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Cost of trip to Philippines

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I am planning on taking a trip to the Philippines in mid October to visit my girlfriend. Aside from the cost of the plane ticket (found a round trip ticket for about $800) and hotel room (I will be staying with my girlfriend most of the days I'm there) what is a ball park estimate on how much spending money i should save for my trip? We will probably be in Manila for a couple days (might need a hotel room for a couple days) then we will probably be staying around Binan city most of the other days I am there. I will probably be there for 2 weeks. I just want to keep things simple for the most part and live like the locals as much as possible while spending time with my girlfriend but at the same time I would like to have enough money for us to do some things together. Another thing to consider is I might ask her to marry me while I'm there. I have been told engagement rings in the Philippines are cheaper than in the US. Does anyone have any advice on where to buy one and a price range I might be looking at? Not counting the ring, hotel rooms and plane ticket is $1000-$1500 a reasonable amount to save for my trip? Also some advice on inexpensive things to do in the area I will be staying in would be appreciated.


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Rule #1: Pack half as many clothes as you think you will need and twice as much money. ;)

Some weeks I hardly spend 1000 Php, other weeks I burn through 8000 Php before I know it and have to grab more. Really depends on what you are doing.

This week I got crazy and bought Jack Daniels at SM...for sure not cheap over here... have to eat more fish and rice. :rofl:


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Have your girlfriend buy a aircon and put it in her room and stay with her, more than likely her family will cook for you while you are there also.

I usually enter PHilippines with about $2,000 USD and then around 5000 peso in hand, but I stay maximum length for visitor. I will then western union myself $800 and $900 and have it waiting there in case I need fast cash or need more cash. If I don't ever use it I can always get it back when I get back to USA.

Now of days ATM's are easier to find, just be careful of finding one with a scanner on it, and you can only withdraw like 10,000 peso per each transaction and it cost 200peso.

Be careful in Manila area, taxi drivers are bad for ripping off customers, and you may meet many scammers on the street with stories trying get money from you, If you see a begger remember it is against the law to give money to beggars in Philippines, I will give the kids food sometimes.

I personally try to avoid Manila and anywhere close to it like the plague, I have know many Americans who went only to Philippines and hated the country. In Manila I like going to Cowboy Grill in Ermita, good food and cold beer and good air con in the club. If you get a chance hop a plane to go to province area and spend some time.

If you do travel in general you should be able to find a good hotel with kingsize bed and aircon and hotwater for 800 to 1400 peso per night.

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If you don't stay too many days in high-end hotels, I'd say $1,000 a week would be enough to do a few things touristy but not get crazy. If you plan a short stay in Borocay or something like that, tack on another $1,000. You always need to have an extra supply of cash somewhere in case something happens, such as when storms delay plane flights and your forced to stay a few days in a hotel that weren't originally planned.


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I think $1,000 to $1,500 pocket money is very reasonable especially if you are staying in Binan with your girlfriend and keeping things simple. Personally, I rely more on credit/debit card instead of carrying cash. At the most I have $100 in my wallet and if the need for cash arises, I just send money to myself via Western Union. For things to do, ask your girlfriend about going to Tagaytay. Lots of places to eat and hotels to stay in (not so cheap though). And definitely better temperature than Manila.

Edited by VSRoberts

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Thanks for all the replies so far. You have given me some good information. I talked to my girlfriend more about this today and since I plan on going back in January (when I get vacation time at my new job) she wants us to just spend some time together and not spend much money in October. So the plan is in October to stay there as cheaply as possible and save some money then when I go back in January we can spend a little money and travel a bit around the Philippines. She told me there are houses for rent around where she lives for around $25 a month so we are looking at that option. Otherwise she lives with a relative and she said I can stay there too (I would rather not because we would have less privacy but it is an option). I would maybe get a hotel room in Manila for the first day I get there so I can rest before we travel (after the 19+ hour flight) to where she lives and maybe for a day before I leave. Other than that I guess my only expenses would be food, travel and a little spending money.

The other thing I am wondering about is an engagement ring. I was thinking about asking her to marry me already and a couple days ago out of no where she asked me if I would get her an engagement ring when i go there in October. It is not normal for her to ask me for anything (she doesn't even like when I send her a 50 peso cell phone load) so I know this is something she is serious about. She also told me I should buy it in the Philippines because it's cheaper and she wants something simple that isn't too expensive (I love how she is always trying to get me to save money on things). Anyone have any recommendations on where to buy a ring and what prices I might be looking at for something that looks nice but isn't too expensive? I know that's a hard question to answer. :rofl:


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Wherever you go, let your GF negotiate the price. Stay out of the way and site. You have Kano disease and if they see you the price goes up. I usually gave most of my carry money to my wife and she does all the bargaining. It also taught me that I could trust her and hence one test she passed with merits. And now as my wife she has all the money and gives me my allowance. :rofl:

Good suggestion by others on what you will need and I recommend following their advice.

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Thanks for all the replies so far. You have given me some good information. I talked to my girlfriend more about this today and since I plan on going back in January (when I get vacation time at my new job) she wants us to just spend some time together and not spend much money in October. So the plan is in October to stay there as cheaply as possible and save some money then when I go back in January we can spend a little money and travel a bit around the Philippines. She told me there are houses for rent around where she lives for around $25 a month so we are looking at that option. Otherwise she lives with a relative and she said I can stay there too (I would rather not because we would have less privacy but it is an option). I would maybe get a hotel room in Manila for the first day I get there so I can rest before we travel (after the 19+ hour flight) to where she lives and maybe for a day before I leave. Other than that I guess my only expenses would be food, travel and a little spending money.

The other thing I am wondering about is an engagement ring. I was thinking about asking her to marry me already and a couple days ago out of no where she asked me if I would get her an engagement ring when i go there in October. It is not normal for her to ask me for anything (she doesn't even like when I send her a 50 peso cell phone load) so I know this is something she is serious about. She also told me I should buy it in the Philippines because it's cheaper and she wants something simple that isn't too expensive (I love how she is always trying to get me to save money on things). Anyone have any recommendations on where to buy a ring and what prices I might be looking at for something that looks nice but isn't too expensive? I know that's a hard question to answer. :rofl:

I wouldn't worry much on the ring, the cheaper the better wait for her to get here and upgrade. She just becomes a target with a nice ring. At the end of the day it doesn't mean much, and can give you a freebie anniversary present someday! I generally consider a trip to the Philippines costing $5,000 for just myself 1-2 weeks including everything. I haven't went unless ticket is 1000-1300. The cheapest nice hotel I have found was around $65/night but normally I prefer closer to $200/night. Obviously you can get away with a lot cheaper. I normally get 3 massages a day, just because they are so cheap so that takes up a lot of my days which is nice. You could obviously go a lot cheaper in the Philippines, but I like to vacation in a style similar to the U.S. My wife just went alone and including ticket spent a total of $1800 for 2 weeks and bought her family an air conditioner. I don't know how she did it, I ended up wiring her money and just telling her to go blow it because it was almost funny how cheap her trip was. One nice thing about their culture is, I have to push hard for my wife to use her credit card. I would never have given an ex-girlfriend from the U.S. a credit card.

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Philippines is a beautiful country!

Its more reasonable if you buy the ring here in the States, since you are petitioning her. So in the long run, when the ring needs to be clean or inspect you have it for free. Just stick to your budget and you'll be fine. :)

Have fun and congratulations in advance! :)


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Thanks for all the replies so far. You have given me some good information. I talked to my girlfriend more about this today and since I plan on going back in January (when I get vacation time at my new job) she wants us to just spend some time together and not spend much money in October. So the plan is in October to stay there as cheaply as possible and save some money then when I go back in January we can spend a little money and travel a bit around the Philippines. She told me there are houses for rent around where she lives for around $25 a month so we are looking at that option. Otherwise she lives with a relative and she said I can stay there too (I would rather not because we would have less privacy but it is an option). I would maybe get a hotel room in Manila for the first day I get there so I can rest before we travel (after the 19+ hour flight) to where she lives and maybe for a day before I leave. Other than that I guess my only expenses would be food, travel and a little spending money.

The other thing I am wondering about is an engagement ring. I was thinking about asking her to marry me already and a couple days ago out of no where she asked me if I would get her an engagement ring when i go there in October. It is not normal for her to ask me for anything (she doesn't even like when I send her a 50 peso cell phone load) so I know this is something she is serious about. She also told me I should buy it in the Philippines because it's cheaper and she wants something simple that isn't too expensive (I love how she is always trying to get me to save money on things). Anyone have any recommendations on where to buy a ring and what prices I might be looking at for something that looks nice but isn't too expensive? I know that's a hard question to answer. :rofl:

Hi :)

Regarding the engagement ring, since you will be coming from Binan, Laguna (not too far from my hometown Cavite), it's not that far from Manila (1-2 hrs) and you can attend the Wedding Expo/Fair at SM Mall of Asia, one of the biggest Malls we have :) You can go on this site - http://www.weddingfairphilippines.com/. You can bargain on the fair and the price ranges from 2000 pesos (from Quick Silver) to 50-300,000 pesos (from Suarez wedding rings). There are also rings found in Chinatown Manila. You can go there as well :) There are online

When going to Manila , you can even have a pocket money of $2000 (80,000 pesos) to $3000 that is more than enough since you'll be staying in Binan Laguna. It's more expensive in Manila to stay. You gf can check on Metro deals (http://www.metrodeal.com/) or Ensogo deals (http://www.ensogo.com.ph/) for vouchers on travels and booking hotels at a much cheaper price :)

Enjoy your stay in the Philippines :)

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I went to the Philippines four times in 12 months before arrived in the US...and my main income is as a State employee in Hawaii (plus side businesses--but I am far from "wealthy"). I don't remember what I spent, but it was a LOT less than you might think (including 6 days in Boracay, 7 days in Bohol, and at least 4 weeks total in Manila. Your money goes far in the Philippines when handled with care (see all of the other specific advice). Oh...."Mainland US" chains (i.e., Outback, Hard Rock Cade, etc. charge Mainland US prices--stay away!) Have a blast!


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Regarding about the engagement ring, ask your gf for "rematado" in pawnshops (since you're asking cheap but good quality) lol! Oh well, I once worked in M.Lhullier pawnshop so I know it's much more cheaper... But I agree with China town, I heard jewelries are cheap there since you'll be staying not far from Manila.

Enjoy the heat!!!

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Regarding about the engagement ring, ask your gf for "rematado" in pawnshops (since you're asking cheap but good quality) lol! Oh well, I once worked in M.Lhullier pawnshop so I know it's much more cheaper... But I agree with China town, I heard jewelries are cheap there since you'll be staying not far from Manila.

Enjoy the heat!!!

Is gold/silver cheaper in Philippines versus USA, I would think it would be about the same, since it is basically decided upon spot value.

I have never priced a gold or silver ring or diamonds in Philippines, But I would think I could get a better deal and better quality in USA whether or not buying at merchant or a pawnshop.

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Thanks for all the replies so far. You have given me some good information. I talked to my girlfriend more about this today and since I plan on going back in January (when I get vacation time at my new job) she wants us to just spend some time together and not spend much money in October. So the plan is in October to stay there as cheaply as possible and save some money then when I go back in January we can spend a little money and travel a bit around the Philippines. She told me there are houses for rent around where she lives for around $25 a month so we are looking at that option. Otherwise she lives with a relative and she said I can stay there too (I would rather not because we would have less privacy but it is an option). I would maybe get a hotel room in Manila for the first day I get there so I can rest before we travel (after the 19+ hour flight) to where she lives and maybe for a day before I leave. Other than that I guess my only expenses would be food, travel and a little spending money.

The other thing I am wondering about is an engagement ring. I was thinking about asking her to marry me already and a couple days ago out of no where she asked me if I would get her an engagement ring when i go there in October. It is not normal for her to ask me for anything (she doesn't even like when I send her a 50 peso cell phone load) so I know this is something she is serious about. She also told me I should buy it in the Philippines because it's cheaper and she wants something simple that isn't too expensive (I love how she is always trying to get me to save money on things). Anyone have any recommendations on where to buy a ring and what prices I might be looking at for something that looks nice but isn't too expensive? I know that's a hard question to answer. :rofl:

Aw. If it helps, my (now) husband is from the Philippines and proposed with a necklace. It was a lovely gesture and was easier to hide under a scarf while we traveled in parts of town where shiny things might attract the wrong kind of attention.

We upgraded to a ring when we got married in the States.

From what I know, he went to a simple jewelry store and got a cheap silver necklace. It was a heart with a lock on it. I'm pretty sure he went to Ayala (spelling?) Mall near Quezon City. But he could have bought it in Davao when we arrived there.

I would say that your spending money is just fine as you have stated. I have been to PH several times for "low-key" trips and never spent that much (except one time when I needed to rearrange my airfare last minute).

I really like someone's suggestion of sending yourself a Western Union. I wasted money using an ATM in Manila plenty of times.

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Is gold/silver cheaper in Philippines versus USA, I would think it would be about the same, since it is basically decided upon spot value.

I have never priced a gold or silver ring or diamonds in Philippines, But I would think I could get a better deal and better quality in USA whether or not buying at merchant or a pawnshop.

To be honest no idea, lol! I'm not in the U.S. Yet, but comparing gold/silver here at Canada, to the Philippines, Asia has more beautiful design (in my own opinion) and here in Canada the higher K is 18, maybe not in really expensive places but in most common places, (malls) I haven't seen 22-24k..

My fiancé have no ideas about jewelries, he bought my engagement ring in the U.S. And he ended up paying a lot lol

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