For international delegates, especially for those who will travel to the Philippines for the first time, here are a few useful information about the Philippines and Batangas City.
Travel to the Philippines does not require any visa. The customs officers, however, shall be strictly checking your travel documents such as passport, ticket, and other relevant documents.
The Philippine standard time is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime.
Filipino is the main language used in the country. The common language spoken in Batangas Province is Tagalog, a dialect from which Filipino is largely based. There are very minimal differences between Filipino and Tagalog. However, English is also commonly understood and spoken by a great majority.
General electrical current has 220 volts, 60Hz. Electrical outlets normally allow for the two flat parallel prongs. However, some hotels provide 110 volts outlets but generally, they are not available. If you are planning to bring electronic gadgets or appliances, make sure to bring a converter and a universal adaptor.
The international area code in the Philippines is +63, while the area code of Batangas is 43. All landline phones in Batangas do start with the +6343 numbers. International outgoing calls start with a 00 code.
Hotels, inns and resorts around Batangas usually have internet or WiFi connections. Outside the hotels and resorts, cyber cafes in the major towns of Batangas may be visited for internet connection where sending emails, uploading or downloading important files, and any activity requiring internet connection can be done. IRCIEST participants can also connect in the Internet through WiFI at Batangas State University.
Prepaid sim cards of major telecommunications companies (Globe, Smart and Sun) are easily available in most commercial establishments. Prepaid sim cards are very affordable and retailed for as low as fifty pesos, and can be loaded with different denominations as low as ten pesos. These may be used for local and international calls. 3G services are also available but in selected areas only.
Clothes/What to Wear
The Philippines is a tropical country, so warm weather may be expected. Participants are advised to prepare for sudden rain showers, but the weather is generally sunny all throughout the day. However, there is a dress code in attending plenary and paper sessions, as well as in the conference banquet. The dress code can be seen in the General Information Page.
Money and Valuables
Philippine Peso is the currency used all throughout the country. Make sure that you exchange your currency with the Philippine peso because most shops and establishments only accept peso. There are money exchange establishments at the airport and in Batangas. Most foreign currencies can also be exchanged in banks and authorized foreign exchange dealers.
Major credit cards such as Mastercard, American Express, Visa and Diners Club may be accepted only at major hotels, resorts, and restaurants.
Traveler’s cheques are generally not accepted in most of the establishments, hotels and resorts in Batangas.
Make photocopies of important travel documents, such as passports and tickets, and keep them in a safe place. Never leave your valuables such as your wallet on the beach or poolside unattended. It is better for you to leave them in your hotel or resort room. Do not leave your luggage and valuables unattended in public areas.
It is normal to leave a tip when rendered assistance. All hotels and restaurants already have a policy of adding 10% service charge to your bills, so it becomes optional for the customer to give a tip.
Business Hours of Banks, Establishments, etc.
Banks are open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. However, Banco de Oro branches in Batangas are open on from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, even on Saturdays. Government agencies and private firms are open for business from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, from Monday to Friday.
It is a good practice to have a travel health insurance when traveling. A travel health insurance provides peace of mind for international delegates. It is also recommended to drink bottled water during your stay in Batangas. As much as possible, refrain from drinking tap water.