The Philippines is an archipelago bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east the Bashi Channel to the north the Suli and the Celebes Seas to the south. You can find us East of Vietnam, North of Indonesia.
The country is divided into the geographical areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Its capital, the city of
Manila, is in Luzon. You can also enter through the cities of Cebu in the Visayas, and Davao In Mindanao.
Welcome to our isles.
We are made up of 7,107 islands. Some have grown into cities. Some are the epitome of tropical dreams. Some are just long enough to lay down on and get a tan Big. Small. Sandy. Sunny. Relaxing. Exotic. Out little clutch of island make for one long stretch of beach - more than 15,500 kilometers. Here, no one is more than two hours away from a beach-side lounge chair -
which explains why everybody knows how to smile and have fun!
Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark, and Laoag are the international gateways. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila is the premier gateway. It is served by more than 30 airlines which fly to different cities around the world. The Mactan International Airport (MIA) in Cebu handles regular flights from Japan, Singapore and the Middle East as well as chartered flights from Hong Kong, the United States and other travel capitals. Davao International Airport and Subic airfield in Central Luzon service both chartered and cargo planes. Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte services regular flights from Taiwan to Macau.
Philippine Airlines, the country's flag carrier, links Manila to 14 cities in 8 countries. Major cruise liners call on the port of Manila.
Valid passport. Except for stateless persons and those from countries that do not have diplomatic
relations with the Philippines, all visitors may enter the country without visas and may stay for 21days provided they have tickets for onward journey. Holders of Hong Kong and Taiwan Passports must have special permits. Visas and special permits may be obtained from the Philippine embassies and consulates.
A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers coming from an infected area.
Airport and Facilities: Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA Terminal 1,2,3 &4 ) is 7Kms. from the city center. The international airports have adequate travel facilities: duty free and souvenir shops, traveler facilities: duty-free and souvenir shops, tourist information and assistance counters, hotel and tourist information and assistance counters, hotel and traveler facilities: duty-free and souvenir shops, travel agency representatives, car rental services, banks and automated teller machines, postal service, national and international direct dial telephone booths, medical clinics and baggage deposit areas.
Facilities for the physically-handicapped: The airports are handicapped-friendly. Wheelchairs are available on request from the airline ground staff.
Customs: Visitors are advised to fill in the Baggage Declaration Form before disembarking to
facilitate Customs examination. The following are allowed inside the duty-free: reasonable quantity of clothes, jewelries and toiletries; 400 sticks of cigarettes or 2 tins of tobacco; two bottles of wine or spirits of not more than one liter each.
Porterage: Baggage carts are available for free. Porter services are also free. Tipping is customary.
Airport Transfers: Visitors are advised to avail of accredited fixed rate or metered taxis at the NAIA's Arrival Area. At the NAIA Terminal 2,3 & 4, accredited transfers services are available on pre-paid coupon basis. Other airport are served by metered taxis. All airport have counters for hotel transport and car rental services.
Airport Fees: Php550 for international departure and Php 200 for local departure (Paid in Philippine Pesos only). Departing passengers for international destinations are advised to check with airport or tourism information counters (tell nos.: +632 5241703; +632 8322964) regarding departure fees. These fees are subject to change without prior notice.
Duty Free Shopping: Duty-Free Philippines near the NAIA is the country's largest duty-free outlet that carries quality imported items and selected Philippine export products.
On international flights allowance from 20 to 30 kilograms, depending upon the seat class, is
permitted. On domestic flights luggage allowance from 10 to 18 kilograms depending upon local airline. Excess baggage is at passenger's personal expense.
March to May is hot to dry. June to October is rainy. November to February is cool. Average
temperature: 78 F / 25 C to 90 F / 32 C. Humidity: 77%
WHAT TO WEAR:
Light, casual clothes are recommended. Warmer garments are needed for the mountain regions.
When visiting churches and temples, propriety dictates that shorts and scanty clothing be avoided.
Formal occasions require dinner jacket and ties (or the Philippine Barong Tagalog) for men and
cocktail dresses or long gowns for women.
GOVERNMENT CURRENCY / CREDIT CARD:
Unit of currency:
1 Peso = 100 centavos
Bank Notes = PHP 20, PHP 50, PHP 100, PHP200, PHP 500 and PHP 1,000
Coins = 5centavo, 10centavo, 25-centavo, 1-peso, 5-peso and 10-peso coins
International Credit Card:
VISA, MASTERCARD and AMERICAN EXPRESS, JCB and all major credit cards are accepted in major establishments.
Tipping is expected for many services. The standard practice is 10% of the total bill. Tipping is
optional on bills that already include 10% service charge.
Hospitals in the country are equipped with modern facilities to meet any medical need. In some remote towns and cities, clinics and health centers provide emergency medical attention. Most hotels and resorts provide medical assistance. It is advisable, however, to carry/ take your own medication.
By air, Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific Air provide daily services to major cities and towns. Zest Air, Seair, Laoag International airlines service the missionary routes. There are also scheduled chartered flights to major domestic destinations service by smaller commuter planes.
By sea, interisland ships connect Manila to major ports. Ferry services connect smaller islands.
Metered and fixed rate taxis are widely available in key cities nationwide. Jeepneys and buses are inexpensive ways of getting around most places. In Metro Manila, the fastest way of commuting is via the railway system.
Filipino is the national language. English is the business language and spoken widely.
In Metro Manila, key cities and towns throughout the country, a wide selection of deluxe, first class, standard, economy and pension-type accommodations are available. In island destinations, there is a variety of resorts ranging from deluxe to special interest categories.
Filipino Food is exotic, tasteful blend of Oriental, European and American culinary influences. There is a wide variety of fresh seafood and delectable fruits. First class restaurants offer gourmet specialties as well as Filipino cuisine.
CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT:
Metro Manila is the center of entertainment and cultural activities. The Premier venue for the
performing arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, features world class performances by local and international guest artists. Museums located in Manila and some parts of the country, offer a glimpse of Philippine history and culture. Art galleries exhibit the works of the country's leading and promising visual artists.
Manila's nightlife is one of the most vibrant in Asia, reflecting the Filipino's love for music. The hubs of nightlife activities are in Remedios Circle in Malate, Ayala Center and The Fort at Bonifacio Global City in Makati, Timog and Tomas Morato Avenues in Quezon City and Eastwood in Libis Quezon City.
Night clubs, music lounges, pubs and sing-along bars feature Filipino bands and singers who are
known for their great musical talent. Deluxe hotels also offer a variety of live musical entertainment.
Concerts and stage plays for part of the entertainment scene.
For visitors who want to try their luck at the gaming tables, there are casinos in Metro Manila and in
the cities of Angeles, Olongapo, Tagaytay, Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and Laoag.
Visitors can choose from an exciting selection of great buys in country known for export-quality items
at reasonable price: South Sea pearls, hand-woven cloths, embroidered fineries, fashionable ready to
wear and haute couture clothes, terracotta, porcelain, coral and mother of pearl home accessories.
Artifacts, pineapple fiber "Jusi" shirts, pre-historic jars, native handicrafts and footwear are interesting
items, too. The Philippines also produces fine basketry, furniture, fresh and processed fruits, exquisitely
crafted jewelry and gift items made of shell, wood and stone.
Big malls are located in Manila, Makati, Pasay and EDSA, while handicraft, antique and curio shops
abound the Ermita District in Manila.
BUSINESS AND BANKING HOURS:
Private and government offices are open either from 08:00 AM to 5:00PM or from 09:00AM to 06:00PM.
Some private companies hold office on Saturdays from 09:00AM to 12:00 noon. Most of the shopping
malls, department stores and supermarkets are open from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily. There are
24-Hour convenience stores and drugstores.
Banks are open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Mondays to Fridays, with automated teller machines
(ATM) that operate for 24 hours.
TIME ZONE: GMT plus 8 hours
ELECTRICITY: 220 volts, A.C. cycles. Most hotels have 110-volts outlets.