Most foreign visitors in the Philippines get a 21-day tourist visa for free. I was born in the Philippines but now a US citizen (Philippines didn’t allow dual-citizenship until 2003). I was looking online on how to extend my visa as I’m planning on staying here for at least a month, then I found out about the balikbayan visa which applies to me since I was born in the country.
I actually just checked my passport and noticed that the stamp they gave me already lets me to stay in the country for up to 1 year. You’re also not required to show proof that you’re leaving the country. I remember passing through immigration and they didn’t ask me to show proof of onward travel (which I didn’t have) and they seem to be very strict about this as the people in front of me were asked to show it. They just asked me if I still had my old passport and I told them no, but they gave me the 1 year free visa anyway.
So if you’re like me, a former Filipino citizen planning on staying in the country for a while, ask for thebalikbayan stamp at the airport. I read online that they may also ask you to show them a birth certificate or an old Philippine passport before they give it to you, so it might be a good idea to bring them along with you just in case. It’s pretty nice not to have to go through the hassle of applying for an extension and paying for it.