The Philippines doesn’t consist just of remote islands, waterfalls filled with milky blue water and jaw-dropping limestone formations coming out of clear blue water. It offers hiking possibilities, diving spots, rice terraces and even one of the best surfing spots in the world!
In this article, we break down all the main Philippines information you need to know when travelling to the Philippines.
The Philippines Information- All you need to know
The Philippines consists of 7641 islands spread in the Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia. The capital city is Manila and that´s where your amazing trip will probably start.
Visa Philippines information
Most nationalities don’t need to apply for a visa for the Philippines in advance. As soon as you will leave the plane, you will find a table with immigration cards. You will fill the card and give to the immigration officers.
You will receive at the airport a 30-day Visa on Arrival and you are good to go. This visa is free of charge and the only requirements are that you have a flight ticket out of the country (in next 30 days) and that your passport is valid for at least 6 months. And if you will decide to stay longer, you can!:)Visa on Arrival are extendable for another 30 days so in total you can stay for 60 days.
Tip: You can check here if you need a visa for the Philippines
Price and costs Philippines
The Philippines is pretty affordable to travel to like most of the Southeast Asian countries. You can always find every type of accommodation depending on your budget. From hostel and shared dorms to luxury hotel rooms or even private villas.
What makes travelling the Philippines most expensive are Island hopping trips and travelling from one island to another. So if you are trying to find ways how to make your holiday cheaper, focus on what way are you travelling and how many islands do you want to see.
For example, overnight ferries and local public buses are always cheaper than flights and private cars.
Filipino currency and how much does it cost
What currency they are using in the Philippines and information about how much everything cost.
Their currency is Philippine Peso (PHP, ₱). 1 AUD is about 36 PHP.
Standard Double room: 10-30 AUD per night
Local Lunch / Dinner for 2: +- 10 AUD
Scooter for 1 day: +- 14 AUD
Waterfall entrance: +-1 AUD
Private Island hopping tour per person: 55 AUD
Shared Island hopping tour per person: 39 AUD
Local bus from Cebu to Moalboal: 4 AUD
ATM in the Philippines
Most of the time is hard to find an ATM witch has money. Even in the Capital city Manila we were struggling to find a working ATM. So if you do find ATM which gives you money, withdraw enough for your future trips as well. In El Nido, there is one main ATM, but not every time has money, in Moalboal on Cebu Island are few but hardly any was working when we were there. So be prepared and always have some cash money with you.
Rabbies in the Philippines information
Unfortunately, Rabbies are a pretty big problem in the Philippines. So even though all the street dogs are so lovely, beautiful and cute, be careful and cautious, please.
We don´t think the vaccination is necessary, but it´s a very personal decision. We didn’t have any vaccination anyway but either way, try to avoid any scratches from puppies as it can have serious consequences for you.
How to get around the Philippines
From all Asian and Indonesian countries we have travelled to, The Philippines transportation seems to us to be the easiest arrangeable and organised.
When you are want to get around the land, use Grab taxi, local buses, minivans, jeepneys, tricycles or rent a scooter. To get from one island to another, use a plane or ferry.
For getting around in Manila, especially from the airport to your accommodation and back, use Grab Taxi. It´s the cheapest way and safest as well. Easily just download this free app into your phone and you are good to go.
Local buses in the Philippines information
A local bus is the cheapest way how to get from Cebu City to Moalboal. They are often really packed with people, not all of them have air conditioning but it will save you a lot of money for a private car.
Jeepneys are an iconic way of transportation in the Philippines. You should try to get a ride with them just for the experience. It´s a local way how to get around cities and bigger towns and it´s really cheap. Use jeepneys for short distances in Manila or Cebu city. They are always really full and you usually pass your money to the driver through all the other travellers. Just ask the person next to you how much you need to pay, they will know:)
Tricycle in the Philippines information
For short distances in big cities or for any distances in smaller towns, you can use a tricycle. It´s actually a bike with a sidecar. Often they can fit one person behind the driver, 4 inside the sidecar and 2 at the back of the sidecar. It´s a little more expensive than jeepneys but still very affordable. With tricycle, don’t forget to bargain the price or ask in your accommodation how much approximately your ride should cost.
Rent a scooter in the Philippines
Our very favourite way how to get around and explore the island is renting a scooter. Roads in the Philippines are in a quite alright condition and the traffic is not as crazy as in Indonesia for example. But please, still be very careful and cautious when driving a scooter and always wear a helmet. Being like your mum right now, we know!:)) But we can´t stress enough how important is to not to underestimate driving scooter and rent one only if you feel confident enough.
Ferry and boats
Usually, the cheapest way how to get from one island to another. It´s enough if you get yourself the ticket one day in advance in the harbour.
For longer distances between two island or for more comfortable travelling use plane. Make sure you book your flight tickets in advance in order to get a good price. And keep in your mind that Filipino domestic flights are often delayed or even cancelled. Do not book a connecting flight or some activity in a too tight time frame. ✈
Sim Cards Internet in the Philippines
Staying connected in the Philippines is a hard task. The wifi is not everywhere, even though they say on the internet they have one. When they do have WIFI it´s usually not working anyway, and when it’s working, the power is probably out:D
For the sake of your sanity, we recommend you to get yourself a Philippines Sim Card with data on it. Even if staying connected is not your priority, you will still need to have internet for Google Maps or in case of emergency.
Simply go to Manila after your arrival to the shop called 7/11 and ask for SMART sim card with data on it. They will show you how to activate the sim card and get internet. We got 9 GB and paid something around 500 PHP.
Best time to go to the Philippines
When is the best time to travel to the Philippines? There are two seasons, dry season and rainy season. But thanks to the size of the Philippines, these seasons are different in El Nido and for example in Siargao Island.
From December to April ☀ is the best time to visit most of the Philippines as there is the smallest chance for rain. El Nido, Bohol, Coron, Siquijor Island.
December, March and May would be the busiest months and therefore the most expensive.
The rainy season ☁ in the Philippines comes from July and last until October so do not plan your Philippines holiday in these moths either.
When is the best time to go to Siargao Island
Siargao Island has the weather differently. The best time to travel to Siargao Island is March to October when there is a dry season.
The ultimate answer when is the best time to travel to the Philippines, according to us, would be ☀ April and May ☀. Even tho prices will be higher, in these months you can travel the Philippines and get really good everywhere and hopefully miss the rain as we did.
Is it safe to travel to the Philippines
Absolutely! Filipino people are one of the most friendly and accommodating people we have ever met on our travels. They have big hearts and wide smiles.
There is part of the Philippines – the southern tip called Mindanao area, which is a NO-GO place. Even for most of the Filipinos. Other than that, the Philippines are safe to travel to and we already want to come back!♡
Language in the Philippines
There are two official languages, Tagalog and English. Almost everybody in the Philippines can speak English which is another big advantage for you to travel to this amazing country.
Drinking and tap water in the Philippines
Tap water in the Philippines is not drinkable so you need to buy water in the shops. Although a lot of the accommodation in the Philippines has a big water barrel where you can refill your reusable water bottle and avoid buying single-use plastic water bottles. If your place doesn’t have the water barrel, buy in the shops 6 or 8 litres water bottles. It´s cheaper as well as you will produce less plastic.
➳ Love tropics? Read about Which Islands to see in the Philippines!
The most important tip about the Philippines
Last but not least, our tip for everybody who loves flying and taking pictures from the plane!:))
If you would like to sit where you can see the propellers on a plane and create the Instagramble photos, you need to be sitting in row 4.
On a flight from Cebu to Siargao and back, ask during at the check-in counter, if you can sit at row 4 at the window seat. If they have space there, they will put you there for free.