FREE VIP Privilege Club in Philippines

The islands of the Phillipines contain the world’s second largest archipelago, from Luzon in the North to the frontiers of Palawan. More than a thousand islands and many more stunning beaches are waiting to be discovered. Whether you're passion is scuba diving, sailing, eating fresh seafood, or soaking up the sun, the Philippines promises an excellent holiday for all visitors.

This Southeast Asian country has an almost unlimited variety of beaches, some are developed while others are left utterly unspoiled. Philippine beaches are not only numerous, they are beautiful, and the sheer number of gorgeous beaches is clearly enough to entice visitors.

Activities

Manila is one of Southeast Asia’s oldest cities, though much of its history was ruined during WWII. However, the city offers much more besides, with parks, a sweeping bayside promenade, day trips and great shopping in Makati.

Boracay is a relatively small island in central Philippines and is recognised as one of the best. It's an island of clear blue waters and pristine white sand making Boracay the top beach destination in the country and one of the best in the world. The island is a well-developed tourist destination with good hotels, bars, restaurants, and superb water sports facilities.

One of the best summer destinations is Visayas, with its pristine beaches, turquoise waters and enchanting natural surroundings. This region is composed of several islands so you should be prepared to spend most of your holiday on the beach or going on ferry rides, however, everywhere you look, there’s bound to be a magnificent beach or coral reef to entice you to stay.

Other activities in the Philippines include scuba diving, boat tours, kiteboarding, skimboarding, massage, spa and horse riding.

Climate

June to August is the typhoon season and the temperature is moderate, though if you intend to travel on water to get from one island to the next, care should be taken during this period and attention to local weather forecasts is important. March to May is the summer season when you can expect clear skies and calm waters and the scorching temperatures can go up to as much as 38 degrees centigrade. November to February is probably the best time to travel to the islands because the weather is cooler and you can enjoy the longest Christmas season as Filipinos everywhere actually start decorating for the holidays as early as October.

Culture

Filipinos are famous for the spirit of kinship and camaraderie taken from their Malay forefathers and it's a strong mixt of many different cultures. They observe very close family ties and their religion comes from the Spaniards who were responsible for spreading the Christian faith across the archipelago. The Spaniards introduced Christianity and succeeded in converting more than 80% of the total population.

Genuine hospitality is a trait displayed by every Filipino, making these people legendary in Southeast Asia. Guests will often be treated like royalty in Philippine households, especially during fiestas when even virtual strangers are welcomed. At times, this hospitality can be overdone, as some households spend their entire savings on their fiesta offerings and sometimes even run into debt to lavish their guests and family. Perhaps due to their long association with Spain, Filipinos are emotional and passionate about life in a way that seems more Latin than Asian.

Festivals

Festivals (fiestas) are part of the Filipino culture and most of them reflect the country’s religious heritage. In any of the Philippines provinces that you visit, you’re almost certain to experience some sort of festival showcasing what that particular area has to offer.
In February, the flower season in Baguio City creates the perfect setting for the yearly flower festival, which is usually a month-long event with exhibits and activities happening every weekend, drawing large crowds of guests from the lowlands.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is an annual fiesta that attracts millions of people from all over the Philippines. In Manila every January, devotees pay tribute and take part in the procession as the life-size statue of the Black Nazarene is paraded along the streets. The 400 year old image has been associated with a number of miracles and many people believe that touching even so much as the carriage that holds the statue will give them blessings for the coming year.

May brings the Flores de Mayo and is celebrated in almost every province in the Philippines. Marking the beginning of the rainy season, it also means that the flowers are beginning to bloom again after a long dry spell. Each town’s Santacruzan is a pageant parade of the most beautiful ladies in the town walking along the streets under bamboo arcs that are decorated with fresh flowers.

Food

Filipino food is distinguished by its strong combination of sweet, sour and salty flavors, often delivered in a single presentation, though in general most dishes are not heavily spiced.

Snacking is normal for a Filipino and they may eat five 'meals/snacks' in a day. Dinner is still the main meal, though traditionally smaller than either breakfast or lunch. Main dishes include sinigang (pork, fish, or shrimp in tamarind soup and vegetables), bulalo (beef soup, kare-kare, crispy pata, and mechado (pork cooked in tomato sauce).

Desserts are usually made only for special occasions. The most popular desserts include leche flan, buko pandan (slivers of young coconut with cream and pandan flavor) or gulaman (jello).

Religion

Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion and the largest Christian denomination, with more than 80% of the population belonging to this faith in the Philippines. Spanish style Catholicism is highly embedded in the culture, acquired from priests or friars, and this is shown in many of the Philippine traditions and processions when they honour their patron saints.

Travel Tips
Greetings

Tagalog speakers in the Philippines have many ways of greeting other people, and it's common to hear them also say 'Hi' or 'Hello' as a form of greeting. In general, there are no Tagalog translations for these English greetings, so any English-speaking person is likely to be understood by Filipinos.

Religion

The Philippines can claim its uniqueness as the only Christian country in Asia, because around 90% of the population are Christians. From this figure of 90%, 83% of these are Roman Catholics, 9% are Protestants, 5% are Muslims while the remaining 3% are Buddhists or belong to other religion groups.
It’s unfortunate when a country has a terrorism problem in one region that affects the whole country’s image. Even today the country only gets 2 million tourists (compared to Thailand’s 16 million), which is a shame since the Philippines is generally a safe place to visit.

The Law

Do not get yourself involved with drugs. Penalties for drug offences are extremely severe in The Philippines.
Do not support any manner of wild animal abuse. Never purchase any products or souvenirs made from wild animals including reptiles like snakes, monitor lizards, and also turtle shell and ivory.
Drop your garbage into a waste container. In an effort to keep the city clean and healthy, the fine will be imposed on a person who spits, discards cigarette stubs, or drops rubbish in public areas.
Observe all normal precautions as regards to personal safety, as well as the safety of your belongings.


We hope these guidelines are helpful during your stay in The Philippines. More detailed information about The Philippines is available by clicking the appropriate listing in our Main Menu. This is where you will also find a selection of businesses that are offering benefits and discounts to Asia Privilege Club Members.

Please send your questions and comments by submitting the Contact Form or send an e-mail to
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