FAQ – Philippines

Found here is information regarding: travel insurance, visa & passport, vaccinations, what to pack, currency and money, mobile network, weather, transportation, etc.

1 – Travel insurance

We encourage everybody to subscribe to travel insurance that covers the following:

  • Medical insurance for your full period abroad (including days of travel)
  • Evacuation costs (transport, accommodation, personal expenses)
  • Hospitalisation & medical treatments costs

The followings are personal preference only:

  • Costs associated with missed flights, cancellation, transport failures etc.
  • Replacement of lost, damaged or stolen valuables
  • Repatriation and costs for family member death

Keep a copy of your insurance contract with you while you are travelling (including a copy of your passport) – this is standard good practice!


2 – Visa and Passport

The large majority of tourists are able to obtain a 30-day visa upon arrival in the Philippines. This can usually be extended for a fee (approximately 60 Euros). Your passport is required to be valid for at least six months from the date of departure from the Philippines.

Upon arrival or departure, you might be asked to present your return flight ticket from the Philippines, so do not forget to print it before leaving.

Click here to visit the official Philippines Bureau of Immigration or follow this link for a somewhat more simple explanation of the Philippines Visa Policy.

You should contact your nearest Philippines Embassy if you are at all unsure of the visa situation. If you chose to stay longer than 30 days in the Philippines, it is possible to get a 59-day visa from the Philippines embassy or consulate in your country prior to departure.


3 – Vaccinations

There are no obligatory vaccinations for travelling to the Philippines, however make sure your vaccinations are up to date. For further information, we advise you to contact a vaccination center if you live in France and otherwise contact your GP. You can also reach more information on the government’s websites.


4 – Currency and money

We recommend you to check the euro exchange rate. In July 2018, it was 1 EUR = 62 PHP.

There are no cash machines in Malapascua. Major resorts and restaurants take credit/debit cards, but local places will need cash only.

There are cash machines inside the Cebu Arrival Terminal. You can withdraw a maximum amount of 10,000 pesos per withdrawal, and the machine will ask you for a fee of 250 pesos.


5 – Mobile network

Internet is very cheap in the Philippines, and Facebook is mostly free! It also makes communication on Malapascua much easier. If your phone is unlocked, you can purchase a SIM card at the airport. This will allow you to call, send text messages and use the internet.

Globe is the network that works best on the island. A Globe pre-paid SIM card costs 40 pesos – you can then add money (buy load) from most people on the island and chose which plan you want to use. A basic data only plan costs 100 pesos (the globe people can help you set this up on your phone). An unlimited data plan costs 500 pesos for a two-week period.

Plans often change so you may need to ask assistance when purchasing the SIM and loading money to your phone!


6 – Weather

Filipino climate is tropical, warm and humid most of the time. The temperature is generally between 25°C and 35°C with 80% humidity during most of the year.

The dry season runs from January to June and the rainy season from July to December. The dry season is not always dry, and the rainy season mainly means strong, daily showers. June to December is also the typhoon season.

Typhoons

The Philippines are well-known for their typhoons – there are about 25 typhoons entering the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) every year. Most of them drift north of the Philippines, but the famous Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines) hit right across Leyte and the Visayas in November 2013, generating massive destruction and a high number of casualties.

Climate even is a reality. However, these are predictable events, carefully followed by government agencies in the US and all over the South East Asia.

This is one of the websites that can be used to monitor typhoons’ evolution: Wunderground