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Do you have any questions?

Below are questions you may or may not have. Please feel free in asking me further questions. If need be, I can add additional QA’s to my page.

Last Updated: 9 / 3 / 2006

·        Accessibility

·        Cebu, Philippines

·        Lastly!



Q: Can I travel though handicapped?
A: In one word: yes. You need more patience than the average traveler, and more flexibility and maybe a better sense of humor. And it doesn't do any harm if you have a little more money, but it can be done. 

Q: Are there facilities for the disabled?
A: Facilities are not generally up to the standards taken for granted in the west. However, with a little planning before your visit most special needs can be accommodated one way or another.

Q. Can I rent a wheelchair accessible van? 
A. Fortunately, I we have a very good friend who can assist you. He has a mini-van that he uses. It is not up to the US standards but it works. If you are able and willing to transfer to car, the sky is the limit. Rates vary depending on dates, vehicle size, etc.
  Be sure to negotiate before you go.

Q. Should I take my electric wheelchair to Philippines? 
A. Sure, why not! I did… There is however a great risk that it could be broken on the way. My chair, A Quickie P300, is a very sturdy chair. My issue was that I can only use one arm and could loose my independence. Unless there is absolutely no other alternative, I would not recommend taking a power chair to Philippines or any other third-world nation for that matter.  I have not seen any accessible transportation in Cebu.  On the other hand, I did have good luck with airport personnel in Cebu and the people we ran across have always been willing to lend a helping (and lifting) hand.

Q. Going to Cebu really looks great.  Can you book help me book a trip this summer? 
A. Sure! Anytime! The summer here is supper hot there. We would suggest traveling from October through March. We can help you make your flight, hotel and transportation arrangements. At least we can point you in a good direction with you making the final call. We primarily provide trip information and ideas on this site as a service so you can use them as a guide to plan your own travel.  We are not travel agents and we are not trying to sell anything to you.

Q. Can you set me up on a Tour?
A. Yes and no. We can help you with ideas and things to do and see. But we don’t supply a daily or weekly “Tour”. We do have qualified guides that for a nominal fee can help you have a trip that you will never forget.  

Q: Can you help me find a pen pal/bride? Can you place an ad for me?
A: No. Under Philippine law it is now illegal to place ads of this nature. We can gather your info and hand it out to some of our friends and relations. We hope at a later date to add a web-page, or two, of young ladies/men interested in meeting men/ladies from outside Cebu.

Q: I would like to travel to different islands. How much time should I allow?
A: Depends on how much you want to see. Traveling always takes longer than you think as transport often runs late, gets delayed etc. Suggest a minimum of 2 weeks if you want to see a reasonable amount. Don’t expect easy wheelchair access. Don’t expect them to lift you if you are in an electric wheelchair.

Q: Are there many accessible hotels and resorts to chose from?
A: Yes! In Cebu, and the rest of the Philippines, there are many state of the art hotels and resorts. Many of the hotels and resorts that I have listed are accessible. It also depends on your definition of accessible. The newer hotels and resorts will more closely follow our ADA laws, IF they are American based companies. Even though, most hotels that you contact will have access to a point. Even the small hotels can be very cozy, accessible and cheap.

Q: Is accessible public transportation available?
A: No, not likely. Depending on your level of disability, you could get around. But if you are looking for a bus with a lift, for get it.

Q: How accessible is Cebu?
A: Slowly, the Philippines are getting more accessible with ramps and curb cuts sprouting up all over.  The best way is to take a manual chair...even though this means losing some independence...and a companion who can push and lift.   Remember, the ADA only extends as far as the U.S. borders.  You do not have its protections in another country.

Q: Are medical services available?
A: Yes! How good they are I don’t know. The nurses trained in the Philippines are highly trained and are presently brought to the US to fill in our large demand for qualified nurses. Hospitals can, and cannot be, very good. It could depend on the doctor who serves you and how big your pocket book is. Medicines can be very expensive but doctors and dentist visits are far cheaper. Some people travel to the Philippines for eyeglasses and dentists visits. The amount saved could help offset your trip’s cost.

Q: Can I get assistance at the airport?
A: Mactan International Airport is accessible for wheelchair bound persons. Assistance may be required at other airports. It is advisable to inform your airline of your needs when booking your flight. Should any special facilities be required, you should communicate with the appropriate Airport. Address your requests. This will enable airline and airport staff to make advance arrangements and so cater for your individual requirements.

Q: Where do I get information for disabled travelers?
A: For information on barrier-free vacations, accessible air travel, transportation and destinations start with the Disability Travel and Recreation Resources on the Internet.

Cebu, Philippines

Q: I`ve heard about kidnappings, shootings and general safety related issues in the media. Is Cebu safe?
A: Yes! Much of what you read or hear has been exaggerated by the media. Visitors will have no security problems provided they use a little common sense and avoid leaving valuables around etc.

Q: Do I need a valid VISA/Passport?
A: For most foreigners staying up to 21 days, entry visas are not required upon entering the country, provided visitors have valid passports and tickets to leave the Philippines. Visas are required only for stateless persons and citizens of countries with which the Philippines has no diplomatic relations. For visitors who are planning to stay more than 21 days, for up to 59 days, a temporary visitors visa is required, and registration with the Commission on Immigration and Deportation is necessary. Foreigners arriving from an area infected by plague, typhus or yellow fever are required to have valid vaccination and immunization certificates. Holders of Hong Kong and Taiwan passports need special entry permits. Visas and permits may be obtained from Philippine embassies and consulates.

Q: How much does the average Filipino earn?
A: The official minimum daily wage rate is 150 Pesos( US$ 6 ) per day although many workers receive less, particularly if they lack skills. Skilled workers can earn a lot more. At the other end of the scale, there are a number of Filipino businessmen who are wealthy by International standards.

Q: How much will a beer typically cost me?
A: In Cebu city the price varies according to the establishment. Most of the Western style bars charge 25 to 30 Pesos for a 320 ml bottle. In Moalboal for example a beer typically costs 20 Pesos....this is less than 
US$ 1

Q: Will I have language problems?
A: No. This is one of the most attractive features. The Philippines is an English speaking country (in addition to local dialects). You should have little difficulty making yourself understood in English.

Q: Is the sea warm?
A: Yes. Average temperature is 79 degrees F ( 26 degrees C).

Q: I would like to learn how to dive but am not a particularly strong swimmer. Does this matter?
A: No. Tthere are places that have helped paras/quads and others dive. There is no reason why you should not be able to complete an Open Water diving course.

Q: What is a "go-go" or girlie bar?
A: An establishment where bikini clad girls dance in a "suggestive" manner to pop/rock music, usually on a small stage. Customers (invariably male for obvious reasons) are encouraged to buy "ladies drinks" for the girls in exchange for conversation. Ladies drinks can be expensive...the girl will receive a commission on each drink she consumes. Many (but not all) of the girls can be "bar fined" meaning that the customer pays the bar; in exchange the girl departs with him before closing time. Additional services, usually of an intimate nature, are negotiated directly with the girl.

Q: Is the water safe to drink?
A: Best to drink mineral or spring water. I would stick to bottled water, soda and juice. Beer as needed.

Q: Are there undiscovered tribes running around in the mountains?
A: No! In fact many visitors are surprised at the level of sophistication in the Metropolitan Cebu area, although the rural areas are still fairly traditional. No "undiscovered" tribes however.

Q: What is the predominant religion in the Philippines?
A: 85% of the population is Roman Catholic.

Q: What is Filipino food like?
A: Compared to other South East Asian countries, not so spicy. Rice and fish are staples for rural folk. A wide variety of tropical fruits are available. Mango is a particularly delicious fruit for which Cebu is famous

Q: What time does it get dark?
A: As the Philippines are near the equator, the days are split evenly; 12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness. It gets dark at 6 pm.

Q: Do I need to take any special precautions against the sun?
A: Yes! The sun will burn you quickly.....use liberal amounts of sun tan lotion and limit your exposure to direct sunlight, particularly during the first couple of days. Drinking large amounts of alcohol at lunchtime does not always mix well with the hot climate.

Q: Any tips for communicating with the locals?
A: Filipinos are very friendly and hospitable by nature and seek to minimize direct confrontation where possible. It is considered very bad manners to shout. If some form of conflict or difficulty should arise, a smile and patient attitude are much more effective than a hot temper. Communication with locally based foreigners can easily be established via an offer of a free beer.

Q: Is there an AIDS problem?
A: Occasional cases have arisen but to date there does not appear to be an epidemic unlike other Asian countries such as Thailand. Obviously the appropriate precautions should be taken if your sexual activities are "risky".

Q: What is the largest marine animal which I`m likely to see while scuba diving in the Cebu area?
A: A whale shark. A fully grown adult can reach 30 to 45 feet in length. These magnificent creatures eat plankton and small fish although the mouth is very large. Whale sharks have been sighted off Mactan and several dive sites in the Moalboal area. A few courageous divers have even hitched a ride on the back of a whale shark....an experience of a lifetime.

Q: What are the toilets/Restrooms like?
A: In most of the more tourist-oriented establishments these are OK. The better hotels have very good toilets. Don`t expect to find any public toilets however. Some of the toilets in "native" establishments are pretty basic. Locally, toilets or rest-rooms are referred to as "Comfort Rooms", usually abbreviated to "CR." For males, answering the call of nature against the nearest tree or wall is usually OK! Forget looking for wheelchair accessible CR’s.

Q: I plan to visit with my husband/boyfriend....need I worry about all the prostitutes trying to hit on my partner?
A: No. Although Cebu has its fair share of "commercial sex workers" (locally known as CSW`S), it is very unlikely that a visiting couple will be hassled. In fact, many couples find it entertaining to visit a girlie bar purely out of curiosity.....ignore the signs outside saying unescorted women not allowed inside; this refers to local street girls who sometimes try to sneak inside a bar in the hope of finding "customers".

Q: Is there much corruption?
A: This is a difficult question to answer objectively. Yes, there is corruption (as there is in many other South East Asian countries) but it is not as bad as some reports might suggest. A few pesos are often useful to grease the wheels, particularly when dealing with government offices and departments. If you commit some form of crime then "opportunities" to buy your way out of trouble often arise. However, for most visitors corruption is not highly visible and  Cebu is certainly less corrupt than Manila.

Q: We are thinking about bringing our young children with us. Are we likely to encounter difficulties?
A: No. Filipinos are very fond of children and nearly all establishments’ welcome families. Powdered milk, diapers etc. are readily available in most supermarkets. You could even rent a nanny to help look after the children during your visit if you need some extra assistance.

Q: What is a karaoke bar?
A: An establishment where the customers sing songs with a specially produced backing track. In the more up market establishments there is a video display to assist with the song lyrics. New innovations include devices that electronically rate the vocal performance. Many karaoke bars have legions of young ladies to assist and entertain customers; the ladies receive a commission on drinks which customers are usually obliged to buy for them. Asians are particularly enthusiastic about karaoke bars....westerners less so. Warning: some karaoke bars in Cebu are very expensive; always check prices first, including "add-ons" such as table charges etc. Prolonged exposure to amateur crooners can also take its toll on the ears after a few hours....


Q.  Can you put a link to my page? 
A. Sure, as long as it has something of interest to the disabled community or travelers in general.  I'm not really interested in adding extremely commercial links such as timeshares and the like.  However, if you have a legitimate commercial page of interest, such as a hotel with exceptional access, I would gladly add a link to you.  It does take me awhile to get to this though, so don't expect it overnight.  For those links I do put in, I would appreciate a link back here just as a matter of fairness.  On the other hand, if you already have a link to my page that I don't know about, I would appreciate you letting me know so I can thank you with a link back.  

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Site last Updated: 13 April, 2007