Planning to hit the Philippines anytime soon? Its mesmerizing biodiversity, heritage towns, clear beaches, and exhilarating diving spots are surely things to look forward to. But before packing and booking your flight, here are five things you should know before travelling to the Philippines:
1. Bang for Your Buck
Though travelling to the Philippines isn’t as cheap as going to Vietnam, Cambodia, or Thailand, its travel essential prices are still attractive and promising to most tourists. As of posting date, 1 USD equals 52.61 Philippine Peso (PHP).
For instance, a 500ml bottled water will just cost you $0.15-$0.32. Transportation costs via jeepneys, tricycles, or small boats will usually not exceed $1.
A filling set meal – street chicken barbecue, rice, and drink – will cost you $1.50-$2.50 tops.
Accommodation though can range from $15-$30 per night.
Scuba diving, meanwhile, can be a little pricey at $40 -$60 for a three-hour session. That rate can go lower though especially if you bundle it in a package, for instance, El Nido island hopping tours.
Like other Southeast Asian countries, poverty is what drives some Filipino folks to commit crimes like theft.
It’s rampant in the country’s capital, Manila, but you can combat it with due diligence.
If you sense trouble, you may approach nearby locals and policemen for they typically display a friendly and helping attitude towards tourists.
Most provinces outside Manila are generally harmless, with the exception to the southern parts of the Mindanao Island where NPA guerillas wage war with the Philippine government.
3. Communication Barrier
The Philippines has two official languages – its native Filipino and English.
Considered as one of thebest English speaking countries in Asia, majority of Filipinos will be able to help you out on your travel route or inquiries when going around the city.
With an extended stay, you might even pick up some key Filipino phrases like:
- Good morning –Magandang araw! (Mah-GUN-dang ar-aw)
- Stop, or to get off at a certain location(on a jeepney or bus) – Para! (Pah-rah)
- Thank you – Salamat (sah-LAH-maht)
- How much? –Magkano?(mug-KAHN-o)
For tourists, it can be a bummer if the country they really wish to explore is not Visa-free.
Luckily, the paradise that is the Philippines allows most citizens in the world to enter without a visa.
As long as your travel document (passport) is good for the following 6 months upon entry, and provided that you can show an onward ticket, you are gifted with at least a month’s worth of stay.
However, note that this visitor Visa-free period can be shorter or longer for some nationalities (people from Macau and Hong Kong are limited to only 2 weeks or 14 days, while Brazilians and Israelis can stay up to 2 months or 59 days).
If you decide to visit the country, this Philippine trait can make all the difference in your stay.
Filipinos have a very warm reception to their guests, including foreigners. You can feel it almost everywhere – at the airport, in the hotel, and even in the streets.
It also helps that the country is filled with festivities and rich Spanish tradition to make every visitor feel at ease. Needless to say, smiles and greetings are almost everywhere.
Visited the Philippines just recently? How was your experience? Feel free to enlighten us with a comment down below!