50 Reasons Why Life is Better in the Philippines

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I strongly believe that The Philippines is the most underrated country in South East Asia.

It’s true, that when most people think of taking trips to South East Asia, they usually jump at Thailand, or Vietnam, or Bali, before considering the Philippines.   This is probably because The Philippines hasn’t become commercialized or mainstream.  It’s often overlooked.

Well, I’m here to tell you that this country is absolutely incredible.  The smiling faces, postcard-perfect beaches and relaxing lifestyle is hard to beat anywhere in the world.

I have taken a dozen trips to the Philippines over the last few years, and spent a total of several months in the country.  I’ve explored 15 islands, as well as spent time in both major cities of Manila and Cebu.  I’m absolutely in love with everything about this tropical paradise land called the Philippines.

I mean, the country’s slogan is, “It’s more fun in the Philippines” — so you can’t get any better than that!

Here you go with 50 Reasons Why Life is Better in the Philippines.”


1. The country is made up of 7,107 islands
2. It’s tropical with crystal clear ocean water
3. The people are the friendliest I’ve ever met
4. It’s extremely affordable
5. You can drink fresh coconut juice

6. You can enjoy some of the best scuba diving in the world
7. You can spend time on Palawan – the #1 ranked best island in the world
8. You can visit pure white sand beaches in Boracay – Check out the best beaches on Boracay Compass

9. You can hike volcanoes in Davao
10. You can ride in a Jeepney (awesome decorated taxis)

11. You can enjoy my favorite local beer called Red Horse (it’s 8%!)
12. You can drink fresh fruit juice water
13. You can visit the chocolate hills of Bohol
14. You can party hard in Manila
15. You can scuba dive through sunken Japanese ship wrecks from WWII

16. You can eat amazing seafood curries
17. You will be always be treated with upmost respect
18. You can get a one-hour body massage for $5USD
19. You don’t have to worry about a language barrier, because everyone speaks fluent English
20. The water temperature is warm and perfect

21. You can find private exclusive beaches almost everywhere
22. You can rent a motorbike and explore for less than $5USD per day
23. You can learn about the history from the Spanish Colonization
24.  You can enjoy the annual Sinualog festival in Cebu
25. You can capture breathtaking sunset photos, like this one I took on Malcapuya Island

26. You can eat “Lechon” – or suckling roasted pig (the national dish)
27. You can visit the Puerto Princesa Underground river in Palawan (a New 7 Wonder of the World)
28. You will always be greeted with a “Hello Sir” or “Hello Maam
29. You can see Magellan’s cross that he planted in Cebu in 1521
30. You can go island hopping in a bamboo boat (which are used everywhere)

31. You can drink rum that’s cheaper than juice
32. You can try eating with you hands (like the locals do)
33. You can visit UNESCO Heritage Sites like the Rice Terraces of Cordilleras
34. You can find cheap hostels for less than $5USD per night
35. You can visit the Big Lagoon in El Nido

Photo Credit © Sabrina Iovino | JustOneWayTicket.com

36. You can enjoy golden mangos on Cebu island
37. You can go cliff jumping anywhere and everywhere
38. You will always be greeted with a smile 😀
39. You can try exotic foods like balut – boiled fertilized duck egg
40. You can visit incredible waterfalls like this one called Tumalog Falls in Cebu

41. You can see the Mayon Volacno in Luzon
42. You can take a dip in Barracuda lake in Coron
43. You can find cheap flights to Manila from Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo
44. You can shop at the SM Mall in Pasa – the 4th biggest mall in the world
45. You can swim with whale sharks in Cebu

46. You can enjoy the amazing year round weather, which averages 22.6 degrees Celsius (75 F)
47. You can go zip lining through the jungle
48. You can eat some Lumpia (fried egg rolls)
49. You can discover Filipino music, which may catch you by surprise
50. You can stay there forever because it’s just that incredible!

I hope you get the chance to visit this amazing country.  I promise you that it will go above and beyond your expectations!

For more inspiration on the Philippines, check out:
20 Photos of the Philippines that will make you pack your bags and go – A great post by Sabrina from “Just One Way Ticket”
– The Next Escape – an awesome travel blog with lots of useful advice about the Philippines

And lastly, check out my other blog posts on the Philippines!

6 Filipino Foods to Try
A Travel Guide to Cebu

10 Things to do in CebuTop 10 Cebuano Word
All About Siquijor Island
A Travel Guide to Oslob, Cebu Island
Complete Guide to Coron

166 thoughts on “50 Reasons Why Life is Better in the Philippines

  1. I am so glad that you like my country!!! Thank you very much for telling it to everyone..I believe that the rum you are talking about that is cheaper than juice is TANDUAY RUM. :). My Israeli boyfriend like it a lot. He never had hangover with this one. Cheers!

  2. I am so glad that you like my country!!! Thank you very much for telling it to everyone..I believe that the rum you are talking about that is cheaper than juice is TANDUAY RUM. :). My Israeli boyfriend like it a lot. He never had hangover with this one.

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  4. I am British and went to the Philippines. Fantastic holiday but beware about falling in love.
    I fell in love with a woman who had a young child.
    Even if you marry you will be unable to take her to the UK unless you earn £24,400 per year. slightly less if she has no children. So if you don’t earn that amount don’t fall in love. It will end in tears.
    It’s so sad that British people are unable to fall in love and marry who they like and take them to the UK.
    Your wife will be obligated to send money back to her family too for ever. Family is so important out there as there is no welfare. No job = no money. How they survive when the most have no job is a mystery to me.
    That’s why westerners have no trouble in finding the best looking woman in the world who will treat you like a king cause you are a potential life long food ticket.
    Philipinos think ALL westerners are rich, even though it’s not true it’s still feels great when beautiful women chase the most ordinary western guy and they genuinely are not bothered by a 30 or 40 year age difference.
    If you are financially stable then you will find the woman of your dreams here.

  5. “…Life is Better in the Philippines” as you said is NOT quite so. If this were so, thousands upon thousands of Pilipino people wouldn’t leave their country for “greener pasture”. People IS Philippines’ greatest export: Housemaids, doctors, nurses, engineers, professionals in general. All of them are leaving their country and come back after some time to their beloved cuntry after having saved enough.

    You see, if you work and earn your wages and salary in PhP, Philippines is NOT a place to live. If you’re just visiting the Philippines (as in your case) with your Dollars or Euros or Sterling pounds or a combination of the three currencies, YES, Philippines IS the place to do things and visit places as you mentioned here.

    I know hundreds of thousands of Pilipinos who had never done things or gone places in their very own country owing to lack of money. Travelling is NOT that easy for common, ordinary Pilipino people. Everyhting you have done, everything you’ve eaten and places you’ve been to in and around the Philippines must have cost you a great deal of money; Pilipinos in general (80%-90%) cannot do what you’ve done.

    Even if an average Pilipino has a source of income, this is NOT enough to go places and do things in the Philippines. I know many Pilipinos who hold 2-3 jobs at the same time just to “make both ends meet”. Even so this doesn’t allow you to make a decent living.

    I wonder what you would have been doing if you didn’t have a source of income. Would you have been to these places and doing things you were mentioning here? I sincerely do NOT think so.
    _ _ _ _ _
    Ross Galán, Ph. D
    NLP Spiritual Life Coach

    1. I think you’re missing the whole point of this article Ross. “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” is a campaign slogan to ATTRACT visitors to the Philippines, not to state how local Filipinos feel about where they live.

      1. My comment was FOR the article, “50 Reasons Why Life is Better in the Philippines”, NOT for “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”

        Nowhere in the article “50 Reasons Why Life is Better in the Philippines” could I find
        “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”

    2. I have spent a year living in a beautiful rural location in the Phillipines and encountered more challenges related to people than anywhere else that I have ever lived. People are brainwashed Christian religious fanatics who nearly all will probe you about the strength of your religious beliefs and what they are and I am talking about people that you have never met before posing such questions within minutes of first meeting you. If you do not see things like a Phillipine person does, have the same pre occupations such as getting, or being married, and living life in accordance to their ideas, they have little tolerance in accepting you and will blank you out, give you verbal abuse and encourage their children to annoy you, I have never met such intolerant, blinkered people in my life. Not even in Arab countries that are under Islamic law did I find such challenges. You are obliged to be an American even if you are not. If you do not obsess about everything trashy Yankie and refuse to speak in a Yankie slang accent or if you eventually loose patience being asked twenty times every day when you are going back home to America, then you will get verbal abuse for your poor attitude. After being there a year, at least half the population either blanked me out, or gave me vile verbal a use e wry day, and I was ALLWAYS polite, but never gave information about any belief in a particular God, declared any wish to get married, allways stated a wish to live a life as a single person who is not celibate and refused to speak in slang American, given that I come from the home of the English language. For that, I was treated to a living hell. Not everyone was the same. Many people were very, very nice and friendly, but enough people were such a problem that life became very difficult. You must respect their values but unless your own values reflect theirs, you will have problems. There were a few non American, non Chistian fanatic expats living there, but they did not receive verbal abuse etc because they were married to local women.

  6. Hello Drew,
    Thank you for your article, very informative. I’m planning a trip to Phili for 3 weeks on October. Wondering if you have any idea about how the weather is going to be like there in this month. The weather websites’ forecasts are a bit confusing.

    Thank you

  7. Thanks a lot for your positive views, Drew! As my home country, we who live here can take its beauty for granted. We can end up only seeing the negative sides. It’s so refreshing to hear from a traveler who can see it’s beauty hidden in plain sight. More travels to you!

  8. I agree with you Drew! Philippines is a nice place for vacation but not to live there for good unless I have rich parents that send me US $$$ every month. I migrated to US when I was 15 yrs old and I’m now in my 40s. I’m very blessed and one of the lucky ones that was able to get out of the country and enjoy the American Dreams and bcoz of that I’m able to go back and visit my old home every 2 yrs and enjoed it like a queen bcoz I have the almighty dollars to do so. But yes!!! I agree with all the 50 reasons u mentioned! Thanks for mentioning it all. And major yes about Palawan!!! I love that island!

    1. Not true, its a great place to live as well as visiting. Just use you currency to invest in the Philippines like we have, then you can earn from your investment. that what we do, and life could not be better. Problem with western countries is that people don’t save due to the high cost of living. You need to be smart.

  9. Thanks Drew for showing the world what a wonderful place the Philippines is. I also have been to the Philippines over the past few years, the people are so friendly and welcoming, the country is so beautiful compaired to my cement life. I am moving there end of this year and could not be happier

      1. Hi Drew, I’ve been chatting and i am in love with a filipino girl from Negros Oriental, what’s the culture like there? Have you visited that part of the Philippines, she says a lot of people work on farms and eat rice mostly, also horse raddish and sweet potato, was just wondering what the lifestyle was like and how people live and work there, thanks

  10. Am a kenyan hoping to secure a job that i just applied in philippine..wan to know if they discriminate one based on colour coz am black

  11. Hi Drew, I read a lot of awesome comments and suggestions here. Thank you for doing that for Philippines. ??? I have a British boyfriend his currently in working in Japan right now and He wants to apply a permanent residency their. But I want to stay here in Philippines if you have any advice to convince him to live here in Philippines too.

  12. Drew, you mentioned the book “Combing the Coral Carpet” in your blog, do you know where and how I can get a copy in the Philippines? Thanks!

      1. Try the speakeasies too! My personal favorite is Bank Bar Manila (there’s a small door inside 7/11 which is a secret entrance to the bar. ABV in Jupiter, Makati (www.abv.com)

  13. It is really amazing how a foreign eye praises the country you live at. I am very happy that you got to visit the Philippines. The reviews were very real and spot on! One thing, there was some sort of typographical error on the part of the 4th biggest mall in the world. It is located in “Pasay”, not “Pasa”. 🙂 Hope to read more of your inputs 🙂

      1. Thank you sir drew for giving honor to our country. The most best you did there is that you are even a foreign that has just visited into our home country so it’s an honor for me you were now inspiring other people around globe… Philippines must be your second home!!! Thank’s a lot!!!

  14. As much as I love the Phils (I’m married to a Filipina and have visited more than 30 times), there’s also plenty to hate about that country. Lack of proper, not to mention tourist, infrastructure, horrible Wi-Fi, bad restos everywhere (the difference between a Wendy’s in Taguig and a poorer city is huge), violent crime (if you don’t believe me, try walking around Ermita-Malate at night) and awful poverty. It’s a great place to vacation but living there is not for me.

    1. Thanks for sharing your opinions! I agree with some things, but overall I LOVE the PH. Maybe not for living, but it’s sure as hell a great vacation!

    2. So true DHK. Now returned here in the Phil. After so many years living abroad with my husband. So beautiful here but as you Said a lot To hate here. I have To be patient and i’ m not sure how long will it take😅

    1. I want to go for Holiday to Philipines but I don’t know what is the cost of living there or anything about philipines. If any ideas please share with me. I just need to see places relax and enjoy my holiday

    1. One of the best things about the Phils is that its not all tourists, so you get to meet real people who are genuinely pleased to speak to you and extend their hospitality. Plus you can find beautiful beaches almost devoid of people. A great place.

  15. Hi sir.. Some other time..may you visit jomalig island of Quezon.. Its beautiful like boracay..but the native version of boracay.. Long white beach.. With ”aguho tree.”. Please see the Google for the site view.

  16. Visit the province of Bataan…. very historical indeed… nice beaches, wonderful people…. don’t forget to see “Las Casas Filipinas”, a cluster of old philippine houses rebuilt with its ancient majesty that you’ll surely go back to the beautiful memories of ancient philippine village !

  17. Hi Drew, The Philippines will be my next stop, after reading this post and the pictures added to it, I”m even more eager to get there. *Counting the days…………141……140……..139………*

    1. Hi Drew, thank you so much for your blog. Yes it’s true my country is a very nice country. And true that every time we see foreigner we always great them hi sir, hi ma’am..

  18. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement and one of the biggest surprising day for me is when I so your blog.
    Thank you Drew for being really happy when you here in the Philippines, I feel happy too for all the admiring things that you say about our country. because of your blog and all of those picture that you share in all over the world I can feel that you are in to our country I’m hoping that you will find a lot of friends here when you go back, thank you also for promoting my beloved country, I am so Proud of you. hope to see you and be friends with you. God bless you and guide you always wherever you go!

  19. Filipinos are an interesting mix of east and west- we look Asian, but our names are in Spanish and we speak Uncle Sam’s English. That makes us different from the rest of Asia. By the way, if you have time to spare, head to Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao. It’s the home of the country’s best white water rafting experience.

      1. rafting in cagayan de oro is more fun at 18km long with 22 rapids in a big river. in 2012 it cost me around $35/person. i had my first rafting experience in denver, colorado way back 2010 but it’s too short at 6km long with few rapids but it cost me $50 in an abandoned old mine tailing.

  20. This is just a naiv wiew from backpackers that spend some weeks in the country. Also pinoys in this forum who describe their country as a tropical paradise must be living in a pink bobble.

    I have spendt many years in this beautiful (and ugly) country and i love it but its far away from a paradise. Anywhy there is no paradis om earth and i am agree that Philippines is an underrated tourist destination compare to the other asian countries.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Agree with your points, and I’m sure that you have a much different perspective on the country since you lived there. Cheers

      1. Your messagehi Drew, am a black guy in africa and believe philli has the most beautiful women in this world, can you help me get connected to some ladieladies in my search for a girl freing?, thank u.

    2. been married to a Filipina , we go every year to iligan city – mindanao . and from there we make trips , by boat , plain , ferry . and yes i like it there [ most of the time ] i want to retire there , but my wife wants us to stay in the Netherlands , so we stay [ a pitty ] but again go every year . i saw many places in the world , but nothing is to compare !

  21. Check out the photo bank from many people on “Come Visit My Philippines” I have lived here for 18 years and written 10 books on the country – travel tales and short stories. Also “Combing the Coral Carpet” the cruising guide to the Philippine Islands – the best way to see 7000 islands is definitely by boat!

  22. Thanks a lot in being in love with my unique country Philippines as even my husband from Sikkim India love to stay there also but he doesn’t try to eat balot. My brother is a balot dealer in Boracay.” Bugtong bato” also in Tibiao Antique is nice, try to visit next time.

  23. Iloilo bro, next time visit iloilo city (on panay) during january as it has the dinagyang festival.
    from there you can head north to carles unto the “isla de gigants” and enjoy a pristine untouched beaches there. After that, go back south to guimaras island, for more hidden beaches and have the best mangoes in the world! Happy travelings

  24. Hahaha, the Philippines seen in a narrow tourist perspctive. This is the most silly, naiv crap I ever read about a country where most of the population is suffering from poverty, corruption and lack of human rights.

    1. Just because a country is suffering from poverty, corruption and human rights doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy traveling there. I also enjoyed Vietnam, India, and Nicaragua in the same way that I enjoyed the Philippines.

      Sometimes, it’s better to look at the positives than the negatives, Geir

      1. I really appreciate your very positive opinions and gestures about the Philippines. I’m sure there are also some cons about the Philippines like humidity, traffic etc..but you mainly focus on positive ones. I was born and raise in the Philippines and has lived in the US for 20 years now and just can’t wait to live and retire again and explore more of our “more fun in the Philippines ” . Like what you said $5 can give you a decent massage. Take care!

      1. I asume that you meen USA? In the Philippines everbody smile even if they ar unhappy. They also smile when they rob you and they smiling when natural distasters hit them. So you can compare whith superficial happiness in USA

        This is a cultural thing that you dont understand if you dont stay there for a while. And if you think that all the smiling people in the Philippines are happy you have a lot of things to learn.

        1. For us Filipinos, happiness is a choice and our smiles reveal it. We face a lot of challenges in our daily lives: Poverty is widespread, and corruption scandals involving govt leaders makes our economy very unstable. Our country is situated in an area susceptible to national disasters. But if we chose to be negative all the time, what will become of us? We see goodness even in small things and that is how we thrive even in the darkest of hours…

          1. After many years in your country i learn that your smiles is often a kind of “self defense” to tacle the misery that so many of you live in… but its of course better than be negative:) So my comment whas for the naive western tourist that think all filipinos are so happy:) .

            Philippines is still a very nice place but i am afraid of the future because of the overpopulation an the pollution. Every year its more people and less food because of overfishing etc. and the economy growth is based on overseas workers and not good politicians.

          2. There is not an issue of overpopulation. I just came back from India. You should go there if you want to see overpopulation

    2. your so bitter, the Philippines is not perfect but lots of people who migrated and went away from the Philippines still dreaming of going back there one day, and I’m one of them. The people and places are incomparable.

  25. Hey man, Thank you very much! This place truly can offer you a lot of things to see and feel. Such a nice thought that you chose to have your vacation here. Like what other people say that there’s so much still you have to see but take things a step at a time; for a lifetime may not be enough to conclude the beauty of this country but you did already amazing and I can see you were having a lot of fun 🙂 Keep up!

  26. You missed Iloilo… you should not miss the contemporary and original Queen City of the South which is Iloilo with its colorful history and the rowdy, noisy and fun filled exotic tribal Dinagyang Festival and the awesome paradise of Northern Iloilo which is the Isla de Gigantes and Sicogon Islands in Carles, Iloilo. You should search those out in GOOGLE.

  27. hi drew..!
    you must and need to visit agusan del sur/surigao and siargao islands for enchanted river,tinuy-an falls,britania islands,and so on and so forth!

    thanks for loving our country..!

      1. thank you Drew for having a good experience in our country but still you have to come back Cebu because you miss the best place especially in the interior part of the south where the falls are located,

  28. Thank you for appreciating our country.It’s people like you (whos very generous in giving compliments) that reminds us all the time to be more happy and contented living in a tropical paradise.God bless you Drew!

  29. a very good coffee table read. checkout the sunsets at LIAN BATANGAS theyre amazingly beautiful!

  30. Great list and thank you for promoting our country. See these places on your next trip (unless you’ve already been and i missed it in your posts):
    Baler, Aurora
    Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves in Zambales
    Bolinao, Pangasinan
    Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

    And a lot more!! Happy traveling!!

    1. Allan, yes I know but it’s the average temperature!! And hot in the Philippines isn’t that bad, becayse you have beaches everywhere 🙂 … It’s 43 degrees in Arizona right now and I am 600 kilometers away from the sea!

  31. “3. The people are the friendliest I’ve ever met”

    I agree, that’s one of the reasons I’ve made Boracay my new homebase. Just love the friendlyness of the people and how open they are 🙂

    Nice article! Enjoyed reading it

  32. i love myself and my country. opppsss thers one thing more i LOVE!! RED HORSE!!!!.lol
    thanks for loving our country.

  33. Thank you so much for such a wonderful comment for our country. I’m glad you enjoyed the beautiful places here. Can you add to your list the Corregidor Island…. it’s an island that hold so much history…

      1. thank you for appreciating the beauty of my country. Your luckier than the other filipinos like me who leave abroad because you already explored the philippines if not all. I wish i could go back soon with my family for them to see what i am always telling them. i missed my country and the people so much

  34. Drew thanks for such Beautiful words for our country, Philippines. I’m just overwhelmed on how you and Sabrina fell in love to our country and both of u are promoting it as well. I will be following your blogs guys because I also love to travel but I got no means. By reading your blogs, I can feel I am present there also. Keep up the good work! Looking forward for your blogs. @onewayticket and @hungrypartier ^_^

  35. This is agood read!.. im happy to know that you had enjoyed your trip here in PH. Red Horse is one helluva beer that really kicks! Glad that you cant get enough of RH mate!.. speaking of palawan yeah you better put El Nido on top of your list.. that place is next level of a paradise. Thank you so much for telling your awesome experiences here in our country.. i hope you get to visit more ofen and recommend PH to your friends/family. . Travel safely mate

  36. thank you for sharing my country to the world….I miss the BOY RED HORSE…very strong….there are a Lot to visit and add to your lists….


  37. It is definitely more fun in the Philippines , been 4 times and love the place, the food and san Miguel and also the beautiful people

      1. ohh gosh you made me realise how homesick i am right now living in my american dream….. grrrr.rr…. missed the land of stress free…. smile everywhere

  38. Beautiful photos and crisp lines 🙂 There are other pristine beaches though compared to Boracay… Even 2 to 3 hrs from Manila, there’s Tagaytay, that offers a view of the world’s smallest volcano (in the middle of the lake). Or go shooting the rapids in Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna. Did you mention the sweetest mangoes are in the Philippines – Guimaras is where they come from.

    Maybe on your next visit, there are other places to see 🙂 Hope to see more people like you!

    1. Thank you Angelia! Thanks for adding a few others to this list.. Obviously there are 1000+ reasons that I could’ve mentioned, but these were just the top 50 in my mind!! I can’t wait to visit again probably next year. Cheers from India 🙂

  39. Thank you for this article about my beloved country. I feel absolutely happy whenever a foreign traveler gets to love the Philippines and share it to the world like what Sabrina of Just One Way Ticket does. Hope you come back. There are more places to explore – Sagada, Bicol, Siargao, Leyte and a lot mooore!

    Now i’m curious. Where did you find that less than 5USD hostel rate here in the Philippines?

    Happy travels!

  40. All statement above are so true and these are the reasons why do travelers love our country.
    Another reason to be proud of as a Filipino.

    1. Yessss it’s the best!! Actually they range from 6-9%. The bar that I was drinking it at in Coron had 8% and they said it was a “special” type of Red Horse. Not sure if it’s commonly found around the country or not, but it was delicious 🙂

  41. Well it’s official, I want to go now. Puerto Princessa looks awesome! A cave with all sorts of stalactites & stalagmites, only with a river running through it. Count me in! I’ve also wanted to go cliff jumping badly for a while now. Only got to do it once in a quarry in Maine and it was so much fun. Thanks for the recommendation. Was considering doing Thailand later this year. maybe I’ll have to do the Philippines instead. Do you prefer the Philippines over Thailand?

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