Useful information

Visa

Valid passport, has to be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry, for a 21 day stay. Tourist visa of 21 to 59 days can be received in Consulates and Embassies. The visas can also be extended nearby at the Immigration Office of Manila or Puerto Galera with a cost that varies according to the number of months and costs 2-4000 pesos ($40-80 USD) for 1-2 month extensions. Also some Travel Agencies can give this service in a few days. It is necessary to have a valid return ticket for the extension.

Language

The official language of Philippines is Tagalog. English is the second language and almost everyone speaks it. Very few speak Spanish today, there are also very similar words in Tagalog. At the El Canonero Diving Beach Resort Italian, English and Spanish are spoken.

Electricity

The electric current is 220 volts, 60Hz, sockets are the same as in the United States and sometimes apt for European styles. For European devices it is best to use and adapter.

Vaccines

No vaccines are obligatory, with the exception of yellow fever if coming from an infected area; the prophylaxis for Malaria is only requested at some islands, Palawan – Coron.

Traveler's checks

Can be exchanged at banks and “Foreign Exchange” offices or at major Hotels and Resorts.

Foreign Exchange

1 Euro = approximately 62 Philippine pesos, 1 USD = approximately 46 Philippine pesos. El Canonero Diving Beach Resort accepts payment in major currencies as well as in Philippine pesos.

Credit cards

VISA, Master Card and American Express are only accepted at the major Resorts and Hotels. Charging up to 10% on credit card payments is normal because of the scarcity of banking services in these areas. Banks in Manila can extend cash on credit cards without charges. (Equitable Bank). You must not rely on the use of Credit Cards when traveling to Philippines. Restaurants and small and medium hotels will generally only accept cash. El Canonero Diving Beach Resort does not accept payments with credit cards or checks.

Weather

Generally, the weather is nice all year round. Dry in December up to mid July, the rainy season is from mid July until the end of August and can partially prolong into September. The hottest time of the year is the Philippine summer, from April to August.

Diving

A 3 mm diving suit is proper from April until the beginning of December when the water is at 80 – 83ºF, while during the winter (December to March) it is better to wear a 5 mm suit with hood or wearing a light layer underneath the 3 mm, water at 71 – 77ºF.

Seasons

Traditionally the high season is considered to range from the end of December until the beginning of May, but there is a lot of tourism in the area during every weekend of the year and during some Asian holidays. The low season is traditionally considered to range from May to June and from September to October, although often this time has the optimal weather and conditions for diving.

What to wear

This area of the sea is hot during the whole year and therefore you do not need any winter wear! In the Puerto Galera area, only informal and light clothes are worn such as t-shirts and shorts, and long pants if you prefer at night. Nobody dresses up for going out at night! For the rainier seasons, bring something light to cover.

Shopping

Local arts and crafts and clothing. In Manila you can easily find brand clothes at much lower prices than in Europe.

Medical assistance

Some notes for summarizing the available medical assistance services. The zone of Puerto Galera is full of activities and fun, but it is a poor destination in terms of complete medical services.

Puerto Galera: there is a clinic with a surgeon and two drug stores.
White Beach and Balatero: both localities have a pharmacy and doctor.
Sabang: There is a local doctor, a medical clinic and a pharmacy with the most common medications.
Batangas: 18 miles from Puerto Galera, or 1.5 hours away, is St. Patrick hospital, with a complete drug store, medications and surgery room.

Manila: 75 miles from Puerto Galera, complete medical service available in the “Makati Medical Center” and the V. Moon Hospital / Chamber. These two should be the ones of choice in case of a serious illness or injury. These hospitals provide interventions of European standards and level. Manila is approximately 3 hours away, between ship and ambulance, or 40 minute away on helicopter, 50 minutes are considered to be the time for the helicopter to reach the Puerto or the pick-up site. In Subic Bay (124 miles from Sabang) the decompression chamber operates in the main places of Philippines, which can be reached by hydroplane or helicopter. It is necessary to wait a minimum of two hours from the moment of notification for using the chamber.