We strongly recommend to our members from outside the Philippines to visit the country, if possible several times. It is a great chance to meet people, and it is a great country to visit.
Overall, most of the Philippines is safe, and the Filipino people are friendly to visitors.
You can find many resources on visiting, from a US government guide, to Wikitravel Philippines, and dozens of guidebooks and websites. You can also review forums such as Philippines Living or the many other forums for visitors to and residents of the Philippines.
Some of our members ask about the best time of year to visit. But our opinion is that anytime can be fine. The rainy and dry seasons in the Philippines are not as distinct as in some tropical countries, so even the rainy season is not always rainy and the dry season also is not completely without rain. During summer and fall months, there is increased risks of typhoons which can be an inconvenience. But our opinion is that for most people the experience is worth the inconvenience.
The two typical entry points into the Philippines are either Manila or Cebu, but these are not the only two cities you can fly to. There are direct flights into other airports as well, and you can also get an international ticket which includes a domestic segment to connect you to another city, whether that is Dumaguete (where we met), or any of dozens of other cities in any other province.
If you have enough time, you might try to visit a few places. And do try to experience both the city and the countryside. Don’t try to find the cheapest hotels; something mid-range will still be quite cheap per night by most visitor’s standards and yet feel more comfortable for a visit.
The most important thing is to “just do it” and buy your tickets - whether it is a week or a few weeks or even a month or more – go ahead, buy your tickets and go. Then you can let any other members on our site know that you have a trip planned, and tell them you would like to meet casually in person.
When you are going to meet someone else from our site, remember to ask them to bring one or at most two people (depending on your comfort level) along to meet you in a public place for an inexpensive meal. Don’t try to impress anyone by paying for an expensive meal; just stick to something simple to get started on the right foot in person indicating that personal values are more important to you than material ones.
One final point, you will need a passport to travel to the Philippines, but from most countries including the USA you do not need a visa to go there. You will get 3 weeks automatically when you arrive at the airport, and then you can extend that time if you wish at any local immigration office in two month increments.
If you have any other questions, feel free to add them to the comments, and we will do our best to answer your questions.