Travel Guide – Seasons to travel to Manila, Philippines

Travel to Manila

Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by

Referring to Manila tourism, people must only think of the small capital Manila with the ancient citadel of Intramuros, right? Actually, Manila is just a small city/district in the metropolitan area (Metro) Manila with more than 16 small cities. Although the tourist attractions (Manila Bay, the ancient city) are located in Manila City, Metro Manila also has new financial centers and cities like Makati or Bonifacio City in Taguig / Ortigas, these cities are modern much more than Manila metropolitan district/city, young people mainly live in these areas because they are concentrated in condominiums and high-rise office buildings while Manila is rather chaotic and insecure. security. So when traveling to Manila, please expand to travel to Metro Manila.

Things you probably did not know about the Philippines

  • Capital: Manila is part of Metro Manila and is located on the largest island in the Philippines, Luzon
  • The Philippines covers an area of ​​about 300,000 square kilometers but has more than 7,000 islands
  • Philippine flag: Especially during wartime, the red color will be changed to above, the peacetime will be blue like this picture.
  • More than 80% of the religious population is Roman Catholic
  • Because it was once a Spanish colony, it is not difficult to find old towns built in the Spanish period
  • The country that grows the most coconuts and produces the most coconut products in the world (According to Buzzfeed)
  • Every few kilometers there is a shopping mall.
  • The country with the most number of cell phone messages in the world (according to Buzzfeed)
  • Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world
  • The specialty of the Philippines is “traffic jam”
  • In the Philippines, visitors can easily find churches in the shopping center. The most beautiful I see is the church in Greenbelt, Makati, and the small glass church of Uptown Mall, BGC.
  • In the Philippines, the toilet is called “C.R” (comfort room). So when looking for a toilet, you just ask where “C.R” is.

What season of the year to travel to Manila?

 Philippines weather is like Saigon alone, there is no winter, only dry season, rainy season, and flood season. Many of you ask me which month to travel to the Philippines is beautiful, I would like to answer, the best season of the year is from November to the end of March. The weather will be extremely beautiful, blue sky, clear, sunny. Vibrant gold, pleasantly cool weather, very suitable for activities from climbing to going to the beach, or visiting the city.

On the contrary, April to June is also beautiful, but sometimes it rains, and it rains often falls on weekends. However, the rainfall is not much, if you travel for a long time, you may fall into a sunny day, a rainy day, or a sunny day, it rains …

July to October is the hurricane season here, the hurricane season, of course, I don’t encourage you to come. The first is that the plane will be delayed, or even cancel, secondly, the stormy road here is flooded even more than Saigon. Not to mention the wind and storms knock down the trees, sometimes there will be a large area outage in the city … Whoever comes to, only tears in the hotel. However, sometimes there will be a case of beautiful sunshine in some famous tourist destinations such as Boracay or Palawan, this depends on the luck and godliness of you or not;).

Some pictures illustrate last year’s flood season 2014. Please rest assured that the main roads like Ayala ave. will not flood, but if not flooded, no one will have extra steam to go to that area to take a shower to catch the wind, right?

Languages ​​used in the Philippines – Some basic words used when traveling to Manila

In the Philippines generally, everyone uses Tagalog, except for some provinces that have their own language (eg Cebu, or Ifugao, …), but Tagalog is the language of the Kinh people. can also speak and understand. In addition to the local language, Filipinos can speak English well and communicate comfortably with visitors. Signs, text, .. are all used in English.

However, if possible, try to memorize a few common Tagalog words in the Philippines to surprise the locals when traveling to Manila.

  • Salamat (add “po” after if talking to an elderly person. “Po” means “sir”): Thank you
  • Kumusta? How are you Filipinos use this sentence to say hello? I haven’t seen each other for a long time, instead of greeting, I also ask my friends “How are you?”
  • Oo (pronounced Oh oh): Yes
  • Hindi: No
  • Tulong: Save !!
  • Magkano? How much?
  • Mahal: Too awkward
  • Mura: cheap
  • Ilan? Some units/person (From this point on, you will meet in jeepney)
  • Masarap: Delicious
  • Isa: 1
  • Dalawa: 2
  • Tatlo: 3
  • Apat: 4
  • Ingat ka !: Be careful!
  • Para po! Please stop me to get off (If you are taking a jeepney, use this word to let the driver stop)

How to fill out a customs declaration on entry at NAIA, Metro Manila

Steps to complete the procedure and fill out the Philippines entry form

1. When on a flight to the Philippines (such airlines as Philippines Airline, Cebu Pacific, or Air Asia), international passengers will be given a flyer called the “Arrival Card”. You can use a pen to fill out this form on the plane or fill it out after getting off the plane and before checking in at customs.

2. Always carry a pen and remember to keep it with you when traveling abroad for easy filling in customs declarations

3. Passport

4. Air ticket stub (to use as information to fill out entry form)

5. Print your round trip flight information (for submission to customs)

6. Booking hotel (if any, if you stay at a relative’s house, remember to write down the address in detail)

7. For anyone who has not traveled to any country should bring a Philippines travel itinerary

How to fill out the Philippine customs immigration form

Photo Arrival Card of the Philippines, see the picture I posted above.

Passport / Travel document number: Passport number

Last name: Last name

First name: Name

Middle name: Middle name

Date of birth: Date of birth, enter MONTH-DATE-YEAR order, for example, 12-30-1989

Nationality: USA

Gender: gender (male, female)

Address abroad: address in America

Address in the Philippines: address in the Philippines (write the address of the hotel or place to stay here, remember to write in full)

Contact number and / or email address: phone number or email address (whatever you write)

Occupation: occupation

Personal I.D Number: identity card number

Flight / Voyage number: flight number (see ticket stub)

Port of exit: where to fly

ACR-Icard number: If traveling / studying abroad, you do not need to fill it out, anyone going to work in the Philippines will have an ACR I-card

Primary Purpose of Travel: Purpose of the trip, whoever travels choose Pleasure/vacation, whoever goes to study abroad choose: education/training, whoever goes to work choose work employment

Signature: sign

Date of Arrival: landing date at Philippine airport (remember to enter the order Month, Day, Year, Example: 07-26-2020)

Frequently asked questions in English at Philippine customs

Q: How many days will you stay in the Philippines?

Answer: 3 days or 5 days, 10 days or so depending on the purpose

Q: Where will you stay?

Answer: name of hotel + city (Ex: Red Planet, Makati)

Generally, you need to prepare answers in English including purpose to the Philippines (travel/study/working…), how many days will you stay (3 days, 5 days, 10 days, 3 months …), stay Where (hotel + city name), someplace names will travel to the Philippines in case you are asked.

Instructions to buy a phone sim/rent a wifi generator when traveling to Manila

In the past, when I was traveling, I rarely bought a phone sim or rented a wifi generator, but after a few situations during my travels, I decided to always buy a mobile sim when traveling so that in case Emergency information can be found and phone numbers can be contacted for assistance.

Rent a wifi generator in Manila

If you go with a lot of people to save money, you can rent a wifi router on Klook here for only 10$ / day and can be used for up to 5 devices. But note that the internet in the Philippines is very slow, and usually on islands like El Nido or Coron, or even islands near Manila, it will be difficult to catch the waves and if you are in the sea you will not see any waves.

Tip: If you have gone out, you should always go until 9-10 pm then go home because now the street is clear, a little less traffic.

Provincial buses have the 2 largest stations, Cubao and LRT Buendia, Pasay. From these 2 areas, you will catch the car to go to many places such as Batangas, or Baguio, Vigan, La Union … If you are in Makati, you will go to the station at LRT Buendia, who else goes to Baguio to Victory Pasay. Occasionally there are some bus stops on routes such as Banaue, Batad located in Sampaloc, Manila. This place is quite far if you go from Makati you have to go early, especially in the evening, there is a lot of traffic jams (average speed sometimes up to 30m / km). When you arrive in that province and want to return to Manila, remember to carefully check the bus that says about Manila (Buendia / Pasay or Cubao), whoever is in Makati, remember not to go back to Cubao but choose the car to go to Pasay.

MRT / LRT train

The tram here has only 2.3 routes, the MRT has only one line, and the great stop in the mall like SM Makati, get off at Ayala station, go to Megamall then get off at Ortigas station, then Trinoma mall or SM North …

LRT will stop at Chinatown (Carriedo station), go to Intramuros then get off at Central station.

Fares from 12-20 pesos, now have automatic ticket counters. If you use a lot you can buy a beep card, and this card can be used for both the train and the bus route from Ayala to BGC (Fort Bonifacio).

Tip: Just like the bus above, if you’re only traveling to Manila, avoid rush hour.


Another means of transportation in Manila (or the Philippines) is also quite popular, but this vehicle is prohibited on the main road, it is only in small residential areas. The price ranges from 10 ~ 50peso depending on the distance, for a distance of 1-2km you can pay about 30-50 pesos.

Note when going to Tricycle in Intramuros: the general price is about 150 pesos / 30 minutes. When traveling, the driver will find ways to help you make more use of this time. So before you get on the bus, take a picture of the time, and remember to time it so you don’t have to pay extra.

Taxi / Grab

Grab car is quite popular in Manila so almost everyone uses it, and fewer and fewer people use taxis. Grab price depends on many things, such as near and far, or whether there is a traffic jam or not, usually going about 4-5km, and traffic jams can cost you nearly 300 pesos. There is also a Grab Car at the airport, or you can use the internet at the airport to book a grab to the hotel.

Tech motorcycle-like Angkas / Joyride

This is the kind of car I use to go home from the office during rush hour, or sometimes in the morning I also use it to go. If you do go alone, download the Angkas app or Joyride to use it. The price of 4-5km is 70-75 pesos. During the ride, the driver will provide the user helmets, hoods, and masks. However, the minus point is that the street has no motorbike lanes, so drivers will have to move between the gaps of cars, if you have a weak heart, you should not try.

UV Express car

This car is also quite a lot, also goes some long routes. To ride this car, you keep looking on the car just like jeepney, they will put the start and endpoints, and ask the driver if you go to the place you want to go.

Rent a car in Manila

Rent a car with a driver

If you go with 3 or more people, you can rent a car with a driver on Klook (link here) for VND 2,486,132 / day (for 1-3 guests).

Self-driving car

Rent at manilarentacar site, price range 800-1000 pesos/day or If you go during rush hour (8-9.30 am, or 5.30-9 pm), you will enjoy the specialties of traffic jams in Manila, usually, the 3km road will take about 40-50 minutes to drive, and 7km will lose range. hours and a half). To avoid some roads or traffic congestion, you can try to download the app Waze, but I see there are only a few main roads here, so it can’t be helped.

Surely many of you do not know that when driving in Metro Manila, it will be very important to pay attention to your license plates because here every day they will ban some number plates from running during the day. If you do not know and are caught by the unfortunate police, you will have to pay that fine, but now every street in Manila have cameras installed, so it is difficult to bribe, but they will let you drive. , just give out a ticket, keep my driver’s license and then pay the fine to get it back. The daily coding time is from 7 am-7 pm, so if you want to go into the city, you must go before 7:00 am and leave after 7:00 pm. Saturday, Sunday / holidays go comfortably.

Traditional festivals in the Philippines

The Philippines, like many other countries in the world, they also have many festivals in different provinces and cities. The special point is that since you also know Filipinos they love to dance, their festivals are fun, colorful, and full of music, people will also flock to the street dancing and singing.

Festivals in the Philippines are often referred to as fiestas, and most of these festivals are Christian, cultural, and influenced by Spain due to the Spanish colonization. These fiestas can be held in the neighborhood or in the city, in the countryside … Like right in the back of my house, sometimes I see people also knocking on drumsticks and carrying the dummy around the neighborhood, yet tell other customs.

Festivals are many, but here I just list some big festivals and are located in touristy areas so that everyone can join and experience.

Festival in the Philippines January

Jan 9: Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila (where the famous Quiapo Church is located)


The first and second week of January: The coconut festival in San Pablo City, Laguna (where I went to those seven lakes a few days ago). This festival lasts for 1 month


The 3rd Sunday of January: Sinulog Festival in Cebu City, you are and are going to learn English in Cebu, you can save to join.

Kalibo, Aklan (in Boracay)

The 3rd weekend of January: Ati-Atihan Festival


January 22: Longganisa Festival in Vigan City, Longganisa is a famous sausage dish in Vigan City.

Festival in the Philippines February


February 26: Panagbenga Festival, those who are studying English in Baguio, remember to save this day to join the festival.

Festival in the Philippines on Holy Week


Holy Week in the Philippines usually falls in late March or early April is not fixed, each year is different. And the biggest festival on this occasion is the Moriones Festival in Marinduque. To get from Manila to Marinduque is quite complicated, you have to take the bus to Batangas Port then buy a boat ticket to go to Calapan, then take the bus, then take a boat … Whoever travels this occasion and has a lot of time can go try it


The last week of April will be the Aliwan Fiesta festival in Pasay city, Manila, which has just started in 2000 but has gradually become one of the main festivals in Manila. At this festival, thousands of people will compete with each other and the prize is up to millions of pesos.

Festival in the Philippines in October


October 19: MassKara Festival in Bacolod, at this festival people, will wear colorful masks and dance in the streets together.

Good hotels/motels/hostels in Metro Manila, Philippines

There are many areas to rent hotels in Metro Manila when you travel to Manila like Makati, Fort Bonifacio (BGC), or the area near Manila Bay. However, I encourage you to rent a hotel in Makati because the area is close to the airport, easy to move, many restaurants, and quite secure, the price is also relatively cheaper than the Fort Bonifacio area. Fort Bonifacio is beautiful, modern, but not very close to the airport, the hotel is quite high, there are not many options, but talking about airbnb, if you have a big budget, you can consider because the BGC area has a lot of beautiful airbnb. .

First, we will introduce about hostels in Manila, these hostels are beautifully decorated and beautifully decorated, if anyone who loves Instagram, don’t worry about having to upload pictures. Hostels that here are dorm (ie you will stay with other backpackers, usually 4-6-8 people/room), prices range from 400 pesos – 700 pesos. In Makati, the evening is quite bustling, Friday night, or weekend, but you go out at 2 am and thought 9 am that evening. For shopping, everyone goes to SM Makati, Glorieta, and Greenbelt. In these hostels, there is Lokal Hostel which is quite famous, Our melting pot, I recommend some people to stay, they also praise them.

Lokal Hostel, in Burgo Street, Makati, around Lokal Hostel Makati has many delicious restaurants, lovely cafes like Commune or Bean and Yolk

Z Hostel, Makati

Tambayan Capsule Hostel & Bar, Malate Manila. This hostel has dorm capsules like in Japan, everyone stay and try it.

Our Melting Pot Hostel, Makati, Manila. Our Melting Pot has the best location in Manila’s hostels. (Actually, it’s also near Lokal haha)

Junction Hostel, Makati

Mid-range hotel in Manila

Red Planet Hotels Amorsolo, Makati, Manila: The room is quite clean, located near Makati Medical City. Price from $ 28 / night

Red Planet Makati: This hotel on Saturday, I introduced a guy in America to stay, the hotel is clean, cute, located in the center of West Street with many hotels. also the MAC computer for visitors to the network.

Pan Pacific Manila: double room rates from $ 185. Room with a city view, Asian-style decor, and breakfast with lots of choices.

Makati Diamond Residences: located in the heart of Makati city, opposite Greenbelt 5, Makati Diamond Residences can be said to have the best location. With luxurious architecture, this place certainly does not disappoint you. Price from: $ 109

Shangri-La Makati Hotel: No need to introduce much about this famous hotel anymore, located opposite the Glorietta shopping center, Makati. Price from: $ 39

New World, Makati: As well as other luxury hotels in Manila, New World is also located in the Greenbelt, Makati area. Price from: $ 113

Holiday Inn & Suite, Makati: From $ 116, Holiday Inn & Suite is located right in the Glorietta commercial center with views of Makati city.

Anyone who likes in the BGC area can see the prices of hotels like Ascott, Shangri-la, Grand Hyatt here.

Traveling to the Philippines is full of other interesting things that you can experience! We hope that with this useful information, you can now pocket for yourself the necessary things to prepare for a flight to this beautiful island nation!

Apart from that, if you are interested to know about Important things to know about traveling then visit our Travel category.