By Christian Jay B. Quilo
Photos: N.S. Villaflor
ACCORDING to global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners, our Philippine passport gives us visa-free access to 63 countries and territories around the world. Do you have a passport already? If not, you should apply for one, stat. Here are 15 places Filipinos can visit without a visa:
1. Hong Kong
This Chinese territory is popular for being the most accessible international destination, being only two hours and 45 minutes away from Cebu by plane and with several flights scheduled daily. Aside from cheap food and shopping, it’s also home to “the happiest place on earth,” Hong Kong Disneyland. Filipinos may stay up to 14 days visa-free.
Filipinos rejoiced when late last year, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines announced that Taiwan is implementing a 9-month trial period on a visa-free initiative for Filipinos, which means we can now visit Taiwan visa-free up to 14 days until July 31, 2018. So, which night market are you planning to go to first?
Filipinos can stay up to 30 days in the Land of Smiles visa-free, may it be in Bangkok for the stunning temples and crazy cheap shopping or Phuket for the pristine beaches.
The Lion City perfectly embodies the best of both worlds — highly modern and developed yet abundant in greenery and open parks. Its diverse mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences make Singapore’s culture eclectic and vibrant. Filipinos can stay up to 30 days visa-free.
Located in the heart of the Indochinese Peninsula is Laos, a country known for a rich history and a strong thrust for ecotourism. If you enjoy outdoor activities, you might want to add this on your bucket list. Filipinos can stay up to 30 days visa-free.
This multi-cultural country offers everything you can think of: delicious food, great shopping, fun amusement parks, breathtaking infrastructure, lush nature and so much more—after all, it’s not “Malaysia, Truly Asia” for nothing. Filipinos can stay up to 30 days visa-free.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly destination, this is the place pho you (see what I did there?). Also, this Southeast Asian country is the world’s second largest coffee exporter, so cafe-hopping here is a must for coffee lovers. Filipinos can stay up to 21 days visa-free.
Aside from the religious sites that the country is known for, one can also partake in adventure activities or indulge in sumptuous Israeli cuisine. Filipinos can stay up to 90 days visa-free.
9. South Korea (Jeju Island only)
K-drama fan or not, one can’t help but be in awe of this picturesque island in South Korea. Jeju Island boasts a breathtaking landscape and abundant flora. Every corner feels like a scene right out of a movie. Filipinos can stay up to 30 days visa-free.
Not exactly visa-free but a visa will be given upon arrival at the Male International Airport as long as you have the necessary documents like a round-trip plane ticket and hotel booking confirmation. It’s not the most affordable of places to travel to as it is known to be a luxury destination, but to swim in those ridiculously clear waters—it’s worth saving up for, right? Filipinos can stay up to 30 days visa-free.
Climb up the Christ the Redeemer or laze away on a beach on Copacabana or take an exotic excursion in the Amazon, you won’t run out of things to do and sights to see in the largest country in South America. Filipinos can stay up to 90 days visa-free.
Two words: Machu Picchu — Peru is the gateway to this majestic Incan city. That’s not to say it’s the only thing worth seeing in the country, Peru has a well-preserved history which you can have a glimpse of firsthand at the many ruins and ancient architecture there. Filipinos can stay up to 183 days visa-free.
Similar to Maldives, this tropical getaway is famed for exquisite waters and unspoiled nature. Filipinos can stay up to 120 days visa-free.
Shop for beautiful textile at the famous souks or bask in the magnificent mosques and palaces in Marrakech, the North African country’s capital. Filipinos can stay up to 90 days visa-free.
For nature lovers, take a trip to this mountainous Caribbean island nation surrounded by natural hot springs and tropical rainforests. A simple hike will be an unforgettable feast for the senses. Filipinos can stay up to 21 days visa-free.