Insurance is essential for travelling in the Philippines, do not forget to leave home without it. Make sure that your insurance covers both medical treatment (including medical evacuation to the UK) and unexpected losses/expenses (e.g. missed flight, lost passport, stolen credit card/cash).
Accidents and robberies do happen in the Philippines and health risks are greater than in Europe.
Do not overstay beyond the limit of your visa. If you overstay, you will automatically be fined for each day you remain the Philippines beyond the date stamped in your passport. If you cannot pay, you may be arrested, detained over a period of many months and then deported.
If you wish to extend your visa, you should apply seven (7) days before the expiration of your approved stay. For more information, you may visit www.immigration.gov.ph
Ensure that you have enough funds for your stay and return flight. Bank transfers can take time and if you miss your flight or your ticket becomes invalid, you may have to purchase another ticket to get home and cover other emergencies, including overstaying your visa.
Keep a separate copy of your credit card numbers and telephone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.
Be mindful of your valuables at all times. Avoid losing sight or leaving your documents unattended. Avail hotel’s safety deposit box facility if available. Do be on guard against robbers, pickpockets and bag-snatchers especially in shopping malls.
Leave details of your travel itinerary and details, passport, Home Office Naturalisation Certificate and your credit cards with friends or relatives at home.
Carry a copy of your passport with you, separate from your actual passport, in case of lost/stolen passport.
Remember to abide with the local laws of the country you are visiting. Laws vary from country to country.
Do not get involved with drugs. Possession of drugs can lead to imprisonment. Legal causes could take many months to come to trial in the Philippines. Remember to bring your prescription from your doctor or hospital if you are using prescribed medicine.
Be aware that hygiene standards may be lower than you are used to. Be cautious about consuming street foods unless your tummy can handle it otherwise you will be in for a long night of pain and suffering.
Be cautious about taking pictures of cultural minorities. Insensitive photography will cause resentment.
Do not get isolated in remote areas, especially after dark.
Ensure that you get a local Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) from the British Embassy Manila if getting married in the Philippines.
Adultery is committed by any married woman who shall have sexual intercourse with a man not her husband and by a man who has carnal knowledge of her, knowing her to be married, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void (Article 333, Revised Penal Code)
Do consult a lawyer if buying property or land in the Philippines.
Do greet elderly Filipinos in any social situations. Filipino society accords great respect to its seniors.
Be polite with all security personnel at airports.
Rape, as defined by Republic Act No. 8353, otherwise known as the “Anti-Rape Law of 1997” which took effect on 22 October 1997, is committed –
By a man who shall have a carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:
Through force, threat of intimidation;
When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious;
By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority;
When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof, shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person (Art. 266-A, R.A No. 8353)
The relevant law to the crime of rape is Republic Act No. 7610 otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” which took effect on 17 June 1992.
Under the said law, those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: Provided, That the victim is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape and Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; (Sec. 5, Art. III, R.A. No. 7610) xxxx