Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Photo by Neil John Luayon
  • The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of approximately 300,000 square kilometers.
  • The Philippines' rainforests and its extensive coastlines make it home to a diverse range of birds, plants, animals, and sea creatures.It is one of the ten most biologically megadiverse countries and is at or near the top in terms of biodiversity per unit area.
  • The Philippines has a tropical maritime climate and is usually hot and humid. There are three seasons: tag-init or tag-araw, the hot dry season or summer from March to May; tag-ulan, the rainy season from June to November; and tag-lamig, the cool dry season from December to February.
  • According to the 2000 census, 28.1% of Filipinos are Tagalog, 13.1% Cebuano, 9% Ilocano, 7.6% Bisaya/Binisaya, 7.5% Hiligaynon, 6% Bikol, 3.4% Waray, and 25.3% as "others", which can be broken down further to yield more distinct non-tribal groups like the Moro, the Kapampangan, the Pangasinense, the Ibanag, and the Ivatan. There are also indigenous peoples like the Igorot, the Lumad, the Mangyan, the Bajau, and the tribes of Palawan. Negritos, such as the Aeta and the Ati, are considered among the earliest inhabitants of the islands.
  • Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in other Asian countries with a Malay heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant amount of Spanish and American influences.
  • Philippine cuisine has evolved over several centuries from its Malayo-Polynesian origins to become a mixed cuisine with many Hispanic, Chinese, American, and other Asian influences that have been adapted to local ingredients and the Filipino palate to create distinctively Filipino dishes. Dishes range from the very simple, like a meal of fried salted fish and rice, to the elaborate, such as the paellas and cocidos created for fiestas.
  • The Philippine monetary unit, the peso, is generally preferred for financial transactions. Money-changing shops are available in key cities and towns.
  • Adopt to local customs; accept local differences. The Filipinos are divided culturally into regions a total of 16, at present, each with its own distinct traits and traditions.
  • Never leave home without your rain gear, umbrella, and heavy clothing during the rainy months from June to October as well as when setting out to the mountainous areas.
  • When shopping in a public market, it is perfectly acceptable to haggle for the cheapest price.
  • English is the most widely spoken next to Filipino/Tagalog, the national language. Learning the basic local phrases may come in handy. Over 111 local dialects are spoken in the country.
  • When headed to the remote areas, come prepared with an insect repellant and even your own water in handy containers. Always have the island map with you.
  • Prepare to hop in a jeepney, tricycle, or pedicab – exotic modes of land transport that are the most commonly available for going around. Always bring loose change when taking public transport.
  • Know the transport schedules. Some destinations are only being serviced intermittently, not to mention extreme weather conditions that will affect these schedules.
  • Air-conditioned taxis should cost PhP30 on the meter. An extra PhP2 will be added for every 500 meters.
  • When travelling by car, be mindful of the number coding ordinance for vehicles that is being implemented strictly in selected cities.
  • Be sure to sample the endless variety of native delicacies and local cuisine, which differ in every region. The Philippines is made up of 7,107 different flavors that you will want to take home with you.
  • Do not miss visiting during the summer, when there is a concentration of major festivals, celebrations, and events.
  • Tipping is expected for many services. The standard amount is 10% of the total bill. Tipping is optional on bills that include a service charge, which is often 10% as well of the total bill.
  • For tourist information and assistance, get in touch with the Department of Tourism and any of its accredited offices nationwide.

Good luck!



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1 comment:

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