Calling to Philippines
Making Calls while in Philippines
Other Information about Long Distance Calling To/From Philippines
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Information About the Filipino Telephone System
The Filipino telephone system is up-to-date with excellent clarity. In the mid-1990s, the government rapidly expanded infrastructure across the country, resulting in an abundance of land lines, many of which are still not used. Cellular service has grown more quickly, and the Philippines is considered one of the text-messaging capitals of the world.
Currently, the country has over 7 million land lines and over 32 million cellular phone lines in use.
Important Phone Numbers To Know if Traveling to the Philippines
The U.S. embassy in Manila is located at 1201 Roxas Blvd. (tel. 2/523-1001).
Other Important Information to Know About the Philippines
GMT + 8.00 hours. Current time in Manila.
One U.S. dollar is worth approximately 64.5 Philippines pesos. Current exchange rates for Philippines peso.
In 2006, 85,236,913 (mostly ethnic Filipino, 2% are of Chinese Descent, and smaller numbers of Spanish, Americans, Australians, Japanese, and Koreans)
As a country with a large Roman Catholic population, the Philippines celebrates many Christian holidays and, after colonization, adopted many of the patron saint’s day festivals of Spain and Mexico. The Philippines also has a sizable Muslim population that follows the Islamic lunar calendar.
Secular, national holidays in the Philippines include People Power Day (February 25th), Day of Valor (April 9th), Independence Day (June 12th), and National Heroes’ Day (last Sunday of August).
There are over 170 languages spoken in the Philippines. The official languages are Filipino and English. Filipino is actually Tagalog, an Austronesian language spoken by many native Filipinos, with some borrowed terms from other local languages. There are 11 other native languages with at least one million native speakers: Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiligaynon, Bikol, Waray-Waray, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Maranao, Maguindaneo, Kinaray-a, and Tausu.
The Philippines has a tropical climate: hot and humid. The three seasons include: from March to May when it is very hot, from June to November when it is rainy, and from December to February when it is cooler and dry. Monsoons occur between May and October. In general, the temperature does not vary dramatically; the most notable seasonal differences are in the humidity.
Fun Facts About Philippines
- The colonial history of the Philippines has resulted in a fascinating cuisine with Spanish, Chinese, and Malay influences.
- The Philippines is commonly divided into 3 island group: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The most populated is Luzon with the capital of Manila and its massive suburb Quezon City.
- Spanish was the official language of the Philippines for more than three centuries under Spanish colonial rule.
- If you have the chance, try the dessert named “halo-halo.” It’s made from crushed ice combined with fruit preserves, coconut, and sweet corn. It’s usually served topped with crème caramel and ice cream!
- The island of Boracay have some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world.
- Boxing, basketball, badminton, and billiards are among the most popular sports in the Philippines.
- The Philippines and East Timor are the only majority Roman Catholic countries in Asia.
- Plenty of ferries and boats operate between islands, but safety and quality can vary.
- You can see Spanish colonial influences in much of the architecture in the Philippines, as well as in the surnames of many Filipinos.
- You can arrive 30 minutes late for social engagements; it’s the norm. Business affairs are much more punctual.
- Always leave some food on your plate to show you’ve eaten enough.
- Toilets in the Philippines are called “comfort rooms.” It is recommended that you bring your own toilet paper as they really aren’t that comfortable!
- Tipping is usually optional. Check your bill carefully though; some restaurants do add service charges.