1 Do I need a visa? Most nationalities don’t need a visa when visiting the Philippines, provided you do not stay longer than 30 days, and have return tickets and a passport valid for at least six months. Citizens of India, China and a select group of other countries require a visa – see

How long will it take me to get there? 3.5 hours (Manila) from Singapore. The Philippines, like


Singapore, is 8 hours ahead of GMT.

3 What’s the money situation? Filipino currency is the Philippine peso (Php). US dollars are widely accepted and ATMs readily available in major cities. Remember to have cash available in the rural areas where ATM access and exchange rates may be less favourable. When’s the best time to visit? The weather is generally tropical with hot and humid conditions. June to November often experience heavy rainfall and occasional typhoons, and March to May are the hottest months. It’s generally recommended to visit from November to April, when the weather is dry. What’s the lingo? Tagalog and English (it’s the third biggest English-speaking country in the world, behind the US and India). Here are some Tagalog phrases to get you started: Hello Kumusta What is your name? Anóng pangalan mo? My name is __ __ ang pangalan ko How much? Magkano? Thank you Salamat Yes Oo You’re welcome Walang anuman 5 4


• The flag of the Philippines is the only flag that is displayed differently in times of peace and war; in peacetime, the blue side is put on top; in wartime, the red. • The University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila is the oldest existing university in Asia. • The world’s longest underground river system accessible to man can be found at the St Paul National Park in the province of Palawan. • Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines.

Is there anything I should know about meeting the locals?


Filipinos usually greet each other with a smile and eye contact. As soon as they make eye contact they raise and lower their eyebrows as an additional greeting sign.

What’s a must-try dish? Adobo , a dish consisting of chicken or pork stewed in


• The Philippines was the first country in

vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns.

What should I buy as a souvenir? Something woven with abacá (Manila hemp) such as


Southeast Asia to gain independence after World War II.

placemats, rugs, hats, handbags.


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