With winds of up to 150mph (240km/h), Nock-Ten is due to make landfall in the Bicol region on Christmas Day, the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center says.
The Philippines' weather office said sustained winds were up to 175km/h.
Dozens of ports have been closed, as officials warn of potentially deadly two-metre (6.6ft) waves.
In October, Super Typhoon Haima hit the country, killing at least four people.
On Sunday morning, typhoon Nock-Ten (also known as Nina) was about 195km east of the Catanduanes island.
"The pre-emptive evacuation is ongoing" in Catanduanes and two nearby provinces, Rachel Miranda, a spokeswoman for the civil defence office in the Bicol region, told the AFP news agency.
In the capital Manila, officials have ordered big roadside advertising boards to be pulled down, fearing that strong winds could injure people.
The strength of the typhoon is equivalent to a Category Three hurricane in the Atlantic, according to the JTWC data, or a Category Two storm based on the information from the Philippines' weather office.
However, the typhoon is expected to weaken before reaching the coast.
In 2013, super typhoon Haiyan claimed more than 7,350 lives.