5 Ways to Make Money While in Manila

People don’t necessarily want to make money all the time. There are plenty of noble reasons to work. However, people do need money to survive, that is, to put food on the table and to make sure the bills get paid. And wouldn’t it be nice to have our money-making skills aligned with our personal goals?

Below is a list of profitable ventures that can generate an income for those who need it.



1. A Day Job
This is a no-brainer. I can hear you going duh-rhoda-of-course-a-day-job-makes-money. Hear me out. There are a lot of considerations when taking on a day job. A lot of people, especially on this side of the country, make the mistake of choosing a day job simply based on which take-home-pay is highest. Worse, some choose jobs with the highest basic salary.

When choosing a day job, consider the whole experience. Besides “Is the pay good?”, consider whether you will want to wake up in the morning to go to your job. Is the learning experience aligned with your personal goals? Does the job make use of your skill set? Is the work environment non-toxic? Are the people friendly? These, and more are just some of things you should think about. No job is perfect; Choose your top priorities and decide from there.

Yes, the job market is competitive, but there are so many other things one can do to tide him or herself over until the next job. See the other options below.

I’ve known many who sold their souls to gigantic corporations for money. May they find redemption. Don’t be one of them.


2. A Night Job

Call centers. Need I say more? For many, this is the quickest way to earn money, with good reason. The only real qualification needed to get accepted into one of the country’s many BPOs is good English-speaking skills. I have to be honest, it’s not a job for everyone. Some people thrive in the call center lifestyle. Other slowly–or quickly– wither away. I personally dislike call centers, if only for the extremely difficult schedule. However, this option does often pay well.

My advice: Go for this option if one or more of the following hold true:

a) You really need the money. It’s hard to argue with immediate needs.

b) You genuinely enjoy customer service work, or the type of work you will be doing in your chosen company.

c) You want the lifestyle, or just want to try it out.

If not, I suggest you look at one of the other options. The selling of the soul scenario also applies heavily in this case.

Note: I am aware that there are day-shift call centers, but they deserve a whole category unto themselves.


3. Online tutoring
This is a popular option, especially among working students. All you need are: a computer, a decent internet connection, some headphones, good English-speaking and teaching skills, and you’re off. The most popular is Rarejob, where the typical Filipino works as an English teacher for various students. There are other sites that offer similar opportunities as well, including those that facilitate teaching Chinese or Korean students. If teaching is something you enjoy, this is a really good fit. The money is good, and since the commute and other overhead costs associated with a typical day/night job aren’t present, the take-home pay would be approximately the same as you could get in a call center. Rarejob in particular is quite stringent in their application process, though, but if it’s something you want, it’s always worth a try.


4. Freelancing

I don’t know many people in this city who freelance for local companies. That could just be me being a selectively social, though. With that said, freelancing is definitely a possibility, although most people opt for online freelancing jobs. Here are a few sites to get you started:
Each site has its own advantages and disadvantages. Both Elance and Fiverr are usually used to get international clients. Because of the low cost of living here in Manila, we can work for less than five U.S. dollars an hour, and many people do so. This amount of money is a pittance in developed countries. If you plan to work using these freelance services, I have another piece of advice: Compete on quality. DO NOT compete on price.

If your work is good, charge what you are worth. You don’t have to settle. Think just a little bit bigger.


5. Starting a Business

Ahh, business. To me, a business is the best option because it leaves you free to control your own destiny. YOU are in control. Not your boss, not your clients, nor that tutoring or freelance website that you’re depending on to provide you with clients. It’s all on you.

With online tools these days, it’s become very cheap to start your own business. Many people have found success with online shops. Starting your own online store is very cheap; in fact, if you start with just a Facebook page, it’s completely free. With the right marketing/connections/niche, you can sell almost any product online. You can work towards creating things you’re passionate about, and get paid for it. Depending on the size you plan to take it, it can take some hard work, or a lot of hard work.

Although starting your own business is always risky, it’s probably worth it.


One thought on “5 Ways to Make Money While in Manila

  1. Pingback: My Mom Wants to Send Me to a Land Far Far Away. | Rhoda in Manila

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s