The Philippines is unlike any other country in Southeast Asia. This archipelago is made up of more than 7,000 islands and is home to more than 94 million Fillipinos. Although there are thousands of islands, only about 800 of them are inhabited. One of the largest islands is Luzon, where the capital city of Manila is located. Throughout the Philippines, tourists will encounter many Spanish influences as a result of colonial rule by Spain throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. A remaining influence from this period can be seen today through the country’s predominant religion of Catholicism. The official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and English, and both languages are used in government, news, and media, making it easy for English speakers to get around the country.


 

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Entry and Exit Requirements for the Philippines

Italian visitors to the Philippines must have a valid passport. This passport must not expire within six months of the planned departure date in order to be considered valid. There is no requirement for visas for Italian citizens, with the exception of a student visa or one for travellers planning to stay more than 30 days. In addition, you will also need to show a return ticket before you will be allowed to enter the country. Keep in mind that, because of medical threats like H1N1, all visitors are subject to health screenings which include a body temperature check. Upon departure, you will also be required to pay a cash airport user fee of 550 Philippine pesos.

Travel Information and Italian Embassy locations for the Philippines

Italians should not visit the Philippines without first alerting the Italian Embassy in the Philippines. Make sure that you take the time to contact the embassy before you arrive to the Philippines, and contact them again upon your arrival. This gives the embassy a chance to inform you about any important security information that could affect your visit. Make sure that you keep the address of the embassy on you at all times as you make your way through the country.

Embassy of Italy in Manila
6/F Zeta II Bldg, 191 Salcedo Street
Legaspi Village,Makati City Metro Manila

Email: visti.manila@esteri.it
Tel.: (0063-2) 892-4531

Visit the Embassy website prior to your departure.

Safety and Security in the Philippines

Keep in mind that the decision to travel involves responsibility, and you must remain responsible for your own safety when travelling abroad. There is a threat of terrorism in some areas of the Philippines, notably around the region of Muslim Mindanao. If you are travelling in that vicinity, extreme caution should be used, as Westerners are often targeted. Bomb attacks have also occurred in areas like Manila and other larger cities. Kidnapping is a concern.

You should keep an eye out for both petty and violent crimes when in urban areas of the Philippines, and you should keep any sign of affluence hidden. This means never carry large sums of money, and you should lock up valuables. You also don’t want to accept any offering of food from strangers in urban areas as the food or drink could be laced with drugs, resulting in robbery or sexual assault.

It is wise to stick to urban areas, and do not venture out after dark. Driving anywhere but paved roads can be a safety hazard, and, if you do need transportation, arrange it through your hotel. Do not trust other taxi services or public transportation. If you are going to be travelling over water, you should know that pirates are not uncommon in the waters surrounding the Philippines, and you should remain vigilant at all times.

 

philip climatephilip 2Average temperatures in Philippines may vary depending on the region of your stay, so be sure to consider each area you plan to visit and pack clothing and skin and eye protectants that will adequately shield you from the effects of both regular and hazardous weather conditions.


Health Alerts for the Philippines
Planning a trip to the Philippines? Use the compilation of Philippines Health Alerts below in conjunction with a visit to your Travel Medicine Specialist to prepare your health against all possible health risks while visiting the Philippines.

INFLUENZA Worldwide
May '16 – According to the CDC, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all people 6-months of age and older. Globally, influenza activity is low in most regions. In North America, influenza activity continues to decrease. In Europe, influenza activity continues to decrease in most countries. In northern Africa and the Middle East, influenza activity continues to decrease or remained low in most countries; however activity remained high in Jordan and Turkey. In the temperate countries of Asia, influenza activity continued to decrease, but continues to remain high in the Republic of Korea. In tropical countries of the Americas, influenza activity remains low in most countries. In tropical Asia, influenza activity began to decline in India but continued to decrease in southern China and Hong Kong SAR. In tropical Africa, influenza activity increased in western Africa, however Madagascar reported declining influenza activity. Lastly, in the southern hemisphere influenza activity remains at inter-seasonal levels.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.


CHIKUNGUNYA in Philippines
May '16 - Chikungunya is known to occur during the rainy season in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, southern India, and Pakistan. More recently the disease has also been reported in the Americas and South Pacific for the first time. According to the CDC, most people in the Americas are not immune to Chikungunya so further spread is likely. Once infected people can infect and spread the virus to other mosquitoes. Chikungunya is often confused with Dengue fever, as the symptoms are similar, although chikungunya symptoms are less severe compared to dengue.
Local transmission of chikungunya has been reported in the following countries:
AFRICA: Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Reunion, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
AMERICAS: Anguilla, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Sint Maarten (Dutch), Saint Martin (French), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S.A (several states - travel related), and Venezuela.
ASIA: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor, Vietnam, Yemen.
EUROPE: France.
OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Tokelau Islands, and Tonga.
Chikungunya fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms can include sudden fever, joint pain with or without swelling, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, lower back pain, and a rash. In case of these symptoms people are strongly advised to see their doctor. Travelers should use mosquito nets when sleeping and apply mosquito repellents.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

DENGUE FEVER in Philippines
May '16 - Dengue Fever cases have been on the rise worldwide. According to WHO, incidence of dengue has increased 30 fold in the past 50 years. WHO estimates over 2.5 billion people are now at risk of dengue and there are about 50-100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. According to the CDC, dengue fever is the most common cause of fever in travelers who return from South Central Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

MEASLES in Philippines
May '16 - According to the CDC, measles kills more than 100,000 children each year worldwide and is common in parts of Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Domestic travelers are just as likely, as international travelers, to be exposed on airplanes or in airports. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases and the CDC advises that all travelers be up to date on their vaccinations. Significant outbreaks have been reported in the following countries so far this year (2015): Angola, Australia, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec), China, Croatia, Congo DR, Egypt, Ethiopia, France (Alsace region), Georgia, Germany, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA (several states), and Vanuatu.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges Americans traveling overseas to make sure they are vaccinated against measles—especially if traveling with children. In children complications may lead to bronchitis and pneumonia and in more severe cases, the disease can cause central nervous system damage. Measles is an acute, highly communicable disease, transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread. Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, and sore eyes followed about 2 days later by a red blotchy rash. It is recommended that you receive an adult booster if you haven't had measles and you have only had your childhood immunizations, especially when traveling internationally. Young children can complete their MMR vaccination schedule early if they are traveling abroad.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

RABIES in Philippines
May '16 - Although the CDC says that rabies is a preventable viral disease, there are more than 55,000 human deaths per year from rabies worldwide. Canine rabies is most prevalent in South East Asia and Africa, while bat rabies predominates in South America. Cases are often under-reported. Bangladesh has the highest per capita rate of human deaths from rabies, which is 1 death in every 30,000 people. China averages more than 2,400 human deaths from rabies annually. According to China’s Ministry of Health, rabies is a huge problem in China and has the 2nd highest incidence rate in the world after India. Many human rabies deaths are attributed to the consumption of rabid dog meat in China. Roughly 36% of the world’s rabies deaths occur in India each year. India reports an estimated 25,000-30,000 human deaths from rabies annually. Rabies is a known issue in Indonesia, even in popular tourist destinations. Rabies is endemic in Nepal and Algeria. In Pakistan about 5,000 deaths are reported annually.
This year human cases and/or deaths due to rabies have been reported from the following countries: Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel (Northern Golan), Haiti, Nepal, Philippines, Tunisia, Vietnam, and USA.
Travelers to these areas should consider the pre-exposure rabies prophylaxis vaccination series.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.