Whatever your reason for travelling to the Philippines, be sure to allow enough time to enjoy the diverse and exciting experiences this country has to offer.
Composed of 7,107 islands and with a total coastline longer than that of the USA, it’s hardly surprising that many of the Philippines’ most stunning attractions can be found in or around the sea. But there is more to the Philippines than glorious coastlines; the islands are blessed with a rich environment— lush forests, lakes, rivers, mountains, tropical islands and coral gardens teeming with beautiful marine life — and is home to friendly, artistic and hardworking people who are always happy to welcome visitors and friends.
Its intriguing history and culture, combined with its beautiful beaches and wildlife means this destination has something for everyone! So head to the Philippines and discover a country where Catholic European traditions are entwined with a vibrant Asian culture and hospitality, a trait displayed by every Filipino!
Top places to visit:
- The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banaue Rice Terraces
- The well-preserved Spanish-style architecture in the historic town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur
- The Baroque-style Philippine World Heritage site churches: the San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, the Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion Church in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, and the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo
- The smallest active volcano in the world Taal Volcano in Batangas
- The volcano with the most perfect cone, Mt. Mayon in Legazpi, Albay
- The unique land formation that is the Chocolate Hills in Bohol
- The renowned Mall of Asia in Manila – a shopaholic’s dream
Things to do:
- Shopping - Shopping areas or malls in Manila, Makati, Cebu and Davao virtually have everything that you will need— from designer western brands to items specifically designed for the tourist market. Around the country, specifically in city centres, Tiangges (or the Filipino version of flea markets abound offering quality items at bargain prices.
- Diving - If you are a diving enthusiast— amateur or professional, or someone who is looking for an underwater experience of a lifetime - then visiting Asia’s Dive Capital, the Philippines, is a must! The country boasts the highest density of coral species in the world.
Useful words and phrases:
Hello - Mabuhay
Good morning - Magandang umaga
Good afternoon - Magandang hapon
Good evening - Magandang gabi
Good-bye - Paalam/adyos
Please - Paki
Thank you - Salamat
Yes - Oo
No - Hindi
Excuse me - Ipagpaumanhin
How are you? - Kumusta (ka)?
Well, thank you, and you? - Mabuti salamat, at ikaw?
What's your name? - Anong pangalan mo?
Money - Pera
Expensive - Mahal
Cheap - Mura
How much is this? (point) - Magkano iyan?
What is this/that? - Ano ito?
Do you have anything cheaper? - Mayroon bang mas mura?
Where is the bus stop? - Saan ang hintayan ng bus?
How much is the fare? - Magkano ang pamasahe
Philippine Peso (PHP; symbol Php or P) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of Php1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of Php10, 5, 2 and 1, and 25, 10, 5 and 1 centavos.
Airport Embarkation Tax:
Travel Tax: is levied on the following passengers departing the Philippines:
1. Nationals of the Philippines;
2. Permanent Alien Residents of the Philippines;
3. Non-resident aliens, who have resided in the Philippines for more than 1 year.
Fee: varies according to class of travel and eligibility for standard and privileged reduced rates.
Place of payment: for tickets purchased in the Philippines, through the airline or travel agency. For tickets purchased outside the Philippines, at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila; Mactan International Airport and any Regional PTA Travel Tax Office.
Exemptions apply. For full details on the Travel Tax and exemptions please visit www.tourism.gov.ph
The first half of the year, from January to May, is the best time to visit the country. November to February is cool, while March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, with the months between July and September characterized by typhoons. Average temperature is 78 degrees F/25 degrees C; average humidity is 77%. Some parts of the country such as Cebu, are warm and comfortable in all seasons and can be visited throughout the year.
For up-to-date weather information, visit the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Adminstration (PAGASA) website: www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph