A Passport valid for at least 6 months prior to its expiration date is required for entry into the Philippines, as is proof of an outbound airline ticket - for US residents, your Passport is stamped upon arrival here in Philippines with a 21 day Tourist Visa/Immigration stamp, and if you plan to stay longer you'll have to apply (pay for) for a Visa Extension at Immigration in Mandaue, Cebu or in Manila.
Be sure to dress appropriately in long pants & shoes - shorts & slippers/sandals are not allowed inside any Immigration Office - if you're wearing shorts/slippers you'll simply be refused entry.
Old Visa Extension Pricing, prior to March 2008:
Visas are extended first, for 38 days at aprox. P1,500 and after that, you can apply (pay for) a 59 day Visa Extension if you'd like to stay longer, at aprox. P2,200 - same day 'rush service' is available for an extra P500 (which is NOT mandatory as other publications might have you believe) otherwise they keep your Passport for a few weeks and issue you a payment receipt with a date for you to come & fetch it.
If you are quietly told by an Immigration Officer that the P500 ‘rush service fee’ IS mandatory, look them straight in the eyes, smile and say “excuse me, but no it’s not, and I do not want it” - call his bluff and he’ll drop the subject immediately, but do be polite about it.
Make sure you make a few hi-resolution 5x7 scans of your Passport and keep a copy on your person, and leave copies with your Family in your own country, as this will ID you until your Passport & Visa Extensions are ready.
New Visa Extension price increases starting March 2008:
Your 38 day Visa Extension is now P2,500
Your First 2 month/59 day Visa Extension is now P4,300
Your Second 2 month/59 day Visa Extension after that is now P2,330
Visa Extension INSIDE TIPS:
If you’re here anywhere in Philippines for an extended period of time that requires one or more VISA Extensions, you can save yourself a great deal of time and money (especially if you’re on Bantayan Island) by letting a broker take care of the legwork - specifically, certain Philippine Travel Agents do provide this service.
Typically for a fee of P500 or so above the actual cost of your Extension, the Travel Agent will secure your Passport at their facility in Cebu City (you’ve already made a hi-resolution copy to keep with you, right?) and will physically go stand in line at the Immigration Office in Mandaue, process the paperwork, and secure your Passport, the receipt and the Visa Extension, until it’s time for you to go collect it before your trip back to your country.
Otherwise, you’d have to take time away from your Bantayan Island Paradise to get a 5:30am Ferry from Bantayan to Hagnaya, a 7am bus all the way to Cebu City, find a HOTEL in Cebu City for the night in case Immigration in Mandaue is too crowded (they close at 3pm) for you to try and rush back to the North Bus Terminal by 2pm, for your return bus back to Hagnaya and the last Ferry of the day - get the picture?
Of course, if you know you'll only need one VISA Extension while in the Philippines, you can always get it done ahead of time at Immigration in Mandaue, before heading up to Bantayan Island.
Nautica Tours & Travel Services: RainTree Mall & Gen. Maxilom Avenue in Cebu City's Fuente Osmena area has been providing this service to travelers for some time now - their contact information is below in the Travel Agents section.