Visiting the Philippines

Beautiful faces of the Filipino

 

The Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,107 islands and boasts of fascinating landscapes, active volcanoes, pristine beaches, coral waters and hospitable people. It is located in Southeast Asia, below Hong Kong / China.

Island Map

Global map

Climate

November – February       cooler climate with no rainfall, average temperature is 26 degrees centigrade in daytime

March – June      summer season, expect temperatures to rise to 34 degrees centigrade in daytime

July – October     rainy season, monsoon and typhoons are expected

Places of Interest

There are over hundreds and hundreds of beaches to choose from when thinking of a getaway. Some beaches are close to the city, Metro Manila, and can be reached thru land in a 2 hours. Some may require a plane ride or a boat/ship ride to reach. Some of the most popular places to visit:

Cebu  – Plantation Bay, Mactan Island

Plantation Bay

Mactan Island

Boracay  –  white sand beaches

Boracay Island

Siargao Island –  surfing

Siargao Waves

Baguio  –  mountain view with cooler air

Famous Zigzag Road

Sagada  –  spelunking and hiking

Banaue Rice Terraces

Sumaging Cave

Palawan  –  pristine beaches, coral reefs, diving

El Nido

Coron Diving

Bohol  –  beaches, Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills

Corregidor  –  couple of hours by ferry from the city, an island of historical importance

Corregidor Island

Pagudpud  –  beach on the north most part of the Philippines

Isolated beaches of Pagudpud

Ilocos Norte   –  sand dunes, sand boarding, ATV, windmills

Vast sand dunes

Bangi Windmills

Batanes  –  be ready to be transported back to the olden days, can be reached only by plane and best month to visit are January to March

Breathtaking view of rock and mountain formations

Classic Batanes Stone House

Cagayan Valley  –  Callao Cave and whitewater rafting

Callao Caves

Tagaytay  –  couple of hours by land from Manila, home to the smallest volcano

Taal Volcano amid Taal Lake

Baler, Quezon  –  surfing close to the city

Baler, Quezon

San Juan, La Union  –  also a few hours by bus or land for some great surfing

San Juan waves

Legazpi  –  home of the famous cone-shaped volcano, Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano

Davao  –  visit the famous Pearl Farm resort

Houses on stilts by the water

Cagayan de Oro  –  whitewater rafting

For the adrenaline junkies!

There are hundreds more of islands to visit, mountains to trek and beaches to explore and laze in. Most can be reached thru buses, boats or ferries or planes.

Currency

The country uses Philippine Peso. For updated currency exchange, you may check http://www.xe.com.

Language

The national language is Tagalog but almost everyone speaks English. You wouldn’t have a problem communicating when you get lost or need help! Plus, Filipinos are the most hospitable people in the planet!

Food

With the American influence, one can find almost any western fastfood chain – McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Pizza Hut etc. Filipinos are known for their love of food and you will never go hungry! You can find seafood, chicken / beef / pork / lamb dishes everywhere. Vegetarians will also be delighted as more and more vegetarian places are cropping up.

Food costs:  budget – 50 to 100 pesos (US$1 to US$2)

average – 100 to 300 pesos (US$2.50 to US$7)

splurge – you can spend as much as 5,000 pesos in an exclusive place

We cater to all kinds of palates, preferences, dishes, and budgets!

Transportation

Major transportation in the city are buses, jeepneys, cabs and trains. There is a train running from North to South of the city called MRT and East to West called LRT. Most people get by taking jeepney or bus rides for major thoroughfares. If you are within the city limits, you may also hail down a tricyle or a pedicab (similar to a rickshaw) to take you to nearby places.

Jeepneys on the streets

Classic Sarao Jeepney

Tricycle

Pedicab

Housing

There are quite a few choices for housing as well. One can stay in a dormitory type, usually called, bedspace. Others can rent a room, an apartment or an apartelle. Hotels are also abundant in the city.

Bedspace / Dormitory  –  P2,000 to P4,000 per month (US$50 to US$100)

Room Rent – P3,000 to P5,000 per month (US$60 to US$120)

Apartment – P5,000 up depending on area (US$120 up)

Apartelle – usually negotiable if you stay long term

Hotels – variable

Official Carrier

The country’s official carrier is Philippines Airlines. There are several budget airlines that operate locally and internationally.

Main Airports:  Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 1, 2, 3)  –  Manila, Luzon

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport  –  Clark, Pampanga

Cebu International Airport  –  Cebu, Visayas

Airlines:   Philippine Airlines

Cebu Pacific Air

Sea Air

Zest Air

Air Asia

Tiger Airways

Jet Airways

Airphil Express

Visa Requirements

Nationals of Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Myanmar) do not require visas if they intend to stay as tourists for less than 30 days.

Most national require a visa if they intend to stay for longer than 21 days.

Please check with your consulate and Philippine Embassy in your country for updated requirements.

As Filipinos proudly say,

It most definitely is!

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One response to “Visiting the Philippines

  1. Pingback: Visiting the Philippines | 200-HR Yoga Teacher Training Program Manila·

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