Philippines weather & climate
The Philippines has a tropical rainforest climate, the 2 main characteristics of which are high temperatures and high humidity levels.
In theory rain can be expected every month, but this is not always the case. The rainy season occurs during the months of June to October.
During the months between December and May, the Philippines experiences dry months, when temperatures soar. Typhoons are most likely to occur during November.
Getting around the Philippines
International flights to the Philippines usually land at Manila or Cebu. There are no direct flights from Europe; you must travel via Asia, the USA or Australia. Once here, transportation is incredibly reasonable. The best method of transport for island hoppers is by bus because they're air-conditioned and efficient. There is only 1 railway line; it's on the northern island of Luzon. It goes from Manila to Naga, taking around 7 hours. For shorter journeys, jeepneys tricycles and taxis are used.
Tricycles are best for short trips; the motorcycles with sidecars attached to them have a certain novelty but aren’t always great due to the dirty air and noise pollution in big cities. Jeepneys are very popular all over the country – in cities and towns you will always find one at hand. Taxis are the costlier alternative, while probably being the most pleasant. In Manila, the MRT and LRT are definitely the fastest and most convenient means of transport.
Festivals in the Philippines
Annual events in the Philippines to look out for:
What: A colourful festival to honour Jesus Christ
Where: Panay Island
Feast of the Black Nazarene
What: A famous devotional procession
What: A week of celebrations across the country, with re-enactments of miracles and Christ's last days.
Where: All over the Philippines
Visa requirements: Visas lasting 21 days are issued on arrival to many nationalities, including holders of a valid UK, EU or US passport. If you wish to stay longer you must obtain a Visa Extension before your trip from a Philippine Consulate or Embassy. Or, once here, you may obtain one from the Bureau of Immigration.
The currency in the Philippines is the Peso (PHP) and the Centavo. 100 centavos = 1 peso. Coin denominations are 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos, 1 peso, and 5 pesos. Bill denominations are: 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 pesos. Most large stores, restaurants, hotels and resorts accept major credit cards including American Express, Visa and MasterCard. Traveller's cheques, preferably American Express, are accepted at hotels and large department stores. Personal cheques drawn on foreign banks are generally not accepted.
Although Filipino and English are the official languages in Philippines, Bikol, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Pangsinan, Waray Waray are also spoken in certain parts of the country.
Important telephone numbers
Calling Code: +63
Police & Fire: 757 or 116
Emergency No: 501- 650 or 501- 728
Directory Assistance: 114
National Operator: 109
International Operator: 108