Philippines, Asia - Wontra Travels


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Welcome to Philippines


Continent: Asia
Population: 100,981,437 (2015) 
Dialing Code: +63
Currency: Peso
Time zone: PST (UTC+8)
Official language: Fillipino, English





The Philippines is an archipelago in South-East Asia of more than seven thousand islands located between the Philippine Sea at the very eastern edge of Asia.  Officially known as the Republic of Philippines , this cultural melting pot features diverse traditions and customs creating a surreal melting pot that is unlike anywhere else in Southeast Asia.

Blessed with an abundance of islands and located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, it’s no wonder its most stunning attractions can be found in and around the sea. Away from the jungles, mountains, volcanoes and hidden caverns, its volcanic nature offers an edge that cannot be found anywhere in the world.

It can’t been denied that the Philippines has a seedy side – the sex industry grew up to service American GIs during the Vietnam War – but it’s easy to avoid this gloomy scene and find more wholesome nightlife, where live bands perform note-perfect covers of any song you could name and even the smallest, palm-thatched village has a karaoke bar.

This isn’t a country that stages dozens of phony cultural shows for tourists, and the islands’ vividly colourful festivals (of which there are many) are predominantly aimed at locals. So it’s down to individual visitors to strike up conversations and discover a country where East meets West and traditional culture meets the modern world in a crash of colour and confetti

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Experience dazzling views from the summit of Mount Apo, the highest peak in the country and a popular destination for trekkers, be amazed by the rice terraces of the Cordilera , climb a volcano, explore the colonial heritage at Vigan and Feel the party Spirit at a Filipino fiesta.Whatever you set your sights on doing, it surely wouldn’t let you down in terms of education, entertainment and fun.

The bustling urban streets of Metro Manila, have fair options of bargain centers and malls, shop in the second and fourth largest malls of the world. Swim through the blue waters of Boracay and El Nido, sunbathe at the beaches of Puerto Galera and Pagudpud or on the remote and very picturesque beaches of Botolan, Zambales.

Philippines has a lot of interesting activities to engage visitors. Aerial sports such as the annual Hot Air Balloon festival are some of the highlightsof the year.  You can also catch a tightly contested basketball game, go board sailing, enjoy a relaxing game of Golf or engage in medical tourism 


The Philippine economy is the 33rd largest in the world with its major exports being semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products , petroleum products, coconut oil and fruits.

A newly industrialized country, the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based upon agriculture to an economy with more emphasis upon services and manufacturing but the economy is heavily reliant upon remittances from overseas filipinos, which surpass foreign direct investment as a source of foreign currency.

The Tourism Promotions Board provides information, assistance and guidance to meeting planners and incentive travel organizers. Popular locations for conferences and conventions are the Philippine International Convention Centre and the World Trade Centre.

When working with people in the Philippines, it's important to remember that they often bring cultural influences into the workplace and that don't always match well with your business culture.


The climate is tropical, with March to May (summer) being the hottest months. The rainy season starts in June and extends through October with strong typhoons possible. The coolest months are from November to February, with mid-January to end of February considered the best for cooler and dryer weather. Locations exposed directly to the Pacific Ocean have frequent rainfall all year.

Lightweight cottons and linens are worn throughout most of the year, with warmer clothes useful on cooler evenings. Rainwear or umbrellas are advisable for the rainy season.


International calls to the smaller towns must be booked through the operator. Mobile phone coverage is good, other than in mountainous areas and remote locations. There is 3G coverage in many urban areas. Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies, but it is cheap and easy to buy a local SIM card. Internet cafés are common across the country. Access is cheap and usually reasonably fast. Wi-Fi is also usually easy to find, available in many hotels and coffee shops. The main telecoms companies offer reasonably priced 3G access via smartphones or USB dongles.

Airmail to Europe takes at least five days. The media is controlled by powerful commercial interests.


The genuine and pure expression of hospitality is an inherent trait in Filipinos, especially those who reside in the countryside who may appear very shy at first, but have a generous spirit, as seen in their smiles. 

Duty Free

The following items may be imported into the Philippines by travellers aged 18 and over without incurring customs duty:
• 2 cartons of cigarettes or 2 tins of tobacco.
• 2 bottles of alcoholic drinks.
• Goods to the total value of US$1, 000 (US$2, 000 for overseas-based Filipinos and US$250 for children under 18). You may only import one of each type of non-consumable item worth over US$200.
The total purchase for any calendar year may not exceed US$10, 000.
Banned imports: 
Firearms and ammunition, explosives, publications inciting treason or rebellion against the government, obscene or immoral materials, and anything related to carrying out or advertising abortions (which are illegal in the Philippines).


220 volts AC (110 volts in Baguio), 60Hz. 110 volts is available in most hotels. Plugs with two flat pins (with or without grounding pin) or two round pins are used.

Getting Around

Road conditions and traffic make driving in much of the country (particularly the cities) stressful at best. Defensive driving is essential, as is patience for dealing with queues of traffic in urban areas. Car hire is available in Manila and in major cities, taxis are available in cities and in many towns.

In most towns and cities, transport comes in three forms: tricycles, pedicabs and jeepneys.

Tricycles (motorbikes with sidecars) hold up to five people and are most useful for short distances. Locals commonly share the journey with strangers and pay a per-person rate. Tourists are often assumed to want private hire and may therefore pay for the whole vehicle. It's still a cheap way to get around, but negotiate a price in advance.


Health insurance is essential, particularly since approximately three-quarters of the hospitals are private.

Water used for driking should be boiled first. Dengue fever occurs in urban areas and unlike malaria there is no effective medication to prevent it so the best thing to do is to take steps to avoid being biten . Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended.


Filipino (based on Tagalog) is the national language, although it is the native tongue of less than a quarter of the population. English is widely spoken, Spanish much less so. There are around 170 indigenous languages in total, with hundreds more dialects.


The Philippine peso, symbolised locally and throughout our Philippines guides as ₱ and internationally as PHP is the official currency and in almost all cases the only currency recognised for normal transactions. The only other currency that would be recognised in rare cases would be the US dollar, which is typically used in duty free outlets, internet transactions and overseas travel products sold in the Philippines.

Philippine Peso (PHP; symbol Php or P) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of Php1, 000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of Php10, 5, 2 and 1, and 25, 10, 5 and 1 centavos.

Passport Visa

Tourists wishing to stay longer than 30 days should apply for a single-entry visa in advance, which allows stays of up to 59 days, or apply for an extension once in the Philippines at any Bureau of Immigration


As with other nations, it is wise to have to use common sense when travelling. Having a few Filipino friends as they will give you genuine advice on how to get by. Try not to flash your valuables, carry small change and don’t flash large bills.

Prostitution is thriving but officially illegal in the Philippines, although hostess bars, massage parlors and other opportunities abound which offer commercial sex services. The Philippines is also home to one of the largest LGBT communities in the world.

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