Good to know!

Information galore

Safety

Sadly we have noticed a decrease in the number of visitors to Boracy Island and the Philippines generally. Could this be the result of poor or wrong media coverage?

Many travel agents and government official departments in various countries around the world recommend not to travel to or around the Phillipiness, this is simply based on a few unfortunate unpleasant incidents. These incidents are localised and contained they are not country wide.

There was a typhoon in December 2014, it is without doubt better to err on the side of caution, however, the forecast was excessive and the report of the consequences of the storm although possible these figures need to be realised in context.

It is important to take care of ones safety when travelling but unfortunately there has been a trend of over reporting regarding lack of safety within the Philippines often high lightening incidents in such away as to suggest these are common place on every Philippine Island. We have many returning guests who stay for extended periods, they do pay attention during their stay but also move comfortably around our island of Boracay in small groups, couples or even alone.

At Funboard Centre we do recommend that you do your holiday research. Do, however, remember often there are two sides to any story. So please contact us at any time of the year so that we might give you first hand information. In addition you may like to post your questions on our blog or Facebook page and get answers from our past quests. This will help build for you a clearer unbiased picture.

 

Immigration

To immigrate to the Philippines you need to have a passport that is valid for at least six more months after your departure from the Philippines. Also children need to have a child´s ID with a photo. In general all immigrants have a free visa for the first 30 days of their stay. If you want to stay longer you either get a special visa beforehand at the philippines embassador/consulate in your area or you can also extend your visa easily on Boracay. 

Currency & Exchange rate

The local currency is the philippine peso (PHP); Rates as per Septemebr 2013:

1 US$  = 45 PHP
1 CAD = 35 PHP
1 AUD = 35 PHP
1 GBP = 67 PHP
1 EUR = 50 PHP

Office hours at the Banks: Mo to Fr: 9 am - 4 pm. There are a number of different banks exchanging foreign currencies or do cash out on credit cards. Also available many cash machines. For payment with traveler cheques a fee of approx. 5 US$ will be charged.

In many restaurants and hotels credit cards are accepted but will be charged with 5-10% fee of the invoiced amount.   

Immunization

At the moment there are is no special immunization required for Boracay, but please check with your local doctor before your travel. A prophylaxis for malaria is recommended. More informatin available at www.fit-for-travel.de (button for the english version is at the top right)

Health

Tap water should not be used as drinking water. Use instead water from bottles. Also please be careful with ice cubes, some are made from frozen tap water.

Language

Official language is English and Filipino, also called Tagalog. In total there are more than 100 differnt languages registered on the Philippines.

Local time

Plus 6 hours on central european time (in winter plus 7 hours).

Religion

83% Catholics, 9% Protestants, 5% Muslims, 3% Buddhism und some other minors free religions.

Electricity

In general 220 volt, 60 hz. You will need an adapter for electrical use which can be bought on the island for around 2 Euro.

Climate

There is a subtropical climate on Boracay with a permanent sea breeze. There are three seasons, i.e. the rainy season from July till October, from November till March it is warm and dry and from April till June quite hot and humid. Between July and October some typhoons might arise. The average air temperature is around 28-31 dregree celsius, average water temperature is around 26-28 dregree celsius. The humidity is around 65-80%. 

Food & Beverages

In contrast to many other asian countries the philippine cuisine is not a spicy one, spicery and herbs are used just rarely. Seafood is one of the main dishes and is prepared fresh from the ocean. There is a great variety of different restaurants on the island, from very simple local food stands up to very delicious 5 star cuisine.

Tip

The general tip in restaurants is around 5-10% if food and service was good. In some bigger restaurants and hotels you will find an additional service charge on your bill of 10%. If you like to give a further tip at these place is entirely up to you.

Photography and telefon

You will find lots of interesting and attractive impressions which might be worth to be taken on photo. Most philippines do like to be "shot" however as a matter of respect you should ask beforehand. 

For around 300 philippine peso you can buy a local SIM Card for your handy. This comes much cheaper for calls to Europe. You will also find lots of internet cafes on the island for internet calls. 

Recommendation

When you arrive at Manila Airport you should try to get some small philippine peso bills in some of the shops. When you travel further to Boracay you have to pay a number of different fees and tickets of smaller amounts.

Airport taxes / Terminal fee

At the moment 250 peso for domestic flights, 750 peso for international destinations. You have to pay these fees in cash at the airport, they are not included in any ticket.

Domestic flight Manila to Caticlan

Please be aware that you have only 10 kilo of free luggage on the domestic flight. Every additional kilo is charged with around 2 Euro per kilo.

For your ride from the international airport in Manila to the domestic airport we recommend to take a taxi / cab. Outside from the airport building you will find a taxi desk, where you can buy your taxi ticket. You should ignore other taxi drivers who might approach you inside the airport building, they normally charge much more than the official ones.

Transfer from Caticlan to Boracay

After arrival at the airport in Caticlan you either walk to the harbour (also called jelly port). It is just 10 minutes. Or take a tricycle for 50 peso. For the boat ride from Caticlan to Boracay you need three tickets (Terminal fee, Environmental fee and the Boat ticket) all together around 300 peso. Make sure you have some small bills available. The boat trip takes around 15 minutes. If you like to take the service for a porter, they charge around 20 peso per piece of luggage. 

Surf and kite equipment

Harness and shoes are included in the rental price. No wet suits available. For November and December you might wear a shorty (also available in our shop for sale), from January till April a lycra shirt is fine.

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