Discover the Philippines: A Haven for Business & Leisure

Are you planning a business trip to the Philippines to visit your remote team? Or are you going for a holiday and will check out a few outsourcing companies whilst there? Either way, get ready for an adventure-filled journey! 

With its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and thriving and diverse business culture, the Philippines offers a unique blend of work and leisure. 

This article will provide essential travel tips based on decades of living in the country and highlight the top places to visit and things to do during your business trip to the Philippines.

Business in the Philippines

Building relationships and showing respect are highly valued when conducting business in the Philippines. Filipinos are warm, friendly, and hospitable, so greeting them with a genuine smile and a firm handshake is important, as it is for most countries worldwide. Take time to learn a few standard greetings in Filipino, such as “Kumusta po?” (How are you?) to establish an instant connection and generate one of those warm smiles!

It is customary to exchange business cards during introductions. Take a moment to study the card you receive and show genuine interest in the person’s position and company. This gesture demonstrates your professionalism and willingness to establish a meaningful business relationship. The Philippine’s corporate structure is very hierarchical, with titles significant to individuals. You will see some fancy titles as you get familiar with the outsourcing industry.

Filipinos value harmony and avoid confrontation whenever possible. Maintaining a respectful and diplomatic approach during negotiations or discussions is crucial to preserve the relationship and ensure a successful outcome.

Navigating Transportation for Business Travelers

Getting around the Philippines can be an adventure in itself. Manila, the capital city, is known for its bustling traffic. To avoid delays, consider staying near the business districts and utilising ride-hailing apps like Grab or booking a car with a trusted driver from your hotel for a hassle-free commute. Avoid taxis, as you will be thrust into the chaos of negotiating prices (or simply paying a very high rate!).

For your first visit, we strongly advise an airport transfer from your hotel. Be sure to have precise instructions on exactly where the driver will be waiting for you (ask what Bay number if they will be inside or outside the arrivals terminal). Depending on your destination, a hotel car may cost around $50-75.

The more frequent travellers may be comfortable booking a Grab car, but if you arrive at peak times, there is no guarantee you will get one on time. A Grab car will likely cost you between $10-20 to get to most hotels.  

When travelling within the city, the Philippines also offers various modes of transportation. Jeepneys, colourful and uniquely decorated vehicles, are a popular choice for short distances for locals. They provide an authentic Filipino experience but are not recommended for the business traveller. Enjoy their unique look from your hotel car!

Buses and trains are available for longer journeys, providing affordable options for exploring different parts of the country. These modes of transportation offer a chance to interact with locals and witness the diverse landscapes of the Philippines if that is something you wish to do. However, any form of public transport comes with a much higher risk of theft or other issues. 

Most business travellers would arrange a dedicated car and driver for the day for out-of-town exploring. You can hire these through most major car rental companies or your hotel. The cost will range from $100-$150 a day, depending on the car, plus fuel, tolls and driver tips. Generally, you will have the car for 10 hours for this process. 

Accommodation Options for Business Travelers

Regarding accommodations, the Philippines offers various options to suit every traveller’s needs. In major cities like Manila, you’ll find many international hotels catering to business travellers. These hotels often provide world-class amenities, spacious conference facilities, and convenient locations near business districts. 

Here are our top recommendations:


Raffles Hotel

Fairmont Hotel

Peninsula Hotel

Pasay (near airport & casinos)


Nobu Hotel


Hyatt City of Dreams


BGC (The Fort)

Grand Hyatt (Uptown BGC)

Shangri La The Fort (High Street)

Ascott Hotel (High Street)


Marco Polo

There is also no shortage of apartments you can rent on Air BnB.

If you have the opportunity, consider exploring eco-resorts in the countryside or near pristine beaches. These resorts offer a tranquil environment, perfect for unwinding after a busy day of meetings. They often provide facilities for team-building activities, making them an ideal choice for corporate retreats or conferences.

Overall, the Philippines offers diverse accommodation options, ensuring business travellers can find a comfortable and suitable place to stay while immersing themselves in the country’s rich culture and natural beauty.

Essential Tips for Business Travel in the Philippines

As you prepare for your business trip to the Philippines, remember a few essential tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience.

With its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and booming economy, the Philippines is a popular destination for business travellers. Whether you’re attending meetings in Manila, exploring the beautiful beaches of Boracay on a team-building weekend, or sealing deals in Cebu, this archipelago offers a unique blend of business and leisure opportunities.

Here are some additional tips to enhance your business travel experience in the Philippines:

Packing Essentials for the Philippines

Before packing your bags, check the weather forecast for your travel period. The Philippines has a tropical climate, so lightweight and breathable clothing is ideal, mainly if you are not used to the heat. 

While business attire is generally formal when dealing with government organisations, business casual or polo shirts are acceptable in outsourcing. 

Staying Connected: Internet and Communication

Staying connected is crucial when travelling for business. Fortunately, the Philippines has a well-developed telecommunications network. Most hotels, cafes, and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi, and you can easily purchase local SIM cards for affordable 5G data plans rather than use expensive global roaming.

With the rise of remote work and virtual meetings, having a reliable internet connection is essential. The Philippines boasts high-speed internet services, allowing you to stay connected with your colleagues and clients seamlessly. Globe and SMART are the two leading telecommunications providers. If you don’t pick up a local SIM at the airport, you can get them at most small convenience stores for about $1.50, and generous data plans are only around $4 for one week’s worth of data and local calls/texts.

Health and Safety Tips for Business Travelers

Ensuring your health and safety should always be a top priority while travelling. Before your trip, consult your healthcare provider for any necessary vaccinations. It’s also wise to carry essentials like insect repellent if heading to regional areas.

The Philippines is home to breathtaking natural wonders, but awareness of potential health risks is essential. Mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever are prevalent in certain areas, so taking precautions like wearing long sleeves and using mosquito repellent is advisable.

When exploring the bustling streets of the Philippines, be mindful of your personal belongings and stay alert in crowded areas. Drinking bottled water and being cautious of local street food stalls are also recommended to avoid stomach discomfort. However, take advantage of the opportunity to savour the country’s diverse culinary delights as long as you choose reputable establishments.

With its rich history and cultural heritage, the Philippines offers a myriad of experiences for business travellers. From the bustling city life to the tranquil countryside, this country will captivate you with its charm and warmth. So, make the most of your business trip by immersing yourself in the local culture, exploring the hidden gems, and building lasting connections.

Top Places to Visit in the Philippines

Now that you’re well-prepared for your business trip let’s delve into the top places to visit during your stay in the Philippines. From vibrant city hot spots to breathtaking natural wonders, this country will inspire you and keep you coming back for more (fun and work!)

Exploring Manila’s Business and Cultural Sites

Manila, the cosmopolitan capital, perfectly blends business and leisure attractions. Visit the historic walled city of Intramuros and immerse yourself in the rich Spanish colonial heritage. Explore the bustling business districts of Makati and Bonifacio Global City (the Fort), where you’ll find many trendy restaurants, bars, and shopping centres.

As you wander through the streets of Intramuros, you’ll be transported back in time to the era of Spanish colonisation. Admire the well-preserved architecture of the San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and learn about the city’s fascinating history at the Casa Manila Museum. Take a leisurely stroll along the cobblestone streets, lined with charming cafes and souvenir shops.

When you venture into Makati and Bonifacio Global City, you’ll be greeted by towering skyscrapers and a bustling urban atmosphere. Indulge in a shopping spree at the luxurious Greenbelt Mall (Makati) or High Street (the Fort). Explore the vibrant nightlife scene in Poblacion (Makati) or Uptown BGC where superclubs like XYLO at The Palace can be found. 

You can try the local cuisine at one of the many acclaimed restaurants and savour traditional Filipino dishes with a modern twist, or find any other international cuisine you choose. We are happy to give you some recommendations!

Discovering Cebu: A Blend of Business and Leisure

Known as the “Queen City of the South,” Cebu is a bustling business hub with a rich cultural heritage. Take a trip to the iconic Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, or stroll along the vibrant streets of the bustling Cebu IT Park. Don’t miss the chance to savour mouthwatering Cebu lechon, a famous local delicacy.

When you visit Cebu, immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by attending the Sinulog Festival, a grand celebration held every January in honour of the Santo Niño. Marvel at the colourful street parades, traditional dances, and lively music that fill the city with infectious energy.

Explore the pristine beaches of Mactan Island, where you can relax under the swaying palm trees and indulge in various water sports activities.

Davao City: A Growing Business Hub

Davao City has become a thriving destination for business and leisure travellers in the southern part of the Philippines. Marvel at the iconic Philippine Eagle at the Davao Eagle Center or take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of Samal Island. Don’t forget to try the famous durian fruit, known as the “king of fruits.”

While in Davao City, venture into the lush greenery of Eden Nature Park, where you can enjoy breathtaking views, go horseback riding, or try your hand at archery. Explore the vibrant street food scene at Roxas Night Market, where you can sample a variety of local delicacies. For an adrenaline rush, embark on a thrilling river rafting adventure along the Davao River, surrounded by stunning landscapes.

With its diverse attractions and warm hospitality, the Philippines offers a multitude of experiences for both business and leisure travellers. 

Whether you’re exploring the historical sites of Manila, immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Cebu, or indulging in the natural wonders of Davao City, you’ll create unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.

Top Things to Do in the Philippines

our business trip to the Philippines wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the country’s diverse array of activities and indulging in its unique culture.

When it comes to experiencing local cuisine, the Philippines is a food lover’s paradise. You simply cannot miss out on trying some of the must-try foods. 

Indulge in classics like adobo, a savoury meat dish marinated in a flavorful blend of soy sauce, vinegar, and spices. The tender meat, combined with the rich sauce, will leave your taste buds craving for more. Another must-try is sinigang, a sour soup made with tamarind, tomatoes, and various vegetables. The tangy and refreshing flavours of sinigang will surely awaken your senses. 

And for dessert, make sure to treat yourself to a serving of halo-halo. This refreshing concoction of crushed ice, sweetened fruits, beans, and jellies topped with a scoop of creamy ice cream is the perfect way to cool down on a hot day.

But the culinary adventure continues beyond there. For the more adventurous out there, feel free to explore the local street food scene, where stalls sell skewered meats, such as isaw (grilled chicken intestines) and Betamax (grilled chicken blood). 

For those who live life on the edge, Balut is a must-try. This fertilised duck egg may seem intimidating at first, but once you crack open the shell and take a bite, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its unique flavour and texture (so we are told!).

Aside from indulging in the delicious cuisine, take advantage of your leisure time to explore the vibrant shopping scene in the Philippines. From bustling markets to modern malls, you’ll find a vast selection of souvenirs, locally-made crafts, and unique products. Whether you’re looking for traditional handicrafts, intricate wood carvings, or stylish fashion pieces, the Philippines has it all. 

If you find yourself with some spare time, make sure to immerse yourself in the Philippines’ awe-inspiring natural wonders. Take a hike to the breathtaking Rice Terraces in Banaue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the ingenuity of the Ifugao people who carved these terraces into the mountainside thousands of years ago. The lush green fields cascading down the mountains create a truly mesmerising sight. 

For beach lovers, a visit to Palawan is a must. With its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and stunning limestone cliffs, Palawan is often hailed as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. And for thrill-seekers, the world-renowned Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park offers an unforgettable snorkelling or diving experience. Dive into the vibrant underwater world and explore the colourful coral reefs teeming with marine life.

Now that you have a comprehensive guide to your business trip to the Philippines, it’s time to embrace this incredible journey. Whether you’re exploring the bustling cities, indulging in delicious cuisine, or building valuable connections, the Philippines offers a truly unforgettable experience. Get ready to combine business with pleasure in one remarkable destination!