving to Batangas will allow you to have immediate access to beaches.

Batangas City is also famous for its pristine environment and stunning views. It offers a lot of interesting places to visit such as Calatagan and Nasugbu.

Why you should consider living here:

Want to make the most out of your money? That’s easy to do in Batangas.

This is the ultimate place to be for people who want to enjoy living in spacious homes that don’t cost much.

Aside from that, it is also a booming hub for national and international companies so it’s a good place to invest.

About MJ de Castro

MJ de Castro is the lead personal finance columnist at Grit PH.

MJ started her career as a writer for her local government’s City Information Office. Later on, she became a news anchor on PTV Davao del Norte.

Wanting to break free from the shackles of her 9-to-5 career to live by the beach, she pursued remote work. Over the years, she has developed a wide specialization on health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, branding, and travel.

Now, she juggles writing professionally, her business centering on women’s menstrual health, and surfing.

Education: Ateneo de Davao University (AB Mass Communication)
Focus: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, & Marketing

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.