Boracay Stories : The Cost of Living Like A Local


So how much does it really cost to live in Boracay for a month?

I always come across new friends from all over the world stunned of how I live my life in paradise and with slight hesitations I would also hear the words “I wish I could live here too…”, Almost every night during work (Boracay Pubcrawl) I would find myself in a conversation that life in Boracay is beautiful yet expensive. I also had another tourist saying “I don’t know how you manage to survive here…” I didn’t have the chance to briefly explain it. So here I am finally setting the score right.

It has never been easy and comfortable, let alone being away from family and friends. But if you plan to have a long month break from your day job and the city life, or you wanna go soul searching, or you are a digital nomad wanting to take your work by the beach or taking an early retirement and wanting to try living in Boracay, then keep on reading and I hope this will later help you figure out things along the way.

So here’s a realistic breakdown of how much it really cost to live in Boracay for a Month.



The Typical studio type apartment monthly cost runs from 13,00 to 15,000PHP (290$) that includes water and electricity, and the price could go high as 20 to 25,000PHP depending on what type of place you are looking for. There are cheaper rooms that cost 6,000PHP (120$), and if you are comfortable enough to share with a friend or a colleague, then why not?

In my case, living in an apartment with 4 people isn’t so bad at all, we have 2 fully air-conditioned rooms, with hot and cold shower, and a mini kitchen where we can occasionally cook. In average, you’ll probably spend around 5,000PHP (100$) as the cheapest price for accommodation.



Yes, I do cook. Occasionally. Lol Boracay has its own local market where you can find almost everything. I do eat in restaurants when friends come around to visit, I never miss on treating myself to fancy things once in a while especially now that we have City Mall,

It pays to be street smart, there are various cheap local carinderias,(canteen) that will cost you 50 to 75PHP (1$) for one meal with rice, now ain’t that grand.

Don’t be surprised when you come across fast-food chains and other local food branches in the island that has twice the regular price than the usual, there are no leverage for the prices for the locals living in the island.

Assuming you’ll eat an average of three times a day for a month, that’s an average of 200HP daily for 30 Days, that’s 6,000PHP (120$) plus some occasional feast with friends 1,000 PHP (20$) in a month.

For those who know me too well, I do extra spending on coffee or other drinks when the need or the weather arises.

Let’s say for a typical person that’s 7,000PHP (143$) for a month.

TIP: Drinking lots and lots of water everyday is important to match the scorching heat of the day here in the island, don’t drink just anywhere if you have sensitive stomach for water, a gallon of water here is 70PHP, better to be safe than sorry.



Clothing / Shopping

I can’t even remember the last time I went shopping, but I do reckon buying a new pair of flipf-lops and some new set of bikini’s few weeks ago and for the first time in 6 months I went all out with that with my 500PHP. Clothing options in boracay is very limited, I mean the cheap ones that are really good to wear. In saying that, I usually shop on times that I get to visit home (Bacolod City) instead.

But there are shops along Dmall and also City Mall for other options on going shopping, just hope that it will suit your taste. And I always pay our local Ukay-ukay shops a visit, I live by the beach anyways, so a tank top and shorts feels like summer everyday.

For my monthly laundry, I spend as much as 200 PHP every other week for more than 3 kilos weight of clothes plus other sheets, most laundry shop rate starts at 3 kilos. I also spend as much as 500PHP to 800PHP for my monthly toiletries (please take note that I am a girl, and it would sometimes cost more than expected) so in a month time as estimated you might spend as much as 1,000PHP (20$).



The whole island itself is only 10.32 square kilometers, one perks for those who love to walk like me. You can reach the next station in less than 15mins walk, very rarely do I take the local taxis (Tricycle), and besides, it’s always a good exercise to walk.

Heads up to my tourist friends especially those who are foreign to this island, getting around by tricycle in the island cost 10PHP, and if you opt to take the single motor bike that’s 20PHP.

It’s sometimes unfortunate to hear stories from my foreigner friends how they got ripped off by other tricycle drivers in the island. That’s why I’d rather recommend walking everywhere, the brighter side of it is you’ll get to see the real island as you pass by all the stations and streets.

Word on the street is, Boracay LGU is doing something new to deal with that issue.

I take tricycles on my way home during early mornings around 3AM after work or during unsurprising change of weather, so let’s assume that’s 20PHP a day, so for a month that’s 600PHP (13$).

TIP: Wear flip-flops anywhere, anytime, unless if your job requires to wear some fancy shoes at the heat of the day. There are certain areas in the island that easily gets flooded, so during rainy season it would be wise to take a tricycle ride.



And may I not forget the most asked question that I get from my foreign friends; “How’s the Internet there?” Now for the digital nomads out there like me, Philippines itself has a sucky internet speed, that’s reality. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to find a spot around the island that has a 3Mbps. Our office which I work has 6 to 10Mbps, and other local cafes has as much as 1-3Mbps.

For a wifi dongle (Globe Network), I spend as much as 400 to 500PHP (10$) a month, also Globe network is generous enough to provide a free wifi for 15 minutes along station1,2 and 3.(Boracay GoWifi).

Surely depends on how you use your internet, trust me when I say that your patience will be tested daily. I had a serious trouble before when I still had my online work, I would spend hours during early mornings, cause that’s the best time where the internet is way faster than any hours of the day.

TIP: Local cafe’s such as Tom n toms has one of the most descent internet speed.




Accommodation           5,000 PHP
Food                            7,000 PHP
Transportation                600 PHP

Clothing / Shopping     1,000 PHP
Internet                          500 PHP

Total                            14,100 PHP / 290$ 


I am writing in the perspective of single independent people out here in the island, surely the cost of living differs from one person to another depending on their lifestyle. Every sunset and sunrise in this island promises a sweet ending and a new beginning, we can simply live for the “now” and enjoy it while it lasts, or we can live for the “then” which will push us to be smarter with our choices in life.


I landed a few freelance photography jobs while I’m in the Island, and I also have a savings account from my previous corporate life, so I am still able to travel within the Country whenever I choose to do so.



4 comments on “Boracay Stories : The Cost of Living Like A Local”

  1. Andy Pandy says:

    Very useful information Coach Ella! Thank you for creating this blog. Cant wait to put this information to good use!

    1. Coach Ella says:

      it will surely come handy in the future for you 😉

  2. Marian says:

    been looking for blogs like this. thinking about moving to boracay too. crazy idea. crazy times. thank you for this.

    1. Coach Ella says:

      crazy indeed. boracay is always a goof idea. i hope it works out for you 🙂

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