The Philippines offer a wide range of attractions to visitors, from bustling Manila to pristine beaches. Of the country's 7,000 islands, only around 800 are inhabited, meaning that plenty of remote getaways remain. When visiting the country, however, it's important to familiarize yourself with local customs and regulations. Upon arrival, all foreigners are subject to local laws.

Bringing Prohibited Items

Upon entering the Philippines, you must not have certain items in your possession. The Philippines Customs Agency prohibits anyone entering the country to have any explosives, firearms or weapons. Written or printed materials that have subversive, rebellious, seditious or treasonous intent against the Philippines government, likewise, are prohibited. Also, any texts containing the threat of violence against another person in the Philippines are prohibited, as are any writings or images of any kind of an obscene nature. Any devices or drugs intended to produce an abortion are likewise prohibited in the country.

Infractions Against the Philippines' Laws

Once you have entered the Philippines, it becomes your responsibility to know and follow the local laws. This includes any laws that vary from those of your home country. Of particular importance and frequent consequence, the laws of the Philippines regarding possession or use of drugs are particularly stringent. Possession of any quantity of narcotics, including "soft" drugs, may result in expulsion, arrest or imprisonment. Trafficking drugs is likely to result in extensive jail time.

Infractions Against U.S. Law

While in the Philippines, a U.S. citizen is subject to the local law. Nonetheless, the individual still remains answerable to U.S. law and, should crimes be committed in the Philippines, they may be tried in the U.S. The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs specifically notes within their online information regarding travel to the Philippines that U.S. citizens found disseminating child pornography or engaging in sexual conduct with children in the Philippines may be prosecuted in the United States. The specific mention may be traced to the widespread prostitution, including child prostitution, found in many parts of the Philippines.

Extra Precautions

To avoid any incident, pack any medications that you bring with you in their original containers. Check that all their labels are easy to read. Bring a signed and dated letter from your personal physician, confirming your current medication needs, particularly if you have reason to carry any syringes or needles. Avoid buying any items that you suspect are counterfeit. While you are unlikely to face any penalties while in the Philippines, it is possible that customs officials will take the counterfeit items away upon departure from the country.