Traveling in the Philippines

GENERAL INFORMATION: The Philippines has 7,107 islands. It stretches from the south of China to the Northern tip of Borneo. The unique Filipino culture was molded by several mixtures of foreign influences like Spanish, Americans and Japanese. The country has over a hundred ethnic groups.In the Philippines, a tourist can find a lot of international golf courses, luxury beach resorts, 5 star hotels, many large and modern shopping malls especially in Manila, Casinos, disco's and bars with live bands and karaoke.

Filipinos are fun loving people. Fun and laughter come naturally no matter what there station in life. Music and dancing are part of the Filipino culture.SPECIFIC INFORMATION:.Passport/Visa Information.

A visa is required for some nationals except by transit passengers. For stays of less than 21 days, no visas are required, provided travelers have a valid passport, good for at least one year and onward tickets departing the Philippines.For inquiries, contact the Visa Division, Department of Foreign Affairs (Telephone numbers 834-4854 to 53, 834-4961).Currency:.Peso (Php); Exchange: Large commercial and central bank dealers in Manila. Always use authorized money changers or banks in Manila Metro area.

Credit cards are accepted in larger cities. US dollar checks are the preferred currency at over 800 ATM locations.Language:.The Philippines is considered the third largest ENGLISH SPEAKING country in the world. Filipino and English are the two official languages.

Close to 100 other languages, not just dialects are spoken. Indeed, most of the major languages like Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano, Ilongo, Bicolano and Waray have their own dialects. Still, travelers will not find it difficult as many Filipinos still retain a handy comprehension of English.Transportation:.Manila is connected to the rest of the country by regular flights of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines and Asian Spirit and Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR).

Public transportation like buses, taxis, jeepneys and tricycle are available throughout the country. Car rentals are also available and it's cheaper to rent it with a driver than without.Communication:.Mobile phones are widely used throughout the country.

Filipinos love text messaging. Pay phones are available especially in the malls and public places. Internet café can be found throughout the country.

Food and Drinks:.Fast foods are found along most major road intersection.Weather:.Tropical climate.

Jun-Sept is the rainy season, Oct-Feb is the cool dry season. Mar-May is usually hot and dry. Some typhoons between June and Sept.

.Michael Ray Johnson Johnson is a professional consultant and HAS TRAVEL pioneer. He began at MCI Communications, where he worked in the Western Region Control Center as a technical network troubleshooter.

When the wireless revolution began, he moved to LA Cellular Telephone (now ATT Wireless), and developed one of the first ever, automated Network Management Systems. Later he accepted consulting positions in both Hong Kong and the Philippines, where he worked for 9 years as Project Consultant, managing the build out of two highly successful, wireless telephone networks. Mike's responsibilities include Service Development, Technical Integration and Project Management.

He is a licensed helicopter pilot, who studied Business Management and Information Technology at the University of Phoenix, Arizona and TJ College, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

By: Mike Jonson

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