Philippines :: General Information
The Philippines is a tropical archipelago in the South China Sea, composed of 7,107 islands, which is divided into 3 major groups known as LUZON, VISAYAS and MINDANAO. Dubbed as the “Pearl of the Orient”, it is blessed with a wealth of natural resources, a rich history and a unique culture. The Congress site will be held in the capital city of MANILA in Luzon.
Metropolitan Manila is the nation's geographic commercial, social and political center. It is a natural melting pot of some 8 million people, almost a tenth of the country's entire population. The workforce is composed mostly of migrants from other places, both in the Philippines and elsewhere. Language should be no problem because almost everybody speaks English.
The main activities of the Congress will be held at the ageless, historic MANILA HOTEL. Conveniently located near business and entertainment centers, it is a stone's throw away from historical landmarks such as the Rizal Park and the walled-in Intramuros built by the Spaniards several centuries ago. Guests will be treated with a fantastic view of the famed sunset, at Manila Bay and may be given a chance to stroll along the New Roxas Boulevard Seaside and mingle with the local folks.
Guests will be provided with a complimentary tour of Manila. There will be regular trips for accompanying persons to our shopping malls. During the free day on the 22nd of September, delegates have the option to join the Tagaytay Tour or the Corregidor Tour or tour the city on their own. Those interested to see more of the Philippines can join the post-Congress tour of two (2) island provinces in the Visayas – CEBU and BOHOL from the 24th to the 26th of September after which they can either return back to Manila or leave via the international airport of Mactan in Cebu.
Tagaytay Tour (US$ 150)
This will afford the delegates an opportunity to see a typical countryside, rice fields, fruit stalls and tropical fruit orchards. From as high as 2,280 feet above sea level guests will be treated to a spectacle of one of the lowest volcanic craters in the world. The TAAL VOLCANO remains to be one of the more active volcanoes in the world with the last major eruption in the early 90's.
Lunch will be served at the Royale Tagaytay Country Club, an exclusive clubhouse in Alfonso, province of CAVITE, then visit CANYON WOODS, a private subdivision and haven of many artists and professionals from Manila. Final destination will be at FANTASYWORLD, another exclusive resort. Here there will be something for everyone, outdoor activities such as climbing trees ala Rambo or merely trekking cemented pathways. Indoors, there is bowling, swimming or dining for the young and the young once.
Corregidor Tour (US$ 150)
For the history and culture buffs, traveling to the Corregidor Island will be a welcomed delight. Only four and a half miles wide, the place boasts of ancient pathways and scenic highroads. Guests will get a chance to see the famous MALINTA TUNNEL where General Douglas MacArthur set up headquarters, see the ruins of the Mile Long Barrack, the old cinema at Topside, the highest point in the island and the Pacific War Memorial and walk thru the giant gun batteries that once held the invaders at bay.
Post-Congress Tour (US$ 400)
CEBU City, a tropical island in the Visayas, is the country's oldest colonial city with landmarks reflecting the richness of its history. With its balmy weather, pristine beaches, crystalline waters, and luxurious resorts and lots of sea foods, it is a traveler's ideal of tropical fun and leisure come true.
Cebu City is the country's second biggest metropolis. With all the frills of modern living, it is a shopping haven second only to Manila with a bustling night life.
Bohol is another island in the Visayas which boasts the breathtaking CHOCOLATE HILLS so called because during the summer they look like mounds of chocolates, over 1,200 of these can be viewed from the Panglao nature resort. One can also get a chance to see some historic churches with their ceiling frescoes, museums and have lunch during a river boat ride to see what is probably the shortest waterfall. Bohol is also known as the natural habitat of the Philippine Tarsier, the smallest monkey in the world which you can hold in the palm of your hand. Very friendly and quiet animals, it will be a delight to feed them because they gobble up the insects and stop only when full.
The Philippines has 112 airports spread out in its many provinces. It has six (6) international gateways, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila being the premier gateway. The Mactan-International Airport in Cebu City also handles regular flights from Japan, Singapore and Australia and chartered flights from Hong Kong and USA among others.
Getting around Manila is relatively easy. Aside from the LRT and the MRT railway transit, there are many public utilities such as buses, jeepneys and taxis for greater mobility.
Warm days and cool nights. Average temperature ranges from 25°C to 32°C and humidity is 77%. Light clothing is advised for daytime. Barong Tagalog or suits for the evening wear.
In general, visa is not required for citizens of ASEAN-member countries for a two (2) week stay. Other visitors with valid passports may stay for a maximum of 21 days, however must show ticket for their onward journey.
Stateless persons, nationals of the People's Republic of China, Cambodia, India, North Korea, Tonga, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestinian and holder of Belize passports should secure appropriate visas. For further inquiries, check with the Philippine embassy or Consulate in your country.
GMT plus eight hours.