I was very excited the first time I tried to download free songs from iTunes. The excitement quickly turned to frustration as I found out that I could not do it. The reason? Philippine users are not allowed to download free or even buy songs from iTunes!
All this talk about globalization and the flattening power of the internet means nothing if the coverage of online stores is selective. I understand this is not the fault of Apple, but that of narrow-minded media producers. Anyway, before I stray further from the topic, here's how I worked around the obstacle to get free songs.
Go to ITMS and change your address. (Store > View my account > Edit Account Info). Change your address including your zip code AND your country (change to US).
If you don't have an Apple ID yet, go to mac.com and get a FREE id. (Just register for a trial account and let it expire -- you'll be able to retain your mac.com id even after the trial period is over). Save your new settings.
Your free downloads should start after this. For starters, try: http://www.tuaw.com/2007/11/27/34-free-songs-at-itunes/. I also have started to download free TV episodes (like the pilot of Sarah Connor Chronicles).
To buy songs, someone from Philmug also recommended doing this. Using your credit card, go to the Apple website and buy iTunes gift cards. Use the gift cards to buy iTunes songs. Neat!
UPDATE: This may not work for everyone. I just discovered that I may have gotten lucky because of a glitch in ITMS. It turns out that the credit card tied to my Paypal account already expired. So when I was reconfiguring my address to a US-based one, ITMS had no way to check that my payment method was US-based. So the required payment option listed in my account automatically switched to None.
Am investigating this further.