“Its more fun in the Philippines” is what they say about this amazing country in the Asia Pacific. The motto for the country fits perfectly with the Filipinos who you will experience sociable and warm positive people. Many say the Philippines seem more South American than Asian due to Filipinos way of looking at life in general. For hundreds of years The Philippines have been occupied by Filipinos are warm people that like to smile most of the time, and they are very open to guests and open their house without hesitation. A smile is the same as a little hello. The family bond is very strong in the Philippines, young people always takes care of the elderly once the young ones are old enough to make money on their own. Filipinos are very religious as well where 83% is Catholics, 9% protestants and 5% is Muslims. The country is about 7000 islands with a total area of 300,000km2. Population is around the 90 millions and 30million of all people are working. The unemployment rate is 10% approximately, and they have a mix of more than 60 different ethnic minorities.
The most important products imported from the Philippines are electronic materials, machines and transportation equipment, textiles, coconut oils, Bananas, minerals and wood sculptures and furniture’s. About 50% of Filipinos works with the agricultural market, and about 30% works with the industrial market.Their most important trade partner is USA, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.The Philippines is a republic, which is run by a President, senate and congress. Main capital is Metro Manila. The currency here is Pesos.The climate in the Philippines is tropical with 4 types of climate zones. The best time of year to visit the Philippines is from December – May.
You can find many different transportation options in the Philippines, the cheapest one is the Jeepney, it cost around 5pesos for a trip but this option is also one of the slowest transportations, as people are jumping on and off the jeepney all the time. Jeepneys have a fixed route but they pick up and drop off people anywhere they want. Jeeps were left in the Philippines by the Americans after the war. Later they were rebuilt by a Philippine company and turned into small buses to improve public transport for a fast growing population.You can also choose a taxi, this is faster and not that expensive. Make sure to always tell the driver to turn the meter on before starting the drive. A normal trip in Taxi cost around 100Pesos.Buses are also around and you can take all kinds from the terminals around the country, they cost less than taxi and have TV and food services on board.Be aware of traffic jams in the bigger cities, this can be very extreme sometimes and end up costing travellers hours of waiting and delay.
Accommodation and Hotels:
Depending on your stay if its long or short there is a lot of options to find a suitable place for everyone. For longer stays, we would recommend all to rent a serviced apartment with furniture’s, cable, TV, Internet etc. This can be done for monthly rentals and prices are around 15,000Pesos to 50,000Pesos.Short stay you can also rent serviced apartments for as low as 1200Pesos up to 15,000Pesos a night.Luxurious apartment and hotels are also around but mostly in the bigger cities.
Telecommunication & Internet:
The biggest telecom providers in the Philippines are Globe and SMART. You can easily buy a sim card in any Ministop or 7Eleven and then buy load for the phone as well. You can buy load cards from 20Pesos to 500Pesos. It’s very simple and easy to set up.Internet and Wi-Fi is normally in the hotel and the apartment you rent, however you can also visit the many Internet cafes around smaller and bigger cities.
All Filipinos loves to hang out in the mall when they can with their friendsand family. There are many malls all over the Philippines and the biggest chain mall’s you will see in the Philippines are the SM malls. Everything you can dream about is here, and you don’t need to go anywhere else than the mall to find what you are looking for.Great malls to visit in Manila are the Glorietta Mall and Greenbelt malls.
Golf & Sports
Filipinos are active people and enjoys all kinds of sports. The most popular sport among the young people is Basketball. Street basket is everywhere in the Philippines and the Filipinos are good at basketball. For the more mature people Golf is very popular here. Many tourists come to the Philippines to play golf, and the country also offers more than 50 golf courses, so there is a few to try out here. Diving and other water related sports are also very popular and attracts millions of tourists every year to experience the water sports in the most beautiful nature of the Philippine islands.
Filipinos loves to eat all the time, and don’t be surprised if a random Filipino ask you if you ate already. They insist to make sure that you remembered to eat your breakfast, lunch or dinner.Food is a very important part of any Filipinos day, and they don’t just skip a meal as many do in the western world, Filipinos always make sure to eat.The main dishes you can explorer here are Rice, Chicken adobo, pork lecho, noodles, fish, potato and fast-food.
Tagalog is the language in the Philippines, but with more than a 100 different dialects is used. Depending on if you are in the North, the middle or down south the languages can vary a lot and some Filipinos don’t even understand each other.All Filipinos speaks English, the country is very Americanized and they all know a little bit of English, even the oldest generation. The youth are very good at speaking English, and therefore all tourists can easily understand and communicate with the locals in the Philippines.
There is a huge animal life in the Philippines, we would very much recommend that all who visits the Philippines go and see the life under the Philippine ocean. They have many different fish species and there is no danger in diving in the Philippines.
The climate in the Philippines is very tropical. The western part of Mindoro, Luzon, Panay, Negros and Palawan have its rainy season from November to maj, and for the rest of the country it rains all year – but still very varied. If you want to visit the Philippines depending on the weather, the best time to visit the Philippines from December – Marts, these months are more tempered than other months and not so steamy hot. If you plan to visit the Philippines based on water activities, the months of march, april and may is most suitable months as the ocean is very calm in this time of year
The biggest cities to visit in the Philippines are Manila, Cebu and Davao. Manila is the biggest one by far and also the country’s capital. Metro Manila is several cities connected with each other and it can take hours going from the south to north manila.Metro manila offers great areas such as The Fort Bonifacio, Makati, Greenhills, Mall of Asia area and Malate.Cebu is also a great big city with international airport. The city is much smaller than manila but are still the third biggest city in the Philippines. It’s a cozy city with less noise, traffic jams, pollution and people comparing to manila.
Islands and Beaches:
As the country offers more than 7000islands, it can be a bit confusing to figure out where to go and what island to visit. However many of the islands are very small and unpopulated. The 11 biggest islands are approximately 94% of the total land area of the Philippines, its about 300k m2, same size as Italy.The most popular places to visit are Boracay Island; this island is packed with tourists, hotels, shopping mall, bars and discos. The island is well knowned for its fantastic beaches and crystal clear water.Other places such as Cebu islands, Palawan islands; Puerto Galera, Batangas and 100 islands are also very popular.
All Filipino woman speaks English, some speaks less than others, but majority have a very good understand of English both in writing and spoken. Although the Philippines are third world country, most of the population still has either a smart phone or Laptop to use for online activities. Filipinos have one of the highest active social media user rate in the world, showing that Filipinos are very much enjoying and interested in being a part of cyber space.The majority of the population in the Philippines is woman. The Filipino woman really enjoys living in a society like the Philippines where they are very respected and seen as equals to men. The women got the right to vote long before any other country in the Asia pacific region. The Filipino woman has a lot of influence at home but also outside home at the job. Filipinos are very polite and kind people; they try to avoid arguments and fights, as they prefer to be positive all time. Be careful not to speak to direct to a Filipino, they don’t like to loose face and be insulted, so speaking directly with Filipinos are normally not something you do.