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. Eight (8)
major dialects spoken by
majority of the
Hiligaynon or Ilonggo,
Bicol, Waray, Pampango,
Filipino is the native
language which is used
nationally as the
ethnic groups. Like any
Filipino is in a process
of development through
loans from Philippine
languages and non-native
languages for various
speakers of different
social backgrounds, and
for topics for
There are about 76 to 78
major language groups,
with more than 500
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, and P5. Bill denominations are : 10, 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
shops. Exchanging money anywhere else is illegal and the laws are
Most large stores, restaurants , hotels and resorts accept major
credit cards including American Express , Visas and MasterCard.
Traveller's checks preferably American Express are accepted at
hotels and large department stores. Personal checks drawn on foreign
banks are generally not accepted.
UNIT OF MEASURE
The Metric System is used in most trade and legal transactions.
220 volts a/c is the common standard. 110 volts a/c is also used, especially in
People in the Philippines dress for the weather. Casual attire
during the day for women are light blouses and shorts. For men
collared T- shirts worn over slacks. In the evening skirts are
substituted for shorts and the T-shirts are tucked in.
For Men Only: If you expect to have to attend any occasion which would
usually require a jacket
and a tie, there is a wonderful substitute.
You may go to a
department store and buy a barong tagalog. It is an embroidered
shirt that is considered a formal dress. It will cost more or less
PhP1,000.00, but it is worth every centavo.
Water supply in Metro Manila and in all the
other major cities are considered potable. Bottled purified water,
spring water or mineral water is often supplied by hotels and
resorts, and sold in all grocery stores.
TELEPHONE AND MOBILE PHONE
Telephone service is modern
and you can direct dial anywhere in the world. Public phones are
plentiful. Public phones require a minimum of two one-peso coins for
a local call.
Bayantel - Bayan Telecommunications, Philippines.
Globe Telecom - One
of the leading mobile phone companies in the Philippines.
PLDT - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.
Smart - One of the leading mobile phone companies in the Philippines
and also offers mobile banking.
Some Important Telephone Numbers: (24-Hour Hotline)
Police & Fire: 757 or 116
Emergency No.: 501- 650 or 501- 728
Directory Assistance: 114
National Operator: 109
International Operator: 108
For other emergency numbers, please refer to Directory.
NOTE: It is advisable to always have the telephone number and the
address of your embassy or consulate with you.
Most businesses are open from 8:00 AM
to 5:00 PM weekdays and 8:00 AM till noon Saturdays. Banks are open
from 9:00 AM till 3:00 PM Mondays through Fridays. When banking in
the Philippines, it is advisable to have your passport with you for
The post offices are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays only.
Stamps for postcards are frequently available from the Concierge
Desk at most major hotels. The Philippines uses ZIP codes, please
include them in addressing local mail.
NOTE: The Standard lunch hour is noon to 1:00 PM. Most businesses
and government offices are closed.
Local time is GMT plus 8 hours.
Business English is the language used. Sexual equality is more
widespread in the Philippines than in other Asian countries. Make
sure you have business cards.
Passenger Terminal Fee is levied on all passengers embarking
1. International travel
: PHP 750
2. Domestic travel: PHP
Place of payment: Airport of departure.
1. Children under 2 years of age.
2. Transit passengers remaining in the transit area and not
leaving the airport.
3. Crew members.
ANTI-SMOKING LAW in Enclosed Places, etc.
Philippines -- Section five of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003
(Republic Act 9211) prohibits the carrying of any lighted tobacco
product in public vehicles, schools, health centers, elevators,
cinemas, malls and in
places where fire
hazards are present.
Smoking is also banned
facilities for minors.
Fines imposed on
violators of this
section range from P500