The Philippines has some of the most expensive and worst accommodation choices in South East Asia. You should budget $10 a night if you plan on spending a night in a city and be ready to find yourself in the red light district, because this is where all the cheap hotels are. Watch your back and leave any valuable possessions in the hotel safe.
Hostels are exceptionally rare as there are very few backpackers. On the small islands, you should look for cheap “dive-resorts,” which range from real resorts to bedbug and rat-ridden shitholes. There are a few backpacker-oriented spots with dormitories and a bed might cost between $3-5. You might be the only traveler around, so you might as well negotiate for a better price.
Many of the islands have upper-scale resorts. These cost about $25 a night and are nice enough – a good deal for couples looking for their island paradise.
The best bet for budget travelers is to meet people along the way and stay with families. Not only will you get a great experience in Filipino culture but you’ll save a lot of money.
Once you find a place you like, it’s actually pretty cheap to live in the Philippines. A nice beach house on a major island can be rented for $150 a month. You can also hire someone to cook and clean for you if you’re really lazy and then you’ll be left with the challenging task of sitting on the beach all day doing nothing.