About The Philippines
The Philippines is an island country in Southeast Asia and has around 7,641 tropical islands, including its three main island groups, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It is home to numerous emerald rice terraces, white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and lively megacities. Aside from the beautiful attractions, the country also offers superior medical centers. As a result, the country is now an emerging medical tourism destination. The Philippines welcomes more and more medical tourists each year because of its certified medical professionals, internationally accredited hospitals, modern equipment, and affordable costs. The most popular procedures are cosmetic surgery, dermatology, dentistry, and ophthalmology. Recently, people also come to the country for cardiac surgeries.
Popular Cities and Regions
More than 100 million people live in the Philippines, with Quezon City as the most populous city. Manila is the capital of the country with countless cultural and historic sites that are waiting to be discovered by visitors, such as Fort Santiago, National Museum of the Filipino People, Rizal Park, and San Agustin Church. Another famous metropolis is Cebu City, which is well-known for its restaurants, bars, and club scenes. For those who are looking to soak up the sunshine while lounging on a beach, El Nido is the perfect place. It is surrounded by many incredible and serene beaches such as Nacpan Beach, Duli Beach, and Maremegmeg Beach. Other must-visit cities include Puerto Galera, Puerto Princesa, and Iloilo.
Most international visitors will arrive at Manila NAIA International Airport, which operates flights to many cities around the world. Since the Philippines is an archipelago, getting around is mostly done by air or by sea. Budget airlines, such as AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, and PAL express, are the easiest and most affordable options. If you want to travel by sea, you can sail on RORO ferries from Manila to many major seaside cities. To travel inside large cities, taxis and jeepneys are available.
Citizens of China and India can apply for a visa on arrival (for a fee). The country grants visa-free entry to citizens of certain countries, including Singapore, the US, and the EU countries. Visitors can stay for up to 59 days in the country. It is advisable to check at your nearest Embassy of the Philippines for the visa requirement.
In general, the weather is hot and humid, with three seasons. Summer is from March to May, and the weather can be extremely hot and dry. The rainy season starts in June and ends in November, tourists should be ready for rain showers, and typhoons are common. The dry season is between December and February, there are not many rainy days, and the temperature is cooler.
- Local Currency: Philippine Peso is the official currency, and the current exchange rate to 1 USD is 51 PHP.
- Money & Payments: ATMs are plentiful, and credit cards are accepted in many restaurants, hotels, and shops (mostly Visa and MasterCard). Tipping can be expected, especially in restaurants and by tour guides.
- Local Language: Filipino or Tagalog is the most widely spoken language, but most people also speak English as it is one of the official languages.
- Local Culture and Religion: The major religion is Christianity, followed by Islam.
- Public holidays: Some of the important public holidays are New Year’s Day, Araw ng Kagitingan, Independence Day, and National Hero’s Day.