How to Fully Enjoy Your Travel in the Philippines

How to Fully Enjoy Your Travel in the Philippines

Visiting the Philippines soon? Here's to fully immerse in the beauty of this tropical country.

The Philippines is like a hole-in-the-wall establishment—its size renders it discreet but when you see what’s inside, be ready to be pleasantly surprised.

This tropical country has consistently landed in “top” and “best” lists of travel destinations. For example, in 2014, Huffington Post reported that the Philippines is among the top 10 places in the world to visit, citing the country’s mix of “cosmopolitan affordability and splendid nature.”

Travelling in the Philippines does not only mean feasting your eyes on its natural wonders. It also means indulging in gastronomic pleasures, exchanging hellos with the friendliest locals, and exploring rich and unique cultures.

Also read: 20 Underrated Provinces in the Philippines Totally Worth Visiting

If you’re planning to visit the Philippines soon, make sure you do all these things to fully enjoy your trip!

Go beyond the cities

travel philippinesImage credit: Allan Ascaño

When you say “travelling wisely in the Philippines”, you have to understand that this means going beyond Manila. Key cities such as Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, and Cagayan de Oro are also seats of progress.

The key here is to identify which among the different things to do in the Philippines would you want to try. If you want to commune with nature, Sagada, Banaue, and Batanes are your best bets. They are all in the northern part of the country and their mountainous landscapes, cold weather, and rustic vibe will leave you in awe.

If you want to go diving, there’s Anilao in Batangas. You may try surfing in Baler or Siargao. For a festive and cultural experience, learn about the many festivals that are unique to every region such as the Maskara, Ati-atihan, Panagbenga, and Kadayawan.

Ride “unique” transportation

Image credit: Paul Lewin

To best explore the Philippines, get on the country’s many “unique” modes of transportation. Throughout the islands, you can find local jeepneys, known as the king of the road. Jeepneys, which are modified World War II American jeeps, are a proof of Filipino ingenuity. For short trips, there’s the tricycle and pedicab, three-wheeled modes of transportation that have unique designs for every region.

Also read: Getting Around the Philippines: Which Transport Should You Take?

There’s also Cagayan de Oro’s motorela, which is like a jeepney and tricycle hybrid. The habal-habal, a modified motorcycle transport common in Visayas and Mindanao. Its cousin, the Skylab, also features a modified motorcycle design extended to the sides to fit more people and is common in the island of Mindanao.

Pack only the essentials

As you draft your personal itinerary, ensure that you have a checklist of what you exactly need. Forget warmers and jackets, you won’t be needing them. The Philippines is a haven for backpackers, so make sure that you have all you need in a small bag for added flexibility. Go for clothes made of cotton, comfortable shoes, a hand towel for when it gets hot and humid, and a bottle of water. Mosquito repellants are also nice to have especially if you plan to go on hikes or stay in provinces.

Make friends with the locals

Image credit: Brian Evans

Filipinos always seem to have a reason to smile, and they are extra warm and friendly to tourists and travellers. While visiting the Philippines, you can count on the locals to give you the best suggestions, from the best restaurants and the most Instagram-worthy spots to the best shop for souvenirs. English is widely spoken in the country so you won’t have any problem communicating.

Also read: 15 Different Types of Travellers You Will Meet in the Philippines

Go on a beach holiday

travel philippinesImage credit: Resa till Filippinerna

The Philippines has some of the best beaches in the world. The waters are clear and the sand is powdery. Its marine life is rich and diverse, and the weather is almost always perfect for the beach.

Being a tropical country, it’s hot all the time. The country only has two seasons: wet and dry. And while the “ber” months make the evening a little bit chilly, the sun is always up during the day. It is also visited by several typhoons and tropical cyclones from August to November.

A Philippine travel guide is not complete without a stop at some of the world-famous beaches in the country. Among them of course is Boracay. Apart from the crystal waters, Boracay has the finest stretch of white sand and gorgeous sunsets. It also promises city-like conveniences from restaurants, bars, shopping areas, and hotels.

Eat. A lot.

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Anthony Bourdain is right. Everything good in food, you can find in sisig, a famous pork dish in the Philippines. It is a little sweet but also spicy, fatty and salty. There’s also the lechon, which Cebu is known for. According to Bourdain, it is the best roast pig in the world.

Also read: 25 Popular Street Food & Snacks to Try in The Philippines

A gastronomic feast is one of the best ways to enjoy the Philippines. Every region is known to have some kind of specialty. And everywhere, you can find staples and traditional specialties such as adobo, sinigang, kaldereta, and kare-kare.

Dare to be extreme

Image credit: Highland Adventures

As the Philippines braces for more tourist arrivals, most of the regions have stepped up their tourism initiatives by maximising the potential of their natural wonders. In the caves of Cagayan, be ready to try spelunking. In the sand dunes of Ilocos Norte, go on sand boarding. Have a 4×4 off-road adventure en route to the magnificent Mt. Pinatubo crater in Zambales. Adrenaline junkies will have the time of their lives canyoneering, trekking , rappelling, and cliff diving in Cebu. You may also climb Mt. Pulag and marvel at the sea of clouds at dawn.

Also read: 20 Reasons Why Travelling to the Philippines is a Total Waste of Time

Never board the plane back home without truly experiencing the Philippines. It may be a small country, but it holds numerous surprises for those who crave adventure. There are countries you go to for the tourist spots, but in the Philippines, it’s the entire experience—the places, activities, food, and the people. Once you visit, you’ll never want to leave.

About Author

Jason Garcia
Jason Garcia

Jason is a manager of a family enterprise, property consultant, and a business specialist. He has a niche blog for property leasing and real estate investment. He writes articles giving advice to readers on how to invest and secure homes and businesses. He loves to travel in his free time.


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