Philippines Mailing Address Format

Philippines Travel Blog #5

When coming from a foreign understanding, figuring out how to correctly format Philippine addresses can be confusing. Although much of the Philippine government was modeled after the U.S., you will soon find that comparing the two is almost like comparing apples to oranges. In order to get a better grasp on the Philippines mailing address format, we though we would compare it in layman’s terms against the United States standard address format. Before we do that however, lets examine the Philippine equivalents of common U.S. administrative divisions:

U.S.A                                                                                                                             Philippines
States ————————————————————————————————- Provinces
Counties & Districts ———————————————————— Administrative Regions
Cities & Townships ———————————————————————– Cities & Villages
Neighborhoods ———————————————————————————– Barangays
Blocks ———————————————————————————————– Sitio/Purok
Complex & Cul-de-sac ———————————————————————— Compounds
Streets —————————————————————————————————- Streets
Street # ——————————————————- Street #, Compound, or Building Name
Apartment/Unit # ———————————————————————– Apartment/Unit #

Don’t understand what your looking at? Never heard of administrate regions, barangays, or sitios before? Your not alone! Think of the Philippines Administrative regions as districts or counties that are large enough to be states, but do not serve the purpose that state governments do, instead they are mainly for the distribution of government funds and programs. Provinces on the other hand, are more like States in that provincial Governors hold much of the same power as States in the United States do. Cities, they essentially act the same as they do in the U.S. with Mayors and all that jazz 🙂 The main difference being, that do to both a higher general population, and a population that is harder to locate and manage, cities are further divided into an ancient system of government here what are called “Barangays.” Barangays, being the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, also have their own elected officials that serve these divisions exclusively. A “sitio” or “purok” is simply a further subdivision of a barangay that is often outside the barangay center, they do not serve any function other than organization and distribution.

What you’ll often find here in the Philippines are a multitude of various mysterious buildings, compounds, and lots that comprise much of the first line of the typical Philippines mailing address format. This is because the vast majority of citizens in this country do not live on an actual street as defined by western terminology, or they do not belong to an actual official development. Another thing you’ll notice is that the Philippines doesn’t normally utilize an address line 2 for apartment numbers, instead this is usually added at the beginning of address line 1. In fact, much of how the address’s are formatted here may be backwards from what you are used to. For this reason, it’s common that the first time one mails a package to the Philippines, they might worry if the package will ACTUALLY arrive at the correct destination! To avoid any confusion I’ve gone ahead and listed a detailed example of both the universal U.S. mailing address format, and the universal Philippines mailing address format, side-by-side for your convenience.

The standard U.S. mailing address format is normally as follows:
Name or Company
Street # & street name or “PO Box” & PO Box #
Unit # (if applicable)
City/Municipality then State abbreviation, zip code
Country (if mailing internationally)

Herman Munster
123 Mockingbird Lane
Unit #1
Mockingbird Heights City, CA 90001

Comparatively, the standard Philippines mailing address format is normally as follows:

Name or Company
Unit # (if applicable) then Building/apartment name or compound name (if applicable), Lot/Block # (if applicable)
Street# & street name (if applicable) then if not directly on the street write “Interior” or “PO Box” & PO Box # then Post Office Name
Sitio (if applicable), Barangay
City/Municipality, Province, Zip Code
Country (if mailing internationally)

Samuel Miguel
Unit #A Sunshine Condos, MC-99
123 Muddy Street Interior
Nawanao, Subangdaku
Mandaue City, Cebu 6014

Philippines Mailing Address Format


Tracking packages here in the Philippines can be a little different…please see this post on how that works.