TOURIST INFO   
INTERNATIONAL PORT OF ENTRY

 
VISA REQUIREMENTS

Visitors must hold a valid passport. Except for the stateless persons and those from countries with which the Philippines has no diplomatic relations, all visitors may enter the country without visas and may stay up to 21 days provided they have tickets for onward journey.

No visa is required for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the European Union and the United States for visits of up to 21 days. Holders of Taiwanese Passports and Hong Kong Certificates of Identity will need a special entry permit. Citizens of these and other countries should check with the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate regarding visa requirements.

AIRPORT

Although Zamboanga City airport is an international airport, there are no direct flights from the city to a foreign countries or vice versa at the present time. There are however a direct flights from Manila and Cebu City  both an international port of entry. On domestic travel, Zamboanga City has a direct flights to Manila and Cebu by Philippine Airline,  Seair & Cebu Pacific with connecting flights to different cities. The following cities has an international airport: Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga, Davao, Laoag,  & Subic City (Olongapo)

Zamboanga International Airport

Manila, Cebu, Davao, Subic, Clark and Laoag are the international gateways. Manila is the premier gateway and it is served by the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), 7 kms. from the city center; and by the Manila Domestic Airport, 1 km. from the NAIA.  It is served by more that 30 airlines which fly to different cities around the world. Cebu City is served by Mactan International Airport (MIA). Cebu handles regular flights from Japan, Singapore, and Australia as well as chartered flights from Hong Kong, the United States and other major travel markets The airport is actually located on Mactan Island. A 2 mile bridge span the island to the City of Cebu, 45 minutes from the city center. Davao International Airport in Davao handles regular flights from Indonesia and Singapore. Subic, Clark and Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte service regular and chartered flights from Taiwan and Mainland China. This international airports have adequate traveler facilities: duty-free shopping centers, souvenir shops, ATM's, tourist information centers, hotel and travel agency representatives, and car rental services. The NAIA has banks, postal service, a medical clinic, and a baggage deposit area.

International Airport Departure Tax P550.  Domestic Airport Departure Tax P100

Ninoy Aquino International Airport


SEAPORT

The Port of Zamboanga is an international port of entry. It has a schedule passenger trip to Sandakan, Malaysia, a cruise ship destination and  several shipping lines offer regular trips from and to Davao. Cotabato, Dipolog/Dapitan, General Santos, Pagadian, Jolo, Bongao, Isabela, Cebu, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Bacolod, Manila etc.

Interisland SuperFerry has decks with beds on first come first serve basis. (check http://www.wgasuperferry.com )

Most interisland ship or ferry boat has a special cabin and a special sleeping and eating areas for first class, 2nd class or 3rd class passenger. You can make this arrangement when you buy your ticket.

LAND TRANSPORTATION

On the  first  120 days upon  arrival to the country, a non Philippine resident may operate  a  vehicle  using  a valid unexpired  license issued by the any  state  of    the  U.S.A.  or  any   foreign  country  who  reciprocate  the  same requirements  as in  The  Philippines.   If  you  stay  longer   (more  than 120 days)  then you will be required to obtain a Philippine Drivers License.  You can go to any local Land Transportation Commission  office (LTC) to get  a license. The applicant must be a   least 16 years  old.  International  Drivers License is also acceptable

Driving in the Philippines is just driving in the  United  States.  Drivers are  on   the Left hand side. All the road signs are in English just like in the U.S.   Distances markers are   in kilometers   and are posted every kilometer.  Gas are sold in liters. If you follow the U.S.  driving rules and regulations you'll be okay.

Zamboanga  City is the southern terminus of the Philippine-Japan Friendship highway. The Pan Philippine Highway most commonly known as the "Maharlika Highway," extend from the northern tip of the country in Aparri/Claveria, Cagayan Province to the southernmost point in Mindanao at Zamboanga City. Covering the three major island group of the Philippines, a 2500 km road network. Philtranco connects Manila to Bicol in Southern Luzon to Samar and Leyte in the Visayas and Davao in Mindanao.

Lilian Transportation busses - Has scheduled trip to Dipolog, Pagadian, Cagayan de Oro and connection to Davao City
 


A motorcab and LTV  (light transport vehicle) serves as a local taxi for going around the city

For long distance  there  are  several  scheduled  public  transportation that goes from one city to another.

Map of the Philippines showing the extend of the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway better known as MAHARLIKA HIGHWAY (click to enlarge)

HEALTH DOCUMENTS

A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for those coming from infected areas. Children less than one year old are exempted but may be subject to isolation when necessary. Visitors must check with their travel agents before departure as regulations may change without notice.

CUSTOMS

To facilitate customs examination, visitors are advised to fill in the Baggage and Currency Declaration Form before disembarking. Visitors are allowed to bring in the following articles duty free: reasonable quantity of clothes, jewelry and toiletries, 400 sticks of cigarettes or two tins of tabacco and two bottles of wine or spirits of not more than one liter each.

Visitors carrying more than US$ 3,000 are to declare the amount at the Central Bank of the Philippines counter situated at the custom area. Foreign currency taken out upon departure must not exceed the amount brought in. Departing passengers are not allowed to bring out more than PhP 1,000 in local currency.

Penalties for carrying or trafficking illegal drugs are extremely severe, ranging from long prison sentences to the death penalty.

                                                           TIPPING

Tipping is an accepted practice and 10% is usual if service has not been added.
There should be a list of rates posted at the airport for porter charges and hotel porters should receive about P5 - 10 per bag.

BANKING HOURS

Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 3.00 pm

                                                        LANGUAGE

Filipino, is the national language of the Philippines, although many other regional dialects are also spoken - Tagalog is one of the most widely used. English is commonly spoken and is often used in business transactions.

                                                       TELEPHONE
 
The international dialing code for the Philippines is 63
When making international telephone calls from the Philippines first dial 00 +country code + area code + telephone number

                                                           WATER
 
Water from the tap is not safe to drink and ice cubes should be avoided. Stick to bottled water, which is widely available.


MEASURING SYSTEM

The Philippines use the Metric System in most of trade and legal transactions,

ELECTRICITY

Most residents and business centers in the Philippines are using 220 volts a/c. However, a number of major hotels also have 110 volt a/c outlets.

ECONOMY

The Philippines is basically light industry and agriculture, the chief products being rice, corn, coconut, pineapple and sugar. It is also rich in copper, cobalt, nickel, silver, iron and gold deposits. A number of food processing, textiles, clothing and home appliance industries are available, with a fast growing aquaculture, microcircuits and furniture sectors.

The significant structural reforms, initiated by the present leadership, which liberalize almost all sectors of the economy, have pushed the Philippines into the mainstream of economic development in the heart of the fastest-growing region in the world. - the Asia-Pacific. Further enhance by its strategic location as a gateway to the most economically dynamic part of the world, the Philippines development pathways for the future are clear...a newly industrializing country (NIC) status by the year 2002.

CURRENCY
 

Currency converter

The Philippines' monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any hotels, most large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shops accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines. International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Charge and American Express are accepted in major establishments.
 

PHILIPPINE HOLIDAYS

     January 1 New Years Day
    
February 24 EDSA Revolution Day,
     March/April (Movable) Holy Thursday, Good Friday
                  & Easter
     April 9 Araw ng Kagitingan

 May 1 Labor Day
     June 12 Independence Day from Spain
     July 4  Philippine US Friendship Day
     Last Saturday of August National Heroes’ Day
     November 1 All Saints’ Day
     November 30 Andres Bonifacio Day
     December 25 Christmas Day
     December 30 Rizal Day