Metro Manila · Manila Basics - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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Let us familiarize you with the Megacity Manila. 

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a bustling city in Southeast Asia. Recently reported as one of Asia’s fastest growing economies right after China, the Philippines is enjoying a growing employment rate as well as a soaring BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry. Manila and its nearby cities – from Muntinlupa in the South to Quezon City and Caloocan in the North – form the political, economic and cultural capital of the Philippines. Let us familiarize you with the Megacity Manila and with How is the city organized? What does it stand for? And how do I survive here?

You are a Megacitizen? You are currently living in or planning to live in Manila for one (1) to five (5) years? Welcome to - You just found your online information and communication platform for Expats, Professionals and their Families !

Manila City, Metro Manila, Megacity, National Capital Region,... - the different terms can be confusing. Click here to get a definition of Manila and its administrative units. What is the story behind Manila? Find out more about the city's and the country's past in our "Short History of Manila". How does the country tick? Learn all about culture, politics, geography and climate.

What is going on in Manila? We show you the weekly and yearly highlights, upcoming events, and the best Manila has to offer in terms of cultural life, cuisine, and more. 

Preferred Areas & HotSpots: The Metropolis Manila seems like a vast concrete jungle to the newcomer. Let us bring order into the chaos by showing you the best places to be in the Megacity. We present to you the nicest shopping, entertainment, and nightlife districts, with a huge and constantly growing database of the city's best restaurants, bars, hotels, malls, museums, theaters, and landmarks.

Basic Needs / Survive Manila : first-hand information about everything you need to survive in Manila, form accommodation, shopping, and communities to work, health, and public transport. Check out the Leisure section with endless opportunities of traveling, sports, nightlife, and recreation.

Who are the Megacitizens? Read personal stories of Megacitizens, their lives and experiences in the Megacity.

Before you finally pack your bags and come here, have a look at our useful "Guide in Ten Steps" for moving to Manila.

We update our information every day and try to answer all your questions about living and working in the Megacity Manila. Any information missing? Just contact us! Also try the search field on the top of the page or visit our sitemap.

Tell your friends about us and, if you want, send us articles, pictures and videos. It doesn't matter if it is about a personal story, health information, events of the expat community, or funny things that happened to you. Share your personal experience with other Megacitizens as we share ours with you! Keep in touch.

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The Megacitizens guide for moving to Manila, from booking a flight and packing your things to finding a job and making new friends.

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Moving to a tropical paradise like the Philippines is a dream come true for many, but on the other end of the spectrum - especially for the ill-informed, this big move could become a nightmare. But don’t let the dream go just yet because as soon as you learn about the common mistakes that foreigners make when moving to the country, you will be just fine.

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Here we provide all basic information regarding the most important types of visa for the Philippines, for all foreigners who want to travel, study, work, or retire in the country.

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In addition to a common code of behaviour (do not hurt or insult people et cetera), the Megacity Manila features some rules and laws which might not be familiar to everyone. While a list of all social and cultural behaviours would definitely fill some pages (and it makes more fun to figure it out by yourself), features the most important rules and laws which, when followed, prevent you from getting in trouble.

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Manila stands for a couple of things such as Politics, Economy and Crime. The most important things a Megacitizen has to know about this city are summarized below in some easy-to-remember paragraphs. With that in mind, go out and make experiences of your own - and let us know about it!

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Precolonial traditions, Chinese merchants, catholic Spanish colonizers, American pop culture... the Philippine society is a fascinating amalgam of many influences. Learn more about the diverse Philippine customs and traditions in this section.

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The Philippine cuisine is not the typical Asian cuisine you might imagine. Here we tell you everything you need to know about Filipino food culture, from typical meals and beverages to street food, wet markets, and Jollibee.

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How many seasons do we have in the Philippines? When is the best time to travel in order to avoid monsoon and typhoons? And how do Filipinos define "cold"? Here is all you need to know about geography and climate of Manila and the Philippines.

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With 7,107 islands, the Philippines is popular among those who love the beach, the scenic countryside or tropical mountains. It is a prime destination for vacation, no matter if you look for diving, tanning, party or trekking. Tourism in the country is not as big as it used to be, though, since it is no longer an Asian hub for nightlife. However, a huge number of tourists from over the world still go to the Philippines for leisure and increasingly for its amazing natural wonders.

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For a long time, the history of Manila was shaped by foreign powers. In fact, few cities in the world have such a long history of colonization. Here is a brief overview of the city's and the country's checkered past.

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If you are new to the Megacity, you will certainly feel a bit confused about the use of terms such as 'Manila', 'City of Manila', 'Metro Manila', NCR, and so on. Let us clarify which term refers to what and what their meanings are.

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During the Asia Pacific Week in Berlin (Germany) Manila - more particularly Makati City - was represented by no one less than the the Honourable Vice President Binay. The topic was Makati City as a Smart City.

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The Philippines is a relatively solid democracy with a strong civil society. Nevertheless, it is still a developing country, with persistent social problems, corruption, and a partially inefficient bureaucracy. Here is an overview of the political system, the level of development, and many links to country reports and fact sheets that provide you with further information about all sectors of society.

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Shopping malls all over the Megacity function as a meeting point for Metro Manila residents and those who go to the city for a short visit. For many people living in the city, malls can be regarded as a important part of daily life.