Southeast Asia :: Philippines
|Currency||Philippine peso (PHP)|
|Area|| total: 300,000 km2|
land: 298,170 km2
|Language||two official languages - Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English; eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan|
|Electricity||220V 60 Hz|
|Coordinates||13 00 N, 122 00 E|
The Philippines form the second largest archipelago in the world after Indonesia, with around 7,000 islands. Relatively few yachts cruise here, but there seem to be more every year. In most areas it is still rare to run across another yacht. There are pristine coral reefs, turquoise bays and snug anchorages, as well as more metropolitan delights. The Filipino people are very friendly and sometimes embarrassingly hospitable. The culture is a unique mixture of indigenous, Spanish, Asian and American. Philippine charts are inexpensive and reasonably good. English is widely (although not universally) spoken. The cost of living is very reasonable.
 Cruising Considerations
There are a few things that always come up in general discussion about cruising in the Philippines.
Typhoons do not have to be a terrible worry if you pay attention and take timely action. As in many areas of the world, you will occasionally have to spend some time in a sheltered anchorage waiting for the weather to moderate or waiting to see which direction a developing storm will take. In all seasons it is essential to keep an eye on the weather and know what your plan will be if a typhoon threatens. Good preparation and timely action are your best defenses.
- Fish Aggregating Devices (FADS)
FADs (Payao in Tagalog, gacket in Visayan, balsas in Ilonggo) are buoys put in deep water to attract valuable pelagic species of fish, especially tuna. In Philippine waters these range from low bamboo rafts fairly close inshore to steel rafts or cylinders as large as 3-4 m in diameter and 5-10 m long. The largest ones may be anchored in water up to 5,000 m deep, and can be 60 miles or more offshore. They are not lit at night, and have no radar reflector, although some have a palm frond. Other than good watch keeping, there's not too much that can be done about this problem. It's the single greatest risk of cruising in the Philippines.
- Fishing Bangkas
The local double outrigger boats are generally called 'bangkas', regardless of whether they are propelled by paddle, sail, small gasoline engine or diesel. Sizes range from barely large enough for one person to well over 100 feet. They are generally poor radar targets. Most do not have running lights. Some only carry a cigarette lighter a flashlight. In some areas the larger ones have some semblance of running lights but the pattern and placement only resemble the rules of the road requirements vaguely. For night fishing, some of the larger ones have powerful arrays of floodlights and some of the smallet ones use pressure kerosene lamps. They can be found well offshore, routinely as far as 50-75 miles, usually in groups around good fishing spots like shoals. Sometimes there is no obvious reason for their location. At night, an unlit bangka who sees your running lights and believes you may run them down will use their lighter or turn on their flashlight (if they have one that works). When you alter course to avoid the ones you can see, the bangkas you are now heading for will use theirs. It can be very frustrating. I generally try to avoid making inshore passages in the Philippines at night when there is no moon or in order to reduce the risk of colliding with bangkas or the bigger FADs.
- Crime and Politically Motivated Violence
There is crime in the Philippines like anywhere else. Given the degree of poverty in which the majority of Filipinos live, it is remarkable how little there is. Urban areas are worse than rural areas. By and large it's not a major problem for the cruiser. Before going to urban areas there are a few ingenious scams it's good to be aware of. There are several rural and urban insurgencies in the Philippines that proclaim political motivation, some of whose actions seem at least partially driven by economics. The politically motivated groups are generally not interested in yachts. As a general matter the Muslim insurgencies are confined to western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, and the communist insurgents tend to be in the mountains rather than the seaside. See for a discussion of their development about the situation as of this writing. The situation in the Philippines can be fairly fluid, so it is sensible to pay attention to the media.
- Disease and Health
In the Philippines, like anywhere in the world, especially developing countries, it is prudent to take appropriate precautions against certain health risks. None are particularly onerous. The quality and availability of medical care is highly variable, and it is sensible to be somewhat self reliant. See page 45 for a more detailed discussion of these issues.
 Cruising Areas
Many parts of the Philippines rarely see a cruising yacht. Exploring can be very rewarding. The most popular cruising areas are probably the Culion group and the northern end of Palawan, and the area from Manila and Subic down to the Sibuyan and Visayan seas. There is a fair amount of yacht traffic back and forth from Hong Kong, and some yachts travelling East to West via the Surigao and San Bernadino Straits. The northern end of Palawan, especially around El Nido and the adjacent islands of Culion, Coron and Busuanga consistently gets very high praise from cruisers. The Southern end of Surigao has much of the same sort of limestone towers, natural arches and pure white beaches as the Palawan area, but is smaller and less popular.
 Major Ports
- Basilian City (Isabela)
- Batangas City
- Butuan City
- Cadiz, Philippines
- Dirique Inlet
- General Luna
- General Santos
- Jose Panganiban
- Larap Bay
- Legazpi Port
- Nasipit Port
- Odiongan, Philippines
- Odiongan, Philippines
- Polloc (Cotabato)
- Port Balancan
- Port Barrera
- Port Borongan
- Port Capiz
- Port Holland
- Port Mambajao
- Port Ozamis
- Port Ragay
- Port Romblon
- Port San Vicente
- Puerto Real
- Salomague Point
- San Carlos, Philippines
- San Fernando
- San Isidro
- San Jose, Philippines
- Santa Clara
- Santa Cruz (Marinduque Isl)
- Surigao City
- Toledo, Philippines
- Cebu City
- Dumaguete, Negros
- Maya Maya
- Puerto Galera, Mindoro
- Puerto Princesa
- Subic Bay
- Cagayan de Oro
 Anchorages & Moorings
Campomanes, Negros Island anchor on 9 39'2N 122 26' 93 E 12 m mud good protection during NE monsoon
Cuyo Island anchor on 10 49'2N 120 59'7E 5m sand good protection during NE monsoon
Horse Island anchor on 12 02'6N 119 53 58
Gutob anchorage 12 09 N 119 51 E mud 8m good protection during NE monsoon
- Bataan Marina
- Boatshop Philippines Inc
- Category:Cebu Marinas
- Category:Nasugbu Marinas
- Category:Occidental Mindoro Marinas
- Category:Philippines Uncategorized Marinas
- Caylabne Bay Resort
- Cebu Yacht Club
- Manila Yacht Club
- Maricaban Bay Cruising Club
- Maricaban Bay Resort and Marina
- Marino Del Nido
- Maya-Maya Yacht Club
- Pandan Island Resort
- Pinoy Boat Services
- Puerto Azul Yacht Club
- Puerto Galera Yacht Club
- Punta Fuego Yacht Club
- Subic Bay Yacht Club
- Tongo Sail Inn
- White Cove Resort
 Customs & Immigration
 Weather & Climate
 TRADE WINDS, MONSOONS AND TYPHOONS
The weather of the Philippines is dominated by the interaction between the seasonal monsoons of the Asian continent to the West and the trade winds of the Pacific Ocean to the East. Unlike higher latitudes where there can be quite dramatic changes in a few days, the weather in the Philippines tends to change slowly and is usually similar from day to day. Except for typhoons and local squalls, of course. Other than at the peak of a monsoon, or in the vicinity of a tropical cyclone, the winds tend to be light. The topography of the Philippines has a substantial effect on local weather. Wind tends to be funneled through gaps in hills or between higher islands. There are fairly predictable lees, depending on the season. Generally, the Northeast monsoon has more pleasant weather for cruising, although there can be nice periods and lousy periods during either season.
Trade winds are the North- and South- easterly winds that blow across oceans between about 30*N and 30*S, on either side of the doldrums. The name comes from their reliable nature, essential for commerce in the days of sail. They can be explained because equatorial regions get more sun than higher latitudes, and because the earth turns on its axis. Because the sun is higher in the sky in the tropics, the air at the surface gets warmer than the air in higher latitudes. The warmer, less dense air is displaced upward by heavier, cooler air, which causes a surface flow from higher latitudes towards lower latitudes. The earth rotates to the East under this flow, resulting in northeast trade winds in the N and SE trade winds in the S. The turning effect of the earth's rotation on these flows (and others) is known as the cirolis effect. The cirolis effect is the reason that the winds around low pressure areas circulate clockwise in the Southern hemisphere and counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. [Insert diagram?]
The specific area in the doldrums where the trades converge is nowadays usually called the inter tropical convergence zone (ITCZ). Because much of the airflow is upward, the doldrums tend to be areas of light, inconstant winds, sometimes accompanied by thunderstorms, (which can substantially help a sailing passage across them). The ITCZ migrates seasonally North and South, from the winter hemisphere to the summer hemisphere. In an average year the ITCZ crosses the Philippines twice, reaching its Southern extreme (in the longitudes of the Philippines) about 10-15° S in February. In July or so the ITCZ gets as far North as 25-30° N, between Taiwan and Japan. Monsoons are seasonal winds caused by differences in temperature between a continent and an adjacent ocean. The word comes to English from the Portuguese monção, which is in turn from Arabic mawsim ‘fixed season’. Indonesians use 'musim', which also means 'season'. Malays are more likely to use 'monsun' for 'monsoon' and 'musim' for 'season'.
The Indian Ocean monsoon provided the sailing trade route between the Middle East and India and the Indonesian archipelago used well before the beginning of the Christian epoch. Unlike the trade winds, monsoons have the useful property of changing direction each year from winds favorable for a passage in one direction to those favorable for a passage back. Around the Philippines, the monsoons come from the interaction between the Asian continent and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In Northern Hemisphere summer, the Asian mainland warms up faster than the sea, resulting in a flow of cooler, moist air from the sea to the land, bringing monsoon rains. In winter the opposite happens, with cooler (but drier) air flowing from the mainland out. In both cases the flow is deflected by the cirolis effect. In the Philippines, this means there is a preponderance of Southwesterly winds from roughly May to October, and Northeasterly winds from November to March. Both transition periods are essentially when the ITCZ passes over the area, and are characterized by light, variable winds. The SW monsoon tends to bring rain to the W coasts of the larger islands, while the NE season tends to be wet on easterly slopes, and dry on W coasts. In Tagalog the NE monsoon is called 'amihan' and the SW monsoon 'habagat'. Habagat is also called the Pirate Wind in some places, as it used to be the wind that brought the Muslim raiders up from the South looking for slaves and plunder.
Concern about typhoons should not prevent anyone from cruising in the Philippines. Although they can and do happen any time in the year, about 90% of Typhoons are from June to December. There is usually several days warning of their formation and approach and there are many good harbors of refuge.
Some definitions may be helpful: 'Typhoon' is used in the western part of the North Pacific for a severe tropical cyclone, one with force 12 winds (averaging 64 knots) or more. Gusts are usually 30-50% higher. Exactly the same thing is called a hurricane in the Eastern Pacific, the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Severe tropical cyclones, including some with winds less than force 12, are called willy-willies in NW Australia and cyclonic storms in the Indian Ocean. Typhoons can get larger and more powerful than tropical cyclones in other parts of the world. Three sources are commonly suggested for the origin of the name: (1) the Portuguese 'tufão' from Arabic 'tufan', 'smoke'; (2) the Greek tuphon ‘whirlwind’; and (3) the Cantonese 'tai-fung'or Mandarin 'ta-feng', both meaning ‘big wind’. In Tagalog, a typhoon is called a baguio or bagyo, although 'baguio' is often used more loosely to describe any windy storm or squall. A 'cyclone' is a closed atmospheric circulation rotating counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (clockwise in the Southern hemisphere). 'Cyclone', 'depression' and 'low' all mean the same thing. A 'tropical cyclone' is a warm-core (center warmer than surrounding air); non-frontal cyclone developing over tropical or sub tropical waters and having a definite organized circulation.
Tropical cyclones are classified by their intensity:
Tropical Disturbance: The weakest recognizable stage of a tropical cyclone, with little or no rotary circulation at the earth's surface, although there is possibly some at higher levels in the atmosphere. There may be one closed surface isobar or none at all, and no strong winds. It is usually 100-300 miles in diameter, having maintained its identity for 24 hours or longer.
Tropical Depression ('TD'): The weak state of a tropical cyclone with a definite closed circulation at the Earth's surface, and one or more closed isobars, with wind speeds less than 34 knots (Force 7 or less). U.S. forecasters use a one minute period to measure wind speeds, while the Japanese use a ten minute period, and US forecasters generally do not report the existence of a TD unless it has winds over force 6 (25 knots).
Tropical Storm ('TS'): A warm core tropical cyclone with closed surface isobars and sustained wind speeds of 34-63 knots (Force 8-11). Japanese forecasters use the classification 'Severe Tropical Storm' ('STS') for one with wind speeds of 48-63 knots (Force 10 and 11).
Typhoon ('T'): A warm core tropical cyclone with sustained wind speeds of 64 knots (Force 12) or higher. U.S. forecasters use the classification 'Super Typhoon' for a typhoon with sustained wind speeds of 130 knots or higher.
Exactly why some cyclones grow while others die out in the early stages is not completely understood. Once developed, however, the gross structure of a typhoon is clear. At the surface of the earth, the center of a typhoon has a very low barometric pressure. The central pressure might be 960 hPa in an average typhoon. Low extremes are 870 hPa, recorded in typhoon Tip in 1979, and 877 hPa, recorded in 1958 about 750 nm East of Manila by a drop sonde from a reconnaissance aircraft. At the center is the famous 'eye', a circular (usually) area some 10-15 miles in diameter with little wind and clear skies or very light cloud. It is analogous to the spiral vortex that sometimes forms as water is running down a drain, but the other way up. The air in the eye is warm and very humid. As it spirals upward the water condenses, releasing additional heat to the air. The plume of air ascending above the eye may be as much as 8° C warmer than the surrounding air. The major conversion of energy that drives the storm is the latent heat of condensation released to the ascending air. For the storm to continue to exist there must be the right upper level conditions to remove the warm air from the vicinity of the eye or it would cool and allow the low to fill. High level winds play a part. The cyclonic circulation of the typhoon at the surface gradually dissipates with height, being replaced at altitudes above 40,000 feet or so by an anticyclonic circulation centered several hundred miles away from the eye of the storm. Immediately surrounding the eye are the strongest winds in the typhoon, with torrential rain and heavy cloud. The winds generally diminish as one moves away from the eye, in spiral bands of rain and wind, separated, as one moves away from the center, by wider and wider areas of relative calm. In an average typhoon the area of force 12 (64 kt) winds might extend over an area around 100 nm in diameter, with gale force (33 kt) and above over 400 nm. In a large typhoon these areas might be 200 and 600 miles across. In a few 'super' typhoons the area of force 12 winds has been 300 miles across with the area of gale force winds 1300 miles across. The eye is usually circular, but fast moving storms sometimes have elliptical eyes with the longest axis parallel to the direction of movement of the storm. Aircraft crews and radar have on occasion observed rotating elliptical eyes, double eyes and even concentric eyes. Wind
The maximum wind speeds in severe tropical cyclones are difficult to measure, as wind recording devices tend to be blown away or destroyed by flying debris. Weather reconnaissance aircraft often report wind speeds in the 130-150 knot range, and land stations have made measurements as high as 150 knots. As a rough guide the maximum surface wind in a typhoon can be estimated by the following formula:
Vmax = K*1010-Pc Where: Vmax = Maximum Velocity, in knots K = a constant between 14 and 16; and Pc = the central pressure of the typhoon, in hPa.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the highest winds will be found on the right side of the cyclone when facing in the direction the cyclone is moving. Because low pressure areas in the Northern Hemisphere have counterclockwise circulations, motion of the cyclone adds to the wind velocity to the right of the cyclone track and subtracts from the wind velocity on the left side. Seas
The strong winds in a typhoon generate big seas. In an average typhoon seas of 35-40 feet are common; in a big one they can be 45-50 feet. Waves of 60-90 feet have been reported. Seas will obviously be much smaller if there is intervening land. The highest waves in a Northern Hemisphere cyclone are found on the right side of the cyclone when facing in the direction the cyclone is moving, because the winds are stronger and they have more time to push against the waves since the storm and the waves are moving in the same direction. Seas in the vicinity of the eye are very confused.
Because waves move out of the storm area at 40-50 knots, the swell generated by a tropical cyclone will frequently be present hundreds of miles ahead of the storm. The swell from a tropical cyclone usually has a relatively long period (time from crest to crest) of 15-30 seconds. At sea, this swell can be your first warning that there is a storm in the vicinity. Rain Rainfall in typhoons is heavy. As described above, the rain forms in spiral bands around the center of the storm until there is a ring of continuous torrential rain surrounding the eye. Rain is particularly heavy over land, because air pushed up by the land cools and can hold less water. One phenomenal example is 47 inches (1.19 meters) of rain in 24 hours recorded during a typhoon in the Philippines in 1911. Category Central Pressure (hPa) Winds (Knots) Storm Surge Above Normal (ft) 1 980 or more 64 - 82 4 - 5 2 965 - 979 83 - 98 6 - 8 3 945 - 964 99 - 121 9 - 12 4 920 - 944 122 - 135 13 - 18 5 Less than 920 above 135 over 18 Surge The low pressure of a typhoon over the sea creates a 'dome' of water higher than sea level. At sea, this is not noticeable, but as the storm approaches a coastline the water piles up, raising the sea to levels that can be catastrophic when combined with the heavy rainfall, especially if the storm's landfall happens to coincide with high tide. The surge effect is worst on a low, concave coast (like Bangladesh) because the surge is concentrated. The Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale, above, was developed to predict storm surge. DEVELOPMENT AND MOVEMENT Most tropical depressions do not develop into typhoons, and it is not easy to predict which ones will. Nonetheless, there are some factors that seem necessary for their growth:
- A large enough area with sea surface temp over 26*C (78.8*F) (some would say 28*C). The warm water must also be deep enough (e.g. 200 feet).
- Below normal pressure (under 1004 hPa) in low latitudes.
- An existing depression of some sort moving at less than 13 Kt.
- Easterly winds decreasing in speed with height but extending upward to at least 30,000 feet.
- Moderate to strong outflow at high altitude, but strong vertical wind shear in the troposphere can 'blow the top off' the exhaust plume, causing the surface low to fill and the storm to rapidly weaken.
- Tropical Cyclones do not form close to the equator, as the cirolis effect is too small -- Never within 3* of the equator, and rarely within 5* of the equator.
The areas in the Western North Pacific and China Sea where tropical cyclones usually first reach typhoon intensity migrates North and South during the year. In an average year, it is something like this: Period Latitude January - April 3°-10° N May - June 4°-12° N July - August 9°-25 °N September - Mid October 10°-20° N Mid October - Mid November 5°-17° N Mid November - December 3°-12 °N In the Western Pacific, the depressions that eventually become typhoons are first detected fairly evenly from 180* to the South China Sea, with about 1/3 within about 500 nm of Guam. Because developing storms generally move Eastward with the trades, the locations they become typhoons are more heavily concentrated in the area between Guam and the Philippines, with a substantial number in the South China Sea.
Movement A textbook northern hemisphere tropical cyclone moves to the West or WNW in the trade wind belt at 4-13 knots until it slows to 2-8 knots, 'recurves' to the N or NNE and then moves rapidly off at 20-50 knots. Generally the storm will move in the direction of the 'steering' air currents it is embedded in, meaning the pressure-weighted mean air flow from the surface to about 30,000 feet and about 8* of latitude wide. The actual tracks of typhoons are far more variable than this would suggest, however. They wander southward, make loops, stop and reverse course to the East and do all sorts of unexpected things sometimes. Generally slower moving storms tend to move more erratically. In the case of tropical depressions, uncertainties in the location of the center can lead to what seems to be very erratic motion.
A typical typhoon stays at typhoon intensity for 9-10 days; some only for a day or two, and a few as long as a month. The reasons they die off are usually a little clearer than growth, as many go ashore or into cold water.
FREQUENCY In the Northwest Pacific as a whole, about 25-30 tropical cyclones reach storm stage each year, of which 15-20 reach typhoon stage, perhaps five of which get big enough to have maximum winds over 130 kts. The number of typhoons crossing the Philippines in an average year is something like this: Month Number % of years' Typhoons Jan 0.6 3% Feb 0.4 2% Mar 0.4 2% Apr 0.5 3% May 0.6 3% Jun 1.3 7% Jul 3.1 16% Aug 3.5 18% Sep 2.8 14% Oct 2.5 13% Nov 2.6 13% Dec 1.5 8% Generally typhoons cross the Philippines in the North in Summer and in the South in Winter.
SIGNS OF AN APPROACHING TYPHOON In the 21st century one is likely to have first warning of the formation or approach of a typhoon from some sort of weather report (see page 36). However, reports have limitations, or may not be timely. It remains useful to be able to recognize the classic signs of an approaching typhoon yourself. As well as warning of the proximity of a storm, your own observations may help you to estimate its position and direction of travel. If there is no intervening land, the first sign that a storm is in the vicinity is often the characteristic long period (15-30 second) swells, coming from the direction of the storm. Swells are pushed out in all directions from the storm, but (in the Northern Hemisphere) will be most pronounced when they come from the right hand side of the direction of the storm's motion. The swells might be perceptible as far as a thousand miles from a large storm. An active band of thunderstorms may precede the storm by a couple of days. When the center of the storm is 500-1,000 miles away, the ordinary daily pattern of weather changes. The thunderstorms are gone, the sky is bright and cloudless, temperatures are above normal, and the barometer rises a little. [I think this is from a subsidence of air from the upper level anticyclone.]. A corrected pressure 3 hPa below average that persists for a day or more should raise your concerns. If it drops to 5 hPa below average, you should be deciding what action to take. The following table gives the correction (in hPa) to be applied to account for daily (diurnal) pressure variation around the Philippines: Local Latitude Local Latitude Time 0*-10*N 10*-20*N Time 0*-10*N 10*-20*N
0001 -0.6 -0.5 1200 -0.7 -0.5 0100 -0.1 -0.1 1300 0.0 +0.1 0200 +0.4 +0.4 1400 +0.7 +0.7 0300 +0.7 +0.7 1500 +1.3 +1.2 0400 +0.8 +0.7 1600 +1.5 +1.3 0500 +0.7 +0.5 1700 +1.5 +1.2 0600 +0.2 +0.1 1800 +1.1 +0.9 0700 -0.3 -0.4 1900 +0.5 +0.3 0800 -0.9 -0.8 2000 -0.2 -0.2 0900 -1.3 -1.2 2100 -0.7 -0.7 1000 -1.4 -1.2 2200 -1.0 -0.9 1100 -1.2 -1.0 2300 -0.9 -0.8
A pressure drop of 3 or 4 hPa in 24 hours is a convincing sign of the approach of a serious storm. As the pressure begins to drop, the wind may change to an unusual direction. By then there will be a few cumulus clouds, not very high up.
About 3-600 miles from the center of the storm, cirrus clouds (high altitude with a feathery appearance) will typically show up in the direction of the storm late in the afternoon or evening, followed in several hours by cirrostratus clouds (a thin, milky haze at high altitude). There may be a ring around the sun or moon, and the sky at sunrise or sunset has a lurid ruby or crimson color. The clouds lower and thicken. Brief showers from tall cumulus clouds begin. The barometer begins to drop unsteadily and more rapidly (over 1 hPa/hr), the showers become much heavier and the wind increases markedly, to perhaps Force 6-8 (22-40 Kt). As the storm gets closer a towering black wall of cloud, known as the 'bar' of the storm, becomes visible on the horizon. There may be a darker portion of the bar that indicates the direction of the center of the storm. If the center of the storm continues to approach, even higher winds and more intense rain will accompany it. The pressure drop can be as fast as 40 hPa in 20 minutes in the neighborhood of the eye.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the half circle of a storm that is to the right of the storm's track is called the dangerous semicircle because: (1) the wind is stronger and the seas higher than to the left of the track, (2) the counterclockwise circulation of the storm means that the direction of wind and sea tends to push a vessel toward the storm's track, and (3) if the storm recurves it will turn right, towards a vessel in the dangerous semicircle. Actually, the quarter circles ahead of the storm are the worrisome ones. The half circle of the storm on the left is called the navigable semicircle, although there is a current trend to call it the 'less dangerous semicircle,' (as if one needs a reminder that typhoons are dangerous). The navigable semicircle is a better place to be than the dangerous semicircle for essentially the same reasons that the dangerous semicircle is dangerous. In the navigable semicircle: (1) there is less wind and smaller seas, (2) the weather tends to push the vessel away from the storm track, and (3) if the storm recurves it will move away from the vessel. In the navigable semicircle, a vessel can keep the wind and sea broad on its starboard quarter and go away from the track, while in the dangerous semicircle a vessel must go to weather. Weather reports are most helpful when the storm is far away. As the storm gets closer, weather bulletins are less helpful because there can be important changes during the lag between observation and reception of the report. Remember that in the Northern Hemisphere the circulation around any low, including a typhoon, is counterclockwise. Therefore, if your back is to the wind the center of the storm will be to your left. More exactly, while the center is several hundred miles away the center will be 90*-135* from the wind direction. (I.e. the wind direction plus 90*-135*) Perhaps 110* in front of the storm and 120*- 135* to its rear. Closer to the center the wind blows more directly down the isobars so the center is closer to 90* from the wind. There are wind shifts associated with squalls, so use the wind direction between the squalls.
A second technique is to observe changes in the wind direction. This also can be confounded by the relatively brief changes associated with squalls. For a stationary vessel in the Northern Hemisphere, wind shifting to the right indicates that the vessel is probably in the dangerous semicircle. It is essential to consider the movement of your vessel with respect to the storm. For example, a vessel moving rapidly away from the storm track or outrunning the storm (not too difficult when the storm is moving slowly) will experience wind shifting to the left, regardless of where it is. It may be prudent to stop long enough to discern the correct semicircle. If, while stopped, the wind direction remains constant, it blows harder and the barometer falls, you are close to immediately in front of the storm. If the wind direction is constant, its speed is falling, and the barometer is rising, the storm is moving off.
TACTICS For a yacht, the best place to be when a typhoon is in the vicinity is a good harbor. The worst place is on a lee shore. Typhoons can be evaded sometimes when the storm is at a distance, or even survived at sea when there is no alternative, but a storm doesn't tire as easily as the crew of a small yacht, and you may not have the sea room you need. Don't forget that if there is no land between you and the storm its swell may reach you well before the storm and slow your speed substantially. Lastly, the storm may not go where you expect it. The first problem is to decide what to do. Establish your position, and keep tracking the storm. Think carefully about what you expect the storm to do, and what it might do. Taking into account the changes in wind and sea conditions you anticipate, what are your alternatives given your vessel and crew? A maneuvering board may be useful to solve the relative motion problems. If it is impossible to get into an ideal harbor in time, it may be sensible to settle for a less perfect harbor and sit out the storm ashore. It's better to lose the boat than to lose the boat together with its crew. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to head for land when you don't have time to reach harbor. You will want all the sea room you can get if the storm gets bad before you are securely in harbor.
Surviving a Storm At Sea It won't be pleasant, but a well found yacht and its crew have an excellent chance of surviving in even mind boggling conditions if the crew doesn't panic and do something foolish. Like most areas of seamanship, preparation is the key. If it appears that you are likely to be forced to ride out a typhoon at sea, take all possible steps to prepare the boat and crew while you have time. Secure ports, ventilators and hatches, strike all loose gear below and firmly lash everything in place. Charge your batteries. Consider establishing a radio schedule if possible. Feed and rest the crew. Distribute motion sickness medication before people get sick. Prepare food that can be eaten without additional work. Close unnecessary sea cocks. Check the operation of bilge pumps and pump the bilge. Prepare storm sails, warps, sea anchor or ground tackle as appropriate. Check the condition of tools necessary to cut away the wreckage if dismasted. Do not resort to alcohol or other drugs. Check safety harnesses, lifejackets, flashlights.
The exact tactics to use, whether running under storm sails or bare poles, heaving to, using a sea anchor, dragging warps or a drogue, lying ahull or whatever depends on the conditions, your crew and the configuration of the boat. It's a very good idea to try your various tactics out and get some experience with your particular boat in less than survival situations. Many yachts that were abandoned by their crews in bad weather are found after the storm to have survived, sometimes drifting for months with open hatches and no functioning bilge pump. You are never safer in a rubber life raft. Never, ever, abandon ship too early. Work to save the boat. Evacuation by helicopter or to another vessel in rough weather is not as easy as the inexperienced might think, and involves a significant risk to the rescued and, often, the rescuer. Panic is the biggest risk.
 Tides & Currents
 Radio & Communications
 Safety & Security
 Maritime Claims
'territorial sea:' irregular polygon extending up to 100 nm from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in South China Sea up to 285 nm in breadth
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
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Independence Day, 12 June (1898); note - 12 June 1898 was date of declaration of independence from Spain; 4 July 1946 was date of independence from US
Philippine pesos per US dollar - 55.086 (2005), 56.04 (2004), 54.203 (2003), 51.604 (2002), 50.993 (2001)
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Paul W. JONES
embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita 1000, Manila
mailing address: PSC 500, FPO AP 96515-1000 telephone:  (2) 528-6300 FAX:  (2) 522-4361
degree of risk: high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations animal contact disease: rabies (2005)
There are four options for charts, pilots, light lists and tide tables for the Philippines. Philippine (NAMRIA: National Mapping and Resource Information Authority), US (NIMA: National Imagery and Mapping Agency), Japan Hydrographic Association (JHA) and British Admiralty (BA).
The US and Philippine chart coverage is similar, and often based on the same original surveys. The numbering is different, as the Philippine numbers are based on the pre-independence US Coast and Geodetic Survey numbers. US charts are generally better printed, but are more expensive and lack some of the detailed coverage available in the Philippine portfolio. BA charts are the most expensive, and do not have as detailed coverage as the US or Philippine charts. As of November 1999, Philippine charts cost 250 pesos for black and white, 300 pesos for color. It was then about 40 pesos to the US dollar. Charts can be corrected by the appropriate nation's notices to mariners, although I have almost never met a yachtsman who does so regularly. Philippine Notices to Mariners are published by the NAMRIA Coast and Geodetic Survey Department, 421 Barraca Street, San Nicholas, Manila. They are also available on the internet at http://www.namria.gov.ph under the heading 'publications'.
 Tide Publications
The most convenient tide publication for the Philippines, by far, is NAMRIA's Tide and Current Tables. It is very inexpensive (200 Pesos for the 2001 edition) and has more detailed coverage than anything else. In the US system the Philippines is covered in pub. _, in the BA system by Volume 3 of the Admiralty Tide Tables
 Pilots and Sailing Directions
The NAMRIA Philippine Coast Pilot has a quirky charm. Someone who didn't quite understand the problem did the last revision or two, but it was hard to destroy what had obviously been a very solid piece of work. The US Philippine Islands Sailing Directions (Pub. 162) is less detailed, and seems to have been based on the same original work. Pub 162 is supplemented by SD 120, the North Pacific and Southeast Asia Planning Guide. The BA Philippine Islands Pilot (NP 33) does not cover the West coast of Palawan or the West coast of Luzon. You need the China Sea Pilot, Vol. II, (NP 31) for that. If you want coverage of the Luzon Channel, you need the China Sea Pilot, Vol. III, (NP 32) too.
 Light Lists
Light lists are of marginal value in the Philippines, as there are relatively few aids to navigation and they are often poorly maintained. Certainly the mariner should be very cautious in their use. In the Philippine system, there is no distinction made between the luminous and geographic ranges of lights. The stated visible range assumes high tide and a 4.57 meter (15 foot) height of eye. The US light list covering the Philippines is Publication 112. Its substance is available for free on the internet at NIMA Digital Navigation Publications http://126.96.36.199/pubs/, but it seems to have a fair number of errors. In the British system the Philippines are covered in Volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights. The ranges of lights in Pub. 112 follow the Philippine convention.
 Chart Agents in the Philippines
The main NAMRIA sales office is at 421 Baroque Street, San Nicolas, Biondo, Metro Manila. Tel (63 2) 241 3494 to 97, fax (63 2) 242 2090, e-mail email@example.com. Philippine charts and publications can also be ordered through NAMRIA's website. It has been said that Philippine charts are difficult to obtain by mail. I have never tried. The other NAMRIA map sales offices are at: Lawton Avenue, Fort Andres Bonifacio, Makati City, Manila Tel (63 2) 810 4831-44 loc 240 Fax (63 2) 810 5467 DENR - FMS (Ext.) Building Fort San Pedro, Iloilo City Tel (63 33) 336 5480 or 329 2924 DENR - Forest Network Survey Party Room A, 2nd Floor Florentino Bldg. Gen. Luna St., San Fernando City, La Union Tel (63 72) 888 4788 Room 301 Osmeña Bldg II Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City Tel (63 32) 412 1749 DENR-CAR CBFMO (Extension) Building Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road Baguio City Tel (63 74) 442 2754 or 442 4531 Sto. Niño Extension Tacloban City Tel (63 53) 321 3367/84 Technology Information Center Central Luzon State University Maharlika Hi-Way, Muños, Nueva Ecija, Luzon Tel (63 44) 456 0690 Operation Center, DENR Compound Pasonica Park, Zamboanga City Tel (63 62) 992 1738-9 DENR-PENRO Compound, Barangay Santa Monica, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Tel (63 48) 433 5638-9 Day Care Center Building DENR Compound Macabalan (Puntod) Cagayan de Oro City Tel (63 88) 856 9050 or 856 4541 DENR Compound, Government Center Rawis, Legazpi City Tel (63 52) 482 0865 FRCD Building, DENR Compound Lanang, Davao City Tel (63 82) 233 01242 [sic] Day Care Center Building DENR Compound, Ambago Butuan City Tel (63 85) 226 4404
There is also MORBAI CHARTS/MAPS & MARITIME SUPPLIES, authorized Sales Agent of all reliable Hydrographic Offices around the world such as United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, Australian Hydrographic Service (AHS), National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO), Japan Hydrographic Office (JHA), Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).
MCMMS, being a private enterprise, services the merchant marine and civil population within the Philippine Islands with navigational charts and publications of national & international waters which are essential for the safety of navigation and commerce.
They have offices as follows: Head Office 398 Cabildo St. Intramuros, Manila (632)5273233 / 5273227 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Office 31st Flr. Saigon Trade Center
- 37 Ton Duc Thang St.,
Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam email: email@example.com Fax # 848-39100082
Navotas Fishport Complex, North Bay Blvd., Navotas M.M. Tel (632)283 2590
With the recent appointment of MORBAI as an Official Distributor of UKHO United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, MORBAI will be implementing a Price Rollback for ALL Admiralty (BA) Charts starting 1st August 2010. All BA Charts will now be marked down from PHP 2,598 to PHP 1,998. They also guarantee the best price in the market (Ask their Sales Representative about their Best Price Guarantee).
 Other Publications
Other publications you may want to consider having on board include: Rules of the Road Nautical Almanac Sight Reduction Tables International Code of Signals Bowditch (Formally, the American Practical Navigator, published by NIMA.) Chart No.1 List of Radio Signals (the Philippines is covered in Admiralty List of Radio Signals Vol. 3 Part 2, NP 283(2)). Pilot Charts Chart Index(es) Ocean Passages for the World
 Before European Contact
There are many descriptions of the Philippines by Europeans at the time they were "discovered". The earlier history is less clear. The land is mostly volcanic in origin, except for Palawan. Palawan was at one point connected by land bridge to Borneo, but the rest of the Philippines were never connected with the Asian mainland while humans were around. Humans were making significant sea crossings in and from Southeast Asia as early as 40,000 years ago. The earliest human remains found in the Philippines so far are part of a skull and jaw that were buried outside Tabon Cave, Palawan. These bones are about 20,000 years old, Homo Sapiens (like modern people), and seem to be of a woman with characteristics resembling Australian aboriginal peoples or Philippine Negritos. Negritos live mostly in remote upland areas. They tend to have darker skins, frizzy hair and are of relatively small stature compared to present day lowlanders. Austronesian speaking peoples probably began to arrive in the Philippines from Taiwan in around 5,000 BC, bringing agriculture, metals, domesticated pigs and dogs, and a variety of other technologies to the Philippines. There was undoubtedly also movement from the South and from mainland Asia. The famous Ifugao rice terraces of central Luzon probably date back to about 2,000 years ago, roughly the time that the first cultivated varieties of rice appear. By the early centuries of the Christian Epoch Austronesian speakers had spread by sea as far East as Easter Island (Rapa Nui) and as far West as Madagascar. When Europeans arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century, the Negritos were speaking Austronesian languages that were more closely related to the nearest lowland group than to languages spoken by other Negritos elsewhere, indicating that there had been prolonged contact and interchange between the Negritos and the Austronesian speaking lowlanders. Older theories specified specific ‘waves’ of new arrivals to the Philippines based on various types of artifacts supposedly associated with each wave, but radiocarbon dating of organic matter has largely discredited these notions. By the 9th century AD there was certainly fairly extensive trade between Vietnam and China and some regions of the Philippines. Chinese and Vietnamese pottery of this period was found in excavations in Butuan, Mindanao, along with the remains of two boats, one of which was 15 meters long, large enough to have carried out fairly extensive trading voyages. There seems to be a clear reference to Butuan in the Chinese Sung Shih, or Sung Song, history of 1001 AD. Most excavations after the 9th century in the Philippines can be dated by the styles of Chinese pottery discovered. In many burials there are many pieces of pottery found with the body. We can only speculate about why. There were several indigenous forms of writing, one of which survives among the Mangyan peoples of the highlands of Mindoro, and a similar one that survives among the Pala'wan indigineous people of Palawan. Virtually no writing has survived from the pre-hispanic period, and it is controversial how widespread literacy was. The ancient scripts are all similar. The ancient Tagalog form, baybayin, had one symbol for each of 17 consonants, with diacritical marks placed above or below each symbol to indicate the vowel associated with the consonant. This seems to be related to Sanskrit or other ancient scripts used on the Indian subcontinent.
The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected President and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during WWII, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Philippines attained their independence. The 20-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts, which prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992 and his administration was marked by greater stability and progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998, but was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADA's stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and widespread demonstrations led to his ouster. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term in May 2004. The Philippine Government faces threats from armed communist insurgencies and from Muslim separatists in the south.
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