Top 17 visa-free countries for Filipinos

There are 193 countries in the world and as much as we want to visit all of them, doing so would require lots of money, time, commitment, and of course visa applications. However, fret not, the Philippines is entitled to visit visa-free countries!

Based on Global Passport Power Ranking of 2018,  a report published by PassportIndex.org, Singapore and South Korea are the most powerful passports allowing their citizens to visit 162 countries without any visa requirement. They topped Germany, the previous champion, who shares second place with Japan this year.

Now, how about the Philippine passport? Well, its ranking is not that bad at all. It is now ranked at the 68th place, sharing the spot with Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Philippine passport is allowed to enter 63 (technically) visa-free countries!

Wait, technically?

All 63 countries included on the list do not require Filipino citizens to get the traditional sticker visa prior to flying out from the Philippines. But, note that some of the countries on the list still issue visa or may have some other requirements.

Here are some of the requirements that you may need depending on the country of destination:

1. Electronic Visa (eVisa or e-Tourist Visa) – Unlike the traditional visa that will be attached to your passport, e-visas could be processed on your own through the country’s respective online portal prior to your trip. The confirmation of your e-visa is sent via email and you just need to present that document upon arrival.

2. Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) – Similar to travel registration, eTAs are normally required from travelers not required to get a visa before entering a specific country. Should an eTA be rejected, the person could go through the regular visa application.

3. Visa upon arrival – Some countries issue visa upon arrival at the entry port.

For countries that are totally visa-free, that would mean that you need not prepare any document prior to your trip. All you need are supporting documents that you normally have when traveling like roundtrip tickets, itinerary, and proof of accommodation or financial capacity.

Best visa-free countries for Filipinos

We know that you clicked/tapped on this article to find out which visa-free countries you should visit, but before we proceed with the list, know that this list is largely based on the country’s history and culture, natural wonders, and archaeological finds.

Likewise, we also read references such as Lonely Planet’s The World, and Ultimate Travel, and both were very helpful. We also took into account some of our personal experiences.

A word of caution: Although the report shows 63 visa-free countries for the Philippine Passport, we found out, upon further research, that there are certain inconsistencies whether a country is really visa-free or not. That being said, we made sure that whatever you will see on the list below are countries with verified information from their respective consulates/embassies. 

For easy reading, please note that right below each country’s descriptions and image slideshow, are some extra helpful details (especially for those countries outside ASEAN).

 

17. Taiwan
The country is temporarily giving visa-free entry to Filipinos until July 31, 2018. This move has caused tourists to flock in an instant to Formosa (literally means Beautiful Island). Taiwan may be small, but it has a lot to offer. The Country’s National Palace Museum is home to the most precious artefacts of one of the oldest civilizations on Earth — the Chinese Civilization. You could also see touches of Japanese culture everywhere and you’d have a chance to witness the magical Lantern Festival, too.

Wanting to experience a bustling city life, then wandering in Taipei should be on your itinerary. Not satisfied with just strolling around the city, marvel at it from above on Taipei 101‘s observatory, one of the tallest buildings on the globe. 

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Entry details: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 14 days from entry
Supporting Documents: Return or onward flight tickets, proof of accommodation or sponsorship
Helpful Link: https://www.roc-taiwan.org/ph_en/post/2950.html

 

16. Malaysia
This country is like a home away from home. It’s proximity to the Philippines, linguistic similarities, and even the warmth of their people seem too familiar. Like most ASEAN countries, the variety of food to choose from is to die for! From Mamak stores that serve authentic Indian food, Chinese restaurants offering dim sum and salted-egg buns, and of course Malaysian food flavours that range from savoury to super spicy should also be on your list.

Looking for a bustling metropolis? Spend your vacation in Kuala Lumpur and admire the spellbinding Petronas Towers that is truly stunning especially at night. Tired of the city life? Then head to Penang, the country’s old town or maybe challenge yourself and conquer Mt. Kinabalu, a World Heritage Site and the world’s 20th Most Prominent Mountain.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 30 days from entry

 

15. Hong Kong
Including this country on the list is just mandatory, and it’s not just because of Disneyland. Its landscape breathtakingly seen from Victoria Peak shows a perfect balance of nature and cityscape similar to the ideal synergy between men and nature. It is also studded with destinations that speak a lot about their culture, from Manmo Temple that oozes with the smell of incense all year-round, to the bustling street of Mongkok, each destination truly has a unique vibe to it. It is not surprising at all that Hong Kong has been a favourite shooting location for Hollywood movies, too.

The country is also home to Tian Tan Buddha, the world’s biggest seated bronze Buddha that is located on a hill seemingly overseeing the whole state. All these destinations are made accessible to anyone by their Mass Transit Railway which makes Hong Kong the top country in terms of public transportation.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 14 days from entry
Helpful Link: http://ph.china-embassy.org/eng/lsfw/visas/t960530.htm

 

14. Singapore
The modern city truly proves itself that it’s the [mer]lion of Asia. The state’s advancement in the field of business, technology, and architecture has been exponential and has left everyone in awe. The moment you enter the country’s Changi Airport should be more than enough to give you a glimpse of what’s in store for you in Singapore.

The country may have limited green space but once you’ve seen Gardens by the Bay, you’ll be speechless. Its Flower Dome and Cloud Forest puts other gardens to shame by mimicking the dry climate conducive for Meditterenian flora and moist climate that is suitable for tropical plants, respectively. The conservatories that house both gardens are also intended to be energy-efficient and ecologically sustainable.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 30 days from entry
Supporting Documents: Return or onward flight tickets, proof of accommodation or sponsorship

 

 

13. Myanmar
Formerly called Burma, this politically controversial nation made headlines recently because of the Rohingya Crisis that forced 600,000 refugees to flee from the country. Hopefully, once the crisis has been resolved and people have been given equal rights, the brilliance of the country’s antiquity and culture will shine through, similar to how the sun sets in Bagan’s temples.

The country’s most grandiose gilded pagoda, Shwedagon, is a sight to behold dominating the Yangon skyline at 99 meters. Inle Lake, Myanmar’s most anticipated destination is also a must-see for people who would love to experience serenity and see the locals way of living.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 14 days from entry

 

12. Vietnam
Looking for a country where you could indulge yourself in a diverse range of interest? Then head to Vietnam. This humble country is filled with destinations that are sure to give you the kind of Southeast Asian experience you are looking for. Start with the well-maintained majestic rice terraces of Sapa that gives you a glimpse of their agriculture almost similar to what you can see in Banaue. Or explore the limestone pillar-studded  Gulf of Tolkin — the Halong Bay. This national park is a designated World Heritage site and is one of the top destinations in the country. 

However, if you’re looking for an experience that could introduce you to Vietnam’s history, you must head to Hoi An’s Old Town. Here, you could see houses that withstood the wars of the 20th century. The vibe of the Old Town also gives travelers a “delightful experience” far from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. Oh, speaking of metropolis, do not miss to pass by Ho Chi Minh. It is where you could experience the Asian City Life that could be both chaotic and dizzying but very much interesting and indulging.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 21 days from entry

 

 

11. Indonesia
The Philippine Archipelago is splendid, but imagine an archipelago that’s much larger in number than ours. The result   Indonesia. The country boasts of more than 17,500 islands and with that number alone, you could imagine how rich their marine life and resources could be. No wonder why Gili Islands and Raja Ampat’s turquoise waters are listed as some of the best diving spots in the world. One of the islands in it, the Komodo Island, is home to the largest lizard on Earth — the Komodo Dragon. 

 

Aside from the abundance of marine life, Indonesia is also home to some of the rarest faunas such as the orangutans (the only great apes found outside Africa), and Javan single-horned rhinoceros that are now being conserved in the country’s national parks. Indonesia, like its neighbouring countries, also has a rich religious inclination; and Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple, serves as a solid testament to that.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 30 days from entry

 

10. Cambodia
If you’ve seen the Tomb Raider movie, you may have quickly decided to add Cambodia on your bucket list even before seeing the movie credits. However, this country is definitely more than what the Angelina Jolie movie has shown on the silver screen. The temples of Angkor are the remnants of the Kmer Empire that once ruled the present day Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Angkor Wat, the epicentre of the country’s history and religious activities, is a world-renowned destination that truly transcends most man-made structures of the ancient world. Thus, it is commonly referred to as the Realm of Gods. 

Like some countries, Cambodia has gone through a dark past before it’s reached its present-day stature as the Warm Heart of South East Asia. The stories of genocide victims of Kmer Rouge live in the confines of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum that serves as a stern reminder of the tragic past that should never happen again and also as a proof that the Cambodian’s resiliency likewise transcends beyond the human realm.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 21 days from entry

 

 

9. Nepal
The roof of the world truly deserves a high spot in this ranking. Nepal is home to the 10 highest mountains including the famous Mount Everest. Climbing your way up to the Mount Everest Basecamp alone could be an arduous feat, add the fact that you’ll need 9 days more (minimum) to reach the dangerous mountain’s summit. However, if you want to see the Himalayan Mountains, there are seven easily accessible viewpoints in Nepal and not all of them requires professional hiking skills.

If you do not want to hike your way to the base camp, you may want to take the path of the Enlightened One instead. Head to Lumbini, Nepal the birthplace of Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha. Or have totally different city experience in its capital, Kathmandu, the centre of the country’s culture, history, and home to the only living goddess, the Kumari.

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Entry details/Requirements: Visa upon arrival, Fees range from USD 25 (15 days) to USD 100 (100 days)
Requirements: Bring 35mm X 45mm passport-sized photograph; Application form found in Nepal’s airport
Supporting Documents: Return or onward flight tickets; For women travelling alone: Guarantee letter or proof of accommodation or tour.
Helpful Link: http://consulateofnepal.ph/

 

8. Kenya
When you think of Africa, you automatically think of wild animals on savannahs. Undoubtedly, Kenya is the best country in the continent to witness the world’s best wildlife.  It is home to several protected parks, in fact, not far from Nairobi (its capital), you could already interact with wild animals like giraffes, lions, leopards, baboons, elephants, and other mammals you could only imagine or that you first saw from Disney’s The Lion King.

You could even observe wild animals against one of the most scenic backdrops, a dormant volcano and also the highest mountain in Africa — Mt. Kilimanjaro. Or witness the biggest annual migration at the Masai Mara National Park that you normally see only on National Geographic. Although Kenya is known for its wild beasts, travelers who’d go there couldn’t discount the fact that the Maasai people are among the nicest and most colourful bunch you could ever meet. 

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Entry details/Requirements: eVisa, Fee is USD 51
Requirements: eVisa Printout from www.eCitizen.go.ke, 5.5 x 5.5cm photo
Supporting Documents: Travel itinerary, proof of accommodation or booked tours,
Vaccine/Medication Requirements: Anti-malaria medication is recommended
Helpful Link: https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke

 

7. Ecuador
Kenya may have been crowned as the wildlife capital being the home of world’s Big Five Animals; however, Ecuador’s biodiversity is definitely a different discussion altogether. Ecuador’s treasure trove, the Galapagos Island, is home to endemic species that would make biologist, environmentalist, or even simple animal lover’s mouth gaping in admiration.  Truth is, Charles Darwin’s visit to this Island made a huge impact in his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.

Some of the unique species that are endemic to Ecuador’s Galapagos Island is the Marine Iguana (the only iguana that can forage in the sea), and the Galapagos Tortoise (the largest living species of tortoise). Oh, let us not forget why this country is named Ecuador, it is at the equator line itself, the line that separates the northern and southern hemispheres of the globe. Don’t forget to stroll in the city of Quito, the second highest capital and the only one that sits right at the equator.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 90 days from entry

6. Mongolia
Surprised, yeah? Mongolia may have been part of your Asian Civilization classes and we probably know how Genghis Khan, ruler of Mongolian Empire, triumphantly conquered Central Asia and even parts of Europe. However, present-day Mongolia is definitely far from what’s recorded in history books. Truth is, some of the Mongolian natives are still nomadic, but their hospitality in treating outsiders knows no bounds. Travelers are encouraged to join and even stay in a Mongolian Ger (herder’s ger/yurt or tent) to experience a back-to-basics lifestyle with the locals. While you’re with the Mongolians, try your best to learn horseback riding or even archery, too!

Do not forget to wander and wonder at the Gobi Desert and admire Khongoryn Els sand dunes that could rise up to 300 meters high. That is almost as high as the Eiffel Tower (324 meters)! While you are near the sand dunes, do not forget to close your eyes and listen to it sing as the wind hits its dunes, which is why it has earned its moniker Duut Mankhan (Singer Dunes).

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Entry details/Requirements: Visa-free, Tourists could stay up to 21 days from entry
Helpful Link: http://mongoliavisa.com/visa-waiver.html

 

5. Thailand
A haven for backpackers and even for solo travelers. Our neighbouring country, Thailand, has a good mixture of cultural experiences, religious pilgrims, city life, weeklong parties, pristine beaches, and historical destinations. The country’s most intricate building complex and the residence of the Kings of Siam, the Grand Palace, is truly extravagant and your eyes may be overwhelmed with all the details each stupa and structure holds. On the other hand, Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam, is studded with archaeological sites that make it easy for anyone to imagine its splendid past.

The country is also famous for its hedonistic weeklong nightlife, may it be on the street of Khaosan or on the beaches of Phuket. Speaking of beaches, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Tao, and Khao Sok’s islands are some of the most pristine islands in South East Asia that most people love to experience. Last but not the least, the nation has a wide selection of delectable street food that is sure to sate your cravings at a very affordable price.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 30 days (if your entry point is via international airports) or only up to 15 days (if your entry point is via land borders)

 

4. Morocco
This nation is like a giant Saharan oasis of Africa. Indeed, Morocco is a popular country destination where you could admire the largest warm desert on Earth. But beyond the golden sand of Erg Chebbi Dunes and its howling winds, the country is filled with vibrant culture, landscape, and people — something closely similar to how the oasis is described in the book, The Alchemist

The only difference from a regular oasis is how its districts have their distinct characteristics and charisma. Fez boasts of the traditional African city that beguiles travelers who explore its small alleys. Ait Ben-Haddou, Morocco’s UNESCO Heritage Site, on the other hand, shows how a traditional Saharan fort/habitat looks like with its monochromatic red mud brick walls. Not happy with the red monochrome? How about getting lost in Chefchaouen’s blue-washed old town? However, if you really want the complete experience, you must indulge yourself in Djemaa el-Fnaa, Marakkesh’s spellbinding old city, that’s sure to give your trip the African cultural experience you’re looking for.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 90 days from entry
Supporting Documents: Travel itinerary, proof of accommodation or booked tours, proof of financial capacity

3. Brazil
Everyone knows Brazil, but aside from the Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) that overlooks and guards Rio De Janeiro, there’s really more to the Land of Palms than meets the eye of the mainstream media. For one, Ipanema Beach’s shoreline is host to the most diverse party crowd in the world. Aside from Rio de Janeiro’s beach, one of the world’s biggest festival is held in this state, too — the Carnival. It’s a feast that flaunts the country’s colourful culture through parade floats, street dancers in vibrant costumes, and parties all throughout the city. Tourist attending the Carnival are also encouraged to take part in this grand parade, whether to dance the samba along with locals or to simply enjoy the festivities. 

Aside from the bustling city life, Brazil also serves as a portal to many of the world’s stunning natural wonders. In fact, the majority of the Amazon forest lies in Brazil and just at its border, Iguazu Falls thundering water could be seen. In the northeastern part of the country lies Parque Nacional dos Lencois Maranhenses (Lençóis Maranhenses National Park), a desert-like landscape, that is composed of sand dunes that become basins for fresh-water during the rainy season.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 90 days (if your entry point is via international airports) or up to only 30 days (if your entry point is via land borders)
Helpful Link: http://manila.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/Main.xml
Embassy’s Contact Details: Address – 16/F Liberty Center, 104 H.V. Dela Costa, Salcedo Village, Makati; Contact number: +63(2)845-3651 to 53; E-mail: brasemb.manila@itamaraty.gov.br

 

 

2. Peru
This South American country is full of geological, cultural, and archaeological wonders that are both wonderful and mysterious. It is no secret that Machu Picchu citadel lies in Andes Mountains in Peru. However, the biggest secret that even archaeologist and experts couldn’t decipher up to today is its mysterious beginnings and its exact significance. Its mystery is similar to Stonehenge’s, invoking curiosity, amazement, and questions that lead to nothing but theories and educated guesses. Same is true for the second most intriguing archaeological wonder in Peru — the Nazca Lines. A set of geoglyphs that still boggles scientist to date.

Aside from the world-famous archaeological wonders, Peru has other cards to show that’ll definitely wow every traveler. We thought that United State’s Grand Canyon is the only notable geological wonder of its kind but it has a younger brother in Peru, the Cañon Del Colca (the world’s deepest canyon). Another point of interest is Islas Uros situated at the Lake Titicaca, where people live in man-made reed islands.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 183 days from entry
Supporting Documents: Travel itinerary, proof of accommodation or booked tours, proof of financial capacity
Vaccine/Medication Requirements: Travelers who are only visiting Cuzco and Machu Picchu wouldn’t need yellow fever and malaria vaccine. But visiting other regions in the country require said vaccines.
Machu Picchu Tours: Only 500 travelers are allowed every day. Best to get your hike permit 6 months before your trip. The hike will also cost USD 649.
Consulate’s Contact Details: Suite 405-406, CLMC Building, 259-269 EDSA (ACROSS
Corinthian Gardens) Greenhills, Mandaluyong City;  Phone+632-726-0355; Email: peruvianconsulate@yahoo.com

1. Israel and Palestinian Territories (West Bank)
The Philippines, after Spain’s colonisation, has become a predominantly Christian country making Israel’s name resonate in every church in the archipelago. However, regardless if you believe in Christianity or not, it feels compelling to visit the region where one of the world’s most influential man was born. Israel and Palestine made headlines in the present era because of the on-going political conflicts and disputes. However, before all these issues, the country has been a central topic in religion and history not just as the birthplace of Jesus but also to Muslims who believe that Jerusalem is where Muhammad briefly ascended into heaven.

The Holy Sepulchre, considered as the holiest place in the world erected at the spot believed to be the hill where Jesus was crucified, could be found in Jerusalem. On the other hand, the Dome of the Rock, a shrine that is both significant to Jews and Muslims, is also in the same City.  If you’re looking for a natural wonder in this country teeming with history, never forget to visit the Dead Sea — the lowest (and the saltiest) place on earth. Regardless of your faith and beliefs, each destination in this region is sure to bring anyone nostalgia, or may even cause the rumoured Jerusalem Syndrome to anyone who visits.

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Entry details/Requirements: One of the visa-free countries, Tourists could stay up to 90 days from entry
Supporting Documents: Travel itinerary, proof of accommodation or booked tours, proof of financial capacity (pocket money or credit card)
Consulate’s Contact Details: Suite 405-406, CLMC Building, 259-269 EDSA (ACROSS
Corinthian Gardens) Greenhills, Mandaluyong City;  Phone+632-726-0355; Email: peruvianconsulate@yahoo.com
Helpful Linkhttps://www.iccp.ph/israel-offers-visa-free-access-philippine-tourists
Contact Details: PH2 6780 JAKA Building, Ayala Avenue, Makati City 1229; Email: secretariat@iccp.ph; Phone Number: (+632) 510-9945 | (+63906) 023 6755

 

Off the beaten path

There you have it! We know that, perhaps to most travelers, the dreamy destinations could be found in those countries that require visas. It’s open to debate, nonetheless.

Let’s not forget that this world is nothing but a sphere of wonders and sometimes all you need is to choose quite off the beaten paths to find the craziest adventures and wondrous life experiences.

These adventures may not leave a mark on your passport in a form of a visa, but the memories you’ll make will truly be etched in your heart for a lifetime.

Credits: Thanks to Lonely Planet and their books. Also to Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash for some of the images used in this article.

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