About the Philippines
The Philippines is an archipelago with 7,641 islands and is part of South East Asia. It has three major island groups namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Manila is the Capital City , which is part of Luzon and where APRICOT 2023 will be held.
Two commonly spoken languages — Tagalog and English. Tagalog is the national language but almost everyone will understand and reply to you in English as necessary. There are more languages and even more dialects.
The Philippines is a tropical country that has wet and dry weather. It is normally dry during the Feb - Mar period, with a little bit of cool breeze. Forecast is 24 - 32 degrees Celsius. However, with weather conditions becoming unpredictable, it is always good to be prepared and have and have an umbrella or jacket ready.
Generally potable for locals, but “recommend” to consume bottled water.
Currency and denominations
The Philippine Peso (PhP) is used, and notes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. Coins some in 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos, 1, 5, 10 and 20 Pesos.
Besides banks, foreign currency may be exchanged at hotels, most large department stores (Malls), and authorized money changing establishments (normally inside malls). International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Master Card, and American Express are also accepted in major establishments.
Business and Banking hours
Regular working hours for Private and Government offices are 8am-5pm or 9am-5pm on weekdays. Some are open on weekends, particularly those inside the malls, but may have limited* operating hours. Most shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets are open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. There are 24-hour convenience stores and drugstores.
Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, with automated teller machines (ATM) operating 24 hours.
*Banks normally up to 3pm, while other establishments until 5pm or aligned with mall hours.
For the Philippines there are three associated plug types, A, B and C. Plug type A has two flat parallel pins, plug type B has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin and type C has two round pins. The Philippines operates on a 220V supply voltage and 60Hz.