Thanks to its unbelievable beaches and islands, the Philippines is a popular pick for backpackers and young travellers. Less considered is that it actually makes a great country for retirement too. There is perhaps no better place to fulfill that dream of finally trading in the daily grind for a sweet tropical paradise.
From the beaches of Palawan to the rice terraces of the Mountain Province, the Philippines is home to some of the most stunning tourist destinations in the world. In fact, two of its islands, Boracay and Palawan, have been dubbed “The Best Island in the World” multiple times by various publications. Retiring in the country would mean having all these – and a plethora of other beautiful destinations within its 7,000 islands – at your disposal.
If you’re not too big on snow and prefer dressing light to wrapping up, then the Philippine weather will delight you. Sitting right above the equator, the country enjoys warm weather all year round, save for cities resting on higher altitudes like Baguio and others in the Mountain Province. It has a tropical climate so instead of having four seasons, it has two: rainy and dry. But even in the rain, temperatures are at most cool, rarely falling below 20 °C (68 °F). Here, you get to ditch the scarves and coats for beautiful beach weather.
In the archipelagic country of the Philippines, unless particularly up in the highlands, one can never stray too far from seaside. Perfect for beach lovers, the country houses countless pristine beaches with crystal clear waters and impressive marine life. You’ll never run out of options for your next beach holiday in the Philippines.
Known to be especially hospitable, Filipinos are generally a very friendly people. They enjoy sharing their country with people who love it just as much. They will usually be caught smiling or laughing, as they naturally tend towards a cheerful disposition. They especially like seeing visitors appreciating their country and culture, so should you decide to make the Philippines your home, you’ll be in good hands.
English is the Philippines’ second official language alongside Filipino. It is taught in schools, either as a subject or as the mode of instruction entirely, and the majority of the population speak or at least understand it. This means it isn’t difficult for English-speaking foreigners to manoeuvre their way around the country. Perhaps the minor exceptions are extremely remote villages and towns, but for the most part, there isn’t much of a language barrier for English speakers in the country.
If you like good food, the Philippines will surprise you in the best way possible. For one, Filipino cuisine is interestingly colorful. Its a delicious interlace of various other cuisines (Southeast Asian, Chinese, Spanish) with the magic Filipino touch.
Filipinos love food – their own and everyone else’s. And because of their appreciation for different cuisines, there is a thriving food scene in the Philippines. Many successful food companies do well by simply knowing which international restaurants to bring into the country. Metro Manila especially is a playground for food aficionados. Get lost among its dizzying food choices and enjoy having nearly every type of food right at your fingertips.
But Filipinos don’t only love eating food – they’re fantastic at its creation too. Filipinos usually know their way around the kitchen and they simply have a knack for knowing which flavors work well together. So in a country like the Philippines, the palate of any equally food-loving person is bound to have a field day.
One of the reasons the Philippines is frequented by backpackers is due to the affordability of its goods and services. For anyone used to the prices of most European countries, basic expenses in the Philippines will seem cheap. Enjoy fantastic 300 PHP (6 USD) meals, 150 PHP (3 USD) cab fares, and even the luxury of 500 PHP (10 USD) top-knotch spa services.
One of the most enjoyable things to experience in the Philippines is a local fiesta. And the various provinces in the country host at least one of their own each year. This is why every month, there is bound to be a fiesta being celebrated somewhere in the country. These lively events are usually characterized by parades, street dancing, and colorful costumes. Among the country’s biggest fiestas are Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan Festival, Iloilo’s Dinagyang, and Cebu’s Sinulog.
From an apartment in the bustling big city to a cottage by the sea, turn your dream life into reality. If you like the idea of sprawling shopping malls and restaurant choices that are too many to even imagine, then settle down in Metro Manila and savor the best of big city living. It’s where home service for seemingly anything and everything exists and pretty much whatever you want at any hour of the day can be delivered to your doorstep. If you’re the type of person who has always dreamed of living on the beach, close to the shore and away from the bustle, then retreat to the towns or smaller cities of provinces like Palawan. The Philippines offers amazing settings for the life you’ve always wanted. Mountains, countryside, sea, or city – take your pick.
The best thing about retiring from working is finally being able to re-divert your focus back to truly living. If you’ve built a crazy bucket list throughout your life, this is the perfect time to begin ticking things off of it. And whether you’ve got skydiving on there, or deep-sea diving, or sailing from one island to the next, you’ll be able to tick many of those off in a country like the Philippines where adventure abounds.
This article was originally written by Gelyka Dumaraos and has since been updated.