Manila, Philippines: relocation guide for expatriates

To help you prepare your expatriation in Manila and know more about the city, this guide has been made for you. You will find all the necessary information about moving, living and working in the capital of the Philippines.

Introduction to Manila

Manila is the multicultural capital of the Philippines that was founded by the famous explorer Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on June 24, 1571. It is a city within the National Capital Region or also referred to as Metropolitan Manila. Its population is considered to be the second largest in the nation with a total of 1.78 million inhabitants that is composed of both local and foreign nationals. Manila’s tropical climate has a dry season that runs from April to May and a wet season that lasts from June to October.

Filipino is the official language in the Philippines and is widely spoken in Manila. Because of the growing number of foreign nationals in the city, the locals also became fluent in English, Korean and Chinese dialects. The cost of living in Manila is still cheaper compared to other capital cities in South East Asia. However, the rental fees still vary depending on which area you live and can be quite expensive in gated communities or high-end apartments.

Manila street with treesThe city has gained the name of ‘Imperial Manila’ since it serves as the nation’s capital of business, economics and politics. Most large corporations, businesses and government agencies are also situated here which makes it one of the most important cities in the Philippines.

Expats and tourists going to Manila will not run out of famous destinations to visit. Located in Ermita, you will find the infamous Rizal Park (Luneta Park) which is a historical landmark built in honour of the national hero Dr Jose P. Rizal. Facing it is Intramuros or also known as the Walled City which was the original city of Manila when the country was still under the Spanish Empire.

Manila stood as a witness to what could be defined as the country’s most turbulent and darkest time when the former President Ferdinand Marcos publicly declared martial law on the 23rd of September 1972. Extra-judicial killings, political abductions and violation of human rights especially to those who opposed the administration were all reported during Martial Law. On February 25, 1896, the Filipinos gathered to bring down the dictator in the historical event called Edsa People Power that put Corazon Cojuangco Aquino as the first ever female president of the Republic of the Philippines.


Know more about this beautiful world capital from the information below:


This relocation guide is provided by, copyright © 2016 Interexpat Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Neither Interexpat nor S.A.S. ACS can be held liable for any errors or omissions, or any loss, damage that may occur as a result of this information. This information does not constitute advice.


40 years of experience and more than 100 000 clients all over the world.

ACS counts around 40 employees and figure prominently among the insurance brokers specialized in international mobility, thanks to its 40 years of experience and its more than 100 000 clients all over the world.

Our address

ACS – Travel & Expatriate Insurance Solutions
Insurance brokerage company
153, rue de l’Université, 75007 PARIS, FRANCE
Phone number : +33 (0)1 40 47 91 00
N° ORIAS 07 000 350 – Website ORIAS :

Email :