Why Expats Love the Tropical Weather of the Philippines
Summer is a busy season in the Philippines. Schools are out, office workers redeem week-long vacation leaves, and foreigners clad in cotton shirts and shorts become temporary beach residents. The country is home to the world’s best island, Palawan, affordable accommodation and a long list of outdoor activities. If you want to imagine summer in the Philippines, think of blue seas and skies, the sun and splashes of green and brown coconut trees.
The Philippine Tourism Office reports that a majority of foreign arrivals, summer season or not, comes from East Asia, followed by the United States. Canadians and Australians are also among the top visitors. Some visit for a few weeks, others settle for good.
Aside from the magnificent natural destinations, low cost of living and friendly people, there’s one thing that keeps foreigners returning and some even staying indefinitely: the tropical weather.
Here are six reasons why expats love the Philippines’ tropical weather.
Tropical weather and sunny moods
American expat Dave migrated to Iloilo with his Filipina wife in 2009. When asked about the positive aspects of living in the country, he replied, “The weather is warm year round, no need to shovel snow anymore.”
Aside from freeing yourself from snow shovelling, do you know that going to the tropics during winter cuts your risk of developing depression? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter depression occurs due to hormonal changes when the body is exposed to less sunlight. According to scientists, the brain makes less serotonin, the hormones that regulate mood, during fall and winter.
There are many theories trying to explain winter blues. The findings are not conclusive because one’s personality traits play a role in mood changes. Nevertheless, one thing is quite definite: it’s easier to smile under the warm sun than when your back is aching clearing up snow in the porch.
Delicious fruits in the tropics
Jan van Dam, a Dutch expat, relocated to the Philippines with his wife in 2008. He cited that some of the positive aspects of living in the country are “the warm climate, low taxes, good local food, delicious fruits.”
Tropical fruits that grow in warm-weather areas are another reason to visit the Philippines. Banana, coconut, guava and watermelon are abundant and affordable. You can prepare your own fruit juice with shaved ice!
Resort living in the city
Illinois native Barry Jay Ruth and his Filipina wife decided to settle in the country nearly a decade ago. They opted for a condo unit with “a large pool, club house, lots of greenery.” Expats planning of moving to the country should know that the beach is not always accessible from a residential community. If you’ll be staying for a work assignment in the National Capital Region, you’d need at least three hours to drive to the nearest beach resort.
Condos in the Philippines offer a convenient alternative for beach and tropical weather lovers: you get the laidback lifestyle in a resort-style condo community without leaving the comforts of the City. Acacia Estates in Taguig provides a botanical escape in the middle of the bustling metropolis.
Better exercise under the sun
The International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index listed the Philippines as among the 20 top retirement destinations in the world. One of the country’s strong points is climate. Although the country experiences at least 20 typhoons each year, the weather is warm all year round.
Studies show that warmer weather can be beneficial to the human health as it boosts exercise. New York-based running coach Mindy Solkin says that warm weather gives a “whole different feel.” “You’re bottled up all winter, sometimes on a treadmill, sometimes not at all and you can’t get outside because of the cold, the snow and the dark,” she shares.
When the rainy season kicks in, expats living in condos don’t have any problems staying physically active. Condo facilities include a fitness center available to homeowners and tenants.
Light exposure, improved health
Dr. Robert Matchock, associate professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University, says that exposure to bright light can help treat symptoms of insomnia and increase mental alertness. Bathing in morning sunshine can also reset the body clock, regulating the body’s sleep-wake timing.
The other health benefits of living in a tropical country include higher supply of vitamin D, a nutrient vital for bone health and protection against hypertension and cancers.
Laidback lifestyle on light clothes
Aside from the lower cost of living, being in a tropical country means you’ll get to save on clothing expenses. No need for expensive and bulky coats, boots and other winter outfits. Cotton shirts, shorts and light dresses will do the trick even during the rainy months.
The temperature across the islands slightly differ depending on the altitude. For example, cities in Cagayan Valley experience extreme warmth and coldness—hitting an 8 degree Celsius low and a rising to 50 degrees high—throughout the year. People in the lowlands, including in the National Capital Region, enjoy a 20 to 35 degree Celsius temperature.
Sun, sand and sea
This list will not be complete without mentioning the Philippines’ world-famous beaches. If you may know, there is a wide range of swimming destinations in the archipelago aside from Boracay and Palawan. In the north, be mesmerized by the virgin shores of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte and the calm waves of Sta. Catalina, Ilocos Sur. San Juan in La Union, the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, is a favorite destination of young Aussies and African students.
In southern Luzon, visit the pristine beaches in Puerto Galera. The Visayas and Mindanao regions are peppered with beach destinations, you’ll need to extend your visa stay to visit even half of them. Visit Calaguas in Camarines Norte, Bantayan Island in Cebu, Bolobadiangan Island in Iloilo, and Buluan Island in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Foreigners can choose from a wide range of islands, beaches and cities to love in the Philippines. These destinations are your grand escape from the daily grind of modern life. The country is a fusion of laidback provincial life and lively metropolitan culture. You can live like a king in luxury homes or high-rise condo communities at the fraction of costs in developed countries. Most importantly, the warmness of Filipino hospitality will make you feel it’s summer every day. Tropical weather + affordable living + beautiful beaches + friendly neighbors = a paradise on earth.