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Windsurfing in the Philippines

Boracay is an island of the Philippines located approximately 315 km (200 miles) south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. In 1990, it was voted by the BMW Tropical Beach Handbook as one of the best beaches in the world!

Daytime temperatures on Boracay generally range from 25-32°C from the beginning of the Amihan season (September through to Mayish) and increase to about 28-38°C. In the Philippines, Amihan refers to the season dominated by the trade winds, which are experienced in the Philippines as a cool northeast wind. It is characterized by moderate temperatures, little or no rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the east. Tropical Storms can impact Boracay at any time of year, but are most likely to be seen during the opposite Habagat season.

Throughout the rest of the year, the Philippines experiences the west or southwest wind & monsoons, which in turn is referred to as the Habagat. The Habagat season is characterized by hot and humid weather, frequent heavy rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the west.

Most of the Philippines is laid back, stable and relatively safe for travelling - and is, of course, cheap. The Philippino people have a rich culture and are helpful, cheerful and friendly.

INFORMATION + MAP (click to open/close)

CURRENCY

The Philippine archipelago is made up of 7107 islands; favourably located in relation to many of Southeast Asia's main water bodies: the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait The islands of Luzon and Mindanao account for two-thirds of the land area. The capital is Manila.

CURRENCY

The currency is called peso (p. for short), which is divided into 100 centavos.

VISA

No visa is required for a stay of less than 30 days (travelling on NZ passports), provided the onward passage has been booked and paid for.

CLIMATE

There are two seasons in the Philippines- The dry north-east monsoon (November to April) season and the wet south-west monsoon (May to October) season. Depending on where you are, the wet season is different. The north-western part of the country is during this period visited by the monsoon that south-east Asia is well-known for, while the climate on the south-eastern islands is practically the same during the entire year. In the Visayas region (mid-Philippines) where Malapascua is located, the wet season is mild, with one or two hours of rainfall each day. The rains can sometimes be quite massive but many people still go travelling in the country during the wet season. Temperatures are quite steady around 30°C (= 86°F) all year, with a slight peak in May.

LANGUAGE

There are two official languages - Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English; eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango and Pangasinan.

Religion

Even though the Philippines lies just north of the world's largest Muslim state, Indonesia, it is about 94 percent Christian - mostly Roman Catholic. About five percent of Filipinos are Muslim, mostly living on the islands of Mindanao and Palawan - islands closest to the Muslim countries of Malaysia and Indonesia.

POPULATION

89,468,677 (July 2006).