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What If...(Part II) My Top 10 Preferred Cities in the Philippines

Updated on June 24, 2010

My Personal "Most Livable Cities in the Philippines"

The first part of what I called my What If series was all about my top 10 alternative choices. This second part is the top 10 cities in the Philippines where I prefer to live, other than the city that I am in right now, of course. Doesn't mean I want to move to these cities but I've lived for several years in some of these cities and I can honestly say that I will not really mind if I go back and live there again.

This hub is not based on any survey or study or whatever about the most livable cities in the Philippines (I'm still trying to look for that article). This is more on personal preference. I couldn't resist writing it since it gives me another chance to showcase my country. Hope you like what I wrote.

Makati City (
Makati City (
Mandaluyong City (
Mandaluyong City (
Quezon City Memorial (
Quezon City Memorial (
The Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa in Bocaue, Bulacan (
The Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa in Bocaue, Bulacan (
The Taal Volcano in Tagaytay (
The Taal Volcano in Tagaytay (

A Video Featuring Makati City

Makati City

The business / financial capital of the Philippines, sometimes called the "Wall Street of the Philippines". Almost all big businesses here in the country hold offices in this city. Working in this city for 5 years had made me see and appreciate the positive side of living in Makati. First of all, the career opportunities (including salary perks) for an accountant like me are numerous in Makati. Secondly, all the modern amenities in life can be found here . Food is not lacking in this area also plus the coffee shops (lots of Starbucks), the boutiques, the shopping malls, all these can be found within this city. It is also run by a good local government. What I don't like about Makati? Its very high cost of living. The rent alone here is very expensive plus all those food and clothes and gadgets, everything just costs money here.

Mandaluyong City

This is where I stayed for four out of the five years I worked in Makati. It saved me some money in terms of lower rent. I live in this apartment complex, in a one-bedroom unit and my rent was just like $120 per month. Called the "New Tiger" of the metropolis, this is a booming business center, largely due to the large establishments found in the city. There's the Megamall, which used to be the biggest mall in the country (and one of the biggest in the world) and the numerous call centers found within the city. Another thing why I chose this? I got married in the city hall of Mandaluyong, something that I'll never really forget :).

Quezon City

The former capital of the Philippines and named after the first president of the country, this is like a second home to me. I spent almost ten years living in this city. I have seen its rapid development and its rise as one of the premier cities in my country. Quezon City is home to the number one university (my alma mater) in the Philippines, the University of the Philippines. It is also home to the number two university (although it really wants to be number one, it just can't manage to go past UP), the Ateneo de Manila University. You can also find the Philippine Science High School here, which is like one of the schools where the most intelligent Filipino students study. What I like most about this place is the fiscal discipline instituted by its mayor for the past years, enabling Quezon City to go up in the rankings of Philippine cities. Having one of the best hospitals in the country (St. Luke's Medical Center) and some of the big private hospitals add to the attractiveness of living in Quezon City.

Bocaue, Bulacan

Admittedly, Bocaue, Bulacan is not a city. It is a municipality within a province, which is Bulacan. My father's birthplace and hometown, Bocaue is famous for its fireworks and the Pagoda (Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa) parade every July, this is a simple quiet town (but it's not in the boondocks, okay?) with a lot of beautiful sights (both modern and historical), simple delicious foods, and friendly and warm people. Although it's in a province, it is only less than an hour's drive from Quezon City, so you still get to enjoy the amenities of city life while knowing you can go home to your quiet, simple life in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Tagaytay, Cavite

Home to the reputed smallest but most active volcano in the country (and in the whole world), the Taal Volcano, Tagaytay, Cavite is considered to be the second summer capital of the Philippines (next only to Baguio City in northern Luzon). The volcano and the Taal Lake, where the volcano is located, are some of the most beautiful sights in this place. You can easily view the place by staying in the hotels or eating in the restaurants surrounding the lake. Tagaytay is located 2,500 feet above sea level and has an average temperature of 22.7 degrees Celsius (less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit). It is about an hour's drive away from Manila.

Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Cebu City (
Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Cebu City (
Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City (
Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City (
A waterfall in Bukidnon (
A waterfall in Bukidnon (
The Hermosa Festival in Zamboanga City (
The Hermosa Festival in Zamboanga City (

Cebu City

Located in Visayas, Cebu City is called "The Queen City of the South". It is the oldest city in the county and where Ferdinand Magellan (the great explorer) first planted the Cross, making the city the seat of Christianity in the country. Cebu is one of the most progressive cities in the country. It has a historic past, a lot of historical sights, all the modern amenities in life and good educational and medical facilities. Cebu also boasts of first-class hotels and resorts. Its Sinulog Festival, held every January is one of the most famous (if not the most famous) festivals in the Philippines. Going to Cebu will be like a dream come true for me because the last time I was there was like 15 years ago and a lot of things have definitely changed since then.

Iloilo City

When I went to Iloilo and Guimaras, a nearby island known for its very delicious mangoes, I couldn't help but be struck by the beauty and simplicity of this place. With their soft sweet voices, the people of Iloilo are very friendly. The seafoods are just fabulous in this area. Iloilo has its own international airport, which is the fourth busiest airport in the Philippines. It also has its own domestic and international port and serves as a major hub area for businesses in the country.

Davao City

Need I say more? I've lived in this place for 3 years and I can honestly say that, next to Butuan, Davao is my most preferred city in the Philippines. Please visit my hub - to find more about this beautiful city.


This is a landlocked city in the Bukidnon province. You can go to this place via Buda highway from Davao City. It is just two hours from Cagayan de Oro City. This is a very simple city but it is a food basket in the country. This is the preferred place for growing delicious pineapples (Del Monte has a plantation here) and export-quality cavendish bananas. To go to this place from Davao City, you have to pass by mountain areas and the view here is simply breathtaking. Since you will pass by mountains, the weather here can be quite cold (especially when it rains, brrrrrrr!), much like Baguio City. You can also find a facility here where you can buy carabao's milk (mmmmm!).

Where to Go in Zamboanga City

Zamboanga City

This is located in southern Mindanao. The first I went here was like last April and we made a 15-hour drive to this city. The local language here is called Chabacano and was derived from the Spanish language (Si Senor!). It is also called the city of flowers and Zamboanga Hermosa (the beautiful Zamboanga). It boasts of four universities, a busy city center and international airport and port area. Despite its nearness to the Basilan island (island known for terroristic activities), the city is still thriving and growing. The people here go on with their lives and make the best of everything.

That's my 10 most livable cities in the Philippines. There are a lot more beautiful places in the country but these are my most preferred ones. Thanks for reading it this far and I hope you will come and visit my beautiful country. Cheers!

Philippine map
Philippine map

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