Travel route » Visiting the Philippines


Visa Information

Guidelines on the entry of temporary visitors to the Philippines Nationals from countries (click list) who are travelling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding twenty-one (21) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay. However, Immigration Officers at ports of entry may exercise their discretion to admit holders of passports valid for at least sixty (60) days beyond the intended period of stay.

Upon Arriving: Visitors are allowed to bring in duty free personal belongings, two cartons of cigarettes or two tins of pipe tobacco and up to one liter of alcohol. Balikbayans have separate rules and should check with the Embassy or Consulate in their home city. 

The currency in the Philippines is the Peso (PhP) and the Centavo. 100 centavos = P1. Coin denominations are: 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavos, P1, and P5. Bill denominations are : 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1, 000 pesos.

Foreign currency may be exchanged at your hotel, and in most of the large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shops. Exchanging money anywhere else is illegal and the laws are strictly enforced.

Most large stores, restaurants , hotels and resorts accept major credit cards including American Express , Visas and MasterCard. Traveller' s checks preferably American Express are accepted at hotels and large department stores. Personal checks drawn on foreign banks are generally not accepted.

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Currency Regulations

It is illegal for any incoming or outgoing passenger to bring in or out Philippine Pesos in excess of P10,000.00 without prior authority from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Any violation of this rule may lead to its seizure and civil penalties and / or criminal prosecution. (BSP Circular 98-1995).

The transportation of foreign currency or monetary instruments is legal. However, the carrying of foreign currency in excess of US$10,000.00 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies must be declared to a Customs Officer or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Violation of this rule may lead to seizure and sanctions, fines and / or penalties.

Everyday Greetings

Tagalog speakers in the Philippines have many ways of greeting other people. It is common also to hear them say "Hi" or "Hello" as a form of greeting, especially among close friends. There are no Tagalog translations for these English greetings because they are basically borrowed terms, and any English-speaking person will be readily understood by Filipinos in general (Yes, Virginia and Joe, English is widely spoken in the Philippines, a former colony of the US of A for nearly 50 years!).

 Below are a few Tagalog greetings that are importart to learn if one wants to endear himself/herself to Filipinos.

  • Magandang umaga po. (formal/polite) - Good morning
  • Magandang umaga. (informal) - Good morning
  • Magandang tanghali po. (formal/polite) - Good noon
  • Magandang tanghali. (informal) - Good noon
  • Magandang hapon po. (formal/polite) - Good afternoon
  • Magandang hapon. (informal) - Good afternoon
  • Magandang gabi po. (formal/polite) - Good evening
  • Magandang gabi. (informal) - Good evening
  • Kumusta po kayo? (formal/polite) - How are you?
  • Kumusta ka? (informal) - How are you?
  • Mabuti po naman. (formal/polite) - I'm fine
  • Mabuti naman. (informal) - I'm fine
  • Tuloy po kayo. (formal/polite) - Please, come in
  • Tuloy. (informal) - Please, come in
  • Salamat po. (formal/polite) - Thank you
  • Salamat. (informal) - Thank you
  • Maraming salamat po. (formal/polite) - Thank you very much
  • Maraming salamat. (informal) - Thank you very much
  • Wala pong anuman. (formal/polite) - You are welcome
  • Walang anuman. (informal) - You are welcome
  • Opo/ oho. (formal/polite) - Yes
  • Oo (informal) - Yes
  • Hindi po/ho (formal/polite) - No
  • Hindi (informal) - No
  • Hindi ko po/ho alam. (formal/polite) - I don't know
  • Hindi ko alam. (informal) - I don't know
  • Anong oras na po? (formal/polite) - What time is it?
  • Anong oras na? (informal) - What time is it?
  • Saan po kayo papunta? (formal/polite) - Where are you going?
  • Saan ka papunta? (informal) - Where are you going?
  • Saan po kayo galing? (formal/polite) - Where did you come from?
  • Saan ka galing? (informal) - Where did you come from?
  • Ano po ang pangalan nila? (formal/polite) - What is your name?
  • Anong pangalan mo? (informal) - What is your name?
  • Ako po si ________ (formal/polite) - I am ______ (name).
  • Ako si _________ (informal) - I am ______ (name).
  • Ilang taon na po kayo? (formal/polite) - How old are you?
  • Ilang taon ka na? (informal) - How old are you?
  • Ako po ay _______ gulang na. (formal/polite) - I am _______ years old.
  • Ako ay _______ gulang na. (informal) - I am _______ years old.
  • Saan po kayo nakatira? (formal/polite) - Where do you live?
  • Saan ka nakatira? (informal) - Where do you live?
  • Taga saan po sila? (formal/polite) - Where are you from?
  • Taga saan ka? (informal) - Where are you from?
  • Kumain na po ba sila? (formal/polite) - Have you eaten yet?
  • Kumain ka na ba? (informal) - Have you eaten yet?


Below is a list of Tagalog words and phrases used in giving or asking for directions.

There are a number of Tagalog words and phrases which are rather vague in terms of specific distance but signify "nearness" or "farness" of a particular object, thing, or place from the speaker. These are:

  • deretso - straight ahead
  • (sa) kanan - on the right
  • (sa) kaliwa - on the left
  • umikot - turn around
  • (sa) harap - in front
  • (sa) likod/likuran - at the back/behind
  • hilaga - north
  • silangan - east
  • kanluran - west
  • timog - south
  • (sa) itaas - on top
  • (sa) ibaba - below/at the bottom
  • (sa) ilalim - at the bottom
  • (sa) loob - inside
  • (sa) labas - outside
  • doon - yonder (over there)
  • diyan lang po sa tabi - there, on that side
  • sa banda po doon - over on that side

Question Words

Below is a list of Tagalog question words with their corresponding meanings and examples in English.
    Ano? - What?
    Alin? - Which?
    Sino? - Who?
    Saan? - Where?
    Bakit? - Why?
    Kailan? - When?
    Paano?/Papaano? - How?
    Magkano? - How much? (money)
    Nasaan? - Where? (to look for something/somebody)


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