There’s no city in the world like Manilla. It’s the perfect medium between complete chaos and order, old and new, adventure and comfort. If you were thinking of going to the Philippines as a digital nomad, it’s a great choice, but you have to be prepared for a culture shock. Manila has some great things going for it for digital nomads, and some challenges. But if you come prepared, you should feel right at home after a while. Here are a few things you should know if you want to make it as a digital nomad in Manilla.

Prepare for the Traffic

You’ve probably heard legends about Manilla traffic before. Well, let me tell you, these legends are absolutely true. If you’re coming from a country or city that isn’t densely populated, then this could be a shock at first. Not to mention that drivers in the Philippines have to be aggressive in order to survive here, so unless you feel adventurous, I wouldn’t suggest you drive here. Your best bet would be to go with one of the many ride-sharing services in the country. There are plenty of Ubers there, but Go Lag and Grab are two other very popular ridesharing services in the city.

It would also be wise to get familiar with rush hour there and don’t expect trips to take the same time depending on the hour of the day. Plan your itineraries carefully to avoid rush hour at all costs, even if it means leaving late.

Filipino Time is a Thing

Pinoys are some of the best and most honest workers you’ll find anywhere if you need to outsource work. But you shouldn’t view meeting hours as formal. It’s not uncommon for events to start an hour late in the Philippines, so be prepared for that. However, if it’s for a professional meeting, most will try to respect your time and not come in too late, so make sure that you give them a little leeway and don’t show too much frustration.

Accommodation is Great

The Philippines has tons of great accommodation and you’ll get much more for your money there than pretty much anywhere else. So, it would be wise to stay a few days at a hotel first until you get acclimatized. You can find a great Makati hotel Philippines right next to central Manilla and start looking for a permanent place to stay. You’ll be surprised at the level of comfort and amenities you’ll be able to get, and you could get 4 to 5-star accommodation for a fraction of what you would pay back home, so explore your options.


Manilla is a great place for anybody wanting to work as a digital nomad or find work in the city. Make sure that you follow this guide next time you’re in the city and don’t be afraid to learn more about the city and the country before you make your move.