A former colony of Spain and the United States, the Philippines (located in the
western Pacific Ocean) is one of two predominantly Catholic countries in Asia. However,
there are also large populations of people who practice Buddhism, Hinduism, and
Islam. However, religion is simply not where diversity ends in the Philippines.
The country is one of the most ethnically varied countries in the world, which is
a reflection of its various cultural inheritances. Also, its distinction as the
second largest archipelago in the world with over 7,000 islands (many of them lined
with coral reefs) translates to a tapestry of ecological wonders.
Philippines Medical Tourism Fame
The Joint Commission International has accredited two hospitals in the Philippines,
both located in the greater Manila area (capital city). One is located in Quezon
City (northeast of Manila) and the other is located in Pasig City (west of Manila).
Cebu, which is located on the southern half of the archipelago, is also another
medical tourism destination. These and other private medical facilities are state
of the art with highly trained doctors and staff, and coupled with the uniquely
Filipino style of caring and hospitality, traveling to the Philippines for medical
procedures is a worthwhile experience. Note that instruction at all Filipino universities
are in English.
The most popular procedures sought in the Philippines are cosmetic surgery, diagnostic
testing and imaging, bariatric surgery, dental treatments, ophthalmology, and dermatology;
all for a fraction of the cost in developed countries.
The official languages of the Philippines are English and Tagalog.
The weather in the Philippines is humid and tropical with constant sea breezes.
The country has three distinct seasons: the cool and dry season (October to February),
the hot and dry season (March to May), the rainy season (June to September), and
the typhoon season (June to September). The warmest month is in May with an average
temperature of 83oF (28oC) and the coldest month is January with an average temperature
of 78oF (25.5oC).
Visa / Entrance Requirements
U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require a visa if staying in the Philippines for
up to 21 days, however a passport (valid for 6 months beyond intended length of
stay) is required.
Airlines Servicing this Destination
The Philippines has many airports, but the ones that are most pertinent to medical
tourism are Manila-Ninoy Aquino International (MNL) and Mactan-Cebu International
The following airlines offer flights to the Philippines:
- Northwest Airlines
- Continental Airlines
- Philippine Airlines
- Air France
- Cathay Pacific
- United Airlines
- EVA Air
- China Airlines
- Korean Air
For the budget traveler, a hostel room costs $7-$20 USD per person per night and
3 star hotels start at $42 USD per night for a double occupancy room in Manila and
$22 in Cebu. With almost 2x’s more coastline than the U.S., the Philippines has
many luxury beach resorts, spas, and villas. 5 star hotels range from $88 to $800
USD per night with the majority costing less than $200, and beach villas cost approximately
$40 to $250+ USD per night, depending on the location and time of year.
The currency of the Philippines is the Peso (PHP).
The exchange rate of U.S. dollars to Filipino pesos is $1 USD dollar to 48.15 PHP
(exchange rate subject to change).
The international access code for the Philippines is 63.
The area code for Manila is 2.
The area code for Cebu is 32.
In order to call the Philippines from the U.S. or Canada you must dial 011 (exit
code) then 63 (country code for the Philippines), then the area code (one or two
digits), and then the phone number (seven digits).
To call a cell phone in the Philippines from the U.S. and Canada you must dial 011
+ 63 + phone number.
*phone number always begins with a 9
In order to call the U.S. from the Philippines you must dial 00 + 1 + area code
+ phone number
Cyber-cafes are widely available in major cities and towns. Larger hotels and most
private hospitals throughout the country offer Broadband Internet connection.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
U.S. Embassy in Manila: (63-2) 301-2000 extension 2555, 2246
In terms of exquisite architecture, the Iglesia ni Cristo and the Monasterio de
Santa Clara (both in Manila) are a must see. The Philippines still has remnants
of its colonial past such as Fort Santiago and Intramuros in which the latter is
an European-style medieval fortified city and both are located in Manilla. Cebu
is home to the oldest fort in the Philippines: Fort San Pedro.
If nature is more your game then you will be in awe with both Manila and the less
populated and virginal islands. Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife, Greenbelt, Rizal,
and Paco parks are all located in Manila. If you want to get out of the city, but
too far Taal Volcano and Lake are about 31 miles (50 km) south of Manila and is
a highly rated site. Even farther from the city is Bohol, which is a premier destination
for nature and wildlife lovers. It has coral lined beaches, and travelers can whale
watch and swim with the dolphins. For beach bums, Boracay is popular for outdoor
sports including jet-skiing, diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, horseback riding,
mountain biking, and windsurfing. After a day of physical activity, be sure to soak
in one of many refreshing and health building mineral hot springs.
From open air markets to department stores and high fashion boutiques, Manila is
not lacking in venues for the shopaholic. Like Hong Kong, the Philippines is known
for its inexpensive but quality custom made suits. You can also buy already made
suits and have them tailored and delivered to your hotel. After you have hung up
your suit and have gone from the boardroom to the beach, purchase some shell crafts
from the many beach stalls (be forewarned that certain shells are banned in some
countries and if you are caught, they will be confiscated or in the worst case scenario
you will be fined a hefty amount). Finally, no trip to the Philippines is complete
without tasting Chocnut which (as the name suggests) is a combination of peanut
and chocolate, and is very inexpensive.
Nightlife and the Arts
The Philippines has some of the most upscale bars and clubs as well as some of the
seediest; and both Manila and Cebu are known for their trendy nightspots. Alchemy
bar boasts three floors, European-style decor, and 2 dance floors. Ratsky boasts
a classy ambiance and live music, and the Malate district, which is home to many
bars, clubs, karaoke lounges, and restaurants, is frequented by everyone from yuppies
to grungy teens and hipsters. If dancing the night away is not your idea of a good
time, check out one of the many casinos in Manila.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines is a one stop shop for the artistic crowd.
It houses four theaters, an integrated humanities museum, galleries, and a library.
The Lopez Memorial Museum is an art museum and library, the National Museum of the
Philippines has art, zoology, botany, geology, and anthropology exhibits, and the
National Museum houses many different artifacts including jewelry, coins, and porcelain
Almost all newspapers in the Philippines are in English.
Hide this content.