ABOUT PHILIPPINES

MORE FUN IN PHILIPPINES – We say Mabuhay to usher you to the doors of the 7,7107 islands of enchantment and lead you to the hearts and hospitality of the Filipino , to experience “ More fun in the Philippines”

Destinations offers are endless attractions that differ from one region to the other. The land of bountiful nature teeming with fauna and flora , the rich & fertile valleys and forests , magnificent mountain ranges , stunning grassland and countryside landscape , caves with glittering stalagmites and stalactites , array of white sand beaches and crystal clear blue waters , unlimited sports , adventure un surmountable cuisine and entertainment are just exceptional.

See the world’s wonders “ Banaue Rice Terraces” , ancient features of Vigan , chocolate Hills in Bohol , The world renowned white powder fine beaches of Boracay , Palawan , Bohol, Cebu, and the newest in the list Misibis bay in Bicol.

Be amused by the incredible natural attractions of Palawan be it in EL Nido , Coron, Amanpulo or Puerto princesa (the underground river made it to the new 7 wonders of Nature), Mt. Mayon Volcano (most perfect cone shape and an active one) which are rich in natural resources . Most important , an interaction with the Filipinos, who are always with smiles. Come & have a fun with LET’S SEE ASIA in PHILIPPINES

LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY

The Philippines comprises an archipelago of some 7,107 islands located off Southeast Asia, between the South China Sea on the west and the Philippine Sea on the east. The major islands are Luzon in the north, the Visayan Islands in the middle, and Mindanao in the south.

The total area is about 300,000 square kilometers, including about 298,000 square kilometers of land and about 2,000 square kilometers of water. The Philippines stretches about 1,850 kilometers from Y’Ami Island in the north to Sibutu Island in the south and is about 1,000 kilometers at its widest point east to west. The bulk of the population lives on 11 of the 7,107 islands.

The Philippines has no land boundaries. Nearby neighbors are Taiwan to the north, Malaysia and Indonesia to the south, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest.

The longest river is the Cagayan (Río Grande de Cagayan) on Luzon, about 350 kilometers in length. Other principal rivers on Luzon include the Abra, Bicol, Chico, and Pampanga. The Pasig River is only about 25 kilometers in length but serves as the main waterway, flowing between Laguna de Bay, the largest freshwater lake in the Philippines, through metropolitan Manila to Manila Bay. Principal rivers on Mindanao include the Mindanao River (known as the Pulangi River in its upper reaches), and the Agusan. The St. Paul River on Palawan is an eight-kilometer-long underground river.

WEATHER & CLIMATE

Most of the Philippines have a typical tropical marine climate. So you will find typical hot and humid weather throughout most of the year. From June to September, the country experiences a rainy season. In this period typhoons are common. From October to February, the northeastern monsoon brings cold winds from the north, which creates cool and dry weather. From March to May the Philippines experiences very hot summers. The country's average temperature can range from 25 degrees Celsius ? 32 degrees Celsius (78-90° Fahrenheit), with humidity around 77 percent. Highland areas are much cooler, with nighttime temperatures at night dropping to 20 degrees Celsius (68° Fahrenheit).

Best time to visit the Philippines –

The first half of the year, from January to May, is the best time to visit the country. November to February is cool, while March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, with the months between July and September characterized by typhoons. Average temperature is 78 degrees F/25 degrees C; average humidity is 77%. Some parts of the country such as Cebu, are warm and comfortable in all seasons and can be visited throughout the year.

For more information, please visit –
www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph
www.accuweather.com

CURRENCY

The currency in the Philippines is the Peso (PhP) and the Centavo. 100 centavos = P1. Coin denominations are: 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos, P1, and P5. Bill denominations are : 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1, 000 pesos.

Foreign currency may be exchanged at your hotel, and in most of the large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shops. Exchanging money anywhere else is illegal and the laws are strictly enforced.

Most large stores, restaurants , hotels and resorts accept major credit cards including American Express , Visas and MasterCard. Traveller' s checks preferably American Express are accepted at hotels and large department stores. Personal checks drawn on foreign banks are generally not accepted.

LOCAL TIME

Standard Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 08:00 hour

VISA TO PHILIPPINES

GUIDELINES ON THE ENTRY OF TEMPORARY VISITORS TO THE PHILIPPINES

Nationals from countries who are travelling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding twenty-one (21) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay. However, Immigration Officers at ports of entry may exercise their discretion to admit holders of passports valid for at least sixty (60) days beyond the intended period of stay.
www.tourism.gov.ph

Philippines Visa for Sri Lankan Citizens
embassycolombo.com

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS

Upon Arriving: Visitors are allowed to bring in duty free personal belongings, two cartons of cigarettes or two tins of pipe tobacco and up to one liter of alcohol. Balikbayans have separate rules and should check with the Embassy or Consulate in their home city.

CURRENCY REGULATIONS

It is illegal for any incoming or outgoing passenger to bring in or out Philippine Pesos in excess of P10,000.00 without prior authority from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Any violation of this rule may lead to its seizure and civil penalties and / or criminal prosecution. (BSP Circular 98-1995)

The transportation of foreign currency or monetary instruments is legal. However, the carrying of foreign currency in excess of US$10,000.00 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies must be declared to a Customs Officer or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Violation of this rule may lead to seizure and sanctions, fines and / or penalties.

LANGUAGES

Two official languages --- Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education. Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense. Filipino is the native language which is used nationally as the language of communication among ethnic groups. Like any living language, Filipino is in a process of development through loans from Philippine languages and non-native languages for various situations, among speakers of different social backgrounds, and for topics for conversation and scholarly discourse. There are about 76 to 78 major language groups, with more than 500 dialects.

CLOTHING

People in the Philippines dress for the weather. Casual attire during the day for women are light blouses and shorts. For men collared T- shirts worn over slacks. In the evening skirts are substituted for shorts and the T-shirts are tucked in.

For Men Only: If you expect to have to attend any occasion which would usually require a jacket and a tie, there is a wonderful substitute. You may go to a department store and buy a barong tagalog. It is an embroidered shirt that is considered a formal dress. It will cost more or less PhP1,000.00, but it is worth every centavo.

BUISINESS HOURS

Most businesses are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays and 8:00 AM till noon Saturdays. Banks are open from 9:00 AM till 3:00 PM Mondays through Fridays. When banking in the Philippines, it is advisable to have your passport with you for identification.

The post offices are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays only. Stamps for postcards are frequently available from the Concierge Desk at most major hotels. The Philippines uses ZIP codes, please include them in addressing local mail.
NOTE: The Standard lunch hour is noon to 1:00 PM. Most businesses and government offices are closed.

AIRPORT TAX

Passenger Terminal Fee is levied on all passengers embarking for:

  1. International travel : PHP 750
  2. Domestic travel: PHP 200

Place of payment: Airport of departure.
Exempt:
  1. Children under 2 years of age.
  2. Transit passengers remaining in the transit area and not leaving the airport.
  3. Crew members.

ANTI-SMOKING LAW

MANILA, Philippines -- Section five of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9211) prohibits the carrying of any lighted tobacco product in public vehicles, schools, health centers, elevators, cinemas, malls and in places where fire hazards are present. Smoking is also banned in recreational facilities for minors. Fines imposed on violators of this section range from P500 to P10,000

PHILIPPINES FOOD

Like other Southeast Asian cuisines, the Filipinos eat a lot of vegetables and rice. Similarly, they also eat many types of seafood, saving meat for more special occasions (often in the form of lechon , or whole roasted pig). The waters surrounding the Philippines islands provide over 2,000 species of fish. In addition, Filipinos have been farming fish in palaisdaan , or fishponds, using aquaculture (raising fish and shellfish in controlled conditions) for over 1,000 years. Patis, a clear, amber-colored fish sauce, is used in Filipino dishes as much as soy sauce is used in China.

For over 2,000 years, rice has been grown in the Philippines and is eaten almost daily. As of the twenty-first century, over twenty varieties of rice are cultivated, which are made into thousands of different cakes, noodles, and pancakes. Rice noodles are common in fast-food restaurants and stands, served heaping with a choice of different meats and vegetables. Noodles symbolize prosperity, long life, and good luck. Filipinos believe the longer the noodles, the better, so noodles are generally not broken or cut when a dish is being prepared.

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