Articles Real Estate Information Regional Feature: Manila City

Regional Feature: Manila City

Nothing beats a bustling city full of life. Here's everything you need to know about the capital of the Philippines, Manila.

Manila is great because most government offices, enterprises, institutions, and colleges are located here. The streets are often bustling with people and automobiles, so finding a peaceful spot might be difficult. Almost everyone in Manila speaks and understands English, so you shouldn't have any trouble communicating with them. It will be simpler to strike up a conversation with the natives if you make an attempt to speak Tagalog, or Filipino as it is more formally called. Filipinos are noted for their humility and loving friendliness. There are very few frowning or snooty locals. They are frequently the first to begin up a pleasant chat.

Getting about Manila requires a lot of patience due to the city's renowned traffic, which is virtually terrible during peak hours, especially on important routes. Apart from the traffic, Manila's roadways are prone to accidents due to the fact that many drivers disobey even the most basic traffic laws. Only diplomats, returning Filipino nationals, and 13G visa holders are now permitted to import automobiles into Manila. Those who aren't one of the three can simply rent a car if needed.

If you're a foreigner, your car should have Compulsory Third Party Liability Insurance in addition to a local driver's license (CPTL). This sort of coverage is needed by law for all automobiles in Manila, and it ensures that any property damage or injury/death to a third party involved in the accident is adequately covered. A year of CPTL normally costs Php 2000.00. Driving without insurance in Manila is a felony with serious consequences.

Jeepneys are a sort of public utility vehicle that is the city's most popular method of transportation and regarded as a cultural symbol in the Philippines. For the first 4 kilometers, the standard fee for the jeep is Php 7.00. Expats can also take the bus, which is more roomy than the jeep, or a cab, which costs Php 40.00 to flag down. Light Rail Transit (LRT) or Metro Rail Transit (MRT) are electric-powered trains that can help you travel about the city faster.


Manila is a sprawling metropolis with six parliamentary districts. When deciding where to reside, you must consider the amount of security, facilities, and closeness to your workplace and children's school. The following are some of the best neighborhoods to consider:


Intramuros (Walled City) is a popular tourist destination that is gradually being transformed into a residential neighborhood. A combination of well restored ancient colonial residences and high-rise condominiums may be seen nearby. It is also close to the city's important educational institutions, including Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which was founded in 1620 and is one of the country's oldest schools. A one-bedroom home in Intramuros costs around Php8,000 per month, while a two-bedroom loft unit in a condominium costs around Php21,000.


Several offices, companies, and institutions are located in this district. Ermita is the place to be for expats searching for convenient access to the city's major highways. The largest shopping mall in Manila, SM City Manila, is located here, and it is where upper and middle-class families spend their spare time. Because of the numerous museums and recreational areas in the region, your children will love living here as well. A one-bedroom apartment in Ermita costs roughly Php11,000 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment costs around Php24,000.


Sampaloc, which is located in the 4th district, is known as the 'University Belt' due to the presence of multiple prestigious universities in the region. The main bus lines' terminals are located here, and they serve both the city and the province. Expats living in Sampaloc will be accessible to a number of private hospitals, including the University of Santo Tomas Hospital. A one-bedroom apartment in Sampaloc costs approximately Php11,000 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment costs around Php19,000.


Foreign nationals are permitted to buy a house in Manila, but not land. Purchasing a home is best for those who plan to stay in the city for a long time because they can lease the property for up to 50 years. The city's rising population and fierce competition among rental seekers, has made finding a place to live a difficult task. Because of their vast size, houses are ideal for people migrating with their families. Apartments and condominiums are also available, however they are best suited to people who are migrating alone due to the high cost of a larger unit.

The cost of the unit/house is heavily influenced by the location or region in which you choose to live. If you wish to live near business buildings or institutions, you should expect to pay a higher rent than in other locations. A one-bedroom apartment in Manila costs roughly Php11,000 per month to rent, while a two-bedroom flat costs around Php24,000. Water, gas, and electricity are typically not included in the rental price. You'll need to set aside Php4,000 every month in your budget. It is preferable to use the services of a broker as an expat in Manila. It is easy to navigate about the city looking for a property by first browsing through numerous real estate websites and then contacting an agent to assist you narrow down your options.


The Philippines was the latest country in Asia to implement K-12 education, and one of only three nations in the world to use a pre-university system. In 2010, the government began implementing the internationally recognized K to 12 educational programs, which are comprised of thirteen years of basic education and include: Kindergarten to third grade, Grades 4 through 6, Junior High School (Grades 7 to 10), and High School Seniors (Grades 11 to 12).

The Department of Education is in charge of the elementary years, which go from kindergarten through senior high school. All private and public schools in Manila are governed by DepEd, which ensures that all institutions maintain a high degree of quality. Another government agency in charge of education is the Commission on Higher Education, or CHED, whose purpose is to improve local universities and graduate schools so that they may compete worldwide. If your kid still qualifies for K–12 programs, enrolling them in a public institution is not recommended due to overpopulation and inadequate facilities. International schools are the first and best choice for foreigners. Within the city of Manila, there is now just one international institution that educates 10 different nationalities.

The famed University Belt, which spans from Sampaloc to Quiapo, Santa Mesa, and San Miguel, is located in Manila. In Manila, you'll discover a combination of private and public schools that educate in both Filipino and English. The Institution of Santo Tomas (UST) is the Philippines' oldest private Roman Catholic university, having been founded on April 28, 1611. Locals and expats can enroll in elementary, secondary, higher, graduate, and postgraduate programs. Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the Filipino National Hero, and former President Manuel L. Quezon are both UST graduates.

De La Salle University, another Roman Catholic university, was founded in 1911 by the De La Salle Brothers as an all-boys school. Most middle and upper-class Filipino families now send their children to DLSU, which has become co-educational. It also serves a large number of expat populations in Manila who are interested in furthering their education through graduate and post-graduate degrees.

San Beda College is a Catholic institution governed by Benedictine monks. The main site in Manila only offers undergraduate and graduate programs, while the other campus in Taytay, Rizal, provides K to 12 education. Many Filipino leaders, including the current President of the Republic, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, are graduates of its law school.

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines, which was founded in 1904, is one of the most well-known state-funded colleges in the country. The institution is recognized for having a low tuition price of Php 12.00 per unit. PUP provides 60 graduate and undergraduate programs in addition to college.

The prerequisites for admission differ each institution, but most will ask you to take a test to establish your educational history. Some of the usual documentation that foreign students must prepare is as follows: Visa is a document that allows you to (Student or Immigrant Permit),  Transcript of previous school/s records, Good Moral Character Certificate, Certificate of Medical Fitness, and Admission fees have been paid in full. Tourist Visa holders are not permitted to enroll in any educational institution in Manila unless they first obtain a student visa from the Bureau of Immigrations.