A Brief Introduction for Travelers to the Philippines

If you’re planning to travel to the Philippines, and we hope you are, there may be certain helpful information that you might want to know about this archipelagic nation composed of 7,107 islands. We shall be discussing these tips and reminders in this category from time to time.

The Philippines is known in the national language, Filipino, as Pilipinas. The term Filipino could refer to the national language or the citizens of the Philippines. If you want to be picky about it, Filipino refers to the male citizens, while Filipina refers to the ladies. If you’re using the national language, which, again, is Filipino, a Filipino is Pinoy, while a Filipina is Pinay. And if all that discussion gives you a headache, just refer to everyone as Filipino.

Geographical and Political Subdivisions

Now, it’s likely that you’ll meet a Pinay named Luzviminda, and if you do, ask her why the name. She may answer you, as Filipinos are known for their hospitality, but if she doesn’t, let me tell you that Luzviminda stands for the 3 main island groups of the Philippines — Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Luzon is to the north, Visayas is at the middle and Mindanao is to the south. The capital of the Philippines, Manila City, is in Luzon, while the Queen City of the South, Cebu City, is in Visayas.

Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are not political subdivisions, by the way. The smallest political unit is called the barangay, which, incidentally, also refers to the boats used by the early settlers to reach the Philippines. A number of barangays compose a municipality or city, and a number of municipalities and cities comprise a province. These are the political subdivisions. Provinces, on the other hand, are also grouped into administrative regions.

Philippine Climate

Map Showing the Climates in areas of the Philippines

Here are the climate conditions in different provinces of the Philippines, for those who intend to travel here:

  • Type I. There are two pronounced seasons: The dry season (from November to April) and wet season (rest of the year).
  • Type II. There is no dry season under this classification, with a very pronounced rainfall from November to January.
  • Type III. Seasons are not very pronounced. It is relatively dry from November to April, and wet during the rest of the year.
  • Type IV. Rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year under this classification.

(Image and description courtesy of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration [PAGASA]).

Weather

What are the seasons in the Philippines? There are two seasons in the Philippines: (1) the rainy season, from June to November; and (2) the dry season, from December to May. The dry season may be subdivided further into (a) the cool dry season, from December to February; and (b) the hot dry season, from March to May. Typhoons usually happen during the rainy season. See Travel Tips: Typhoons in the Philippines.

We can’t hide from the fact that typhoons are natural occurrences in the Philippines. The important thing is to be prepared. And to schedule your trip or vacation to the Philippines accordingly.

The <strong>Philippines </strong>has 7,000 plus beautiful islands. The exact number depends on whether it’s high tide or low tide, a phrase made immortal by a Philippine beauty queen. No two islands are created equal. One island (or, in another sense, province) may have a different climate from the next one.<!–more–>Here are the climate conditions in different provinces of the Philippines, for those who intend to travel here:
<ul>
<li><img style=”margin: 2px;” src=”http://visitpinas.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/philippine-climate-map.jpg” alt=”Climate Map of the Philippines” width=”450″ height=”430″ align=”right” /><strong>Type I</strong>. There are two pronounced seasons: The dry season (from November to April) and wet season (rest of the year).</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><strong>Type II</strong>. There is no dry season under this classification, with a very pronounced rainfall from November to January.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><strong>Type III</strong>. Seasons are not very pronounced. It is relatively dry from November to April, and wet during the rest of the year.</li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><strong>Type IV</strong>. Rainfall is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year under this classification. (Image and description courtesy of the <em>Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration</em> [<a href=”http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/” target=”_blank”>PAGASA</a>]).</li>
</ul>
What are the seasons in the Philippines? We already noted in the previous article, on <a href=”http://visitpinas.com/vacation-tip-typhoons-in-the-philippines/”>Typhoons in the Philippines</a>, that there are two seasons in the Philippines: (1) the <strong>rainy season</strong>, from June to November; and (2) the <strong>dry season</strong>, from December to May. The dry season may be subdivided further into (a) the cool dry season, from December to February; and (b) the hot dry season, from March to May. Typhoons usually happen during the rainy season (for instance, see the <a href=”http://visitpinas.com/typhoon-watch-2009/”>Typhoon Watch for 2009</a>).

There you go. Now you have an idea when best to travel to, and enjoy, the Philippines.

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