Philippines Everyday Life
Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP)
Exchange rate: 59.06 Peso per € (December 2020)
Time zone: UTC / GMT + 8 hours
Country code (phone): +63
Climate (for capital): Tropical
All about money
The Philippine currency is the peso. One peso is equal to 100 centavos. There are banknotes in circulation to the value of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Peso. Coins in the values of 25 centavos, 1, 5 and 10 pesos.
And since friendship ends with money, you are well advised to know the current exchange rate.
In the Philippines, it is best to stock up on the local currency before traveling. It is true that local means of payment can usually be easily accessed on site – there are ATMs in all cities, and exchange offices in tourist centers. The situation is different, however, in the less well-visited areas – the interior of Mindanao, the northern mountains, parts of Palawan and in remote areas of the Visayas.
When it comes to ATMs, large banks are preferable, especially in large cities, as they are usually more reliable.
Banks are in most cases open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and all major branches have ATMs and money exchange machines or counters. Some of the better known local banks include:
- Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
- Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)
- Banco de Oro (BDO)
Auẞerdem who Citibank and HSBC branches in major cities.
Most banks only exchange US dollars and do not offer the cheapest exchange rates. The cheapest exchange rates in Manila can be obtained from small exchange offices and exchange machines – a comparison is worthwhile in most cases.
Credit cards are accepted by most hotels in cities and tourist centers, and plastic money is also used in many restaurants.
When it comes to security, the Philippines is not a dangerous place for expats – assuming common sense, discreet demeanor, awareness of danger spots and avoidance of certain regions.
Source of danger: Natural disasters
Typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and other natural disasters can have devastating effects. It is therefore advisable to keep an eye on this source of danger. This website and the weather forecast for the Philippines provide current information.
Source of danger: politics and society
Social conflicts, restrictive (drug) legislation, clashes between the army and Muslim separatist groups and the army and communist guerrillas are trouble spots that expats should definitely avoid.
It is therefore advisable to keep an eye on the local news and events and, if necessary, to change travel plans. It is also advisable to regularly consult the following websites about the security situation in the Philippines:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Australian Foreign Office
- Canadian Department of State
- New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- British Foreign Office
- U.S. Department of State
Show me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are! Filipinos are sometimes described humorously as someone who looks like an Asian, has a Spanish name and an American nickname, speaks English and eats Chinese – actually a splendid mixture!
The Filipino cuisine is a culinary Potpourri, to the – Chinese, Spanish and North American chefs have contributed – in a positive sense. The former enriched Filipino cuisine primarily with noodle dishes. Rice is a staple food, and Adobo is the undisputed national dish. The ingredients are vinegar, salt, soy sauce and garlic en masse.
Merienda are small snacks that are taken very seriously. They consist of fried or boiled bananas, kamote (sweet potatoes), all kinds of (sticky) rice cakes, barbecues and fish balls.
Buko juice, the juice of the young coconut, as well as mango and calamansi juice, which is pressed from small lemon-like fruits, are recommended for quenching thirst. Kalamansi, slowly served together with two or three ice cubes with the “tanduay” (rhum) in the short twilight… this corresponds to a snatched corner of blissful eternity! Incurable beer aficionados, however, will probably cling to the bottlenecks of the “San Miguel” and quickly fill a table with empty bottles in group gatherings.
They really do exist – the “baptism of fire” in the kitchen: “balut”, cooked, hatched duck eggs. Some Balut aficionados said that this product is best eaten in the dark for the first time – with gentle piano sounds in the background.
You have to listen to music – so here are some videos with music to indulge in such pleasures. In addition, information on traditional music from the Philippines and Pinoy radio stations from the Philippines.