I flew Air Asia from the Maldives to Philippines. Air Asia's policy is only vaccinated passengers could fly according to their website, but I was never asked to show any proof and was not asked for a vax card at check-in. There was conflicting information if travelers without a booster shot need a negative test result to enter the Philippines, but this was never asked for at check-in or arrival.
The Philippines (like many other countries now) requires a electronic health declaration form filled out before you enter. This can only be completed within 3 days before your travel. The form was very straightforward and free of charge, so beware of visa-related websites or other sites charging up to $30 for this service! Once again there was conflicting information if a booster shot was required or not, but that was not asked for. You didn't have to upload any picture of the vaccination card and I was never asked for this at check-in or when entering the country... The health form only had yes or no question about being vaccinated or not. I got to Manila and exited the airport with no issues, so all the uncertainty was not appreciated, but was fine in the end.
There were still lots of people wearing masks, but definitely not social distancing at places like mall, restaurants or jeepneys! The prices definitely increased from the last time I visited and mainly affected the price of everyday items; this was especially true at grocery stores. I would still consider Philippines a budget travel destination, but this has been changing over the years. The fresh markets and stalls still had very reasonable prices on food and the overall cost of accommodation, transportation, drinks and food is very reasonable by international standards.
I really didn't notice any stores or places closed due to Covid now. Everything seemed to be up and running. Traffic was still horrible and there was plenty of people at the malls that I went to. The city was still full of people bustling around. All the malls were full and there were no shortage of flights into or out of the country.
The street markets had some good deals and were definitely cheaper than the Maldives, but not as cheap as Vietnam. Was a good trip to compare a few different countries. I would suggest Philippines as a great place to visit, but maybe limit your time in Manila to just a couple days. There are lots of great islands to explore such as Palawan, Siargao, Cebu and Boracay.
is on a decades old journey to experience the world.