Getting Smart on Philippine Money

Traveling abroad is both exciting and nerve-racking. If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines for the first time, you’ve come to the right place to learn about the local currency. Of course, you must be familiar with and understand the value of the Philippine Peso.

Don’t worry, I got your back! It’s so easy!

A Short Glimpse of the History of Philippine Money

But first, let’s go back in time! The Philippine Peso is based on the Spanish peso. The Spaniards colonized the Philippines under the leadership of explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. However, this came to an end in 1898, during the Philippine revolution. As a result, it’s easy to see why the Spanish peso strongly influences the Philippine currency and even the country’s language.

Central Bank of the Philippines (Banko Sentral nang Pilipinas or BSP)

As ordered by the New Central Bank Act of 1993, the primary duties of BSP are:

  • Currency issue.
  • Lender
  • Financial supervision to financial institutions
  • Management of foreign currency reserves
  • Determination of exchange rate policy
  • It is the banker, financial advisor, the official bank of the Philippine Government, political subdivisions and agencies, and GOCCs.
  • Liquidity management

Different Denomination of the Philippine Money

The smallest money unit is centavo or sentimo. Today the coins consist of one peso, five pesos, and ten pesos. Simultaneously, the vibrant bill consists of twenty, fifty, one hundred, five hundred, and one thousand pesos.

Prices in shops and markets are signed as PHP, ₱, or P.

I would suggest keeping some coins because they come in handy when tipping vendors, kids as tour guides in some areas, or parking guys who assist drivers on their way out or into establishments.

Getting Smart on Philippine Money - 52StirsLounge

Exchangeable money in the Philippines

  • Australian dollar (AUD)
  • Bahraini dinar (BHD)
  • British pound (GBP)
  • Brunei dollar (BND)
  • Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • Chinese yuan (CNY)
  • Dominican peso (DOP)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
  • Indonesian rupiah (IDR)
  • Japanese yen (JPY)
  • Kuwaiti dinar (KWD)
  • Mexican peso (MXN)
  • New Taiwan dollar (TWD)
  • Saudi riyal (SAR)
  • Singapore dollar (SGD)
  • South Korean won (KRW)
  • Swiss franc (CHF)
  • Thai baht (THB)
  • United Arab Emirates dirham (AED)
  • United States dollar (USD)

You can learn about the rates here.

Something to Remember!

  1. Philippine bills are made of 80% cotton and 20% abaca and maintain a slightly rough texture. Thus, if the banknote is smooth, it’s fake.
  2. Most small to medium shops don’t accept cards, so it’s better to bring cash with you.
  3. Both credit and debit cards are accepted to mall shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are the most accepted card in the Philippines.
  4. To avoid suspected fraud in using your cards in the Philippines, inform your bank or credit card agency beforehand regarding your travel.
  5. Food, beverages, and other essential commodities are cheaper than in western or middle eastern countries.
  6. You can install apps on your smartphones like Gcash or Paymaya for cashless payments too.

My Takeaway

They say money can’t buy happiness, don’t they? Nevertheless, money can help you achieve satisfaction, especially when traveling! Wherever you go, whatever country you visit, knowing and understanding its currency is a must. You’ll be better off when purchasing necessities, paying for meals and transportation, and so on. And don’t forget to tip! Giving a tip is an excellent way to express gratitude for the services and experience, either positively or negatively. Have an enjoyable trip and stay in the Philippines!

Getting Smart on Philippine Money - 52StirsLounge
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