Getting Acquainted

  • Climate

A tropical country, much of the Philippines is hot and dry. The first half of the year, from January to May, is the best time to visit the country. November to February is cool, while March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, with the months between July to September characterized by typhoons. Average temperature is 78 degrees F / 25 degrees C to 90 degrees F / 32 degrees C; average humidity is 77%. Some parts of the country, such as Cebu, are warm and comfortable in all seasons and can be visited throughout the year.

  • People

The people of the Philippines are warm and friendly. Some of the friendliest people of the world. They love to live life with smiles and laughter. Even in poverty and struggles they are good spirited and find the best in things. Filipinos like to say “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” Filipinos are basically of Malay descent, with evidence of Chinese, Spanish, Arab and American stock. English is spoken by the majority. Filipinos are generally conservative in their views and demeanor. Filipinos may refer to themselves as Pinoy (feminine: Pinay)

  • Government

The Philippines has a democratic republic type of government.

  • Public Holidays

January 1 – New Year’s Day (Fireworks and celebratory gunfire ring in the new year).

February 25 – EDSA Revolution Day

April/May – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday Flagellants in the streets, processions and passion plays.

April/May – Easter Sunday Morning processions; family celebration.

April 9 – Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor)

May 1 – Labor Day

June 12 – Independence Day

Last Sunday of August – National Heroes Day

Movable – Eid-il-Fitr (end of the month of fasting)

November 1 – All Saints Day

November 30 – Bonifacio Day

December 25 – Christmas Day

December 30 – Rizal Day

  • Business & Banking Hours

Private and government offices are open either from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm or from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Some private companies hold office on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Most shopping malls, department stores and supermarkets are open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm daily. There are 24-hour convenience stores and drugstores. Banks are open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays, with automated teller machines (ATM) operating 24 hours.