The Philippines is a relaxed holiday option, making it easy for even the first-time traveler. There are plenty of interesting sights in and around Manila, to suit every taste. You could also opt for local cultural tours that let you explore the sights and sounds of Manila at your leisure. However, you should keep a tab on the rather volatile weather, and make sure you’re well prepared to tackle any emergency. December to February are the coolest months, making it the best time to visit. One useful tip is to stay flexible when in Manila, so that any unexpected change in plans does not throw you off.
Useful tips for tourists flying to Manila
Where to shop
Manila is known for its reasonable shopping outlets, so bringing along a spare suitcase might not be a bad idea! Metro Manila, Cebu City and General Santos City will yield some great finds. Greenhills in San Juan offers some good bargains for the value conscious shopper.
What to eat
While restaurants and cafes in Manila will offer international cuisine, on your list of must-try dishes should be some of the delectable local fare. This includes the refreshing dessert halo-halo, which comprises red beans, coconut gel, candied fruits and shaved ice. Buko pie and kinilaw are also simple yet delicious local foods, with kare-kare and adobo also on par.
The local language
Getting yourself understood in Manila is not difficult, since everyone speaks English. The official languages are English and Filipino. In the Philippines, there are about 120 to 175 languages and dialects, spoken across various parts of the country.
Here are some phrases that should help you understand the local lingo in Manila:
• Kumusta/ kumusta ka
– Hi/ hello/ how are you
• Magandang umaga
– Good morning
• Maganding gabi
– Good evening
• Salamat po
– Thank you
• Walang anuman
– You’re welcome
• Pasensya na po
– Sorry/ excuse me
Dos and Don’ts
• The Philippines is one of the cheapest locations in South East Asia to travel to, hence while you may bargain while shopping, do not lose your cool over small amounts.
• If you befriend any locals and are invited to their home, remember that it is impolite to arrive right on time. Arriving about 15 minutes after the expected time is considered the norm.
• It is best to exchange your currency at a bank or airport, or use an ATM that is connected to a hotel or bank.
• Be wary of petty thefts, and avoid carrying excess cash or jewelry on your person.
Emergency contact numbers
• Information Assistance: 911
• 24-hour Chemist: Mercury Drug, across all parts of Manila as well as The Generics Pharmacy
• Fire: 911
• Police: 911
• Ambulance: 911
• Which airlines offer cheap air tickets to Manila from Toronto?
The airline offering cheap air tickets to Manila from Toronto is Philippine Airlines
• What is the time zone used in Manila?
The time zone of Manila is UTC/ GMT+8 hours. There is only one time zone, i.e. Philippine Time (PHT). There are no Daylight Saving Time clock changes in the Philippines.
• What are the most popular airlines flying from Toronto to Manila?
From Toronto to Manila, the most popular airlines are Philippine Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Air Canada.
• What is the shortest time for a Toronto to Manila flight?
The shortest time for a direct Toronto to Manila flight is approximately 19 hours 05 minutes.
• What are the top tourist destinations of Manila?
Some of the must-visit tourist destinations include the Manila Cathedral, Manila Ocean Park, the San Agustin Museum, and the Manila Bay.
• What is the currency of Manila?
The currency of Manila is the Philippine peso (Php).
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