Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to go to the Philippines?
Any time is a good a time as any to visit the Philippines. However, if you don't fancy getting drenched in rain or caught in a tropical monsoon, your best bet is to travel between November and May. November to February is pleasantly cool while March to May is the height of summer and provides the perfect excuse for you to just soak yourself in any of our shimmering azure seas.
Do I need a visa to enter the Philippines
If you are a Jordanian or Palestinian passport holder, you would need to secure a visa first from the Embassy before you could travel to the Philippines. Generally speaking, Arab nationals have to secure a visa from the Philippine Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over their country of origin or place of legal residence.
A temporary visitor's 9(a) single-entry visa will allow you to stay for up to a month and is usually valid for three months.
Note: A visa issued by an Embassy or Consulate is merely an endorsement made on a travel document by the consular officer. It does not in any way guarantee that the bearer will be allowed entry into the Philippines. Admission of foreigners into the country is the prerogative and function of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration at the port of entry.
What is the local currency and exchange rate?
The local currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP) and the exchange rate against the Jordanian Dinar is 1.00 JOD=62.50 PHP. However, Jordanian dinars are not normally exchanged at foreign exchange counters so make sure to bring either US dollars (1.00 USD=44.35 PHP) or Euros (1.00 EUR=59.40 PHP) instead.
How do I get there and how do I get around?
The following airlines offer regular international flights from Amman that connect to Manila:
- Royal Jordanian Airlines (AMM-BKK-MNL or AMM-HKG-MNL)
- Etihad Airways (AMM-AUH-MNL)
- Emirates Airlines (AMM-DXB-MNL)
- Gulf Air (AMM-BAH-MNL)
- Qatar Airways (AMM-DOH-MNL)
Once you are there, you will have no shortage of options on how to get around the major urban centers and between islands:
- Metered taxis are widely available in most urban areas;
- Metro rail transit system with three lines covering most of Metro Manila;
- Jeepneys and buses offer inexpensive transit for getting to most places;
- Domestic airlines (Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific) regularly fly to major cities and towns with smaller commuter planes flying routes off the beaten track;
- Inter-island ships connect Metro Manila to major port cities around the archipelago;
- Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) ferry services connect the smaller islands with the bonus of you being able to easily drive a car on board;
- Philtranco buses have routes that run all the way from Manila to Bicol in Southern Luzon, Samar and Leyte in the Visayas, on down south to Davao in Mindanao.
What should you wear over there?
- Light, casual clothes suitable to the tropical climate are recommended for most of the urban centers;
- Warmer garments (e.g. light jackets or a thin sweater) may be necessary for the mountain regions or during the cool season between November and February;
- As with most other places, dress conservatively when visiting churches or other places of worship;
- Finally, for more formal occasions, a dinner jacket and tie (or the Philippine barong tagalog) for men and a cocktail dress or pant suit for women would be preferred.
What are the best things to bring home?
Visitors will find it hard not to find great buys while in the Philippines. The sights are great, but the shopping is just as pleasurable. You'll find export-quality items at reasonable prices at most shops and malls, including South Sea pearls, hand-woven cloths, embroidered fineries, fashionable ready-to-wear and haute couture clothes, terra cotta and porcelain items, and coral and mother-of-pearl home accessories. Artefacts, curios, pineapple fibre shirts, prehistoric jars, native handicrafts, home decor design pieces, and footwear are also interesting items to buy and bring home. The Philippines also produces fine basketry, furniture, fresh and processed fruits, exquisitely crafted jewelry, and gift items made of shell, wood, and stone.
Any of these items would certainly help remind the visitor of their wonderful stay in the Philippines. In fact, why don't you let your vacation pay for itself by starting up a business back home by becoming an importer of these fine products? And then you'll have a very good reason to return and return and return to the Philippines...
Where are the best places to shop?
The Philippines has some of the biggest malls in Asia, which are conveniently located near most of the major hotels. Many of the specialty shops inside these malls would carry the items mentioned above. However, for the chance to haggle and get great bargain prices, antique and curio shops abound in the Ermita District of Manila. There are also well-stocked handicraft stalls underneath the bridge in Quiapo. Or if you aren't too adventurous, try the Greenhills Mall or any of the other locations that have established or regularly scheduled tiangges (flea markets).