Country & People
The Philippines officialy known as the Republic of the Philippines lie in south east Asia, to the north of the equator and 160 km to the south of Taiwan. The total land surface area is about 300,000 sq. kms. The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands, it is divided into three bigger islands: Luzon in the north, Mindanao in the south and the Visayas in the middle.
In 2012 it has a population of 97.6 million. About 90 percent of the population belongs to the Christiancommunity, more than 80 percent of all Filipinos are Roman Catholic. Between five and ten percent of the population are Muslim, most of whom live in parts of Mindanao, Palawan, and the Sulu Archipelago—an area known as Bangsamoro or the Moro region.
It has two official languages - Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education. Generally, almost every Filipinos can speak English.
Local time is UTC/GMT plus 8 hours.
220 volts, 60 hertz but 110V are available in major hotels.
Currency, Change and credit cards
The currency in the Philippines is the Peso (PHP) and the Centavo. 100 centavos = P1. Coin denominations are: 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos, P1, P5, P10. Bill denominations are 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1, 000 Pesos.
Foreign currency may be exchanged at your hotel, and in most of the large department stores, banks and authorized money changing outlets.
Being a tropical country, it is generally hot and humid. If you like to visit on a cooler months then it is best to come in the months of November to February. While March to May is the summer months in the country and is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, with the months between July and September characterized by typhoons.
The average temperature in the Philippines is 86 degreesF / 30 degreesC; average humidity is 77%. Some parts of the country such as Cebu and its neighboring provinces in the Visayas are warm and comfortable in all seasons and can be visited throughout the year.
To learn more about the Philippines: