How Far Can The Philippine Passport Take You?

How Far Can The Philippine Passport Take You?

In this year’s passport ranking by, our neighboring country Singapore has quietly climbed to the top spot from 14th in 2016, pushing down the long time number 1 passport in the world which is the German passport to number 2.

Meanwhile, the rest of the top 10 countries in the list includes the following in correct order: Sweden, South Korea, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Spain, Norway, and Japan.

The Philippines passport may be far down the list, however, it has seen a slight improvement from the previous years in terms of visa-free score. Also, on a more localized scope, the Philippines passport ranked 6th out of 10 among all the ASEAN nations.  Currently, it achieved visa free score of 62 from 61 last year. Not really much on paper, but considering the work behind it and the economic implication it entails, it’s quite a big deal of an achievement.

Having a visa free score of 62 means Filipinos can travel to 62 countries ( out of 218) without the need of a visa beforehand.  Among these 62 countries, 33 countries are visa-free while 29 of them offer visa on arrival.

Visa-on arrival

What many Filipinos don’t know is that, just like any other visa-free countries, countries that issue “Visa on arrival” visa generally do not go through the tremendous background check process that they go through when applying for a visa. Instead, upon your arrival in the destination country, immigration officers will simply issue you with a visa provided that you are able to present the basic tourist requirements such as pocket money, hotel booking, return flight, and of course payment for the visa. The chances of getting ‘rejected’ are extremely low.

In many instances, the only reason why these countries issue visas upon arrival is money – they charge you for the visa, but do basically nothing in return.

New visa-free destination

Late this year, Taiwan has finally opened its doors to Filipinos, visa-free. From November 1, 2017, Filipinos can enter Taiwan for 14 days for business and leisure purposes. This visa-free initiative is part of Taiwan’s goodwill and its “New Southbound Policy” to build people-to-people exchange of visits and an economic community between the Philippines and Taiwan. For now, it’s a nine-month trial that will last until July 31, 2018.

Hopefully after that period, it will be permanently lifted for Filipino passport holders.

How far can you go?

Despite not being a top ranking passports, 62 visa-free destinations are still more than enough to satisfy anyone’s craving for an out of the country adventure. Take your pick, here’s a quick rundown of the countries where a Philippine passport could easily take you!

Visa freeVisa on arrival

  1. Brunei Darussalam – 14 Days

  2. Cambodia – 21 Days –

  3. Indonesia – 30 Days

  4. Laos – 30 Days (

  5. Malaysia – 30 Days

  6. Myanmar – 14 Days

  7. Singapore – 30 Days

  8. Thailand  – 30 Days

  9. Vietnam – 21 Days

  10. Hong Kong – 14 Days

  11. Taiwan - 14days

  12. Israel – 90 Days

  13. Macau – 30 Days

  14. Monggolia - 21 Days

  15. Gambia - 30 days

  16. Haiti

  17. Morocco – 90 Days

  18. Rwanda – 90 days

  19. Costa Rica – 30 Days

  20. Cote D’Ivoire ( Ivory coast) - 30 days

  21. Bolivia – 90 Days

  22. Brazil – 90 Days

  23. Colombia – 90 Days

  24. Ecuador – 90 Days

  25. Peru – 183 Days

  26. Suriname – 90 Days

  27. Fiji – 120 Days

  28. Micronesia – 30 Days

  29. Niue – 30 Days

  30. Vanuatu – 30 Days

  31. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 30 days

  32. Palestinian Territories

  33. Turks and Caicos Islands - 21 days

  1. Armenia – 120 Days

  2. Kyrgyzstan – 30 Days

  3. Maldives – 30 Days, (Hotel bookings and Return flight are a MUST)

  4. Nepal – 21 Days

  5. Sri Lanka - 30 days (electronic travel authorization)

  6. Iran – 15 Days (must arrive in specific airports)

  7. Djibouti – 30 Days

  8. Guinea-Bissau – 90 Days

  9. Kenya – 90 Days

  10. Madagascar – 30 Days

  11. Mauritania – ONLY available on Nouakchott–Oumtounsy International Airport.

  12. Mauritius

  13. Mozambique – 30 Days

  14. Cape Verde Islands – 21 Days

  15. Comoros – 21 Days

  16. Palau

  17. Dominica

  18. Tanzania – 30 days

  19. Togo – 7 Days, MUST have yellow fever vaccination

  20. Uganda – 90 Days (at Entebbe Airport)

  21. Nicaragua – 90 days,

  22. Marshall Islands – 90 Days

  23. Papua New Guinea – 60 days

  24. Samoa - 60 days

  25. Malawi

  26. Tuvalu - 30 days

  27. Saint Lucia - 30 days

  28. Timor-Leste (East Timor) – 30 Days (issued at the Dili Airport and Seaport)

  29. Trinidad and Tobago

5 Visa-free destinations for a white Christmas

If you’d like to experience a merry white Christmas in December soon, here are the best places you can go to without the hassle of applying for a visa. Even with a third-world passport, you can easily fly over to these places. Just book your plane ticket, and you’re off to a winter wonderland this Christmas!

1. Jeju Island, South Korea

Though, it’s easy and free to apply for a tourist visa to South Korea, nothing beats travelling with just a passport. Jeju Island, despite being in South Korea, is a visa-free country for Filipinos. This place is best known for its beaches, but northern regions such as Eorimok is a winter destination and perfect for sledding downhill.

How to get here

There aren’t any direct flights to Jeju Island from Manila. The easiest way to get there without having to apply for a transit visa is by flying from Hong Kong. If you plan to go to Jeju Island by skipping the visa requirement, you might as well include Hong Kong in your itinerary as it will make more financial sense, or vice versa.

2. Mongolia

With its vast landscapes and open countryside, winter in Mongolia can be surreal. Locals celebrate winter by creating ice sculptures, which will mostly fill the scenery as you travel by train. Although it doesn’t snow much in Mongolia, the temperature stays below zero for months, that’s why sometimes there are still traces of snow until the summer months.

How to get here

Chinese transit visa is actually quite easy to apply for. However, if you’d rather skip all that and just book and fly whenever you want, non-stop flights are available in Hong Kong. Perhaps you can have a side trip in Mongolia in the midst of your Hong Kong getaway?

3. Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa is widely known for its wonderful snowfall scene in Vietnam. It’s located at the Northern part of Vietnam, some three to five hours drive from Hanoi. In the winter, from December to February, the weather in Sapa becomes very cold, especially at night. However, in return, visitors will have the opportunity to watch the sunrise over the valley in the morning. In recent years, there is snow in Sapa.

How to get here

Vietnam is visa-free for Philippine passport holders, and most airlines in the country offer direct flights from Manila and Cebu. You can fly from Manila or Cebu to Hanoi, then take a train or a bus to the northern part of Vietnam – Sapa!

4. Israel

What every (Catholic) Filipino should know is that there’s more to Israel than Jerusalem’s biblical significance. Aside from its rich heritage, culture, picturesque ruins and buildings, its northern region (Golan Heights) is a well-known ski site. Snow is common in northern Israel between January and February.

How to get here

There aren’t many flights to Israel that are passport-friendly to Filipinos, as most of them have to lay over in countries that aren’t visa free. However, there are a few flights a week from Hong Kong that goes straight to Tel Aviv Israel.

5. Taiwan

Taiwan is officially visa-free for Filipinos since November 1 2017. This country is by far the closest and the most practical destination to experience winter. The spots that snow during the winter months of December to February include the Yushan (Jade Mountain), Hehuanshan, Guanshan, Xueshan and even the Yangmingshan National Park, which is an easy day trip from Taipei.

How to get here

This is the most practical and convenient destination for a white Christmas getaway because it’s just one plane ride away from Manila. Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and PAL offers direct flight daily.

The Philippine passport may not be among the most powerful in the world, but it still opens up a handful of destinations that could satisfy any Filipino’s wanderlust! With proper planning and budgeting, not even a visa requirement can stop you from going wherever you want to go.

image from

Leave your comment