May in the Philippines Travel Guide: Weather, Where to Go, Celebrations

May in the Philippines Travel Guide: Weather, Where to Go, Celebrations

Verified expert

Boracay and SiargaoThe Philippines is a beautiful country in Southeast Asia, made up of over 7,000 islands. From stunning beach destinations to vibrant cities, there's something for everyone to enjoy. May is one of the best times to go to the Philippines due to its dry weather, making it an ideal time for exploring the beaches and islands.

During May, you can expect hotter days as it also falls within the summer season. While there might still be some rainy days, they're usually not as frequent or intense as during the rainy season.

Some of the best places to visit in the Philippines during May include Boracay, known for its white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, and Palawan, home to breathtaking limestone cliffs and stunning marine life. You can also visit Cebu, where you can enjoy diving, snorkeling, and exploring historical sites.

However, it's important to note that because May is part of the peak season, hotels and flights to the Philippines are more expensive compared to other times of the year. So, it's a good idea to plan and book your trip in advance to get the best deals possible.

Philippines Weather in May

Taal Volcano in BatangasMay is part of the dry season in the Philippines, known for its warm weather and lower rainfall compared to the rainy season. It's the final month of the dry season, which means it's still an excellent time for outdoor adventures.

What season is May in the Philippines? Is May a good time to visit the Philippines?

May in the Philippines falls within the dry season, characterized by hotter temperatures than usual. Similar to the Philippine weather in March and April, there may be occasional rainfall in May. Typically, one to two tropical cyclones may occur during this period. 

Philippines Temperature in May

In May, temperatures across the Philippines vary depending on where you are. In Manila or the National Capital Region, it can range from a cool 23°C (73.4°F) to a warm 38.3°C (100.9°F). 

In other parts of Luzon, temperatures typically range from 15.2°C (59.4°F) to 39.7°C (103.5°F), while in the Visayas, they range from 21.5°C (70.7°F) to 37.5°C (99.5°F). 

Meanwhile, in Mindanao, temperatures can fluctuate from 16.1°C (60.9°F) to 38.8°C (101.8°F). 

These are just general ranges, and actual temperatures usually fall somewhere in between. This pattern is similar to the Philippine weather in January and February, where temperatures are warm with occasional showers. Overall, May is generally considered one of the best times to visit the Philippines.

What to Wear when Visiting the Philippines in May? 

May weather outfitWhen you visit the Philippines in May, it will be hot and humid, so wear light and airy clothes. Go for loose shirts, shorts, and sundresses made of cotton or linen to stay cool. For footwear, wear sandals for the beach and waterproof shoes for hiking or exploring muddy places. Don't forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

If you plan to explore outdoor spots or hit the beach, pack swimwear and a cover-up. Since May is when the transition from dry to rainy season starts, it's best to carry a light rain jacket or umbrella for sudden showers.

The goal is to dress comfortably for the warm weather and be ready for any changes. For more information, check out our Philippines packing list guide.

Where to Go in the Philippines and Best Activities in May 

If you're planning a trip to the Philippines in May, check out our suggestions for places to visit and things to do. Enjoy exploring some of the best destinations in the Philippines.

Relax at Boracay beach resorts

Aerial view of Movenpick Resort & Spa BoracayPhoto of Movenpick Resort & Spa Boracay

When it comes to the best beaches in the Philippines, Boracay is at the top of the list. If you want to wake up to the stunning view of the island, staying at a beach resort in Boracay is a great idea. 

Boracay's White Beach is divided into three sections: Stations 1, 2, and 3. Station 1 offers a quiet atmosphere with numerous luxurious resorts in the area. Station 2 is popular for its central location, with restaurants, bars, water activities, and shopping areas like D’Mall and Station X. Station 3 is known for its trendy vibe and more affordable hotel options. You can also find accommodations within Boracay Newcoast with easy access to their private beach.

If you’re looking for a fuss-free vacation in Boracay, it’s recommended to book Boracay tour packages, which not only include accommodations but also transfers, tours, and sometimes flights.

Visit the islands of Palawan

Tourists kayaking in Big Lagoon El Nido PalawanAnother must-visit in May in the Philippines is the beautiful province of Palawan, known for its stunning islands. One of the top things to do here is to join a Palawan island-hopping tour

You can start your Palawan trip in Puerto Princesa by visiting beautiful islands via Honda Bay tours, which are often included in Puerto Princesa tour packages. Then, head to El Nido, where you can discover its amazing beaches, lagoons, and islands through El Nido Palawan island-hopping tours

After that, make your way to San Vicente where you'll find the longest white sand beach in the Philippines, called Long Beach. You can also explore other tourist spots in San Vicente or visit the up-and-coming beach destination of Port Barton.

Finish off your Palawan adventure in Coron, where you can go shipwreck diving or see famous Coron tourist spots featured in most Coron tours, like Kayangan Lake.

Explore the island of Guimaras

Explore the island of GuimarasGuimaras, nestled in the Western Visayas region, is one of the underrated places in the Philippines. Its stunning scenery, pristine coastlines, and friendly locals make it a must-visit destination. 

One of the top activities here is island hopping in the Philippines, which lets you discover tourist spots in Guimaras, like Tatlong Pulo Beach, Alubihod Beach, Guisi Beach, and Natago Beach. However, what truly sets Guimaras apart is its renowned mangoes. The province is recognized as the "Mango Capital of the Philippines," and these sweet fruits are readily available in markets and from street vendors across the island.

One of the exciting events in Guimaras is the Manggahan Festival, a week-long celebration in May honoring the significance of mango farming to the province's growth and prosperity.

Go canyoneering in Cebu

Canyoneering in Kawasan FallsWith nearly 170 islands, Cebu earns its nickname, "The Gateway to a Thousand Journeys." One of the top Cebu tours and activities to try is canyoneering. Canyoneering tours in some of the top waterfalls in the Philippines are perfect for adventurers and can be experienced in both Badian and Alegria. 

In Badian, you can head to Kawasan Falls. Canyoneering tours here promise an adrenaline-packed adventure through majestic gorges and towering boulders. You'll swim, rappel, and leap off 30-foot-high cliffs into refreshing blue pools on Kawasan Falls tours. On the other hand, Alegria offers its own enchanting waterfalls like Cancalanog and Cambais Falls, both featuring multiple tiers, making them a paradise for hikers and travelers alike. Both of these falls can be explored via Cebu tours.

Enjoy the laid-back vibe on Siargao Island

Surfer at Cloud 9, SiargaoSiargao, known as a prime spot for surfing in the Philippines, is a must-visit because of its stunning beauty and laid-back vibe Renowned as the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines," it draws surfers to its famous Cloud 9 break. Many Siargao tours feature beautiful white-sand beaches, such as Naked Island, as well as other Siargao attractions like Sugba Lagoon and Magpupungko Rock Pools.

Siargao's welcoming locals, delicious food, and untouched scenery make it ideal for a May vacation. Whether you're traveling solo, seeking a romantic getaway, or planning a family trip, booking a Siargao tour package is highly recommended.

Loboc River Cruise in Bohol

A boat sails along Loboc River in BoholBohol, one of the Philippines' biggest islands, is renowned for its stunning natural attractions. Among the must-visit Bohol tourist spots are the famous Chocolate Hills, the historic Baclayon Church, and the man-made Bilar Forest, which are often included in Bohol countryside tours. Another highlight is the scenic Loboc River Cruise, which offers a must-try experience along the picturesque river.

Loboc River is a beautiful river that has been well-preserved thanks to the collaboration between local authorities and residents. This picturesque river winds through several towns in Bohol, surrounded by lush tropical trees. It's a perfect spot to relax after exploring the countryside.

Loboc River Cruise tours are often featured in Bohol tours. Here, tourists hop on a floating restaurant and cruise along the peaceful 1.5 km-long river while enjoying a delicious Filipino lunch buffet and a cultural show.

Go camping in Zambales islands and coves

Camping in ZambalesZambales province is famous for its stunning islands and coves, making it a top destination for beach lovers. If you're up for an adventure, you can book camping tours in some of the best tourist spots in Zambales.

Some of the top Zambales islands and coves are Anawangin Cove, known for its volcanic sand beach, and Nagsasa Cove, known for its picturesque agoho trees. Visitors can also explore Capones Island, with its white sand beach and historic lighthouse, and Talisayen Cove for a quieter getaway.

Swim with whale sharks

Whale shark in Puerto PrincesaApart from scuba diving in the Philippines, tourists can explore the rich marine life of the Philippines by swimming with whale sharks. Locally called "butandings," whale sharks are beloved for their striking spotted patterns, massive size, and calm demeanor.

Although whale sharks are commonly spotted in the Philippines, seeing them isn't guaranteed as they move around due to migration and various factors like water temperature and food availability. The top spots for whale shark tours include Donsol in Sorsogon, Lila in Bohol, Oslob in Cebu, and Puerto Princesa.

May Celebrations and Events in the Philippines 

There are also several May celebrations and festivals in the Philippines, making it one of the best months to visit if you want to experience the local culture. Don't miss out on these May festivals during your Philippine holidays!

Manggahan Festival in Guimaras

Manggahan Festival in Guimaras mangoesGuimaras, known as the Mango Capital of the Philippines, proudly hosts the Manggahan Festival every May. This lively event, also called the Guimaras Mango Festival, celebrates the province's thriving mango industry.

Derived from the Filipino word "mangga," meaning mango, the festival honors Guimaras' founding and showcases its rich cultural heritage through various activities, exhibits, and food festivals centered around the beloved mango fruit. It is highly recommended to join Guimaras tours during this time.

Pahiyas Festival in Quezon

Pahiyas Festival in QuezonIn May, Lucban in Quezon province holds a special harvest festival called the Pahiyas Festival to honor San Isidro Labrador, the farmers' patron saint. This tradition, known as "Pahiyas," is a long-standing festival in the Philippines where locals express gratitude for abundant harvests.

During Pahiyas, residents adorn their homes with bright colors and decorations. They hang farm produce such as fruits, vegetables, handicrafts, and kiping (rice wafers) around their houses. Visitors are welcome to join the festivities by bringing their own baskets and picking fresh produce for free.

Tips when Traveling to the Philippines in May 

May is a great time to visit the Philippines because it's just before the rainy season starts. This means it's perfect for outdoor fun, like exploring islands and diving. But keep in mind that there will be a lot of other tourists around, especially on weekends, particularly in popular spots like Palawan and Boracay.

Driving in the Philippines in May

Driving in PH

In May, traffic in the Philippines varies from light to heavy, especially during rush hour in major cities like Metro Manila. Weekends tend to have heavier traffic, so it's best to steer clear of expressways during this time. If you’d like to drive yourself around, consider renting a car. If it’s your first time to do so, you may read our guide on renting a car in the Philippines.

Pre-book hotels and tours 

Hotels and guided tours in the Philippines get booked quickly for May. To avoid any problems with your Philippine itinerary, it's smart to book Philippine hotels and tours in advance. This way, you'll have a place to stay and can enjoy your activities without worries. Booking ahead secures your spot, and private tours can make your trip even better. Plan ahead for a smooth and fun travel experience in May.

Expect delays in Travel 

Anawangin CoveAs many people enjoy the last month of the dry season, expect longer lines at airports and bus stations. To avoid stress, plan to arrive early. Expect delays at check-in, security, and immigration, and be prepared. If possible, book flights during less busy times. Consider pre-booking Philippine airport transfers for a fuss-free trip and stay flexible with your plans in case of unexpected interruptions. Keep your travel documents handy for a smoother airport experience, and read our guide on Philippine travel scams to avoid.

Stay hydrated and protected from the sun

Make sure to stay hydrated and shielded from the sun this May. It can be scorching hot, with some provinces reaching 40.7°C (105.3°F). Drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the intense heat, especially if you’re planning to do extreme adventures like hiking in the Philippines.

Recommended Philippines travel itineraries in May 

Girl sunbathing in CoronThere are many fun places to visit and things to do in the Philippines in May. The best itinerary depends on your preferences. To make your trip simple and worry-free, look into Philippine itinerary travel packages designed for May. These packages usually include hotels, transport, and tours, making it easy to plan your adventure.

If you're longing for a beach escape in the Philippines, the 2-week Cebu, Boracay & Palawan tour package is perfect for you. During this 2 week tour in the Philippines, you’ll visit the stunning beaches of Cebu, Boracay, El Nido, Puerto Princesa, and Coron, renowned for their powdery white sands and thrilling island-hopping tours.

Palm trees on White Beach, BoracayFor those looking for a Palawan itinerary, the 10-day Palawan tour package is highly recommended. Experience the best of Puerto Princesa, Port Barton, El Nido, and Coron, with included tours to top attractions like the Puerto Princesa Underground River.

Another one of the 10-day Philippine tours you can try is the 10-day Boracay, Cebu, Puerto Princesa & El Nido tour package. Explore these popular destinations with island-hopping tours, whale shark-watching, and visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

If you’re considering 1-week tours in the Philippines, this 1-week Bacolod-Iloilo-Guimaras tour package is a great choice. Explore the best of the Western Visayas region, including the historic landmarks of Iloilo, the pristine beaches of Guimaras, and the authentic Filipino cuisine of Bacolod.

Visit the Philippines in May for a fun-filled vacation!

A beach in El NidoIf you're still deciding where to go in May in Asia, the Philippines should definitely be on your list. With its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, it's an ideal destination for your next adventure.

Another great time to consider visiting the Philippines is in August when you can enjoy rainy season activities. You can also go to the Philippines in September and explore lesser-known destinations. Visiting the Philippines in October is also recommended if you want to attend festivals like Bacolod's Masskara Festival. There are also many places to visit in November and things to do in December. So pack your bags, book a Philippine travel package, and get ready to create lasting memories in this tropical haven.

Popular articles

Link to appstore phone
Install the Philippines’ biggest travel app

Download the Philippines’ biggest travel marketplace to your phone to manage your entire trip in one place

Scan this QR code with your phone camera and press the link that appears to add the Philippines’ biggest travel marketplace into your pocket. Enter your phone number or email address to receive an SMS or email with the download link.