PhilippinesTravel hints



Best time to dive the Philippines
(Last updated December 2016)

The climate in the Philippines is tropical, with March to May being the hottest months. The rainy season starts in June and extends through October with strong typhoons possible. The coolest months are from November to February, with mid-January to end-February considered the best for cooler and dryer weather. Locations exposed directly to the Pacific Ocean have frequent rainfall all year. Air temperatures range between 25°C (77°F) during the night and 35°C (95°F) during the day depending on season. Humidity is high year round.

Bohol, Cebu, Negros: Best time to dive is from November through to May.
Mindoro, Luzon: Best diving time is January to June.
Palawan: Diving year round, but best time is December through to June.
Boracay: Best time to dive is November to May.
Visa & Passport requirements
A valid passport for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel is required. Visas are not required for Australian, US, Canadian, British and most western European passport holders for a stay up to 30 days for tourist purposes. All tourists wishing to stay longer than 30 days need to pre-arrange a visa prior to arriving in the Philippines.

Tourists from other countries should apply for a visa at the Philippines Embassy before leaving.

IMPORTANT: As regulations may change from time to time, it is advisable to check with the nearest Philippines Embassy before your departure.
Health
As with all travels you should make sure that your usual immunisations such as polio, tetanus, etc. are current.

Malaria is endemic in many provincial regions of the Philippines but does not affect the capital Manila. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.

Thypoid vaccine is recommended for all travellers who may eat or drink outside major restaurants and hotels.

Medical facilities are adequate in major cities in the Philippines, but a very limited in provincal regions and remote islands. Decompression chambers are located in Manila, Cebu, Batangas, Subic and Palawan.

Medical kit suggestions
- Analgesic
- Insect repellent
- Anti-seasick medicine
- Sun tan lotion
- Sunburn Cream
- Band aids (some large ones)
- Ear Drops- alcohol / vinegar base. Daily use will prevent outer ear infections.
- Antibiotic ointment for coral cuts. See your physician.
Currency
The currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso.

Incidental charges can be paid by Visa, Mastercard or cash local currency with most dive resorts and liveaboards. Operators in more remote locations may only accept cash. Some permit fees may only be paid in cash. For credit card payments, service charges will apply.
Departure taxes
A departure tax of PHP 750 applies for international departures. For domestic air travel, the departure tax is PHP 220 (from January 2016 it will increase to PHP 300). Children under two years of age and transit passengers are exempt.

NOTE: There have been some changes in regards to departure taxes in the Philippines recently. For flight tickets issued after September 2015, all departure taxes are included in the ticket price. However, this information could not be officially confirmed yet for all carriers, so please continue to carry some Peso cash just in case.
Local time
The time zone of the Philippines is GMT +8 hours.
Electricity
Most of the Philippines is 220 Volt 60 Hz with the older 2-prong plug formerly used in the USA (not polarized or grounded). It's best to bring items that work universally and are marked with a 100V-240V 50/60hz compatibility to avoid voltage concerns.
Certification requirements & dive gear hire
Please remember to bring your certification card with you. All certified divers must present their certification cards in order to dive.

Liveaboard dive operations in the Philippines offer the possibility to hire dive equipment at extra cost. Tanks, weights and air fills are included in all cruise packages.

Please note that the Philippines have INT tank fittings. If you have DIN fittings on your regulator, make sure you bring an adaptor.
Dive insurance
All dive operators promoted by Diversion Dive Travel adhere to very high standards for safety and equipment. A current Diver Evacuation & Accident cover is recommended for all diving arrangements in the South East Asia region. For a nominal yearly membership fee, the DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) provides year-round diver evacuation and accident cover. For more details on membership and insurance options, please contact your regional DAN office according to your area of residence:

North America: www.diversalertnetwork.org/
Europe: www.daneurope.org/
South-East Asia/Australia/Pacific: www.danasiapacific.org/
General travel insurance
In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled travel arrangements, Diversion Dive Travel strongly suggest you consider taking out suitable travel insurance at the time of booking. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover losses such as cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, sudden illness or serious injury whilst abroad, and lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items.

Travel Insurance for Australian Residents:
www.diversiondivetravel.com.au/travelinsurance.html
Clothing suggestions
Casual & comfortable clothing including a light jacket is recommended, as evenings can get cool and liveaboards usually keep their air-conditioning high in all indoor areas. Please keep sun protection in mind and be advised to respect local customs by not wearing swimsuits, short shorts, or other inappropriate clothing in towns, villages or public places.
Tipping
This is a very personal decision, tips are your ways of expressing satisfaction. On liveaboards, it is customary to give the tip to the captain or cruise director and ask it to be distributed amongst the crew. In resorts, you leave the tip with the manager as they usually run Christmas Clubs and other community collections.
Safety
The Philippines are a fascinating country. Like any other place in the world it has its downsides as well. The travel advisories of some countries do warn to take extra caution if you travel to the Philippines. As a rule of thumb, you are very safe in your resorts, on your dive boats, in hotels and with your tour guide. Use normal caution around airports and in bigger cities, avoid being out at night alone, especially in bigger towns.
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information:

Australian travel advisory for the Philippines
UK travel advisory for the Philippines
US travel advisory for the Philippines
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