Philippines Travel Information

Photo Welcome to the Philippines. The Philippines consists of 7107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, only 2000 of which are inhabited. Luzon and Mindanao are by far the largest, and comprise roughly 66% of the country's area. Only about 1000 islands are larger than one sq km and 2500 aren't even named. The Philippines' nearest neighbors are Taiwan (north), Eastern Malaysia and Brunei (south-west), and Indonesia (south).
The country likes to promote itself as the place where `Asia wears a smile' and the locals are, by and large, an exceptionally friendly and helpful bunch. On top of this, transport is cheap, the food is good, accommodations plentiful and (for the nonlinguistic) English is widely spoken. Filipino cuisine has Chinese, Malay and Spanish influences. Popular morning and afternoon snacks are called merienda, and pulutan (small morsels) are served with alcoholic drinks. Barbecued sticks of meat or seafood are popular evening snacks. Standard dishes, always served with rice, include meat and vegetables cooked with vinegar and garlic, grilled grouper, meat stews and a huge variety of soups - rice, noodle, beef, chicken, liver, kneecap, offal and sour vegetable. Side dishes include strips of unripened papaya, fermented fish or shrimp paste and bite-sized pieces of crispy pig skin. Halo-halo is a dessert made from crushed ice mixed with sweets and fruits and smothered in evaporated milk.
Several hotels in Angeles offer tours to Mt Pinatubo which erupted violently in 1991 and left an amazing landscape. Walk among the ravines, drive up in a jeep or arrange an aerial tour. There are wonderful trekking opportunities along Luzon's Pacific Coast, especially in Bikol and Quezon provinces. For those who want to escape motorized transport completely, nothing beats walking on Batan Island or Lubang, where the horse cart still retains its place as the primary mode of transportation.
There are several airlines offering internal flights between Philippine cities. There is only one operating railway line, from Manila to Naga in southern Luzon, so long-distance buses are the main overland alternative.
If you have any questions, visit the tourism offices and they can give you up to date information.

Important: Travel to Philippines may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Philippines visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of the Philippines
Capital city: Manila
Area: 300,000 sq km
Population: 103,775,002
Ethnic groups: Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3%
Languages: Filipino
Religions: Catholic 82.9%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Benigno AQUINO
Head of Government: President Benigno AQUINO
GDP: 391.1 billion
GDP per captia: 4,100
Annual growth rate: 3.9%
Inflation: 4.7%
Agriculture: sugarcane, coconuts, rice, corn, bananas, cassavas, pineapples, mangoes
Major industries: electronics assembly, garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining, fishing
Natural resources: timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper
Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Trade Partners - exports: Japan 18.5%, US 14.8%, China 12.7%, Singapore 8.9%, Hong Kong 7.7%, South Korea 4.6%
Trade Partners - imports: Japan 10.8%, US 10.8%, China 10.1%, Singapore 8.1%, South Korea 7.3%, Thailand 5.8%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, Malaysia 4.4%