Your guide to being an expatriate in Philippines

Caffeinate Your Philippines Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

The Republic of the Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelago nation comprising over 7,000 islands spread across the western Pacific Ocean. Located to the east of Vietnam and to the west of Taiwan, this country has atotal population of 109,011,710 people as of July 2021, making it the 12th most populous country in the world. The capital and largest city is Manila, which is located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay. The Philippines draws its name from King Philip II of Spain who ruled during the Spanish colonization of the islands. Today, the country is a democracy with a presidential system of government, and is a founding member of ASEAN.


Expat destinations in Philippines

Demographics of Philippines:

Ethnic groups

Other: 12%

Indonesian, Malays, and Punjabi: 3%

Chinese, Filipino Chinese, and Hoklo: 25%

Tagalog, Bicolano, Cebuano, Ilocano, Waray-Waray, and Kapampangan: 60%


English: 25%

Dialects such as Cebuano, Ilocano, Waray-Waray, and Kapampangan: 15%

Filipino, also known as Pilipino, (a variety of the Tagalog language): 60%

Religion Overview

The Philippines is predominantly Christian, with approximately 92% of its population identifying as Roman Catholic. Other significant religions include Philippine Islam, Evangelical Christianity, and Iglesia ni Cristo.

Major Religions


The Philippines has a tropical climate, with two main seasons: the wet season, which runs from June to November, and the dry season, which is from December to May. Temperature and rainfall vary widely across the archipelago's many islands. Temperatures generally range from 21 to 32°C, with humidity levels averaging around 80%.

Economy Overview

The Philippines has a developing economy, ranked 63rd in the world by nominal GNI as of 2021. The country's economy is diversifying, and is shifting from agriculture-based to knowledge and service-based. Major industries contributing to the economy include services such as real estate, finance, and business process outsourcing (BPO), as well as manufacturing, agriculture, and exports like electronics and semi-conductors.

Key Industries

  • Services (particularly business process outsourcing)
  • Manufacturing (electronics and semi-conductors)
  • Agriculture (coconuts, bananas, fish, mango, pineapple, and sugar)

Major Companies

  • Ayala Land, Inc.
  • JG Summit Holdings, Inc.
  • Metro Pacific Investments Corporation
  • SM Investments Corporation
  • Globe Telecom
  • Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT)
  • SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

Culture and Language Overview

The Philippines boasts a rich and diverse culture influenced by Spanish, Malay, and Chinese traditions. The country hosts many festivals throughout the year celebrating this heritage, including the Sinulog Festival in Cebu (dedicated to the Santo Niño statuette), the Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan (which commemorates a mythical tribe said to have visited Boracay many years ago), and the Pahiyang Festival in Lucban, Quezon (which honors the harvest of rice).

Cultural Highlights

  • Sinulog Festival in Cebu
  • Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo
  • Pahiyang Festival in Lucban

Geography and Landmarks Overview

The Philippines is famous for its captivating landscapes, which include vast tropical rainforests, stunning mountains, breathtaking beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Many of these natural wonders are designated as national parks preserving the country's diverse flora and fauna.

Notable Landmarks

  • Mayon Volcano (a new active stratovolcano located in Albay)
  • Tara Falls (a series of seven waterfalls in Sagada, Mount Province)
  • Chocolate Hills (a geological formation consisting of over 1,700 mounds spread across various islands)
  • Coron Town (an ancient Spanish fortification on Busuanga Island, Province of Palawan)
  • Hapsai Ridge (a mountain in Mindanao that is part of the Philippines Cordillera, which is the southernmost limit of the infamous Ring of Fire)

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Chinese New Year (dates vary)
  • Ash Wednesday (dates vary)
  • Maundy Thursday (dates vary)
  • Good Friday (dates vary)
  • Black Saturday (dates vary)
  • Easter Sunday (dates vary)
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • National Heroes Day (August 29)
  • Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21)
  • Bonifacio Day (November 30)
  • Rizal Day (December 30)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Political Stability

The Philippines ranks 126th out of 179 countries in the 2021 Fragile States Index, a report published by the Fund for Peace, indicating that the country faces medium levels of fragility, notably concerning state legitimacy, political participation, and social cohesion. Domestic political issues, such as clashes between the military and Islamic insurgents, continue to pose a challenge for the country's governmental stability and security.

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