Part I: Climate and Clothing

The Philippines is geographically situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it a tropical country with two official seasons – the dry and wet. Although outside can be hot and moist, most office and commercial spaces are climate-controlled so that they are comfortable to western standards.

Despite the tropical climate, business or business casual attire is common in Philippine offices. Men wear either a western-style shirt and slacks (jackets are occasional, ties are uncommon), or they wear a Philippine office barong, typically a linen embroidered dress-shirt that is worn untucked. Women wear western office attire but many prefer skirts, blouses, and dresses for comfort in the tropical heat.

Although shorts and sandals are ubiquitous on the city streets and beaches, some office and government buildings have dress codes that discourage such attire.

Expect Insects

In this tropical climate, tiny-pricking-and-biting arthropods with wings and delicate feet abound outside. Locals seem to have uncanny immunity, but visitors load up on bug spray before they come. Locally, insect repellent is sold in lotion form, both chemical and natural. However, sprays are nearly impossible to find. Those sensitive to insect bites with strong preferences might want to stock up before coming.