Philippines Nutz and Bolts

The Basics

Country: Philippines

Where is it?: The Philippines is in south-eastern Asia, east of Vietnam.

Why do people go here?: Due to a number of political reasons, the Philippines are not on most tourists routes, but the country does offer island culture and many remote areas that still need to be discovered.

What are the main entry points?: Most travelers come to the Philippines by plane into either Manila and Cebu. You can also enter via boat from Indonesia or Malaysia.

Currency used: Peso

Country Code for Phones: 63

Area codes for Major Cities: Manila 2

Religion: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 10%, Muslim 5%, Ethnic/Folk religions 2%, Buddhist/Chinese religion 2% and other 1%

Population: 92 million

Ethnic Groups: Christian Malay 91.5%, Muslim Malay 4%, Chinese 1.5%, other 3%

Government: Republic

Languages: Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English

Travel Information

Major Cities: Cebu, Manila

Attractions: Banaue, Boracay Beaches, Mayon Volcano

Accommodation: Philippines Hostels

Tourism Office locations and links: Philippines Tourism Office

Off-the-Beaten-Path: There are thousands of islands around the Philippines that are remote and rarely traveled to.

Health Issues: Cholera, hepatitis, rabies, malaria, typhus

Tips for Visiting

When to go: September to the end of April are the best times to visit.

Specific Events/Holidays: New Year’s Day: January 1, Black Nazarene Procession: January 9, Mardi Gras: third week in January. Independence Day: June 12, All Saints’ Day: November 1

Getting Around: Buses are the best means of transportation on the mainland. Various types of ferries and boats service many of the islands. Make sure to see the boat before you travel between islands, as some travelers have been stuck in extremely unsafe wooden boats overloaded with people.

Good to know: There are a few areas in the south that are anti-tourist and anti-anything Western. Check security situation before traveling around Mindanao.

Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into the Philippines is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Need more information?: Check out the Philippines travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.

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