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Are very easy to purchase - off the counter - at local convenience stores like 7 Eleven, Ministop, and cell phone kiosks. They are cheap (less than 50 pesos). Most locals have two SIM cards of different companies due to the varying cell phone call and text charges.
The commonly used cell phone companies are Globe and Smart. A third company, Sun cellular has good coverage is some areas.
While handsets purchased abroad usually work, If staying in the Philippines for more than a week, you may find it worthwhile to purchase a local mobile phone handset too. A local company "M.y Phone" sells durable, dual SIM card, basic models for as low as 800 pesos. This also saves you the trouble fo worrying about the safety of your precious i-phone when sitting in a bangka (open outrigger boat) while island hopping!
Talking and texting on mobile phones remains a passion here, and you will not at all find it difficult to buy either of the above.
Top ups (called LOAD) are availabe at every street corner and sari sari shop (convenience store). Loads are availablefor as low as 10 pesos (and as high as 300 pesos) and validity as less as 1 day (upto 6 months). There are often offers such as "Super Unli" (Unlimited calls and texts to as many peopel as you wish on the same network) for one day - they are popular with locals.
When calling a cellphone number, from within Philippines, you must usually prefix it with "0"
00 is the International Direct Dial code you use to call overseas from within the Philippines.
63 is the International Country Code for Calling the Philippines.
Major Area / City Dial Codes
Calling cards are available that will drastically cut the cust of your international calls. Mobile telephone cmpanies also have special offers.
It will always be cheaper to call a cellphone from another cellphone than to use a landline, particularly when calling a cellphone on the same network or service provider. Prepaid SIM cards are widely available in all malls and shopping centers. These come preloaded with a set amount of minutes, usually with free calls to cellphones on the service provider. There are three mobile phone companies in the Philippines: Smart, Globe and Sun, all with wide coverage and availability of service and products.