Should those moving from the USA to the Philippines bring their appliances with them?
We received advice that we should leave our 110v gadgets at home and buy new here. I can’t tell you how frequently we rue this decision. Good kitchen appliances such as Braun, Krups, KitchenAid are hard to find and very expensive in the Philippines — about 2X. Oh how I wish for the 110v treadmill I gave away in the US! We gave away our appliances when we left the US and now we are having new 110v appliances such as Kitchen Aid food processor sent from the US via balikbayan box. We’re not alone in this. I can’t tell you how many Philippine households and businesses I have seen using 110v equipment running off of step-down transformers. If you go into the fitness center of one of Iloilo’s main hotels you’ll see rows of treadmills running off of transformers. In a bakery they are using 110v KitchenAid mixers, and so on.
It is better to buy frequently-used, high-wattage appliances in the Philippines; toasters, coffee makers etc. Also, step down transformers do waste electricity, so we don’t leave ours plugged in. When we need to use (for example) the sewing machine, or recharge the cordless drill, we plug in the transformer only when we are using the appliance. Otherwise the transformer sits on the kitchen counter unplugged.
There is the danger of somebody making a mistake and plugging a 110v appliance into a 220v outlet. My wife did this with her sewing machine and wondered why it was running so fast! Miraculously it was not damaged. Much will depend on your household. We have not destroyed appliances because there is just the two of us and a maid who is very careful. If you have a more numerous or less cautious household, then forget 110v stuff.
Bringing computers and peripherals to the Philippines.
Almost all computers can operate in the Philippines without a special adapter. Check the label on your equipment. The Philippines is 220v 60 cycles. Most computers (but not equipment and peripherals) will automatically adjust.
Almost always you can plug in your laptop. You might need an adaptor for your plug so it will fit into two-prong Philippine style outlets. The Philippine outlets are just like those in the USA or Canada except usually they do not have a ground lug. If your computer has a ground lug bring an grounded to non-grounded two prong adapter. Adapters are available at all hardware stores in the Philippines.
Some desktop computers have a 220/110 volt switch on the power supply. Be sure that this is set to 220v before plugging in.
WARNING: Many computer accessories and peripherals are 110v only. This includes many printers (I had to buy a new one when I got here), USB hubs, speakers, surge protectors, battery backup and so forth. Be sure to check before you plug in. My Brother printer was 110v only. My Apple wireless router worked without a problem. My LaCie Fireware drive worked without a problem. My powered Belkin USB hub was 110 only. You can buy step down transformers to run your 110v computer equipment in the Philippines but remember that electricty is expensive in the Philippines and these transformers waste power. Computer gear usually is plugged in 24/7. It may be better to just buy new gear in the Philippines. But, bring any laptop computer with you. They all run fine on 220v and are much cheaper in the US — if that’s where you’re coming from,