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.
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
Boracay – white sand beaches
Siargao Island – surfing
Baguio – mountain view with cooler air
Sagada – spelunking and hiking
Palawan – pristine beaches, coral reefs, diving
Bohol – beaches, Chocolate Hills
Corregidor – couple of hours by ferry from the city, an island of historical importance
Pagudpud – beach on the north most part of the Philippines
Ilocos Norte – sand dunes, sand boarding, ATV, 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
Cagayan Valley – Callao Cave and whitewater rafting
Tagaytay – couple of hours by land from Manila, home to the smallest volcano
Baler, Quezon – surfing close to the city
San Juan, La Union – also a few hours by bus or land for some great surfing
Legazpi – home of the famous cone-shaped volcano, Mayon Volcano
Davao – visit the famous Pearl Farm resort
Cagayan de Oro – whitewater rafting
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.
The country uses Philippine Peso. For updated currency exchange, you may check http://www.xe.com.
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!
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!
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.
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
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
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,