Home » Philippines

Philippines

GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

With 7107 islands the Philippines is the 2nd biggest insular state of the world. From north to south it ranges over a length of 1850 km and it is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the South Sea of China. To relax you will find a wide range of islands with palm-lined sandy beaches. Still under the influence of the Spanish colonization period, the Catholic Church is dominating the country. Christmas and Eastern are the national celebration days. More than 90% of the population are faithful Christians, 6% are Muslims. Most of them live on the southern islands. The Philippines offer a lot of cultural contrasts. The American followed the Spanish influence. You will find McDonald’s and Pizza Hut in most of the big cities. Even the “cultural good” the “Jeepnies”, colorful and decorated collective taxis are build on the body of American Jeeps. Most of the social and friendly Filipinos speak English very well, they like to drink the San Miguel Beer which you get everywhere and they enjoy betting on cock fights. Even in the smallest village you will find a cockfight arena.

The scenery of the Philippines varies a lot. You will find a wide range- from volcanic landscapes up to tropical rainforests. A rich flora and fauna and beautiful coral reefs wait to be discovered by the visitors. On the Philippines you can appreciate either the beach life in a wonderful resort or the calmness of an isolated bay.

OUR PARADISE IN THE PHILIPPINES

Mindoro Island lays 120km from Manila in the southwest. Puerto Galera with its beautiful natural harbor is situated safely in the north of the Island. Puerto Galera and its surroundings are normally not affected by the yearly tropical storms. For centuries ships have tried to find protection in the bays of Puerto Galera. When you sail into the bay, you will be received with very picturesque scenery.

The tiny harbor town still is a very charming place. Life is easy. Little markets and local restaurants show the Philippine lifestyle. It is interesting to watch daily life while having a coffee break at the pier. It is here where you can also hire Tricycles to carry you to the different beaches.

Sabang used to be a small fishing village. In the meantime Sabang developed quickly because of the popular diving area. Nevertheless Sabang was able to keep its character. It is built in a narrow style on the palm tree covered slope with a lot of resorts, restaurants, pubs and bars as well as shopping markets. Due to a lack of space, some resorts and dive centers were built close to the sea with the result that beaches became smaller and now walls have to prevent the waves from the houses.

Nevertheless it is a tropical charming village with lots of life and gladness.

AIR TRAVEL

Most of the arrivals are by plane. A lot of Airlines fly to Manila. We recommend Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa and Malaysian Airlines just to mention a few. They are well known for their service on board, their good prices and their timetables. You can also choose a flight with stopovers. Why not stop for a shopping break in Hong Kong or Singapore? When arrived in Manila, we will either pick you up or you travel on to Puerto Galera on your own, which sometimes makes it necessary to stay overnight in Manila. In this case we recommend the New Horizon Hotel in the center and safe area next to a big Shopping Center. Depending on the season prices are from 50 US $ and up in a double room including breakfast.
Taxis charge about 20 US $ from the Airport to the centers.

USING LOCAL TRANSPORT

If you want to come down to Batangas and Sabang by yourself, you can use the Buses from the J.A.M. Bus Terminal in Pasay where buses leave every hour to Batangas. Final stop is the Ferry Harbor, the price is about 500 Pesos including luggage transportation. At the Ferry Harbor of Batangas you have to go to the Passenger Terminal 3 and ask for guidance to purchase a ticket to Sabang. Boats leave every1½ hour and the price is approx. 300 Pesos. The last ferry leaves at 4:45pm. Please give us a call from the Terminal so we can pick you up in Sabang. Total expenses for the simplest transfer from Manila will be around 30,- US $ per person plus tips. It will take between 6 and 7 hours.

USING OUR PRIVATE TRANSPORT

We recommend a private transfer – we offer a 24 hour service because it is easy, safe and the most comfortable way of traveling for you. We only require arrival date and time, the flight number and the number of guests. It is our pleasure to organize everything else for you. Price is based on daily rate depending on the price of gasoline. You will be given a fix price by request. It includes Van (with space for max 6 persons) and Boat .

IMMIGRATION

Citizens of Denmark, Scandinavian, UK, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Austria need a passport valid at least for 6 months after departure. At the immigration you get a cost free tourist visa for 21 days. In case of a longer stay you have to contact the Embassy or Consulate of the Philippines in your home country in order to apply for a Visa. There is also the possibility to extend your Visa here in Puerto Galera. We can help you with your extension, which costs about 50 US $ Dollars.

CLIMATE

Throughout the year it is warm and humid around Puerto Galera. Besides it is always a little bit windy because of the sea. Day temperatures are between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius, depending on the season. Night temperatures are a little bit lower. The hottest and driest season is from March to May. Short rain showers can occur because of the tropical region. The rain period is from June to September but it doesn’t mean that there are constant rainfalls during that period. Most of the time the sun shines and it is the calmest time of the year, only disturbed by occasionally rain showers.

HEALTH

Please contact your doctor for further information regarding vaccines for this area. It is important that you bring mosquito cream to avoid mosquito bites. Remember to get at medical statement from your doctor, so you know, that you are fit for diving. Make sure you bring your own private medicine and medical kit for own use.

LANGUAGE

The national language of our area is Tagalog, one of the various languages and dialects of the Philippines. English is taught in schools and most of the Philippines will surprise the visitor by speaking almost perfectly English, which makes it easy to communicate.

MONEY

Local currency is the Philippine Peso. One US$ is approximately 47 Pesos depending on the daily rate (June 2010). We recommend to bring cash like Euro, Pound, US Dollars or Travelers Cheques, credit cards are accepted almost everywhere with an additional fee of 7.5% commission.

TIPS

Compared to European average, the income of a Philippine is low.

Tipping is expected in a moderate way and should be given always after the service.

ELECTRICITY

220 Volt – adapter is necessary which is sold cheaply in the Resort. It happens that we have power outages on Mindoro, but we have 2 emergency power plants to be able to guarantee 24 hours electricity. As deviations in electric tension are frequent we installed stabilizers that prevent electronic devices from getting damaged.

DEPARTURE

Departure fee at the airport is (Sep 08) 750, – Pesos, or 18,- US$ depending on the daily rate. Your Visa must still be valid – penalties are high. In the airport things are easier when custom officers are treated with respect and in a friendly way. Beware of obtrusive taxi drivers; never take the first one or those who seem to be hunting for clients. They often do not have any licenses, charge far too much or increase the price during the drive to a shabby hotel. Ordering a taxi at an official taxi counter will charge fixed prices.

MANILA

Manila is famous for its “Red-light” spots. Especially during the night it is better not to go out alone. Never show money around because of Mr. or Mrs. Pickpocket. It is always better not to get involved in any trouble. You should stay in the safe and better areas of Manila and avoid any visits to the slums of the city. When you respect these rules, Manila is as safe as any other big city in Asia.

When you take a taxi, insist on the use of the taximeter; otherwise choose another of the numerous ones.

BATANGAS, FERRY, HABOURS

Often unofficial touts try to sell overcharged tickets for insecure and unseaworthy boats by convincing visitors that the last ferry has already left. If this happens to you, do not hesitate to raise your voice or to call a guard. When arriving at the harbor go straight to the Terminal 3 to get reliable information. It is also useful to carry some small money notes for the porters. (Approx. 20,- Pesos per piece of luggage)

CREDIT CARDS

Never give them away or leave them unattended. The Philippines is well known for credit card fraud.

PEOPLE

The Filipinos are very helpful and friendly people. To gain respect means to show respect. Their mentality is different as well as their attitude towards work.

In the Philippines there is no rush; life is easy which also will soon get to you, too. Never forget that you are a visitor of a foreign country in which you will have the holiday you always had in your dreams.

Comments are closed.