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The Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. The country is rich with natural resources and has one of the richest biodiversities in the world. An archipelago comprising, 7,107 islands, the Philippines is parted into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. AIESEC in the Philippines is currently located in two of these main islands: Luzon and Mindanao. Most of the local committees of AIESEC are found in the heart of the National Capital Region, Metro Manila. The Philippines has a tropical climate giving it three seasons: TAG-ULAN (rainy and wet) June-October TAGLAMIG (cool and dry) November-February TAG-INIT (hot and humid) March-May

The Philippines has two official languages: FILIPINO

This is the native language. It is a mixture of languages found in the Philippines, mostly coming from Tagalog with English, Spanish and Chinese loan words


The language was adopted when the Philippines wac colonized by the United States. Most Filipinos are native speakers of the language.

With an estimated population of about 92 million people, The Philippines is the world’s 12th most populous country. Being an archipelago, the country features multiple ethnicities and cultures per region. Most of the ancestors of Filipinos are that of the Austronesian Race, particularly Malay. However, due to colonial conquests, The Philippines has become inhabited by Spanish, Americans and Japanese. Trade also brought in merchants from China and due to the close ties; many Chinese have migrated to the Philippines. Because of this, the country’s current population is a mostly a mix of Filipino, Chinese and Spanish.

Core Values FAMILY

Filipinos recognize family as something that must be taken care of. They give importance in the safety and unity of one’s family. They also get their strength from their family.


Filipinos are raised to be respectful individuals. They honor the elderly and their superiors by using the word po. In relation to the value of family, words like ate (sister), kuya (brother), tito (uncle) and tita (aunt) are often used to address an elder or superior.


Fiilipinos value how they treat their visitors. They would go through anything just to ensure that any guest is comfortable.


Filipinos have an expression called utang na loob, which literally means debt of the soul. Whenever someone does something good a person, that person considers him/herself indebted to that someone and would do almost anything to return the favor.


Fiilipinos would do anything for another so that he/she won’t be embarassed. They would make sure to uphold the good name of someone they care about.


Filipinos have a very positive outlook on life. It is this optimism that gives them the capacity to be flexible and adapt to any situation.


It is very important for a Filipino to be loyal to his friends and fellowmen. They value being able to work peacefully with others and building strong relationships with them.


An old saying says, “Kung walang tiyaga, walang nilaga” (If there’s no hardwork, there’s no pork soup.) Filipinos have a high propensity for work whether it be physical or technical. This also makes Filipinos highly competitive, driven by the desire to improve one’s economic security.

What to Bring: - Light Clothing (The weather is normally hot, except when it’s November to February. T-shirts and shorts are advisable for development trainees.) - Corporate/Formal Wear (You never know when you would need it. This is a must for management trainees. Coats and blazers are not as advisable.) - Special Personal Needs (like medication although most medicine is cheap in the country) - Umbrella (especially during the rainy and wet season) - Jacket (especially during the cold and dry season)

- Sunglasses and Sunblock (especially during the hot and humid season) - Swimwear (Some AIESEC gatherings are done on a beach or near a pool) - Travel Plug Adapter (The standard voltage is 220V AC and the socket type is Type A) - Watch (set the time to GMT+8) - Pocket Calculator - Flashlight - Swiss Knife - Camera - Flip Flops or Sandals - Rubber Shoes or Sneakers - Leather Shoes - Toiletries - Towel - Cash (The denomination is the Philippine Peso.)

Other Travel details PACKING Remember to always pack light. A lot of your necessities can be bought anyway at any local supermarket.

AIRPORT TAX Call your travel agent to check on the fees. Just be prepared to have around Php 500 as this is normally the maximum per person.

BUSINESS HOURS Offices: Weekdays 8am-5pm Supermarkets: 10am-8pm Shopping Malls: 10am-10pm Banks:Weekdays 9am-3pm Embassies: 9am-1pm Post offices: Weekdays 8am-5pm Saturday 8am to 1pm



Sunrise and sunset is usually at 6am and 6pm respectively give or take half an hour.

Although most establishments charge a 10% service charge rate, it is still common courtesy to give a tip to those who are serving you.

Philippine time is very erratic, with a lack of punctuality. Expect to either be waited for or left waiting.

Public Transportation Railway transits

Similar to the subways of other countries, these railway transits get you around Metro Manila’s most travelled destinations. All three are connected. All fare prices are around the Php 10-20 range. Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT-1/Metrorail/Yellow Line) Monumento, Caloocan City to Baclaran, Paraùaque City. Light Rail Transit 2 (Lrt-2/Megatren/Purple Line Santolan, Markina City to Recto, Manila City Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3/Metrostar/Blue Line) North Avenue, Quezon City to Taft Avenue, Manila City


The jeepney (aka jeep) is the most common and inexpensive mode of transportation, that is like a minibus. Fare prices range around Php 5-15 depending on how far the route. Each jeep has a specific route that it follows everyday. The route is written on the side and front of the vehicle. Payment is done by passing your money until it reaches the driver. Simply tell the person beside you, “bayad po.” If you give a large bill, the driver would often ask “ilan?” (for how many?). If so and you’re alone, just answer “isa” (one). The change would then be passed back to you. Don’t worry as it is common courtesy to pass the money on. If you would like to go down, all you need to do is say “Para” (stop) or pull the chord (if available). If you don’t know where to stop, just tell the driver beforehand where you’d like to stop. The drivers are friendly enough to inform you that you’ve reached your destination.


The tricycle (aka trike) is a type of auto rickshaw. It’s basically a motorcycle with a roofed side car. The trike is used for short-distanced travel and do not have a fixed route. Fares often range from Php 5-30 but it is advisable to have 1-2 more people ride with you to cut costs.


The taxicab is the most expensive but most private and convenient public utility vehicle of the Philippines. These are just like the cabs found in other countries. In Metro Manila, fares are determined by a meter that automatically charges the passenger Php 30 and incrementally increases by Php 2.50. It is not advisable to ride a cab at peak hours because traffic in Metro Manila can get ugly.


Buses are the biggest of all public utility vehicles. Like jeepneys, buses have a fixed route that commonly go through larger thoroughfairs. Unlike a jeep, most buses are air-conditioned. Fares are slightly more expensive than jeeps at around Php 10-30 within Metro Manila. Aside from city buses, there are also provincial buses. Not like other countries, buses in the Philippines have no real bus stop. One can simply call the attention of a bus and it would stop for you. Take note, some places do have bus stops such as Ayala Avenue, Makati City. The best way to get on a bus is to ride at the bus terminal.


The FX is simply a taxi made for a small group of people. The FX is pretty much a combination of a taxicab and a jeep. It is like a taxicab in form as it is air-conditioned and more private but like a jeep, it usually follows a certain route.

Traffic in the Philippines

One thing to prepare yourself for is the heavy traffic in the Philippines. Jeeps, taxis, motorcyclists and even buses are notorious swervers and make driving a difficult task. Due to these conditions, drivers are skilled in doing the same. Traffic in common thoroughfares such as EDSA, C5, Commonwealth and the like are usually bumper-to-bumper at peak hours. It is best to know when these roads fill up.

Telecommunication Landline

PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company) holds monopoly over all companies in terms of landline phone service. Although almost obsolete but still very useful, pay phones are still available in most public places such as malls and airports. The first two minutes are just Php1 and for every additional minute, one has to pay Php 1 as well. Also, phone cards can be bought at local stores around the Philippines. These phone cards are compatible with the pay phones and act as prepaid cards that you can consume without having to worry to refill the pay phone with another coin. These phone cards can also be used to call abroad.


Usage of cellular phones is very popular in the Philippines. It was even proclaimed the text messaging capital of the Philippines. Text messaging (or SMS) is the main communication channel of Filipinos. There are three mobile providers in the market. They are Globe, Smart and Sun. You can buy prepaid cards for your phone at most local stores in the country. Smart Communications is a subsidiary of PLDT. Smart offers different levels of service depending on the financial capability of the user. The postpaid services are under Smart Infinity and Smart Gold while the prepaid services are under Smart Buddy, Talk N’ Text and Red Mobile; from most expensive to most affordable respectively. Smart also provides a number of services to its customer including 3G (video calling, ondemand streaming and high speed internet browsing), Zed (multimedia download service), Money (a cashless transaction system linked to MasterCard and Padala (a cash remittance service from a sender outside the Philippines to a recipient in the Philippines. They are the sole providers of Blackberry.

Globe Telecom like Smart offers different levels of service depending on financial capability, with TM as its low end service. Most students prefer using Globe due to strong coverage in Metro Manila and customizable plans.. These customizable plans allow you to choose from unlimited call, text and mobile-to-landline services. Like Smart, it offers 3G and GCash Remit (counterpart of Smart Padala). Also, they offer GCash Click, a secure web transactions service. They are the sole providers of the iPhone. Unlike Globe and Smart, Sun Cellular’s network coverage is relatively limited. but it makes up for this by being th e most affordable out of the three. Their service also provides 3G and prepaid services that offer unlimited call and text functions.


There are three types of broadband service: cable, DSL and wireless. The first has become mainly obsolete because of the superior speed of DSL. DSL providers include PLDT My DSL, Sky Broadband, Globe Tattoo, Smart Bro and Sun Broadband. Another innovation that is becoming a trend in the Philippines is the use of wireless broadband via a USB modem. As the big three of telecommunications, Smart, Globe and Sun offer this as their service as well under ths same name.

Useful Filipino Phrases English


I can’t speak Filipino. Hindi (po) ako nakakasalita ng Pilipino. Sorry, I can’t understand you. Paumanhin, di ko (po) kayo maintindihan. Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening! Magandang Umaga/Hapon/Gabi (po)! How are you? Kamusta (po)? I’m fine. Mabuti naman (po). Please come in. Tuloy (po) kayo. Thank you (very much). (Maraming) salamat (po). You’re welcome Walang anuman. (Wala pong anuman). Yes. Oo (Opo/Oho). No. Hindi (po/ho). I don’t know Hindi ko (po) alam. What time is it? Anong oras na (po)? Where are you going? Saan (po) ka(yo) pupunta? Where did you come from? Saan (po) ka(yo) galing? What is your name? Ano pangalan mo? (Ano po pangalan ninyo?) I am _____(name). Ako (po) si _____(name). How old are you? Ilang taon ka na? (Ilang taon na po kayo?) I am __ years old. __ taong gulang na (po) ako. Where do you live? Saan (po) ka(yo) nakatira? Where are you from? Taga saan (po) ka(yo)? Have you eaten yet? Kumain ka na ba? (Kumain na po ba kayo?) Happy Birthday (to you)! Maligayang Kaarawan (sa i(n)yo (po))! Po as said earlier is to show respect to elders. Without po, the phrase becomes informal. Filipino pronouns could also become formal such as ka becoming kayo. The next section tells how to count in Filipino. The counting system has two roots: one Malay and the other Spanish.

Counting in Filipino English

Filipino (Malay/Spanish)

one isa/uno two dalawa/dos three tatlo/tres four apat/kwatro five lima/singko six anim/sais seven pito/siyete eight walo/otso nine siyam/nuwebe ten sampu/diyes eleven labing-isa/onse twelve labindalawa/dose sixteen labing-anim/disi-sais seventeen labimpito/disi-siyete twenty dalawampu/beynte twenty-one dalawampu’t isa/beynteuno thirty tatlumpu/trenta forty apatnapu/kwarenta one hundred isang daan/siyento one thousand isang libo/mil ten thousand sampung libo/diyes mil hundred thousand isang daang libo/siyento mil Time: Alas __ (Spanish-Filipino; exception: 1 o’clock = ala una) Counting an object: __ng (Malay-Filipino) __ (object) Ordinals: Put ika- or pang- before the Malay-Filipino number ex. 4th > ikaapat/pang-apat (exceptions: 1st = una, 2nd = pangalawa/ ikalawa, 3rd=pangatlo, ikatlo)

More Useful Filipino phrases Filipino

madaling araw umaga tanghali hapon gabi hating gabi diretso sa kanan/kaliwa umikot sa harap/likod hilaga/timog/silangan/kanluran sa taas/ibaba/ilalaim sa loob/labas dito diyan (near)/doon (far) Ano? Alin? Sino? Bakit? Kailan? Paano? Saan? Nasaan?(when looking for something/one) Gaano? Magkano? (when referring to money) Lunes/Martes/Miyerkules/Huwebes Biyernes/Sabado/Linggo Enero/Pebrero/Marso/Abril/Mayo Hunyo/Hulyo/Agosto Setyembre/Oktubre/Nobyembre/Disyembre


early morning (1-5am) morning (6-11am) noon afternoon(12:01pm-5pm) evening/night(6-11:59pm) midnight straight ahead on the right/left turn around in front/behind north /south/east/west on top/below/at the bottom in/outside here there What? Which?Who? Why? When? How? Where? How much? Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday Friday/Saturday/Sunday Jan/Feb/Mar/April/May June/July/August Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec


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