Visitors may bring in these goods duty-free: 400 sticks of
cigarets or two tins of smoking tobacco, two bottles of alcoholic
beverages not exceeding one liter each,cars and other vehicles,
provided they are covered by "Carnet de Passages en Douanes"
and a letter of commitment from the Philippine Motor Association
guaranteeing the exportation of the vehicle within one year
from the date of arrival or the payment of corresponding duties
and taxes thereon.
Passports and Visas
Foreign nationals must carry a valid passport. All, except
visitors from countries with which the Philippines has no
diplomatic relations, stateless persons, and restricted, nationals
may stay for 21 days, provided they show onward or return
tickets. Those who wish to stay longer may apply for visa
extension at the Bureau of Immigration, Magallanes Drive,
Those who have not overstayed their visas do not require
exit permits. Visitors are not allowed to leave the country
with more than P500 in Philippine currency. All must pay a
departure tax of US$10. Currency in excess of US$3,000 must
be declared upon entry.
Some 40 major airlines flying regularly to major cities and
countries around the world bring passengers to and from the
Philippines. Philippine Airlines, the national carrier, has
26 international flights and serves 43 domestic points. Other
airlines like Grand Air (the other national carrier), Cebu
Pacific Air, Air Philippines, Aerolift, and Philippine Spirit
fly to busy domestic destinations and routes not served by
Over a dozen private maritime fleets call on inter-island
ports. However, travel by sea is not recommended during the
Both air conditioned and regular buses travel all the major
routes in metro manila except Roxas Bouleverd. On an air-con
bus, a short ride is about P6, a moderate ride around P15
and a long ride to the provinces about P25. The regular buses
start at P1.50 and also increase in price for longer rides.
Just tell the conductor where you are going and he will tell
you how much it is and give you a reciept. Keep the reciept
as it is proof that you paid.
Called "folk art on wheels", jeepneys ply most of Manila's
secondary roads and a few major thoroughfares. They're as
much fun to ride on as they are to look at and you have to
try one. Although there are regular stops, you can often just
flag one down and hop on. Call out bayad and pay the driver.
If you are too far back, pass you P1.50 down. When you are
ready to get off, wait till he slows down and jump.
LRT (Light Rapid Transit)
It's the fastest cheapest way to go. P6 takes you from Monumento
(the northern end of Edsa) to Baclaran, traveling first along
Rizal Avenue and then Taft avenue. Many of the tourist maps
have the route of the LRT marked.
Air conditioned taxis cost P3.50 on the meter and additional
P12.50 is added to the final cost. Regular taxis cost P2.50
on the meter and then add P7.50 to the fianl charge. Taxis
are always lined up at major hotels and tourist restaurants
and can be hailed on the street. If you take a taxi, make
sure the driver turns on the meter. If he gives you a story
that it is broken, get out and take another taxi. Unless you
are taking a long trip or traffic rides should be well under
P100. Atleast a 10% tip is expected.
The Philippine currency is the peso (P). As of writing, the
exchange rate is about P26 to the US dollar. There, are 100
centavos to the peso. Peso notes come in denominations of
1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5; coins are in 5, 2, and
1 pesos and .50, .25, .10, .05, and .01 cents.
Foreign exchange counters are generally found in airports,
banks, hotels, and big department stores. The US dollar is
widely acceptable after the peso, although other foreign currencies
are easily convertible in Metro Manila.
Traveler's checks and major credit cards are acceptable in
most major hotels, business establishments, and restaurants
in Metro Manila and key cities.
A 10 percent service charge is usually included in restaurant
and hotel bills. In addition, 10 to 15 percent of the bill's
total makes an appropriate tip. Airport and hotel porters
expect about P5 per bag in tip. Bellhops, taxi drivers, hairdressers,
manicurists, barbers, and security guards also expect a tip.