Philippines

Capital City: Manila
Timezone: PST (UTC+8)
Country Calling Code: +63
Currency: PHP

1 CNY = 6.69 PHP

1 USD = 41.81 PHP

1 EUR = 51.46 PHP

1 GBP = 60.82 PHP

1 AUD = 41.81 PHP

These rates were valid at time of writing.
Please check www.xe.com for exact exchange rates.

Weather & When to Visit

 

Philippines weather has become more unpredictable in recent years, but January to May usually brings the best weather to most of the country. However, this is also the high tourist season. Low season is during the rainy months of June to September when typhoons are most common and accommodation prices usually decrease during this time. March to May is summer and will be hot and dry with blue skies, whilst December to February is cool and dry.

Any time is a good time to visit the Philippines, with the possible exception of Holy Week (around Easter), when hotels book out months in advance and prices triple. Christmas and New Year’s sees a similar increase in prices, crowds and decrease in availability as this is also a popular time for expat Filipinos to travel home.

Events & Festivals

 

Philippines are well known for its festivals that are celebrated all year round. Filipinos are known as “Fiesta Loving People”.

In the Philippine History, Fiesta or Festival started during the Spanish Era or way back 400 years ago. Most festival is celebrated with the honor of a patron saints, some is to honor an event in history or season of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.

Festivals nowadays are celebrated with plenty of foods, singing and dancing. Some celebrates festival with street dancing or ati-atihan with a festive music, parading of floats and shouting in the streets into the beat of the drums. This is also a way of improving tourism in the country. Some of the festivals are Black Nazarene, Pahiyas Festival, Moriones Festival and many others.

Visas

 

Visa regulations in the Philippines are subject to change so be sure to check with a Philippine embassy or consulate before making your travel plans.

At the time of writing, citizens of nearly all countries did not need a visa to enter the Philippines for stays of less than 22 days - you'll be given a 21-day visa on arrival in the country. However, you may well be asked for proof of an exit or onward ticket upon arrival in the country.

For longer stays, before you travels apply at a Philippine embassy or consulate for a three-month single-entry visa, which usually costs US$30. Multiple-entry visas valid for up to six or twelve months are also available ($60 or $90 respectively), but you'll still be limited to 59-day stays.

Airports

 

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), also known as Manila International Airport (MNL or RPLL), is the airport serving the general area of Manila and its surrounding metropolitan area. Located along the border between the cities of Pasay and Paranaque, about seven kilometers south of Manila proper, and southwest of Makati, NAIA is the main international gateway for travelers to the Philippines and is the hub for all Philippine airlines.

There are 4 terminals:

  • Terminal 1: NAIA Terminal - International flights, non-Philippine Airlines
  • Terminal 2: Centennial Terminal - All Philippine Airlines flights only (North wing International, South wing Domestic)
  • Terminal 3: NAIA International Terminal - International flights (Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific, PAL Express)
  • Domestic Terminal - All domestic flights other than Philippine Airlines

Things to Consider

 

  • Arriving at Manila airport is the most common way to get to the Philippines but not a great introduction to the country as the general atmosphere there can be quite chaotic and inefficient. Lines are long and the facility is in need of an overhaul. Be prepared to exercise some patience and keep your wits about you as you pass through immigration. It's best to allow more time if you have a connecting flight, and research your options for transferring terminals. In particular, beware of unscrupulous taxis.
  • Bring light and loose clothing, hat, sunglasses and UV protection particularly in the summer. When travelling to the mountains or if intending to scale the odd volcano, do bring along warmer clothing such as jumpers (sweaters) and a light jacket, even on the hottest months.
  • Leave your expensive jewellery at home and be very careful of valuables when out and about. Scams and pickpocketing is common particularly in the big cities, so its a good idea to keep a close eye, and hand, on your wallet, and don't get easily distracted.
  • Unlike most Asian countries, the culture of tipping in the Philippines' service industry is becoming more prevalent with much influence from western countries. Although, nearly all major hotels and restaurants have a policy of automatically adding a 10 percent service charge to your bills, a small token to show you gratitude is still expected in the form of a tip.
  • Philippine's time has a strange nature, which includes lack of punctuality. So, don't be surprised if you are either waited for or left waiting.

 

Important Note:
Whilst Classic Travel does our best to keep information updated, it is always advisable for you to double-check details for your specific trip as information can change without notice, particularly in regards to arrival & departure airport terminals, visa requirements and airport/port fees.