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Visiting the Philippines –
The Best Time to Go

We know that our customers have strong ties to the Philippines, so it is natural to want to visit. But when is the best time to go? The answer is, “It depends.” If you are going to the Philippines for a special occasion, such as a wedding or graduation, or to spend the holidays with your family, you may not have a choice of time.

However, if you have flexibility in when you can travel, especially if you are going to the Philippines for vacation, you might want to consider the weather. For example, you might want to avoid times when there is likely to be heavy rain or typhoons, or when it is extremely hot. The article below describes weather patterns in the Philippines and where you can find updated information on weather in different parts of the country.

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 Weather and Travel in the Philippines

If you are planning a trip to the Philippines, you will probably want to consider the weather. As a tropical country, the Philippines has three distinct seasons, characterized by whether it is rainy or dry and hot or cool. For most of the country, the seasons are roughly as follows:

  • Hot Season (Tag-init) – March to May
  • Rainy Season (Tag-ulan) – June to November
  • Cold Season (Taglamig) – December to February

Since the average temperatures in the country range from 78 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity around 77 percent, “cold season” in the Philippines is a different experience from winter in the United States. You do not need to bring a warm jacket!

For most areas of the Philippines, the best time to visit may be December to May. However, you should keep in mind that seasons do not always follow the standard pattern. Not only can the start and end of the rainy season vary from year to year, but different regions of the Philippines can experience different seasonal patterns. For example, in much of the eastern part of the Philippines (Eastern Mindanao, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar and Southeast Luzon), the seasons are usually reversed, so it is rainy from December to March and dry during the rainy season elsewhere in the country. And in some parts of the country, like Cebu, the weather tends to be moderate in all seasons.

Another consideration is typhoons. Though the height of the typhoon season is July to October, typhoons can occur at any time. They are historically least likely to occur from January to April.

For more information on current weather in different parts of the Philippines, visit the PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration) website at www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph. Read the article in our November 2009 newsletter (published shortly after the disastrous flooding caused by Typhoon Ondoy) for a description of PAGASA’s Typhoon Forecasts and Weather Advisories in the Philippines.

 Ask RemitHome: Using a MasterCard or Visa Credit Card

Question: Your website seems to focus on using a bank account to fund money transfers to the Philippines. But what if I want to use a MasterCard or Visa credit card instead?

Answer: Our Standard Philippine Peso service requires that you use a bank checking or savings account to send money to the Philippines. Because this is our lowest-cost service, it is the one that most of our customers use.

Since credit and debit card transactions (our Premium Philippine Peso service) are more expensive, most of our customers use MasterCard or Visa only in emergencies, when they are short on cash.

Credit card transactions have the following disadvantages compared with bank account-funded transactions: (1) the fee is $25 (compared to $10 for transactions funded with a bank account), (2) the transaction limit is $500 (compared with $1,000), (3) credit card companies often charge customers cash advance fees (which are not charged on bank account transactions), and (4) the transactions cannot be cancelled once scheduled (whereas a bank account-funded transaction can be cancelled up until the 2:00 PM processing time).

RemitHome offers a credit card service for the convenience of our customers, since we know that there are times when you may be a little short on cash but still need to send money. However, because credit card companies charge high transaction fees (interchange fees) for use of credit and debit cards, our fees are higher and our transaction limits lower for these types of transactions.

To avoid these higher fees, plan ahead so that you can use our lower-cost Standard Philippine Peso service using your checking or savings account.

If you have any questions about RemitHome’s credit or debit card transactions, please contact RemitHome Customer Service during California business hours at 1-800-919-0787, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Pacific Time, or email us at customerservice@remithome.com.

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