20 Telltale Signs You've Just Travelled To The Philippines

20 Telltale Signs You’ve Just Travelled To The Philippines

You carry bug spray wherever you go.

Picture this: You’ve just spent a couple of amazing weeks — or months — exploring the many islands of the Philippines. Now, you’re back home. After unpacking your suitcase and uploading your pictures on Facebook and Instagram, you jump back into your old everyday routine. You think it’s back to reality and back to normal.

Maybe.. But not quite..

You might be experiencing withdrawal symptoms from your incredible vacation in the ”Pearl of the Orient Seas” and you don’t even know it! Trust me, the Filipino way of life may be completely different from the lifestyle you grew up and are familiar with but it can easily — and stealthily — work its way into your system. Before you know it, you’ve already embraced it! Here are some dead giveaways:

1. You have more patience for traffic jams

Every hour seems to be rush hour in the Philippines. You’ve been caught in a standstill for hours a few times during your trip so you’ve learned to endure it.

2. You now drive like a pro

Following road signs? Changing lanes? Parking your car? Easy breezy! You’ve already experienced navigating through the streets of the Philippines — where jeepneys, taxis and motorcycles try to cut, overtake and zoom past you from all sides and where people suddenly cross the street — and didn’t get a heart attack!

3. Your everyday outfit is casual and comfortable

No matter where you’re off to, you tend walk out the door in a tank top, shorts and flip flops — with air-dried hair and sans make-up.

4. You think tan lines are cool

Image credit: Scott Ableman

They show that you’ve had some “fun in the sun” — swimming at the beach, lounging by a pool or hiking up a mountain.

5. You assume the temperature will always be above 20 °C (68 °F)

What? Four seasons? There’s no such thing! You only know two — sunny and rainy!

6. You don’t mind eating with your hands

As long as you washed them with soap and water before digging in, no need to worry about germs.

Also read: 20 Signs You Were Born and Raised in the Philippines

7. You tend to show up at parties a few minutes late

You think everyone will be late too and you don’t want to be the first person the host will have to entertain! So awkward!

8. You’re used to bag inspections before entering a mall

Image credit: yoppy

You automatically hand over or open your purse to the nearest security guard. Nope, no firearms in there!

9. You haggle when you shop

Then, you realise that you’re in a boutique — not a tiangge (market) — and get a weird look from the saleslady. Oooops!

10. You expect to find mangoes and buko (coconut) at every supermarket

So you can turn them into refreshing fruit shakes!

11. You expect to be able to pay for a meal with just a dollar (about 45-50 pesos)

Even fast food at your hometown seems terribly overpriced compared to the food you were able to buy in the Philippines. You begin to wonder: Was there hyperinflation while I was away?

12. You expect Wi-Fi to be slow

Since it’s not anymore, you’re expected to answer all the work emails that piled up on your inbox while you were out.

13. You enjoy watching live basketball games

Image credit: inboundpass

You now get the whole Ateneo-La Salle school rivalry thing. And you’re secretly rooting for one of them to bag the UAAP championship.

14. You think Manny Pacquiao is a national hero

Image credit: Glorius Gaduang

Professional boxer, politician, singer, actor, basketball player and philanthropist — Is anyone still wondering why so many locals worship him?

15. You don’t mind eating street food

Image credit: Shubert Ciencia

Your mouth still waters when you think about the taho (sweet tofu pudding) and “dirty” ice cream that you used to buy from street vendors.

16. You expect beer to be served in buckets

Image credit: troy mckaskle

Who orders just a bottle of beer nowadays? Beer is for sharing! And it is best consumed over laughs and conversations with your barkada (good friends). Below zero beer at Happy Hour is the way to go! Cheers!

17. You carry bug spray wherever you go

Image credit: Håkan Dahlström

Mosquitoes terrify you because you know that getting dengue fever is not a joke.

18. You think every meal should come with rice

Image credit: Alpha

Meat or fish do not taste as good without a cup — or two — of steamed rice to go with it!

19. You smile even when you’re stressed

Image credit: Nan Palmero

The unwavering optimism of Filipinos despite hard times has rubbed off on you.

20. You keep checking for airline seat sales so you can go back

Image credit: RM Bulseco

There are still a hundred plus plus islands out of the 7,107 to explore!

Also read: 12 Things Filipinos Terribly Miss When They Move Away

About Author

Catherine Mirasol

A trader in the world of corporate finance but also a frustrated writer and photographer, Catherine admits to being a walking contradiction. Although born and raised in the Central Business District of the Philippines, this girl actually prefers searching for adventures in remote destinations than urban jungles. Follow her quest to become a "World Traveller" on The Wandercat.