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Philippines

Philippines
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The Philippines or officially the Republic of the Philippines is an island state in Southeast Asia. The capital city is Manila. The island is washed by the Sulawesi Sea, Philippine Sea, and the South China Sea.

On the south the climate is sub-equatorial and in the rest part of the island, the climate is equatorial. The annual average temperature varies from +27°C  to +33°C . There are two seasons in the Philippines: a wet season which lasts from July to December and a dry season from January to June. The period from June to August is the typhoon season in the Philippines. We recommend traveling to this island from February to May.

The main religion in the Philippines is Catholicism. The official languages are English and Tagalog.

Warm water and well-developed infrastructure attract the tourists from all over the world to the Philippines. We recommend the White beach on the Boracay Island, Mindoro, the beach Honda Bay on the Palawan Island and the Malapascua Island near Cebu.

Those who like surfing should go to the East Coast White Sand Beach, Luzon on the southwest or the Boracay Island. The best places for diving are a region near the Palawan and Tubbataha Reefs which is a National Park. Nasugbu Bay, the waters of the Mindoro, Luzon and Bohol  islands are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. Near Manila, one can see a sunken ship and unique coral gardens and in the La Union, the divers will see the caves and the sunken tanks of the Second World War.

Palawan Island is a good destination for country holidays. There is a hiking route to the extinct volcanoes on the Luzon. If you like climbing, go to the Mount Apo on the Mindanao Island.

Cebu, Boracay and the capital city are the center of city entertainments and shopping. Manila is considered one of the most democratic and cheap cities in the world.  

Get in

There are no direct flights between Russia and the Philippines.

Asian and European airlines offer transit flights. We recommend taking the flight to the Philippines offered by the South Korean and Chinese airlines. KLM offers flights to Manila from Moscow (with a stop in Amsterdam) and Korean Air offers flights with a stop in Seoul. Thai Airways flies through Bangkok  There is a convenient route to Cebu or Manila offered by Qatar Airways with a stop in Doha and by Emirates Airlines to manila with a stop in Dubai.

The citizens of Ukraine and Belarus can fly with KLM and Qatar Airways with a stop in Bangkok, Amsterdam or Dubai. There is a transit flight from Almaty with s top in Dubai.

Philippine Airlines offers flights to Australia, America, Asia and Amsterdam.  

Visa

If the tourists from the Russian Federation are planning to stay in the Philippines for 21 days and less, they do not need to obtain a visa. They need to have a valid international passport, confirmation of financial sustainability and return tickets.

The tourists from Europe and CIS countries must apply for a visa to the Embassy of the Philippines.

The time for processing the documents for a visa is 2-5 working days.

The stay in the country can be expanded for 6 months more. In this case, the tourists should apply to any office of the Immigration Service of the Philippines. 

Customs

The Customs legislation of the Philippines does not restrict import and export of foreign currency. The sum exceeding 10.000 US dollars must be declared and a tourist must explain the purpose of the money.  Only 10.000 Philippine pesos can be imported or exported. The sum exceeding this limit can be imported or exported only upon authorization of the Central Bank.

The tourists can bring in the following goods duty-free:

  • alcohol;
  • tobacco;
  • personal belongings.

It is prohibited to import:

  • machines and gadgets for gambling;
  • food products without original package;
  • lottery tickets;
  • vegetables, fruits;
  • young plants (without a certificate);
  • any material which can be regarded as propaganda against the State.

The tourists are not allowed to export:

  • wild animals, birds, and plants;
  • antiquities (without a permit);
  • jewelry (except personal goods);
  • ivory and goods made of it;
  • goods made of rare species of trees.

Cuisine

The cuisine of the Philippines absorbed the traditions of the region and Malay, Spanish and Chinese cuisines.

If you are in the Philippines, try roast chicken Tinola, Philippine Paella with chicken, sausages and seafood.  The tourists will surely like the meat rolls Embutido and Morkon. Sinigang (pork boiled in sour broth with vegetables), Pankitmolo (casserole with several types of meat and mushrooms), Rijsttafel (roast chicken with curry sauce) and Lechon (pig stuffed with coconut and roasted over the charcoal) will make your mouth water.  In the Philippines, the tourists will discover Kare Kare (beef tongue with a nut sauce), Carabao (baked buffalo meat) and Balut (hard-boiled fertilized duck egg with embryo).

The most popular soups are Sinigang na Baboy (pork broth with figs) and Bulalo (beef soup with vegetables).

The proximity to the sea has its impact on the diet of the local people. The foodies will like Pinakbet (shrimp paste), Sinigang (shrimp and mussel broth) and Kinilaw na Tanigue (mackerel with coconut and ginger sauce).

If you crave for traditional Philippine dishes, choose Morisketa tostada, Siomai (rice dumplings) and Arroz caldo (chicken rice porridge).

Those who have a sweet tooth should try rice cakes Bibingka and Puto, sweet rolls with cheese Ensaimadas, fruit cakes Leche, Yemas, Natilja and Mambrilio. The coconut and fruit dessert Ginataan and the ice-cream Halo Halo will delight the tourists with their amazing taste and delicate texture. Eat the dessert with coconut milk Buko or black Philippine coffee Barako.

The local beer San Miguel, coconut wine Tuba and palm wine Lombonak are acknowledged as the best alcoholic beverages in the Philippines. 

Money

The official currency is Philippine Peso (PHP). In circulation are the bank notes from 5 to 1.000 pesos and coins centavo and peso.

At the bank of Manila and other large cities, the tourists can exchange Euro and sterling pounds. Be aware that outside the capital city foreign currency is almost never accepted. In any large city, there are exchange offices.

On the islands, one can pay with US dollars and the prices are often given both in pesos and in US dollars.

The tourists can pay with their credit cards and traveler’s checks in hotels, stores and banks in large cities. However, they are not accepted in the province. We recommend having checks in US dollars. 

Details of interest

Soon you will be in the beautiful Philippines. But before make sure you know what to see, where to go and what to buy for your friends and relatives.

Sightseeing in the Philippines

  • An interesting place in manila is the oldest district Intramuros. Take an excursion to the Fort Santiago and its fortress walls. Visit the Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church. In the capital city, there is a Coconut Palace and the museum Casa Manila. If you stay in manila, you should go to the Rizal Park with the orchards pavilion, the National Museum Planetarium and the National Museum of the Philippines. In the district Makati , anyone can see the Philippine skyscrapers and in the suburbs of the capital city, there is a Lighthouse at Cape Boheador, legendary Bamboo Organ in Las Pinas and Pagsanjan falls.  
  • In the Tagaytay mountain ridge, there is the Quezon National Forest Park and Taal Volcano. This is the smallest volcano on the planet. In its crater lake, there is a small island.
  • On the Cebu island, the tourists will see the oldest Philippine church Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino, the oldest San Pedro Fort, the chapel Last Supper and suspended cable bridge Mactan.
  • If you happen to come to the Province of Davao Oriental, visit the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary which is under UNESCO protection.
  • If you are planning a trip to the Palawan Island, do not miss a chance to visit mysterious underground water Philippine caves. The chain of the caves and the tropical forest make up the Puerta Princesa Subterranean River National Park. For those who like calm country rest we recommend  visiting the Butterfly Farm Rodriguez in the Palawan Museum.
  • The Puerto Princesa Underground River and the sea park Tubbataha Reef in the Palawan Province are inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • On the Mindanao island, excursions to the cities of Davao, Zamboanga, and Cagayan de Oro are arranged. Anyone can go to the lake Cebu or to the foot of the Hibok-Hibok Volcano situated on the Camiguin Island.
  • On the Southeast of the Luzon, there are hiking trails to the Banahaw Volcano and a trip to Taal where the Basilica of saint Martin is still preserved.
  • Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras is a unique tourist site under UNESCO protection.

Souvenirs in the Philippines

  • Souvenirs made of mother-of-pearl, silver and pearl, crystal glass and corals are sold in manila.
  • A snake bone necklace, goods made of a monkey skull, and musical instrument Laúd can be bought in Cebu. 
  • Terra cotta Philippine tableware, traditional shirts for men Barong Tagalog and dresses for women Terno are sold on the Boracay Island.
  • Philippine rum Tanduay, wines Bignay, Duhat, Manga and Guayabano and legendary cigarettes Tabacalera,  Don Juan Urquijo, Alhambra can be bought on the Palawan Island.