The Philippines is a tropical country and, as such, experiences two main seasons: the wet and the dry. Temperatures are generally hotter during the wet season and cooler in the dry season, although there's monthly and regional variation. The mountains inland will usually be cooler than coastal areas.
February is in the middle of the dry season. Expect temperatures of between 75°F and 88°F (23°C and 31°C) in most places. With little rain, humidity is also low in February. Conditions are similar to those in January, although temperatures are slightly hotter, and the risk of typhoons has generally disappeared.
Crowds & Costs
February is the peak season for travel to the Philippines, but crowds and prices will have eased from their heights in early January. While high-quality accommodation is generally good value in the Philippines, February is one of the more expensive months to visit as hotels put up their prices for the peak season. Book well in advance to get your first pick on hotels and domestic flights.
Where to Go
You can't go wrong with a beach vacation in the Philippines in February; the problem is choosing between the many superb beaches and islands. If you enjoy fancy resorts and pumping nightlife, the island of Boracay, off larger Panay Island, should be on your radar. On the island's west coast are beautiful white-sand beaches fringed with swaying palms, while the east coast is a water sports hub thanks to the strong winds. Try stand-up paddle boarding, kiteboarding, and surfing when you need a break from cocktails on the beach.
The Philippines is often said to be among the best diving destinations in the world: with coral reefs and gardens, manta rays, whale sharks, schools of various tropical fish, giant clams, and exciting wrecks to dive among, there's something for everyone (even snorkelers). Experienced divers could head to the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, a protected area in the Sulu Sea composed of two huge atolls. Diving there requires going on a liveaboard boat. For a more casual and accessible diving destination, head to Coron, in Palawan, from where you can access World War II-era Japanese shipwrecks.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
As well as diving, you can enjoy plenty more water sports in the Philippines in February. If swimming with whale sharks has been on your bucket list, know that the Philippines is one of the best places in the world to do this. You can potentially swim with whale sharks between November and June (or January to May in some places), but February is a particularly good month to do so.
Whale sharks are present in the sea in various places around the Philippines, but in Donsol you're practically guaranteed an awesome encounter. While many people head further south in the country for diving and snorkeling activities, Donsol is actually in northern Luzon. The whale sharks gather in Donsol Bay, which is rich in plankton and krill. Unlike in other parts of the Philippines, you can't scuba dive with whale sharks here, but you can snorkel. The restriction is to protect the animals.
Events in February
Lunar New Year, (especially) Manila. The Lunar (often called Chinese) New Year is celebrated in late January or early February. Even many Filipinos who aren't of Chinese descent celebrate this festival with dragon dances and street parties. Manila's Chinatown is said to be the oldest Chinatown in the world and is an excellent place to head for lunar new year celebrations.
Philippines Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Clark. This four-day event hosted northwest of Manila draws pilots from around the world. Visitors can enjoy hot air balloon rides, skydiving, microlight flights, and more.
Baguio Flower Festival (Panagbenga), Baguio. Held in the third week of February, this flower festival includes a parade with floats decorated with flowers and other flower-related events and exhibits.
Kaamulan Festival, Malaybalay City, Mindanao. Held in late February or early March, this festival celebrates the cultures of the seven ethnic groups of the area.
Traveling to the Philippines in February? Check out these great itineraries
Whale Shark Encounter in the Philippines: Ticao & Donsol - 3 Days. On this eco-friendly tour, you can swim in a protected and responsibly-managed environment with wild whale sharks. Considered the best place in the world to see the gentle giants, Donsol is also a paradise of soft-sand beaches and magnificent limestone rock formations.
Philippines Beaches, Waterfalls & Lagoons - 15 Days. This 15-day itinerary offers the perfect combination of adventurous and relaxing activities. You will snorkel shipwrecks and aquamarine lagoons, visit secluded beaches, and climb and rappel slippery trails.