How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained Manila is well equipped for raising infants and toddlers. Shopping centers like Powerplant, Glorietta, Greenbelt and Shangri-La Plaza have diaper-changing facilities. Many shopping centers also have indoor play areas and restaurants with children’s menus. Highchairs are always found in large franchise restaurants while smaller restaurants tend not to have them. Children are welcome everywhere and Filipinos have a natural instinct to protect and cherish young children.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Word of mouth remains the best way to find help. Contact the women's groups, which tend to post availability through their email lists. In addition, your Crown consultant can help you find suitable household staff and advise you of the expected terms and conditions, things to look out for during the interview, documentation to request, etc.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Parks and playgrounds are usually safe, but it is not uncommon to find broken glass or dangerous material there. In addition, the equipment available for kids to play on is often old and made from metal. However, things are improving, particularly in the high-end villages. International schools have very strictly enforced security systems in place to ensure only those with an ID or a legitimate appointment can gain access.
As in any major city, instruct children to not talk to strangers. Don't leave children unattended in public places.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
- The Ayala Museum offers programs and workshops for children throughout the year.
- The Mind Museum in the Fort is a great hands-on science museum and well worth a visit.
- Ocean Park is a good sea life center at the bay in Manila and near Rizal Park.
- Shangri-La Plaza has a theater on the third floor that caters to kids.
- The Kinder Zoo in Manila is an interactive zoo for children.
- The Avalon Ark near Tiendesitas is a zoo primarily for children.
- The Enchanted Kingdom is an amusement park about 45 minutes outside of Makati (in Santa Rosa). There are many attractive rides for children.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Many schools offer extra-curricular activities, such as soccer, swimming and dance for children over 4 years old. Your school-age kids will be very busy and also often invited to play dates. There are also many activities for little tots such as Little Gym, Gymboree motor skill development parent/child classes, kinder music and swimming lessons. There is also a mother's support group called Mothers and Darlings (MADS) that organizes regular playgroups and social events for expat kids and has a lot of information on things to do with kids.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Manila holds the same kinds of challenges to parenting a teenager that any big city would have. Bars and outlets that sell alcohol and cigarettes do not enforce the minimum age. Drugs are not a big problem, but the threat does exist and, to some extent, international kids are targeted as they are believed to be wealthy. Teaching your kids the basic safety tips for adults in a capital city is valuable: remain vigilant of your surroundings and your belongings. Crimes are often crimes of opportunity, so wearing flashy jewelry, using an expensive phone in public, etc., may attract more attention and is best avoided.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Activities for young people in this age group are mainly organized by the international schools and by the sports clubs but there are opportunities for vocational and sports classes of all sorts outside of school.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
Traveling the Philippines provides a first-hand view of the diversity and gentle people of this colorful island, so take advantage of the many long weekends and explore this lovely country. The Ayala Museum would be a good place to start to learn of the history and culture. Local guide Carlos Celdran provides great walking tours that include the history and culture of the Philippines. The Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Department of Tourism frequently organize shows and events of cultural interest and schools also provide cultural classes. A day trip to Corregidor will give you the pleasure of a natural island with an amazing historical background of World War II.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.