Living in The Philippines, expat guide to education, the healthcare & lifestyle



Expatriates are not something new to the Philippine people in fact it dates back to when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed on Philippine shores in the 16th century. And then came 300 years of Spanish occupation, then American, Japanese. Even before Magellan, Filipinos have been trading with Chinese merchants. In the 21st century, acquaintances with foreigners are welcomed by the local people with warmth and hospitality. Expats who travel to the Philippines will find a crossroad of East and West, rural and urban, ancient and modern. If you’re taking a trip to this archipelago, have a look-see at some info we’ve put together.

Phillipines Metro Cebu

Features on The Philippines

Philippines10 Tips for Surviving the Wet Season

The Philippines sits in the South East Asia region where the weather is tropical. This means that it is hot and humid all year long. It also means we basically only have two seasons... Wet and Dry.



Expat Clubs

Alabang Ladies International Group

Formed over a decade ago by a group of expatriate women who wanted to make the most of their time in Alabang and connect to their hosts both socially and through volunteering and fund raising, ALIG now has a membership of around 120 members. Today we come from all across the world, have connections to global organizations, volunteer together in education and development projects and raise funds for our local charities.

Email: [email protected]



American Association of the Philippines

The American Association of the Philippines...was bred of an idea and born of a specific necessity..." The American Association of the Philippines constitution states: "...founded on the concept of community interest, welfare, and responsibility. It is non-commercial. It is non-political. Its purpose is the general welfare of United States citizens....the American Association invites the membership, cooperation and mutual assistance of United States citizens residing in the Philippines.

Address: Unit 601B, Fedman Suites, 199 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, M.C.P.O. Box 4612, 1286 Makati City, Philippines

Tel: +632 892-5198

Fax: +632 867-1689

Email: [email protected]



American Women's Club

The American Women's Club of the Philippines (AWCP) is an organization of expat women from both American and other nationalities, residing in the Philippines.  The Club promotes and fosters American cultural values in its activities while celebrating the diversity of an international community. The AWCP is a focal point from which its members network, build and seek support, disseminate information and participate in community service.

Address: Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, #48 McKinley Road, Forbes Park, Makati City

Tel: +63 2 817-7587

Fax: +63 2 894-2466



Australian and New Zealand Association

The Australian and New Zealand Association, Manila (ANZA) is governed by an elected Executive Committee, in accordance with the ANZA Regulations and By-Laws.

Address: P O Box 684, Dasmarinas Village, Makati, 1222, Manila, Philippines

Email: [email protected]



British Women's Club

BWA is an international group based in Manila. Join them to meet other friendly people, to take up a new hobby, or to become involved in supporting local charities.

Email: [email protected]



The Manila Club

Oldest private membership social club in the Philippines.

Address: 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza, Paseo De Roxas Cnr Legazpi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati, Philippines

Tel: +63 917 983 7112


Breats Cancer Awarness Month- October 2015

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so here’s a round- up of the events and happenings in The Philippines that you can take part in or support to show your solidarity. 

The Pink Run

Tokbo Run

breast cancer awarness


International Schools 

Brent International School

Brent is an International, co-educational, day school associated with the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.


Address: Brentville Subdivision, Barangay Mamplasan, Biñan, Laguna, 4024 Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 779-5140, +63 (49) 511-4330 to 4333

Fax: +63 (49) 511-4356

Email: [email protected]



British School of Manila

The British School Manila provides outstanding education for English speaking children of all nationalities aged 3-18, based on an adapted form of the National Curriculum of England, and the I.B. Diploma.

Curriculum: British

Address: 36th Street, University Park, Bonifacio Global City, 1634 Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tel: +632 860-4800

Fax: +632 860-4900

Email: [email protected]



Australian International School

The Australian International School (AIS) is a private, non-denominational, international school for expatriate and Filipino children recognized by the Department of Education of the Philippines and by the Department of Education and Training of Western Australia. The School was established in 1964 as a preschool and expanded into grade school in the 1990′s. The school has always focused on each student as an individual and on the delivery of international educational standards.

Curriculum: Australian

Address: 2332 Chino Roces Extension, Fort Bonifacio, Philippines

Tel: +632 844.9915, +632 844.9913

Email: [email protected]



French School of Manila

L'Ecole française de Manille est une école conventionnée avec l'AEFE à gestion parentale.L'Ecole française de Manille, comme la Deutsche Schule Manila, est intégrée à l'European International School (EIS) qui est l'entité légale déclarée auprès de l'administration philippine. From age 3 to 18.

Address: 75 Swaziland Street, Better Living Subdivision, 1711 Parañaque City, Philippines

Tel: +63 2 776 1000

Fax : +63 2 824 69 27

Email: [email protected]



German European School Manila

The German School Manila is a German and English speaking international school that offers programmes from Early Years to IB Diploma (Grade 12). It also offers a bilingual toddler programme for children starting age two.The European Section opened in August 2007 as an additional section to the German School. The language of instruction is in English and we cater to English speaking families who wish to pursue an international education.

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Address: 75 Swaziland Street, Better Living Subdivision,1711 Parañaque City, Philippines

Tel: +63 2 776 1000

Fax: +63 2 824 15 17

E-mail: [email protected]



Harvest Christian School International (HCSI)

HCSI is a Member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Colorado, USA. Pre-School - Grade School - High School

Curriculum: American

Address: 24-B Tres Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines 6000       

Tel: +63 32  2329608 | +63 32  2310208 | +63 32  5146063    

Email: [email protected] 



International School of Cebu

Cebu International School was started in 1924, as the American School of Cebu with a small elementary population. In 1973 the school became Cebu International School, still an elementary school. In 1987 the school graduated its first high school class and since that time has been a full Kindergarten to Grade 12 institution.The school now has a permanent base at Pit-os.CIS is the only school in Cebu with this authorization and is IB WORLD SCHOOL 1165.

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Address: P.O. Box 735, Pit-os, Cebu City, 6000 Philippines

Tel: (+6332) 261-0CIS or 261-0247

Email: [email protected]



International School of Manila

International School Manila is an independent international school whose structure, traditions and style emanate from the United States and whose curriculum and methodology reflect the best in worldwide educational research and practice.

Curriculum: American

Address: University Parkway, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City 1634, Philippines

Tel: +63 2 840.8400

Fax +63 2 840.8405

Email: [email protected]   




The Beacon School

An independent, non-profit, co-educational school modeled upon the best international educational practice. It is committed to providing a global education of the highest quality, rooted in an understanding of Filipino culture and traditions, to children of all nationalities. We are the only school in the Philippines authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to deliver both the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP).

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Address: PCPD Bldg., 2332 Chino Roces Ext. Taguig City, Philippines 1630

Tel: +632 840-5040

Fax: +632 840-5040


Country Information 

Location: Asia

Capital City: Manila

Other Important Cities: Quezon City

Currency: Philipino Peso

Language: Philipino, English

Calling Code: +63

Internet TLD: .ph

Electricity: The Philipines runs on 220V 60Hz. The Manila Electric Company MERALCO is the largest distributor of electricity in the country.



Emergency Numbers: 117


Country Information

Embassy Information

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from most countries including the US and the EU may enter visa free for a limited time. Visa applications may be filed at a Philippine embassy or consulate in their home or host country. Alternatively expats who are already in the Philippines and would like to extend their stay beyond the visa free term, may apply for an extension at any office of the Bureau of Immigration >>

Documents required for extension:
  1. Duly accomplished CGAF (BI Form 2014-01-004 Rev 0). If the applicant is a minor, the CGAF shall besigned by the parent or the legal guardian;
  2. Photocopy of applicant’s passport bio-page and latest admission or tourist visa implementation with valid authorized stay;
  3. BI Clearance Certificate or derogatory record’s verification indicating the ground of inclusion in the Bureau’s derogatory list other than having overstayed in the Philippines; and
  4. Sworn written explanation addressed to the Commissioner stating valid grounds and/or justifications with supporting documents:

            4.1 For extension of stay beyond twenty-four (24) months for visa-required nationals or thirty-six months (36) for non-visa required nationals (maximum allowable period); and

            4.2 For extension of stay of foreigners who have overstayed


Visas are classified into two: non-immigrant and immigrant. Tourist visas fall under non-immigrant visa, and so does employment visas. Foreign nationals who wish to become a permanent resident of the Philippines will have to apply for an immigrant visa.


Foreigners travelling in the Philippines will not have a problem in selecting and acquiring housing accommodations. There are various options: condominiums, duplex apartments and houses. It is also inexpensive. Expat employees will also benefit from their employment contract that will normally include accommodation arrangements by their employers.

Leases run for a year; 2 year leases are also to be expected. Shorter tenancy contracts can be negotiated with the landlord. Air conditioning and insulation is not common in the Philippines; given the tropical climate it will be wise to narrow down the search that has these facilities in place.

Most expats will choose to live in gated communities as crime rate in the major cities remain high. Houses that are left for long periods of time at risk. Burglary is prevalent; choosing accommodations with security services and access control is important.

A large expat community is located in Metro Manila, especially in the commercial area of Makati. Multinational corporations and international conglomerates are headquartered here. Makati is busy, and so is the traffic. It can be difficult to maneuver especially at certain times of the day. However, schools, hospitals and shopping malls are plenty, giving expats a wider choice.

Driving License

Expats may use their domestic license or an international license to drive in the country for up to 90 days. Beyond this, they may convert their domestic license to a Philippine license through the Land Transportation Office.

Documents Required:
  1. Original and one (1) photocopy of valid foreign license. If the foreign Driver’s License is not in English Language, the applicant should submit an Official English translation from the local Embassy of the issuing country.
  2. Original machine copy of valid passport showing the latest date of arrival in the Philippines of the foreign applicant.
  3. Original and machine copy of valid visa or Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) if the foreign applicant temporarily resides in the Philippines.
  4. Original copy of Medical Certificate with Official Receipt issued by an LTO accredited or government Physician.
  5. Negative drug test result issued by DOH accredited Drug Testing Center or Government Hospitals
  6. Duly accomplished Application for Driver’s License (ADL). [Download this form here]
  7. Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN), if EMPLOYED, (In compliance to Executive Order 98 & MC ACL-2009-1251)
  8. If Foreign License is expired, applicant shall undergo written and practical examinations.


Public and private healthcare services are available in the country. The standards are usually high in major cities. Medical staff are well trained and speak English fluently. Expats will find that the services rendered in private hospitals are cheaper compared to what they will pay back in their home countries. Although it’s inexpensive the standard and quality of care is high. Medication is in good supply in the Philippines, pharmacies are well stocked and are open 24/7.

Vaccinations against mosquito-borne illness is important. Due to the tropical climate of the country, malaria and dengue is endemic.

Insurance Companies

MSH International ASFE

For twenty years, ASFE has designed and managed international healthcare insurance solutions for all mobile individuals:
  • Expatriates living abroad alone or with their families,
  • Students, interns and young people with "Working Holiday Visas",
  • Self-employed persons or company employees,
  • Seniors.





The Medical City

The Medical City (TMC) is a tertiary care hospital with over forty years experience in hospital operation and administration. Its world-class health care complex serves some 40,000 in-patients and 400,000 out-patients annually. TMC has a medical staff of over 1,000 physicians who are established experts in their various fields of specialization. This core of professionals is complemented by a 2,200-strong human resource complement, engaged in allied medical, administrative and support services.

Address: Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tel: +632 988-1000, +632 988-7000

Email us: [email protected]



Healthway Philippines, Inc.

Address: 5/F Doña Feliza Building, 108 V. A. Rufino Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines

Tel: +63 2 751 4929



Makati Medical Centre

Address: #2 Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, 1200, Philippines

Tel: +63 2 815 9911