Living in Manila

Welcome to the Philippines!

Settling into your new home will take some time, but like most things it is always easier when you have the help of people who have “been there, done that.” ALIG is one of the best sources of information you can have when moving to Alabang.

If you are wondering how to order bottled water, have your internet installed, find household help, buy a car, choose a school or if you just need to see some friendly faces, then please come to one of our monthly morning mingles. The morning is free and held in a member’s home in Ayala Alabang village. It is very informal and it is the best place to bring your list of questions and get some settling in tips.

Whether you’ve signed your lease on a house in the village, or if you are considering moving here, here is a few of the most frequently asked questions we get about life in Manila South.

As a member of ALIG you will have access to a closed Facebook page “ALIG Forum”.  This is a great place to ask questions and look for advice and recommendations from all members.  You can buy and sell items from other members.  You will also find info and sample contracts for hiring household helpers. 

FAQ – Living in Alabang

We have compiled a list of some of the bigger common questions here. But the best resource for the latest info is still do to your own web searching. Guide to Expat in Manila may offer a good overview of life here.

Where is the best place to buy my groceries?

Like most Asian postings you’ll probably find yourself going to more than one supermarket just to complete your regular weekly shop. Fortunately there are plenty of good supermarkets close to the village gates. Makati Supermarket, Healthy Options and Metro Supermarket are at the Alabang Town Center (ATC). South Supermarket is on Filinfest Avenue, Alabang and S&R (membership shopping) is at Westgate. Landmark, Shopwise and SaveMore are located in Festival Mall. Other options include the Union Jack (goods from the UK) at Festival Mall and Santis Deli and L’ Epecerie Gourmande in Molito Shopping Complex. There is also a Rustan’s Supermarket in the village at Cuenca Park. There are stores opening in the area regularly. With all of these options, you’ll be able to pick up almost everything you need.

For fresh fruit and vegetables visit the Village Saturday Market at the carpark on University Drive. If you aren’t intimidated by a local wet market, there is a daily produce market near Metropolis. You can also get cut flowers and fish here. On Saturday mornings you can also go to Makati visit the excellent Salcedo Market which has organic vegetables, imported goods and lots of tasty cooked foods from fine French bread and cuisine, to spicy samosas and plenty of local standards.

What about wine and spirits?

Wine, beer and spirits are available at all supermarkets. For a better wine selection try the Wine Depot in Westgate and Santis or Ralphs at Molito Shopping Complex or Bacchus in Commerce Center.  Check out Boozy to get an idea of what the Philippines has to offer. 

Who should I use for my home internet and telephone connection?

The performance of any supplier can vary street by street on any given day. Generally, you can stream the music and video you need and connect with friends and family around the world with video calls without any issue. The main Internet suppliers are Globe (Fibr), PLDT (Fibr) and SkyCable (broadband), and there are more providers coming online all the time.

What are the nearby medical facilities?

Alabang village itself has a medical clinic located in the management complex on Narra St, and many ALIG members use it for check ups or mild problems. They have a schedule of visiting specialists so you can make appointments to see paediatricians, chiropractors or any other specialist. The clinic even runs their own ambulance for emergencies.

The Asian Hospital and Medical Centre is one of the best hospitals in the Philippines and located on Civic Drive, Alabang, only 10 minutes away from the Ayala Alabang Village. Plus, you can ask other ALIG members for referrals, whether you need a child-friendly dentist or an ENT-doctor.

Many doctors at Asian also have clinic hours at St. Luke’s Medical Centre in Bonifacio Global City, which at many points during the day is only about 30 minutes away. Excellent facilities with state of the art technology and digital records.

Should I be concerned about dengue?

Dengue is present in the Philippines, and we in Ayala Alabang are certainly not immune to it. AAVA carries out regular spraying around the village, but you need to educate yourself about dengue and take appropriate precautions. Click here to visit the CDC website for more information.

Are there any restaurants or nightlife in Alabang?

There is plenty to do to while away a day or an evening whether you want to stay in the Alabang area or drive into Makati or BGC (evening traffic tends to be much lighter, and you’ll get home within 30 minutes if you leave Makati after midnight).

In Alabang there is an ever expanding range of restaurant choices. There are restaurants located in Molito, Commerce Center, Westgate, Festival Mall, ATC Mall.  See Zomato for lists of restaurants and reviews. 

There are a number of bars, lounges and pubs in Alabang. For a quiet night you can visit the movie theatres in ATC, Commerce Center and Festival Mall.

It has to be said that the nightlife can’t be beaten in Makati or Bonifacio Global City though. For a comprehensive listing of what is on check out Click the City. For lists and recommendations go to Booky

How is the commute to Makati or BGC?

This varies markedly. It can be as little as 25 minutes on a Saturday morning, or can take 2+hrs if the weather and traffic conspires against you. Rush hour is invariably a nightmare so avoid 7-9am and 6-8pm. As a rule of thumb allow yourself 45-60 mins to get into Makati. The Skyway in combination with an RFID sticker are the best option if you make this trip frequently.

There a Point to Point bus system with nice, comfortable, air-conditioned buses traveling direct from Alabang to many spots in metro Manila.

Where do I find info on household helpers?

We have info on our members only Facebook Group, ALIG Forum.  Also for more info: visit  http://primer.com.ph/tips-guides/2016/09/15/expats-guide-kasambahay-law-domestic-workers-law/,  www.sss.gov.ph, www.philhealth.gov.ph and www.pagibigfund.gov.ph

How do I prepare for emergencies?

The Philippines is subject to a wet season every year which is often accompanied by floods and typhoons. Being prepared for these reduces associated stress and possible danger. It may result in being confined to your home, perhaps without power, water or phone and, at worst, you may need to leave in a hurry.  You can learn more at the Disaster Preparedness website.  Also, here is a helpful list on items to have handy 72 Hour Go Bag.

What are some International schools in Metro Manila?

Here is a list of some schools though new schools are opening and you should still do your own internet searching.

What about local private schools?

Local schools in the village and around Alabang, teaching is (mostly) in English. Schools open and close so please do your own searching to for the most up to date info.


Still have questions?

If your question is still unanswered after this, please contact us anytime! We look forward to hearing from you.