Mail Forwarding etc.

coffeegrin's picture

There are many things new people like me need to find out to make a move to the Philippines as painless as possible. For example, I've heard Subic is really nice, especially for Expats. But not sure where to look to get some ideas about amenities and prices. Al;so, how do you get your mail forwarded to your new Philippine address? Setting up a bank account is probably simple. But, what is the best bank? Also, I know there are a couple shipping companies here in the US that send big boxes there for very low costs. Which one is best to use? So, is there anywhere I can go to get some of these answers? I'm planning my move in 2012, maybe late summer. So, I want to be prepared. Thanks to anyone for your help.

im a local and i'll try to help you


first of all go to the website LIVE IN THE PHILIPPINE WEB MAGAZINE. find a foreigner just like you and make friends with them, so if you come here they can help you. cause its the number 1 step to make your stay here in the Philippines easy.

words that can save your precious life.

The Philippines is a country for relaxation and friendly conversation with locals like myself,, We Filipinos like to entertain westerners and be friends with them, BUT be CAREFUL cause some FILIPINO specially Muslims or, less uneducated locals think all westerners have money and will try to get some advantage out of it, I think it’s stupid, as for them, just another day to get some money.

For your safety
1. don’t trust locals you just met, don’t show them or let them feel you have money.
2. Level with them
3. be friendly but not to friendly
4. know their background, IF we/she have job or a college graduate you’re safe but if not you might be in trouble.
5. AS FOR BUSINESS, never invest large amount of money cause it might go to waste, try to invest right amount of money and if it boom you’re in a right direction and start investing more, be friendly to customer, talk to them.
6. some of you are in Mindanao, so be extra vigilant. (terrorism and REBELS)
7. find or search for another foreigners.

8. be careful with your belongings

But Philippines is a very cheap and fun place to live in so have fun, relax and enjoy, don’t think of work too much cuz this country is made for fun.

find your self a Filipina, she might help you and even be your tour guide (optional)

you wont gonna be bored here because der is a lot of malls, bars, etc. and beautiful places(outside Manila)

prices here in the Philippines is very cheap, you can eat in a cafeteria with just 1 USD, but you should explore to find it,, der is also cheap hotels, and resort.

expect overcrowded place, traffic.


about the mailing address thing, sorry i cant help you with that.. go to the website that i just reffer you to. and find MINDANAOBOB, he is a foreigner who knows the Philippines and is willing to help foreigner just like your self.

as for the Bank. you can try BDO, HSBC, UNION BANK, all of it is a good bank but depends on what your looking for for a bank.




expect lot of traffic, overcrowded place, jeepneys like you never seen before. Happy people and mostly frieendly people.

prices are cheap compare to the US, lot of cheap hotels, bars, and mini restaurant that you can buy  food for just 1USD.

but if money is not an issue  there are expensive high class hotels, resort, and restaurants.

boredon is rare in The Philippines, there are lot of large malls that you can go to. and beautiful scenery.

THERE ARE MANY AMERICANS IN SUBIC  i can tell it's a good idea.

if you want to go to the Philippines without you having a hard time, search for a westerner friends in these site. they can help you big time.

try international banks, local commercial banks is also good, but for your peace of mind i recommend international banks.

if vacation and relaxation is the reason why you want to stay here in the Philippines, then your in a treat.

if work is the reason, also a good idea because you dont have to work hard beacause people here are laid back

if investing here in the Philippines is your prime reason, dont expect much, try investing low amount of money and if thinks go well try investing more.

property here is also cheap compare to the USA

  WHERE TO LIVE:  I would


WHERE TO LIVE:  I would not lock into any geo-place to live until you have lived in PH for at least 3 mos.  There are so many beautiful places here to live that you stumble accross fantastic new digs and deals all the time here.  Secondly, many places here are heavily marketed by friends, relatives, friends of friends, friends of relatives and relatives of relatives concerned more with helping their friends and relatives "sell" than with your personal lifestyles interests, needs, etc.

BANKING ACCOUNT:Your ATM card is good throughout PH and the world at any ATM machine.  You can set up checking or savings accounts here with only 2000php, and two valid pic IDs and obtain an ATM card for these accounts as well which takes about 2wks to get your card.  In the interim, keep your accounts open in the states as you can easily check your state banks account online.  Ensure your stateside bank has online accounting AND open this account online NOW!  Don't wait another 1 or 2 mos or until you get to PH to try to open your online account with your stateside bank as it will be more of a hassle.  I opened up my online accounts with Academy Bank way before I came to PH and just kept using them here in PH for one and one half yrs now.  I also still use my ATM card from Academy Bank at BDO bank which is one of the largest and most stable banks in PH. I have used my ATM card at Security Bank and BDO banks without any problems now for the past one and one-half yrs. You can keep your direct deposit with your stateside bank until and if you decide to have direct deposit with an bank in the PH.  You may want to inquire with your employer's pension program to see if they allow you to have a monthly allotment sent directly to your bank in the PH.  This would allow you to have direct deposit of funds to your bank in PH but maintain direct deposit of your pension to your bank in the states until you decide you want to have it all direct-deposited in a bank in PH.

Academy Bank is considered an Armed Forces Bank as it has agreements with DOD to provide international services for armed forces personnel and their dependents overseas but also provides these same services for any of their account holders.  These services include significantly reduced fees for money orders, bill payments, etc. compared to other international money ordering/payment businesses. Check with you bank now to inquire on any international kinds of services they may offer.  They may also offer similar services and fees.

ATLAS SHIPPING: I had terrrific experience with Atlas Shipping for the past 5yrs as they have no weight restrictions and allowed me to send over just about everythng I needed to send over, kitchen sink, American made mops (no kidding) are a lot sturdier with a lot more quality than many of these household items you will find in the PH. Few products made in the USA are to be sold or found here so I suggest you bring em with you. There are other shipping companies and maybe even cheaper but I had good rates on x-large boxes and even U-Haul wardrobe boxes I shipped to PH at fraction of costs charged by moving companies.

MY TWO CENTS WORTH: scan any an all important documents such as passport, drivers license, certificates, marriage license, etc. and send them to yourself via e-mail so they are in cyberspace for your referral as and when needed.  It beats having to keep storing these documents here and there and getting them all ruffled up etc.  I did this and have had to send copies of these documents here and there even back to the states by e-mail as needed.

Hope this helps...

Move to PH

You may want to set up a Skype account while you are there which will allow you to talk on the computor with anyone else that has a Skype account.  It is free. You can also get a phone # that allows people to call you and leave message but it costs quite a bit.  After I got here I purchased the deal they have that allows me to call any phone in the US fre of any additional charges.  I would have gotten it cheeper and easier if I had done it while in the US.  I sent you an e-mail a couple days ago.  loren

Thanks very much for your

Thanks very much for your help.  There have been so many kind people on this site willing to share their thoughts and experiences.  My plan is to move there next year sometime and just spend the first 6 months exploring and finding my stride and way around. 

Great Advice

Wow! That was a lot of work you put into this for me.  Thanks so much for all the great advice.  I've secured an international bank account with USAA and have sort of figured out a couple places I'd like to try living for a while to see if I could handle living there permanently.  I'm also researching visas and it seems the EXPAT visa is a good one, except they require you to open a long term CD account for a minimum of $10,000 US as part of the conditions to getting that visa.  The other one is the retirement visa (13a)?  Still looking into that one, but I think it requires you're married to a Philppina. 

Thanks again.  Look forward to staying in touch.


Working on Visa Research

Thanks much for your advice.  Good stuff.  Right now, I'm working on what type visas are available for long term stay there and how hard/costly it is to get them.  I've read the EXPAT visa is good, but you have to deposit $10,000 us in a long term CD in the philippines as part of the requirements.  Also, if you're married, the retirement visa might be a good solution.  Any suggestions?


Phone deal.....

Hi Loren

Can you tell me what 'phone deal' is that you are referring to please?




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