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Philippines Travel Guide

Home to 7,107 islands – some bustling with civilisation and some uninhabited provides more than a few reasons to visit the Philippines. As a nation that’s proud of its heritage yet possesses a fondness for modernity and Western traditions, it is a true cultural melting pot. Here, you will find sparkling beaches, comforting food, friendly locals and experiences aplenty.

The Highlights

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    December to April

    December through April sees the busiest time for tourism in the Philippines. Not only are they the driest months, and thus, best for travelling, but they also host a number of important holidays for the Filipinos like Christmas, All Saints Day (November) and Holy Week (March/April). Expect rates for hotels to increase, especially during Holy Week. For excellent weather minus the crowds, January and February might be the best time when kids are still in school and any important holidays are region-specific.

  2. Low Season

    May to October

    Although May through October is defined as the wet season in the Philippines, it might be worth noting that the weather stays relatively warm and rain isn’t always constant. And while typhoon season is usually in September and October, not all destinations in the archipelago are affected. It is worth thinking about travelling to the islands during low season. Consider May and November. Thinner crowds and cheap prices coupled with thoughtful planning is key to an unforgettable Philippines vacation.

Philippines Tours

FAQs about Philippines

  • Do you tip in Philippines?

    Tipping is generally not expected in the Philippines. However, because of the boom in tourism, it’s becoming more common and it is certainly appreciated. A 10% tip in cash for bellhops, tour guides, cab drivers and servers should be enough.
  • What is the internet access like?

    Internet access in the Philippines can be troublesome. While resort areas like Palawan, Bohol and Boracay offer WiFi, you might have to suffer through incredibly slow speeds, not to mention the occasional power outages.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    It really depends on the city or town. In some places like Metro Manila, drinking tap water can make you really sick. Other places –Davao City, for example –pride themselves on having clean tap water. A good rule of thumb is to simply drink bottled water for the entire duration of your visit.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Sure! Visa and Mastercard are accepted by many of the bigger businesses. However, smaller establishments and vendors only accept cash so it’s best to have that handy at all times during your visit.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Public holidays in the Philippines –alongside Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day – include Good Friday, Labour Day on May 1, Independence Day on June 12, All Saints and All Souls Days on November 1 & 2, Bonifacio Day on November 30 and Immaculate Conception Day on December 8.
  • What are the toilets like?

    The urban areas in the Philippines offer modern toilet facilities, as do some towns and resort areas. However, in many very rural areas, you'll have to deal with squat toilets. It’s also worth noting that standing on the toilet seat is still practised by locals so keep sanitary wipes handy.
  • What is the proper dress code for tourists?

    Though the Philippines is a little conservative, locals are relaxed with the dress code. Shorts, skirts, sleeveless tops, and short dresses are more than acceptable. Do note that if you wear more revealing outfits, you might find yourself the recipient of disapproving looks and catcalling.
  • Is the Philippines safe for travellers?

    The government is taking all the necessary measures to protect tourists, and as long as you practise common sense and basic precautions, you should be fine. Take extra care when visiting Manila as pickpocketing is common.
A TRAVEL MAGAZINE BY TOURRADAR