Iloilo for Passport Bros (Doc’s Passport Bro Score: 86)

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There are only a handful of places left in this world that have eluded the ever-reaching grasp of mass tourism and globalization – Iloilo, a city found in the heart of the Philippines, is one of those rare gems. A city that perfectly blends the modern conveniences of urban life with the charming simplicity of rural living, Iloilo is a bustling metropolis that still echoes the whispers of its historical past. It’s the place where, as an expat, you get to experience the fabled Filipino hospitality and warmth truly.


Food, Dining & Social Scene [5 out of 5]

For the foodie expat, Iloilo is a paradise. The city’s food scene is deeply rooted in its Spanish, Malay, and Chinese heritage, offering mouth-watering delights such as batchoy, pancit molo, and fresh seafood. A city of food festivals, locals and expats alike congregate in food parks, night markets, and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

English Language Accessibility [9 out of 10]

English is widely spoken and understood in Iloilo, thanks to the Philippines’ English-centric education system. Whether you’re negotiating the price of durians in a market or discussing business in a corporate boardroom, you won’t face a language barrier here.

Expat Community & Services [4 out of 5]

Iloilo, with its expat-friendly environment, has a well-established and supportive community of foreign nationals. There are various expat clubs, networks, and services that make settling into your new life here a breeze.

Cultural Activities & Entertainment [8 out of 10]

Immerse yourself in Filipino culture by attending the Dinagyang Festival, visiting the well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings, or by merely interacting with the friendly locals. The city also boasts a thriving arts scene and a growing selection of nightlife options.

Public Transportation and Infrastructure [4 out of 5]

The city has an efficient public transport system with jeepneys, tricycles, and taxis. Infrastructure, however, could use some upgrades, especially in the more rural outskirts.

Climate [4 out of 5]

Iloilo experiences a tropical climate with year-round warm temperatures. Rainy season is between June to November, but nothing a good umbrella can’t handle.

Internet Connectivity [4 out of 5]

Iloilo has decent internet connectivity, especially in urban areas. It may not rival South Korea’s blazing speeds, but it’s more than sufficient for digital nomads.

Proximity to Airports [3 out of 5]

Iloilo International Airport is a regional airport that services multiple domestic flights and a few international flights. For more options, you’d have to travel to Manila or Cebu.

Safety & Security [4 out of 10]

While Iloilo is generally safer than most cities in the Philippines, it’s wise to stay alert and follow local advice. Petty crimes like pickpocketing can occur, particularly in crowded areas.

Availability of Emergency Services [3 out of 5]

Emergency services in Iloilo are generally reliable but can be slower to respond in more rural areas due to limited resources.

Women Willing to Date Foreigners [8 out of 10]

The dating scene can be a bit challenging, not due to lack of interest but due to cultural differences and traditions. Many Filipinas are open to dating foreigners, but building genuine relationships will require understanding and respecting local customs and values.


With a Doc’s Passport Bro Score of 86, Iloilo earns a solid B. It’s a fantastic choice for expats looking for an affordable place to stay with a vibrant food scene, welcoming locals, and rich cultural experiences. While it may not be a tropical paradise devoid of any issues, its charm lies in its authenticity and the genuine warmth of its people.

This evaluation is geared towards expats seeking affordable living arrangements and not those looking for vacation spots or other purposes.

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