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Philippines Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know

The Philippines is a wonderfully diverse country in Southeast Asia with something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beaches, explore the many islands and UNESCO World Heritage Sites or experience one of the biggest parties in Asia, there’s always something for every type of traveler.

With such an enormous variety of people and places in this archipelago nation, you’ll never be bored! 

  • The capital city of the Philippines is Manila
  • The country’s official languages are Filipino and English. 
  • The Philippines consists of 7,107 islands.
  • The largest are Luzon, Leyte, and Mindanao.

Philippines Government.

The Philippines has a presidential form of government, in which the people vote for a president and vice-president every six years. The president is both head of state and head of government.

Visas – Travel to the Philippines :

Most visitors can stay in the Philippines for 30 days without a visa. 

Visas – Work & Study in the Philippines :

To work or study in the Philippines requires a special visa. For some jobs, you also need to have skills, training, and qualifications. You can apply for residence or work permits directly at the Philippine Embassy in your home country.

Filipino Currency:

The currency of the Philippines is the Philippine Peso.

Philippines Religion.

The Philippines has many religions and religious groups, but Roman Catholic Christianity is the major one. Around 80% of Filipinos are Catholic Christians. Other groups include Muslim Filipinos, Buddhist Filipinos, and Protestant Christian Filipinos.

All religions follow a similar pattern of traditions and holidays like Christmas, Easter Holidays, and Chinese New Year.

Transport in the Philippines.

The infrastructure in the Philippines is good. The network of roads and railways has been dramatically improved over the years while internal flights are served by a well-developed airport system.

Traveling from one city to another in the Philippines.

You can travel around the Philippines via air, rail, road, and water. Traveling by train is usually overnight as there are no direct services from Manila to other destinations.

Traveling in the Philippines by Bus.

In every country, you can find local bus companies that provide regular routes between the significant districts; provincial capitals have long-distance bus services that travel between the biggest cities in the Philippines.

Traveling in the Philippines by Boat:

Cebu Ferry Philippines

Ferries and barges connect many islands with various ports, while passenger ships carry many passengers from one central city to another. In some big cities, you can take hydrofoil boats that are frequent and convenient for traveling to many destinations.

Traveling in the Philippines by Car:

A car will be handy to move faster from one city to another, but you can also rent a scooter or moped and enjoy cruising around towns on your own.

Traveling in the Philippines by Taxi:


You can easily find taxis at airports, train stations, and bus terminals or call for a cab. The meter should be used simultaneously, making sure you set the rate beforehand if using the phone.

Six major airlines operating in the Philippines connect several destinations with Manila: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Zest Airways, and southeast Asian Airlines, while Jetstar Airways, AirAsia, and Tigerair Philippines are low-cost carriers.

Travel by air in the Philippines.

Philippine Airlines is considered one of the most prestigious airlines in Southeast Asia, known for its excellent service and quality.

Cebu Pacific builds on this tradition with many new innovations such as Skymate, the world’s first real-time booking platform, and the Cebu Pacific Air Rewards Program.

Weather In The Philippines :

The Philippines has two seasons: the wet season and the dry season. June through October is the wet season when typhoons can occur.

For most Filipinos, this means that it rains almost every day-sometimes for just a short while, sometimes all day long.

The rest of the year is considered dry season or ‘hiya,‘ when it doesn’t rain at all and the sun shines almost every day-sometimes hot but not humid, and usually with cooling afternoon breezes.

For temperatures in Manila, the average range is 79F degrees to 90F degrees. But, there can be extremes of as much as 12F degrees in 24 hours.

Philippines Tourism.

shallow waters in bohol

Annual tourism to the Philippines has steadily increased over the years, based on data from the World Bank and reported in U.S. Dollars (USD) currency units. According to government figures, tourist arrivals in 2007 rose 2 percent from 2006 levels, with a total of 1,221,105 visitors.

The majority of foreign tourists to the Philippines are from South Korea, the United States, Japan, and China. Other countries that contribute significantly to tourist numbers include Australia, Russia, and Canada

Philippines Geography.

The Philippines is an archipelago, and thus it consists of many islands. The largest island is Luzon, both in terms of size and population. It has 112,000 square miles (291,831 square km) and is home to some 12 million Filipinos.

Other islands that make up the country include Mindanao, Palawan, Macauley, and Panay. The archipelago is located between Taiwan and Borneo in Southeast Asia.

Philippines Regions.

Philippines Map

The country is divided into regions. The Bicol Region is located in the southeastern part of Luzon Island, which includes Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, and Albay provinces.

The Central Visayas region consists of Cebu and Bohol islands, including small islands called Mactan.

The Davao Region is located in Mindanao in the south, including the country’s second-largest city Davao.

Main Islands in The Philippines :

  • Luzon,
  • Mindanao,
  • Palawan,
  • Panay

Famous Cities in The Philippines :

  • Manila,
  • Iloilo City,
  • Davao City,
  • Butuan City,
  • Cotabato City,
  • Vigan City,
  • Dumaguete City,
  • Zamboanga City,
  • Angeles City,
  • Cebu City,
  • Tagbilaran City.

The Philippines has 1,289 kilometers of coastline, with many popular beach destinations such as Boracay and Coron (in Palawan), famous for their palm trees; El Nido in Palawan is called the “crown jewel” of the Visayas. Also renowned for its white-sand beaches in Puerto Galera in Mindoro.

Main Tourist Attractions :

  • Manila Bay,
  • Corregidor,
  • Taytay Falls,
  • Intramuros or Walled City,
  • Bahay Tsinoy (Chinatown House),
  • Bonifacio Monument.

In the Philippines, you can enjoy such activities as water sports, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking on mountains or through forests in Luzon and Mindanao, trekking to remote tribes as well as enjoying many historical and cultural sites.

Visiting major cities of the country, you will notice plenty of shopping malls equipped with many shops and boutiques.

Family Travel in the Philippines.

If you are going to travel with family to the Philippines, there are many exciting places for children and teenagers. There is plenty of wildlife, including monkeys, wild pigs, and a wide array of birds; waterfalls such as those on Mt. Palay-palay in Baguio City or Sagada Falls can be pretty fun for both children and adults. Many water parks can provide an excellent time for your kids, such as the scenic resorts of Puerto Galera and Boracay.

Festivals and Holidays.

The Philippines has many major festivals and holidays celebrated all over the country with festivities, feasts, and colorful parades.

Christmas is also widely celebrated in the Philippines. At the same time, the month of June is considered one of the most popular times for traveling due to summer vacations and celebrations of local feasts and fiestas.

Philippines Food.

Most Filipinos do not have enough money to buy expensive foods, so they make their own food called “sari-sari store.” These stores sell vegetables, dried fish, rice noodles, sardines, and drinks for the customers. Most of the more impoverished people get their food from these stores.

The Philippines also has a lot of rice, fish, and vegetable dishes.

Dishes are usually flavored with coconut milk or vinegar. The country also has pancit noodles, which are Chinese in origin, but Filipinos have made their own version called Pancit Palabok.

Some popular meat dishes include chicken adobo (chicken cooked with vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic) and pork barbeque.

The national dish of the Philippines is called adobo (a meat or seafood dish that has been marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic.)

Philippines Culture.

In the Philippines, it is usually rude to give an unnecessary answer or reply when you are a guest. The native people in the Philippines typically eat with their hands and do not throw food away on the floor this is considered disrespectful.

The Philippine national sport is basketball.

Philippines History.

Early Filipinos lived in small villages called barangays, hunted, gathered food, and fished for their meals. These groups are the precursors to what is now known as the Philippines.

It was 1521 when Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines during his exploration of what is now known as the Pacific Ocean. The Spaniards then took control of the Philippines for 300 years.

In 1898, the United States defeated Spain in war and acquired Guam and the Philippines from them. After World War II, the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth with Manuel Roxas at its head until independence was granted in 1946.

The Philippines is now an independent country.

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