WHY TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES
An archipelago of 7,000 islands, the Philippines are better than what is generally seen through the news reports that often show only violent events perpetrated by fundamentalist groups. Manila with its 12 million people is stunning in its modernity but you can visit historic sites in the Intramuros district.
Banaue rice fields, forming a spectacular staircase carved into the mountain over two thousand years ago are wonders that should not be missed. Puerto Galera offers stunning beaches and dive sites. Palawan has natural sites which will seduce you with underground rivers and deep forests; it also has great dive sites.
If you go to Vigan, you will personally see the Spanish influence everywhere as you stroll between its colonial houses. Do not forget the Visayas islands, all different, all fascinating: Cascades and caves in Samar, mysterious hills in Chocolate Hills, Spanish ruins in Cebu, the Kalibo Philippine carnival in January... the continuous thread that continues throughout the whole visit is the incomparable hospitality of the Filipinos, a legendary kindness symbolized by a smile that is sure to move you.
WHAT TO SEE IN THE PHILIPPINES
Top destinations in Philippines are:
WHEN TO GO TO THE PHILIPPINES
Best period to visit the Philippines is from Jannuary to May, when you will avoid the typhoons, with a preference for March and April when it is easier to move from one island to another with good conditions.
The tropical climate of the Philippines provides heat and humidity all the year round. However, there are different areas where the dry season and wet season alternate although the characteristics are essentially the same: From January to June, dryness prevails, and from July to December is the rainy season, with slight variations depending on the area.
Between May and November, the monsoon season often leads to the passage of typhoons. The coolest temperatures generally occur in January and the highest temperatures in May, however there is an average of around 25°C throughout the year.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of the Philippines.
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THOUGH THE PHILIPPINES
If you wish to travel within the country, domestic flights are provided by several companies. The buses are numerous but there is only one railway line between Manila and Naga. In the towns, you can choose between conventional taxis, small taxis without meters, trishaws and motorcycles with sidecars.
by plane, main airports are
GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE PHILIPPINES
country entry requirements: passport + visa (EU citizens do not need a visa, check your visa requirements)
health tips & vaccination: drink only bottled water and avoid ice. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.
local currency: Philippine Peso
local time zone: GMT+8
electricity: type A, B and C (220 V, 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN THE PHILIPPINES
typical food in the Philippines
- Adobo: Braised pork or chicken in a tangy sauce made from soy, vinegar and garlic
- Lechon: Roasted whole pig, prepared for fiestas and family celebrations
- Kare-kare: An oxtail stew in peanut sauce served with <em>bagoong</em> (fermented shrimp paste)
- Sinigang: Meat or fish in a pleasantly sour broth
- Pansit canton: A Chinese-influenced dish of noodles stir fried with meat and vegetables
- Sinangag: Garlic-fried rice, a popular local breakfast
- Tapa: Delicious dried marinated beefsteak, often fried and served with fried rice and a fried egg as tapsilog
- Balut: A par-boiled, fertilised duck’s egg containing a baby chick, served as a beer snack across the archipelago
- Crispy Pata: Deep-fried pig’s trotters, served with a soy and vinegar dip
- Longanisa: Spanish-style sausage, flavoured with local spices; each province has its own recipe
- San Miguel: A ubiquitous Spanish lager
souvenirs form the Philippines
- wooden sculptures
- coconut or mango wood objects
- seashell and coral jewellery
- barong tagalog (hand-embroidered dress shirts made from pineapple fibres)
- guitars from Cebu
- painted papier-màchè
- horses from Laguna
- rattan furniture
- banig (woven grass mats)
- antique wooden figurines of saints
- carved rice guardian figures
- pearls from Mindanao or Palawan
- terracotta pots
- abaca (Manila hemp) placemats
How are you?: Kumusta ka?
Thank you: Salamat
What is your name?: Ano ang pangalan mo?
How much is it?: Magkano ito?