Last meeting in 2006:
Casey & Louie Kierulf
Warm welcome in Tacloban
Party in Ormoc
Party in Cebu
Some Kiermeet participants
Partying on the beach (Boracay)
Boracay - beach resort
Some Philippine & Danish committee members met Jan 2004 in Manila
Fact about the Philippines
Article from ENCYCLOP∆DIA BRITANNICA
Off the southeast coast of Asia, lying between Taiwan in the north and Borneo in the South. The Western Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea border its eastern and western limits, respectively.
84,525,639 (July 2002 est.)
GMT plus 8 hours
What to Wear:
Light, casual clothes are recommended. Warmer garments are needed for mountain regions. When visiting churches and temples, propriety dictates that shorts and scanty clothing be avoided. Formal occasions require dinner jackets and ties (or the Philippine barong Tagalog) for men and cocktail or long gowns for women.
Unit of currency: Pesos (P) = 100 centavos. bank notes: P10,P20,P50,P100,P500,P1000. Coins: 5c,10c,25c, P1,P5,P10.
Tipping is expected for many services. the standard practice is 10 % of the total bill. Tipping is optional on bills that already include 10% service charge.
Filipino is the national language. English is the business language and spoken widely.
In Metro Manila, key cities and towns throughout the country, a wide selection of de luxe, standard, economy and pension type accommodations is available. In island destinations, there is a variety of resorts ranging from de luxe to special interest category.
Filipino food is an exotic, tasteful blend of Oriental, European, and American culinary influences. There is a wide variety of fresh seafood and detectable fruits. first class restaurant offer gourment specialties as well as Filipino cuisine.
Entertainment and Culture:
Metro Manila is the center of entertainment and cultural activities. The premier venue for the performing arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, features world-class performances by local and international guest artist. Museums located in Manila and in some parts of the country offer glimpse of Philippine history and culture. Art galleries exhibit the works of the country's leading and promising visual artist.
Manila nightlife is one of the vibrant in Asia, reflecting the Filipinos love for music. The hubs of nightlife are the Remedious Circle in Malate, Ayala Center and the Fort at Bonifacio Global City in Makati, Timog and Tomas Morato Avenues in Quezon City, and Eastwood in Libis, Quezon City. Nightclubs, music lounges,pubs, and sing-along bars feature Filipino bands and singers who are known for their great musical talent. De luxe hotels offer a variety of live musical entertainment, concerts and stage plays form part of the country's entertainment.
For visitors who want to try their luck at the gaming tables there are casinos in Metro Manila and in the cities of Angeles, Olongapo, Tagaytay, Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, and Laoag.
Visitors can choose from an exciting selection of great buys in a country known for export-quality items at reasonable prices: South Sea pearls, hand woven clothes, terra cota, porcelain, coral and mother of pearl home accessories. Artifacts, pineapple fiber shirts, prehistoric jars, native handicrafts, and footwear are interesting items too. The Philippines also produces fine basketry, furniture, fresh and processed fruits, exquisitely crafted jewellry, and gift items made of shell, wood and stone.
Big malls are located in Manila, Makati and EDSA, while handicraft, antique and curio shops abound at the Ermita District in Manila.
Business and Banking Hours:
Private and government offices are open either from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Some private companies hold office on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Most shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets are open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. There are 24-hour convenience stores and drugstores.
Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, with automated teller machines (ATM) operating 24 hours.
International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Mastercard, and American Express Card are accepted in major establishments.
220 volts, A.C. 60 cyles. Most hotels have 110-volts outlets.
Water in Metro Manila and in key cities and towns is potable and safe for drinking. Bottled water is available in many hotels, restaurants, resorts, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
The country has international and national direct dial phone and facsimile service, mobile phone sites, internet and e-mail facilities, and worldwide express delivery service. The postal system is efficient.
Most national dailies are in English. Foreign publications are sold at major hotels, malls, and bookstores in Metro Manila and key cities. There are 7 national television stations which broadcast mainly in Filipino. Cable TV is available in many hotels in Manila and in many parts of the country.
Hospitals in the country are equipped with modern facilities to meet any medical need. In some remote towns and cities, clinics and health centers provide emergency medical attention. Most hotels and resorts provide medical assistance. Hospitals are listed in the "Yellow Pages" of the local telephone directory.
This is what ENCYCLOP∆DIA BRITANNICA says about the Philippines:
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
The archipelago spreads out in the form of a triangle, with the islands south of Palawan, the Sulu Archipelago, and the island of Mindanao forming (west-east) its southern base and the Batan Islands, in the north, its apex. The islands stretch for about 1,150 miles (1,850 kilometres) from north to south and for about 700 miles from east to west at their widest extent. Only about two-fifths of the islands and islets have names, and only some 350 have areas of one square mile or more. The large islands fall into three groups: (1) the Luzon group in the north and west, consisting of Luzon, Mindoro, and Palawan; (2) the Visayan group in the centre, consisting of Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate, Negros, Panay, and Samar; and (3) Mindanao in the south.
Because it was under Spanish rule for 333 years and under U.S. tutelage for a further 48 years, the Philippines has many cultural affinities with the West. It is, for example, the fourth most populous country in which English is an official language and the only predominantly Roman Catholic country in Southeast Asia. Its peoples, however, are Asian in consciousness and in aspiration. In many ways Filipino society is composed of paradoxes, perhaps the most apparent being the great extremes of wealth and poverty in the nation. The Philippines is a country of rich resources, but it is in the process of developing its full potentialities. It is primarily agricultural, although a high degree of domestic and foreign investment has spurred the rapid development of its industrial potential. Educationally, it is among the most advanced of Asian countries, having a high literacy rate.