How to be a Digital Nomad in Manila, Philippines

How to be a Digital Nomad in Manila, Philippines

by | Digital Nomad, Digital Nomad List, Digital Nomad Locations

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About Manila

Manila is among the world’s busiest and most lively cities. The city is the Philippines’ capital city and houses almost 13 million individuals. It is the financial, social, and political capital of the Philippines.

Digital nomads have a growing love for Manila because of the Philippines’ economic living expenses, friendly residents, and exceptional nature. In addition, the nation is house to a few of the world’s most sensational natures.

Manila is the most largely inhabited city worldwide, with 1.6 million individuals stuffed into 16.56 sqm. The city has the earliest Chinatown worldwide. Residents established Chinatown in the 16th century, and it has enormously grown over the past 400 years.

Manila is house to the San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a Baroque-designed church with spectacular colonial architecture. If you’re a digital nomad in Manila, you’ll discover exceptionally inexpensive food, a shopping center, and a mix of shopping centers.

The city stays an establishing city; however, it is among the fastest-establishing locations.

The Cost of Living in Manila

Digital nomads constantly enjoy the incredible expense of living in the Philippines. It is as inexpensive as the majority of other Southeast Asian nations. Numerous digital nomads choose to live there because of the sensible cost of living.

Why is it so budget-friendly? Manila stays an established city, and much of Manila is in poverty. The Philippine Peso is fairly weak, with 1 USD equating to 49 PHP.

How does the city compare to other Southeast Asian cities? If you’re making your digital nomad earnings through USD– you will live well in Manila.

When you’re a digital nomad, among the necessary things is considering your spending plan and just how much you require to invest. So let’s take a look at a few of Manila’s greatest expenses.

If you live like a regional– store like a regional and consume like a regional, you can manage with a minimum regular monthly budget plan of around $700. Even if you select to remain in huge cities like Makati, Manila, and Cebu or popular beaches like Boracay.

Grocery shopping and eating in restaurants will not cost a bomb too. With simply $8 or less, you can get filling meals for breakfast, lunch, and supper.

Lodging Expenses

Lodging is among the most crucial elements for any digital nomads, and Manilla has a large selection of exceptional lodging alternatives. However, the typical expense of a 1-bed studio lease in the upmarket Manila location is 411 USD monthly, which is a great cost.

The typical expense of a hotel is 823 USD monthly, more than in other Southeast Asian cities. In general, hotels in the Philippines tend to be more pricey than in Thailand, Indonesia, and Cambodia.

The typical expense of an Airbnb is 1,442 USD regular monthly. Manila is house to some of the world’s most outstanding Airbnbs, and you discover Airbnb’s in high-rise buildings and at very budget-friendly costs. A fantastic feature of Air BnB is the much better chances for high-speed wifi, which can be an enormous difficulty in the nation.

If you’re on a tight spending plan, you can discover hostels for around 10 USD per night. However, this isn’t something you’ll desire to do long-lasting, and the wifi speeds can be bothersome.

The typical living expense for a digital nomad within Manila is 1,452 USD monthly, consisting of lodging expenses.

Easy Visa Requirements

Whether one requires a Philippines visitor visa or not will depend upon your citizenship. A 30-day visa waiver is offered for all European Union people, Western nations, and non-western nations.

Many digital nomads deal with traveler visas when they remain in the Philippines; however, the federal government has recommended presenting a tax on all individuals working online in the Philippines. No such tax has been presented yet– it has been worrying a number of digital nomads. It is possible to acquire organization visas to get in the Philippines; however, the procedure can be administered.

Getting a travel visa if you’re on a western passport is uncomplicated. You do not have to do visa runs, and you can quickly extend whilst inside the nation simply a number of hours.

Making an application for a visa extension is likewise simple.

Simply head to any work of the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) to process your 29-day extension for around $60. Or you can visit their site at to learn more.

Coworking areas

Manila has a dynamic and growing coworking area scene. The city is house to an increasing variety of business owners, and the coworking areas are where you’ll discover them. In addition, it is the finest location to discover similar nomads.

WeWork BCG

WeWork is among the world’s finest coworking area businesses, providing 425 coworking areas worldwide. They have a big range of advantages, such as

Art-filled lounges

  • A main area in the upmarket BCG
  • Personal and shared desks
  • On-site coffee shop with food and beverages

Clock In

The Clock In coworking area remains in the heart of the BCG location, and it is an exceptional coworking area to satisfy the rest of Manila’s digital nomad neighborhood.

  • The alternative to utilizing hotdesks
  • Personal spaces available
  • Satisfying spaces and skype spaces
  • High-speed wifi


Another popular area for digital nomads is Bullish, positioned in the heart of Quezon City. The coworking area provides an outstanding mix of centers, such as

  • Free brewed coffee
  • High-speed fiber wifi
  • Personal desks, hot desks, and personal spaces
  • A contemporary modern-day style

Advantages of being a digital nomad in Manila


The very best advantage of being a digital nomad in Manila needs to cost. In contrast to cities in Europe, Australia, and the United States, residing in Manila is significantly more affordable. Whether from coworking areas, apartments, or condos, food, and nightlife expenses are cheap in Manila, and digital nomads enjoy this.

It is extremely simple to get around the nation. The Philippines has a few of the world’s most extraordinary natures, and navigating the nation is inexpensive. You can fly to various islands for less than 50 USD, and it stays cost-effective for many digital nomads.

The large charm of the nation.

Many people think the Philippines is the world’s most gorgeous tropical paradise since there are over 6,000 unbelievable islands with the very best beaches you might ever picture. Popular islands in the Philippines consist of Boracay, Siargao, Palawan, Cebu, and Bantayan Islands.

Whether you’re searching for a remote tropical paradise, the best diving areas internationally, or magnificent trekking tracks with impressive views, the Philippines will have what you desire. However, if you’re looking for sensational mountains, you need to head north of Manila to the top of Luzon, and you’ll discover beautiful rice balconies.

Exceptional levels of English

The Philippines has an exceptional level of English, and numerous argue it is the best level of English beyond the English-speaking world. The exceptional level of English is since it is a nationwide language in the nation. Kids discover it from an extremely young age.

Lots of worldwide businesses base their call focuses on the Philippines, which is because of the outstanding level of English. Even in nations like Thailand, which brings in over 40 million travelers annually, English is substantially lower. So if you’re aiming to run a company out of Manila, you will like the remarkable levels of English.

Filipino Hospitality

Many nations worldwide have track records for being congenial; however, the Philippines leads them all. This is because Filipino culture prides itself on being open and congenial to all visitors and travelers.

It doesn’t matter where you are, the Filipinos will constantly head out of their method to assist you. Often, they will welcome you to their home to consume with their household. It is a genuine advantage of Filipino culture.

The capability to purchase western items and items

The Philippines is an outstanding location to purchase western items. If you check out a 7/11, you can discover all the very best western chocolate, sugary foods, and beverages. Manila is house to some of the world’s most substantial shopping malls.

You can discover a lot of western clothes items, electronic devices, and far more. Unlike other parts of Asia, the Philippines has a really close relationship with western culture, and it shows in lots of methods.

Things to do in Manila

Manila is certainly a lively city, and there are great deals of enjoyment to be had. There are many bars, nightlife, and home entertainment locations, from the truly cool- like roof bars overlooking the city- to the completely strange and unusual like the midget boxing and oil fumbling. Manila has everything.

Live cockfighting is likewise huge in The Philippines. I did go on my previous journey, it was an experience; however, it is something I would not support once again (it’s quite vicious).

Manila is likewise house to some huge modern-day malls. The Filipinos enjoy going shopping, or perhaps they like getting away from the heat. Or a little bit of both.

In addition, there are some quite cool archaeological sites. Spain colonized the Philippines, so you will discover that several well-known landmarks, churches, and forts are Spanish architecture- something special in Asia.

As much as I like the madness of a huge city, for me, The Philippines has to do with getting away from the turmoil and delighting in a few of the most beautiful beaches and water I have ever seen.

There’s a walled castle from where the Spanish ruled their eastern empire for centuries, Baroque churches, and jam-packed, insane markets that might be the wrong side of fragrant; however, they are required all the same. And insulated from the mayhem and choked streets are a few of the biggest shopping centers throughout the world, of such mind-bending percentages that you’ll seem like you’re in entire other towns.

Let’s check out the very best things to do in Manila:

  1. Intramuros

The earliest part of the city is Manila’s history before the 20th century.

It’s tight grid system included tough 16th and 17th-century walls and is a huge contrast to the high-rise cityscape around it.

This was the capital of the Spanish East Indies from the 16th century to 1898 and has suitable churches, yard palaces, and administrative structures in gorgeous colonial architecture.

Like numerous old colonial settlements, Intramuros has the unusual sensation of a European city center far from Europe.

A couple of tourist attractions on this list remain in Intramuros; however, keep an eye out for the statue of King Carlos IV on Plaza de Roma, the freshly brought back Ayuntamiento structure, and the Puerta de Isabel II gate, with a statue of the Queen.

A trip on foot, by calesa horse-drawn carriage or motorized tricycle.

  1. San Agustin Museum

San-Agustin-MuseumThe abbey connected to the church was trashed throughout the Second World War; however, it was reconstructed in the 1970s. Its previous refectory, sacristy, crypt, halls, and library now hold a museum.

This is an insight into Manila’s colonial years and the history of the Catholic faith in the Philippines.

There’s a huge cache of ecclesiastical art consisting of paintings, wood statues, crucifixes, furnishings, antique missals, old vestments, and altars brought here from churches around the nation.

You’ll likewise be offered lots of information about the city’s history, from the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s to the partial damage of Manila in 1945.

  1. Chinatown

ChinatownIn the beginning look, Manila’s Chinatown does not appear like much of a traveler’s area; it is loud, a bit run-down, and the traffic is often in gridlock.

It assists in keeping in mind that there has been a Chinese trading existence in the area. The 800s, and this quarter, understood as Binondo grew as a neighboring town for the oppressed Hokkien Chinese immigrants and their descendants throughout the Spanish colonial age.

The very best method to see it is from a jeepney or calesa.

It deserves your time for the Kuang Kong and Seng Guan Buddhist temples and the natural shops and suppliers along Ongpin and Carvajal Streets.

If you’re feeling peckish, there’s no much better location in Manila for a dim amount.

  1. Manila Baywalk

Manila-BaywalkThe waterside boardwalk on Manila Bay is unique at night to view the sun’s decrease.

Those shining waters were the Battle of Manila Bay scene between the United States Navy and Spain in 1898, which ended in a definitive American triumph and brought the drape down on the more than 300 years of Spanish guidelines.

The Baywalk is 2 kilometers from the American Embassy to the Cultural Center of the Philippines and has a line of palms buffering it from the hectic Roxas Boulevard.

High-rise buildings are throughout the roadway, and as you come down to the Manila Yacht Club, there’s a precinct with coffee shops and dining establishments.

This is a little village with live music, street entertainers, and food suppliers.

  1. Fort Santiago

Integrated in 1571, the military base for the Spanish federal government remained in the northwest corner of Intramuros, near the cathedral.

The Battle of Manila took its toll on the substance in the Second World War; however, a great deal of this was consequently brought back.

The huge primary gate has the Spanish coat of arms listed below, a relief of the Spanish tutelary saint Santiago Matamoros.

The fort is likewise someplace to contact the Philippines’ self-reliance motion.

At the start of the Philippine Revolution in 1896-1898, the nationwide hero José Rizal was put behind bars here before his execution.

You can see where he was put behind bars, and there’s a shrine in his honor, reproducing his ancestral house.

  1. Malacañang Palace

Malacañang-Palace-scaledThe governmental palace made worldwide headings in 2016 when the brand-new president Rodrigo Duterte declined to relocate because of ghosts.

If you’re braver than him and wish to see it yourself, you need to prepare ahead and book a trip beforehand.

The palace was integrated in 1750 for the nobleman Don Luís Rocha, ending up being the summer home of the Spanish governor-general.

Ever since it’s been a house for each Spanish and American guv, and after that, every Philippine president except for the incumbent.

It’s a high-priority file of 20th-century history, with bits of info occasionally and pictures, furnishings, and basic souvenirs for its essential previous residents.

Food expenditures

Food in Manila is exceptionally budget-friendly, and you discover low-cost food at all the shopping centers and markets. A widespread food choice– although not constantly healthy– is Jollibee, the premier Filipino fast-food chain. In addition, you can get delicious junk food here at extremely inexpensive costs, and it is among the nation’s nationwide icons.

You can discover a variety of inexpensive street food in all markets around Manila. Popular Manila grocery stores consist of the Tutuban Night Market, Dangwa Flower Market, and the Greenfield Weekend Market.

Consume Expenses

The typical expense of a beer has to do with 2 USD, and the most popular beer is San Miguel. You can get an excellent supper at a dining establishment for 4 USD. The typical expense of a soda can is 0.70 USD– or you can get a coffee for 1.37 USD.

Transportation costs

Transportation in Manila is not as different as in numerous other cities. The facilities are frustrating, and the city system is poor. The very best method to navigate is through taxi due to the fact that you can utilize Grab Taxi and get outstanding fares if you book through Grab.

Taxi frauds are really common in Manila, and if you do not utilize a metered taxi airport or an application, you might pay western rates for taxis. The other option is to utilize a jeepney, these are exceptionally well-known in the Philippines, and you can get on them for an extremely low cost.

The U.S. military utilized Jeepneys to bring soldiers around the nation throughout world war 2; however, the jeepneys remained in the nation and became the primary type of transportation. There are no set rates on the jeepneys so the motorist might charge you anything. Due to the fact that the jeepneys are complete of residents, you’re not likely to get scammed in front of everybody.

Things to Do and Tourist Sites

The tourists need to go to Rizal Park, a tranquil and embellished public garden situated in the city. Other locations on the list consist of Intramuros, Manila ocean park, San Agustin Church & Museum, National Museum of the Philippines, etc.


Criminal activities have considerably increased over time, Manila stays tourists’ most profitable travel location. Tourists need to remember that transportation and taxis are not reputable in the Philippines. The city is prone to tropical cyclones (cyclones) throughout the monsoon season, and flood-like scenarios and damage in the seaside locations can be typically seen.


Manila’s nightlife is famous all around the world. At night, in Manila, you’ll never run out of locations for dancing and drinking.


The typical living expense in Manila for a household is about $ 1920. As per a report specified by Numbeo, Manila is 59.36% less expensive than New York.

Food in Manila

From my experiences in Manila and The Philippines in basic, the food can be a bit hit and missed out on at times.

Do not get me wrong, while I remained in Manila, I ate at an American smoke home, I consumed Japanese Ramen, and Cuban chicken, and it was all extremely delicious.

I fight for the capability to discover good quality regional food when eating in restaurants regularly. Regrettably, I typically attempt to prevent consuming at the smaller-sized regional dining establishments (which is a pity, since I much choose to attempt regional foods) and decide for more of the chains or the worldwide alternatives– which Manila does have plenty of alternatives.

Perhaps I’m not striving enough; however, I simply want to quickly discover more regional locations to take pleasure in regional Filipino food.

Regarding daily food, you can discover most things in Manila either at the regional market or at the Supermarket. Depending upon which grocery store, you can discover great deals on imported items from the United States and Europe; nevertheless, you will pay a premium for them.

Regional Specialities


The food scene is so cosmopolitan, and there are many points of contact (markets, roaming suppliers, street food carts, dining establishments of all descriptions) that you might compose a whole book on dining in Manila.

Some specials are Filipino.

One is Halo-Halo, a granita with vaporized milk, sweet beans, numerous fruits, agar jelly, and yam.

The roast pork in Manila is up there with the very best on the planet, grilled pork skewers are incredible, and chicharron, crispy pork skins are a typical treat.

And if you’re brave, you can discover balut, which is a street food including a marinaded day-old duck still in its shell and consumed whole.

A typical however moreish sweet is ensaymada, a sweet pastry topped with cheese and a tradition from the Spanish duration.

Is Manila Good for Digital Nomads?

Look, Manila has whatever you require to work as a digital nomad proficiently. Regardless of the (sometimes) dodgy WiFi, it is enhancing. You will constantly have the ability to discover a location– whether it’s a coffee shop or coworking area– that has great WiFi.

As a city, I like it. It’s enjoyable to check out and has a lot to provide due to its size. However, I do not discover it appealing enough to desire and live there for a prolonged duration.

For me, it’s simply a choice. There are so numerous locations where you can live, so would I be prepared to offer up a couple of months to live in Manila over someplace else like Bangkok, Barcelona, or Playa Del Carmen?

I enjoy the Philippines, but it’s still simply going to be a getaway for now. However, if the WiFi enhances in places outside the huge cities, you may see establishing a base among the islands.




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