This business traveler enjoys the low-cost lifestyle and friendly start-up community, despite unstable Internet connections and grueling traffic in the metro. Experience the world of the Asian Nomad in Manila. The post The Asian Nomad in Manila appeared first on inc-asean.com.
20 Jun, 2018INC-ASEAN.COM
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Pros: A low-cost lifestyle, friendly locals, and a spirited start-up community.
Cons: Internet connection can be unstable, traffic congestion during rush hours (and even at certain times of the day or night), and fragmented public transport
Monthly Estimated Living Costs: PHP 40,000 to PHP 50,000 (USD 800 to USD 1000)
Out of Metro Manila’s 17 cities, you’ll probably handle most of your business in any of these cities: Makati, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig, Mandaluyong, or Quezon City. Going around can be relatively easy with Uber or Grab (but during rush hours, you may experience a price surge and difficulty in booking) and taxis (you might experience expensive rates because of traffic and drivers asking for “fixed rates” at certain destinations). For cheaper options, there are jeepneys with fares starting at PHP 8 (USD 0.15), city buses with fares starting at PHP 12 (USD 0.23), and Point-to-Point (P2P) buses with fares between PHP 30 to PHP 100 (USD 0.58 to USD 2). For P2P bus schedules and routes, check out: https://p2pbus.ph/schedules.
You also have the option to ride the train (MRT) that traverses the northern and southern parts of Metro Manila, but be prepared to wait in long, snaking lines just to get a ride during peak hours. It is not always reliable as the train sometimes breaks down. It’s still one of the fastest and cheapest options, though, with PHP 13 to PHP 24 (USD 0.25 to USD 0.46) per ride.
Free Wi-Fi in public areas, specifically in SM malls and Ayala malls (Greenbelt, Glorietta, etc.), are limited to only to an hour of use so you might want to invest in prepaid SIM cards to stay connected. The biggest telco players are Globe and Smart (PLDT). Both offer a wide range of promos for prepaid calls, SMS, and mobile data. For PHP 99 (USD 1.9) for 7 days, Smart offers 1 GB of data (3G/4G/LTE), unlimited Facebook, unlimited all-network SMS, and 50 minutes calls to Smart, TNT, and SUN subscribers. Globe offers 2 GB of data (3G/4G/LTE) and unlimited all-network SMS for PHP 90 (USD 1.73) per 7 days. Internet prepaid promos for up to 30 days are also available on both networks: For Smart, it offers 4.5GB internet data, plus 1.1GB for iflix, Youtube, Vimeo, Spinnr, Dailymotion, and Dubsmash for PHP 799 (USD 15.34). On the other hand, Globe offers unlimited internet for PHP 999 (USD 19.18).
Home to start-up entrepreneurs and freelancers, Metro Manila certainly doesn’t lack spaces to get on your daily grind.
Inc. Southeast Asia picks:
One of the largest co-working spaces in the metro, it houses work lounges complete with bean bags and desks, balconies, meeting rooms, and private offices. Its pantry is equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, and basic utensils. It can be as cozy as a local coffee shop without the hassle of searching for power sockets. By the way, its very own barista serves free drinks. And of course, there’s Wi-Fi. The day rate is PHP 1,000 (USD 19.24). For a 5-day pass, it’s PHP 800 (USD 15.39) per day, and PHP 500 (USD 9.62) per day for a 20-day pass. Its Metro Manila spaces are in Makati and BGC.
This co-working space is built for entrepreneurs who have the maker mindset. Workshops on 3D printing, resin jewelry making, mold crafting, leather crafting, wood crafting, and a lot more are regularly held here. For entrepreneurs and freelancers, it has comfortable workstations with wide tables, free Wi-Fi, and free coffee. The rate for the day pass is PHP 500 (USD 9.62), PHP 2,300 (USD 44.25) for a week’s pass, and PHP 9000 (USD 173.16) for a month’s pass. It is located along Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
Located in Salcedo Village, Makati City, this co-working space offers more than just an office space. They can provide staff leasing, recruitment, HR, and payroll services, marketing and operations consultancy, legal services, and company registration services. Unlimited access to the co-working space starts at PHP3,699 (USD 71.02) per month.
With its rate that starts at PHP250 (USD 4.80) for half day use of the workspace, it is one of the cheapest co-working space options in Metro Manila. It is located at Leviste corner Rufino St. in Makati City. Space rentals are also available for events and other functions.
Need more options? Fly Spaces, a platform made for co-working space discovery might be helpful. Check out www.flyspaces.com.
If you’re not a fan of co-working spaces and want to pay just for your coffee or tea and get unlimited access to free Wi-Fi, you can try out the various cafés around the metro. Be sure to charge your gadgets before going there, though, because power sockets are limited.
Commuting can be a pain in this city. This local start-up provides useful directions on how to get from Point A to B.
One of the reasons why Uber and Grab is popular in Metro Manila is because of the cities’ problematic taxi industry, with difficulty in booking rides as some drivers are picky on driving destinations while some overcharge. This local cab-hailing app aims to reinvent how the taxi industry works in the country for a better customer service. Just like its on-demand ride-hailing counterparts, it lets you book a ride (a taxi) through the app and track your ride.
Need a quick bite? Trying to reserve a table for your next business meeting? Booky has got you covered. This local app lets you conveniently book tables at restaurants and get exclusive discounts — perfect for those who dread waiting in line.
Nomads would always want to score great travel deals. This app offers discounted rates when booking hotels, resorts, and travel tours and activities.
What’s your poison? Cafe Curieux PH located at Caceres St., Makati City is one of the best options for those who want to satisfy their penchant for alcoholic beverages. This expat-friendly bar and café offers local and imported beers, classic cocktail drinks, and its local selection of in-house rum. Try their mango and anise rum, coconut rum, and banana rum. Enjoy the night with music and spoken word brought by the various local and foreign artists.
If you want more music (and alcohol), check out SaGuijo bar in Guijo St. Makati City or My Brother’s Mustache Folk Bar in Tomas Morato, Quezon City to get a taste of the local indie art and music scene.
De-stress and detoxify by enjoying a nice bike ride or jogging time at the newly renovated Legaspi Active Park located in Legaspi Village, Makati City.
If you’re on the north side of the metro, check out the University of the Philippines Diliman campus in Quezon City. With all the hustle and bustle of the city, taking time to breathe some fresh air is a must.