Comparing Life in Manila, Philippines and Oslo, Norway

Many Filipinos want to live and work in Norway without being aware of the possible financial difficulties they will have once they will arrive in Norway. It will not be easy, especially in the beginning but once one get a regular job, regardless of what it is, all efforts will be definitely be worth the struggle.

This article will also explain why it is expensive to apply and live in Norway by comparing the prevailing conditions of the capital cities of Norway and the Philippines - Oslo and Manila. The data obtained are taken from the website www.numbeo.com, which aims to provide enlightenment of the living conditions in different places in the world.

Firstly, let us compare Oslo and Manila, in terms common basic commodities. We could see Oslo has high costs for a McDonald combo meal, beer, coke and cigarettes. Luckily, most of these are considered unhealthy and unnecessary. However, essential food products like white bread, rice, eggs, chicken breasts and bottled water are also very expensive. One could easily understand why these products are expensive in Oslo, since these are not readily available in a non-tropical country.
For utilities, like transportation and electricity expenses are extremely expensive in Oslo. However, I could say the monthly pass in Oslo includes bus, boats, tram and subway trains, which is reasonable than a monthly pass in Manila, which only includes the train. In terms of service, public transportation in Oslo is way better in efficiency and cleanliness. However, in Manila, one could easily take a taxi, since it is quite affordable. This is the opposite in Oslo, although Oslo taxi drivers benefit from the high tariff rates. On the other hand, Manila is more expensive in prepaid mobile tariff rates and internet than in Oslo. Judging my experience, I have never encountered any telecommunication problems in Oslo, since I first lived in the city.

In sports, leisure, clothing and rent, Oslo exceeds Manila cost. However, anyone coming to Oslo would complain the high price for place to live. One could not get single room, complete with facilities under 60,000 pesos a month. Usually Filipinos share this expense, saving them more. Speaking of saving, knowing commodities are not affordable, Filipinos in Oslo somehow are very conscious with their spending habits, which results them to save more by living a simpler non-extravagant life.
More importantly, people would ask about the salary. Even though taxes are high, disposable monthly salary is quite high at almost 200,000 pesos per month. The average salary in the Manila is only 10% of this. However, there are three things we should consider:

1. Unemployment in Norway is less than 2% of their work force.
2. Salary difference between rich an poor in Norway is not so big.
3. The monthly salary is earnings of a full-time job, which requires one to work at a maximum of 37.5 hours per week. As observed in Manila, one could earn 18,000 pesos if that person works more 60 hours per week. Earning 18,000 pesos per month is extremely difficult outside Manila and larger cities.

This makes Norway an attractive country to work, given that almost all gets jobs, especially when you do not have a problem with work-related and language skills. Even richer and larger Western countries have difficulty improving their unemployment rates, salary differences and work hours. Work conditions are also better in the capital of Norway than that in Manila.
Health care in Oslo and Manila is quite similar. There are a lot complaints directed to health care system. That of Norway is criticized on speed and responsiveness of health care institutions. On the other, medical institutions in Manila has less sophisticated medical equipment. Cost and responsiveness of the system is also a problem in Norway. However, Oslo is still better, given that people get free diagnostic examinations and treatment for specific illness. This is rarely experienced in the Philippines.
Pollution in Manila is four times greater than pollution in Oslo. Water facilities in Manila are extremely not reliable. This is seen at a lesser extent in Oslo. Generally speaking, it is easy to lige in Oslo, where the environment is almost unpolluted and where one can easily spend time in the green parks and relax. Comparing Oslo to other known cities of the Western hemisphere, Oslo seems to be one of the least polluted one. Moreover, people are conscious with health, for they exercise a lot, and they do not get easy access to unhealthy products and food.
All in all, quality of life in Oslo than in Manila. People in Oslo can buy more, are safer and healthier. Although, this is true but I can still say, there is no place like home but I seriously hope everyone will be given opportunity in their lives to experience what I have in Oslo. Although I felt it is difficult, but I know it will be better. Soon. 
Now  I guess you know why Filipinos want to stay and live in Oslo. It is not the usual destination for Overseas Filipino workers, because people have better living and working conditions. Many forums even argue that living in Norway is better than living in other countries in the Western Hemisphere. All working individuals get the chance to travel and have vacation several times a year, without depending on debts generally. Taxes are high, but everyone almost have similar salaries. Whether you are a driver, cook or a nurse, you earn almost the same. This is quite rare in countries where capitalism is dominant. Ofcourse, this all depends on the person. Living a simple and happy life is still key to a stable life in Norway.

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