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Cost of Living in Quezon City, Philippines

One Month’s Spend for Travelers, Retirees and Nomads

Planning an extended stay in Quezon City? Wondering what the cost of living in Quezon City 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.

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 Quezon City

Quezon City is the largest city in Metro Manila by land mass and lies approximately 7 kilometres from Manila proper. For a brief period of time Quezon City was the capital of the Philippines (1948-1976). Although the capital was moved back to Manila, Quezon City is still home to the Philippines House of Representatives.

Quezon City offers one of the very few green spaces you will find in all of Metro Manila. Green spaces in Metro Manila account for only 12% of the land mass and Quezon Cities Mesa Eco Park accounts for half of that. The city also has the highest concentration of shopping malls in the Philippines. No matter what you’re looking for you can find it here.

Accommodations

I stayed in an area of Quezon City near SM’s North Edsa Mall. In fact the complex I stayed at was connected via a skywalk to the mall. The name of the property is Grass Residences, and the property itself could be considered a small city. Complete with a grocery store, banks, convenient stores and restaurants only available to the residences of the complex. The only negative was this was another SM property. If you remember my first Manila Cost of Living article, SM properties have some issues.

My unit was located in tower 3 of 6. A comfortable unit with a fabulous host. The good thing here is I didn’t have to worry about the disgusting garbage rooms I encountered in my SM building in Manila. I did however find a few stray roaches in the unit on occasion. Not many, but they say if you see one there are another fifty you don’t see. Building staff were all very friendly and heplful, especially the security guards at all the gates.

The unit itself was a basic one bedroom unit with a full kitchen, equipped bathroom with hot water, work station, A/C etc. The bedroom was comfy with the best blanket in the history of the world and black out shades. The only down side is the lack of daylight that is allowed in due to the only window being in the bedroom.

The host of the unit was unbelievably fabulous. I would highly recommend her place if ever in Quezon City

If you’re interested in checking out the unit you can find it here. Grass One Bedroom Condo With PLDTdslWi-Fi

Total cost for accommodation for the month: $566

Looking for short term accommodations? Check these great deals:

  • Luxury Accommodations: – Solaire Resort North – Solaire Resort North offers accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, private parking, a fitness centre and a garden. Offering a restaurant, the property also has a bar, as well as a sauna and a hot tub. The accommodation provides a kids’ club, room service and currency exchange for guests.
  • Mid-Range Accommodations: – Seda Vertis North – Offering an outdoor pool and views of the city, Seda Vertis North is located beside Ayala Malls Vertis North in Quezon City. The hotel has an outdoor pool and a ballroom, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar.
  • Budget Accommodations: – Glory Hotel Cubao Glory Hotel Cubao is set 1.5 km from Smart Araneta Coliseum, 6.9 km from Shangri-La Plaza and 7.2 km from SM Megamall. The 2-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi.

Or check here for the latest deals on Booking.com

Check out my Cebu City Cost of Living

Cost of Living in Quezon City – Activities

Still learning how to manage my daily life doing this solo at this point so not a lot of activities. I did however meet someone so I am going to throw in an evening I spent taking a beautiful Filipina out for dinner and drinks. By this point Angela and I had been split up for 4 months so I thought it was time get back out there.

As mentioned we did dinner and drinks and had a great time together. Instant chemistry and we are still seeing each other today. You might as well get used to her as she has been pretty consistent in my life since this time. Her name is Em and she has a career of her own and has zero interest in appearing on camera or being a part of Pure Detour so you won’t see her show up anytime in the foreseeable future

Total Cost for Activities for the month: $103

I let my audience choose where I should eat in Quezon City. This is the first of two videos I made with their recommendations:

Looking for some fun things to do? I would highly recommend some of these tours from Get Your Guide:

Dining and Restaurants

The food options in QC are unbelievably delicious. There is really nowhere you can go in the Philippines and not find great food but QC has so many available options. Some of my favourites here are street foods rarely seen in the Philippines. Grilled scallops and grilled Balut. Both delicious. Another interesting one was Kapalmuk’s. An entire half of a pigs face deep fried from Pepepton’s Grill and catering

As usual, this category makes up Grab deliveries, dining out and expenses incurred for content that I make. For comparison sake meals in Quezon City vary widely. You can get a simple rice meal for as little as $2 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: $219

Gilled Scallops and Grilled Balut in Quezon City. And I bought everybody that came to this street food stall food :

Groceries

Groceries after the split between Angela and I became almost non-existent. I’m an awful cook and I don’t want to have to coook and clean up after it. So most of my meals are consumed dining out or through Grab delivery. This category consists of food items like water, coffee, fruit, yogurt and granola, but the majority of it is toiletries

Total Cost for Groceries for the Month: $73

Cell Phones

My mobile package was inexpensive to top up again. By this point I was able to survive on two week packages that provided about 16GB of data and I never went through all if it. If you’re curious, I was with Globe and in places like Manila and Quezon city the service is fantastic. Decent speeds and I was always able to upload videos with my package if for some reason the wi-fi was iffy, which can happen often in the Philippines AirBnb’s

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

Transportation

In Quezon City, regular transportation is a must. And some of the filming I did here were quite a distantce from my accommodations. This category consists of Grab Rides, both car and motorbike, a few trikes (The Philippines version of a rickshaw) and a couple of jeepney’s. Overall not too bad cost wise.

Total cost for Transportation for One Month: $115

Visas

I am extending my visas by 60 days at a time now. The next round of extensions is extremely inexpensive for months 4-6. So much so that I am lumping the next two months of visa fees into this month.

Total Cost for Visa for one month: $49

Miscellaneous Expenses

This category covers pretty much everything not included above. I include alcohol in miscellaneous, because I do enjoy a beer or a bottle of wine 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 a haircut and and taking Em out a couple of more times. Good thing she is Filipino and ok with street food after our first date set me back over $100

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: $149

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

Cost of Living in Quezon City – Totals

Cost of Living for One Month in Quezon City, Philippines

Looking at the table above you can see I was over budget. Meeting EM and an expensive night out with her put a large ding into this Cost of Living report so all in all not too bad. All things considered, It feels great to confirm what I always expected – living abroad can be much cheaper than in your home country. These numbers were about 1/3 of what my typical expenses would have been in Canada for one month.

Have you lived in Quezon City for any length of time? Were your expenses similar to mine? Let me know in the comments as your contribution will also help other travelers in search of great deals when traveling.

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