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Moving to the Big City: Tips for Living in Metro Manila

Metro Manila is a city that is rife with opportunities. It is where people from across the country and all over the world meet to study, work, and play.

Whether you are a young person arriving from the province or a foreigner who wants to have an adventure in a new place, here are some life hacks that you need to learn before you move.

Finding Your Home in the City

You probably heard about Metro Manila’s notorious traffic jams. During peak hours, driving to the next town could take up to an hour.

That is why it is advisable to find a place to call your home near your place of employment or university. Lucky for you, there are several property developers in the Philippines that offers condominium units anywhere in the metropolis. There will surely be an open space that is only walking distance from your office or university or is close enough to EDSA where you can find public transportation to take you where you need to be.

Learn Your Route

Whether you are driving or taking public transportation, you should memorize your route. It is so easy to get lost in this big city and end up in bad neighborhoods. Download apps like Google Maps or Waze when you are driving to help you navigate across Metro Manila. When commuting, check out Sakay.Ph which will inform you which bus, train, jeepney to take.

Oh, and Grab, not Uber, is the most widely used ride-hailing app in the Philippines.

Metro Manila Can be Expensive

Compared to other business centers in Asia, it is more affordable to live in Metro Manila. You can get a filling meal for Php 50 or $1.

Your expenses will largely depend on the kind of lifestyle that you want to have. Many foreigners make the mistake of living beyond their means by trying to recreate the experience they had abroad. For example, renting a space in a trendy neighborhood like BGC (Bonifacio Global City) and Forbes Park can go beyond $2,000.

The Philippines has one of the most expensive electricity in Asia. It is hot and humid in the entire country for the majority of the year which means that, to cope, you have to turn on your AC. Your utility bills can rack up fast. Keep these things in mind.

Where to Get Food

Filipinos love food. Therefore, food is everywhere.

However, if you want to find cheap eats, look for small stalls that serve hot meals. You will find one in every corner. Fancier restaurants, on the other hand, are often situated in or around malls.

If you want fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and fishes, go venture in the Philippines’ wet markets. There is one in every town. Although the food items being sold in wet markets are very cheap, some sellers may take advantage of those who are not in the know and charge more. It is best to ask a local friend to accompany you and teach you how to shop in these places.

Always be Vigilant

There is always danger anywhere you, even in Metro Manila. You should always be mindful of your surroundings. If someone gets too close, move away (or ask them to give you a little space). Make sure that your belongings are secure.

It can feel overwhelming to move to Metro Manila if you are from the province or from a different country. However, the city is filled with people who were, once upon a time, a newcomer like you. Eventually, you will be acclimated and experience the city for everything it has to offer.

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