Although it is often possible to change a hundred US$ with a local -mostly Chinese- businessmen, other currencies, credit cards, traveler cheques or larger amounts of US dollars are hardly accepted. We therefore strongly advise you to plan ahead and change enough money in one of the urban centers.
In Manila, the moneychangers around Ermita (A.Mabini Street and M.H del Pilar Street) offer better rates than the banks and most are open 24 hrs / seven days a week. If you are arriving at night in Manila from abroad and plan to leave early morning, you also could change with the money changers at the International Airport, their rates are not much lower than the ones in Ermita. If you are changing other currencies than US$ it is worthwhile to check first with different moneychangers as rates can vary considerably, while the rates for US$ are quite uniform.
Warning: Do not try to change with anybody in the streets, even if they offer better rates than all the moneychangers, you will almost certainly be cheated.
Note: On Pandan Island it is possible to pay with Philippine Pesos or US Dollars, Euro or US$ -Traveler cheques. Credit cards are not accepted.