Philippines, officially called the Republic of the Philippines consist of more than 7,000 islands (archipelago). Located in Southeast Asia, Philippines is surrounded by neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Palau and China. Manila serves as the capital of Philippines, and with over 1 million tourists visiting annually the city has been one of the premiere tourist destinations in the East Asia.
The people of Philippines are warm and welcoming – ‘where Asia wears a smile‘. Their hospitality is so embracing that it will put a smile on any traveler’s face. Philippines offers you a variety of things to do along with amazing and superb all inclusive luxury resorts for you to stay. English is widely spoken so you do not have to worry about the language.
The Philippines has a tropical climate and is usually hot and humid. Temperatures usually range from 21°C (70°F) to 32°C (90°F). There are three seasons:
- tag-init or tag-araw – the hot dry season or summer from March to May
- tag-ulan – the rainy season from June to November
- and tag-lamig – the cool dry season from December to February
Basics You Need To Know
Passport & Visas
Everyone entering the Philippines must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay. All visitors must have return or onward tickets, documents necessary for further travel. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 21 days. Extensions for visas are possible and should be made with the Bureau of Immigration.
Passport and visa requirements can change at short notice. So be advised to check their entry requirements with your embassy or consulate. You can avoid stress, if you get a visa agency to arrange your visa in case you require a visa.
Electrical current is 220 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin flat blade attachments and two-pin round plugs are used. So make sure to pack a power converter in your suitcase, if required.
Recommended vaccinations include Typhoid as there are frequent outbreaks of typhoid fever. There is a risk of Malaria, so if you plan to travel, seek medical advice from your doctor prior to to your trip. Please be advised that Dengue fever is a risk throughout the country. The best prevention you can take is to avoid mosquito bites and take along a mosquito spray/repellent.
If you plan to visit remote coastal areas, be cautious of snakes. Keep in mind that in such areas anti-venom may not be easily available. Medical care however is very good in the major cities – at a price of course. It is advisable that you get travel insurance before you travel.
As for the drinking water, avoid tap water as it is not safe. The best thing is to buy bottled water when you travel around the country.
If you are offered any food or drinks by the locals, it should be accepted, as this is a sign of hospitality. If not this is considered being rude. In addition, visitors should avoid offending/embarrassing anyone in public.
The currency of the Philippines is Peso. Banks do not always accept travelers cheques. Banks are open from 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday to Friday. ATM’s are open 24 hours. It is best to carry Pesos when traveling outside of major cities.
Flights to Philippines
Cathay Pacific and Qatar fly direct to both Manila and Cebu from Heathrow Airport. Qatar and Emirates fly direct to Manila and Cebu from Gatwick.
For good flight deals to Philippines and around the world, check CheapOAir.
Manila airport in Philippines is located four miles (7km) south of Manila. Car rental is available from Europcar, Avis, Hertz and National desks at the airport.
Your safety and security should be the top priority when you travel to other countries. Make sure you are aware of any terrorism and kidnapping before heading out to visit the Philippines. The threat of kidnapping is greater in southern and western Mindanao, Basilan, Tawi Tawi, Jolo and the Sulu archipelago. If you are the adventurous type, try to avoid beaten tracks and roads, and always leave your travel plans with family or friends in case of an emergency.
Philippines Emergency Number – 166/117
Philippines Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 233 1121
Philippines Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 467 9300
Philippines Embassy, London, United Kingdom (also responsible for Ireland): +44 (0)20 7937 1600
Philippines Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 346 0451/2
Philippines Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6273 2535/6
Philippines Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 472 9848
Foreign Embassies in Philippines
Canadian Embassy, Manila: +63 (0)2 857 9000
United States Embassy, Manila: +63 (0)2 301 2000
British Embassy, Manila: +63 (0)2 580 8700
Australian Embassy, Manila: +63 (0)2 757 8100
South African Embassy, Manila: + 63 (0)2 889 9383
Honorary Counsel of Ireland, Manila: +63 (0)2 896 4668
New Zealand Embassy, Manila: +63 (0)2 891 5358
If you are from Philippines or have traveled to Philippines, don’t forget to share your insights on the comments section below.