The Philippines is one of the best destinations in the world for travel junkies. With around 7,000 islands, the archipelago is not so easy to travel. But every island has its story to tell, so experiencing each island’s culture and tradition is actually a must for both a local and foreigner.
By taking note of these safety tips, you’ll find yourself having a satisfying Philippine experience. The Filipinos are always ready to help so don’t worry if some tips might be missing or don’t fit your situation.
Ask for help from Filipinos
Filipinos are remarkably hospitable. Don’t be afraid to interact with them as they are friendly and can be good local tourist guides or companions. Basically, they are proud in developing their tourist destinations to everyone—local or foreigner.
Prepare for the weather
The country has two weather conditions: sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny and hot. Winter is never happening, but the cold weather is prevalent in mountainous regions and also during rainy season. During the summer season, the temperature slowly increases in urban and rural areas. Meanwhile, rains are common during June to August, but sometimes it depends especially when typhoons or LPAs are nearby. So prepare well in return of not getting sick at all.
Try to find cheaper travel deals (if you’re budget-conscious)
Travel deals can range from a full-package to a customized one. These deals include accommodations, food, tour packages and more. But cheaper ones are available so you won’t have problems on spending your money. Well, higher-priced deals are generally more fun-filled and can really get you most out of everything. It still depends on you, though.
Know the public transport system
In the Philippines, there are a lot of ways you can get to and fro from here and there. Public transport systems include tricycles, jeepneys, buses, vans, roro, and habal-habal. They are cheaper and more localized so you can interact with Filipinos inside. Also, you can rent vans and motorcycles for a less hassle and budget-friendly trip.
Have a stack of coins, not just bills
Most cities and capital towns have online payment, ATMs, and many cash transactions. The isolated areas–where tourist spots are generally located–have sari-sari stores and mini shops. Huge bills can be pretty difficult to get a change. Also, transportation fees can range from P10 up to P500 per individual. So it’s advisable to bring a hefty amount of coins and P20-P100 paper bills just in case.
Every province is unique
Yes, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” The country boasts 81 provinces, each with their own culture, food, dialect and traditions. Thus, learning the Manila life alone won’t complete your Philippine vacation. The Bisayas of Mindanao and Visayas have their own colors, as well as the indigenous tribes of Cordillera and other mountain provinces. Philippines has so much to offer and just waits for tourists to come by.
Check the network connectivity in the area
As of this writing, the Philippines is slow on Internet speed and far-flung areas have low to no network signal at all. It can be quite a frustration for online users who constantly upload their Instagram photos. But at the same time this could be an advantage since these internet users can stay away and relax from distractions.
Avoid places that are not tourist-friendly
Not all provinces in the Philippines are open for tourists. It’s much better to back off from these places either for safety purposes or reserved for special purposes. Meanwhile, enjoy the top tourist destinations like Boracay, Cebu, Baguio, Palawan, or Siargao for a guaranteed safe and fun vacation experience.
Learn Filipino culture intensively
Having the knowledge on Filipino culture, the norms, and mores will allow you to fully immerse yourself with the locals. Here are some Filipino actions that might shock foreigners and even people from other provinces.
- They use spoon and fork during meals. No knives, sometimes. Others would actually prefer eating with bare hands.
- Quite loud and noisy in large groups especially when it’s a bunch of friends.
- Karaoke is life for the Filipinos. Don’t try to disrespect them when they’re singing.
- Filipinos are resilient enough that they can joke about an upcoming disaster.
- They are food lovers.
- “Filipino time” is common, and more…
Though there are things that can cause little hick-ups from the tourists, the experience from places you ought to visit or already visited is worthwhile. So keep coming back and roam around the Philippines. If you think you conquered one island, don’t worry. You’ve got 7,640 more to go.