At a quick glance, Guam and the Philippines look quite different:
- Geography: While Guam is a single island within the Mariana Island chain, the Philippines is an island nation consisting of 7,640 islands, 2,000 of which are inhabited.i
- Population: Guam is home to an estimated 168,801 people. In contrast, the Philippines population is around 110.8 million, making it the thirteenth-most-populated country in the world.ii
That said, the two locations do share some significant similarities:
- History: Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan visited both Guam and the Philippines, one after another. Ultimately, this led to many years of Spanish rule for both islands.
- Settlement Patterns: In even more ancient history, it’s believed that the original inhabitants of Guam may have arrived after a stop in the Philippines. Navigation-wise, it’s easy to get from the Philippines to Guam by following the path of the sun.
- Population Trends: Fast forwarding to the present, Filipinos make up nearly a third of the island’s population, so you’ll find strong ties between the two areas.iii
If you’re moving between these two destinations, we’ll show you everything you need to know to ensure that your relocation goes off without a hitch. But first…
Moving to the Philippines? Here’s the Scoop
What makes the Philippines such an attractive destination? There are plenty of reasons:
- Low cost of living – Living in the Philippines means a lower cost of living than many global destinations. The Mercer 2020 Cost of Living survey living in Manila on par with living in Detroit, Michigan. Additionally, the website Expatistan estimates that living in Manila is 52% cheaper than living in Seattle, Washington.iv In fact, it’s such a popular place to retire that the country has its own Retirement Authority to process applications and offer assistance to potential retirees.
- English is widely-spoken – Along with Filipino, English is one of the official languages of the Philippines. Like Guam, the language is spoken throughout most areas, making it an attractive destination for English-speakers.
- Warm, tropical weather – If you loved the weather on Guam (and you never want to see another winter again!), you’ll love the Philippines. Temperatures rarely dip below 70° F, and you’ll enjoy sunny weather throughout most of the year.
- Family connections – Finally, as we noted, Guam has a significant Filipino population, so we see a number of people returning to the Philippines to live among family.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re relocating from Guam to the Philippines.
Special Notes About Moves to the Philippines:
Customs Fees to Import Household Items: If you fall into one of the following categories, you can apply for duty-free treatment of your household goods:
- Holders of the following visas: 9G, 13G, 13A, 9D, 47A2, SRRV, and EO 226
- Diplomatic shipments
Duty-Free Allowances: For each person over 18 years old, the following may be brought in duty-free over the course of a year:
- 400 pieces of cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of pipe tobacco or 2 tins of tobacco
- 2 bottles, no larger than 1 L each
Prohibited/Restricted Items: Customs will likely inspect 100% of your household goods shipment, which may include a scan. As such, you’ll want to be aware of the following items that are prohibited or restricted for import.
For more information about customs rules and procedures, talk to your moving company or refer to the Philippine Customs website.
You’re also welcome to ask one of our experts! Along with our local partner in the Philippines, we’ve executed many safe and seamless moves for our customers. We can help you get any answers you need regarding your move to the Philippines. Now, if you’re headed the other way, let’s talk about moving to Guam from the Philippines.