The Philippines is well known for its great tropical climate. It’s the perfect destination for any traveler. With a variety of places to go to, you can never go wrong with your choice. While choosing where to go would be quite overwhelming, deciding what to wear in the Philippines is a lot easier but about as important. This guide helps you with ideas on what you should wear, or not wear, in the Philippines.
First, it is good to understand that the Philippines has two major seasons: the wet (June-October) and dry (November until May) season. It is vital to know in what season your visit falls under so you can plan your clothing accordingly. As the dry season is when you should be planning your visit, this guide will mainly focus on what to wear during that season, with a few tips on when you might choose to visit in the wet season.
To get this out of the way, let’s talk about the wet and rainy season.
When visiting during the wet season
Generally, it is not recommended that travelers visit the Philippines during the storm-battered wet season because of the risk of getting your itinerary cancelled due to a storm. If you choose to visit the Philippines this season, always bring at least an umbrella and a waterproof bag for traveling. You can also bring extra flip-flops in your backpack just if you don’t want your favorite walking shoes to get soaked in water or, worse, get dirty with mud.
You can also bring a rain poncho with you or a raincoat if you want to go hiking during this time. You can also get a pair of boots or some silicon shoes protector if you want your shoes to stay dry and clean. Remember to be mindful of the weather advisories as heavy rainfall could be very dangerous, especially on more “adventurous” trips.
Let’s now move on to when you are expected to travel in the Philippines – the dry season.
Opt for clothing with breathable materials
You should expect to travel under hot and humid weather when traveling the Philippines, especially in the summer or dry season. You can choose to wear something made out of cotton, linen, or jersey. This type of clothing will not only make you feel comfortable but will also cool you down easier. Avoid fabrics that can soak up heat, such as polyester, rayon, nylon, denim, fleece, or leather.
In choosing your tops, going for a t-shirt is a go-to in the Philippines for any casual, day-to-day activities. You can pair it with either shorts or comfortable pants. For women, you can use sundresses or other similar light clothing articles.
Choose light colored fabrics
As we have been taught in elementary school, dark colors absorb heat, and light colors reflect heat. When you visit the Philippines, you can ditch your dark colored shirts. Wear something white or something with a pastel color. This will help you stay cool for longer, and you’ll also fit the color theme for the summer season. If you plan to bring white clothing, you may want to choose a fabric with a heavyweight so it won’t be seen through.
Go for loose clothing
Skin-tight clothes will not only constrain your movements on a hot day, but it will also trap the heat much more than loose clothing. Avoid tight clothes and go for a more comfortable, flexible fit. Remember that looser is cooler during a hot season since loose clothing creates a layer of air between your body and your clothing. Look for clothes with a loose fit in your arms, stomach, torso, waist, and legs.
Avoiding skin-tight clothing will also free you from getting blisters, as it can be pretty hot in the Philippines. Choosing lighter and loose clothing can help prevent skin irritations and rashes, which are very annoying when traveling.
Consider sports clothing
If you plan on traveling on foot by walking or hiking in the Philippines, you can consider using work out clothing. This clothing type is usually made with comfortable materials, which suits the Philippines’ hot and humid weather. You may also refer to this as “Athleisure” – or the style of wearing athletic clothes on a day to day activities.
You will not find yourself out of style if you do so. The Filipino people also follow the rise in the global trend of being healthy and fit, and in turn, embracing the culture of Athleisure.
Use comfortable shoes
Wearing comfortable and breathable shoes will prevent you from having swollen and sweaty feet in the Philippines’ hot weather. Avoid non-breathable materials such as leather and rubber. Make sure that your shoes have a perfect fit so you can avoid any discomfort because you will be using your feet a lot. It is also important to know that in some establishments like museums and churches, wearing flip-flops, sandals, and other open footwear is not allowed.
Choose shorts and skirts over pants
Shorts are the best option for maximum comfort when traveling the Philippines, and it does not go out of style. Look for shorts or skirts in breathable fabric and choose a cut or style that would not constrain your legs. You can actually use cotton shorts for casual walks and other day-to-day activities. For other general activities, board shorts are highly recommended as it is all-around clothing ready for dry or wet activities.
When you visit the Philippines, it’s almost always about the white sand beaches. Of course, what would you expect in a country with more than 7,000 islands? Make sure that you bring your favorite swimwear and be ready to get soaked. It is advised to bring more than one set as you might also want to be prepared for a spontaneous beach trip. It’s also always great to have something that you can throw over your swimwear when you are not in the water.
In most cases, using flip-flops along with your swimwear would be enough. You can also bring aqua shoes for extra protection if you are feeling a bit adventurous and want to walk along sharp and jagged rocks.
You should also be aware that some beaches and resorts in the Philippines actually have dress codes for visitors, so make sure that you go and check on your destination ahead of time. Some beaches and resorts would have requirements such as no overly-revealing swimwear, no cotton shirts or shorts, prohibiting clothing with colors that quickly fade, etc.
The Philippine outdoors is what is best in the Philippines. You will want to be out a lot in this incredible paradise. As such, protect yourself from the harmful UV rays from the sun with sunscreen. Never go out without sunscreen, especially in the summer, as it is easy to forget how much time you have already spent under the direct sunlight while enjoying your visit to the Philippines.
When you are planning to spend a lot of time under the sun, do bring a rash guard with you. You can also use more protection by using caps, hats, and sunglasses. You can also throw in your favorite shawl while walking around the beach. If you have sensitive skin, you can always bring a parasol or an umbrella with you to avoid the harmful rays of the sun.
Bring conservative clothing
The Philippines is relatively one of the most conservative countries in Asia. You may note that the Philippines is actually the most prominent Christian country in Asia, and as such, traditional values are being observed, especially in clothing. When visiting the areas of churches, monasteries, retreat houses, or other related destinations, make sure to wear appropriate clothing.
For male travelers, it is expected to wear pants, shoes, and tee shirts. As much as possible, avoid sandals, shorts, and sleeveless shirts like tank tops. For female travelers, it is expected that the clothing is not too revealing. Avoid wearing sleeveless shirts or tube tops, short skirts, or any clothing with a plunging neckline.
There you have it. As mentioned before, it is quite simple and easy to decide on what to wear when traveling to the Philippines. Of all the light and comfortable things you can wear in the Philippines, the one that you should not forget is to wear your best smile to pair with your OOTDs for the photos. Wherever you may choose to visit in the Philippines, fun and adventure are in store, so suit up and have fun!
If you are interested, here is a travel guide to the globe on Amazon.