Not only is this book a very useful phrase book, but the introduction consists of a brief history of the Philippines and a few facts about the country. This petit and concise phrase book offers a helpful pronunciation guide, which proves necessary as tagalog is initially very hard to read aside from working out how to pronounce the words! Of course the book doesn't offer you enough to hold a proper conversation in Tagalog, however if you were in a really sticky situation you'd be able to get by with the phrases in the book.
I'm just back from travelling around the Philippines for the last month or so, and to be honest I didn't really have to use the phrase book as almost everyone out there speaks English anyway but I tried to speak in Tagalog whenever I could. They all appreciate the effort out there anyway. The only time I felt rather hopeless was when people started speaking in another dialect from Tagalog.
Brilliant for the price!