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  • Market Overview
  • Market Challenges
  • Market Opportunities
  • Market Entry Strategy
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Transport Infrastructure
  • Agricultural Sectors
  • Trade Barriers
  • Import Tariff
  • Import Requirements and Documentation
  • Labeling/Marking Requirements
  • Temporary Entry
  • U.S. Export Controls
  • Prohibited & Restricted Imports
  • Customs Regulations
  • Standards for Trade
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  • Distribution and Sales Channels
  • Selling Factors and Techniques
  • Trade Financing
  • Protecting Intellectual Property
  • Selling to the Public Sector
  • Business Travel
  • Investment Climate Statement

Business Customs

The Philippine business environment is highly personalized.  Business matters are customarily held face-to-face, and Filipinos often prefer an atmosphere of calm and restraint, avoid confrontation, and typically offer a polite reply coupled with a smile rather than outright negative feedback to the other party’s ideas.  A “yes” may mean several things, but not always affirmative.

As a show of respect and acknowledgment of certain social hierarchies, Filipinos customarily address individuals by their professional titles (Attorney, Doctor, Engineer).  After initial introductions, most business contacts insist on using a more informal approach including the use of nicknames.  When dealing with high-ranking government and military officials, it is best to address them by their formal titles.

Meetings do not necessarily start promptly, so allow for delays due to traffic, inclement weather, prior engagements, or last-minute changes.  If a Filipino client runs late for an appointment, their assistant or the individual will typically personally call or advise if they are on their way. 

Handing out business cards (preferably bearing your position or title) is a standard practice.  However, the way the cards are exchanged tends to be relatively informal compared to other Asian cultures.  It is common for government contacts/government agencies to use Gmail or Yahoo accounts as their primary or alternate business email address.

English is the official business language, including correspondence, contracts, and other documents.  However, Filipinos commonly hear “Taglish” (a combination of Tagalog, a regional dialect from which the Filipino language is primarily based, and English, or shifting back and forth between the two languages) during informal conversations.

Body language and hand gestures (a raised eyebrow, a faint smile, or a scratch on the head) are integral to how Filipinos express themselves.  Social media messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Viber are now popular for communicating and reaching out to business contacts and clients.  Texting or sending short, often abbreviated messages through mobile phones is another method of business communication.  Do not be surprised if, in the middle of a meeting, an individual suddenly takes out their mobile phones to answer a call or send a message.

Business lunches and dinners are commonly arranged over the phone and confirmed by a secretary or assistant.  The person extending the invitation customarily pays.  Filipinos tend to be lax in replying to RSVPs and telephone follow-up calls are often required. 

As a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines observes the Lenten season, and all commercial and business establishments are closed on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.  The Philippines celebrates one of, if not the longest Christmas seasons in the world and beginning on or around the week of December 15 through the end of the year.  During this period, office-related activities tend to wind down to give way to holiday parties. 

Common business attire is a two-piece suit or the native “Barong Tagalog” (a lightweight, short- or long-sleeved shirt, usually linen, worn without a tie).  Light pantsuits or dresses are appropriate for women.  Dinner invitations can either be formal or business casual, so it is best to confirm with the host. 

Travel Advisory

The Department of State’s travel advisory for the Philippines can be found in this link: Philippines  

Visa requirements

U.S. citizens who are traveling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes can enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports are valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay.  The allotted thirty (30) days cannot be extended immediately at the port of entry.

U.S. citizens who wish to stay for more than thirty (30) days should apply to the Bureau of Immigration offices or Satellite offices .  The applicant must pay the corresponding immigration fees after securing their extension.

Information on fees for extension of stay and other Immigration fees are available at the Bureau of Immigration website.

U.S. Companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process.  Visa applicants should visit the following link: State Department Visa website .

Philippine Peso is the local currency in the Philippines.  The currency code for Pesos is PHP.

Currency exchange centers/money changers can be found in commercial centers across the country.  Major credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted in most establishments.  Banks are generally open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.  Some banks with branches located inside malls are open on weekends. 24-hour ATMs can be easily found in metropolitan areas.


There are three mobile operators in the Philippines.  Mobile phone services in the Philippines are affordable at $0.15 average per minute call, while an SMS or text message costs $0.02.  With the affordable rates, Filipinos prefer texting over phone calls as mobile signals can be weak due to a lack of cell sites.  Broadband services are available at home and for office use and subscribers should expect rates similar to that in the U.S.  

Electrical outlets in the Philippines use 220 volts.  This is compatible with most electronic gadgets that allow 110-220 volts.


Many major international airlines fly between Manila and the United States on a regular basis.  Typically, these flights are indirect with layovers or stopovers before they reach their destination (e.g., Delta Airlines flies from Manila to the U.S. via Incheon; United flies from Manila to U.S. via Guam).  Philippine Airlines has direct flights to the U.S. United Airlines will have direct flights to the U.S. starting October 29, 2023.

Within the Philippines, one can travel to most parts of the country by land, air, or sea with relative ease.  For land travel, the quality of the road network is quite varied.  Distances that may be covered quickly in the United States typically take longer in the Philippines, due to insufficient road quality and congestion.  An extensive road network links most of the archipelago.

For first-time visitors to major urban cities such as Metro Manila, the use of accredited hotel taxis with the assistance of the hotel staff is more dependable than metered taxis hailed on the street.  When using a metered cab, ask the driver to turn on the meter as you enter to avoid being overcharged.  Hotel taxis charge a flat rate for travel to specified locations.  It is best to ask the hotel staff or a local business contact how long it would take to reach one’s destination, considering such factors as traffic conditions during peak driving hours and alternate routes.  When taking a regular cab, it would help to know the typical cab fare to avoid being overcharged.  Many taxi fleets now offer services.

Car rentals are also available with or without a driver/chauffeur, and costs will vary depending on the length of use, the type of car, and the itinerary.  U.S. franchises such as Avis and Hertz operate in the Philippines and accept an international driver’s license for up to 60-90 days.

Grab, a transport network vehicle services app is widely used in major cities like Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Davao.

Buses, elevated rail transport such as the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and “jeepneys” transit major and minor routes within Metro Manila and serve the general commuting public.  They are not recommended for business travelers in Manila.  UV Express, a type of share taxi service, is also an alternative mode of public transportation.  In most provinces and major cities outside Manila, buses, jeepneys, and tricycles are the more typical modes of land transport.  Overcrowding is common.

The Philippines has over 70 airports, with four major international airports: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, Clark International Airport in Pampanga, Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), and Davao International Airport.  The country’s primary international gateway, NAIA, currently operates four terminals in Manila.  Passengers are required to be at the airport at least two hours before departure for domestic flights and three hours for international flights (particularly on U.S. - bound flights).  Terminal fees are charged for departing passengers on some domestic and international airports.  Delays are common due to airport congestion or weather.

Maritime transport is a major conduit for moving goods and people. Inter-island vessels or ferries service major island routes.  Being an archipelago, the Philippines has more than a thousand ports, about a dozen of which are major international ports that serve as cargo and/or passenger terminals.  Travel by boat or ferry tends to take longer and is less convenient than air travel, but there are areas in the Philippines that can only be reached through this mode of transport.  Roll-on, roll-off vessels (RO-RO) carrying passengers and cargo are also available to service inter-island travel and commerce. Ferry transport in recent years has experienced serious accidents with significant fatalities.

Filipino/Tagalog is the official national language, although over 100 languages and dialects are spoken throughout the Philippines.  English is widely spoken and is the primary language in business communication.

It is common to hear Filipinos use a mixture of English and Filipino/Tagalog words or phrases, known as “Taglish” in their everyday conversations.  In provinces where Filipino is not the lingua franca, primary educational instruction is conducted in vernacular languages.

Hospitals located in major cities are modern and well-equipped to address the general healthcare needs of business travelers.  Five hospitals, all located in the National Capital Region, are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI).  These hospitals employ excellent medical staff and are equipped with the latest medical technology.

Most local pharmacies carry standard medicines, including vitamins, over-the-counter medicines, and first-aid supplies, readily available at prices equivalent to the U.S.

Sanitation in the Philippines is lower than in the U.S., as overpopulation causes a strain on water supply, sewage, garbage disposal, street cleaning, and utilities.

Americans are advised not to drink untreated water.  Bottled beverages are inexpensive, plentiful, and safe.  Ice is suspect.  It is not advisable to buy food from street peddlers.

The Philippines continues to be susceptible to infectious diseases such as leptospirosis, dengue, meningococcemia, and tuberculosis.  The coronavirus situation emphasized the risks and highlighted the need to improve preparedness at local, national, and international levels against future pandemics.  New pathogens will continue to emerge and spread across regions and challenge public health, signifying grim repercussions and health burdens.  These already cause countless morbidities and mortalities, disrupting trade and negatively affecting the economy.  Several social determinants contribute to the emergence of novel infectious diseases and the resurgence of controlled or eradicated infectious diseases in our country.  These contributing factors are namely:

  • Demographic factors like population distribution and density,
  • International travel/tourism and increased OFWs,
  • Socioeconomic factors,
  • Environmental factors.

The latter includes the Philippines’ vulnerability to disasters, man-made ecological changes, and urbanization, which creeps and destroys animal habitats.

Health updates and disease alerts are available on the Philippine Department of Health website (  

A list of recommended vaccinations when traveling to the Philippines can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.

Local time, business hours, and holidays

Philippine Standard Time is 8 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time (UTC/GMT), and 12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST).  The Philippines does not observe daylight saving time.

U.S. Government offices in the Philippines are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Most private and GPH offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays.  Some private companies are open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

All offices observe the following public holidays: January 1: New Year’s Day; Easter Holidays: March to April Maundy Thursday and Good Friday; April 9: Bataan & Corregidor Day and Heroism Day; May 1: Labor Day; June 12: Philippine Independence Day; August 21: Ninoy Aquino Day; August 27: National Heroes Day Holiday; November 1: All Saints’ Day; November 30: Bonifacio Day; December 25: Christmas Day; December 30: Rizal Day; Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha; and Chinese New Year.  June 24, Manila Day, is observed only in the City of Manila, while August 19, Quezon Day, is observed only in Quezon City.  Special public holidays such as Election Day and EDSA Revolution Day may be declared by the President and are observed nationwide.

The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines observes the following U.S. public holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

A complete list of Philippine Holidays for 2023 can be found in the government website:   Holidays | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines .

Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings

All arriving travelers must fill out a Customs Baggage Declaration Form (CBDF) which will be submitted to the Customs Officer at the customs arrival area for clearance.  Arriving passengers are required to declare all goods carried or brought, indicating the quantity and value.

A businessperson hand-carrying a personal laptop computer does not have to post a cash bond after demonstrating that the item is a personal effect and is not new.  Laptops, considered tools of the trade, may be cleared without the required documentation such as a Certificate of Identification.  Only one laptop per traveler is allowed under current regulations.

Aerial view of Kota Beach in Bantayan Island of Cebu

Philippines Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Aleah Taboclaon

Best Time to Go to the Philippines

  • January to March | Ideal Months to Travel in the Philippines
  • April to June | Summer and Peak Season in the Philippines
  • July to October | Rainy and Off-Peak Season in the Philippines
  • November to December | Holiday Season in the Philippines

Geography of the Philippines

  • Arriving at Manila Airport: What You Need to Know

How to Get Around the Philippines

Hotels in the philippines, best hotels and resorts in luzon, best hotels and resorts in visayas, best hotels and resorts in mindanao.

  • Best theme hotels and resorts in the Philippines

Must-Visit Tourist Spots in the Philippines

  • Manila | The Capital of the Philippines
  • Palawan | Gateway to the Best Islands in the Philippines
  • Boracay Island | Tropical Paradise
  • Cebu | Islands, Diving, Historical Sites, and More
  • Bohol | Countryside and Island Tours
  • What to Eat in the Philippines
  • Suggested 2-Week Itinerary in the Philippines
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Traveling to the Philippines

Caramoan Island in Camarines Sur, Philippines

Discover the treasures of the Philippines from beaches and islands, highlands, historical spots, and must-try food and fun activities. Find out the best time to visit and the best tourist spots. Learn how to get around from the Manila airport. Discover the best places to eat. Take inspiration from a 2-week itinerary that will take you around the best destinations in the country. Read this article for an introduction to traveling around the Philippines. 

It can be difficult to decide where to travel first in the Philippines. There are so many beautiful, postcard-worthy white sand beaches and pristine islands all over the Philippines, complete with crystal clear waters and rich and diverse marine life.

  • Explore the widest collection of Philippine tours for your vacation
  • Check out flights to the Philippines

Travelers who love swimming would find it hard to leave, as idyllic  beach trips , exciting  island-hopping adventures , and incredible  diving tours  are abundant here. The Philippines' beaches are among the best in the world as well, whether it's white sand, black volcanic sand, or even pink sand in some places. 

See our popular Top Tours in the Philippines

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Sea of clouds at Mt. Pulag

  • Find the best Philippines vacation packages for a hassle-free trip
  • See destinations for solo travel in the Philippines

You can also take your pick from the Philippines' best festivals  that showcase the locals' culture and experience unique food trips that will get you craving for more Filipino food . 

If you're traveling to the Philippines soon, this ultimate guide has everything you need to know to plan your trip. 

The Philippines has two distinct seasons, wet and dry. The dry season starts from November until June. These months are considered the best time to travel to most destinations in the Philippines .

The wet season, on the other hand, is from July to October. During this time, an average of nine typhoons hit the Philippines and may cause flooding and landslides in some areas. While not all typhoons make landfall, the heavy rains may still affect your trip, so make sure to check weather forecasts. 

  • Check out our  2-week Philippine itinerary packages

Note, though, that it doesn’t rain every day, nor does it rain the whole day during the wet season, unless there is a typhoon. It's still best to check the weather forecast for your Philippine destinations when planning a trip. Weather-wise, here’s what you can expect when traveling in the Philippines and where to go.

See our popular Best Philippines Itinerary Tour Packages

January to march | ideal months to travel in the philippines.

January to March is usually the ideal period to travel to the Philippines. Even if there are bigger chances of precipitation, these are the months of the year when the temperature is cooler. The month of March also signals the upcoming festivals and the long weekend of Holy Week (Easter).

These months also highlight some of the biggest and grandest festivities:

The province of Aklan, where Boracay Island is located, commemorates the Ati-Atihan Festival in the second week of January. Check Boracay tours  and Boracay tour packages with hotel and airfare for your island getaway.

The highly anticipated annual Sinulog Festival   in the province of Cebu is celebrated every third Sunday of January. Check Cebu activities  and Cebu packages  for your trip.

Millions of devotees gather in Quiapo in  Manila City to join the procession during the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9.

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival is usually every February or March. For 2024, it will be held in New Clark City, Tarlac. Read our Philippine Hot Air Balloon 2024 guide to learn more.

See our popular Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Tickets & Packages

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The Summer Capital, Baguio City , parades beautifully-adorned floats with flowers during the Panagbenga Festival in February. Check Baguio tours  and Baguio package deals with hotel  to make your trip more fun and hassle-free.

There are weeklong religious activities during Holy Week (Easter) in March or early April all over the country, but more specifically in Pampanga . Check Pampanga experiences  to make the most of your vacation.

April to June | Summer and Peak Season in the Philippines

White sand beach in Malapascua, Cebu

During this time, the temperature and humidity levels are highest. This marks the summer season in the Philippines. Locals plan beach getaways or vacations in their hometowns. Expect that beach resorts will most likely be fully booked and have higher rates. 

The sun is the strongest from April to June, so precautions are needed when spending most of the time under the sun. Lather sunblock every two hours to avoid sunburn.

See our popular Island Hopping Tours

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Some popular summer destinations in the Philippines include:

The natural, scenic, and hidden gems of Palawan. Check some Palawan activities  and learn more about the province in this Palawan travel guide . 

The white beaches, crystal clear waters, and extreme water sports of Boracay . 

The surfing paradise of La Union , Baler, Zambales, and Siargao. Check  Siargao adventures  and   learn more about Siargao in this guide . Book Siargao tour packages with airfare . 

The beaches and diving spots in Batangas . Explore the marine life of Batangas through an Anilao diving tour. Check other Batangas escapades .

  • Check out our article on the Best Beaches to Visit in the Philippines

Aside from beaches and  island hopping tours in the Philippines, here are other summer season activities you can try:

Watch the Moriones Festival in Marinduque and how the people in Pampanga  celebrate the season during Holy Week. Check some activities in Marinduque and tours in Pampanga .

Taste the freshest catch in Dagupan City during Bangus Festival every April.

Head to Quezon Province and witness the colorful Pahiyas Festival, a thanksgiving festival held every 15th of May.

Witness the festivities and watch the beautiful women of the country all dressed up during Flores De Mayo.

Take part during the different pistang bayan (town fiestas) in the provinces of Batangas and Bulacan. 

In June, take part in the combined Pintados-Kasadyaan festivals of Tacloban City that features a sailboat race, the Subiran Regatta, and the religious rite Balyuan. Join a Tacloban city tour to get the full experience.

Join the celebration of St. John the Baptist's feast day, where locals get doused with water on June 24th. It’s officially called the Wattah Wattah Festival or Basaan Festival in Filipino. It's usually celebrated in Batangas, Bataan, and Nueva Ecija, to name a few.

July to October | Rainy and Off-Peak Season in the Philippines  

Kadayawan Festival in Davao City, Philippines

The volume of rainfall in the Philippines increases from July to August . These months are considered the wettest months, although it does not necessarily mean that it will rain all day long.

When typhoons hit, most of the islands in the country are affected, making trips around the country (depending on where the typhoon hits) difficult. Expect flight delays and even cancellations in some cases.

Philippine flights to different islands and beach resorts are cheaper during these months. Go to the beach, enjoy a food trip, or visit museums and historical places. Here are some other rainy season activities in the Philippines that you can try:

Go surfing and island hopping in Siargao . Browse our Siargao tour packages with airfare . 

Watch the dramatization of the blood compact between Sikatuna and Legazpi in Bohol during the Sandugo Festival. Check some  Bohol activities  and Bohol package deals for your escapade.

Catch the colorful Pagoda Festival in Bulacan.

Witness the street parades and dances in the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City . Check Davao activities to best experience the province.

Observe the Fluvial Parade of the Nuestra Señora Peñafrancia in Naga City.

Watch the elaborate and colorful MassKara Festival in Bacolod City. Check some Bacolod tours and learn more about the province in this Bacolod travel guide .

For Filipinos, Christmas or the holiday season starts as early as September or the beginning of the -ber months. Some establishments start to decorate their stores with Christmas ornaments as early as September 1st.

November to December | Holiday Season in the Philippines   

Christmas lanterns in the Philippines

November marks not only the beginning of the dry season but also the start of the long holiday celebration in the Philippines. These are the best months to visit Philippine cities because of the night markets, light and sound shows, and Christmas bazaars.

  • Read our article on the Top Philippine Christmas holiday destinations

November to December are the best months to do your holiday shopping, as most malls are on sale and extended operating hours. However, there are other things you can do too:

Watch the Higantes Festival (giant paper effigies) in Rizal. 

Appreciate a grand Christmas experience in San Fernando, Pampanga, and its Giant Lantern Festival. 

Enjoy the cold weather and admire the views of Banaue Rice Terraces while sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee in Benguet . 

Choosing the best time to visit the Philippines depends on what kind of activity you want to do. Come at different times to appreciate everything the country has to offer.

See our popular Sagada-Banaue Tour Packages

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Map of the Philippines

The Philippines' geography  is divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Before planning a trip to the Philippines, it's important to know where your chosen destinations are. Your transportation, schedule, and budget will depend on the distances between each place. You can also book all-inclusive Philippines vacation packages that will take you around the top tourist spots in the country. 

Philippines Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know

If you're outside the Philippines, your first destination will most likely be Manila , the Philippine capital located in Luzon.  Most connecting flights to other destinations in the countries continue from  Manila Airport .

The Luzon island group also includes other big islands and island groups like Palawan, Batanes , Baguio, and Vigan . Top Luzon activities include city sightseeing, beach adventures, and some island-hopping trips. Check out the top Luzon tourist spots that you should visit. 

See our popular Luzon Tour Packages

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Visayas   is located   in the central part of the Philippines. Cebu is the main gateway to other Visayas destinations. Visayas is home to destinations like Boracay, Bohol, Iloilo, Negros Region, Leyte, and Siquijor. The top activities and best tourist spots in Visayas include idyllic beaches, island-hopping, outdoor adventures, and food tours.

See our popular Visayas Tour Packages

Mindanao is located in the southern part of the Philippines. Davao City is the main gateway to other destinations in this island group, which includes Siargao, Camiguin, Zamboanga, and Cagayan de Oro, to name a few. Top things to do and best tourist spots in Mindanao include outdoor adventures, beach escapades, and island-hopping.  Check out our Davao tourist spots itinerary if you're exploring Davao City and Samal Island .

  • Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to the Top 15 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in the Philippines

Given the number and variety of things to do here, filling your itinerary for a week or so when traveling in the Philippines won’t be a problem. 

See our popular Mindanao Tour Packages

Arriving at manila airport: what you need to know      .

Inside Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines

Like any metropolitan city, Manila can be confusing for first-time visitors with flights to Manila , starting with arriving at the airport. Manila international airport, officially known as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) or Manila Airport , has four terminals, which are not connected via airport rail link. Consider this when booking your flights, as inter-airline transfers may be complicated.

  • Dubai to Manila flights
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  • Istanbul to Manila flights

However, there are now Point-to-Point (P2P) shuttle buses that you can board to transfer airports in the Philippines , or you can book a taxi or Grab car via the Grab App (like Uber) if you have connecting flights. You can also book rent a car in Manila services. These transport options take public roads, so allot sufficient transfer time if you plan to transit between airlines. Here's a rundown of these four airport terminals:

NAIA Terminal 1

Terminal 1 serves all the international flights from and to Manila except for the ones operated by airlines in NAIA Terminal 2 and NAIA Terminal 3.

NAIA Terminal 2

Terminal 2 houses the domestic and international flights of the country's flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, and its affiliate PAL express. Starting July 2023, AirAsia and Royal Air domestic flights have been transferred to Terminal 2. This terminal is also known as the Centennial Terminal to commemorate the centennial declaration of Philippine independence.

NAIA Terminal 3

Terminal 3 caters to international flights operated by Cathay Pacific Air, AirAsia, Emirates Airline, Cebu Pacific Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air Lines, All Nippon Air, and Singapore Airlines, as well as all some domestic flights of Cebu Pacific Air. It has a transit lounge (airport hotel) and a massage place.

NAIA Terminal 4

Terminal 4, the smallest of the four, serves domestic flights from CebGo, AirSwift, and SkyJet.

See our popular Manila Transfers

Manila airport (naia) to or from any hotel in makati | private transfer (mnl), private manila airport transfer to manila city hotel from ninoy aquino international airport (naia), private manila airport transfer to parañaque hotel from ninoy aquino international airport (naia).

  • Cebu to Manila flights
  • Davao to Manila flights
  • Tacloban to Manila flights
  • Iloilo to Manila flights

Outside Manila: Clark International Airport

A secondary international airport nearest to Manila is Clark International Airport. It takes two to three hours to travel from Manila to Clark, which is 93 kilometers away. One transport option is through the Premium point-to-point (P2P) Bus Service. This bus service has a station at NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City, which is ideal if you come from the southern part of Metro Manila. If you're coming from the northern part of Metro Manila, take the P2P bus from its North EDSA MRT / Trinoma Station in Quezon City.

You can also hire a car rental service from Clark to Manila  for a more comfortable and private transportation. Just make sure you have the requirements to rent a car in the Philippines .

Philippine peso bills

Currency Exchange and ATMs

All airport terminals have money changers open 24/7 in both the arrivals and departure areas. There are ATMs as well that accept foreign-issued cards though fees may apply. Read our guide about money exchange in the Philippines .


Free SIM Card

Once you arrive in Manila airports, take advantage of the free SIM cards given by the Philippines' major telecommunications companies: Globe and Smart. You can top up your credit in convenience stores like 7-Eleven all over the country.

Transportation to and from the Manila airports

All Manila airports have taxi stands. You can get a coupon taxi (white) that’s dispatched by airport personnel and charged a fixed price or a yellow taxi that’s metered. Both are more expensive than regular white taxis but relatively safer to use.

There are also shuttle buses that will take you to the nearest metro station. However, if it’s your first time in the Philippines, taking this route is not as comfortable as taking either an airport taxi or booking an accredited taxi/cab, hire Manila car rental  services, or carpool through the Grab App .  If you are traveling in a big group and have a lot of luggage, booking a van rental in the Philippines  or a budget car rental in the Philippines may be advisable. 

For a hassle-free arrival or departure, check out our Manila airport transfers . 

Jeepneys in Manila, Philippines

The primary way of getting around the Philippines is by buses, planes, and ships/ferries. Boat rides are great for inter-island trips with short distances; for everywhere else, flights are recommended.

Depending on when you visit, you can find a lot of cheap flights in the Philippines . In fact, sometimes it’s cheaper to book a flight than a ferry. The biggest flight carriers are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and AirAsia.   

Within small towns and cities, the primary modes of transport are bus, jeepney, or tricycle (like Thailand’s tuk-tuk or India’s auto-rickshaw, but smaller). In addition, major cities have taxi cabs and the Grab app. Only Manila has the metro system. If you want to go around the country in style, you may book an SUV rental in the Philippines or  luxury car rental in the Philippines .

You can also book self-drive car rentals in the Philippines if you want to explore on your own. Read our article on the best cars to rent for a road trip in the Philippines .

For inter-island transportation, sea transfers such as ferries are the best option. Secure your Philippines ferry ticket booking  in advance for a hassle-free trip. 

See our popular Sea Transfers & Ferries in the Philippines

Cebu to or from surigao ferry ride one-way | starlite ferries, romblon port to or from ambulong port (magdiwang sibuyan) ferry ride one-way | starlite ferries, cebu to or from cagayan de oro ferry ride one-way | transasia.

Stilt cottages at Pearl Farm in Samal Island of Davao, Philippines

It is not hard to find accommodations in the Philippines . In top destinations, you would find various options, from 1- to 5-star hotels, ranging in price from budget to luxury. 

For budget travelers, there are numerous hostels, guesthouses, and homestays all over the country. Note that budget places are less likely to have a hot shower available, and in some places, there would be no Wifi.

It's highly recommended to book at least one night (or more) in advance, especially in popular destinations like Boracay, Palawan, and Puerto Galera during peak season (e.g., summer and holidays).

Read our article guides on the best hotels and resorts in top destinations in the Philippines: 

  • Best hotels in Manila
  • Best serviced apartments in Metro Manila
  • Best beach resorts near Manila
  • Best hotels near Manila Airport
  • Best glamping resorts near Manila
  • Best hotels in BGC Taguig Metro Manila
  • Best hotels in Makati City
  • Best hotels and resorts in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
  • Best hotels and resorts in El Nido, Palawan
  • Best hotels and resorts in Coron, Palawan
  • Best hotels and resorts in San Vicente, Palawan
  • Best hotels and resorts in Port Barton, Palawan
  • Best hotels and resorts in Antipolo
  • Best hotels in Baguio
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  • Best resorts in Batangas
  • Best affordable Batangas resorts
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  • Best resorts in Palawan
  • Best hotels and resorts in Pampanga
  • Best resorts in Pangasinan
  • Best resorts in Puerto Galera
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  • Best Tagaytay hotels with a view of Taal Lake
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  • Best beachfront resorts in Boracay
  • Best budget-friendly resorts in Boracay
  • Best Boracay Station 1 resorts
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  • Best Boracay hotels and resorts for families
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  • Best hotels in Bacolod City
  • Best hotels and resorts in Cebu
  • Best beachfront resorts in Cebu
  • Best luxury hotels and resorts in Cebu
  • Best budget-friendly hotels in Cebu City
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  • Best beachfront resorts in Siargao
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With over 7000 islands, you will definitely need to prioritize when deciding on the places to visit in the Philippines. Much depends, of course, on how long you will have in the country and what you are interested in doing. For starters, you can check out our article on the top tours in the Philippines .

Here are some of the most popular destinations in the Philippines that you shouldn't miss out on: 

4-Day Fascinating Culture & Nature Tour Package to Cebu & Bohol with Accommodations & Transfers

Scenic 1-week beaches & nature vacation package to cebu, puerto princesa & el nido palawan, manila | the capital of the philippines.

Sunset at Philippines' Manila Cathedral

It has, for example, the old Spanish fortress in Intramuros  that provides you with a glimpse of what the city used to be under over three centuries of Spanish rule. Nowhere is the Spanish influence seen more clearly than in the Walled City, from the cobbled streets to the restored houses. Make sure to join Intramuros tours to get the full experience.

  • Check   Manila activities  that you can add to your itinerary

Highlights in Intramuros include the old churches of San Agustin, built in 1587, and the Manila Cathedral, originally built in 1571 and governed by the Archdiocese of Mexico. Outside Intramuros, there’s also the historic Quiapo Church, whose annual Feast of the Black Nazarene every January attracts millions of devotees.

See our popular Manila Tours & Activities

Manila intramuros historical express 90-minute tour in eco-friendly bamboo bike + optional upgrades, manila binondo shared walking food tour with guide, manila intramuros shared half-day walking tour with guide.

Binondo, Manila at night

You can also try some of the trips around Binondo , the oldest Chinatown in the world. You can also watch one of the best sunsets in the Philippines along the Manila Bay at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex.

When booking a hotel in Manila , we recommend booking accommodations either in Manila City or in Makati City . Both of these destinations have plush hotels, high-end shopping malls, and various bars and restaurants that offer a range of local and international cuisines.

See our popular Binondo Tours

Palawan | gateway to the best islands in the philippines.

Palawan's limestone karst, white sand beach, and turquoise waters

You’ll see beautiful powdery, white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, towering limestones, hidden lagoons, and even a safari. 

See our popular Palawan Tours and Activities

Private el nido lio airport transfer to/from any hotel in el nido town palawan.

Puerto Princesa , the capital of Palawan, is often the first place that travelers go to, as it has frequent and affordable flights to and from Manila and Cebu. It is home to the Underground River , one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines . The city is the jump-off point for Honda Bay island hopping ,  Underground River tour , and several Palawan destinations like El Nido and San Vicente.

  • Learn more in our article on the top attractions and activities in Puerto Princesa

Coron is another popular destination in Palawan. There are direct flights and boats from Manila to Coron (via Busuanga Airport, an hour from Coron town proper), making it a possible first destination for the Palawan leg of your Philippine itinerary.

If you’re into water activities, Coron is the getaway you might be looking for. It is best known for wreck diving and snorkeling, island hopping to hidden lagoons surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, and the iconic Kayangan Lake. Check out our Coron tour packages with airfare .

Google Coron, Palawan, and the first photo you'll see is of the view going to the freshwater lake. It's why Coron island-hopping  is popular with both locals and internationals.

See our popular Coron Tours and Activities

Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan

Coron is the best place for wreck diving because it has a handful of sunken ships hidden beneath its waters, some of which are big enough to be explored inside, while some are shallow enough to be seen by snorkelers. If you're not a certified diver, dive shops in Coron have Discover Scuba activities too.

  • Learn more in our article on the top activities and places to see in Coron

El Nido is another well-known destination in Palawan. Over the years, the town has transformed from one that doesn’t even have an ATM and 24-hour electricity into a popular holiday destination.

There are regular island-hopping trips in El Nido that take you to various islands and beaches such as the Hidden Beach, Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Hidden Lagoon, Paradise Beach, and Natnat Beach, among others.

  • Read our guide on the top activities and attractions in El Nido  

See our popular El Nido Tours and Activities

Boracay island | tropical paradise.

Top view of Willy's Rock at White Beach Boracay, Philippines

Boracay became a popular destination for local and international travelers because of its fine, white sandy beaches (led by the famous White Beach ), its combination of Boracay nightlife scene and family-friendly atmosphere, and its many accommodations across budgets.

Watching sunsets may be cliché to some, but the sunset in Boracay is definitely one of the best you’ll see in the country. The silhouette of sailboats, the shadows of people walking along the shore, and the sky turning from blue to a fiery red and into a faint orange is an image you won’t quickly forget.

  • Browse our Boracay tour packages with airfare

See our popular Boracay Vacation Packages

Amazing 4-day movenpick boracay 5-star resort package with airfare from manila or clark & transfers.

Beautiful sunset in Boracay, Philippines

Most Boracay hotels are lined up in White Beach grouped into Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3. However, you can easily visit the other beaches there during your stay. Puka Beach, for example, may not have sand as fine as White Beach, but if you go early enough, you can avoid the crowds and have a relaxing hour or two by the beach.

Bulabog Beach is becoming a popular destination for kitesurfers. The winds here are strong enough for those who want to try something new or improve their skill. There are several shops offering lessons and provide rental gear too. 

You’ll have plenty of options in Boracay when it comes to food, as there are markets, budget restaurants, Western food, buffets, and bars that cater to different kinds of tastes. Read our article on the best restaurants in Boracay  to learn more. There are fun activities like Boracay pub crawls too! Indeed, Boracay is the destination to be if you want a bit of everything in one place.

  • Read our guide on the top things to see and do in Boracay

See our popular Boracay Tours and Activities

Cebu | islands, diving, historical sites, and more.

Magellan's Cross in Cebu City, Philippines

The province of Cebu is another popular place to visit because of the range of natural, historical, and cultural attractions. 

Bantayan Island and Malapascua Island in the north are famous beach destinations because of their pristine beaches and sky-blue waters. Visitors usually combine a trip to these two destinations. Both islands provide a laid-back atmosphere if you want to just spend the whole day relaxing. 

See our popular Cebu Tours and Activities

Private cebu airport to or from any cebu city hotel transfer service, cebu moalboal sardine run, pescador island & turtle bay tour with lunch & transfers from cebu city, cebu oslob whale shark watching & moalboal island hopping private day tour with lunch & transfers.

Malapascua is best known for its thresher sharks. It's the only place in the world where this species is consistently seen almost every day. 

Bantayan Island, on the other hand, is more for beach bumming and snorkeling. It has a healthy coral garden you can explore and a long coastline of white sandy beaches.

Make sure to go to the south of Cebu as well and include Moalboal in your Philippine itinerary. This is where you can experience the famous sardine run tour . Seeing the hundreds of thousands of sardines swimming beneath you (or above you if you choose to dive) is definitely an awesome experience unique to Cebu.

A must-try during your visit to Cebu is the fun canyoneering experience . It is an adrenaline-pumping activity where you jump into a pool of water from around 25 meters high. You’ll also get to trek and enjoy some moderate hiking activities and take the plunge at the azure waters of Kawasan Falls . 

See our popular Kawasan Falls Tours

Other places of interest in Cebu province include hiking Osmeña Peak, trekking to Tumalog Falls, lounging in Tingko Beach, Lambug Beach, and Basdaku Beach, just to name a few.

  • Check our article on the  Top Tourist Spots in Cebu  

Cebu City, the capital of Cebu province, is cosmopolitan and developed. You can join a historical tour in Cebu that will take you to sites like Magellan’s Cross, as well as old churches and museums, among others. There is a variety of restaurants offering local and international food, too.

If you’re a meat-eater, never miss the famous lechon (suckling pig) that Anthony Bourdain called “the best pig ever.” There are countless bars and shopping malls for entertainment as well.

The Queen City of the South has the second busiest airport in the Philippines located in Mactan , flying to 25 domestic and 22 international destinations. From here, the best beaches in Cebu are easily accessible by private transportation and public buses. 

You also have several options for accommodation, whether you want to splurge or stick to a tight budget.

See our popular Cebu Vacation Packages

3d2n dusit mactan resort cebu package with airfare from manila or clark, transfers & breakfast, bohol | countryside and island tours.

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines

The island of Bohol is another must-include in your Philippine itinerary. There are endless tourist spots in Bohol that you can visit. You can do a countryside day tour of Bohol, but why spend only one day in one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Philippines?

Bohol has many beaches and activities for those who want to see more of the region. Make sure to explore Panglao Island to make your trip more fun and exciting! Start your trip by trying Alona Beach activities such as fly fish, UFO, parasailing, banana boat ride, and many more.

A trip to Bohol is incomplete without joining  Chocolate Hills tours . These green hills that turn brown during the summer months will remind you of Hershey’s Kisses, hence the name. The viewpoint was affected by the major earthquake in 2015, but it has since been restored.

See our popular Bohol Tours and Activities

  • See our guide on how to go to Chocolate Hills

Another must-see is the tarsier, a tiny primate (around 3.5 to 6 inches long) with huge eyes that can only be found in Southeast Asia. You can visit tarsier sanctuaries in Bohol, where you can see these tiny and cute creatures (do not hold or touch them, though).

While in Bohol, try the Loboc River Cruise experience . It provides you with a relaxing and scenic way to see the countryside while feasting on Filipino cuisine and being serenaded by local performers.

Bohol also has relics of Spanish colonial times; you’ll see several old churches that provide you with a glimpse of the province’s historical and cultural heritage. While some of these churches were destroyed during the 2015 earthquake, most of them have been restored, including Baclayon Church.

These destinations are only some of the best places to visit in the Philippines. The country has plenty more to offer travelers with various budgets and preferences for their trip. 

See our popular Bohol Vacation Packages

Fuss-free 3-day bohol package at mithi resort with airfare from manila & transfers, 4-day premier bohol beach club resort package with breakfast & airport transfers, what to eat in the philippines  .

Filipino food

Filipino food is one of the most underrated in Asia. Most international visitors know what to expect from Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese food but are usually totally clueless about the Philippines' local cuisine. 

Filipino cuisine is actually one of the most diverse in the world. Because of its colonial past, it has influences from the west as much as it has oriental roots. Note, though, that the cuisine is meat-heavy. Vegetarian or vegan guests traveling outside major cities may find it hard to look for restaurants that provide vegetarian or vegan options.

If you are a first-time visitor in the Philippines and don’t know what Filipino food to try, here are some of the best food in the Philippines that you should keep on the lookout for in your culinary and food trips .

See our popular Food Tours

Coffee farm tour at amadeo cavite near manila & tagaytay with live brewing & tasting sampler, manila binondo & intramuros full-day tour with guide & transfers, bohol loboc river cruise lunch with private transfers from panglao.

Pork Adobo with rice in the Philippines

The name adobo was given by the Spanish due to the similarity to adobo or adobar, a cooking practice that also uses vinegar and soy sauce indigenous to Iberia. It is considered the unofficial national dish of the Philippines due to its popularity across all regions.

Sisig is a favorite pulutan (food eaten with alcohol) accompanied by a local beer. The dish is made of chopped parts of a pig’s head and liver. Onions, chopped chili peppers, eggs, and calamansi are added. It is normally served in sizzling plates.

This appetizing dish originated from Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines. Hundreds of sisig variations are available today, such as tuna, squid, tuna, milkfish, and mussels. If you are looking for a vegetarian version of Sisig, some restaurants serve mushrooms and tofu sisig. Read more about it on our travel guide to Pampanga .

3. Lechon 

Lechon in Cebu. Philippines

The pig is roasted for hours with occasional basting. It is served with a local sauce in some regions. One of the most famous foods in the Philippines, lechon is a must-try for anyone coming to the country. The best lechon in the Philippines are from Cebu. Read our travel guide to Cebu to learn more about it.

4. Sinigang

Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour and savory broth. A classic Filipino dish, sinigang is what most Filipino kids ask their moms for if they are sick. The sour taste is from the use of tamarind to flavor the broth.

This traditional food in the Philippines has evolved so much that several tamarind alternatives are being used these days. It includes guava, mango, kamias, santol, and even watermelon.

5. Caldereta

Caldereta is another classic Filipino dish and stew. This savory dish is cooked originally using goat meat, but beef, chicken, or pork can also be used these days.

Tomato sauce, liver spread, vegetables, bell peppers, and cheese are added to the meat. The name of the dish is derived from the Spanish word caldera or cauldron in English. 

6. Crispy Pata

Crispy pata or pork knuckles is a famous Filipino pork dish among Filipino family dinners.

This dish is made by boiling the entire pork knuckles with seasonings for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender. It is then frozen overnight with another batch of seasonings and then deep-fried until the skin is crispy. 

7. Chicken Inasal

Chicekn Inasal with rice in the Philippines

8. Dinuguan

The name dinuguan derives from the word “dugo” or blood; hence the word dinuguan means “to be stewed with blood.” It is made of pig’s blood and offal.

Dinuguan is similar to the Irish black pudding except that it is a stew instead of sausage. Aside from being eaten with rice, Filipinos also pair it with puto (steamed rice cake).

9. Fish Kinilaw

Fish kinilaw is the ceviche of the Philippines. Made of raw fish, this appetizing dish is denatured using vinegar as a primary ingredient. Onions, ginger, chili peppers, black peppers, and calamansi are added for flavoring.

Popular fish used for kinilaw includes yellowfin tuna, mackerels, and marlins. 

10. Halo-Halo

Halo-halo ice dessert in the Philippines

Halo-halo is a Filipino favorite snack or merienda . This cold snack and dessert consists of crushed ice, evaporated milk, and various ingredients such as beans, jellies, tapioca pearls, mixed fruits, leche flan, purple yam, and even ice cream.

Halo-halo is extremely popular, especially during the summer months, to cool off from the heat. You can find a lot of food stands selling halo-halo in the local neighborhoods.

Taho (soy pudding) is a popular street food in the Philippines . This healthy snack is made of soft tofu, caramelized brown sugar, and tapioca pearls. It is comfort food that you can buy from street peddlers, usually in the morning. In local neighborhoods, local peddlers walk or bike around houses. When you hear a deep voice shouting "taho," just shout back "taho" to call the peddler's attention to buy a cup. 

Balut in the Philippines

For non-Filipinos, you might have heard of balut from your adventurous friends who keep telling you that you have never been to the Philippines if you haven’t tried this Filipino street food.

Balut is a boiled fertilized egg embryo that is eaten from a shell. Don’t let it scare you, though; balut tastes like an ordinary egg with a tasty soup. It's usually sold in the streets at night, with some vendors going around local neighborhoods at night shouting "balot."

Suggested 2-Week Itinerary in the Philippines        

Traveler in Coron, Palawan

Creating an itinerary for a trip to the Philippines can be difficult, especially for a first-time visitor. This 2-week itinerary in the Philippines will give you an idea of how to maximize your time in the country.

See our popular 2 Weeks Philippines Itinerary Tour Packages

Ultimate 2-week islands & adventure tour package to palawan, boracay, cebu & bohol from manila, 2-week stunning islands & beaches tour package to coron, puerto princesa & el nido palawan, amazing 2-week island hopping & nature tour package to palawan, cebu & boracay from manila.

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Day 1: Manila

If you only have 2 weeks, a day tour in the capital city Manila is enough. If you're spending more time here, check out our Ultimate Travel Guide to Manila .

Things to do in Manila for 1 day:

Explore Intramuros . It used to be the center of government during Spanish times.

Visit Rizal Park. It’s a favorite leisure spot for the locals.

Watch the Manila Bay sunset along Roxas Boulevard.  

Go on a Binondo food tour and enjoy authentic Chinese food at the oldest Chinatown. 

Read our article on Manila layover activities for more ideas. 

Ride a night bus going to Baguio and travel to Banaue.

Day 2-3: Banaue 

Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines

The mountain province of Banaue is famous for its iconic rice terraces. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and often called the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Located at around 1500 meters above sea level, it uses an ancient irrigation system where water comes from the rainforest above it. 

Things to do in Banaue for 2 days:

Walk around the rice terraces.

Check out the local village and watch an Ifugao cultural show.

Trek to Batad and check out Tappiya Waterfalls. Depending on when you go, you can swim there, too.

If you have more time to spare, go to Buscalan in Kalinga and get a traditional tattoo from Apo Whang-Od . 

Take a night bus going back to Manila so you can arrive early the following day. 

Day 4: Layover in Manila + Fly to El Nido

If you have time to explore Manila before your flight, head to the bustling city of Makati , where you can explore shopping malls or parks, and treat yourself to a good meal or a bit of shopping. You can go to Poblacion Makati and have some drinks , get a relaxing massage , or join a game night in BGC .

Make sure to withdraw enough cash for El Nido, Palawan. The ATMs in El Nido don't always have enough cash. Many places don’t accept credit cards yet, so you might want to plan just in case.

Day 5-7: El Nido, Palawan

El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines

Things to do in El Nido for 3 days:

Join an El Nido island hopping trip  which runs for a full day. Each tour has a different itinerary, so it’s up to you to select which sites you would like to visit. You can allot 1 tour a day.

Do the Taraw Cliff via ferrata canopy walk and see the stunning view of the town and the islands. 

Drink beers or cocktails and watch the sunset of El Nido in Las Cabanas.

Day 8-9: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Things to do in Puerto Princesa for 2 days:

Explore the  tourist spots in Puerto Princesa  City or go island hopping in Honda Bay . 

Book a tour of the underground river for Day 9 (you should book this in advance). The whole tour will take 5-6 hours.

See our popular Puerto Princesa Tours and Activities

Day 10-12: Bohol

Loboc River Cruise in Bohol, Philippines

You can’t fly directly to Bohol from Puerto Princesa, but you can fly to Cebu and then take a ferry to Tagbilaran, Bohol . The flight takes about an hour while the fast ferry takes about 2 hours.

Several fast ferries travel between Cebu and Bohol, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding transport to Bohol.

No advance booking is necessary. Just go to the ferry terminal in Pier 4 North Reclamation Area.

Things to do in Bohol for 2 days:

Do the  Bohol countryside tour  where you can visit most top Bohol attractions like the Chocolate Hills, Loboc River, Bilar Man-Made Forest, Baclayon Church, and Blood Compact Shrine. 

Join Bohol island hopping tours where you can have the chance to see dolphins and snorkel at the incredible Bohol diving sites like Balicasag Island . 

Explore Alona Beach in Panglao Island. There are several bars and restaurants there if you need a break from lounging in the beach.

For more adventurous activities, a trip to Danao Adventure Park is where you can experience the Plunge (canyon drop) as well as other exhilarating activities.

Bohol Chocolate Hills Countryside Private Tour with Transfers & Add-on Loboc River Cruise Lunch

Bohol countryside tour chocolate hills to loboc river cruise lunch with hotel transfers, bohol island hopping private tour to balicasag & virgin islands with dolphin watching & transfers.

Day 12-14: Cebu

Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Philippines

Things to do in Cebu for 2 days:

When you arrive, go around Cebu City or book Cebu tour s and check out its top attractions, including the Magellan’s Cross and Basilica del Santo Niño.

Alternatively, you can go directly to Moalboal, around 2 hours from the city, where you can go island hopping and swim with the sardines if you book Moalboal tours .

From Moalboal, head to Alegria and Badian for the canyoneering and the Kawasan Falls adventure .

There are several flights from Cebu to Manila , so going back to Manila on Day 14 won’t be a problem. Just make sure to check your flights and allot extra time for delays so you won’t miss your flight out of the country! An easier way to a multi-destination itinerary in the Philippines is by booking all-inclusive Philippine tour packages . 

Frequently Asked Questions about Traveling to the Philippines 

Now that you know which destinations you should add to your trip to the Philippines take note of these helpful tips: 

Is it safe to visit the Philippines?

Generally, yes. But it's always best to be aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure at all times and be wary of strangers. If you're planning to do outdoor activities, check out our guide on travel insurance in the Philippines .

What are the Philippine citizens called?

We are called Filipinos (not Philippinos).

What languages are spoken in the Philippines?

The Philippines has two official languages: English and Filipino. This makes it easier for travelers to get around since English is widely understood and spoken.

While Spanish was the country's official language in the 19th and early 20th centuries, only a very small percentage of the population speak or understand it now.

A lot of words, however, derive their origin from Spanish. All over the Philippines, around 180 languages (and dialects) are spoken, 12 of which are used by at least one million people.

Do I need a visa to visit the Philippines? 

Passports holders from any country except the following either don't need a visa or can pay for a visa on arrival:


Bosnia and Herzegovina

North Korea

Sierra Leone

South Sudan

Taiwan (have to apply for an ETA online)


If unsure, double-check with your embassy.

Is Wifi widely available all over the country? 

Most hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in major cities would have Wifi connectivity, but the connection's quality varies widely, depending on location. You can use data but note that the signal can be weak to nonexistent in many islands. 

Can I use my credit card? 

Cash is still king in the Philippines. You can use credit cards in shopping malls and restaurants in major cities, but once you go out of the major cities, and especially in the islands, credit cards are not usually accepted.

Before leaving Manila or other major cities, make sure to acquire enough cash. A lot of destinations do have ATMs and money changers, but check before you leave.

Discover what the Philippines has to offer. With so many destinations to travel to, start planning your trip now!  Read our travel guides  to learn more and explore our collection of  Philippine tours and activities  for your trip. 

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Find Business Class Flights to Manila

Good to know - business class flights to manila, when to book business class flights to manila, faqs for manila business class flights, which airline provides the best business class amenities in manila.

Japan Airlines has the most spacious seats with good head and legroom for extra comfort. You will also get a private cabin that you can use as a private office. The business class cabin has a common area where passengers can meet and interact.

Which airline has flatbeds for flights to Manila?

Cathay Pacific offers its passengers comfortable seats that easily convert into a flatbed with just a button click. Travelers who wish to nap or lie down and relax during the voyage will receive quality pillows, comforters, and duvets.

Which airline lounge has the best amenities for flights to Manila?

Emirates has the best lounges for its business class flights to Manila. The travelers have 4h at the lounges with discounted prices on several services, including complimentary meals, drinks, newspapers, and fast Wi-Fi services.

How long is a flight to Manila?

What is the most popular airline offering business class flights to manila.

Among KAYAK users, United Airlines is the most popular airline offering Business Class seats on flights to Manila.

How much is a Business Class ticket to Manila?

The price of a Business Class flight ticket to Manila varies greatly based on its origin. From Los Angeles, the cost generally starts at $2,232, whereas Business Class travelers from San Francisco pay around $2,197.

Which airlines offer Business Class tickets on flights to Manila?

Traveling to Manila and want to offer yourself a Business Class experience? Depending on the origin, the following airlines offer seats in Business Class: United Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and China Airlines.

How does KAYAK find such good deals on Business Class tickets to Manila?

KAYAK is a travel search engine. That means we look across the web to find the best prices we can for our users. With over 2 billion flight queries processed yearly, we are able to display a variety of prices and options on flights to Manila for economy class as well as Business Class travelers.

What is the best airline for business class flights to Manila?

The highest-rated airline by KAYAK users offering business class flights to Manila is Korean Air, with an overall rating of 8.5.

Top tips for finding business class flights to Manila

  • The best part about flying business class flights to Manila is the convenience and comfort you will experience. World-class services offered to business class passengers by the airline’s personnel make this possible.
  • For starters, some airlines provide passengers on their business class flights to Manila with chauffeur services to and from the airport. On arrival at the airport, you get complimentary luggage handling services, and they will direct you to the correct terminals. You will also go through swift security and custom searches, making the entire process convenient.
  • You can board the plane before the other passengers and are led through a direct aisle that leads to your cabin. Inside the plane, kind hostesses tend to all your needs to make you feel comfortable while getting ready for takeoff. They will also offer you high-end and delicious cocktails and fine wine. You will also have a menu to choose from with a wide range of freshly prepared meals.
  • The most expensive day to fly Business Class to Manila is Saturday, while the cheapest is Tuesday.
  • To get a below average price, try to book at least 1 week in advance of your departure date.
  • Business Class fares are obviously pricier than economy, but if you’re looking for the best deals, Business Class flights to Manila are cheapest in March. On the other hand, fares are at their most expensive during October.

Top 5 airlines flying to Manila

They texted me my gate number and then they texted me again it’s now boarding but in different gate, and the gate was so far from the gate they texted me earlier. I have to run just to get to my flight. They always do that.

Really good! I like all the crew, they were so nice and very efficient.

My flight with Korean Air went quite well, I've flown with them for many years and have grown accustomed to their great service.

Overall, very uneventful and pleasant experience. Most importantly, no delays.

The flight crews were extremely professional, helpful, and courteous. Departure and arrival times were accurate. No delay. I will use K airline again. Thanks

Not very comfortable seated in the back plane due to turbulence

Everything about Korean air is great, hands down! Will always prefer this airline from other carriers.

I enjoyed flying on Korean Air. The service was great and the food was yummy. They served white fish.

I enjoyed flying on Korean Air. The service was great and the food was yummy, especially the bibimbap and cold spicy noodles. The only thing that bummed me out on this red-eye flight was that my seat did not properly recline so I was not able to sleep.

Ford not that great the seat not to big for leg room like other airline

Only one Hindi movie from LAvto Taipei and same movie from Taipei to Singapore Really horrible and we call it entertainment???

Food was ok. Could have been better. Entertainment was limited, especially for kids.

The crew was very helpful. Food was prepared with great care and tasted wonderful. Movie selection was a bit limited. The bedding on the seat is a little too thin for sleeping.

Their announcement was not quite clear in Chinese. The rest is pretty good.

The hygiene of the bathrooms were terrible. Urine smells leaked out into the cabin and the seats were really tight, even for a petite woman like myself. Flight attendants did not go through the cabin enough to offer refreshments.

Fast and efficient boarding. Flight was on time. Service was very good for our long flight. First time flying with this airline and I would highly recommend.

Eva Air's Business Class is pretty decent. With the given price, I think that the food can be better.

Pleasant, comfortable, and entertaining. All told, ZERO issues with it. And sadly, so far the flight was WAY more comfortable than the hellhole that is "Lambug Beach Resort" at Badian Beach!

It was a pleasant fly with Eva Air from NYC to Taipei. The crew were friendly and the food was exceeded my expectation.

Eva air is a good airline. The seats on the way to Taipei could have certainly been more comfortable, but all in all it was a pretty good experience.

ANA crews are superb, very responsive and caring. Boarding was smooth and so as the landing. Great flights we had with ANA.

Great service, wonderful meals, excellent entertainment, clean bathrooms, top notch experience

The cabin temperature is warmer than I expected and there’s no other way for me to control the temperature. It’s centrally controlled so it’s consistent for everybody. There’s no air flow that I could direct to me if I’m hot. I also noticed people wearing sleeveless shirt. I’m not the only one who noticed that the temp is warm. In a crowded plane, temp should be a little colder, not warm. People can use sweater or use blankets. When it’s warm, there’s no other way to cool down. All 3 ANA planes that I’ve had this trip were all the same. It’s warm. It gets a little claustrophobic if there’s no air flowing or the temp is warm

I loved the Star Wars theme! Hearing C-3P0, R2-D2, and BB-8 was comforting and fun!

Crew were efficient and friendly. But my seat was very uncomfortable . Was seated at last row window seat 27. Too cramp

Traveling with family should be sitted together. On our connecting flight we were all scattered.

The crew was so accommodating. If I asked for extra snack they gave it to me. In economy the seats were wide and plenty of legroom. The backrest should have reclined a little more. Instead it barely moved. The footrest was helpful. Overall, my experience was good and I would recommend ANA as an alternative to other oversees low-cost airlines.

We did not receive our special meal request (vegetarian). The crew was apologetic but then kept interrupting me at least 6 times to ask to see my email or access the web to show verification. (I did not have internet access while on the plane). They kept asking the same questions and taking down the same information. It became exasperating. I understand these errors occur but the constant questioning was disrupted and only compounded the error.

excellent, the food was excellent and delicious, and the crew were very helpful and accommodating. thank you very much

excellent, food was great, the crew were excellent and very accommodating. thank you very much

Great easy And smooth check in boarding and flight. Great experience. The allergen free meal was good because I could eat, but flavor and texture left a bit to be desired.

Just a little puddle jumper from Los Angeles to Vegas. Not much can be said, I had to go ask for some water.

The flight was delayed almost three hours because of a labor issue. During the delay, JAL staff did a poor job communicating with customers about what was happening and seemed confused about what to do.

Wonderful service from timely boarding, to attentive crew, food service, my seat was very comfy, no complaints at all!

I think they can improve on the check in process and seat arrangement for family with minor. Waited in line for a hour. When at the check counter, the lady just took our passports and disappeared for an hour. We were panic of missing the flights and had to look for her. They placed my younger daughter by herself at the back of the plane while I am in the middle of the plane.

Overall mediocre-good, with the service on the flight operated by American Airlines being subpar and not the kind and standard you’d get from a Japan Airlines crew. The majority of the stewards on AA were not as gentle and friendly as those from Japan Airlines. Japan Airlines were more attentive to detail and your flight experience. AA was more interested in completing their tasks.

All of the JAL flights in this itinerary were great. However the last leg of my flight from LAX to SFO was through Japan Air’s partner, AA which wqsn’t up to par. We were informed only minutes before boarding time of a delay despite the airlines knowing about the delay far earlier (the aircraft we would be taking arriving arrived and disembarked close to our boarding time, for all to see but AA still kept the original boarding time posted until last minute). Furthermore, once we boarded the taxi/wait time was also extended, with the pilot blaming “construction at SFO” for the delay, rather than taking accountability for the the plane’s late arrival coming into LAX. We took off approximately an hour later than scheduled. It’s for these reasons I adamantly avoid American Airlines when possible. Again, JAL was stellar.

I like the braised beef., miso soup,, and green tea. Very little choices of hollywood movies. The PA announcement in English was not very clear and very soft. I could hardly hear.

Please change menu every now & then bc I fly twice within the year and serving the food the same

More updated movies & Chinese movies. The food sometimes overcooked. Prefer to have more neat snacks in between than just choose from the menu. Please change the menu every now and then. This is my second time flying within one year and the menu didn’t change at all!

Everything was efficient. Good leg room. Food was good. Staff were friendly.

I would have liked to know how to order a special meal (for medical purposes) before the flight.

Staff very friendly and helpful Everything was clean and most important on time Unfortunately let down by the quality of the food Would be very happy to use them again

The flight who provided services on my row had some not-nice attitude and not smiling at all.

My flight to Los Angeles was canceled Had to book another flight and you charged me extra $500 Very bad experience

Comfort was left wanting due to such a long flight, made the wife and I wish we could upgrade the seats to Business class or First Class, but did not have that option. Food was good but had very limited options and I have a dietary restriction which was difficult for the staff to accommodate since everything provided came with cheese on it. (Cheese could potentially kill me) Did not have an option to inform the staff until we were already in the air about the restriction and was not provided another option before flight departed.

Decent flight, staff was very good, especially with the turbulence during the flight due to weather. Comfort was about par with other airlines but since it was a quick flight, was not much of an issue for us.

The plane was uncomfortable. I paid extra for more legroom but the seat was still uncomfortable. Other seats on the same exact row didn’t have to pay extra but still have extra legroom. I didn’t understand why I needed to pay $170 for. It was Iike China airline just wants to make money off their passengers. It was unfair.

Liked that I could pick my seat and have a special meal without an extra charge. Luggage is reasonable for overseas trip. What could have been better is boarding and leaving on time.

They were helpful, considerate with asking us for standby preboarding with our infant, gave us toys and excellent service onboard. They were always on time, even early boarding once! All our luggage arrived intact, and they even brought our baby car seat to oversized for us. We love China Airlines!

Book business class plane tickets to Manila

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13 ideal places in Manila for company & team stays

philippines business trip

Our Cityscapes series presents you with exciting alternative locations for your company gatherings and business meetings. Bring your team together in a refreshing way and inspire collaboration.

Manila has been the most important city in the Philippines for four centuries and today is known for its fantastic shopping opportunities and vibrant nightlife. The city is perfect if you want to uncover its history and culture and to enjoy its excellent cuisine. If you prefer a slower pace of life with gorgeous sandy beaches, lush vegetation and great diving opportunities, there are a number of perfect places to stay within easy reach of both Manila and Ninoy Aquino, its international airport.

Having said that, it is great fun to spend time in Manila, discovering its many surprises and sampling its amazing foods. Manila could well be the perfect location for your team’s next get-together.

In this article, we'll take a look at:

Why choose Manila?

Manila is firmly established on the map as a world-class meeting venue, with an excellent infrastructure that represents great value for money. Manila offers business travellers so much with its unique combination of character and style mixed with culture and a wealth of recreational activities. Above all, a warm welcome always awaits visitors from the local event coordinators who display a high level of professionalism. 

Manila pioneered Asia’s MICE industry (Meeting, Incentive, Conference, Exhibition/ Events) with the establishment of its Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC) in Pasay which encouraged neighbouring countries to develop their own corporate facilities. Manila also has the SMX Convention Centre which is another world-class facility and its World Trade Centre in Metro Manila is regarded as the best exhibition centre in the Philippines. Business visitors organising corporate events in Manila are well supported by both the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotional Board (TPB).

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) is the primary gateway to the Philippines and is conveniently connected to the Manila Metro. Manila has the best tourism products and has vast opportunities for business. Its growing local economy is proving attractive to overseas investors too.    

What are the current Covid-19 travel restrictions?

The below information is from  Covid Entry Check  by TruTrip. With travel restrictions changing from time to time, you are advised to check for the latest information regularly.

Entering Philippines

We bring you our collection of stunning places to stay for your next team-building event. All prices were as follows at the time of publication.

1) Mertola’s in Alitagtag

Mertola 1

Situated less than two hours’ drive from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, this beautiful eco-friendly villa feels like another world!  The villa has a total of six bedrooms including one in the main farmhouse and can comfortably accommodate up to 16 guests. Each bedroom has its own sitting area, television and dedicated workspace.  The villa offers stunning panoramic views of Taal Lake and Tagaytay ridge and these can be enjoyed from the spacious covered and fully furnished viewing deck. This is the perfect place to relax and recharge your batteries while spending quality time with your colleagues. There is a well-equipped kitchen and large barbecue for al fresco dining and a hot tub for leisurely moments. If you do want to do some sightseeing the Manila Metro is just under two hours away.

Prices start at $52.00 per person per night.

2) Raffi’s Way in Tagaytay 

Manila company trip

This stylish designer villa certainly has a ‘wow’ factor as it has been beautifully created for a relaxing stay and its peaceful location is inspirational.  There are four spacious double bedrooms (fitted with double beds) and a beautiful living room with stunning views of Taal Lake. The floodlit pool has a spacious surrounding terrace and sun loungers for restful moments and offers the perfect setting for casual evening meals under the stars. 

Prices start at $75.00

3) The Lake House, Lumban

manila group stay

This beautiful log cabin (also known as Hillside Villa) nestles amongst lush greenery on a hillside, overlooking Lake Caliraya. There are six double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a third with easy access from the swimming pool. The large lounge area overlooks the lake with Mt Banahaw as its magnificent backdrop. There is an adjacent room with a large table and television that is ideal for meetings. The open-style kitchen is well-planned with groups in mind and even features a pizza oven.  

Outside there is a recreation area with kayaks, stand up paddleboards and fishing gear. The water trampoline is definitely a fun way to work out and for memorable evenings there is a fire pit that is perfect for toasting marshmallows. If you want to experience the colourful bright lights of Manila, the Metro is two hours 30 minutes away. 

Within a few months, work will be completed on a second cabin called ‘Springside’ and this will be able to accommodate 6-8 guests.

Prices start at $85 per person per night.

4) The Henry Manila, Pasay

business travel Manila

The Henry Manila is a charming boutique hotel in Pasay. The hotel is a tranquil hidden gem amidst the colourful bustle of the city and is conveniently situated just 15 minutes from Ninoy Aquino International Airport and 20 minutes from the Manila Metro.  The Henry is close to museums and galleries as well as just minutes from the World Trade Centre and the newly-opened Blue Bay Walk. 

The hotel owner has cleverly combined old world comforts with contemporary amenities. The guest rooms are individually designed and very comfortable and, with group meetings in mind, there is a cosy library. The hotel has attractive gardens and its swimming pool is surrounded by leafy greenery. Apartment 1B is the hotel’s popular restaurant that offers both local and international cuisine. If you fancy some good retail therapy, there is a complimentary bus service to two large shopping malls. 

Prices start at $100 per person per night.

5) Anya Resort, Tagaytay

Manila company stay

Well situated at 75 minutes from Ninoy Aquino Airport and 30 minutes south of Metro Manila, this luxurious resort has so much to offer its guests. Anya Resort nestles in 7.2 acres of lush greenery and has been beautifully designed, combining a tropical Filipino theme with colourful contemporary accents. There are 78 suites and each has been luxuriously furnished. 

Guests enjoy warm hospitality and impeccable service and there are lovely personal touches such as customised scents and pillows in the guest rooms. Quite rightly, the hotel appears in the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). Anya Resort has three restaurants serving a wonderful array of international dishes. It is situated close to theme parks and world-class spas and for golfers, it is within easy reach of three excellent golf courses.

Prices start at $116 per person per night.

6) Angelscove, Maya Maya

Angelscove 1

Nestling on a cliffside, overlooking Nasugbu Bay,  this beautiful villa has spectacular views of Natipuan, Kawayan and Canyon. On a clear day, several of the outlying islands can also be seen. The villa is aptly called ‘Angelscove’. The villa comprises eight bedrooms, each with an en suite and accommodation is for a maximum of 16 guests and Wi-Fi is available in all guest rooms.

The Cliff Lounge is perfect for team meetings and simply relaxing together as well as enjoying drinks or a light meal. An á la carte menu is also offered. For large groups, the Lanai on level three is where breakfast and other meals can be enjoyed.  There is also excellent butler service. Outdoors there is a cabana garden and a beautiful abstract-shaped swimming pool for relaxing moments.

Prices start at $117 (after discount) per person per night. 

7) Narra Hill, Laurel, Batangas

Manila group stay

Set amidst lush gardens on a hillside that overlooks Taal Lake, stands this beautifully designed pavilion . With double-height windows and incorporating plenty of natural materials, including wood, the Narra Hill is surrounded by nature and is the perfect venue for a team meeting.  There are four suites and two guest rooms that can accommodate up to 20 people, but no television or Wi-Fi in the guest rooms (portable only).

There is a small plunge pool and a stunning infinity pool that perches on the hillside by the Premier Suites and also an outside jacuzzi and sauna. Breakfast is provided and other meals can be arranged with prior notice. Narra Hill has a bar that overlooks a creek, the gardens a lake and a lagoon. Narra Hill lies conveniently close to Tagaytay (25 minutes).

Prices start at $141.00 per person per night.

8) The Mango Grove Beach House in Calatagan Batangas

Manila company trip

If you don’t mind a longer transfer time from the airport and being a distance from Manila (more than three hours from both), this beautiful villa is certainly very appealing as it stands on 2.5 hectares of grounds and mango groves on a hillside and is in its own little world. The villa has beautiful ocean views of Lubang Island and Mindoro. It offers comfortable accommodation for up to 20 guests (plus there are also four-floor mattresses available) in the main house and adjacent annexe. 

There is a gorgeous infinity pool plus a pool table and table tennis. With al fresco meals in mind, there is a charcoal oven and barbecue. The nearest beach is a ten-minute walk away and the area has several good mountain bike trails. For golfers, there is a challenging course just 15 minutes drive away and Lago de Oro for wakeboarding is 20 minutes.  

Prices start at $146.00 per person per night.

9) Casa Bu, Catatagen, Batangas

Manila Casa Bu

If you fancy staying somewhere that is a secluded little paradise, Casa Bu is a great choice. Situated more than three hours from the airport and Manila, this stunning beachfront accommodation offers a lovely walk to its private sandy beach and memorable sunsets. Casa Bu has been designed open plan and has beautiful individually styled bedrooms that can sleep up to 16 guests with both TV and Wi-Fi. The kitchen is spacious and well-equipped and there are several lounge areas.  The large covered verandah is perfect for both work and relaxing moments and a large pool with adjacent sunbeds.  

Prices start at $155.00 per person per night.

10) El Jardin de Zelda, San Juan

Manila business trip

Situated in extensive grounds, El Jardin de Zelda is an idyllic resort, spa and events venue just a few kilometres from the fishing village with the same name. Guests are enchanted by its location with its exotic tropical flowers, the canopy of leafy trees and magnificent mountain backdrop and love its peace, tranquillity and welcoming staff.  Each guest room is spacious, comfortable with charming décor and good amenities including Wi-Fi. Each guest room also has a stunning view from its windows.  Rodolfo’s is the resort’s restaurant that overlooks the Grand Sunset Pool.

The Rocio Spa offers an exciting range of signature treatments. The Kamagong Pavilion has been designed in contemporarily Filipino style and is the perfect setting for great team moments. The Casa Molave is a nearby two-storey ancestral home that has been fully renovated and offers stylish outside dining areas as does the Royal Palm Garden. The beaches near El Jardin are popular for surfing and other water sports. Other activities that can be organised include horse riding and fishing.  

Prices start at $161.00 per person per night

11) Nurture Wellness Village, Tagaytay

Manila company trip

This beautiful holistic wellness resort is situated amongst coffee plantations about 80 minutes drive from Ninoy Aquino International Airport and a similar distance from Metro Manila. The Nurture Wellness Village is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers a unique ‘Ecotherapy’ with the mission to give good health and happiness to all its guests. 

The village has cosy accommodation and pampering spa and wellness treatments for individuals, couples and teams.  Team building programmes are also available. The village offers guests detoxification and natural healing treatments that have been designed by a practising medical doctor

 Nurture Wellness Village features Ilfugao native huts all areas are decorated with Filipino themed décor. The Spa feature Filipino inspired treatments and the restaurant specialises in Filipino fusion cuisine. The village’s Nurture Farmacy specialises in growing healing herbs and vegetables. 

Prices start at $350.00 per person per night and this price includes three meals per day plus one spa treatment.

12) Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort

Manila business trip

If you are seeking a really unusual setting for your team’s next get-together, Stilts offers the perfect getaway. Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort is situated in 24 hectares of rolling hills and white sand beaches, three hours from Ninoy Aquino Internal Airport and Metro Manila and offers a variety of corporate packages and a great selection of aqua and adventure activities including boat adventures, sandbar tours and ATV adventure trails, as well as mangrove eco-tours and diving packages.

Accommodation comprises five large, airy floating cottages (standing on stilts over the water) – each one with a master bedroom, guest room, loft and living room. Each cottage is stunning with polished wooden floors and snowy white soft furnishings that contrast perfectly with the azure tones of the ocean. There are also beach cottages for those who prefer ‘terra firma’ and several gorgeous treehouses for a truly unique and memorable stay.

Prices start at $250.00 per person per night in a floating cottage or treehouse. 

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APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) provides business people streamlined entry to participating economies through a simple pre-clearance system that allows them, through a single application, to obtain a multiple short-term entry to participating APEC economies.

Participating economies in the ABTC Scheme currently includes Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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  • The company/business entity represented by the business person must be engaged in international trade, and selling of goods or services and investments between APEC economies
  • Applicants must have never been charged or convicted of any criminal offense
  • Vested with powers and prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies in furtherance of the primary business purpose of the business entity and hold specific authority to negotiate and commit to trade and investment activities (e.g. Chairman, CEO, President, Vice Presidents, Chief Financial Officer, Regional Head and Board members of a registered company); or,
  • An official nominated by the CEO, President, or Regional Head, whose work is directly involved in the trade of goods, the provision of services, or the conduct of investment activities when travelling overseas.

Applications may be filed through any of the following Certifying Business Organizations (CBOs):

  • Makati Business Club (MBC) 2/F, AIM Conference Center Benavidez St., Legaspi Village Makati City Telephone No.: (+632) 7751-1137, 7751-1138 Fax No.: (+632) 7750-7406, 7750-7405 Email:  [email protected]
  • Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) 3rd Floor, Commerce and Industry Plaza (CIP) 1030 Campus Avenue cor Park Avenue McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio Taguig City Telephone No.: (+632) 8846-8196 loc 113 Fax No.: (+632) 8846-8621 Email Address:  [email protected]
  • Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) International Trade Complex Roxas Blvd. cor Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue Pasay City Tel No.: (+632) 8230-5539 Email Addresses:  [email protected] ;  [email protected]
  • Passport and ABTC details should be the same.
  • Passports generally have to be valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel.
  • Please report the loss immediately to ABTC-Philippines and apply for a new passport. Requirements for application include a Notarized Affidavit of Loss explaining the circumstances on how the passport was lost or stolen
  • As soon as the new passport is issued, inform ABTC-Philippines of the new passport number and apply for the re-issuance of the card. Some economies do not accept cards bearing passport details different from the current passport

philippines business trip

  • Open Data Portal
  • Official Gazette
  • Office of the President
  • Sandiganbayan
  • Senate of the Philippines
  • House of Representatives
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Finance
  • Supreme Court
  • Court of Appeals
  • Court of Tax Appeals
  • Judicial Bar and Council
  • Bureau of Immigration (BI)
  • Bureau of Customs
  • Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

philippines business trip

Philippines- Business Travel Philippines- Business Travel

Business customs.

The Philippine business environment is highly personalized.  Business matters are always best dealt with on a face-to-face basis in a warm, polite, and pleasant atmosphere.  Filipinos often prefer an atmosphere of calm and restraint, avoid direct confrontation, and typically offer a polite reply coupled with a smile rather than outright negative feedback to the other party’s ideas.  A “yes” may mean several things, not always affirmative. As a show of respect and acknowledgement of certain social hierarchies, Filipinos usually address people by their titles (for example, Architect Cruz, Attorney Jose, Dr. Romero), although most contacts will quickly insist on using a more informal approach (such as addressing them by their nicknames) after the initial introductions.  When dealing with high-ranking government and military officials, it is best to address them by their formal titles (e.g., Secretary Flores, General Alfonso, Director Santos, Admiral Lopez, etc.). Meetings do not necessarily start promptly, so allow for delays due to traffic, inclement weather, prior engagements or last-minute changes in the schedule or itinerary, especially when meeting with VIPs or high-ranking officials.  If a Filipino client is running late for an appointment, their assistant or the individual will typically personally call or advise if he or she is on their way. Handing out business cards (preferably bearing your position or title) is standard practice, although the manner in which the cards are exchanged tends to be rather informal as compared with other Asian cultures.  If a Filipino contact gives you a personal number (home or mobile phone) aside from what is indicated on the business card, it is usually an invitation to call, and is a good sign for establishing cordial relations. It is not uncommon for business associates to make personal inquiries about family, marital status, ethnicity, hobbies and after-hours activities or other similar questions typically considered by Americans as rather personal.  Be prepared to discuss generalities of family hobbies, sports and American customs, as Filipinos see this as a way to become better acquainted. The U.S. businessperson should avoid, as much as possible, personally grappling with Philippine bureaucracy.  The Bureau of Customs, for instance, requires dozens of signatures in order to clear air cargo, which can be expedited with the use of local customs brokers.  The Filipino approach is to delegate to staff or a business associate capable of navigating the bureaucracy. Observing office etiquette is also important. When reprimanding local employees, take them aside and do it privately. Be as gentle as possible and always make it a point to end the meeting with some show of personal concern for the family to make the employee feel still part of the team. English is the official business language, including for most correspondence, contracts, and other documents.  Among Filipinos, however, it is common to hear “Taglish” (a combination of Tagalog, a regional dialect from which the Filipino language is largely based, and English, or shifting back and forth between the two languages) during informal conversations. Body language and hand gestures (for example, a raised eyebrow, a faint smile, a scratch in the head) are integral to how Filipinos express themselves.  Texting, or sending short, oftentimes abbreviated messages through mobile phones, has now become a preferred method for business communication.  Do not be surprised if, in the middle of a meeting, people suddenly take out their mobile phones to read or send messages or to answer a call. Business lunches and dinners are usually arranged personally over the phone and thereafter confirmed by a secretary or assistant.  The person extending the invitation customarily pays.  A guest does not order the most expensive items on the menu, unless the host insists otherwise.  Lunch or dinner buffets have also become commonplace, thereby allowing guests more choices.  It is also customary to have a drink or a cocktail before a formal sit-down dinner.  A relatively informal tone is the norm.  Business is not usually discussed until after establishing a convivial ambience, usually after soup or appetizers.  Attire is according to the location of the meeting. Filipinos tend to be lax in replying to RSVPs.  Telephone follow-ups are best, at least one or two days before the event (any prior confirmation may still need following up later on). In hosting events, private or professional, the staff are usually asked to track down guests for a confirmation reply.  In a formal occasion, seating is arranged, where the head table is usually reserved for VIPs.  A guest speaker is often the highlight of a dinner or formal gathering.  Light entertainment is not unusual.  In most instances, important guests accept requests to sing.  The holiday season (the Philippines celebrates one of, if not the longest, Christmas seasons in the world) is also a time to show appreciation to people with whom you have regular dealings, for example, the security guard, doorman, messenger, the secretary or assistant, as well as regular and valued clients, through small tokens.  Gifts could range from baskets of goodies to company giveaways to plain calendars or office items with your company logo. It is best to attempt to accomplish business objectives in mid-morning or early afternoon. Many business deals are completed informally during a lunch or dinner appointment, an intimate social gathering, or over a round of golf.  Never attempt to do business on a weekend or a holiday, unless the Filipino contact has specifically indicated his or her availability on such days.  As a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines observes the Lenten season and all commercial and business establishments are closed on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.  Likewise, beginning on or around the week of December 15 through the end of the year, office-related activities tend to wind down to give way to holiday parties.  Important meetings should be scheduled prior to those dates. Summer-wear clothing normally worn in temperate zones is suitable for the Philippines, where the weather tends to be very humid. It is acceptable for businessmen to conduct calls in short or long-sleeved shirt and ties with or without a coat.  Either a two-piece suit or the native "Barong Tagalog" (a lightweight, short- or long-sleeved shirt, usually linen, worn without a tie) are acceptable, ordinary business attire. Light pantsuits or dresses are appropriate for women.  Dinner invitations can either be casual or formal, so it is best to check with the host regarding the proper attire.  An umbrella may come in handy, especially during the wet season (between June and September).

Travel Advisory

The Department of State’s travel advisory for the Philippines .

Visa Requirements

General Provisions

Special Provisions

The Philippine Peso is the local currency in the Philippines. The currency code for Pesos is PHP. 


The P h ili pp i ne Long -Distance T e l ephone C o m p a ny ( P L D T ) and G l obe T e l ecom a r e t he two t e l ec o m m un i ca t i on ca r r i e r s i n t he c ou n t y . 

U . S . t r a v e l e r s w i l l f i nd m ob il e phone s e r v i ce a f f o r dab l e i n t he P h ili pp i nes. A v e r a g e cost per c a l l m i nu t e i s US $0 . 15, w h il e one S M S or t e x t m ess a g e cos t s US $ 0 . 0 2 . A s a r esu lt , m ost F ili p i n os p r e f er t o t e x t r a t her t h an t a l k on t he i r m ob il e phones. Unfortunately, due to a lack of cell sites, mobile signal is poor and the service needs to be improved. B r oadband s e r v i ces a r e a v a i l ab l e f o r h o m e and o ff i ce u se. U se r s shou l d e x pect t o pay p r i ces s i m il ar t o t h o se i n t he U . S . Almost all five-star hotels in the Philippines offer free Wi-Fi service.  Free Wi-Fi is also prevalent in shopping malls, dining establishments, and coffee shops. However, average internet speed in the Philippines considered among the slowest and most expensive in Asia Pacific.  A ccording to OOKLA’s Speedtest Global Index, the Philippines fixed broadband internet speed is 19.28 Mbps on February 2019.  Mobile broadband speed also improved by 94.35 percent to 14.46 Mbps in February 2019 from 7.44 Mbps in July 2016.  Electrical outlets in the Philippines use 220 volts.  This is compatible with most electronic gadgets that allow 110-220 volts.


Ma n y m a j or i n t e r n a t i onal a i r li nes f l y be t w een M a n il a and t he U n i t ed S t a t es on a r e g u l ar bas i s. T y p i ca l l y , t hese f l i g h t s a r e i nd i r e c t w i t h l a y o v e r s or s t opo v e r s b e f o r e t hey r each t he i r f i nal des t i na t i on ( e . g . , D e l t a Ai r li nes f li es fr o m M an il a t o t he U . S . v i a Narita; U n i t ed f li es fr o m M an il a t o M a i n l and U . S . v i a G u a m).  New direct flights are available to the U.S. on non-U.S. carriers.

W i t h i n t he P h il ipp i nes, o ne can tr a v el t o m o st pa r t s o f t he coun t r y by l and, a i r , or sea wi t h r e l a t i v e ease.  For l and tr a v e l , t he q ua lit y of t he r oad ne t w o r k i s q u i t e v a r i ed. Di s t anc e s t hat m ay be co v e r ed q u i c k l y i n t he U n i t ed S t a t es t y p i ca l l y t a ke l on g e r i n t he P h ili pp i n e s, due t o i nsu ff i c i ent r oad q u a li t y and co n g es t i o n . A n e x t ens i v e r oad ne t w o r k li n k s m ost o f t h e a r ch i pe l a g o . For f i r s t -t i m e v i s i t o r s t o m a j o r u r ban c i t i es such a s M e tr o M an il a, t he use o f ac c r ed i t ed ho t el t a x i s w i t h t he a ss i s t ance o f t he ho t el s t a f f i s m o r e dependab l e t han m e t e r ed t a x i s ha il ed on t he s t r ee t . W he n us i ng a m e t e r ed cab, a sk t he d r i v er t o t u r n on t h e m e t er as y ou en t er t o a v o i d be i ng o v e r cha r g e d . H o t el t a x i s cha r g e a f l at r a t e f o r tr a v el t o sp e c i f i ed l oca t i ons. I t i s be s t t o a s k t he ho t el s t a f f or a l ocal bus i ness co n t a c t how l ong i t w ou l d t a k e t o r each one ’ s de s t i na t i on, t a k i n g i n t o acco u nt such f ac t o r s a s tr a ff i c cond i t i ons du r i ng pe a k d r i v i ng hou r s and a l t e r na t e r ou t e s . W he n t a k i ng a r e g u l ar c a b, i t w ou l d he l p t o k now t he t y p i cal cab f a r e t o a v o i d be i ng o v e r c ha r g ed. M a n y t a x i f l e e t s now o f f e r se r v i ces. C ar r e n t a l s a r e a l so a v a i l ab l e w i t h or w i t hout a d r i v e r/ cha u f f e u r , and cos t s wil l v a r y depend i ng on t he l e n g t h o f us e , t he t y pe o f ca r , a nd t he i t i ne r a r y . U . S . fr a n ch i ses such as A v i s, H e rt z, and B u d get op e r a t e i n t he P h ili pp i nes and a c cept an i n t e r n a t i onal d r i v e r' s li cense f or up t o 6 0 - 90 d a y s. Transport network vehicle services, such as Grab, are also available in major cities like Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Davao. B uses, e l e v a t ed r a i l t r a n spo r t such as t he L i g h t R a i l w a y T r ans i t ( L R T) and t he M e tr o R a i l T r a ns i t ( M R T ) , and “j e e p ne y s” tr a n s i t m a j or and m i nor r ou t e s w i t h i n M e tr o M an i l a and se r v e t he g e n e r al c o mm u t i ng pub li c.  T hey a r e n o t r eco m m ended f o r bus i n ess t r a v e l e r s i n M a n il a.  UV Express (formerly known as FX taxis) a type of share taxi service, is also an alternative mode of public transportation.   I n m o st p r o v i nces a nd m a j or c i t i es ou t s i de M an il a, buses, j eepne y s, and t r i c y c l es a r e t he m o r e t y p i cal m od e s o f l and tr ansp o r t . O v e r c r o w d i ng i s not unc o m m on. T he P h ili pp i nes has o v er 80 a i r p o rt s , w i t h f our m a j or i n t e r n a t i onal a i r po r t s : Ni noy A q u i no I n t e r na t i o n al Ai r po r t ( NA I A ) i n M an i l a, Cl a r k I n t e r n a t i onal Ai r po r t i n P a m pa n g a, M ac t an C ebu I n t e r n a t i onal Ai r po r t ( M C I A ) , and D a v ao I n t e r n a ti onal Ai r po rt . T he coun t r y ’ s p r i m a r y i n t e r na t i onal g a t e w a y , NAIA , c u rr e n t l y ope r a t es f o u r t e r m i na l s i n M a n il a, one o f w h i ch i s used e x c l us i v e l y by f l a g c a rr i er P h ili pp i ne Ai r li nes f or i t s d o m es t i c and i n t e r n a t i onal r o u t es. P assen g e r s a r e r e q u i r ed t o be a t t he a i r p o r t a t l e a st two hours b e f o r e de p a r t u r e f o r do m es t i c f l i g h t s and t h r ee hou r s f o r i n t e r n a t i onal f li g h t s ( pa r t i cu l a r l y on U . S . - bound f li g h t s ) . Terminal fees are charged for departing passengers on domestic and international airports.  Delays are common due to airport congestion or weather. M a r i t i m e tr ansp o r t i s a m a j or condu i t f o r m o v i ng goods and peop l e .  I n t e r - i s l and v esse l s or f e r r i es se r v i ce m a j o r i s l and r ou t e s.  B e i ng an a r ch i pe l a g o, t he P h ili pp i n e s has m o r e t han 1 , 000 p o rt s , a bout a do z en o f w h i ch a r e m a j o r i n t e r na t i onal p o rt s t h a t se r v e as ca r g o an d / or passe n g e r t e rm i na l s.  T r a v el by boat or f e r r y t ends t o t a k e l on g e r and i s l ess con v en i ent t han a i r t r a v e l , but t he r e a r e a r e a s i n t he P h ili pp i nes t hat c an on l y be r eached t h r o u g h t h i s m o de o f t r anspo r t .  R o l l - on, r o ll - o f f v esse l s ( RO - RO ) c a rr y i ng passen g e r s and c a r g o a r e a l so a v a il ab l e t o se r v i ce i n t er - i s l and t r a v el and co mm e r c e .  Fe rr y t r anspo r t i n r ece n t y ea r s has e x pe r i enced s e r i ous acc i den t s w i t h s i gn i f i ca n t f a t a li t i es.

Filipino/Tagalog is the official national language, although over 100 languages and dialects are spoken throughout the Philippines.  English is widely spoken and is the primary language in business communication. It is common to hear Filipinos use a mixture of English and Filipino/Tagalog words or phrases, known as "Taglish", in their everyday conversations.  A steadily dwindling minority still speak Spanish, which had at one time been an official language.  In provinces where Filipino is not the lingua franca, primary educational instruction is conducted in vernacular languages.

Major cities in the Philippines have modern and well-equipped hospitals and medical facilities that meet the general healthcare needs of business travelers. Many of them are Joint Commission International (JCI)-approved (medical facilities) or are in the process of obtaining JCI approval. These hospitals employ excellent medical staff, some of whom are U.S. Board Certified. The number of nurses and other medical staff are sometimes inadequate as the Philippines loses healthcare professionals who leave the country to seek better employment opportunities abroad.

Larger pharmacies in the Philippines stock most standard medicines at prices equivalent to those in the U.S. Vitamins, over-the-counter medicines, and first aid supplies are available locally. Medical fees are reasonable and pharmaceuticals are widely accessible. The general level of sanitation in the Philippines is lower than in the United States. Overpopulation has strained water supply, sewage, garbage disposal, street cleaning, and utilities. Americans are advised not to drink untreated water. Bottled beverages are inexpensive, plentiful and safe. Ice is suspect. It is not advisable to buy food from street peddlers. Occasional gastrointestinal upsets caused by poor sanitary conditions, colds, and other respiratory ailments are unavoidable due to the high level of air pollution, if staying in Manila for an extended period. Overexertion and excessive fatigue should be avoided, as the tropical environment makes for rapid dehydration. Among the diseases in the Philippine Department of Health (DOH)’s Health Advisories are Measles, Dehydration, Heat Stroke, Conjunctivitis, Leptospirosis (during rainy season), and cases of Chicken Pox, Chikungunya, Cholera, Dengue, Diarrhea, Ebola Virus, Hepatitis, Encephalitis, Malaria, and Zika. Updates on diseases and health alerts are available from the Philippine Department of Health website: . A list of recommended vaccinations when traveling to the Philippines can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website:

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Philippine Standard Time is 8 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time (UTC/GMT), and 12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST).  The Philippines does not observe daylight savings time.

U.S. Government offices in the Philippines are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Most private and GPH offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. Some private companies hold office on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eight hours per day or 48 hours per week is the maximum period an employee may be required to work at a regular pay rate. Most shopping centers are open seven days a week with variable opening hours, which may be extended during major holidays. All offices close during the following public holidays*: January 1: New Year's Day; Easter Holidays: March to April Maundy Thursday and Good Friday; April 9: Bataan & Corregidor Day and Heroism Day; May 1: Labor Day; June 12: Philippine Independence Day; August 21: Ninoy Aquino Day; August 27: National Heroes Day Holiday; November 1: All Saints' Day; November 30: Bonifacio Day; December 25: Christmas Day; December 30: Rizal Day. and December 31: Last Day of the Year. Eid-ul-Fitr and Chinese New Year, November 2, and December 24 have been declared as additional special non-working holidays. June 24, Manila Day, is observed only in the City of Manila, while August 19, Quezon Day, is observed only in Quezon City.  In addition, special public holidays such as Election Day and EDSA Revolution Day may be declared by the President and are observed nationwide. The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines observes the following U.S. public holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.  A complete list of Philippine Holidays* for 2019 can be found in the government website: A complete list of U.S. Embassy Holidays can be found on the embassy website: Note: *Official Holidays confirmed via Philippine Government official website.

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings

A businessperson hand-carrying a personal laptop computer does not have to post a cash bond after demonstrating that the item is a personal effect and is not new.  Laptops, considered tools of the trade, may be cleared without the necessary documentations such as a Certificate of Identification upon the businessperson’s arrival.  Only one laptop per businessman is allowed under existing regulations.

Department of Health   Philippine Holidays for 2019    State Department Visa Website     Travel Advisory U.S. Embassy Holidays for 2019    U n i t ed S t a t e s E m bassy M a n il a   Vaccinations   Visas: 21 day Visa Visa guidelines and requirements Non-immigrant visa for temporary stay over 59 days Forms Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor Permament Resident  

Philippines- Business Travel

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philippines business trip

Winter 2017

The philippines.

philippines business trip

The recent growth of the Philippines’ tourism industry has been nothing short of extraordinary, with impressive developments expected in the future

Tourism has truly emerged as one of the Philippines’ ‘feel good’ industries, as it continues to have a significant impact on both the public and private sectors. For the period of January to October 2016, tourist arrivals in the country reached a total of 4.9 million, showing 11.65 percent growth on the previous year. This consistent growth in foreign arrivals made the country’s target of six million visitors for 2016 highly attainable.

The impact of the MICE sector on the country’s overall tourism industry is noteworthy. Taking charge of facilitating MICE events, the Philippines’ Department of Tourism and Tourism Promotions Board have had their fair share of cooperating and working with industry partners.

The impact of the MICE sector on the Philippines’ overall tourism industry is noteworthy

With the major events organised in 2016 including the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January, Madrid Fusion Manila and the World Streetfood Congress in April, the Philippine Travel Exchange in September, and the Travel Blog Exchange Asia-Pacific in October, international and local MICE organisers and delegates are discovering the country’s capability to host large-scale events.

Pioneering industry Manila, Cebu and Davao have now been established as key MICE destinations. These places offer not only the best of tourism products and services with vast opportunities for business, but they also boast consistently growing local economies which have attracted investors to build hotels and meeting facilities.

Manila is widely regarded to have pioneered the Philippines’ – and, some would argue, Asia’s – MICE industry with the establishment of the Philippine International Convention Centre, which set the trend for neighbouring countries. The SMX Convention Centre is another world-class facility for exhibitions, local trade events, conventions and corporate functions. Its proximity to the SM Mall of Asia integrates business with recreation, shopping and entertainment. The World Trade Centre, Manila is also a convenient place for conventions and exhibitions. Through each of its exemplary MICE venues, Manila takes centre stage with a distinct combination of character, professionalism, history and style.

The dynamic economy, human resources, infrastructure, favourable business environment, responsive local government and high quality of life in Davao City make it a sought-after destination for leisure, trade, investment and MICE. It has a wide range of accommodations, resort properties, meeting facilities, shopping malls, restaurants and health and wellness centres that define modern living in a safe and green environment. Most importantly, with the convenience provided by the SMX Convention Centre Davao and Marco Polo Hotel Davao, the province has become a preferred destination for meetings, conferences and corporate events in South Philippines.

Another city that is expected to experience a MICE boom is Iloilo. In the last two decades, Iloilo has silently achieved great progress: it has built new roads, multiple spaces for commerce, and a modern airport that services regional travellers. With the establishment of the Iloilo Convention Centre in 2015, the expected growth of the MICE industry in the city will further support tourism, transport and manufacturing industries.

The Philippines’ beaches, distinctive rock formations and stalactites, underground caves and rivers, exuberant festivals, friendly people and collection of 7,107 islands highlight the very best of the country’s offerings. The Philippines is positioned on the crossroads of international trade and commerce in the Asia-Pacific region, making it an ideal destination for MICE.

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philippines business trip

Mixing business with fun – My business trip to Manila, Philippines

timtrudell Manila , Philippines 1

How many of us have been able to combine work with fun when traveling?

It’s weird to think that two years ago, I spent a month in Manila, Philippines, on business. I decided that when not at work, I was going to be a tourist and take advantage of the opportunity my company provided me.

The city is the densest populated city in the world, so transportation within Metro Manila is challenging. Metro Manila consists of 12 cities in the area. Fortunately, we had drivers provided, so I did not have to do any driving (thank goodness).

My first day there consisted of a six-hour tour of the city. Our first stop was the American Military Cemetery and Memorial. It was emotionally moving. More than 17,200 people are buried there. The grounds are immaculate and well-maintained. The graves are aligned perfectly in line and all rows curve. We were there Memorial Day, but missed the official observance ceremony by a day. The US and Filipino governments, along with other nations and civic/veteran organizations, lay wreaths near the chapel. In addition, miniature American and Filipino flags were placed at each grave marker.

The memorial grounds consist of two hemi circles with a clean courtyard in-between. Trees and the American and Filipino flags are located there.

Encircling the Memorial is the cemetery. As I said, the graves are perfectly aligned. The landscaping of the cemetery is breathtaking.

Afterward, we visited the Filipino military and VIP cemetery. The contrast between the American and Filipino cemeteries was obvious. The grounds were not well-maintained. The grave markers were not aligned like the American ones. In addition, the gravesites were plain. The VIP section, where presidents (excluding Ferdinand Marcos) and other politicians are buried, was well-maintained. A Filipino friend said one Congressman’s gravesite could have been used for eight average Filipinos.

We visited San Augustin Church. The church is about 440 years old. It is the oldest non-rebuilt building in Manila. Manila Cathedral, while technically older, was destroyed during World War II and had to be rebuilt. San Augustin was not damaged during the war. The church offers a nice glimpse into the history of the area. The altar was beautiful. Off the altar is a room where the body of Miguel Lopez de Lagaspi has been enshrined. De Lagaspi is considered the founder of Manila.

Manila Cathedral hosted Pope John Paul II when he visited the region. Manila Cathedral is located near the Intramuros area, but is not as attractive as San Augustin, in my humble opinion.

Intramuros (the walled city) is the original location of Manila. Fort Santiago sits there. Intramuros offered a great look into the history and present of Manila. Intramuros has played a major role in the area’s history. Besides being the original location of the city, it was the site of Jose Rizal’s imprisonment. Rizal led the revolution against Spain. His execution in 1896 eventually led to the overthrow of the Spanish control of the Philippines. He is considered as the National Hero. His birthday is a national holiday. Intramuros has an exhibit of his imprisonment, including a trail of his footprints from his cell to the area’s exit, eventually to the location of his execution.

Intramuros has a Rizal museum on site, highlighting his life and his writings. His final letter, to his fellow Filipinos, is painted on the walls of the museum.

During the week, after working an overnight shift, I walked the area near the hotel, familiarizing myself with the area and looking for items of interest for photo opportunities. Ortigas Park was a nice diversion from the busy pedestrian traffic on Ortigas Avenue. The park has a nice hand-carved mural with a waterfall sculpture. The park is shaded with several palm trees and has benches of sitting, relaxing and people watching.

Malls are very popular in Manila. In our area, there were five malls. The most popular ones were Megamall and Robinson’s.

Near Robinson’s Galleria was the Shrine of Mary. It is the smallest church in Manila. It had a landscaped tribute to Mary. It was quite beautiful, with plaques displaying the 10 commandments and other statues.

The mall itself was a nice break from the heat. Malls allow Filipinos to enjoy air conditioning. Malls open at 10 a.m. daily. It is common to see people lined up waiting to get inside. The heat in Manila can get well above 100 degrees with the heat index. Most Filipinos do not have air conditioning at home.

Robinson’s is home to TGI Friday’s, Gold Gyms, Team Pacquiao (sports store with world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao clothing), Kenny Rogers Broasters and Burger King.

Megamall is the largest mall in the district. It offered a variety of stores, similar to what we have in the US.

Mall of Asia is the world’s fourth largest shopping center. It is larger than the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. It is cavernous. It combines outdoor shopping with indoor shopping. It is located along Manila Baywalk. The mall has hundreds of stores and restaurants. It is home to several Filipino stores, and some American-based stores. It has a store that sells only crocs shoes.

It has an indoor ice rink (we joked that falling on your butt made it the coldest spot in the Philippines). The Mall has a multi-plex movie theatre, along with an IMAX. The Mall has an eight-lane bowling alley. On the Baywalk, children can “Walk on Water” – in zorbing balls that float on a pool of water. In addition, people can ride a zipline outside the mall.

The Mall is home to several events, including an outdoor Miley Cyrus concert (fortunately, I had to work that night and could not attend). However, I did get to watch a jujitsu competition in the amphitheatre. Hundreds of people viewed the athletic event.

San Miguel by the Bay is the official name for the Baywalk. It is home to several restaurants (primarily seafood ones), entertainment venues and park areas. The Monument to the Worker is located on the Baywalk. It has statues of a farmer, construction worker, nurse and teacher. A statue of Manny Pacquiao was recently erected there. The Mall of Asia hosts a fireworks show every Saturday evening along the Baywalk. It challenges fireworks shows in many American cities.

Rizal Park was among my favorite spots to visit. I could have spent an entire day there, but did not have the time. It houses the Rizal national monument, also the burial site of Jose Rizal. The monument is guarded around the clock by the Filipino Marine honor guard. The monument is opened to the public once a year, on his birthday.

An attraction that caught my eye was the water fountain area. It consists of three main fountains. The center fountain is in the shape of a fan.

Other statues in the park include a “Filipina Madre” – a mother comforting two children.

I had the honor of traveling with co-workers outside the city to Tagahtay. It is home to Caleruega Church, People’s Park in the Sky and Taal Volcano. Taal is a volcano with a lake inside it. The volcano is also in the middle of a lake. The volcano has had recent activity, so we were not allowed to go there. We viewed it from the mainland. The recent activity released sulfur, giving the sky a hazy look.

People’s Park was originally built by Ferdinand Marcos as a host location for a planned visit by President Reagan in the late 1980s. It was then to be a summer palace for the Marcoses. However, the Filipino revolution started and the Reagans did not visit the country. Soon afterward, Marcos was overthrown from power. Construction funding was dropped by the new government. The palace was eventually turned into People’s Park in the Sky.

My favorite attraction was Corregidor Island. As a military veteran, I am interested in seeing military memorials and monuments wherever we travel. The island played a key role during World War II. It is located at the entrance of Manila Bay and was the last line of defense for Manila. American and Filipino forces were able to hold off Japanese forces for almost four weeks after the fall of Bataan in 1942. The island was recaptured by the US in March 1945.

The tour was memorable from the start. I treated myself for Father’s Day, since I was away from the family that day.

A typhoon had passed through the area a couple of days earlier. The waters were choppy on the boat ride to the island. It was a rough trip. People on the boat became ill. The staff handed out bags for people to use. The water settled for the return trip to Manila later that day.

The first two stops were a little disappointing because it rained heavily. The Japanese and Filipino monuments were still interesting, but I could not get good photographs because of the heavy rain.

The rain stopped soon afterward, and the trip proved enjoyable. The original buildings that were bombed and destroyed are still standing (sometimes propped up). I appreciated the historical significance of the buildings and the large guns.

The Pacific War Memorial is located on the island. The memorial has a domed roof over a pool and fountain area with an eternal flame sculpture near the edge of the cliff. A museum of the Pacific theater’s battles is near the memorial.

The vegetation on the island was lush and colorful. There was one spot that had a splash of red among the green leaves.

While I feel like I could go on and on, Manila offers a combination of modern comforts with historical perspective.

So, have you ever been fortunate enough to combine being a tourist with a work trip? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

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Tim Trudell

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Go Around Philippines

How to Plan Your Trip to the Philippines: The Best Philippines Travel Guide

The Philippines is an archipelago composed of more than seven thousand islands located in Southeast Asia . Two of these islands are constantly in the top 5 of the world’s most beautiful beaches and islands in the world. While the country is rich in natural beauty like mountains and islands, one of the best things to experience is the Filipino hospitality. When traveling in the country, you will meet friendly locals everywhere who can speak English and communicate with you.

Table of Contents

Related Read : Top 20 Best Places to Visit in the Philippines in 2023

I was born and grew up in the Philippines. I started traveling around the country when I worked in a travel agency and continued to work as a travel consultant for an international travel company until now. I’ve had so many friends ask me about how to plan a trip to my country, so I have decided to create this comprehensive travel itinerary.

philippines business trip

To plan a trip to the Philippines , one must remember that it is a country surrounded by a body of water. You can only fly into the country, and hopefully stay longer because it will take time or at least two weeks to get to visit some highlights of the country. Ready to get started? So, here’s an article on how to plan your trip to the Philippines with everything that you need to have the best of your trip.

Planning a trip to the Philippines? Have any questions? Join our Philippine Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

How to Plan a Trip to the Philippines

The Philippines embodies various cultures, mostly Western influences , which you can easily tell from various cuisines and lifestyles in every region. The right blend of Western influence and the original Filipino tradition interests a lot of people which is also one of the reasons why a lot of tourists plan to visit the country. If you’re one of these people who have been eyeing for a vacation in the Philippines anytime soon, this guide will help you with the things you need to know first before visiting the country. Whether you’re a budget backpacker or a luxurious traveler, this guide is for you. You need to plan when to go to the Philippines and how long you want to stay!

The Philippines Map

Do you know that this country is called THE PHILIPPINES ? This is because it is an archipelago — a group of more than 7 thousand islands! You’ll surely find all kinds of places that would suit your travel needs. Before we start, let’s get you familiar with the map of The Philippines. You can see there are many small and big islands, but the major ones are divided into 3 different clusters; Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. To easily understand it, the northern area is Luzon, the central area is Visayas, and the southern part is Mindanao. Manila — the capital city is located in Luzon.

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Is the Philippines safe to travel?

News of the Philippines being unsafe has already reached international media. And honestly, not all of them is very reassuring to read most especially if you are a tourist. The first big question that might pop out from you is this, “Is the Philippines safe to travel?”

During this pandemic times , it is of course not that easy to travel. However, we will be updating this page all the time so you can be sure to have new information with regards to visiting the Philippines.

Well, first, all countries have its safety hazards. The Philippines, in this case, is no exception. Most tourists’ places in the Philippines are safe and have been for many years. Although some tourists noted the presence of armed guards in fast food restaurants and banks as alarming. However, this actually is a good sign for us in the country, note, most of them aren’t loaded or don’t even have ammunition. It means that since there are guards or police visibility, people are more cautious in doing bad things.

Locals can also speak English so asking for help everywhere is easier because there’s no language barrier. As with everywhere we go, it is important to stay vigilant at all times especially when traveling alone too. But overall, I have travelled the country alone and have always felt safe in tourists’ areas.

When to Go to the Philippines

The Philippines is a tropical country which means we experience only rainy and sunny season — in between typhoon season too. From June to November, you’ll expect to experience heavy and continuous downpour with typhoons coming one after another. Sunny season falls in the months of December to May. This is the best time to visit the Philippines because you will be able to enjoy the beaches and can even escape to the mountains without fear of being stuck. Summer months of April and May are the busiest because even locals are traveling. It’s the perfect time to go lounge at one of the best beaches in  Palawan  or  Boracay . However, they’re also the hottest months which, if you’re not used to the heat, might be too much for you to experience. So, to visit the Philippines, the months of December to May are your best bet.

Travel Booking List and Countdown

If you’re a travel planner like me, there’s no time to lose when planning for your best trip. However, to easily arrange your itinerary with enough time to spare and not get overwhelmed, I’ve listed down the things to do for you to have a great trip to the Philippines.

From 6 months — a year in advance:

• Book your international flights • Search for best travel insurance for the Philippines • Plan your itinerary • Get familiar with the places you want to visit • List your top 5 places you want to visit

From 3-6 months in advance:

• Book your domestic flights • Book your accommodation • Find out how to get from one place to another especially if you need to take ferries and local buses • Book online for these transfers or your private pick up/drop off

From 1 month in advance:

• Make sure you check passport and visa requirements • Book your bus or ferry tickets • Airport arrivals and departures • Book local tours • Find the best SIM card for your phone to have internet access and connection • Print all necessary and important documents, and also send a copy to your email

From 1 week in advance: • Pack properly • Double check flight dates, accommodation and bus tickets

How to Travel to the Philippines

To travel to the Philippines, you will probably fly into one of the two major international airports. One is located in Manila (there are actually 4 but one majorly serves international flights) and another one in Cebu. There are many international flights flying into Manila from western countries, while for those around Southeast Asia, Cebu-Mactan International Airport is the best airport to fly into.

Related Read: Ultimate Guide to Cebu Mactan International Airport

To find out cheaper international flights to the Philippines, use Google Flights or Skyscanner to get more options. If you’re flying from Asia — check out Traveloka or official websites of Airasia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. These are the major carriers in the Philippines which might give you cheaper rates when you book directly with them.

To travel around the Philippines, it will be more on to flights or ferries. Most of the major ferries and local buses/vans can be booked online too.

philippines business trip

Passport and Visa to Visit the Philippines

Traveling to the Philippines is an easy thing to do because foreign nationals coming for tourism or business purposes are only required a valid passport and visa to visit the Philippines. Many nationalities are given a visa on arrival sticker or even a no-visa grant for a maximum of 30 days. You only need to provide a valid return ticket. You can check the official list here.

If you want to stay further than 30 days, it is easy to extend your visa at local immigration office in the city you are currently staying. The cost of the Philippines visa first extension is 3,030 pesos plus 100 pesos for the visa sticker.


Money and Banks in the Philippines

The Philippine money is called Philippine Pesos. Its equivalent is about $1 = 55 pesos but 50 is generally the average pre-pandemic. The country is still basically a cash society, so it is important to have enough cash with you especially when you go to islands. When arriving at international airports, it would be best to book a grab taxi online, get to your hotel, and then go to a major shopping mall and do your money exchange transactions. ATMs are also in smaller cities and banks but it is difficult to find them in smaller towns.

There are also ATMs which are usually blue that accept international cards in various tourists’ places, be aware that they charge large amount of transaction fees. Your best bet is to make sure you have dollars or pesos in cash and then exchange or withdraw from official local ATM banks when you see one.

Where to Go and Philippines Itinerary

Now where to go in the Philippines? Since there more than 7 thousand islands, we can’t really cover all. So, depending on budget and time, we recommend these top places to visit in the Philippines.

These are the lists of places that we recommend you put on your list of places to visit in the Philippines.

• Manila and nearby areas — the capital city of the Philippines will surely surprise you in many ways. Make sure to check the night-life of Makati and the walled city of Intramuros. • Cebu — the second biggest city and an island which has balance of city life and beaches. We even wrote a detailed guide on how to visit Cebu. •  Palawan  — you’ll find one of the best islands in the world here . Check out El Nido and Coron and decide which one you like best. •  Bohol  — a small island packed with adventure, beaches and nature. You’ll surely find it a surprising stop. Read the best things to do in Bohol. •   Boracay  — visit the best beach in the world, and enjoy its powdery white sand beach in Boracay. It recently underwent a major rehabilitation that restored its pristine beaches after it fell victim to its popularity– causing it to lose its unspoiled beauty. You can read the best ways to get from Caticlan airport to Boracay. •  Banaue  — enjoy the Northern mountain province and see rows and rows of rice terraces carved on mountains. •  Siargao  — fulfill you water sports craving with this surfing capital of the Philippines. Here’s our detailed Siargao Travel Guide for your trip planning. •  Siquijor   — This small yet surprisingly beautiful and laid-back island has very long stretch of empty beaches, cheap food and cool island vibe.

Of course, there are more places to visit in the Philippines and you’ll surely find the more you search, the more you would like to explore it.

Recommended Group Tours

If you are traveling alone and would like to find people to travel with, there are group tours to the Philippines that you could avail. You can even do this while already in the country.

For group tours, you’ll have a choice of joining a 12-week tour, a Philippine discovery tour or even a Palawan adventure. You can check out all of these Philippine group tours here .

The Best Accommodation Sites for the Philippines

There are many world-class resorts, hotels and local hostels in the Philippines. The best thing to do is to decide where you want to stay and choose accommodation in that area.

Ago d a is one of the best booking sites in the Philippines as it has many properties listed even to smaller towns or areas. The other site I like is Hotelscombined because they check all accommodation sites to compare the prices, it also has listed hotels in smaller areas.

Airbnb is not very popular in the Philippines. So there won’t be a lot of options to choose from especially in smaller places. However, if you’re in the bigger cities like Manila or Cebu — you can find condos and apartments on Airbnb that would be better for you to choose from.

How to Go Around the Philippines

The Philippines is composed of many islands, about 7 thousand of them actually. To get around the Philippines, means either flying in or taking ferries. There are also buses in the northern part but for most of the must-see places in the country, flying is the fastest but more expensive option. The more affordable option is taking ferries, and also getting to see different island views along the way. The only disadvantage is it can become bumpy especially if the weather isn’t good.

To fly around the Philippines, you can choose from 3 major airlines — Cebu Pacific, AirAsia and Philippine Airlines. There are also smaller airlines like Skyjet which flies to Coron or El Nido in Palawan.

For buses and ferries, it can be difficult to book in person as you need to go to the terminal/ferry port to get the ticket. The best way to book these tickets is to go online  — you can choose your destination here and book your ticket. Like going from Cebu to Bohol . it’s a popular ferry ride.

For airport transfers and arrivals, you can arrange for private pick-ups and transfers, 12go and  Bookaway  also provide these services. In Manila and Cebu, Grab is your best bet. While in other smaller islands, it is better to book your transfers in advance.

Travel Insurance in the Philippines

The Philippines has amazing doctors and nurses, they’re exported around the world! So, you can be confident that whatever happens to you, you will be given the best medical care. However, make sure that the travel insurance that you get covers weather disturbance and cancellations are this is the major reason for trip cancellations in the country.

What to Pack for a Trip to the Philippines

As someone who likes to pack a week in advance, it is important to know what to bring. Here are some things we recommend for you to pack, and bring to the Philippines.

• Sun Protection Lotion  — the lotion you might find here is packed with whitening ingredients so, you better bring your own • Microfiber Towel  — best for the beach and for a cover on an overnight bus • Universal Adapter  — for your gadgets and other equipment • Power Bank and Portable charger  — there can be intermittent power cut-off in different islands, so this is a very useful thing to have • Comfortable shoes or slippers  — remember this is island country, and everyone wears flip flops • Mosquito repellent  — this tropical country will surely make you try to run inside the house at night because of the mosquitoes • Medicine  — make sure you bring your own first aid medicine and anything you are taking regularly

Aside from these, you can find most international food/groceries have what you need, especially in big cities like Manila and Cebu. The Philippines is also a fast-food country so, you can fill your heart with McDonalds but make sure to try the local Jolibee too!

Internet and Phone Coverage

Internet and phone coverage in the Philippines are dismal and quite bad. There are three major telecommunication companies in the Philippines as of writing. PLDT offers Wi-Fi coverage in most tourist areas and bigger cities. Globe and Smart have phone and internet data coverage.

Related Read: Best Prepaid Tourist Sim Card to Use in The Philippines

If you are traveling just in major cities, Globe is your best bet, however, if you’re going to islands, Smart is your better choice. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be offered to buy SIM cards with preloaded data in it. Ask for them to preload your SIM and buy your data coverage good for the number of days you will stay in the country. I would recommend getting the most number as it really is still has bad connection in terms of data, and internet connection in the Philippines.

To make it easier, you can also  pre-purchase your SIM card here  so, you can just pick it up upon arrival.

philippines business trip

Philippine Travel Planning Tips

  • Visit places one or two at a time. Sure, you want to explore every Island in the Philippines but with limited time and budget, you might not be able to do so. Moreover, you won’t be able to enjoy and make the most of your trip. For example, you can explore Cebu for a week before going to Bohol for a couple more days. The island of Cebu alone already has a lot of activities stretched out from North to South.
  • Bring a universal travel adapter since most hostels, most especially budget hotels or hostels, don’t have available power outlets for every type of plug.
  • Bring a power bank to charge your gadgets while on the road or most especially when visiting places with sporadic electric supply. Some remote areas in the Philippines experience rotational power cut off.
  • Be patient on the internet speed. As we all know, the Philippines belongs to the countries with a very slow internet connection. Even when staying in the city, slow data coverage or internet speed can still be experienced.
  • Bring dry bags or waterproof bags when planning to go island hopping. There are also islands in the Philippines which can be reached by small boat or also known as “Bangka” and putting all your valuables inside a dry bag will keep it safe from the splashing saltwater.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunblock and mosquito repellent anywhere you go. To avoid sunburn, use the right SPF level. Also, keep in mind to use reef-safe sunblock if you’re planning to do water activities. Mosquito repellent is also important to avoid mosquito bites and diseases.
  • Rent a motorbike to save on transportation costs. The islands of Siargao, Bantayan, and Camotes are few of the top tourist destinations where you can rent a motorbike per day for a cheap price. It is also very convenient if you are planning to DIY you’re itinerary instead of getting a package tour.

Philippines Itinerary/Budget

One of the reasons why a lot of tourists are flocking to the Philippines is because it is a cheap country to travel to. The average cost of food for one day in the Philippines can be as low as $5 if you’re on a tight budget. For the accommodation, you can already find a $14 room or less (but mostly are just bed spaces at this rate). For mid-range travels, the average daily cost of traveling to The Philippines is $49. The nightlife in the country is also pocket-friendly. You can find very cheap karaoke machines to enjoy with your friends in the city or even along the beach. Beer is inexpensive to that you can afford to buy a bottle or two for a friend. Moreover, a lot of travel agencies are offering affordable Philippine tour packages for a low price but if you want to save more, you can plan your itinerary and adjust it according to your budget. I tried Siargao for 8 days, and I only spent around $150 on the food, surfing, entrance fees to beaches and other tourist spots, accommodation, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Did we miss anything else? Let us know in the comments!

philippines business trip

Angie is a travel consultant and blogger who has started by writing her travel memoirs on her blog and then got published  on international travel sites. She’s now focused on creating in-depth travel itinerary and articles about planning trips to the Philippines.

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Business Class flights to Philippines

Find cheap business class flights to the philipines .

Looking for the most affordable way to travel in luxury? Your search ends here with, where we've streamlined the process of finding and booking cheap business class flights to the captivating Philippines. Your dream of a lavish journey is just a few clicks away!

Whether your expedition is for business engagements or leisurely escapes, we present unbeatable deals partnering with renowned airlines such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates Airlines.

Tips fo finding affordable Business Class Tickets to the Philippines

Hunting down the finest business class deals and offers to the Philippines might seem daunting, but fear not! Our experts have crafted these strategies to simplify the process:

  • Subscribe to our Newsletter : Unearth exclusive deals by becoming a insider. Our newsletter brings you coveted offers on business class flights to the Philippines, ensuring you're at the forefront of savings.
  • Leverage Our cutting-edge flight search engine empowers you to compare prices across a spectrum of airlines, guaranteeing you the optimal package for your journey to the Philippines. Customize your search using filters like airline preference, budget, travel duration, and more.
  • Early Booking Advantage: Secure unbeatable rates for your business class flight to the Philippines by reserving your spot at least 8 weeks ahead of your intended departure date.
  • Flexibility with Travel Dates: Opt for mid-week travel, particularly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, to unveil potential savings on your Philippine-bound journey.
  • Explore Connecting Flights: Delve into the realm of connecting flights, as they often present a more cost-effective route compared to non-stop alternatives.
  • Exclusive Airport Lounges: When you embark on a Business Class voyage to the Philippines, you gain access to the elite lounges located within the terminals at renowned airports like Heathrow, offering an exclusive pre-flight oasis.
  • Opting for a Business Class journey to the Philippines translates to time and hassle savings, as Business Class passengers relish dedicated check-in lines at most departure airports. Moreover, an added advantage is the generous baggage allowances granted to Business Class travellers across most airlines, leading to swifter navigation at the luggage carousel.
  • Travellers selecting Business Class flights to the Philippines are afforded the privilege of reserving specific seats aboard the aircraft. This entails the freedom to opt for either an aisle or window seat, along with the delight of selecting which side of the aircraft offers preferred views—a chance to catch sight of iconic landmarks or avoid direct sunlight, for instance.
  • Business Class flights to the Philippines embody personalised options and bespoke care. A prime example is the provision of tailored menu dining and dedicated cabin crew members catering exclusively to Business Class passengers. These meticulous touches combine to ensure an indelible and truly exceptional experience.
  • A Business Class flight from London to the Philippines will take approximately 16 hours and 5 minutes. It's worth considering airlines like Turkish Airlines that offer fully reclining seats, prioritizing comfort throughout this extensive journey.
  • Embrace seamless connectivity on numerous Business Class flights to the Philippines, allowing you to work, engage with friends, and leisurely browse the internet. Airlines such as Qatar Airways deliver commendable Wi-Fi packages, ensuring uninterrupted digital connectivity.
  • Even before setting foot on the aircraft, the merits of Business Class flights to the Philippines become apparent. Armed with a pre-reserved seat, flexible ticketing, and the privilege of priority check-in and boarding, you'll be enveloped in five-star treatment from start to finish.

Most Reliable Airlines Flying Business Class to the Philippines

When it comes to reliability in business class flights to the Philippines, let's turn to the numbers. Based on recent data, airlines like Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Cathay Pacific have consistently demonstrated remarkable performance in terms of on-time arrivals and minimal cancellation rates.

Qatar Airways boasts an impressive on-time arrival rate of around 85%, making it a standout choice for dependable travel to the Philippines. Similarly, Singapore Airlines upholds an on-time arrival rate of approximately 87%, reflecting their commitment to punctuality.

Cathay Pacific has shown a cancellation rate of less than 1%, further reinforcing its reputation as a trustworthy option for your journey to the Philippines.

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The 5 best online travel agencies in the Philippines

Best online travel agency for business travel, 1. travelperk: the one agency for all your business travel needs.

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3. Baron Travel: travel specialist staff at your service

Baron Travel Best Online Travel Agencies Philippines

  • A wide variety of Philippine tours across the 7,000 different islands available
  • International tours to famous destinations throughout Europe and Asia
  • Ocean cruises each with unique destinations and catering
  • Destination management and booking for smooth and convenient traveling

4. Rajah Travel Corporation: for unique tours, travel experiences, and destinations

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  • Online booking tool for hotels and transportation
  • Corporate travel management services for a personalized experience
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  • A wide variety of group tours, flights, and cruises to both international and domestic locations

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  • Various tour packages including international and domestic tour options
  • Hotel and venue bookings ahead of time with a wide variety of options
  • Passport services and documentation management
  • Transportation services including organization and booking for flights, cruises, and cars.

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Philippines Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors

philippines business trip

The Philippines is part of Southeast Asia , and yet apart from it. It is the only Southeast Asian country with no land links to neighboring countries, meaning that any visit from the mainland is an out-of-the-way one.

But the paths leading to the Philippines are increasingly well-traveled: Manila is now an indispensable stop for many low-cost carriers, and intrepid travelers are discovering the Philippines' beaches, jungles, and culture for themselves... and spreading the word. Find out why you should visit this fun island group... and how you can go about it.

Why Visit the Philippines?

Mike Aquino

The 7,000+ islands that constitute the Philippines makes it difficult to pin down the singular Philippine travel experience. Dancing and drinking-all-you-can during Cebu's Sinulog festival ? Beach fun in Palawan ? Mountain biking in Davao ? Or getting lost in Manila's walled city of Intramuros ?

All of them are so different, yet so typical of the Philippines: a country that needs little excuse to party, a bit laid back, messy and inefficient, and yet so open to fun and adventure. 

The vibe is worlds apart from the scene in Cambodia or Indonesia: the Philippines was a former Spanish colony ruled from Mexico, and a Latino vibe still persists in the local culture. Towering Catholic churches still loom over the heart of the Philippines' oldest cities, and are still packed to the rafters on Catholic days of obligation.

Visas and Other Travel Requirements

US passport holders visiting the Philippines do not need to secure a visa before flying in. Citizens of countries that have diplomatic relations with the Philippines may enter visa-free for no more than 30 days, but must present a passport valid for at least six months after arrival and proof of onward or return passage. 

Weather in the Philippines

Located close to the equator, the Philippines is a consummately tropical country; the northern island of Luzon shows three distinct seasons (a somewhat chilly cold season from November to February, a hot, dry summer from March to June, and a torrential typhoon season from July to October).

As you go further south, the distinctions vanish and the weather becomes uniformly warm and humid, with year-round rainshowers. North or south, the same principles apply when packing your baggage : bring rainwear and lightweight cotton clothing, particularly when visiting during monsoon season. .

Typhoons are a big enough deal here, that the Philippines follows its own naming system (the world may call it typhoon "Bopha", but the Philippines knows it as typhoon "Pablo"). The reasons for this idiosyncratic rule can be found here: Tropical Cyclones in the Philippines.

Transportation Options

Tom Cockrem

Travelers can fly from Singapore's Changi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and other regional hubs into either Manila or Cebu, two transport hubs that serve international flights from all over the region.

The great majority of travelers fly in via Manila's NAIA Airport, but the capital's less-than-savory reputation might be a turn-off. Luckily, you can fly into the Philippines and avoid Manila and NAIA completely. 

The Philippines is an archipelago, so getting around isn't as simple as boarding a bus from Manila to Boracay. Thankfully, crossing the islands is cheaper and easier than it looks: three major low-cost airlines (AirAsia Philippines, Cebu Pacific, and PAL Express) use Manila and Cebu as domestic hubs that connect to smaller airports throughout the country.

Visitors can also travel by sea: travelers from Manila's Eva Macapagal Super Terminal (location on Google Maps) can sail on RORO ferries to most major seaside cities in the Philippines. Once on the island of your choice, you can go around on the Philippines' ubiquitous jeepneys, or traverse longer distances by inter-provincial bus.

The Philippine Peso (PHP; divisible into 100 centavos) can easily be changed at money changers at the airport and in one of the nation's ubiquitous shopping malls, if you're within one of the bigger cities. These malls are also chock-full of ATMs, in case you want to withdraw cash from your own ATM-card-equipped bank account instead.

A word on travel insurance : the southern part of the Philippines is often mentioned in U.S. State Department warnings. While that does not legally prevent you from traveling to Mindanao, your insurance policy may refuse to cover you while you're traveling in these banned areas.

Food & Drinks

What Philippine food lacks in spice and nuance, it makes up for in heartiness and freshness. Take a look at the Philippines' top ten foods, and you'll find a wealth of influences from Western colonizers (Spain and the U.S.) and Asian neighbors (China and Indonesia), melded into a sublime whole.

Foodies looking for the absolute best of the local cuisine should book a food tour of the Philippines' Pampanga province to get their fix, or follow the path set by this 15-hour Filipino food frenzy .

Travelers are often introduced to the not-so-best part of Philippine cuisine on the street - the oddly grotesque Filipino street food known as balut . Eat at your own risk.

The Philippines also enjoys a robust drinking culture - it brews at least one of the best beers In Southeast Asia , and travelers should expect to be invited to drink by the locals at least once.

Using Your Smartphone

Bring your GSM-compatible phone to the Philippines - the country's major cities and travel destinations benefit from strong GSM cellular network coverage.

If you have an "unlocked" phone - i.e. it's not locked to your home cellphone provider - you can buy a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card from one of the Philippines' two major mobile telecoms brands, Globe and Smart - these cards are on sale at the airports, malls, seaports and even in small neighborhood stores.

Mobile internet use is generally faster in the cities - 4G speeds are available in Manila, Cebu, Davao and Boracay, with 3G and lower as you go further afield.

Traveler Safety

Is the Philippines safe to travel in? Ah, there's the rub. The cities are as safe as most U.S. cities, assuming you follow a number of commonsense tourist precautions. Some dangers are particular to major tourist hubs in the Philippines, such as the "Ativan gang" scam where friendly-seeming locals slip a roofie in your drink and rob you while you're out cold.

Like the rest of the region, the Philippines' laws look harshly on illegal drug use. While the death penalty has been indefinitely suspended, the Philippines Dangerous Drugs Act will still come down hard on any proven drug users - you could be sentenced to at least 12 years in prison for possession of as little as .17 ounce of marijuana.

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Discover The Philippines

The Philippines: Travel Guide for First Time Visitors

philippines business trip


Travel Insurance

Learn useful information about the Philippines. This Philippine travel guide summarizes everything from transportation, destinations, food, drinks, accommodations, and so much more.


The Philippines is an archipelago located in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean.  This archipelago is a country and officially known as the Republic of the Philippines .  It consists of over 7,600 islands with a total land area of 301,780 square kilometers (116,518 sq mi). The Philippines Is divided into three island major groups: Luzon , Visayas , and Mindanao .  These island groups are further divided into 17 regions which are then divided into 82 provinces . 

The capital of the Philippines is Manila , and one of the most populous cities in both the Philippines and the world. 

Philippines Travel Guide: Philippine Geographical Location

Given its location so close to the equator makes the country prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world’s greatest biodiversity . 

The Philippines has become a popular holiday destination due to it’s tropical weather, diverse islands, pristine white-sand beaches, outdoor activities, marine life, adventure, and Filipino hospitality.

View Philippine Map

Best Time to Visit

It’s best to visit the Philippines during the dry season .  Dry season in the Philippines spans from November through April.  These are the summer months in this country.

Be aware that temperatures and humidity levels are particularly high in April and May.

The best time to be a beach bum and explore the islands is from March to May.

NOTE:  Booking for summer trips should be done as early as possible, at least a month before your travel dates, since resorts get fully booked early.

The period from June to October is the rainy (wet) season and is best avoided due to the high possibility of typhoons. The typhoons can not only be destructive, but most tours and activities are cancelled under such circumstances.  Transportation via plane and boat is also seriously impacted as well.  This happens frequently so beware!

This Philippine travel guide recommends traveling in April-May or in November-December, just before and just after the rainy season. This will likely bring fewer crowds, yet pleasant weather, and is also a great time to score a travel deal.

READ MORE:   Climate & Weather of the Philippines

READ MORE:   When & Where to Visit the Philippines: A Month by Month Guide

READ MORE:  Facts About the Philippines



Manila Int’l Airport


Bus Terminal

Ports of Entry

Most international travelers take a plane to get to the Philippines.  Although there are many international airports throughout the Philippines, the main hub for most airlines is in Manila , the capital city of the Philippines.  The following is a list of the international airports in the Philippines.

Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the country’s main international airport.  This airport has a bad reputation for delays due to congestion and is often referred to as one of the worst airports in the world. 

Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Philippines, and a major domestic and international hub in the Central Visayas region for Philippine Airlines , AirAsia , and Cebu Pacific . Passengers can connect to a long list of domestic destinations which is comparable to the route network out of Manila . It currently serves international flights from major international hubs in Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul. In addition, there are also flights to Dubai and Doha operated by Emirates and Qatar Airways .

Clark International Airport is a former US Air Force base located 50 miles north of Manila. It is the closest current alternate airport to Manila, where AirAsia announced it would base its Philippine operations. International destinations include Singapore, Dubai, Doha, Hong Kong, China, and Seoul. While it has a broad range of domestic destinations, the routes are limited so domestic connections may be a bit problematic.

The Davao (Francisco Bangoy) International Airport is the third busiest in the Philippines and serves a handful of domestic destinations. Both Cebu Pacific and Silk Air operate flights to Singapore.  AirAsia operates flights to/from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Completed in 2007, the new Iloilo International Airport   serves as a hub for Cebu Pacific . The airline operates flights to Hong Kong and Singapore from the largest city in the Western Visayas . Guests can arrive at the airport to take a six hour bus ride to Caticlan/ Boracay . However, travellers can access the resort island through either Caticlan Airport or Kalibo Airport .

While Bacolod Airport is not designated as an international airport, it has charter flights to/from Seoul, South Korea. That route is currently served by Philippine Airlines on a seasonal basis.

Tagbilaran is the capital of Bohol where the previous airport resided. A new international airport on Panglao island opened in 2018 called Bohol-Panglao International Airport .  Philippine Airlines operates flights to Seoul, South Korea. Local officials expect more flights to come after the new airport opens.

Kalibo International Airport benefits from its distance to Boracay , as it is the closest international airport to the resort island. The airport serves a broad range of Asian hubs such as Singapore, Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur. Upon arriving, passengers can take a two hour bus ride to the Caticlan boat jetty on their way to the shores of Boracay.

Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa  International Airport serves Puerto Princesa City and the surrounding area and is also Palawan ‘s primary airport. The new airport was opened recently to meet the growing number of tourists from within the Philippines and from abroad to visit the natural wonders found on the island. International services are still relatively new here, though are expected to grow over the next few years. For now, Philippine Airlines operates the only international route from Palawan – to Taipei, Taiwan.

Located in the northern province of Ilocos Norte in Luzon, Laoag International Airport is designated an International airport with regular chartered flights to China. China Eastern Airlines operates a flight to Guangzhou, China. Philippine Airlines operates the only domestic flights to the city from Manila .

READ MORE:   Airports in the Philippines

Getting to the Philippines by land is impossible since it is surrounded by water, land connection to neighboring countries is non-existence.

Traveling by sea from any country to the Philippines is not very common. In fact, the only route a foreign tourist can take is from Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia to Zamboanga through Aleson Shipping Lines. Usually, there is only one trip every week, Tuesdays for Sabah to Zamboanga, and Mondays for Zamboanga – Sabah.

READ MORE:   Seaports in the Philippines


There are several modes of transportation in the Philippines.  Modes of transportation vary from city to city and in the provinces.  The following are the modes of transportation that are generally available throughout the Philippines.


Car for Hire

Car Rental


Motorized Outrigger

Motorized Outrigger




There are few businesses where you can rent a bicycle to get around the local city, town, or municipality and neighboring towns.

Buses are not used to get around most cities. More often, buses are used to get in the city from other towns and cities, and vice versa.

It won’t take too much effort to find a car for hire. Rate starts at 2,000 PHP ($40 USD) and can go higher depending on the type and model of the car. The cost comes with free fuel, professional driver, and insurance.

Car Rentals

To rent a self-drive car, one needs to have a valid driver’s license and ID. Some companies even ask for proof of billing and have a minimum age requirement. Most companies require full payment of rental and cash bond which is usually 5,000 PHP ($100 USD). For foreigners, a passport may be required. Rate starts at 1,500 PHP ($30 USD).

Jeepneys are used when traveling outside the city limit. They have set routes so make sure to check out the route of the vehicle before getting into it.  Fare ranges from 5 PHP ($ 0.1 USD) to 30 PHP ($0.6 USD) depending on the origin and destination.

Renting a motorcycle for a day or throughout your stay in the city can give you more freedom to go wherever you want at your own time. Motorcycle rental starts at 250 PHP ($5 USD) per day and can go higher depending on the model or type of motorcycle. Helmet and insurance are usually included. Most cities and municipalities have rental shops.  Some rental companies deliver the unit to your hotel.

Motorized Outrigger (Bangka)

Motorized Outrigger or Bangkas and are also known as pump boats. Bangkas are glorified water taxis made of traditional building materials like wood and bamboo. They are surprisingly sturdy boats that can withstand rough seas to an extent. Bangkas are the cheapest form of ferry transport and most often used for short-distances.

Ride Sharing

Ride-sharing is available in a few of the larger cities but not common in most of the Philippines.

Shuttles are typically used by hotels to transport their guests.

Taxis are used only in the larger cities.  The Grab Taxi app is available in only a few of the larger cities.

Trains are only available in Manila to Calamba, Laguna up to Lucena City, Quezon .

The tricycle is the main mode of transportation when getting around most of the Philippines.  You can simply hail one just outside your hotel, restaurants, business establishments, and tourists attractions.  Minimum fare for short distance rides is 10 ($.20 USD) per person

READ MORE:   Articles on Transportation



There are many attractions throughout the Philippines.  Each destination has many attractions to offer. In addition to this Philippine travel guide, we have written guides about each destination and the attractions it has to offer.  The following is an article on the most popular attractions in all of the Philippines. 

READ MORE:   Best Things to See in the Philippines

There are many activities to do in the Philippines, the best and most popular are outdoors. 

Each destination has many activities to offer.  We have written guides about each destination and the activities it has to offer.  The following is an article on the most popular activities throughout the Philippines. 

READ MORE:   Best Things to Do in the Philippines

Events & Festivals

There are many events and festivals throughout the Philippines.  The largest Philippine islands offer a variety of events and festivals.  The following is a list of the most popular events and festivals in the Philippines.

READ MORE:   Annual Events & Festivals in the Philippines


There are several types of accommodations to stay at when traveling around the Philippines. 

The following is a list of the most common accommodations available throughout the Philippines. 

  • Campgrounds
  • Pension Houses
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Variety of AirBnB Properties

Booking accommodations online almost always saves you money and time in the Philippines and guarantees that you have a place to stay when you arrive at your destination. 

We use and recommend booking online to save money using HostelWorld , Agoda ,, and AirBnB.

READ MORE:   Various Types of Accommodations in the Philippines


Aside from the traditional food from several ethno-linguistic groups in the country, the Filipino cuisine has influences from Chinese, Spanish, and American brought by trading and colonization in the past. Considering the thousands of islands and agricultural land in the country, there’s definitely an abundance of seafoods and tropical fruits which creative Filipino cooks transformed into appetizing dishes worth trying.

Filipinos enjoy different kinds of drinks, from locally grown kapeng barako, salabat (ginger tea), and lambanog (palm liquor) to fruit juices, sodas, beers, wines, and whiskeys. Most big malls and grocery stores carry imported drinks as well.


With thousands of foreign tourists exploring the country every year, expect to see restaurants of various cuisines spread all over the country, from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese to American, Italian, Spanish, and German. Several Filipino restaurants even carry international dishes on their menu so it’s not like you are limited to eating local dishes only throughout your day.

READ MORE:   Articles about Food & Drink



The Philippines is home to some of the world’s best entertainers and performers so finding entertainment is never a problem. Catch local singers, dancers, and actors in various cinemas and theaters such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Newport Performing Arts, Kia Theater, and many others.

Manila , undoubtedly, has a vast nightlife among other areas in the country. Outside Manila, Boracay Island , and Cebu City have interesting night scenes and coolest parties.

READ MORE:   How to Stay Safe in the Philippines

READ MORE:   Articles about Entertainment & Nightlife

From ultra-modern shopping malls to street markets, there are many shopping venues in the Philippines. 

At least one shopping mall can be found in every city of the Philippines in addition to street markets. 

Most malls provide just about every service from grocery shopping to medical and dental services.  Malls also offer a wide range of food & drinks and things to see and do. 

The following are articles about shopping in malls …  a very common form of shopping in the Philippines:

  • Top 10 Largest Malls In The Philippines  
  • Shopping at Malls in the Philippines: What YOU Need to Know  
  • Directory of Shopping Malls in the Philippines

READ MORE:   Articles about Shopping

Travel Costs


A bed in a  hostel  dorm costs from 350 PHP ($7 USD), but smaller dorms can cost from 500 PHP ($10 USD).  For a private double, prices start around 700 PHP ($14 USD).

Most  budget hotels  begin at 700 PHP ($14 USD) per night for a double room and usually include free wifi and breakfast.  For  a three-star hotel , prices begin around 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) per night.   Airbnb  is also widespread throughout the country, with private rooms starting from as little as 500 PHP ($10 USD) per night.  For entire apartments, expect to pay at least 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) per night.

Resorts and luxury accommodations  vary greatly from 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) to 5,000+ PHP ($100+ USD).  However, there are some really nice resorts and luxury accommodations which are surprisingly affordable.

We use and recommend booking online to save money using  HostelWorld ,  Agoda ,, and AirBnB. 

Local food is extremely cheap, with street food costing under 50 PHP ($1USD).  For an inexpensive meal at a local restaurant, prices start around 100 PHP ($2 USD).  For a meal at a mid-range restaurant with drinks and table service, expect to pay from 200 PHP ($4 USD).  Knowing that their target customers are primarily tourists, Western food venues can be pricey compared to Filipino food.  Also, some of the ingredients need to be imported, which contributes to the higher cost. Western food (burgers, pizza, pasta, etc.) is much more expensive but is still relatively affordable at around 200 PHP ($4 USD) for a meal and drink.

Fast food like McDonalds will cost around 200 PHP ($4 USD).  A beer at the bar will cost around 50-100 PHP ($1–2 USD).

A week’s worth of groceries will cost between 300-600 PHP ($6-12 USD) per person.  However, food in this country is so inexpensive, and kitchens & refrigerators are hard to come by, I don’t recommend cooking your meals here since there is plenty of delicious street food to eat at very cheap prices. You won’t make it as good as they do and the food is too delicious to miss!


There are many modes of transportation available in the Philippines and each varies greatly. 

Public Transportation is cheap.  Bus services on the islands are inexpensive.  Local buses (called jeepneys) are the most common type of transportation in towns and cities. The fare is usually between 7-25 PHP PHP ($.20–.50 USD).

On islands without a bus system, a taxi or tricycle is the only form of transport with fares starting at 50-500 PHP ($1-$10) USD for short trips. 

Taxis are everywhere, and they’re very cheap.  Most fares shouldn’t cost you more than 500 PHP ($10 USD) around town.  

To get between islands, you’ll need to take a boat or to fly.  There are ferries that connect the island together since they aren’t too far apart but, generally speaking, flights are the most realistic option. 

Flights between islands usually cost about 2,000-3500 PHP ($40-70 USD).  However, this isn’t the cheapest way to travel.  It’s only recommended if you have limited time. 

We recommend booking online to save money using  Skyscanner ,  momondo ,  Kayak , .

Attractions & Activities

Most attractions and activities in the Philippines are pretty cheap. Most attractions throughout the area are FREE to enter, though some of the more well known and popular ones cost 5-100 PHP ($.10-$2 USD) to enter. 

Depending on the activity, most day tours only cost around 1,000-1,500 PHP ($20-30 USD), oftentimes less.  You have more bargaining power if you go with a group. If you are expecting to do some climbing, remember to pack some warm layers. It gets cold at the top!  

Other activities such as Island Hopping, scuba diving, helmet diving, swimming with whale sharks, jungle trekking, canyoning, ATVs, jet skis, wakeboarding, cruises, parasailing, horseback riding, cultural experiences, and tours can cost as much as 1,250-5,000+ PHP ($25-100+ USD).

The Philippines is one of the least expensive places to learn how to scuba dive. Learning to scuba dive usually costs about 15,000-20,000 PHP ($300-400 USD), but often includes FREE accommodation for the duration of the course, which lasts three or four days.

Always book your tours and activities when you arrive.  Stick to travel agents who are selling on the ground. If a travel agent won’t negotiate with you, move on to the next until you find one that will.  Booking tours online is almost always more expensive. 

Typical Costs in the Philippines in 2023:

  • Hostel Dorm Bed:  300-600 PHP ($5–10 USD) night
  • Budget Hotel:   700 PHP ($14 USD) night
  • Mid-Range Hotel:   700 PHP ($14 USD) night
  • Street Food:  50-150 PHP ($1–3 USD) meal
  • Restaurant Meals:  200-300 PHP ($4–6 USD) meal
  • Local Beer:  50-100 PHP ($1–2 USD) bottle
  • 1.5L Bottle of Water:  38 PHP ($.75 USD) bottle
  • Jeepney Ride:  7-25 PHP ($.20–$.50 USD) ride
  • Tricycle Ride:   20-100 PHP ($.5-$2 USD) ride
  • Taxi:  75-500 PHP ($1.50-$10 USD) ride – use GrabTaxi app
  • Long-Distance Bus Ride:  400-500 PHP ($8–10 USD) ride
  • Public Ferry Ride:  200-300 PHP ($4–6 USD) ride
  • Domestic Flight:  2,000-3,500 PHP ($40–70 USD) flight
  • Island-Hopping:  1,000-1,500 PHP ($20-30 USD) trip
  • Diving with Whale Sharks:  1,250 PHP ( $25 USD) trip

Suggested Budget

Use the chart below to get an idea of how much to budget daily.  Actual amounts will depend on YOUR travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages … some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less. Prices are in USD.

READ MORE:   Itineraries & Budgets










Money matters.

Banks, ATMs, and money-changers can be found in the city.  If you are exploring outside the city limits or the neighboring islands, make sure to bring enough cash that will last until the next time you get to an ATM or bank since most tours, transportation, and some budget accommodations only accept cash.

READ MORE:  Money in the Philippines: Everything You Need to Know

Health & Safety

While the Philippines is a safe country to visit, there are things you need to keep in mind to ensure your safety throughout the duration of your stay.

Consult your hotel or resort front desk as they are more likely to give you reliable information than a random stranger on the street.  If you really need to, trust your gut feeling when approaching a stranger.

READ MORE:   How to Avoid Scams & Thieves in the Philippines

There are many things to consider when traveling in order to stay safe … things that we may not be accustomed to during our normal everyday lives. 

The following are articles about tips on how to stay safe while traveling in the Philippines:

  • 6 Common Accidents to Avoid
  • How to Beat the Heat in the Philippines
  • Taxi Safety Tips: Dos and Don’ts
  • Motorbike Safety Tips    
  • Beach & Ocean Safety Tips 
  • Sun Safety Tips  

Staying fit & healthy can be challenging when traveling in the Philippines. 

The tropical Philippines climate requires you to prepare for illnesses that you may not normally be accustomed to. 

The following are our Top 10 Tips for Staying Healthy while Traveling in the Philippines :

  • Stay Hydrated but Only Drink Bottled Water
  • Maintain a Balanced Diet
  • Get Plenty of Rest
  • Allow Your Body Time to Adjust 
  • Keep Active
  • Sanitize Often! 
  • Be Aware of Food Safety Concerns
  • Take Your Vitamins
  • Practice Safe Sex
  • Be Prepared Should You Get Sick

READ MORE:   Stay Healthy in the Philippines: How to Avoid Getting Sick

Staying Connected 

You need to have a local-based SIM card in order to stay connected when in the Philippines. Network giants such as Globe and Smart have SIM cards you can use to make calls, send text messages, and also to connect to the Internet. A SIM card costs around P50 ($1 USD) and usually comes with a FREE load worth P50 ($1 USD). You can buy a card containing a code you can enter on your phone to replenish your load or buy an electronic load that is available almost anywhere in the city.

While you may not have problems with signal when in the city, it is not always the case when on islands  or in remote areas of a province.  So when arranging for transportation pick up, say when renting a boat to take you to and pick you up from the island, it would be best that you make it clear what time you need to be picked up before the boatman leaves.

Don’t Forget 

There is a nationwide ban which prohibits smoking in public places including indoors, the streets, on sidewalks, in restaurants , and on public transportation, requiring smokers to use designated smoking areas.  Selling tobacco to and purchasing from/for minors is also prohibited. Violators are subject to fines (up to 5000 PHP | $100 USD) and even 4 months in prison.

The minimum legal drinking age at 18.  Alcohol such as beer and hard drinks can easily be bought in grocery and convenience stores.  The most common alcoholic beverage is beer, generally served cold.  Local alcoholic drinks include tuba (coconut wine which is usually very strong) and potent moonshine-like clear liquors made from sugar or fruit.  Imported beer, wine, and name brand hard alcohol are available but expensive.

Drugs are illegal in the Philippines.  Don’t use, buy, or sell any non-prescription drugs while in the Philippines … not even marijuana.  It is considered an especially heinous crime to buy from, for, or sell drugs to children.  The penalties are severe … up to and including death.

Public nudity is illegal in the Philippines and is not tolerated.  Most locals consider it offensive.  There are laws which prohibit provocative and erotic clothing and swimwear, therefore carefully consider your clothings and swimwear choices to make certain they are not too revealing.

READ MORE:   Practical Travel Information about the Philippines


Tips & hacks.

The following are our Top 10 Tips When Traveling in the Philippines : 

  • Be aware that a tourist VISA is only 30 days. You can extend it upon arrival, or within the first 30 days, for an additional 30 days for a fee of approximately 3,000 pesos.
  • Don’t buy into the fear factor. The Philippines has an unjustified reputation of being a dangerous place. It’s true there are security guards everywhere, but that is to deter theft.
  • Manila is NOT the Philippines. Get outside of the cities to see the real Philippines.
  • Don’t over plan. Boats, buses, and even airplane schedules are notoriously unreliable. Be flexible.
  • Check the weather. The weather varies greatly throughout the Philippines daily.
  • Typhoons can have a huge impact on your plans. Account for this when planning your trip.
  • It’s not cool to raise your voice or show outward frustration in public.
  • Be polite at all times. Realize that your country’s sense of humor may be different from Filipino humor and take this into account when interacting with Filipinos and while in public places.
  • Things move at a slower pace. Accept it… don’t get frustrated… but do account for it.
  • Don’t drink the tap water… but stay hydrated! Save money by buying large bottles (6-10 liters) of water and using it to fill your water bottle or hydration bladder in your backpack.

For a complete list of our tips and hacks, checkout the following Philippine travel guide and be sure to download a FREE copy for yourself. 

READ MORE:   Ultimate Travel Tips & Hacks for the Philippines

NOTE:  Consider inserting the Download Guide box here …

Useful Travel Apps

Apps for smartphones and tablets can be useful both before you leave and while you’re traveling.  Most are available for iPhones and Android phones.

These apps for savvy travelers aid you in having an unforgettable and stress-free vacation while saving you time, money, and frustration.The following is our list of 10 Top Travel Apps when traveling in the Philippines :

  • TripAdvisor
  • XE Currency
  • Google Maps
  • AccuWeather

Be certain to download and set up apps BEFORE leaving on your trip to make certain each is installed and working properly.

For our complete list of travel apps that we use and recommend while traveling in the Philippines, checkout our checklist below.  Download a FREE copy for yourself as a PDF.

READ MORE:   The Best (Must Have) Travel Apps for the Philippines


I always carry a Camelbak Hydration Pack with me when traveling. Not only does it allow me to pack all my daily gear and snacks, but it also has a 3-liter water bladder which holds enough water to get me through the entire day.

Bluetooth Speaker

Compact yet mighty, a bluetooth speaker setup is a breeze, and the sound quality it delivers for its size is nothing short of impressive. Beyond its audio prowess, it boasts exceptional durability, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures.

UV Shirt is an essential when travelling in a tropical country. Providing reliable protection during long hours in the water, not only comfortable but also ensures a secure shield against the elements.

Snorkel Gear

For my island-hopping escapades, a snorkel gear set has become indispensable. Designed to enhance the joy of snorkeling and free diving, each piece ensures comfort and functionality. Together, they create an immersive and enjoyable underwater experience.

Adventure Camera

As a long-time enthusiast of GoPro cameras, I can attest to their user-friendly nature, excellent image stabilization, and impressive footage quality. Waterproof and rugged, the GoPro is my reliable companion for capturing adventures in any environment.

When it comes to beach footwear, aqua shoes offer exceptional support, breathability, and overall comfort. Well-crafted and sturdy, it provides effective protection against rocky terrain, quick drying for added convenience, and easy maintenance. A must-have for any outdoor enthusiast.



We hope that the following photos inspire you to experience the Philippines and all that it has to offer.

El Nido, Palawan

The following video should give you an idea of what life is like in the Philippines.

Don’t Forget …

Book online & save money.

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Are you a resident or ever traveled to the Philippines?

About the Author

philippines business trip

Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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Alice Guo’s fugitive business partner had 5 passports, and COVID travel pass

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This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Alice Guo’s fugitive business partner had 5 passports, and COVID travel pass

PASSPORTS. Authorities find two passports inside the room of Huang Zhiyang during the breaking of the vaults on July 8, 2024.

Joann Manabat/Rappler

PAMPANGA, Philippines – Huang Zhiyang, a fugitive from China and the business partner of suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo, had five passports while he was in the Philippines, and could move around during the pandemic lockdown because of a travel pass issued by the former Bamban mayor.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story referred to Huang Zhiyang as a fugitive running from  Singapore’s money laundering case. This has been corrected.

These documents were among some potential evidence found in the vaults seized by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) when they raided villas in Fontana in Clark, Pampang a last June 27. The purpose of the Fontana raid was to find persons of interest who are yet to be tracked down. The vaults were opened on Monday, July 8, after operatives secured an order from Judge Hermenegildo Dumlao II of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Third Judicial Region in Malolos, Bulacan Branch 81.

Huang was Guo’s co-incorporator when they put up Baofu in 2019. Baofu is a real estate firm that later leased its compound to the Hongsheng/Zun Yuan POGO, raided for its alleged criminal activities like human trafficking and torture. Huang remains treasurer of Baofu with 14% shares. 

Among the documents found in the Fontana vaults were Huang’s two Taiwan passports, which will undergo verification with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, according to PAOCC chief Undersecretary Gilbert Cruz who supervised the opening of the vaults. Overall, PAOCC is in possession of five different passports under Huang’s name. He has Taiwanese, Chinese and Cyprus passports, Rappler has learned.

Huang is also wanted in China, according to Senator Risa Hontiveros, who earlier told media that the Chinese embassy in Manila has also expressed its intent to take jurisdiction of Huang to face his charges there.

The POGO problem is compounded by the transnational character of the crimes and the persons involved. It’s a jurisdictional nightmare for law enforcement of all countries that have a stake. At least for Guo, who is being investigated now for qualified trafficking, the Philippine government has said it would insist to have the suspended mayor here to face the complaints, or potential trial, before she can be deported in the event it’s proven she’s not a Filipino.

Editor’s Note: We earlier reported that Huang is also wanted in Singapore. This has been corrected.

Why Huang was able to travel to the Philippines despite him being wanted in China is something for the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to answer. The BI is currently intercepting flights of POGO suspects. Despite the lack of a hold departure order, their violations of their visa status is sufficient basis for the BI to hold them temporarily.

Local government

Another document found in the Fontana vaults is a travel pass issued to Huang and his driver in August 2020, during a strict pandemic lockdown when all travels had to be sanctioned by local government. The travel pass to Huang was signed by former Bamban mayor Jose Antonio Feliciano. Feliciano later endorsed Guo in the latter’s 2022 mayoral elections.

document, hand, paper

“Number one is yung question na binanggit nung Senate hearing ni Senator (Sherwin) Gatchalian about paano itinayo yung Bamban POGO hub. Yung mga structures don despite nung pandemic. Ito palang dating mayor eh nag issue ng travel pass. I think kailangan imbestigahan bakit nag issue siya ng travel pass sa mga taong pinaghihinalaan natin na nagpapatakbo ng illegal POGO hub,” Cruz said.

(Firstly, the question raised by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian during the Senate hearing about how the Bamban POGO hub came about, the structures there despite the pandemic. This former mayor issued travel passes. I think we need to investigate why he issued a travel pass to these people who we suspect were running the illegal POGO hub.)

Cruz said they also found some structural and engineering plans in the vaults.

“Sa amin kasi importante yung mga, unang una kung paano itinayo. May mga nakita rin tayong engineering plans, structural plans na sasagot doon sa mga tanong na yun,” Cruz added.

(To us, what’s important is, firstly, how it was built. We saw engineering plans, structural plans that would answer those questions.)

Present during the opening of the vaults on Monday were representatives from the Anti-Money Laundering Council, PAOCC, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and officials from Clark Development Corporation (CDC).

The CDC had locked down Fontana in May 2020 following a raid on a villa illegally operating as a makeshift hospital for Chinese patients.

persons, males, female, PAOCC Gilbert Cruz, agnes devanadera

Casino cards, bank statements

Cruz also revealed that casino VIP cards of Huang and Huang Suchuan were among the items found, which he said raise suspicions on potential money-laundering schemes via legitimate casinos.

“ As to the casino cards na na-recover, we will check dun sa mga legal casinos kasi VIP cards yung mga nakita natin eh. So pwede natin tanungin kung bakit meron siyang ganun, madalas ba siyang naglalaro, ano yung intention niya sa mga casino, baka ginagamit niya for money laundering, ” Cruz said.

(As to the casino cards that we recovered, we will check with these legal casinos since these are VIP cards. So we can ask why he [Huang] has those VIP cards, how often he plays, and his intention at the casinos because he might be using that for money laundering.)

Authorities also seized bank statements and passbooks that indicated national and international transactions. Cruz said links to the bank transactions and multiple business fronts could further implicate Huang and Guo.

All villas involved in the operation will undergo a comprehensive inventory of seized items before being locked. It remains to be business as usual, however, in Fontana.

id cards, casino cards, pictures, photos


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philippines business trip

Business Class Flights to the Philippines in 2024

Big names and deals, filter for what you want, trusted and free, price alerts, philippines business class round-trip flight deals, check out some of the best business class round trip airfares going from the united states to the philippines found recently by users on momondo., search for philippines business class one way flight deals, toggle between options to view the best deals for you on business class one-way flight tickets departing to the philippines from the united states, when to book business class flights to the philippines, check out the information below to find the best business class deal for your trip to the philippines, about business class flights to the philippines, helpful overview information on philippines business class ticket prices, flight duration, and airlines, frequently asked questions about philippines business class flights, how much does a business class flight to philippines cost.

Depending on where you fly from and which dates you’d like to travel, the average price for a business class ticket to Philippines is approximately $3,022. If you fly from United States, you may be able to secure a business class seat at just $2,197 - price last found on Jul 7.

Which airlines have business class flights to Philippines?

Travelers often pick the following airlines when buying business class flights to Philippines: Philippine Airlines, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, ANA, American Airlines, Japan Airlines, China Eastern, Vietnam Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, XiamenAir, Delta, China Airlines, STARLUX Airlines, Air China, Malaysia Airlines, China Southern, Qantas Airways, Alaska Airlines, WestJet, Lufthansa, EVA Air, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, Hainan Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, ZIPAIR, Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic, WestJet Encore, Air Canada, Air India, SWISS. Whichever airline you decide on, make sure to visit the airline’s website to understand all the premium services offered with your seat option.

What is the cheapest premium economy class flight to Philippines?

About 27% cheaper than business class tickets, premium economy class flights to Philippines cost roughly $2,236 per ticket. The alternative option allows flyers to still have a premium, comfortable flying experience without breaking the bank.

Which cabin class is available for Philippine Airlines flights to Philippines?

Tired of flying Economy? Philippine Airlines, the most highly rated airline for flights to Philippines, offers several premium cabin classes: business, premium economy. We advise exploring other airlines and being flexible with where you’re flying from to have the most cabin choices.

Is it worth flying Business Class to Philippines?

While the experience can vary from airline to airline, Business Class flights are one of the most luxurious flying experiences available. Some airlines can offer premium lounge access, while others may have exclusive in-flight perks aside from the extra legroom. With momondo, travelers can search and compare cheap Business Class flight deals so you can fly comfortably without breaking the bank.

Why should I use momondo to find a Business Class flight deal to Philippines?

We help find the flight that best suits your needs; momondo compares prices from hundreds of airlines and travel agents and helps you filter them to find the best Business Class flight to Philippines for you.

Can I find Business Class flights to Philippines with flexible booking policies on momondo?

Business Class flights to Philippines with flexible booking policies can be found by using the search form above and then selecting our dedicated flexible booking filter, which will highlight only the flights where this policy is applied.

How can momondo help me find deals for Business Class flight tickets to Philippines?

Once you have performed a search for Business Class flight tickets to Philippines, momondo helps you find the right flight by offering useful filters to narrow down your flight selection. Flights can be filtered by multiple factors such as airline, airport and price; but also by other criteria like aircraft type and payment method.

I’m not ready to book a Business Class flight to Philippines right now. Can momondo alert me if prices change?

Price alerts on Business Class flights to Philippines are quick and easy to set up on momondo. Simply perform a search and select the price alert feature. It is as simple as that.

When did momondo last update prices for flights from United States to Philippines?

Prices for flights from United States to Philippines are refreshed on a daily basis.

How many operators does momondo search for flights from United States to Philippines?

As of July 2024, there are 29 operators available to choose from for flights from United States to Philippines.

How old do you have to be to fly from United States to Philippines?

The minimum age a child must be to fly alone is five but airlines that offer an unaccompanied minor (UNMR) service will have their own age restrictions, including rules around flight length, timings, and stopovers. We always recommend checking with the individual airline you are booking with to travel from United States to Philippines.

What documentation or ID do you need to fly to Philippines?

The necessary travel and health documents for your Philippines trip may vary depending on your travel plans and individual circumstances. Generally, you should have various documents, such as a national ID card or driver's license and a passport that is valid for six months beyond your scheduled arrival date. We recommend seeking advice from your airline or a trusted third party, such as IATA.

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Divergent Travelers

Ultimate Philippines Itinerary for 10 Days, 2 Weeks or 3 Weeks

The Philippines is a huge archipelago of over 7000 islands, so putting together the perfect Philippines itinerary means that you have a lot of different destinations to choose from.

Each island is different too, and while that means that there’s something for every type of traveler, it also means that it’s always a challenging crafting a Philippines itinerary. 

You need to factor in logistics, the time you have to explore, and whether you want to see beaches and palm trees, or smoking volcanoes and mountaintops.

We are here to help you sift through the overwhelm and share with you our thoughts and experience from several visits with a combined total of more than 3 months of traveling in the Philippines .

Without further ado, here’s our guide to planning the perfect Philippines itinerary, no matter the length of your trip. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Philippines (Country Guide)

Ultimate Philippines Itinerary

Table of Contents

Best Time to Visit the Philippines

The Philippines has a very tropical climate, and the year is predominantly split into a wet and a dry season. The climate varies of course, with mountainous regions enjoying a cooler climate, and the beaches having fiercely hot summers. 

The dry season is the best time to enjoy your Philippines itinerary. It falls between November and May, and you can expect clear skies, clear waters for snorkeling, and little chance of rain. 

The wet season sees huge storms hitting the Philippines, and these will often turn into large and potentially destructive typhoons. The wet season, between June and November, is not a good time to explore the Philippines. 

Read more Best Time to Visit the Philippines: Month by Month Breakdown

Getting Around in the Philippines

This is a huge country, and with over 7000 islands spread out across a vast stretch of ocean, you’ll need to factor in some logistics when you’re planning your Philippines itinerary. 

The islands are spread over, and if you’ve only got two weeks, then you’ll need to fly between the major destinations. You can use Cebu or Manila as hubs, as from these airports you can reach almost any other city and island with either Air Asia, Philippines Airlines or Cebu Pacific.

If you’ve got longer, then you can take ferries and travel overland. Every island is connected by ferries, although these will vary in speed and level of comfort.

On land, you can take buses or minibusses between cities, while within cities you’ll either want to hire a tricycle or if you’re feeling adventurous, jump on a Jeepney. In Manila and Cebu, you’re best using the ride-hailing app Grab to get around quickly and safely. 

Costs and Budgets

The Philippines can be an inexpensive country to travel around, especially if you stick to local transport and food, and stay in dorms or budget hotels.

You can get away with spending as little as USD 20 a day, plus the cost of activities such as island hopping or snorkeling. 

On the other end of the spectrum, in destinations such as Boracay and even Manila, you can spend much more, and splurge on luxurious hotels and gourmet restaurants. 

Read reviews and check prices with our Hotel Search Engine , which gives you the best hotel deals found on the web. Our search engine pulls results from all of the major booking places, including Expedia, Hotels, Booking and more. All the options, all the deals, all in one place and just for you.

Safety Tips in the Philippines

The Philippines has a mixed reputation when it comes to safety because this is a country that often makes it into the news for its admittedly frequent natural disasters and internal conflicts. 

Yes, there are insurgencies in the south, and yes, there are active volcanoes and a fierce typhoon season. But plan well, and keep an eye on the weather and you’ll stay out of trouble. 

Filipinos are some of the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world, and you’ll soon find out why the country’s tourism slogan is ‘It’ s more fun in the Philippines’. 

Ideal 10 Day Philippines Itinerary

While these 10 days could be produced in more than a hundred varieties, I think it is important to note that we are building this route for first-time visitors to the Philippines.

This will include some of the most famous and popular places that you simply cannot miss when you come to the Philippines.

Of course, you’re free to substitute and head off to whatever places beckon to you, but no matter how you swing it, these places are a must.

10 Day Philippines Itinerary Overview:

10 day Philippines itinerary map

  • Day 1: Arrive in Manila – depending on time, do some afternoon sightseeing
  • Day 2: Fly to Coron in the morning – explore the area or book an afternoon tour
  • Day 3: Island Hopping tour around Coron Island
  • Day 4: Island Hopping tour around nearby islands
  • Day 5: Fly to Cebu in the morning
  • Day 6: Cebu – take a day trip to Kawasan Falls
  • Day 7: Fly to Caticlan and take the ferry to Boracay
  • Day 8: Boracay
  • Day 9: Fly to Manila in the morning – spend the day exploring the city and visiting its sites
  • Day 10: Depart the Philippines

With 7,000 islands, the options are literally endless. That said, we’ve been many times and this will give you a good taste of the best.

While at first glance the Philippines look easy and you may think that you can see a lot of areas in 10 days, this is not the case. Logistics are something most people overlook when planning a Philippines itinerary.

There are very few islands that are connected to each other by flights. This means that to change islands, in most cases, you will have to fly back to Manila and then onwards to the new place. This also has to be done as segments and you will not be able to book the flights on one reservation.

This requires a lot of planning and sadly, a lot of time spent in airports, especially if you have luggage. As you have to collect and recheck on each segment.

So the overview we provided above is one of the most seamless ways to see a few of the most famous areas in the Philippines without having to fly back to Manila. You’re welcome!

Manila: 1 to 2 Days

Manila is the sprawling, chaotic and hectic capital of the Philippines, and while most travelers need to pass through here to get elsewhere, few actually hang around for too long. 

It’s not all traffic and smog though, and it’s well worth hanging around for at least a day or two to get under the skin of the Philippines’ largest city because this is where you’ll find history and heritage in abundance. 

Popular Things to See in Manila

Visit the old Spanish colonial city, Intramuros, where you can see the stone bastions that defended Manila for centuries, and delve deep into the local heritage. 

Unravel the historical threads of Philippine culture as you stroll Manila’s 16th-century walled city, Intramuros, with a guide . Hear how Manila evolved through Malay, Spanish, American, and Japanese eras; learn about pre-colonization peoples and the national hero Dr. José Rizal.

The financial hub of Makati is Manila’s trendiest district. It’s a great place to stay, and a great place for fusion food and craft beers when the sun goes down. 

Discover historical information you may have missed, on a private half-day tour of Makati , a great introduction for first-time visitors. Check off highlights such as San Agustin Church and Museum, Rizal Park and Shrine, Fort Santiago and Intramuros, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

No other district in Manila can beat Binondo when it comes to food. This is Manila’s Chinatown, and it’s an epic world of food, markets, and culture. 

Read more 15 Awesome Things to Do in Manila (Itinerary for First Time Visitors )

Coron: 3 to 4 Days

Travel to Coron to find one of the most spectacular places in the country. No Philippines itinerary is complete without at least 3 days in Coron, but to see everything, you’ll need to save as much as a week to explore. 

Coron is rapidly growing into a top destination, but it still remains beautifully rustic, and in many places, totally uncrowded too. There are towering limestone cliffs, clear freshwater lagoons, and remote, isolated islands . 

Popular Things to See in Coron


The most popular tourist attraction in Coron is Kayangan Lake . This beautiful, freshwater lake is steeped in local legend and is refreshingly clear and cool to swim in. 

Book this great full-day tour that takes in all the island’s highlights, including snorkeling at the Siete Pecados Marine Park and Coral Eden, a boat cruise around Kayangan Lake, and swimming at the Twin Lagoons, plus a delicious seafood lunch on Calachuchi Beach.


For a view over the islands, then hike up the steps that lead from Coron Town to the summit of Mount Tapyas. It’s the best spot in Coron for sunset. 


Head to Pass Island to find one of Coron’s most remote, yet spectacular destinations. Maroon yourself on Pass Island, where you can enjoy white sands and relaxed Island vibes. 

Read more Coron Palawan: Itinerary & Best Things to D o

Cebu: 2 to 3 Days

Cebu is home to the Philippines’ second city, Cebu City, but away from the metropolis, it’s a verdant, green paradise brimming with waterfalls and beaches. 

Popular Things to See in Cebu

If you’ve ever wanted to swim with shoals of hundreds of thousands of sardines, then take a trip to Moal Boal. Jump into the water off the beach and you’ll be immersed in the sardine runs. 


Head to Kawasan Falls, where you can find the most spectacular waterfall in the Philippines. You can swim in turquoise plunge pools, or jump from towering cliffs into the water far below. 

If you are looking for an adrenaline-filled tour, no trip to Cebu is complete without visiting the Kawasan Canyon. Explore the canyon in a safe and secure environment during a full-day excursion from Cebu in a small group .

Jump into pools from heights of up to 30 feet (9 meters) and swim through caves and rivers. Plus, you’ll hike through the forest and enjoy lunch at Kawasan Falls.

Boracay: 2 to 3 Days

The most famous island in the Philippines is Boracay. This is the original tropical paradise, where you can find white sand beaches and fiery sunsets. 

But Boracay suffered from over-tourism and was forced to close for 6 months for a massive cleanup. It’s reopened though, and the future looks bright. 

Popular Things to See in Boracay


The most iconic place in Boracay is White Beach. This long stretch of sand is glorious, and one of the most famous beaches in the Philippines. 


Head to D’Mall, just off the beach, where you can find Boracay’s best bars and restaurants. 


Boracay has great beaches and is surrounded by great islands and snorkeling spots. The best way to explore is to join an island hopping tour. 

Read more 15 Essential Things to Do in Boraca y

Ideal 2 Week Philippines Itinerary

Using the initial 10-day itinerary as our base from above, we are going to build on that for the 2 week Philippines itinerary.

Honestly, it won’t look a whole lot different, with the exception of adding additional destinations. As I’ve already mentioned, the biggest hurdle is logistics in the Philippines.

So you want to plan your itinerary in a way that minimizes your time on airplanes, in airports and instead maximizes your time out adventuring.

With that said, I want to show your two viable options to maximize your 2 week Philippines itinerary below. There is no right answer, it truly depends on your interests.

2 Week Philippines Itinerary Overview – OPTION A:

2 week Philippines itinerary map

  • Day 4: Island Hopping tour or start 5-day sea expedition to El Nido
  • Day 5: Fly to El Nido
  • Day 6: El Nido
  • Day 7: Travel overland to Puerto Princesa
  • Day 8: Puerto Princesa
  • Day 9: Fly to Cebu in the morning
  • Day 10: Cebu – take a day trip to Kawasan Falls
  • Day 11: Fly to Caticlan and take the ferry to Boracay
  • Day 12: Boracay
  • Day 13: Fly to Manila in the morning – spend the day exploring the city and visiting its sites
  • Day 14: Depart the Philippines

2 Week Philippines Itinerary Overview – OPTION B:

2 week Philippines itinerary map

  • Day 4: Island Hopping tour
  • Day 5: Fly to Bohol in the morning
  • Day 6: Bohol/ Panglao
  • Day 7: Bohol/ Panglao
  • Day 8: Ferry to Cebu
  • Day 9: Cebu – take a day trip to Kawasan Falls
  • Day 10: Cebu – island tour

As your Philippines itinerary gets longer, you’ll be required to navigate trickier logistics. With 2 weeks, though, you can still be pretty fluid and avoid going back to Manila between islands on both of the above itineraries.

Taking island hopping day tours and utilizing local ferries in each of these destinations will allow you to explore more of the area, as well.

Palawan 4 to 5 Days

To the south of Coron, you can find Palawan, an island that’s often been called the Last Frontier of the Philippines. While many places here are far from untouched now, few places can match Palawan for raw beauty. 

Visit El Nido for parties and island hopping, head to Puerto Princesa for beaches and underground rivers, or travel far south to get really off the beaten track. 

Popular Things to See in Palawan

Located on the northern tip of Palawan, El Nido is a must-visit for any Philippines itinerary.

A sleepy little fishing village has grown into the number one backpacking spot in the Philippines, and once you start island hopping, you’ll soon understand why. 

Enjoy the beautiful coastline scenery on this full-day sightseeing cruise from El Nido . Relax onboard the boat while traveling around the islands and beaches of Bacuit Bay.

This includes 7 Commando Beach, Shimizu Island, and Secret Lagoon. Stop for swimming and snorkeling using the provided equipment, and refuel midday with a buffet lunch.

Read more Essential El Nido Palawan Guide


Close to Palawan’s largest city, you can find an unusual UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Underground River is a remarkable network of waterways that have carved a route through limestone rocks. 

Visit the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and paddle down the Puerto Princesa Underground River on this 8-hour tour .

Board a boat at the mouth of the cave at Sabang Wharf, and stop at the Buenavista viewpoint for views of the Ulugan Bay.

Located far south, Balabac is about as off the beaten track as you can go in Palawan. Think raw Island scenery and untouched beaches. 

Read more 15 Stunning Things to Do in Palawan, Philippine s

Bohol: 2 to 3 Days

Bohol is the perfect place to visit if you’re putting together your first Philippines itinerary. 

You can visit the famed Chocolate Hills, hang out on Alona Beach, and island-hop to beautiful natural spots. 

Popular Things to See in Bohol


One of the most famous places in the Philippines, no one should miss out on these legendary chocolate-colored hilltops. 

Enjoy a full-day tour of Bohol Island while traveling with an informative guide around the stunning island. Relax during a lunch cruise on the Loboc River.

Here you’ll have the opportunity to spot indigenous Philippine tarsiers, some of the smallest primates in the world, and then take in the Chocolate Hills from several vantage points.


Found on Panglao Island, Alona Beach is the best place to stay in Bohol. White sands, fiery sunsets, and great snorkeling and diving opportunities. 

Read more 24 Bohol Tourist Spots & Things to Do That You Cannot Mis s

Ideal 3 Week Philippines Itinerary

Continuing to build off the above itineraries, we have an additional week to play with when we consider a 3 week Philippines itinerary. In my opinion, you still want to avoid routing back through Manila, if at all possible.

However, with a 3-week itinerary, you’re going to find yourself flying back through either Manila or Cebu to access some other places.

Unless, of course, you choose to use your additional week to extend your stays in Coron, El Nido/Palawan, Cebu, Boracay or Bohol. All of which are perfectly acceptable options.

If you want to know the truth, we’d happily spend 3 solid weeks just in Palawan! So each to their own, but there is still plenty to check out in the Philippines, so don’t be shy about island hopping either.

3 Week Philippines Itinerary Overview – OPTION A:

3 week Philippines itinerary map

  • Day 2: Take Bus & Ferry to Puerto Galera
  • Day 3: Puerto Galera
  • Day 4: Puerto Galera – afternoon ferry/bus to Manila
  • Day 5: Fly to Coron in the morning – explore the area or book an afternoon tour
  • Day 6: Island Hopping tour around Coron Island
  • Day 7: Island Hopping tour or start 5-day sea expedition to El Nido
  • Day 8: Fly to El Nido
  • Day 9: El Nido
  • Day 10: Travel overland to Puerto Princesa
  • Day 11: Puerto Princesa
  • Day 12: Fly to Cebu in the morning
  • Day 13: Cebu – take a day trip to Kawasan Falls
  • Day 14: Fly to Siargao
  • Day 15: Siargao
  • Day 16: Siargao
  • Day 17: Fly to Cebu and overnight
  • Day 18: Fly to Caticlan and take the ferry to Boracay
  • Day 19: Boracay
  • Day 20: Fly to Manila in the morning – spend the day exploring the city and visiting its sites
  • Day 21: Depart the Philippines

3 Week Philippines Itinerary Overview – OPTION B:

3 week Philippines itinerary map

  • Day 11: Fly to Siargao
  • Day 12: Siargao
  • Day 13: Siargao
  • Day 14: Fly to Cebu and overnight
  • Day 15: Fly to Caticlan and take the ferry to Boracay
  • Day 16: Boracay
  • Day 17: Boracay
  • Day 18: Ferry to Caticlan and fly to Manila
  • Day 19: Manila – spend the day exploring the city and visiting its sites
  • Day 20: Manila – day trip to Taal Volcano

A 3-week Philippines itinerary, no doubt, will give you a solid amount of time to see some of the best areas of the Philippines. You’ll get into multiple provinces and regions while having a nice balance of beaches, islands and adventure.

It is possible to venture further afield, and of course, there are still plenty of places in the Philipines that are worth a visit, even though they are not mentioned above.

Puerto Galera: 2 to 3 Days

Located just a short journey to the south of Manila, you can quickly escape the urban jungle with a trip to Puerto Galera.

Take a ferry from Batangas to the island of Mindoro, where you’ll find beautiful beaches, jungle-clad waterfalls, and excellent snorkeling and diving. 

Popular Things to See in Puerto Galera

The best beach in Puerto Galera is White Beach, known for its perfect white sands. 

Head inland to explore the crashing, towering waterfalls of Puerto Galera. 


Puerto Galera is surrounded by world-class reefs, and an unbelievable level of biodiversity is awaiting you beneath the waves. 

It is also a fantastic place to get your PADI scuba certification. So if you want to do some diving in the Philippines, or need a refresher course, Puerto Galera is a fantastic place to do this.

Read more Ultimate Puerto Galera Philippines Guide: Diving & Beache s

Siargao: 3 to 4 Days

Siargao is the most up and coming island in the Philippines. Made famous by Instagrammers showing off the rustic jungles and glorious beaches, this is a place where tourism is only going to increase. 

It’s also well known for its surfing opportunities and laid back island vibe. This has made it a popular backpacker hangout, but even is that isn’t your style, you should still add it to your list.

Popular Things to See in Siargao 

Siargao is the Philippines’ best-known surf spot, and there are plenty of great breaks to test your skills on. 

There’s not just one island here though, there are hundreds, and the best way to explore is on an island-hopping trip. 

Visit General Luna, Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island on a full-day tour of the Siargao Island area from Manila . Learn about the culture, history, and ecosystem of each distinct island through guided commentary as you travel.

Have More Time?

Check out Backpacking in the Philippines: 4 Week Recap & Travel Tips

Philippines Scuba Diving Itinerary

The Philippines is a scuba diving mecca, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this aspect for building a Philippines itinerary. If it is the world-class scuba diving that you seek, then your itinerary is going to look a lot different.

This has a lot to do with the stipulations about flying after diving. So you have to be very thoughtful about how you layout your itinerary.

The best diving in the Philippines is found around Palawan and Cebu. This means you will want to plan your itinerary to maximize time under the water in these regions and utilize the ferry services that run to the various dive areas from the hubs of Coron and Cebu.

Overview of the Best Scuba Diving Locations:

best scuba diving in the Philippines map

  • Puerto Galera

Beginners or people that wish to get their PADI Open Water certification should look to places like Puerto Galera and Coron. Both places are also great options for getting your PADI Advanced Open Water certification.

Experienced divers will want to head to Coron to dive on WWII shipwrecks before heading to Cebu, where they can access world-famous dive sites in Malapascua, Dumaguete and Panglao, to name a few.

As you can see, the places mentioned vary a bit from those listed in the more standard itineraries above. Of course, if you’re scuba diving for fun, you’ll be able to find great diving almost anywhere in the country.

Putting it All Together

As I’ve said multiple times, there are hundreds of possible outcomes for building a Philippines itinerary that works for you. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

Where you go and what you do will have a lot to do with how much time you have and your budget. It is possible to experience the Philippines as a backpacker on a budget, in a high-end luxury way and everything in between.

Feel free to share your Philippines itinerary ideas and questions below!

More on the Philippines:

  • 30 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in the Philippines
  • Best Time to Visit the Philippines: Month by Month Breakdown
  • 25 Amazing Drone Photos of the Philippines
  • Culion Island Palawan: Is This the Next Philippines Hot Spot?
  • Busuanga Island Palawan: Ultimate Guide to the Last Frontier
  • Calauit Safari Park: African Animals Roam Free in the Philippines?
  • How to Get From Manila to Puerto Galera
  • 30 Philippines Pictures To Inspire Your Next Vacation

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Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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Pleasant Surprise: A Comprehensive Review of Philippine Airlines Business

April 4, 2023 by Martin J Cowling 4 Comments

a large white airplane on a tarmac

My expectations of Philippines Airlines were quite low. My only experience of Philippine Airlines had been a single adequate domestic flight five years ago. Instead, I found that PAL holds their own and offers service that is, overall, currently better than both Thai Airways and Malaysia Airlines. As those two airlines’ standards appear to have slipped, PAL has overtaken them. Best of all, I managed to snag business class fares that cost less than a third of those being charged by Singapore Airlines. I got a very comfortable ride. All my flights were marred by one thing, however. Read on…

a map of australia and asia with red lines

My flying over the last three months has taken me between Kuala Lumpur and Manila three times, between Melbourne and Manila three times and between Sydney and Manila once. The Long haul flights between Australia and the Philippines were all operated with Airbus 330-300 wide-body, twin-engine jet airliners. I travelled on A330 registration: RP-C8780 and RP-C8781 both delivered in October 2013 and refurbished in 2017. The short sectors to and from KL were flown on Airbus 321s.

a river running through a city

I was surprised at how user-friendly the Philippines Airlines website was. Booking my fares, seats, and baggage options was easy. Payment went through smoothly and quickly.

Their app was a little more clunky. What blew me away was their online support. I used their chat function to cancel a flight and found it painless, fast and effective.

Philippines Airlines sent me some very welcoming emails before each flight outlining their concierge services. I liked the touch. They also sent a nice follow-up email. More airlines could do this.

I was unable to work out the logic as to why some flights allowed me to check in on-line and others did not. Even from the same airport! The one consistency I had, however, was that I encountered some of the warmest, patient calmest and most welcoming check-in staff I have ever met. This friendliness was evident in Manila and at other cities.

I never check luggage in, but I did for two of the sectors. The luggage allowance is a low 40 kg for Business class. I was impressed that my checked bags were first off the belt. I was pleasantly surprised not to have a wait. I had very little trust in Manila’airport’s luggage handling system, so I didn’t expect my bags to arrive at all.

The Manila Philippines Airlines Terminal 2 lounge sits as a nice sanctuary within Manila. After several recent visits to the lounge, I have adjusted my expectations and got used to its quirks. The lounge itself can best be described as very “dated” and in need of a major refurbishment. There were plenty of seats, however, on every one of my vists and I always got a seat with a power outlet/socket to recharge my laptop and phone.

Food-wise, the quality was excellent, with a surprisingly good variety of fresh food choices. The mix was Filipino, Chinese and Western with options like empanadas, leche flan and congee. The bakery selections were good and there is a great bar with free cocktails, a nice coffee machine and a fresh noodle station.

Wifi was surprisingly fast. Staff were incredibly friendly and hospitable.

In Sydney, I found myself able to access The House which was the nicest of all the PAL lounges I encountered. In Melbourne, they place people in the Marhaba Lounge, which was more than adequate with comfort, range and quality of food. Kuala Lumpur saw me at the Plaza Premium Lounge, which is not a favourite. Very crowded and noisy. Food is okay. The showers were great!

Boarding at Manila airport was always chaotic. If you get stressed when travelling, take a dep breath. Everything at Manila Airport will annoy you! Boarding drove me crazy. Business class was called first but there was actually no order. On one occasion, I arrived from the lounge at the gate. In front of me was a clump of 300 people between me and the gate. As they called for Business Class to board, a helpful staff member said, “ just push through “. That was an adventure!

The crew welcome aboard on every flight was the friendliest I have ever encountered on an airline in the world. Consistently. I was impressed when the cabin manager on one of the flights (who I recognised) came down to say “hi” and that she had seen my name on the manifest and remembered me from our previous flight. In business class, each attendant welcomed me by name addressed me by name and introduced themselves by name. They came to say goodbye prior to landing. Boy, did I feel welcomed.

I am not normally a fan of the A330, but I was impressed with the PAL’s three-class layout. There are 18 seats in Business Class, 24 Premium Economy and 414 seats in Economy Class. The condition of the planes were surprisingly excellent for aircraft delivered almost ten years previously, reflecting their 2017 refurbishment.

a person sitting in an airplane

Philippine Airlines’ A330 Business Class features fully lie-flat seats with direct aisle access, personal storage compartments, and an 18.5″ in-flight entertainment system with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and music. It was a surprisingly good range, I was disappointed though, that most of the Filipino movies and TV stories in Tagalog didn’t have English subtitles. I would have liked to watch some of them. The headphones they gave out were not brilliant, They didn’t fit comfortably, and the sound was tinny. I recommend BYO (bring your own).

I chose the seats with the wide armrests facing the aisles for greater privacy.

a black leather wallet with a zipper

The Furla amenity kit given out on the long-haul flights was very good.

I found the Philippine Airlines’ Airbus A321 business class cabin provided me with a comfortable and relaxing flying experience. The recliner seats were arranged in a 2-2 configuration, with a total of 12 seats in the business class cabin. The seats were wide at 21″ and come with 37″ giving ample legroom. I could easily stretch out and relax during the flights.

a row of seats with monitors on the side

The seats also have adjustable headrests, lumbar support, and footrests to provide passengers with maximum comfort. Each seat came with a 15.6-inch myPAL eSuite Personal Entertainment System.

Restrooms aboard all flights were kept spotless. They had a large range of extras including handwash, mouthwash, and cologne.

Food On Board

Every flight came with a delicious main course. Starters varied in quality and taste, from delicious to so so. The meals often came with underwhelming fruit platters.

a plate of food on a tray

I discovered the best dessert I have ever had on a plane: PAL’s chocolate mousse puddin g. On top of that, the crew encouraged me to combine the desert with another dessert choice, for example caramel #ice cream #cooked #banana & #cashew nuts smothered in a honey butter sauce. I consistently drank all the soda water on board (two cans each time!!). The FAs kept plying me with an acceptable French champagne.

a plate with food in it and a fork on a table

Frequent Flyer

PAL has its own program, Mabuhay Miles. The program allows you to earn miles on Philippines, ANA and Philippines code share flights. It has no relationships with any other airline which limits its usefulness. If you want to earn points in their flights, they will go toward Mabuhay Miles, which can be redeemed only on Philippines Airlines flights. Points took 10 to 21 days to appear on the system.

Philippine Airlines has earned a 5-star rating for safety from Skytrax, the independent airline rating agency and 6/7 from

The A330 aircraft has a good safety record and is rated as a safe and reliable aircraft. It has received a rating of 7.5 out of 10 on, which assesses airline safety and product rating based on various factors, including crash records, operational history, and fleet age.

Very safe flying environment overall. PAL was strict on masks requiring them to be worn and reminding people multiple times. This gets them my instant loyalty. Cabin carbon dioxide levels ranged from 443 to 1126ppm but sat in the 400s for the whole flight.

a runway at night with lights

Manila Airport’s Awfulness

Manila Airport gets its own section in this review, as this airport was the main downside of this trip. The airport is one of the worst I have traveled through. Delays into and out of Manila are very common. It is known for its terrible and long queues, cramped hallways, waiting areas and lounges and very small, poor signage. It lacks decent shops or amenities, and in many of those shops, they don’t take Credit Cards-in an international airport!!! The airport has four terminals (T1, T2, T3 and T4), connected by a very irregular and crowded shuttle bus system. Navigating the airport ranges from bemusing to downright annoying. I have seen some spectacular meltdowns by international travellers there! (the locals seem to accept that airport for what it is). Guide to Sleeping in Airports regularly nominates Manila as the world’s worst airport.

I drew on three strengths each time I landed or departed from there. First, I am a seasoned, relatively unflappable traveller. The second is I know the airport well and have pored over maps to understand my routes. I also was prepared every step of the way with my possessions, paperwork and processes.

I got off the plane as quickly as I could and was prepared to sprint to the immigration lines before they become nightmarishly long. I actually managed to belt off the plane, walk to the COVID check, then the half kilometre to immigration and through customs in under half an hour every time. On one occasion, It took me 19 (NINETEEN) minutes from when the plane LANDED to when I ordered my Grab (Uber equivalent in Asia). I am claiming this as a record for Manila Airport. With a 13 minute grab ride, I was actually showered and in bed, ready to sleep less than one hour after landing. That’s impressive at an airport I hate, which is normally full of slow-moving queues.

I do want to say that they have friendly people throughout the whole airport, however.

Overall Rating: 84%

Overall, the Philippine Airlines A330 Business Class was a comfortable flying experience with op-notch service. However, it’s worth noting that individual experiences may vary depending on factors such as specific aircraft configuration, route, and crew performance. .

My ratings are:

  • Booking: 9/10 – app could be better
  • Check-in: 9/10
  • Boarding: 6/10
  • Meals: 8.5/10
  • Entertainment: 8/10
  • Service: 10/10

Every airline boasts about the effectiveness of their onboard HEPA Air Filtration systems, which are highly effective as I know from personal experience by working on a respiratory unit with isolation rooms…so obviously face masks are totally unnecessary.

In fact, wearing a face mask does not stop viral pathogens from entering your airway passages and because your exhaling makes the face mask moist you are actually more prone to contacting bacterial pneumonia.

No more masks!

They are merely a form of social control thrust upon an uneducated population.

Hey, need a bit of clarity on this.Thanks

hi everyone

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Philippines to host World Travel Awards 2024 in September

Philippines to host World Travel Awards 2024 in September

The Philippines is set to host the World Travel Awards 2024.

During a press conference held at the M.I.C.E Con 2024 by the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday, DOT Secretary Christina Frasco announced that the country will host the annual World Travel Awards this September.

As seen in the World Travel Awards website, the awarding ceremony will commence on Sept. 3 at the City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque City.

For this year’s edition, the Philippines bagged seven nominations , including Asia's Leading Beach Destination, Asia's Leading Dive Destination, and Asia's Leading Island Destination.

Intramuros is also nominated once again as Asia's Leading Tourist Attraction, while Boracay and Cebu is nominated as Asia's Leading Luxury Island Destination and Asia's Leading Wedding Destination, respectively.

DOT, on the other hand, is nominated for the Asia's Leading Tourist Board award again.

Last year, Manila City secured its first-ever award at the prestigious World Travel Awards, earning the title of the World’s Leading City Destination for 2023.

Alongside this recognition for the city, the Philippines also maintained its 2022 titles as the World’s Leading Dive Destination and Beach Destination.

The World Travel Awards is a London-based organization established in 1993 and is known as the Oscars of the travel industry. It acknowledges excellence in travel and tourism at the national, regional, and global levels.

—CDC, GMA Integrated News


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    The Philippines will host the World Travel Awards 2024 on Sept. 3. The country bagged seven nominations, including Asia's Leading Beach Destination, Asia's Leading Dive Destination, and more. ... The World Travel Awards is a London-based organization established in 1993 and is known as the Oscars of the travel industry. It acknowledges ...

  29. PH tourism revenue hits P282-B; up 32.8% in H1 of 2024

    MANILA - The Philippines' estimated visitor receipts have reached more than PHP280 billion in the first half of 2024, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported Thursday. Based on DOT's latest statistical monitoring report, tourism earnings from inbound visitors are currently pegged at…

  30. Philippines: outbound traveler share by purpose of visit

    Leading domestic destinations for leisure travel Philippines 2022 Domestic travelers share Philippines 2022, by length of stay Domestic tourism expenditures Philippines 2012-2023