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ABOUT PHILIPPINES


At right in the heart of South East Asia is the Philippines, a rambling chain of some 7,107 islands and islets. From north to south, this tropical archipelago stretches for more than 1,700 kilometers towards the equator. The South China Sea washes its western shores; a northern neighbor is Taiwan, as are Hongkong and China; further north is Japan. Westward lies other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. An arm of the archipelago points southwest towards the isle of Borneo; and at its feet, the island chain that is Indonesia. To the east and south, the waters of the Pacific Ocean sweep its headlands, looking out towards Micronesia and Polynesia

ENTRY REGULATIONS

Valid passport. Except for stateless persons and those from countries with which the Philippines has no diplomatic relations, all visitors may enter the country without visas and may stay for 21 days provided they have tickets for onward journey. Holders of Hong Kong and Taiwan passports must have special permits. Visas and special permits may be obtained from Philippine embassies and consulates.

CURRENCY

Unit of currency: Peso (P) = 100 centavos. Bank notes: P10, P20, P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000. Coins: 5c, 10c, 25c, P1, P5, P10.

Money changers will be able to give you the official guiding rates and are located at the airport, local banks, and other authorized foreign exchange dealers in commercial establishments.

CLIMATE

March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy. November to February is cool. Average temperatures: 78oF/25oC to 90oF/32oC; humidity: 77%.

LANGUAGE

Filipino is the national language. English is the business language and spoken widely. Approximately 111 languages and dialects are spoken in the country.

TIMEZONE

GMT plus 8 hours.
No daylight saving time at the moment

TRAVEL TIME

Mon Jul 03 11:23:05 2006.

The Philippines is readily accessible from the travel capital of the world. Traveling time to Manila from Hongkong is an hour and 50 minutes; Singapore 3 hours and 10 minutes; Bangkok, 3 hours and 50 minutes, Tokyo, 4 hours and 15 minutes; Sydney, 10 hours and 20 minutes; London, 20 hours and 45 minutes; Paris, 21 hours and 15 minutes; Frankfurt, 19 hours and 40 minutes; San Francisco, 20 hours and 15 minutes; Los Angeles, 15 hours ans 20 minutes; and New York, 20 hours and 20 minutes.

ELECTRICITY

220 volts, A.C. 60 cycles. Most hotels have 110-volt outlets.

WATER

Water in Metro Manila and in key cities and towns is potable and safe for drinking. Bottled water is available in many hotels, restaurants, resorts, supermarkets, and convenience stores.

AIRPORT FACILITIES

The international airports have adequate traveler facilities: tourist information & assistance counters, hotel & travel agency representatives, banks & ATMs, postal service, telephone booths, and medical clinics, among others. Baggage carts and porter services are available for free.

The airports are handicapped-friendly. Wheelchairs are available on request from the airline ground staff.

CUSTOMS

Visitors are advised to fill in the Baggage Declaration Form before disembarking to facilitate Customs examination. Visitors carrying more than US$ 3,000 are to declare the amount at the Central Bank of the Philippines counter situated at the Customs area. Foreign currency taken out upon departure must not exceed the amount brought in. Departing passengers are not allowed to bring out more than PhP 1,000 in local currency.

LOCAL TRANSPORT

Metered and fixed rate taxis are widely available in key cities nationwide. Jeepneys and buses are inexpensive ways of getting around most places.

In Metro Manila the fastest way of commuting is via the railway system. LRT connects Monumento on the north to Baclaran on the south. MRT traverses the length of EDSA from North Avenue to Taft Avenue.

HEALTH REGULATIONS

A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers coming from infected areas. Children less than one year old are exempted but may be subject to isolation when necessary.

Hospitals are listed in the "Yellow Pages" of the local telephone directory. Health centers provide emergency medical attention in remote towns and cities.

ACCOMMODATIONS

De luxe, standard, economy, pension-type, and special interest accommodations are available.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

New Year's Day 1 January
Edsa Revolution Day 24 February
Araw ng Kagitingan 9 April
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Movable
Labour Day 1 May
Independence Day 12 June
National Heroes Day Last Sunday of August
All Saints Day 1 November
Bonifacio Day 30 November
Christmas Day 25 December
Rizal Day 30 December

BUSINESS AND BANKING HOURS

Private and government offices are open either from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Most commercial establishments are open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, with automated teller machines (ATM) operating 24 hours.

CREDIT CARDS

International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Mastercard, and American Express Card are accepted in major establishments.

DINING OUT

Filipino food is an exotic, tasteful blend of Oriental, European, and American culinary influences. There is a wide variety of fresh seafood and delectable fruits. First class restaurants offer gourmet specialties as well as Filipino cuisine.

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE

Metro Manila is the center of entertainment and cultural activities. The premier venue for the performing arts is the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The hubs of nightlife activities are the Remedios Circle in Malate, Ayala Center and The Fort at Bonifacio Global City in Makati, Timog and Tomas Morato Avenues in Quezon City, and Eastwood in Libis, Quezon City.

For visitors who want to try their luck at the gaming tables, there are casinos in Metro Manila and in the cities of Angeles, Olongapo, Tagaytay, Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, and Laoag.

WHAT TO WEAR

Light, casual clothes are recommended. Warmer garments are needed for mountain regions. When visiting churches and temples, propriety dictates that shorts and scanty clothing be avoided. Formal occasions require dinner jackets and ties (or the Philippine barong tagalog) for men and cocktail dresses or long gowns for women.

SHOPPING

Visitors can choose from an exciting selection of great buys at reasonable prices: South Sea pearls, handwoven cloths, embroidered fineries, terra-cota, porcelain, coral and mother-of-pearl home accessories, among others.

Big malls are located in Manila, Makati, and EDSA, while handicraft, antique, and curio shops abound at the Ermita District in Manila. Duty-Free Philippines near the NAIA is the country's largest duty-free outlet.

TIPS ON TIPPING

Tipping is expected for many services. The standard practice is 10% of the total bill. Tipping is optional on bills that already include a 10% service charge.

COMMUNICATION FACILITIES

Most national dailies are in English. There are 7 national television stations. which broadcast mainly in Filipino. Cable TV is available as well.

CONVENTION FACILITIES

Manila, the pioneer convention city in Asia, has played host to a number of prestigious international events. The Philippine International Convention Center and World Trade Center are some of the biggest venues. Out-of-town hotels and resorts are alternative sites.

TOURS & SPECIAL INTEREST ACTIVITIES

Tour packages, from day trips to five-day programs, are special ways of discovering the Philippines and its wealth of culture.

   

Makati Cheap Hotels

BSA Mansion BSA Mansion
A few away from the Ayala and Brennbelt Center.
Century Citadel InnCentury Citadel Inn
Situated in the centre of Makati's entertainment district
Makati Palace Hotel Makati Palace Hotel
Makati Palace Hotel's prime location within the Makati Central Business District


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