Travel Information and Tips

Entry Requirements

Citizens of the countries listed below can stay in the Philippines for business and tourism purposes without visas not exceeding 30 days, given that you hold valid return tickets or tickets to your next destination. Your passport should also be valid for at least six months beyond your contemplated period of stay.

Facts:

  • Land Area: 300,000 km²
  • Population: 104.9 million (as of 2017)
  • Capital: Manila
  • Government: Presidential System
  • President: Rodrigo Duterte
  • Language: English and Filipino
  • Currency: Philippine Peso
  • Time Zone: GMT+8
  • Electricity: 220 volts, A.C. 60 cycles. Most hotels have 110-volt outlets.

The Philippines

Pearl of the Orient Seas

The Philippines, also known as the Pearl of the Orient Seas, is the go-to destination for visitors looking for a tropical vacation in Southeast Asia. This country has a lot of natural sights to offer that are like no other. The mind blowing experiences in these one-of-a-kind spots are the reasons why tourists from all over the world travel to the Philippines.

 Tourism in the Philippines comes in various forms: pristine beaches, indigenous people, bustling cities, scrumptious food, extraordinary volcanoes, deep caves, vibrant marine life, and rich cultural heritage. The Philippines is also home to multiple UNESCO heritage sites: Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, and Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras.

Along with the natural wonders of the country, the Filipino people are a major reason why tourists find a home in the Philippines. There are 175 ethnic groups in the Philippines, following different traditions and practicing various customs. Some of these groups are the Ifugao and Igorot tribes found in the north, which are the agriculturists and mountain people. In the south, there’s the spiritual and musical Tagbanua tribe in Palawan.

Language

Filipinos are adept in the English language. Although Filipino is the national language, English is widely used in business. The Philippines is also home to 176 languages and dialects which are scattered in the whole archipelago.

What To Wear

The Philippines is a tropical country where it can be hot and humid almost all-year long. Wearing light and casual clothes is highly recommended; but if you’re visiting mountain regions, consider wearing warmer outfits. We also advise tourists to be mindful of their clothes when visiting cultural and religious sites.

Accommodation

The Philippines has a wide range of accommodation options for every type of visitor, from 5-star hotels and luxury resorts to boutique hostels, transient houses and nipa huts. It’s advisable to book your stay in advance, especially when you’re visiting during the peak season: Holy Week, New Year, Christmas, and any major local festival.

Business Hours

Business hours of most private and government offices are usually from 8 AM to 5 PM or 9 AM to 6 PM, Mondays to Fridays. Most shopping malls are open from 10 AM to 8 PM, and banks are open from 9 AM to 3 PM. There are also 24-hour convenience stores in most areas.

Internet & Wifi

Keep your expectations low when it comes to the Philippines’ internet connection but it still works fine nonetheless. In secluded areas of the country, expect a total disconnect as signal may not be available from time to time – a chance for you to live in the moment.

However, a couple of waysto stay connected are available  – there are prepaid SIM cards in mini-markets or roadside shops, pocket WiFi rentals, and free WiFi in establishments.

The two top mobile internet providers are Smart and Globe which are readily available; both have varying internet promotions and deals on unlimited calls and texts based on your budget and needs.

Tipping

Most establishments in the Philippines already include a 10% service fee in bills.  However, a 15-20% tip is always well-appreciated. Tips are usually handed to cab drivers, bellhops, bartenders, waiters, or anybody who’s had given any kind of service.

Money

The official currency in the Philippines is Philippine peso (currency code: PHP). Notes in the country come in 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000. On the other hand, coins come in 1-peso, 5-pesos, and 10-pesos, these small amounts come in very handy for small tips and paying jeepney drivers.

In major cities, ATMs are accessible in almost every corner; however, this is not the same case for remote islands and mountain provinces. Destinations such as Palawan, Panglao, and Siquijor have limited access to international-network ATMs. Be sure to carry around enough cash when traveling to these destinations.

Food

Filipinos love to eat so much, that they munch a lot on snacks in between meals; having snacks or also known as merienda is a sure way to express courtesy even to those you do not know. Filipino meals normally includes spoon and fork and rarely a knife; but meals are best enjoyed when eaten with bare hands and no utensils at all, the Filipino way!

Rice is the staple food for Filipinos. Classic Filipino dishes such as adobo (marinated pork or chicken) and lechon (roasted pig) are more enjoyed when paired with steamed rice. Some Filipino food favorites also include seafood, pancit (noodles), halo-halo, mangoes, and balut.

Airport

There are multiple international airports in the Philippines. The major gateways are Manila, Davao, Aklan, Angeles, Cebu, and Iloilo, to name a few.

Transportation

Before going out, make sure you check your destination on Google maps to familiarize yourself with the directions. It’s also best to avoid traveling during the Metro Manila rush hour, which is around 7 AM to 9 AM and 5 PM to 9 PM. We also advise that you download ride-hailing apps such as Grab for cars or Angkas for motorcycles, which are both convenient ways to get around Manila because they can be easily booked.

Trip Planning

The Philippines has several international airports located all over its archipelagic islands. It’s best to know where exactly your destination is to determine the best entry point and save time and money. Book flights and hotels ahead of time because prices tend to increase as your travel dates get closer. Avoid traveling during super peak season if you’re on a budget or  you don’t like massive crowds; super peak season is usually during the Christmas season (late December), Chinese New Year (early January or late January), and the Holy Week (late March or early April).

Weather

There are two seasons in the Philippines – dry and wet. The best season to travel is during the summer season from March to May; while the rainy season starts from June to December. Strong typhoons usually occur from September to October. Follow PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration) on Facebook for daily updates about the weather in the Philippines.

Top Destinations

Boracay

Bohol

Palawan

Manila

Banaue

Cebu

Lets Take You to the Most Outstanding Destinations in the Philippines

The Philippine archipelago has a lot to offer. Exploring every inch of this country will take a lifetime, but we’ll take you to the best spots this country has to offer. We promise to take you to the best sandy beaches, limestone rock formations, waterfalls, and many more!

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