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Top 10 Holes

Money & Prices

The currency of the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP). The most recognized foreign currency is the US dollar, and there are plenty of places where you can exchange pesos for US dollars. The exchange rate is roughly 56 pesos to 1 US dollar (August 2005). Also, if you are staying in Metro Manila or another major tourist destination you will not have any problems changing British pounds or Euros.

As a very rough guide, expenses in Metro Manila are as follows:

  • Five minute taxi ride 50 - 100 pesos

  • Typical 'fast food' meal 100 pesos

  • Mid range meal 150-300 pesos

  • Deluxe meal 800+ pesos

  • Cinema ticket 80-150 pesos

  • Budget hotel/lodging 500-1,500 pesos

  • Mid range hotel/lodging 1,500-2,500 pesos

  • Deluxe hotel 5,000 pesos

Note: Prices outside of Manila are typically lower, unless you are at one of the major tourist destinations such as Boracay or Puerto Galera.

Useful Tips

  • If you are catching a taxi, always ask to use the meter. If the taxi driver says that the meter is broken or he wants to negotiate the price with you, just say "never mind, thank you" and look for a different taxi.

  • When you pay for a taxi, it is normal to round up the amount. You should never round down. For example, if your fare was 56 pesos you could give the taxi driver 60 pesos.

  • Whether you tip people or not is up to you. If you eat in a restaurant, the person who serves you will generally expect (or hope for) a tip, even if there is a service charge included.

  • If you are buying something in a market, feel free to ask for a lower price than the price that you are initially told. As a general rule, you might want to suggest a price that is roughly 10% less than the initial offering price.

  • In contrast, if you are shopping in a department store or a shopping mall, the price on the label really is the selling price and you won't have any success if you try negotiating!

  • Filipino people are (as a broad generalization) very polite, and more sensitive than Europeans or North Americans. Raising your voice (i.e. speaking loudly or shouting) when you are talking to somebody is considered to be very rude. Also, just like any other country in the world, people appreciate it when you say please and thank you.