Philippines Weather

Weather

The Philippines enjoys wonderfully warm weather all year long, which means it's an ideal destination at any time of the year. With its tropical climate, the weather is generally hot and humid. The country experiences only three seasons - a hot and dry summer, a wet season, and a colder dry season. The weather patterns of the Philippines are a result of the prevailing winds from the southwest monsoon, locally known as "habagat," and the northeast monsoon or "amihan."

Average Temperatures

The average temperature in the Philippines ranges from 21°C to 32°C, with the average annual daytime temperature at 26.6°C. Temperatures could fluctuate from one region to another depending on the season. However, January is generally the coldest month, while May is the warmest.

The Philippines is prone to typhoons, which usually happen between June and November, mainly affecting the Visayas region, including Cebu, one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. The typhoons in the Philippines often leave significant damage due to heavy rains and extreme floods.

Daylight Hours

Thanks to the long and sunny days during the dry season, it's a popular time for tourists to visit. During this period, the sun rises just after 5 AM, giving early risers plenty of time to explore the outdoors. At most, the Philippines enjoys up to 13 hours of daytime bliss during the dry season, peaking between December and January.

There's about one hour difference in the daylight hours between the dry and wet seasons, so you can still enjoy plenty of daylight hours when you visit during the wetter months, which would be from June to October.

Sea Temperatures

Since you will probably spend most of your time at the beach when visiting the Philippines, you must be aware of the sea temperatures.

During the dry season, the sea temperature throughout the country ranges from 26°C to 28°C and is only slightly colder during the wet season, ranging from 24°C to 26°C. Given these temperatures, you can spend time at the beach in the Philippines throughout the year. You can go for a swim, enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving, or even work on your tan, regardless of the season!

Here's a month-by-month breakdown of the country's weather conditions.

January

January is a high season across the Philippines. Weather-wise, it's one of the best times to visit the country. But as expected, high season means the prices of accommodation and activities are expensive. And since it's the peak season for tourists, you are sure to deal with the tourist crowds when visiting tourist sites.

Manila's temperature in January ranges from 25°C to 30°C. If you visit high-altitude places like Baguio, expect the temperatures to be colder, especially at night. Meanwhile, the southern part of the country is warmer, but you can expect a limited amount of rainfall.

Siargao, a popular surfing destination in the southern part of the country, enjoys an average temperature of 27°C in January. Meanwhile, the weather in Boracay and Palawan can be rough due to the monsoons, and island-hopping tours might be limited.

February

February is also a great time to visit the Philippines. The country has beautiful weather during this time of the year. It's not too cold or too warm, allowing you to explore comfortably. As a result, February is a high tourist season in the Philippines. The entire country enjoys an average temperature of 30°C, with minimal rainfall, though most days are dry and sunny.

February is a great time to visit Baguio City and the areas in the Cordillera region since the temperatures in these areas are slightly colder. As for the capital city of Manila, the temperature hovers around 30°C, which can be a bit hot, especially in the middle of the day. For those who want to escape the heat, head to places at a higher altitude, such as the mountainous region of Baguio.

March

Visitors will start pouring into the Philippines in March, the peak tourist season. Even though the temperature will get hotter, it's still bearable. You can explore the outdoors or spend a longer time at the beach.

In Manila, the average temperature in March can go up to 32°C. It's a popular time to visit the coastal towns of Palawan, such as El Nido and Coron since the sea temperatures will start to warm up. During this time, sea temperatures will warm up averaging a balmy 27°C.

In March, the Philippines experiences up to eight hours of sunshine. Downpours will be unlikely, with only an average of three rainy days across the month. Given the wonderful coastal breezes, March is the perfect time to swim at the beach.

April

April is a busy time in the Philippines. As a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines celebrates the Easter holiday, which usually falls during April. Many locals will travel, and as a result, hotels can be more expensive. Also, popular tourist areas can be crowded, especially the beaches on Easter Sunday. It's a local tradition to visit the beach during easter.

Temperatures will rise in April, with daytime temperature in Manila averaging 34°C. The humidity is also high, dropping to 32°C at night. There will be about nine hours of sunshine each day, giving tourists more time to explore the outdoors. The sea temperatures will also start to heat up, climbing to 29°C. Therefore, it's a great time to visit the popular beaches of Boracay, Palawan, or Cebu. But then again, April is a busy season, so you can expect the beaches to be crowded.

May

May is the hottest month in the Philippines. If you don't mind the scorching heat and the high humidity, you can come to the Philippines in May. During this time, the temperatures across the country could go up to 36°C during the day, coupled with high humidity. The temperatures at night are generally colder.

As the month progresses, the chances of rainfall will also increase since the rainy season will start to creep up along the country's shores. Moreover, May sees only about 32mm of precipitation. However, rains can help break the humidity, offering welcome relief from the intense heat. The best places to visit in the Philippines in May are the coastal regions, such as Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu.

June

June is the start of the low season in the Philippines and may not be the best time to visit the country since it's the start of the rainy season. But if you want to save on accommodation and activities, this is the best time to visit the Philippines if you don't mind the occasional rainfall. Prices will start going down and the tourist crowds will begin to disperse.

But expect heavy rainfall when you visit the Philippines in June. You can still go to the beaches of Siargao, Cebu, Boracay, or Palawan. However, island hopping tours might be limited due to the unpredictable weather.

July

By July, the Philippines will be quieter since tourists will begin to leave the country. While the eastern areas remain relatively dry, the western portions will receive a substantial amount of rain. Daily temperatures fluctuate between 20°C and 32°C, and the climate will get colder due to rains. In July, the average rainfall in the Philippines is 253mm, with up to 17 days of rain in the entire month.

Typhoons will start to affect the country and could be devastating. Large typhoons can lead to extreme flooding in various parts of the country and may destroy several houses and buildings, putting the entire city into a lockdown.

August

August has almost the same weather conditions as July, where you can expect a lot of rain and typhoons can hit various parts of the country. Temperatures will vary between 21°C and 32°C. There will be more rain in August than in July, with an average of 24 days of rainfall throughout the month.

You will most likely experience rain during your visit to the Philippines in August, especially in the Luzon and Cordillera regions. The southerly islands have much better weather, but you will still likely experience rainfall when you visit these places in August. If you are into surfing, August is a wonderful time to visit Siargao.

September

September is also a very wet month in the Philippines, so you cannot expect to do a lot of outdoor exploring if you visit during this time of the year. Because it's a low tourist season, accommodations are more affordable. But there's a good chance that the country will be hit by a typhoon, which could cause heavy rains and flooding, affecting your travel plans.

Temperatures throughout September hover around 25°C but could still go up the 30°C. The average rainfall is 421 mm. It may not be as rainy as the previous months, but you can expect some downpours. By the end of the month, things will dry up a bit.

October

October is a shoulder season in the Philippines. The country just came out of the rain-soaked season and slowly heading toward favourable weather conditions. Hotel prices are still quite reasonable but could spike by the end of the month.

In October, the average rainfall in the Philippines is still generally high, averaging 22 days. The country receives up to 355mm of rain in October. The northern area, which covers Luzon and Cordillera, will be receiving much rain, while places like Cebu and Bohol are relatively free from heavy rainfall. The average temperature in October ranges between 25°C and 27°C.

November

In November, tourists will start arriving in the Philippines, and as a result, prices will increase. The weather is getting better, and the rainy season will completely pass, although you can still expect rain on some days. In November, the Philippines will receive an average of 192mm across 19 days, while the temperatures range between 24°C and 32°C.

The clouds from the rainy season will start to disperse and be replaced with bright sunny skies. The humidity level will also go down. November is a great time to visit famous tourist sites like Boracay and Palawan. However, you will have to share these places with a crowd of tourists.

December

December is a high season across most of the country. The weather is colder and more pleasant, attracting visitors looking for a beach break during the holiday season. But be warned - hotel prices could triple around Christmas and New Year, so if you're on a budget, you may need to reschedule your holiday. However, given the wonderful weather, it's still worth visiting the Philippines in December.

In December, days are clear and sunny, with low humidity levels and less rain than in the previous months. Boracay, Manila, and almost everywhere in the country enjoy fairly good weather in December, making it a popular time to visit the Philippines.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Philippines is from December to February when the temperature is at the coolest, and the rain generally slows down. Things start to heat up in March and will go on until May. If you don't like to go sightseeing in the scorching heat, avoid visiting during this time of the year, especially since the humidity is high. But if you happen to be in the Philippines during this time, spend as much time in the water to cool off. Or you can go to places with cooler weather, such as Baguio City.

It's worth noting that the rainy season in the Philippines, which runs from June to October, can often disrupt flights and boat trips, and there is the risk of cyclones. Therefore, if you visit during this time, try to make your schedule flexible to allow unexpected travel interruptions. Some tours will also be cancelled during the rainy season, especially island-hopping tours.

Unpredictable Weather

Aside from the typhoon season, where the weather is generally wet and unpredictable, the Philippines is a great destination to visit any time of the year. Typhoons will sometimes occur as late as January or as early as August. Weather-wise, the best time to visit the country is between January and May, but that's also the peak season for tourists.

If you want to avoid the tourist crowd and don't mind a little rain, you can visit during the low season, which is from June to September. It's the rainy season in the Philippines, although some parts of the country do not experience rain during this time of the year.

What To Wear

The weather in the Philippines can be unpredictable. Even during the country's supposed dry season, some places can experience rains and typhoons. If you're planning to travel to the Philippines, you must come prepared and pack clothes ideal for both seasons.

Before packing your bags to fly to the Philippines, it's worth checking the weather condition to know what to wear to the places you plan to visit.

Outdoors

Since you will most likely be visiting some of the country's most beautiful beaches, you should pack some swimwear. Wear clothes made from natural fibers like cotton, silk, or linen to stay comfortable under the high level of heat and humidity.

Aside from the country's beautiful beaches, the Philippines is also home to dense forests and mountainous terrains that avid hikers might want to conquer. When hiking or trekking in the Philippines, wear appropriate clothing like quick-dry clothing, long-sleeved shirts, and waterproof or breathable trousers. More importantly, make sure to wear a pair of comfortable footwear.

If you plan on exploring the country's historical landmarks or busy street markets, you should wear light casual clothes made from breathable fabrics.

Indoors

When exploring indoor attractions like churches, museums, and religious places, you may be required to wear proper clothing. Anyone wearing shorts and flip-flops might be refused entry. It may be best to wear a casual top paired with loose-fitting pants or a knee-length skirt. These are also appropriate if you have to walk outdoors or ride public transportation, such as a tricycle or jeep.

The Philippines is home to several shopping malls, especially in major cities like Cebu and Manila. These are the best places to visit in case rain starts pouring or if you want to shop and dine out. You are allowed to wear anything you want when visiting these places, including short dresses and skirts or skimpy shorts. You will not draw much attention since the locals in big cities are somewhat open-minded. Most Filipinos also get fashion inspiration from Hollywood celebrities, so you will not feel out of place.

Essentials and Accessories

Whether you're planning to venture into the outdoors or prefer to explore indoors, it's a must to bring the following essentials when travelling to the Philippines. These essentials will come in handy in the event of a sudden change in weather or temperature.

  • Hat or Cap
  • Jacket or sweaters
  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella

Here are some suggestions on what to wear in the Philippines:

  • Dresses - women should pack at least a couple of dresses when visiting the Philippines during summer. Opt for breezy dresses made from light fabric, so you'll feel comfortable walking under the heat. Bring versatile dresses that you can wear for island hopping and sightseeing. A pair of flip-flops and a straw hat will also work best during summer.
  • Tops - since the Philippines has a tropical climate, wear light and loose-fitting tops. White and light-coloured tops are better as they reflect the heat. When going out at night, opt for dark-coloured tops. A classic white tee would come in handy. And instead of synthetic tops, choose light cotton tops instead. Pack one or two sleeveless tops for sightseeing or island hopping. Avoid wearing very revealing tops when visiting religious places.
  • Bottoms - pack jeans, shorts, and skirts to go with your tops. Although denim jeans may not be a good idea when going to tropical countries, it's a staple in the Philippines. You'll find most men and women wearing a pair of denim all over the country. They are also perfect for when you need to go out on cooler nights.

Hopefully, this list will give you an idea of what to wear when travelling to the Philippines. In case you forget to bring something, fret not. The Philippines has plenty of shopping malls where you can shop for clothing and other essentials. Most of these malls are home to top international fashion brands like H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and more.

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