The Philippines is one of the most welcoming countries on Earth for expats, according to those that live there.
Just over half of expats and their families now living on the Pacific Islands say they have a better life in their new home rather than their country of origin.
Parents praised the warm welcome they had from locals.
Whereas half of expats told the survey by HSBC Bank that their children took at least six months to settle into their new home and one in four only felt at home after at least a year, expats in the Philippines felt part of the community much quicker.
“In the Philippines, almost half of expat parents (45 percent) say that they felt like home almost instantly or in less than six months. This is not surprising given the innate hospitality of the Filipino people,” said Kris Werner, HSBC Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management.
“The Filipinos are such a happy, family-oriented culture, and more and more expats agree that working in the Philippines allows them to benefit from the booming economy, but also offers a good place to raise a family,”
The Philippines is a favorite transit for contractors working in oil, gas and mining in the Asia Pacific.
The low-cost economy, warm weather and pristine beaches are relaxing, while the capital Manila is within an easy flight time for work.
The survey found 57% of expat families found the cost of living in The Philippines cheaper than their home countries.
The Philippines also scored highly for friendship and culture.
Affectionate and supportive
Filipinos were described as welcoming regardless of faith, gender, race or sexual orientation by 56% of expats, while almost two thirds found making friends easy.
The HSBC report commented that this was “certainly aligned with the local environment that is generally reported to be affectionate, indulgent, and supportive.”
The 7,600 islands have maritime borders with Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.
With a population of 100 million, the major metropolitan area is Manila. The climate is hot and humid, with temperatures ranging between 21 and 32 degrees centigrade, but cooler between December and February.