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Philippines travel tips

  • Dress for the weather – hot! Light clothing is ideal year-round, and absolutely during the hot and dry months from March to May. Temperatures average from 78°F/25°C to 90°F/32°C. Mean humidity is at 77%.
  • Never leave home without your rain gear, umbrella, and heavy clothing during the rainy months from June to October as well as when setting out to the mountainous areas.
  • When travelling overseas, its always a good practice to get a travel health insurance. Travel health insurance offers peace of mind when abroad. Also, check with local health authorities for any concerns when going to remote villages. And drink only bottled water or canned beverages when unsure of the local water supply.
  • When shopping in a public market, it is perfectly acceptable to haggle for the cheapest price.
  • English is the most widely spoken next to Filipino/Tagalog, the national language. Learning the basic local phrases may come in handy. Over 111 local dialects are spoken in the country.
  • Comfortable yet sturdy footwear are best, as traveling the islands will often involve some walking.
  • When headed to the remote areas, come prepared with an insect repellant and even your own water in handy containers. Always have the island map with you.
  • Prepare to hop in a jeepney, tricycle, or pedicab – exotic modes of land transport that are the most commonly available for going around. Always bring loose change when taking public transport.
  • Know the transport schedules. Some destinations are only being serviced intermittently, not to mention extreme weather conditions that will affect these schedules.
  • It is a good idea to use a belt bag to put your money, passport and other valuables when on the road rather than a bag. And position it in front of your body and under your shirt if possible. Better yet, use a money belt and hide it under your clothing
  • Never leave your bag and other valuables on the beach or at the poolside when swimming. It is a lot safer to leave them in your hotel room.
  • Casual clothing is acceptable inside churches and business offices. Dining establishments and hotels impose no dress code but shorts and slippers are deemed improper.
  • For formal occasions, the traditional Barong Tagalog, the Philippine national costume for men, is just as suitable as the suit-and-tie.
  • When traveling by car, be mindful of the number coding ordinance for vehicles that is being implemented strictly in selected cities.
  • Do not miss visiting during the summer, when there is a concentration of major festivals, celebrations, and events.
  • Adopt to local customs; accept local differences. The Filipinos are divided culturally into regions a total of 16, at present, each with its own distinct traits and traditions.
  • Filipinos (as with most Asians) are mostly conservative. Act, speak and dress modestly, more so when going to the countryside. In most places, wearing shorts, tees, sleeveless shirts, sandals or sneakers are fine – specially in summer.
  • If you are going to Mindanao (southern Philippines) where some areas are predominantly Muslims, dress conservatively – specially the women. And don’t call Muslims Moros. It’s considered rude.
  • The Philippine monetary unit, the peso, is generally preferred for financial transactions. Money-changing shops are available in key cities and towns.
  • Tipping is expected for many services. The standard amount is 10% of the total bill. Tipping is optional on bills that include a service charge, which is often 10% as well of the total bill.
  • Be sure to sample the endless variety of native delicacies and local cuisine, which differ in every region. The Philippines is made up of 7,107 different flavors that you will want to take home with you.
  • Filipinos are a very friendly and welcoming people. The Philippines has a lot to offer its visitors. Discover the country, get to know the people and their culture. Enjoy your visit to the Philippines and Mabuhay!

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