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  1. #1
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    Cost of living -Manila

    I'm looking at a job in Manila, $100,000 US. What's the cost of living like? passed 1st interview, one more telephone one, then 4 days out there for final step. Not sure if I should leave family (2 kids) in UK or relocate to Thailand/Philapines. It's all moving a bit fast at the moment.

  2. #2
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    Given that international school teachers there live on less than half that i think you'd be ok.

  3. #3
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    Salary or package 100k? Makes a big difference. Cost of living not dissimilar to Thailand, but traffic, infrastructure and air quality much worse.

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    cost of living in manila is comparable to bangkok...alot easier to get around tho, more english and they're alot more westernized then the thais so it's easier to get around and live in....100K will go go a long way...i'd jump on it

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxxo
    .alot easier to get around tho, more english and they're alot more westernized then the thais so it's easier to get around and live in....100K will go go a long way...i'd jump on it
    Except for the traffic which makes Bangkok look like a paradise.

  6. #6
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    this is true...on that kind of pay, he can afford a driver

  7. #7
    I am in Jail
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    Employing a driver isn't going to lessen or solve the traffic congestion problem.

  8. #8
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    100K in USD is a lot, but then I'm a native, live cheaply, and have a native's salary. You should ask Davis, since he's an expat here. If you have kids, there are a lot of international schools around. The great boxer (Manny Pacquiao) - his kids study at an IS near my area. No plebian public schools for the Pac-man's kids. Re: the air quality, if you stay in a house in the suburbs (versus a condo unit in the city), then the air will be better. Traffic in Metro Manila is terrible anywhere you go.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamiejambos View Post
    Employing a driver isn't going to lessen or solve the traffic congestion problem.
    whoodathunk...might make it easier to deal tho

  10. #10
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    ^
    Hmmm, me no unnerstan.

  11. #11
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    sit and read the paper, have a cup of coffee, let the driver cuss at the bad drivers,while you do something else....leave the driving to him.

  12. #12
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    ^Thought you were playing cards or selling drugs...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Salary or package 100k? Makes a big difference. Cost of living not dissimilar to Thailand, but traffic, infrastructure and air quality much worse.
    Absolutely right.

    As a salary it is definitely ok, but as a package the schooling alone for two kids would probably eat up 20 % already - after income tax, which most likely will be in the region of 20-25 %! On top of it don't forget the health insurance for a family of 4.

    Would be quite tight.

  14. #14
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    ^^deal as in cope...you could deal some drugs tho...make some extra change on your commute

  15. #15
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Red: It's a good salary, but it's very important what perks come with it. I lived in Manila when I was still working. Salary was about the same - but, it included car/driver, house, electric and water - full ride. I had no kids at the time.

    When I retired, I stayed in Manila for four more years, setting up a new business. Money was less (pension of about 55% plus what I was making from the new business). Had twin babies by then as well. Rent on a moderate 3-bedroom home in a gated community was about 2,000 a month. Manila has the highest cost of electricity in Asia - with very recent proposed massive increases, it's about to become the most expensive in the world. Monthly water is also very high.

    Traffic SUCKS! When I was still working, I routinely had employees come in at the end of two years and say that they would really like to extend, but just couldn't deal with the traffic anymore. Proximity to your work is a REQUIREMENT!

    The pollution is also terrible.

    If you can work it out to your satisfaction, I'd leave the kids at home. The International School is about 30,000 per kid, per year.

    Let me know what perks you get, and I can advise better.

    I moved south from Manila a decade ago, as soon as I got it so my Filipino partner could handle the day-to-day of the business. I handle most of my end by phone and computer. Plus, I have good, cheap schools, little traffic, no pollution, my own large home I built on a big plot of land, a small farm and no stress.

    At that salary, I'd go for it (even though I don't know how it stacks up to your UK salary) but if it comes with a decent perk package, then it would be more attractive.

    Final note: A driver is nice, but it still doesn't change the fact that first thing every morning, you're facing an hour of traffic hell, and when you're finally done for the day, it will take you even longer to fight your way home. Living next to your work will cut stress in half.
    Last edited by Davis Knowlton; 19-01-2014 at 09:47 AM.

  16. #16
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Option: The city of Alabang is about 16 miles (30 minutes) south of manila. A lot of rich Filipinos and expats choose to live there, and commute. If your office is near the Skyway heading south, pop on, avoid the hell of Manila, and you're home in short order. A variety of gated communities of different cost. Nice malls, good deli, good restaurants, and you can get to them without hours in traffic. Less pollution, much less traffic, but Manila costs. But, you at least keep a tenous grip on your sanity.

    My wife and I almost never go to Manila (1.5 hours). We can get to Alabang in 45 minutes, and it's all there. For us to go to Manila, it's either for my work or some other can't-get-out-of-it requirement.

    Just a thought. Will greatly depend where in Manila your office is located - defeats the purpose if you have to fight an hour of traffic to get to the Skyway.

    Traffic in Perspective: Before I retired, I worked on Roxas Blvd in the Ermita area. I lived in Forbes Park in Makati. Total distance: 6.5 km. Morning commute: An hour or more. Evening commute: 1.5 to 2 hours.
    Last edited by Davis Knowlton; 19-01-2014 at 11:28 AM.

  17. #17
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    If your wife is Thai and ok with the life in UK, leave her there for a year to sort out things in Phils.

    If job in Phils is good and you know the place well after that year, move them over, english schools better here in Phils. ( Thailand comparison hmmm)


    Alabang or just bit more sout is fine as told by DK,,, I leave 30 minutes down from Alabang and we see the smog cloud over Manila. We can choose an hour dive for the beach or an hour drive for the city stress.
    Monday,Tuesday, then it goes WTF !

  18. #18
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    It was quoted as $100k plus bonus of 20-50%. Nothing else mentioned yet. Health insurance would be important as I'm an old fat git and have no chance of passing a medical. I have a feeling that leaving wife & kids in the UK will cost too much and international school could cost too much. I'd have jumped at it 10 years ago.

    They were quoting 15% tax and 1/4 cost of living compared to UK.

  19. #19
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    So it sounds as if 100k is pre-tax, so really becomes $85,000

  20. #20
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    Gals, booze and cigs cost less in MNL, rent is notably higher than in BKK.

    I'll take the job for half, pm me the details.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxxo View Post
    cost of living in manila is comparable to bangkok...alot easier to get around tho, more english and they're alot more westernized then the thais so it's easier to get around and live in....100K will go go a long way...i'd jump on it
    Doubtful that he turned down 100k.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Red: It's a good salary, but it's very important what perks come with it. I lived in Manila when I was still working. Salary was about the same - but, it included car/driver, house, electric and water - full ride. I had no kids at the time.

    When I retired, I stayed in Manila for four more years, setting up a new business. Money was less (pension of about 55% plus what I was making from the new business). Had twin babies by then as well. Rent on a moderate 3-bedroom home in a gated community was about 2,000 a month. Manila has the highest cost of electricity in Asia - with very recent proposed massive increases, it's about to become the most expensive in the world. Monthly water is also very high.

    Traffic SUCKS! When I was still working, I routinely had employees come in at the end of two years and say that they would really like to extend, but just couldn't deal with the traffic anymore. Proximity to your work is a REQUIREMENT!

    The pollution is also terrible.

    If you can work it out to your satisfaction, I'd leave the kids at home. The International School is about 30,000 per kid, per year.

    Let me know what perks you get, and I can advise better.

    I moved south from Manila a decade ago, as soon as I got it so my Filipino partner could handle the day-to-day of the business. I handle most of my end by phone and computer. Plus, I have good, cheap schools, little traffic, no pollution, my own large home I built on a big plot of land, a small farm and no stress.

    At that salary, I'd go for it (even though I don't know how it stacks up to your UK salary) but if it comes with a decent perk package, then it would be more attractive.

    Final note: A driver is nice, but it still doesn't change the fact that first thing every morning, you're facing an hour of traffic hell, and when you're finally done for the day, it will take you even longer to fight your way home. Living next to your work will cut stress in half.
    What lines of work are you getting into for that kind of money ? In Asia ?

  23. #23
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Full expat package with multinational before I retired. Security work since I retired.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Full expat package with multinational before I retired. Security work since I retired.
    High up in the ranks of Blackwater or something ?

  25. #25
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teflon Don View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Full expat package with multinational before I retired. Security work since I retired.
    High up in the ranks of Blackwater or something ?
    Set up a small security company in Manila 14 years ago when I retired. Over the years, we've done just about every possible type of security. Currently, the bulk of our work is in the field of Intellectual Property Rights, mostly for European makers of luxury items. There is a huge copyright problem here with counterfeit items flooding the market (worse than Thailand). Nobody does this but us, and we've been doing it a long time. Multinationals pay well.

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