For those visiting The Philippines for the first time, deciding what clothing to pack can be quite a challenge. The Philippines contains such a diverse range of environments – Cities, vast jungles, mountain ranges, and the tropical beaches – so deciding what to bring can become quite overwhelming.
Attire to suit the climate
It is important to remember that The Philippines is a tropical climate; meaning the weather ranges between hot and very hot. So wearing heavy materials is generally not an option if you want to have a comfortable stay.
The Philippines can also be a very wet destination. Between the months of June through to October, you can expect a decent amount of heavy rainfall. Despite this, the weather still generally remains hot and humid, so it should not change much besides the need to pack an umbrella.
City life in The Philippines
Most of you travelling here for the first time will be most likely be arriving in either Manila or Cebu. For the most part, the cities – especially around the business districts – are what you would typically expect from larger cities.
The city blocks are filled with high rise offices and apartments. These are surrounded by streets filled with traffic as well as a sea of white-collar workers, college students and young BPO employees lining the sidewalk.
When I find myself in the city I will always wear long pants as well as enclosed shoes. I usually avoid shorts and light coloured fabrics as travelling through the city can be quite dirty sometimes depending on where you are.
I always wear enclosed shoes while in the city due to the terrain you may encounter. The Philippines is notorious for having some neglected sidewalks. It is common to find holes in the sidewalk as well as pieces of damaged concrete laying about; so enclosed footwear guarantees your feet stay safe.
I also recommend bringing a small towel with you when you are out and about in the city. It is quite common to see people cleaning their face due to sweat as well as the dust and fumes from city traffic.
What to wear when travelling to the beaches of The Philippines
It is common for people to talk about the conservative nature of The Philippines. I have read many articles which talk about it being unusual for women to be seen wearing bikinis on The Philippines beaches. From my experience, this has rarely, if ever been the case.
For women, the dress code is almost identical to what you would see in most other western nations. Young women will generally wear a bikini or a bikini top with shorts. The older women will generally something a little less revealing.
For men the usual swim shorts are fine. It is common for men to wear rash vests while swimming as the sun can be quite intense at times.
What to wear when travelling to the mountains of Northern Luzon
Often the first thing associated with the mountains of The Philippines is the cold weather. When compared to the weather experienced by the rest of the country, this seems justified.
For those travelling to The Philippines internationally – especially from colder climates – you may not feel the same way. Temperatures in the mountains may range from the high teens to the low twenties. This is cold relative to the rest of the countries, but for some visitors, this temperature range may seem completely normal.
For the Philippine locals or tourists unfamiliar with the colder weather it is recommended to pack at least some colder weather attire. This means you may want to pack a sweater or a light jacket. Though nothing too heavy is really necessary.
What if I forget something?
The Philippines is famous for its mall culture. Whether you are within the major cities or out in the provinces you will be able to find a mall.
So if you feel the clothing you have packed is not suitable for the environment, then there are plenty of affordable destinations where you can find a wide range of clothing options to suit your needs.