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Cost of Living in Mandaluyong, Philippines

One Month’s Spend for Travelers, Retirees and Nomads

Planning an extended stay in Mandaluyong? Wondering what the cost of living in Mandaluyong might be? One of the Philippines most fascinating cities has a lot to offer in the way of outstanding cultural experiences, great food and affordable living. Also, it’s a common destination for travelers, digital nomads and retirees. .

When I decided to travel the world full-time, I set a monthly budget for myself of $1600 Canadian dollars (about $1,200 USD) per month. I know that it will vary depending on where I am in the world, but I plan to stick to it as best I can and hope it all evens out in the end. This Blog Post is only to give you a general idea of what to expect to for a long term stay in Mandaluyong. Your expenses could be much lower or higher than mine depending on your style of living.

All figures below will be in US dollars.

Let’s see how my cost of living compares to my budget:

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Cost of Living in Mandaluyong

I made my way back to Metro Manila and I will end up staying here for several months. Mandaluyong is a city in metro Manila located next to the more well known BGC and Makati. You are guaranteed to get a more local feel of Manila being based here as opposed to the others mentioned. And they have every modern amenity you can imagine. High end hotels, massive shopping malls and overall fantastic infrastructure

I chose Mandaluyong because of Em. The new lady friend I told you about last month. My original plan was to stay in BGC but as I tried to book something they were either way too expensive or already booked. After settling on Mandaluyong and finding a place, by sheer coincidence my unit happened to be located in the exact complex that Em lives. We were in different towers but very close to each other.

Alright, that’s enough of my school boy crush, let’s dive in.


I stayed in Pioneer Woodlands which is located directly next door to SM Light, yet another Mandaluyong shopping mall. Pioneer Woodlands consists of 5 towers with a 6th being constructed. It’s a large complex with a great staff, multiple swimming pools and a large gym. The mall next door has several dining options, pharmacy, cinema and large grocery store.

The unit is a one bedroom unit with everything one would need. Full kitchen and bath with hot water, great wi-fi, large flat screen smart tv, A/C etc. No washing machine here so I just do everything by hand when this is the case. I own very few articles of clothing and most of my shirts are merino wool and are extremely delicate so washing them by hand is normal anyway.

The best part of this stay was being so close to Em. As I told you in my Quezon City Cost of Living, there was chemistry from the moment we met and that has continued to this day. When I moved to Pioneer Woodlands, we became inseparable.

Travel Tip:

The AirBnb host was great and offered to have the unit cleaned for me while I was there. I declined because I am a bit of neat freak, and I clean my unit twice week anyway. And their was a laundry next door so I would take sheets and towels there to be cleaned. I did pre-negotiate a discounted rate on this stay directly with the host through AirBnb.

There is a small travel tip for you. If you’re on a budget, don’t just accept the listed price on AirBnb. Send the host a message and ask them if they can discount it any further. In my travels I have found that 50% of the time if you are booking for a longer stay they are willing to discount it a bit more. Some will refuse to discount any further because they have already applied a discount to a long term stay. It never hurts to ask, all they can do is say no

If you’re interested in checking out the unit you can find it here. Cobson’s Nordic Black 1BR with Netflix & Wi-Fi

Total cost for accommodation for the month: $627

Looking for short term accommodations? Check these great deals:

  • Luxury Accommodations: – The Westin Manila – Set in Manila and with Shangri-La Plaza reachable within 500 metres, The Westin Manila features concierge services, non-smoking rooms, a restaurant, free WiFi throughout the property and a bar. This 5-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and an ATM. The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, evening entertainment and room service.
  • Mid-Range Accommodations: – Edsa Shangri-La, Manila -Nestled in Mandaluyong City’s financial and commercial district is the luxurious Edsa Shangri-La, Manila. The hotel boasts numerous leisure facilities such as a spa, an outdoor pool, a gym and 6 dining options.
  • Budget Accommodations: – Go Hotels Plus Mandaluyong Avida Towers Riala Tower 3 is situated in Cebu City, within 2.7 km of Ayala Center Cebu and 3.5 km of SM City Cebu.

Or check here for the latest deals on

Related Reading: Cost of Living in Bacolod City, Philippines

Cost of Living in Mandaluyong – Activities

Activities sky rocket this month. Being back in this are allowed me the chance to connect with Jian again. If you’re new here, Jian is the highest rated tour guide in Manila and I did one of his food tours, ironically enough, in Mandaluyong when I first arrived in then Philippines. Now that I was back in the area I wanted to check out more of his tours because he is so knowledgeable and fun to hang out with.

I did three of his tours during this stay. Chinatown, Quiapo and a customized tour we did through BGC that included a speak easy that is hidden through the store room of a 7-11. I’m not kidding, if you just walked into the 7-11 you would have no idea there was a fancy little bar hidden behind the storeroom. I threw Jian’s tours in here because it was a paid event and the price below also includes tips for Jian.

Total Cost for Activities for the month: $330

This is the video that Jian and I visit a secret speak easy:

Dining and Restaurants

This month just ended up being a doozy for expenses. Between filming numerous food tours, Em and I also went out several times. What is a little more disturbing about this month is that Em and I would split costs in most cases. If we go out, one night I would pay and the next she would pay. Same for Grab deliveries etc. I am going to blame this on that honeymoon phase of a relationship. I guess I was trying to impress her despite the fact that I am next to dirt poor. The good news is that in the coming months we reduced our spending by leaps and bounds


In fairness to everything said above I also filmed at Pioneer Street Food Market. I pre-arranged filming so every vendor that wanted to be in the video could be. 7 locations chose to be in the video and everyone one of them tried to offer me free food. If you know me, you know I do not accept free food. They planned all of these things for me to eat and then were left miffed when I insisted on paying for it. They did heavily discount it, but Rak -n- rolls for instance gave me one of every menu item. This night ended up costing me close to $100 to add to my cost of living in Mandaluyong.

As usual, this category makes up Grab deliveries, dining out and expenses incurred for content I made. For comparison sake meals in Mandaluyong can vary widely. You can get a tapsilog meal for as little as $2.00 and if you want western food it will be much more expensive. Grab deliveries can vary anywhere from $4-5 to as high as you want to to go for food. As with every country, the local cuisine will always be much more affordable than International dishes

Total Cost for Dining out for One Month: $391

Check out the insane amount of food that I eat at Pioneer Street Food Market:

Have a look at all the food and activity tours that Jian offers. And yes, I have been on all of them:

Cost of Living in Mandaluyong – Groceries

Call it the new found love interest or maybe I just realized I am getting old and needed to take better care of myself. But I began trying to at least do home workouts again this month, which in turn meant buying some healthier snacks and reducing my alcohol intake. It doesn’t help that proper raw vegetables are not so common in Filipino cuisine so I began buying these to have around the AirBnb. Bonus points to the giant grocery store right next door

Total Cost for Groceries for the Month: $201

Cell Phones

This is the same as usual. My Cell plan was with Globe and it works great anywhere in Manila with decent speeds. This month only consists of topping up my sim card that I purchased when I arrived in country.

Total Cost for Phone and Data for one Month: $10


Metro Manila is a sprawling city so you need to use transportation of some kind. this mostly consists of some Grabs and a lot of trikes around Mandaluyong. Trikes are the Philippines version of rickshaws or tuk tuk’s. Little motorized bikes with a cart that take you short distances.

Total cost for Transportation for One Month: $139

Looking for fun things to do in Manila? Check out some of these tours from Viator


I extended my visa for two months the last time and included that entire cost into my Quezon City cost of Living.

Total Cost for Visa for one month: $0

Miscellaneous Expenses

This category covers pretty much everything that’s not included above. I include alcohol in miscellaneous, because I do enjoy a beer from time to time while hanging around the Airbnb. You might not drink and if you are planning a budget you can easily omit this cost. For me, alcohol makes up about 60% of this category. This month it also included my new found love for ice coffee thanks to Em.

One thing to note in the Philippines. Banks charge hefty fees for foreign card withdrawals regardless of amounts withdrawn. It works out to a little over $3 for every transaction so if you have to pull money out, pull out as much as possible in one transaction.

Total Miscellaneous Costs for one month: $133

One thing I can’t live without while on the road full time – Saves me lots of money too!

Cost of Living in Manadaluyong – Totals

Cost of Living in Mandaluyong, Philippines

Looking at the table above, you can see I annihilated my budget entirely this month. I will probably be broke and begging someone to take me in if I keep this up for too long. But $1,831 USD works out to almost $2,500 CAD. I really have to pull my head out of backside going forward because I can’t keep spending money like this. If you have a job that I can do remotely from anywhere in the world, send me a message😁. Even with my insane spending this month, it is still cheaper than in any of my former home countries. The bonus of being in those countries is the ability to work anywhere I want but I also wouldn’t be bringing you these Blog posts or YouTube videos.

Have you lived in Mandaluyong for any length of time? Were your numbers similar to my cost of living in Mandaluyong for one month? Do you have any other tips for potential travelers? Leave a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you.



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