Top 5 cities for Filipinos in the UK
Many Filipinos move abroad and start a new life overseas. However, one of the biggest challenges expats and immigrants experience when moving to a new country is culture shock.
To make relocation more manageable, some Filipinos choose to move to cities with big Filipino communities. It is one way to feel at home in a whole new place, with a completely different culture.
To help you decide which British cities you may want to look into, we’ve listed down the top locations with big communities of Filipinos in the UK.
Filipinos in the UK
The UK is home to about 200,000 Filipinos who have settled down in different regions of the country. Many of them migrated to the UK to pursue further studies or to look for better employment opportunities.
Filipinos in the UK work in a variety of sectors, including hospitality, engineering, information technology and aviation. However, the vast majority of them are in the healthcare industry.
Filipino culture has also become more apparent in the country, as there are now over 200 Filipino societies in the UK and Ireland registered with the Philippine embassy.
Several businesses ran by Filipino nationals have also emerged across different areas of the UK, making it easier for new migrants to adapt and feel more at home despite being in a new country.
Here are some cities that can be exciting for Filipinos looking to move to the UK:
Best Cities for Filipinos in the UK
70% of Filipinos in the UK reside in the capital and its surrounding areas. London has a massive Filipino community, evident in the restaurant chains and establishments that are now present in the area.
Several Filipino eateries can be found in Earl’s Court, but they are also spread throughout Central London.
If you’re feeling homesick, here are some restaurants you can visit in London:
- Jollibee – Jollibee is the Philippines’ biggest fast-food chain, and is now a growing global brand. The taste of the crispy and juicy chickenjoy they are known for will surely remind Filipinos of home.
- Romulo Cafe & Restaurant – Romulo Cafe is a popular fine dining restaurant in the Philippines, but they also have a branch in Kensington High Street in London. If you want to try exquisite Filipino cuisine, this restaurant is definitely a must-visit.
- Kamayan Sa Earl’s Court – If you’re looking for authentic Filipino dishes, Kamayan Sa Earl’s Court will not disappoint. The restaurant serves traditional freshly served dishes, turo turo or street food, as well as the famous Filipino-style boodle fight.
- Coco’s Lounge – Known for its Kapampangan buffet and karaoke, Coco’s Lounge is a go-to restaurant of Filipinos and non-Filipinos who wish to experience the vibrant Philippine culture. If you want a chilled karaoke night to remind you of home, then this is the place for you.
- Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream – If you’re craving Filipino dessert, visit Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream. Not only is their stall very Instagrammable, but they also serve delectable ube desserts and Filipino sweets.
There are a lot more Filipino restaurants in London, so if you happen to visit or relocate to the city, you can always check them out if you’re missing home and to meet fellow Filipinos and kababayan.
If you wish to buy Filipino goods, you can also find Filipino stores that offer a variety of products, from condiments to snacks, food and many more.
What’s even better is that the Philippine Embassy is also situated in the heart of London – specifically in Picadilly Circus. If you need any assistance with your immigration, Philippine documents, licenses or any other concern, you can visit them in London.
Since most Filipinos in the UK are staying in London, it is a common misconception that Filipino migration began in the country’s capital. The truth is, Filipinos have already started coming into the UK since the mid-1800s, and their first destination was Liverpool.
The Port of Liverpool was the world’s first commercial gateway to the UK, so Filipinos working in cargo and shipping sectors became some of the first Filipino immigrants of Britain. Many of them stayed to reside in the city, but some have moved to London and other regions.
Not far away from the dock, Upper Frederick Street and Greetham Street became the heart of the Filipino community in Liverpool. Some even refer to it as the Little Manila of the city.
Since Liverpool is in the North of the UK, it would be quite difficult for Filipinos living in the city to travel to London to experience what the capital has to offer.
Homesick Filipinos in Liverpool now have easier access to Jollibee since the fast-food chain recently launched their new branch in the area.
Not far away from Liverpool, Manchester is another city in the UK with vibrant and active Filipino communities. If you wish to settle more easily and quickly, Manchester would be an excellent option for you as you can join different communities to meet other Filipinos.
Some Filipino societies registered with the Philippine embassy include:
- Bury Good Friends
- Filipino Anglo Club Manchester
- Filipino Community of Manchester and Cheshire (FCMC)
- Maharlika: The Filipino Community in Manchester
If you’re looking to satisfy your Filipino cravings, there are a few places that serve mouthwatering Filipino dishes in the Greater Manchester area, including the following:
- Mama Z – Started by Zosima Fulwell, a Filipino-British chef, Mama Z is a pop-up that has been making big waves since it first opened in Manchester. Influenced by her Filipino, British and Middle Eastern background, Zosima creates exquisite fusion dishes that also embody the unique taste of Philippine cuisine.
- Tarp’s Filipino Fusion Street Food – Situated in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, Tarp’s serves authentic Filipino street food and rice meals. Tarp’s adds a modern twist to traditional Filipino dishes, which is undoubtedly a hit to both Filipinos and non-Filipinos in the area.
- Inazal – Currently only available for takeaway on Deliveroo, Inazal is known for its Filipino-style grilled chicken (inasal). If you don’t want to leave home but want to have a taste of this savoury Filipino dish, then you can enjoy a hearty meal from Inazal.
If you’re in need of Filipino items, you can also visit some Filipino shops in the area.
Birmingham is the UK’s second-largest city. It has a population of over 1.1 million, and it is becoming a migrant hotspot given the number of migrants that move to the city each year.
Amongst the many migrants that make up the city’s population, more and more Filipinos are choosing to reside in the area.
One of the several Filipino societies in Birmingham is the Filipino Association of Birmingham. They usually host Birmingham’s Barrio Fiesta, as well as some other pocket events that Filipinos can attend. It’s a fun and easy way to connect with other Filipinos in the UK, especially if you’re new to the country.
As more Filipinos move to Birmingham, the Philippine culture is slowly making its name in the city. If you want a taste of the Philippines when you’re in Birmingham, here are some places you might want to try out:
- Manila Munchies – Manila Munchies is a pop-up stall at Digbeth Dining Club. They serve tasty Filipino street food, and they are famous for their pork liempo.
- Manila Flavours – If you want a variety of options, Manila Flavours offers boxed meals and big servings of mouthwatering Filipino main courses.
You can also find Filipino stores around Birmingham, so if you wish to cook Filipino dishes yourself, you’ll be able to find Filipino ingredients and products in the area.
Another city in the Northern part of England, Leeds is also an excellent place for Filipinos. There are several Filipino communities and societies in the area, which makes the city feel like home to some migrants.
Filipino cultural events are held in the region once in a while, from small get-togethers to big events like Barrio Fiesta. The Filipino Leeds Association usually hosts these events, and they are very welcoming to new Filipino residents in the area.
Just outside Leeds, you’d be able to find Tres Maria’s @ Son Restobar in Bradford. They are known for their authentic traditional Filipino dishes, which Filipinos and locals keep coming back to. They are open for dine-in and takeaway orders, and they also offer catering services.
You can also purchase Filipino goods from Filfoods Filipino Store, which also does home delivery.
How Filipinos in the UK Send Money Home
Once in awhile, Filipinos in the UK send money back home to their loved ones. There are a variety of ways to do this – from doing international bank transfers to visiting traditional remittance outlets to sending through online money transfer services.
Using an online money transfer service tends to work out better as it is fast, convenient and more affordable.
We, at Kabayan Remit, provide Filipinos in the UK with a quick, efficient and affordable way of sending money to the Philippines. It is our primary goal give our kababayan peace of mind when sending their hard-earned savings to their loved ones. That’s why we’re here 24/7 to assist you with your queries.
If you wish to send money to the Philippines, visit kabayanremit.com.