The Philippines climate is hot and humid all year round, it does not matter whether you are in the rainy or the dry season you will still have to deal with the ever present heat and humidity.
The Philippines dry season starts in December and runs through to about June. This period does not encounter any monsoons, you do however have the consistent trade winds blowing which are generally dry. Don’t let this fool you as you are in the tropics and rain can fall every day. If it does rain in the dry season it will usually be a nice afternoon shower to cool you down and wash the dust away, more relieving than anything else.
Within the Philippines dry season you will encounter two distinct differences. During the months of December to February you can expectcool and dry weather. January is the coolest month of the year, when I say coolest you can expect a temperature around 25 degrees Celsius, which is really quite nice.
From March to June you can expect hot and dry weather. May is the hottest month of the year, you can expect temperatures in the high thirties and even low forty degree Celsius and at night if it gets below 27 degrees Celsius then you are lucky. Make sure you have air conditioning.
Rainy or Wet Season
After the high humidity and heat of the months May and June it is not surprising that something has to give, it just cannot stay this sticky forever and you are right. The season will break, usually in July. It is July through to November that the rains come and boy do they come. These rains are called monsoons and are a constant wind bringing rain.
This cycle during the Philippines climate of wet season, dry season and Philippine typhoons are very distinct. The Philippine Typhoon or bagyo tagalog in are just spoiling for a fight from July to October. The devastation they create each year is shattering on both an emotional scale and financial.
These typhoons in the Philippines come in from the Western Pacific Ocean and only effect the eastern coastline of the Philippine Islands. The typhoon winds can generate speeds of more than 130 km/hour with the actual typhoon moving at a speed across the water and coastal lowlands close to 25km/hour. So you can imagine the destruction they can cause in rural communities where housing is made from local produce.
Filipino & English
Etiquette & Customs
Initial greetings are formal and follow a set protocol of greeting the eldest or most important person first. A handshake, with a welcoming smile, is the standard greeting. Close female friends may hug and kiss when they meet. Use academic, professional, or honorific titles and the person’s surname until you are invited to use their first name, or even more frequently, their nickname.
If you are invited to a Filipino’s house: It is best to arrive 15 to 30 minutes later than invited for a large party.Never refer to your host’s wife as the hostess. This has a different meaning in the Philippines.Dress well. Appearances matter and you will be judged on how you dress. Compliment the hostess on the house. Send a handwritten thank you note to the hosts in the week following the dinner or party. It shows you have class.
Wait to be asked several times before moving into the dining room or helping yourself to food. Wait to be told where to sit. There may be a seating plan. Do not start eating until the host invites you to do so. Meals are often served family- style or are buffets where you serve yourself. A fork and spoon are the typical eating utensils. Hold the fork in the left hand and use it to guide food to the spoon in your right hand. Whether you should leave some food on your plate or finish everything is a matter of personal preference rather than culture-driven.
Relationships & Communication
Filipinos thrive on interpersonal relationships, so it is advisable to be introduced by a third party. It is crucial to network and build up a cadre of business associates you can call upon for assistance in the future. Business relationships are personal relationships, which mean you may be asked to do favours for colleagues, and they will fully expect you to ask them for favours in return. Once a relationship has been developed it is with you personally, not necessarily with the company you represent. Therefore, if you leave the company, your replacement will need to build their own relationship. Presenting the proper image will facilitate building business relationships. Dress conservatively and well at all times.
Business attire is conservative. Men should wear a dark coloured, conservative business suit, at least for the initial meeting. Women should wear a conservative suit, a skirt and blouse, or a dress. Women’s clothing may be brightly coloured as long as it is of good quality and well tailored. Appearances matter and visitors should dress well.
|FAMOUS FOOD OF PHILIPPINES||FAMOUS INDIAN CUISINE|
|Sinigang||Legend Of India|
|114 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati City|
|Swagat Indian Cuisine|
|Lechon||119 FCC Building, Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City|
|Pork barbecue||Spiral – Sofitel Philippine Plaza|
|Plaza Level, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, San Isidro, Pasay City|
|Cured meats: tapa, tocino and longganisa||Tower 1, Ayala The Column, 6821 Ayala Avenue Cor Sen Gil Puyat, Bel Air, Makati, 1209 Metro Manila, Philippines|
|1-Jan||Thursday||New Year’s Day|
|2-Jan||Friday||New Year Holiday|
|19-Feb||Thursday||Chinese New Year|
|25-Feb||Wednesday||EDSA People Power Revolution anniversary|
|9-Apr||Thursday||The Day of Valor|
|21-Aug||Friday||Ninoy Aquino Day|
|31-Aug||Monday||National Heroes Day|
|1-Nov||Sunday||All Saints Day|
|31-Dec||Thursday||New Years Eve|
|Baguio General Hospital Tel: 442-3165|
|Gabriela Silang General Hospital Tel : 722-7339|
|Gov. Roque B. Ablan Sr. Mem’l. Hosp. Tel: 772-0303|
|3 STAR||4 STAR|
|Crosswinds Resort Suites||The Heritage Hotel Manila|
|Crosswinds, Brgy. Iruhin Central, Calamba Road, Tagaytay City, 4120 Tagaytay||Roxas Blvd Corner Edsa, 1300 Manila|
|Quest Hotel & Conference Center – Cebu||Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino|
|Archbishop Reyes Ave, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines||1 Salinas Drive Lahug, 6000 Cebu City, Philippines|
|Kabayan Hotel Pasay||Hotel H2O|
|2878 Zamora Street corner EDSA Rotonda, 1300 Manila||Luneta, 1000 Manila|
The Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea is a marine sanctuary protected as the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. The reef is made up of two atolls, North Atoll and South Atoll, separated by a deep channel of approximately 5 miles (8 km) wide. It has become one of the most popular dive sites in the Philippines because of its coral walls where the shallow coral reef abruptly ends giving way to great depths. The marine park is open to live-aboard diving excursions between the months of April to June when the waves are most calm.
San Agustin Church, Manila
Located in Manila, a visit to the San Agustin Church is a must see. Built in 1589, this beautiful church has survived seven earthquakes and two fires over the centuries and now remains as the oldest stone church in the Philippines. At the main entrance, there are exquisite carvings on the wooden doors. Inside the lovely, Mexican-influenced interior is designed in the shape of a Latin cross. The gorgeous ceiling was painted in the 1800s by Italian artists, Giovanni Dibella and Cesare Alberoni.
A small island made up of quiet fishing villages, Malapascua Island is popular for its ideal diving spots and for being the only place in the world to see thresher sharks on a regular basis as well as manta rays and hammerheads. The other hidden gems here are the beautiful, sandy white beaches, crystal clear waters bordered by coconut trees and colorful coral gardens.
One of the top tourist attractions in the Philippines, The Chocolate Hills are unusual geological formations that consists of at least 1,268 individual mounds scattered throughout the interior of the island of Bohol. The almost symmetrical and same-sized formations range from 98 to 164 feet (30 to 50 meters) high and are covered in green grass. During the dry season the grass turns brow, hence the name. There is no consensus on how these giant mole hills were formed. One theory holds that the Chocolate Hills are the weathered rock formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of an impermeable layer of clay.
Banaue Rice Terraces
No trip to the Philippines could be complete without seeing the spectacular Banaue Rice Terraces. Carved from the mountain ranges about 2,000 years ago without modern tools by the Ifugao tribes, these magnificent farm terraces resemble giant steps reaching up to the sky. Locals to this day still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces, although more and more younger Ifugaos do not find farming appealing and emigrate to the cities.
Philippines is 2.5 hours ahead of India
Official Currency “Philippine Peso”
The best time to visit the Philippines, for the most part of the country, is during the period stretching from the middle of December to the middle of May. This is the time when the weather is comparatively drier (less rain) and the temperature is more convenient, than during the other months. More importantly, this is the off-season for typhoons! Since the seasons don’t always follow the standard pattern, to be on the safe side, the absolute best time to travel to the Philippines is from January to April. This period coincides with both the “cold season” and the “hot season”. Note that the ‘hot season’ (March to May) normally is a bit more humid than the ‘cold season’ (December to February).
Dress for the weather – hot! Light clothing is ideal year-round, and absolutely during the hot and dry months from March to May. Temperatures average from 78°F/25°C to 90°F/32°C. Mean humidity is at 77%.
Never leave home without your rain gear, umbrella, and heavy clothing during the rainy months from June to October as well as when setting out to the mountainous areas.
When shopping in a public market, it is perfectly acceptable to haggle for the cheapest price.
English is the most widely spoken next to Filipino/Tagalog, the national language. Learning the basic local phrases may come in handy. Over 111 local dialects are spoken in the country.
Comfortable yet sturdy footwear are best, as travelling the islands will often involve some walking.
When headed to the remote areas, come prepared with an insect repellant and even your own water in handy containers. Always have the island map with you.
Prepare to hop in a jeepney, tricycle, or pedicab – exotic modes of land transport that are the most commonly available for going around. Always bring loose change when taking public transport.
Know the transport schedules. Some destinations are only being serviced intermittently, not to mention extreme weather conditions that will affect these schedules.
Air-conditioned taxis should cost PhP40 on the meter. An extra PhP2 will be added for every 500 meters.
Casual clothing is acceptable inside churches and business offices. Dining establishments and hotels impose no dress code but shorts and slippers are deemed improper.
For formal occasions, the traditional Barong Tagalog, the Philippine national costume for men, is just as suitable as the suit-and-tie.
When travelling by car, be mindful of the number coding ordinance for vehicles that is being implemented strictly in selected cities.
Philippines Travel Dont’s
Don’t forget to laugh. Laughter is used very frequently in the Philippines: to break tension, to relieve moments of awkwardness, and to put people at ease. On the rare occasion that laughter is at someone’s expense, it is usually done good-naturedly. A good sense of humor is definitely an asset in the Philippines.
Don’t lose your temper. It’s easier to get Filipinos on your side if you approach situations in a calm and composed manner. Filipinos are more willing to help if you don’t embarrass them in public.
Don’t show off your valuables and gadgets. Flashing your jewelry, electronic items and other valuables may attract the attention of criminals.
Don’t give alms to the poor on the road. Mendicancy and alms-giving are offenses in the Philippines. If you wish to exercise your charity, there are many private and government institutions that will gladly accept your donations. On a related note, don’t open your car window to street children.
Don’t be too trusting of the people you meet for the first time. It’s best to be vigilant and to rely on common sense wherever you may be.
Philippines Travel Do’s
Do take the time to smile. Filipinos like to say hi, and they appreciate it when visitors reciprocate. Handshakes are the usual way to greet people, but “beso-beso” or cheek bussing is also commonly done, especially among ladies.
Do come in appropriate clothes when the occasion calls. Although the Philippines is a walkable country, not all places would welcome you in your flip-flops and shorts. Churches, government institutions and some restaurants require proper attire. Besides, if you come well dressed, Filipinos will admire you, and it’s always fun to dress up!
Do recognize that Filipinos tend to be indirect. Even if they mean to refuse, they will avoid actually using the word “No” in conversations, and instead will use other ways to get their message across.
Do show respect to anyone regardless of their social class or age. Saying “sorry” and “excuse me” is appreciated. In Philippine culture, the elderly are given particular respect. Using the proper words (such as the polite “po” and “opo” when speaking to elders) is a sure way of endearing yourself to Filipinos.
Do use the thumbs-up sign for “OK!”. The other common version, using the thumb and index finger, means “money” in the Philippines. Don’t beckon or point with your index finger when calling someone. Calling someone by name, using “sir” or “miss”, or beckoning with your palm held downwards is preferred.