Emigrate to the Philippines

⇒ Philippines culture

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ School system of the Philippines

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety


Philippines culture

The culture of the Philippines is diverse, reflecting the country’s long history and ethnic diversity. Here are some characteristics that distinguish Filipino culture:

  1. Ethnic Diversity: The Philippines is made up of a variety of ethnic groups, each with their own traditions, languages and customs. The largest ethnic groups are the Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Bisaya, Bicolano and many more.
  2. Religion: The majority of Filipinos are Roman Catholic, due to the long colonial rule of Spain. This has a great impact on people’s lives, from religious celebrations to cultural practices.
  3. Festivals and celebrations: The Philippines is known for its colorful festivals and celebrations. The most famous festival is the “Sinulog” in Cebu, where dancers in colorful costumes perform traditional dances.
  4. Family-centeredness: The family has a high value in Philippine culture. Multigenerational households are common, and family support is paramount.
  5. Hospitality: Filipinos are known for their warm hospitality. Visitors are often welcomed with open arms and made to feel at home.
  6. Culinary diversity: Philippine cuisine is diverse and influenced by the country’s different regions and ethnicities. Rice is a staple food, and dishes such as “adobo” and “sinigang” are popular.
  7. Traditional Music and Dance: Traditional Filipino musical instruments such as the “Kulintang” are often played at cultural events. Traditional dances such as the “Tinikling” and the “Singkil” are also important forms of cultural expression.
  8. Languages: The Philippines is a multilingual country with over 170 languages. Filipino and English are the official languages, and many Filipinos speak both fluently.
  9. Arts and Crafts: Filipinos are talented artists, and crafts such as weaving, carving and jewelry making are traditional skills.
  10. Colonial Influences: The Philippines’ long colonial history has greatly influenced the country’s culture, especially by the Spanish and later by the Americans.

Filipino culture is rich in traditions, customs and values that have evolved over the centuries and are still strongly present today.

Natur pur gibt es auf den Philippinen


The climate in the Philippines is tropical and is strongly influenced by the monsoons. There are basically three main climate zones in the Philippines:

  1. Dry season (November to April): During this time the weather is generally dry and pleasant. Temperatures are higher, especially from March to April, when summer reaches its peak. The dry season is the best time for tourists to visit the Philippines as the weather is ideal for outdoor activities.
  2. Rainy season (May to October): During this time it rains more often and the temperatures are slightly cooler. The rainy season is influenced by monsoons that bring moist air masses from the Pacific Ocean into the country. During this time, tropical storms known as typhoons can occur. However, the rainy season can have different effects in different regions.
  3. Intermediate period (May and October): In the months of May and October there is usually less rain and the weather can be changeable. This is often a transitional period between the rainy and dry seasons.

The Philippines is made up of many islands, so climatic conditions can vary depending on geographic location. The western parts of the archipelago are generally wetter than the eastern parts. Temperatures can be cooler in the mountainous regions, while the coastal regions are warmer.


The Philippines is known for its linguistic diversity, as there are a large number of languages and dialects. The official language is Filipino, also known as Tagalog. It is considered the national language of the country and is the basis for communication between the different ethnic groups.

Besides Filipino, there are many regional languages and dialects in the Philippines. Some of the most significant are:

  1. Cebuano: This language is mainly spoken in the Visayas region and is one of the most widely spoken languages in the Philippines.
  2. Ilocano: Ilocano is spoken mainly on the island of Luzon in the north of the country.
  3. Waray: Waray is spoken on the island of Samar in Eastern Visayas.
  4. Bikol: Bikol is spoken in the Bicol region of southeastern Luzon.
  5. Hiligaynon/Ilonggo: This language is mainly spoken on the island of Panay.
  6. Kapampangan: Kapampangan is distributed in the province of Pampanga in Luzon.
  7. Pangasinan: Pangasinan is spoken in the province of Pangasinan on Luzon.

There are many other regional languages and dialects in the Philippines, as the country consists of more than 7,000 islands and each region has its own linguistic identity. It is important to note that English is also widely spoken and is considered one of the two official working languages of the country. It is used in educational institutions, media, government and business.

School system of the Philippines

For emigrating to the Philippines with your family, the school system obviously plays a big role:

The school system in the Philippines is structured similarly to many other countries, but consists of different levels of education and institutions. Here are some important features of the school system in the Philippines:

  1. Primary education: Primary education in the Philippines lasts six years, beginning at around age six. It includes basic subjects such as math, science, language, social studies, and music. Primary education aims to teach basic literacy and numeracy skills.
  2. Middle school education: Middle school education typically lasts four years and includes Grades 7 through 10, where subjects are expanded to cover a broader range of knowledge and skills. There are both public and private middle schools.
  3. Secondary Education: Secondary education in the Philippines lasts two years and includes Grades 11 and 12, also known as senior high school, and aims to prepare students for higher education or the job market. Students choose specialized tracks that reflect their interests and career goals, such as science and technology, commerce, humanities, or sports and the arts.
  4. Higher Education: Higher education in the Philippines is provided in colleges and universities. There is a wide range of fields of study, ranging from arts and humanities to science and engineering. The length of study varies depending on the specialty, but can typically range from four to six years.
  5. Technical and vocational education: In addition to academic education, the Philippines also has technical and vocational education institutions that focus specifically on practical skills and professional qualifications.
  6. Languages: The language of instruction in schools in the Philippines is Filipino, but English is also used as the language of instruction. This reflects the fact that English plays an important role in the country’s public life and economy.

The school system in the Philippines has undergone various reforms over the years to improve the quality of education and ensure that students are prepared for the demands of the modern world.

Healthcare system

The health care system in the Philippines is a mix of public and private institutions that provide health services to the population. Here are some important features of the health care system in the Philippines:

  1. Public Health Services: The country has a network of public hospitals, health centers, and clinics that are government-operated and provide basic medical care and services. These facilities are often found in rural areas and less developed regions.
  2. Private Health Services: In addition to public facilities, there are also a variety of private hospitals, clinics and medical centers that provide quality medical care and services. Private facilities tend to be better equipped and offer a wider range of medical services.
  3. Health Insurance: The health care system in the Philippines includes several health insurance options. The state health insurance program, known as “PhilHealth,” provides basic coverage for medical expenses. Private health insurance is also available and provides extended coverage for medical treatments.
  4. Health Personnel: The Philippines has a trained medical workforce, including doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and other medical professionals. However, rural and remote areas may lack sufficient medical staff and resources.
  5. Health promotion and prevention: The government and various organizations in the Philippines are working to promote health, prevent disease, and educate the population about healthy lifestyles and hygiene.
Die farbenfrohe und wunderbare Tierwelt auf den Philippinen

Vaccinations and medical certificates

Vaccinations and medical certificates may be required for emigration to the Philippines as a German.

In general, some of the common vaccinations that are often recommended for travel may also be relevant for emigration. These include vaccinations against diseases such as hepatitis A and B, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles.

In addition, certain medical evidence could also be required upon entry into the Philippines. These could include medical certificates of health and possibly confirmation of vaccinations.

Tax system

The tax system in the Philippines is subject to various laws and regulations set by the Philippine government. Here are some important aspects of the tax system in the Philippines:

  1. Income tax: Income tax in the Philippines is based on a progressive tax rate, which depends on the amount of taxable income. This tax rate may vary from year to year. There are also various tax exemptions and deductions that may apply depending on the source and type of income.
  2. Corporate Tax: Companies in the Philippines are required to pay corporate income taxes. The rate of corporate income tax may also vary and depends on the type of company and the profits generated.
  3. Value Added Tax (VAT): Value Added Tax (VAT) is an indirect tax on goods and services. The standard VAT rate is usually 12%, but there are also reduced rates for certain goods and services.
  4. Property tax: Property taxes may apply to real estate ownership. The amount of property tax depends on various factors such as the value of the property and the location.
  5. Customs Duties and Import Taxes: Customs duties and import taxes may apply when importing goods into the Philippines. The exact rates vary depending on the product.
  6. Special economic zones: The Philippines has established special economic zones where companies can benefit from tax incentives under certain conditions.

Tax tricks

There are legal ways to save taxes in the Philippines as in many other countries. Some of the common tax optimization strategies in the Philippines can be:

  1. Use of tax exemptions and deductions: Philippine tax laws provide various tax exemptions and deductions for certain activities and investments. For example, certain expenses, such as donations to recognized charities, may be tax deductible.
  2. Investment in special economic zones: The Philippines has established special economic zones where companies can benefit from tax incentives. These zones often offer lower tax rates or even tax exemptions for certain periods of time.
  3. Use of double taxation agreements (DTAs): The Philippines has entered into double taxation agreements with various countries to prevent income from being taxed twice. If you earn income in a country that has a DTA with the Philippines, you could benefit from reduced withholding tax rates or other advantages.
  4. Income in Tax-Favored Sectors: Some industries or activities may be tax-favored in the Philippines. If you are in one of these industries, you could benefit from lower tax rates or exemptions.
  5. Structuring business activities: By intelligently structuring your business activities and investments, you may be able to achieve tax advantages. This can include how you organize income and expenses and how you structure deals.


The economy of the Philippines is an emerging economy in the Asia-Pacific region. It has experienced solid growth in recent years, although it also faces several challenges. Here are some important features of the economy in the Philippines:

  1. Services sector: The services sector is the largest and most important sector of the Philippine economy. It covers areas such as tourism, business process outsourcing (BPO), financial services, retail and real estate.
  2. BPO industry: The BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Philippines. The country is known for its skilled English-speaking population, making it a popular destination for call centers, IT services and other outsourcing services.
  3. Agriculture: Agriculture is a major industry in the Philippines, although it accounts for a smaller share of gross domestic product (GDP). It contributes to the food supply and export of products such as coconuts, rice, bananas and fish.
  4. Industrial sector: The industrial sector includes areas such as manufacturing, mining and energy. The production of electronics, clothing and food are important sub-sectors.
  5. Tourism: The tourism sector has grown in the Philippines in recent years. The country’s breathtaking landscapes, diverse culture and beautiful beaches attract tourists from all over the world.
  6. Foreign trade: The Philippines is a major player in international trade. Important trading partners are the USA, Japan, China and Singapore. The main export products are electronics, clothing, coconut products and semiconductors.
  7. Infrastructure: The government of the Philippines has prioritized investments in the country’s infrastructure to support economic development. Projects to improve roads, bridges, airports, and rail transportation are planned or underway.
Die Landschaft auf den Philippinen ist sehr vielschichtig

Prices by index

Even in an emerging economy like the Philippines, prices can change quickly and vary greatly from region to region, so please refer to the Cost of Living website. The information on this website is constantly updated so that you are always up to date.

Real Estate

As an immigrant or foreigner, it is generally possible to buy or rent real estate in the Philippines. However, there are certain restrictions and regulations that must be observed:

Real estate purchase:

  • Foreigners are generally not allowed to own land in the Philippines. However, they may own buildings constructed on such land areas.
  • There is an exception for foreigners who wish to purchase real estate for residential purposes. Under the Condominium Act of 2009, foreigners are allowed to purchase condominiums in apartment buildings as long as the foreign share does not exceed 40% of the total area.
  • It is possible to acquire land in the Philippines through a Philippine corporation in which the foreign owner holds no more than 40% of the shares. However, this option requires the establishment of a Philippine company.

Real estate rent:

  • Foreigners can rent real estate in the Philippines, whether for residential or commercial purposes. Rental conditions vary depending on the rental company and location.

Company foundation

As an immigrant or foreigner, it is possible to start a business in the Philippines. There are various business forms and options available to you to do business in the Philippines. Here is some important information about it:

Enterprise forms:

  1. 100% Foreign Company: In some industries it is possible to establish a 100% foreign company. This means that as a foreigner you can be the sole owner of the company.
  2. Philippine Subsidiary: You can establish a subsidiary of a foreign company operating in the Philippines. This subsidiary may be a separate legal entity controlled by the parent company.
  3. Joint Venture: You can join forces with a Filipino partner to start a business. In some industries, this may be a requirement.

Industry Restrictions: It is important to note that certain industries in the Philippines may be restricted or regulated for foreign investors. In some cases, a special permit or license is required.

Registration procedure: The exact steps and requirements for starting a business may vary depending on the type of business and industry. In general, however, you need to perform the following steps:

  • Review the business form and relevant regulations for your industry.
  • Choose an appropriate business name and get it approved.
  • Compile the necessary documents and records, including a business plan and financial information.
  • Register the company with the relevant authorities, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
  • Apply for the necessary licenses and permits for your industry, if applicable.

It is advisable to thoroughly research the applicable regulations and seek legal advice before starting a business to ensure that you meet all the necessary steps and requirements. The assistance of an experienced local lawyer or consultant can help you smoothly set up and run your business in the Philippines.

Company forms

An immigrant or foreign national who wants to start a business in the Philippines may consider different business forms depending on his objectives, the nature of the business and the legal requirements. Here are some common types of companies available in the Philippines:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is operated and owned by a single person. It is an easy way to start a small business, but has limited liability and is restricted in some industries.
  2. Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a separate legal entity formed by at least two partners. Each partner has limited liability and the company has its own legal identity.
  3. Joint stock company (corporation): A corporation is formed by at least five shareholders. It has its own legal entity and offers the advantage of limited liability for the shareholders.
  4. Partnership: A partnership is formed by at least two partners who jointly manage the business and share profits. There are different types of partnerships, including general partnerships and limited partnerships.
  5. Branch Office: A foreign company may open a branch office in the Philippines to expand its operations. The branch is an extension of the main company and is subject to the same rules and regulations.
  6. Representative Office: A representative office is a representative office of a foreign company in the Philippines that can conduct limited activities such as marketing, sales promotion and market research.

For emigrating to the Philippines, there are different types of visas depending on the purpose of your stay. Here are some of the common Visa options:

  1. Tourist Visa: A tourist visa allows a temporary stay in the Philippines for tourist purposes. The duration can vary depending on the guidelines, usually it is 30 to 59 days and can be extended.
  2. Quota Visa: This visa is intended for foreign investors or retirees. It requires a set amount of money to be deposited in a Philippine bank to obtain the visa. It usually allows a longer period of stay and certain economic activities.
  3. SRRV (Special Resident Retiree’s Visa): This visa is specifically for retirees and allows them to live in the Philippines. There are different SRRV categories, depending on age, investment amount and other factors.
  4. Student Visa: For foreign students who wish to study at an accredited educational institution in the Philippines.
  5. Work Visa: If you want to work in the Philippines, you need a work visa. This usually requires an employment contract from a Philippine employer.
  6. Investor Visa: If you intend to invest in a Philippine company, you can obtain an investor visa under certain conditions.
  7. Marriage Visa: If you are marrying a Filipino citizen, you can apply for a marriage visa.
  8. Retirement Visa (Balikbayan Privilege): If you are married or have children who are Philippine citizens, you may be eligible for a retirement visa with a length of stay of up to one year.
Security in the country

The security situation in the Philippines can vary depending on the region and circumstances. While many areas of the country are safe for tourists and residents, there are also some regions that may be less safe due to political unrest, criminal activity or natural hazards.

Some of the safety aspects you should consider:

  1. Natural Disasters: The Philippines is located in the Pacific typhoon belt and is therefore prone to natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It is important to be aware of local weather and conditions and take appropriate action in the event of an emergency.
  2. Regional conflicts: Some remote areas in the south of the country, such as the Autonomous Region in Muslim-Mindanao, may be less safe due to ethnic or political tensions. It is recommended to check the travel advice of the Foreign Office or other relevant authorities before visiting these areas.
  3. Crime: Pickpocketing and similar crimes may occur in larger cities, especially in Manila. It is advisable to stay prepared and keep your valuables safe.
  4. Health: In some parts of the country there may be problems with drinking water supply and hygiene. It is recommended to pay attention to the quality of water and food and, if necessary, to take preventive measures such as vaccinations.
  5. Traffic Safety: Traffic in the Philippines can be chaotic, especially in the larger cities. It is important to be careful when crossing the streets or renting a vehicle.

It is advisable to inform yourself about the safety instructions, we refer here to the information of the Foreign Office: Safety Instructions Philippines.

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