Essential Country Information:

philippines flag

The Philippines


๐ŸŒŽCapital: Manila

๐ŸŒŽCurrency: Piso (PHP)

๐ŸŒŽZone: +8 GMT

๐ŸŒŽPhone Code: +63


๐ŸŒŽBest time to visit: Dec-Feb

๐ŸŒŽMust eat: Adobo (Braised Pork)

๐ŸŒŽMust drink: Tropical Juices

๐ŸŒŽDon't miss: A Jeepney ride!

 

๐Ÿ—บ Menu of Contents: The Philippines

โ€Š๐Ÿ›ฌ Getting there and transportationโ€Š
โ€Š๐Ÿš˜The Jeepney
โ›…๏ธ Climate and Temperatureโ€Š
๐Ÿด   Food and Drinkโ€Š
๐Ÿ“ Author's Commentโ€Šโ€Š

Tourism Information Guides

โ€ŠManila
โ€ŠCebu
Getting there and transportation:  
As the Philippines are a combination of islands located in the Pacific Ocean it makes perfect sense to choose to travel there by plane. Manila, it's capital,and Cebu are the main gateways to get into the country. 
Travelling to the Philippines from overseas is much easier now, the airport has been modernised and its main airline, Philippine Airlines, is now allowed to fly back to Europe after an absence of many years due to security concerns. However now it's ratings have gone up and it's among the safest airlines with friendly crew and modern planes.
You can also fly to the capital with many international airlines, predominantly Asian airlines and from the Gulf,but also many European and American carries.

Domestically once you are there, it's still very popular to travel by air. Airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Air Asia offer very good connections.
There is no train network or busses that can take you around the islands. Transport infrastructure is getting better as the years go by and driving within the islands is the best alternative. Car hire is very cheap as well as petrol.

 
The Jeepney: 
In the Philippines you will quickly discover this is the favourite mode of transport.It's famous old fashioned look, similar to that of a jeep but with an extended passenger area enough to sit 20 people is a big step back in time for many travellers willing to try it.
It's very convenient, fast (at times), cheap and accessible everywhere it passes. It's a very curious way of travelling, often there are no windows, making it hard breathing the fumes of traffic around and can get very compacted at peak times. For tourists it can very daunting to find out where to pick one up from or which number or line to follow. In fact there are no numbers at times and only signs at the front of the Jeepney will guide to where they ride.
The routes they follow are never the same each day, depending on the traffic, demand and weather. But if you are brave enough to get one yourself and travel around be sure to have a GPS device to know where to get off.Going with a local person would be the best recommendation, as they speak the language and will be able to know where to get off and help you not get scammed by asking you to pay higher fares than other local travellers.

 
Jeepney
Jeepney
Climate and Temperature:  
Year round The Philippines and it's capital, Manila, enjoys a very hot and humid temperature. The best times to visit are from December to February, during the cooler months, temperatures averaging 27C. Going July to September you will encounter more rain and often strong winds as the area is subject to Typhoons. March to June are the hottest months and temperatures go over 30C with a high humidity factor.
Food and Drink:  
The Filipino Cuisine, has an interesting mixture between Asian and European dishes, specially the Spanish, as The Philippines was conquered by them. Now the food has evolved,and not only traditional dishes but also can find plenty of influence from different countries such as China, Japan, Korea and the United States.
Some traditional specialities in Manila and the Philippines are: Adobo (Braised pork or chicken in a tangy sauce made from soy, vinegar and garlic) Lechon: (Roasted whole pig, prepared for fiestas and family celebrations), Kare-kare:(An oxtail stew in peanut sauce, Pansit canton:(Chinese-influenced dish of noodles stir fried with meat and vegetables), Sinangag (Garlic-fried rice, a popular local breakfast) Tapa (Delicious dried marinated beefsteak, often fried and served with fried rice and a fried egg, Balut: A par-boiled, fertilised duckโ€™s egg containing a baby chick, served as a beer snack across the archipelago.
Longanisa (Spanish-style sausage, flavoured with local spices; each province has its own recipe).
The most famous drink is the popular locally brewed beer "San Miguel". Its available nationwide. Also spirits like rum are quite common to drink in the Philippines.
Non-alcoholic drinks include the excellent tropical juices found in cafes and restaurants. Even local stalls on the streets can surprise you with local fruits cocktails, milkshakes and juices made with Pineapple, Mango. Vanilla, Banana, Red Berries, Lemon, amongst many more flavours.
Rice Adobo with Pork
Rice Adobo with Pork

Author's Comment: 

When I traveled to the Philippines for the first time it was a feeling of excitement mixed with nervousness. It was delightfully surprising to see all what this country can offer and break the mith that this country is a dangerous place to visit.
It's one of my favourites places to visit in Asia now, the friendly nature of its people, the interesting cuisine, crazy but fun public transportation Jeepney system, beautiful countryside and beaches are the reasons which make you want come come back there! 

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