The 10 Best Places To Live in The Philippines

Iloilo City's Esplanade
Iloilo City's Esplanade | © Andrei Goncharov/Shutterstock
Photo of Ronica Valdeavilla
Writer20 March 2018

Being an archipelago with over 7,000 islands, each island in the Philippines brags salient features that make it either a touristy or homey destination, or both. Whether it’s because of the peaceful ambience, an array of gorgeous white-sand beaches, or a cooler climate, one might consider moving to one of these places in the country.

Baguio City

Baguio city at sunset, Luzon Island, Philippines | © joyfull / Shutterstock

The City of Pines (also known as the country’s Summer Capital) is known for having a cooler climate as compared to the majority of the provinces in the country. With that, fruits and vegetables are always fresh and walking from one establishment to another isn’t a problem. Because of its calm and cool ambience, it seemingly puts residents into a good mood at all times. While commercialization is definitely obvious and heavy traffic builds up every now and then, Baguio City preserves its charm, laid-back atmosphere, art scenes, and of course, the stunning, nature attractions.

Tagaytay City

View of Taal Lake in Tagaytay, Vulcan Point | © Anna ART / Shutterstock

When it comes to spur-of-the-moment out of town trips, Tagaytay is always a common top choice among travelers. That’s because it only takes less than two hours from Manila to reach this destination. Whether it’s a trip with the significant other, a group of friends, or a vacation with the whole family, the numerous leisure and outdoor activities definitely won’t disappoint. Apart from the cool temperature and its close proximity to Metro Manila, current major developments are also focused within the area. And unlike Manila, majority of the land area is covered in greens, thick smog is nowhere to be found, and the breathtaking view of Taal Lake will always leave you in awe.

Lipa City, Batangas

If you’re a beach bum who loves peace and quiet, you won’t get enough of the stunning, picturesque beaches in the province of Batangas. Whether it’s fine white-sand beaches or rocky shores, Batangas has various beach resorts perfect for solitude-seekers. The province also caters to newbie hikers and climbers because of its hiking and mountain climbing destinations. If you’re considering to move to Batangas, Lipa City is said to be a top choice especially among retirees because of its cooler climate and ideal location – being close to nature’s best attractions and convenient travel to the country’s capital, Manila.

Sta. Rosa City, Laguna

Apart from being home to various historical spots, nature parks, hot springs, and popular theme park Enchanted Kingdom, major commercialization developments are focused within the suburbs of Laguna. And, if you’re someone who’s looking to move within an areas of greens yet provides accessible modern comforts such as food parks, malls, and other commercial establishments, the booming area of Santa Rosa City is a perfect choice. What was once a vast fields of greens has developed into a conducive, family-friendly environment characterized by open spaces and rich natural surroundings while offering retail centers for residents’ everyday needs.

Subic, Zambales

Subic Bay, Philippines | © ARTYOORAN/Shutterstock

Renowned for being a former US naval base, Subic has also become a popular tourist attraction among adventure-seekers because of thrilling rides, diving areas for shipwrecks and coral species, and wondrous beaches. While its famous among families or those traveling in groups, Subic area is also a sought-after residential spot for offering both rural and urban living. Even if it’s four hours away from Metro Manila, it has unique shopping and dining options and the best part is, one can drive around safely because traffic rules are strictly implemented.

Makati City

View of the skyline of Makati | © Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

Amidst the horrendous situation of Manila traffic, business-capital Makati City is a standout city in the country’s National Capital Region. Apart from offering everything that one needs within the vast commercial and business establishments, both home seekers and investors are keen to invest in this area. For home seekers, top-quality condominiums are available and thus, provides convenience for those who work around the area and prefer to enjoy the city life. Plus, Makati’s government is known to strictly implement security and traffic rules which guarantees one’s overall safety.

Cebu City

Bird's eye view of Cebu City from the Tops Lookout | © Jixin YU / Shutterstock

Being the Visayas Region‘s main business hub, Cebu boasts the perfect combination of both urban and natural attractions within one’s reach. One can easily immerse in good food, entertainment, rich culture, and world-class beaches such as those in Malapascua, Sumilon, and Bantayan within a short distance. Apart from being the location of the grand Sinulog Festival and being home to famous native delicacies, there’s a number of growing economic centers and industries for those seeking new career opportunities. In addition, Cebuanos are also generally well-known to be accommodating individuals.

Bacolod City

The Ruins in the borders of Negros Occidental's Talisay and Bacolod cities | © Crystal Eye Studio / Shutterstock

Bacolod City has been dubbed twice as the Philippines’ best place to live in by two separate magazines in the years 2008 and 2017. This comes as no surprise because it offers amenities like that of a highly-urbanized city but only better – a cleaner and greener environment, absence of traffic woes, and a lower cost of living. It’s also home to the most delectable cuisine where restaurants, pastry shops and fine dining restaurants give one a taste of how the sweet life is like in the city found within the country’s Sugar Bowl Capital. Bacolod City is also known as ‘The City of Smiles’ and that’s because its charming locals are known for their warmth and hospitality.

Iloilo City

Being one of the highlights of Panay Island, Iloilo City is dubbed as the ‘jewel’ of the Western Visayas. This close neighbor of Bacolod City is also home to genuinely kind people and also has a highly-urbanized setting while fostering a relaxed atmosphere. There are only a few traffic jams experienced within this city and so, it’s expected that locals here are happier. Apart from the Dinagyang Festival (which is the city’s biggest cultural and widely-celebrated festival), hitting the beaches and island-hopping are right outside the city as it’s near the islands of Boracay and Guimaras. They also have bike-friendly lanes, an esplanade ideal for relaxing late afternoon walks, and heavenly seafood restaurants!

Davao City

Mount Apo Summit | © Ulysses Nemeno / Shutterstock

Davao City is considered as one of the most livable and safest cities in the world primarily because of its low crime rates and strict enforcement of discipline and order by its local government. It has a centralized communication in providing emergency responses to its residents. And because Davao City is easily accessible via land, sea or air travel, it’s no wonder that it has also become a business hub and a regional center in southern Philippines. As one of the fastest developing cities, the local government has its full support in ensuring that public utilities and infrastructures are well-maintained.

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