Travel and Tourism Information

Despite what you may read in the international press, the Philippines remains one of Asia's holiday playgrounds and tourism remains a flourishing industry. Provided you take sensible precautions - as you should do in any foreign country - there is no reason why you should not enjoy your time in this country. Certainly there is much to see. Furthermore, with English so widely spoken you will have no problem getting around. A friendly smile can take you a long way.

Philippines Travel and Tourism Information, Travel Bag, Virtual Philippines
Here you will find a range of information related to travel and tourism and links to our database of related information. You may also wish to take a look at our Philippines Quicktake. In that section you can refine your information search by region and province. Click here for Quicktake.

Travel by Bus

Most Filipinos travel by bus and the long distance bus services are air-conditioned and comfortable to ride althought not quite up to international standards. Toilets on board are not common in this country (for reason that will be obvious when you get here) although there are plenty of rest stops along the way, which are quite acceptable.

For short journeys, many buses operate with five abreast seating which may be OK for the smaller Filipino frame but not for a Westerner that has lived for 20 years on a diet of hamburgers and fries. Best to check at the time you book. At peak seasons and at weekends, the buses can be crowded so it is always best to book in advance.

Click here For a list of domestic bus lines and the destinations they serve:

Travel by Air

The Philippines covers a vast island archipelago and travel by air is common, especially to places outside of Luzon. Unfortunately regional hubs are virtually non-existent and if you want to fly (say) between Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao and Cebu City then you will have to fly via Manila.

Be aware that some of the smaller airlines maintain schedules that can best be described as "flexible". This means that while the scheduled departure for (say) Tacloban in Samar may be 11:00am, be prepared for the flight to take off around 4pm in the afternoon - if at all. Oh yes, and on some airlines it is not possible to book a return trip from Manila or other outbound point. Certainly, they will sell you a return ticket but you may have to wait until arrival at your destination to book a seat for the return flight. Sometimes, the flight may already be full for your intended day of departure. In such cases, sit back and enjoy. There is nothing else you can do about it.

One word of warning: Because of the "flexibility" of some local airline schedules you are well advised to consider the feasibility of making same-day international connections out of Manila.

For a list of domestic airline operators: click here.

For a list of international airline operators: click here.

Travel by Sea

If time is not a problem, then you may wish to explore the Philippines - at least in part - by sea travel. There are regular and comfortable ferry services to all major port cities and for inter-island travel, the overnight ferry is one alternative to air travel which usually requires a connection though Manila.
Travel by Sea
Ferries do sink from time to time although the major ferry companies have good safety records and generally speaking this form of travel is quite safe. However some international companies and organizations do not allow their staff to travel by sea.

There are a number of classes available and you are well advised to take "First Class" or the equivalent. Other classes offer dormitory style accommodation.

For a list of domestic shipping operators: click here.

Car and Bus Hire

You can always hire a car (with driver) or bus (from micro to maxi) at reasonable daily rates. If traveling overnight you will be expected to provide accommodation and meals for your driver. Click here for Car and Bus Hire companies.

Hotels and Serviced Apartments

The Philippines offers a range of accommodation to suite all tastes and budgets. Many long-stay business people (and quite a number of short-stay as well) opt for serviced apartment living. International hotels also offers very competitive rates.

Ascott Group
Fraser Place Serviced Residences
InterContinental Manila
Manila Serviced Apartments (Formerly: Oakwood Premier, Ayala Center)

Click here for a full list of Hotels and Serviced Apartments

Restaurants and Clubs

Manila - and the Philippines as a whole - is renowned for its nightlife which caters to all ages and budgets. When it comes to food, Filipino cusine may not be as well known as Thai, Chinese or other Asian food but a lot of it is well worth trying out. Providing a list of restaurants and clubs would be an awesome task - not least of which because they do change with the fashion. However, some of those in our least are well known among the foreign community and recommended by them so at least there is a place from which to start.

Click here for restaurants and clubs, Philippine Caterers

Travel Companies and Tour Agents

Travel and tour companies are everywhere and it is a competitive business. Those that have made it onto our list are those that have been around for a while or those owned or managed by expatriates and which are used to dealing with foreign visitors. However, that said, as in all things it is best to shop around and find the people you are comfortable in dealing with.

Click here for a list of travel companies and tour agents.

Philippines Tourist Information Centers: The Tourist Center (TCC)

The first Tourist Center was launched in 1994 in a strategic position at the center of one of the best beaches in the world: Boracay Island. Tourist Center is a corporation composed of German and Filipino partners who saw an opportunity in the generally poor infrastructure within the island of Boracay.

The company has come a long way in the years since these humble beginnings. It is now popularly called The Tourist Center (TCC) and has expanded to become fully operational in Boracay, Makati, Sabang, Bohol and Angeles. Also, the accommodation and air ticketing department has grown to become a company in its own right; The Filipino Travel Center (FTC) which is now the biggest wholesaler and reseller of domestic tickets within the Philippines, specifically for Asian Spirit and Sea Air. FTC also offers airline tickets booking and accommodation service.

Just as TCC’s travel department gave birth to FTC, the credit card acquiring services gave birth to Payment Processing Corporation (PPC). Credit card operations are currently provided by both TCC and PPC. The same experienced team provides the service irrespective of which of the two businesses are performing the acquiring. Services including - Foreign Exchange, Credit Card Payment, Processing Services, Money Transfer, Business Center, Internet Center, Private Postal Services, Travel and Tours, Photo Shop, Souvenir Shop, Mini Mart, Boutique, etc.

TCC additionally extended its services by creating a payment processing facility to acquire credit card payments from more than a thousand resorts and establishments across the Philippines. Today, customers can enjoy the fastest speed connection in the island for e-mails, chats, web surfing, games and downloads.

Makati Tourist Information Center (TCC Makati) [Also Head Office of TCC]

Unit C 15/F B.A.Lepanto Condominium,
8747 Paseo de Roxas Avenue,
Makati City
Tel. No: +63 (0)2 7515866
Fax No: +63 (0)2 8640312

Manila Tourist Information Center (TCC Manila) [Also called Filipino Travel Center]

G/F Ramona Apt. Bldg.
1555 M. Adriatico Street
1000 Ermita, Metro Manila
Tel. No: +63 (0)2 5239335
Fax No: +63 (0)2 5284503

Boracay Tourist Information Center (TCC Boracay)

Manggayad, Boracay Island
Malay, Aklan
Tel: (63/36) 2883704/05
Tel: (63/36) 2883023

Angeles Tourist Information Center (TCC Angeles)

Ground Floor Al Aide Bldg Fields Avenue, Balibago, Angeles City
Tel No: (6/45) 892-5107 Digitel
Tel No: (6/45) 322-3600 Datelcom
Tel No: (6/45) 625-6136 PLDT

Bohol Tourist Information Center (TCC Bohol)

Alona Beach, Panglao Island
Bohol, Visayas
Tel. No: (6/38) 5029100

Puerto Galera Tourist Information Center (TCC Puerto Galera)

Sabang, Puerto Galera
Occidental, Mindoro
Tel. No: (6/43) 7248544

Websites:

Disclaimer
The information contained on this page was obtained from sources that we believe to be reliable; we furnishes the information without warranty of any kind. Find useful information for foreign travelers who are planning to visit the Philippines!