Top events in Philippines


The oldest and largest in Asia, this musical instrument, entirely made out of bamboo, was built in 1824 during the Spanish period by Padre Diego...


Welcoming the Chinese lunar year with feasting, processions and fireworks in Manila's Chinatown.


The annual Moriones Festival is a week-long religious event that begins on Holy Monday and ends on Easter Sunday. It is one of the most colourful...

Manila Bay, Philippines
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Manila Bay, Philippines

© / Antonio Oquias

Philippines Travel Guide

Key Facts

300,000 sq km (115,831 sq miles).


105.7 million (2013)

Population density

352.4 per sq km.




Republic. Gained independence from the USA in 1946.

Head of state

President Benigno Aquino since 2010.

Head of government

President Benigno Aquino since 2010.


220 volts (110 volts in Baguio) AC, 60Hz. 110 volts is available in most hotels. Flat and round two- and three-pin plugs are in use.

Composed of 7,107 islands and with a total coastline longer than that of the USA, it’s hardly surprising that many of the Philippines’ most stunning attractions can be found in or around the sea. The warm tropical waters are ideal for snorkeling or diving, with coral gardens teeming with beautiful marine life, while unspoiled stretches of fine white sand will seduce even the most beach-averse.

There’s much more, though. The archipelago’s jungles, mountains, volcanoes and caves are ripe for exploration. But there are also the more subtle pleasures of getting to grips with Filipino culture. This isn’t a country that stages dozens of phony ‘cultural shows’ for tourists; and the festivals (of which there are many) welcome outsiders with open arms but are predominantly aimed at locals. So it’s down to individual visitors to strike up conversations and discover a country where Catholic European traditions are entwined with a vibrant Asian culture.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 24 January 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to south-west Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of on-going terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao for the same reasons.

Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year. Most typhoons occur from June to December. There may be flooding and landslides. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms.

There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. See  Terrorism

With the exception of Philippine Airlines (PAL), and Cebu Pacific, all air carriers certified in the Philippines are banned from operating to/from the EU. 

Around 122,759 British nationals visited the Philippines in 2013. Most visits are trouble-free.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.