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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.
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.
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%.
Tagalog is the national language. English is the business language and spoken widely. Approximately 111 languages and dialects are spoken in the country.
GMT + 8 hours.
220 volts, A.C. 60 cycles. Most hotels have 110-volt outlets.
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.
Airport fees
P750 for international departure and P100 for local departure (paid in Philippine pesos only). Departing passengers for international destinations are advised to check with airport or tourist information counters (Tel. Nos. 524-1703; 832-2964) the departure fees which may change without notice.
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.
De luxe, standard, economy, pension-type, and special interest accommodations are available.
The Department of Tourism has a Homestay Program that offers visitors the comfort of modest homes and an insight into Philippine life. For information, contact the Tourist Information Center at Room 106, Department of Tourism Building, tel. nos. 524-2384 / 524-1703.
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.
Unterhaltung und Kultur
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.
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.
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.
Radio & television
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 and other special interest activites
Tour packages, from day trips to five-day programs, are special ways of discovering the Philippines and its wealth of culture.
Tour information may be obtained from the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa), tel. no. (632) 893-0284, or from the Tourist Information Center located at the ground floor of the DOT Bldg. on T.M. Kalaw Street, Manila, tel. no. (632) 524-2384/524-1703.

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