Manila serves as the center of culture, economy, education, and government in the Philippines. It is the most populous region of the country and one of the most densely populated in the world. It is also the main gateway for international travelers going to the Philippines by flight.
When you say “Manila,” it can mean two things. First, it can refer to the City of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Manila is made up of 16 administrative districts, including Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, and Quiapo, among others.
Second, the greater Metropolitan Manila area is also referred to as Manila. It is officially known as the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila. It is made up of the City of Manila, Makati, Quezon City, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, and Taguig, to name a few.
The Philippines has a tropical climate, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. It has two distinct seasons: the rainy season from June to October, and the dry season from November to May. The weather is hot and humid in the summer months from March to May and pleasantly warm from December to February. Temperatures range from 23 degrees to 36 degrees centigrade.
People and Languages
Filipinos are basically Malay with Chinese and Spanish ancestries. Presently, they number about 114 million. Filipino is the national language but English is widely understood and spoken. English is the official language of business and the language used in most newspapers and magazines. Spanish and Chinese are spoken by a few.
The currency of the Philippines is called the Philippine Peso (PHP or PhP).
The Peso is known in Filipino and Tagalog as "piso" and is divided into 100 cents ("sentimo" in the previous languages).
The exchange rate is usually lower at the airport, hotels, and banks. The rate is better from the currency exchange located outside and in the malls.
Philippines travel power plugs are known as Type A and Type B plugs. The electrical system in the Philippines uses 220-240 volts at a frequency of 60 hertz, which is similar to the electrical systems used in most of Europe and Asia.
SIM cards for calls, SMS, and data are sold at the airport, and is also available at the malls. Occasionally, these are also handed out freely to arriving passengers. The two major mobile telecommunications companies are Globe and Smart.
For information about the local weather, currency, transport, business hours, and more, visit: http://www.tourism.gov.ph