At Manila Airport – Philippines

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All flights from Europe, Australia and North America arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. However, if you are flying with Philippine Airlines you will be arriving at a different terminal, the Centennial Terminal II.

For immigration purposes, sometimes customs will require a name and address of the physical location of where you are planning to stay while traveling in the Philippines. So be sure to have a physical address of the place where you are staying. State the purpose of your visit as “Tourist”. Do NOT write “student” as this would require a student visa (only applicable to university students).

After passing through Immigrations, you will enter the luggage claim area where carts are available. Don’t respond to people calling you or waving to you. All they want is your attention. Collect your luggage and proceed to the customs desks at the opposite end of the room. Generally, you do not need to declare items for personal use. If in doubt, ask a customs agent. Please be sure to be courteous, friendly and patient at all times, even though you may be exhausted upon arrival. It is never acceptable to shout or show anger in Philippines culture. (It could even get you arrested.) Please be assured that most foreigners pass through the airport without any problem whatsoever.palawan-map-tourist

As you leave the customs area you will see a row of bank windows. This is a good time to change some of your currency into Philippine Pesos. Compare the windows for the best rate, but be sure not to respond to people waving or calling you. My experience is that PNB bank (Philippines National Bank) often has the best rates or one of the exchange counters. On the airport you will be able to find the best rates in the country with the exception of the ATM’s.

No more than 500 Pesos may be brought into the country but there is no limit on the amount of foreign currency which may be imported. However, amounts exceeding US$3000 must be declared. The amount of foreign currency to be taken out later is limited to the amounts declared on entry. Although you will be advised that cash is not safe to carry, you will find it hard to change travelers’ checks into cash. ATM’s are very common and normally give the best exchange rate of all but may be restricted in amount (P4000-P5000)

NOTE: In Manila, there is no problem in exchanging foreign currencies like Yen, US$$ and Pounds, but in Puerto Princesa City only the US$ is accepted. Unfortunately most ATM’s charge a fee for their use. This can be relatively expensive and therefore the cheapest way to exchange money in PPC is through US$$$.

After you leave the banking windows, you enter a lobby area where you can either transfer to your domestic flight to Palawan, call for pickup by a guesthouse or get a taxi. Don’t leave the main doors until you are ready because you normally cannot re-enter once outside. Once outside, if you are approached by vendors or unwanted taxi drivers, just ignore them or shake no. Some aggressive taxi drivers may try to grab your luggage; just be firm and politely tell them to let go. There are security guards all around, so there is no real danger.


Please note, the Philippines is in the same time zone as Hong Kong. Due to this time difference you will probably suffer jet lag for a few days after arrival as your body adjusts to the time difference. The best approach is to set your watch to the new hours as soon as you arrive, but don’t feel bad if at times you really need to take a nap.


220 Volt AC, 60 Hz, with 2 flat plug in blades and screw type light sockets (American style).


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