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A Complete Digital Nomad Philippines Guide (2024)

Are you considering being a digital nomad in the Philippines? With more than 7,000 islands, stunning beaches, and a low cost of living, it’s popular for many remote workers. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about being a Philippines digital nomad.

Philippines for digital nomads

The Philippines has diverse cities and beach towns, friendly locals, good food, and fun activities. With so many opportunities, there’s something for almost any digital nomad.

Keep reading to learn all about working remotely in the Philippines.

Is the Philippines good for digital nomads?

There’s a lot to appreciate about the Philippines. Digital nomads love the landscapes, activities, affordability, locals, and nightlife.

  • Beautiful landscapes: With stunning beaches and mountain ranges, the landscapes are picture-perfect.
  • Outdoor activities: Digital nomads in the Philippines can enjoy beach activities, hiking, and exploring nature.
  • Affordability: The Philippines’ cost of living is affordable and offers a comfortable lifestyle.
  • Kind locals: Many locals are some of the friendliest people in the world.
  • Diverse cuisine: With so many food options, finding good cuisine is easy. Although many meals are meat-heavy, most places have vegetarian options too.
  • Nightlife scene: The Philippines is an ideal place to appreciate a lively nightlife scene. 

Read more: 9 Apps That Help You Budget Money (with Pros and Cons)

Can I work remotely in the Philippines as a foreigner?

Although there isn’t a designated Philippines digital nomad visa, there are a few options for working remotely in the Philippines. In fact, the Philippines is very welcoming to the digital nomad community.

If you’re planning a short-term visit or want to hop around to nearby countries, you can spend up to 30 days in the Philippines without a visa. If you want to go back, you can leave the country for as little or long as you’d like, then return.

If you plan to stay more than 30 days, a non-immigrant visa, or temporary residents visa, allows nomads to stay for up to six months. With the non-immigrant visa, you need:

  • Confirmed ticket for leaving the country
  • Passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended duration of stay
  • Visa application form

Read more: The Best Asia Visas for Remote Workers (and how to apply)

Best Places in the Philippines for Digital Nomads

Whether you dream of working remotely in a big city, on a laid-back island, or in a location that offers a mix of both, you can find it in the Philippines. Below, we’ll share the best places for a digital nomad in the Philippines.

Manila

manila for digital nomads

Manila is an excellent destination for digital nomads who enjoy big city life. This is the country’s capital, spans over 42 square kilometers, and is one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

There are many things to see and do in Metro Manila, including shopping, parks, museums, and dining. It also has a lively nightlife scene.

When it’s time for productivity, you can find various places to work and connect with fellow digital nomads

Cebu City

cebu for digital nomads

Digital nomads in the Philippines who want a mix of beach and city vibes head to Cebu City.

Cebu City is centrally located, and close to other islands, so island hopping is one of the most popular activities. It’s the perfect place to relax on the beach and socialize while also meeting other digital nomads and working at coworking spaces and cafes.

Davao

davao for digital nomads

Davao is known for its stunning nature, including beaches, waterfalls, and mountains. This is the ideal destination for digital nomads who like to spend their free time outdoors.

One of Davao’s most appealing features is its vibrant culture and diversity. The food is delicious, and the friendly locals of various backgrounds are proud of their culture.

When it’s time to work, there are excellent coffee shops. There are also a few up-and-coming coworking spaces. 

solis portable wifi

Boracay

Boracay for digital nomads

Boracay is a small island and a popular tourist destination. It’s ideal for digital nomads looking for a fun and relaxing experience.

In Boracay, you can find a white sandy beach, nice resorts, and excellent restaurants. There’s also a lively nightlife scene. Because it’s a touristy spot, meeting other travellers is easy. That said, this also means it lacks the culture that other destinations in the Philippines have.

Although many people spend their time vacationing in Boracay, you can also find several cafes when it’s time to be productive.

Palawan

palawan and coron for digital nomads

Another beautiful island with a growing digital nomad community is Palawan. Its natural scenery is stunning, including Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hot spots on Palawan island include Coron and El Nido.

Although the internet on the island can be spotty, there are coworking spaces and cafes that are generally reliable.

With a relaxed lifestyle and various places to work and meet with other digital nomads, Palawan makes creating a healthy work-life balance easy.

Bohol

Bohol for digital nomads

A smaller island off the coast of Cebu, Bohol offers a blend of city living, in Tagbilan and the tranquil island life of wider Bohol, including Panglao Island. There are also some must-visit sights including the impressive Chocolate Hills, dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, and the tarsier sanctuary.

While Bohol is a little off the typical digital nomad trail it is a real favourite of anyone who spends time there.

Cost of Living in the Philippines

Although the Philippines offers a comfortable cost of living, prices are somewhat higher than other countries in Southeast Asia.

A single person’s estimated monthly costs are usually about $1,000, give or take. This depends on the city and your lifestyle.

Here’s an overview of the average costs for basic expenses for a digital nomad in the Philippines:

  • Accommodation: Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is $322.49. Outside the city centre, it runs about $182.23.
  • Dining: The median inexpensive meal at a restaurant is $3.57.
  • Drinks: A beer or coffee typically costs about $2.
  • Transportation: A one-way ticket for local transportation is less than $1, and a monthly pass is about $10. Taxi fare starts at under $1.

Coworking Spaces and Cafes in the Philippines

Although WiFi in the Philippines isn’t always accessible, you can usually find reliable and fast internet at cafes and coworking spaces. Fortunately, there are many places to work.

Coworking Spaces and Cafes in Manila

Coworking Spaces and Cafes in Cebu City

Coworking Spaces and Cafes in Davao

Coworking Spaces and Cafes in Boracay

Coworking Spaces and Cafes in Palawan

Coworking Spaces and Cafes in Bohol

  • Common Crew: Not just a cafe, Common Crew is a beautiful coworking, exhibition, and social enterprise space. Plus it’s a roastery and creative studio!
  • Bohol BeeFarm: A staple of the traveller scene in Bohol, it’s a hotel, restaurant, and cafe with very relaxed vibes.

How to Find Long-Term Accommodation in the Philippines

Before looking for long-term accommodations, we recommend booking a short-term stay through Bookings.com or Airbnb. Then, find a longer rental when you’re there and can explore the area. 

You might use Facebook pages like Digital Nomad Philippines to find a rental. Various co-living spaces also offer short and long-term accommodation options in the Philippines, like Lub d in Manila.

Downsides of Being a Digital Nomad in the Philippines

Overall, the Philippines is an excellent digital nomad destination. That said, there are usually downsides to any location.

Here are a few drawbacks to being a digital nomad in the Philippines:

  • The weather: With hot summers and a rainy season at the end of summer, weather can be less than desirable. However, the weather is nice most of the year.
  • Inconsistent internet speeds: There are times when the internet isn’t reliable. The more established the area you’re staying in is, the better your WiFi should be. A mobile hotspot is always nice to have handy.
  • Safety: Some areas of the Philippines experience crime. As with anywhere, be vigilant.

Is the Philippines safe for LGBTQ+ people?

There are mixed opinions on the safety and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in the Philippines. Although this study found that 73% of Filipinos say society should accept the gay community, further research revealed some discrepancies in how accepting the culture is.

On the other hand, some travellers report that there are many gay-friendly beaches and bars. In fact, some consider the Philippines’ capital city, Manila, as Asia’s gay capital.

Do I need to learn the language?

The official languages in the Philippines are Tagalog and Filipino, which are dialects of the same language. Many people also speak English, so you don’t necessarily have to learn the language.

That said, learning basic phrases anywhere you’re travelling is always a good idea. This allows you to show respect for the culture and communicate with people who don’t speak English.

You can also have Google Translate ready on your phone while travelling if needed.

We hope this guide to being a digital nomad in the Philippines was helpful to you! If you’re interested in learning about working remotely in other Southeast Asian countries, you might like these articles:

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