8 Tips to Prepare You for Visiting the Philippines

Bucket List # 108- Visit a 3rd-World Country   ((In June of 2017, I experienced a third world country first hand))

Background.

Many travelers want to visit the Philippines, as it is made up of the most beautiful islands in the world. However, the atmosphere, culture, and food might bring some unfamiliarities that may catch foreigners off guard. Read more to be prepared and know what to expect for your exotic getaway.20017555_10211514127941532_1529491107392475815_o.jpg

My Experience.

In June of 2017, I experienced a third world country first hand. I traveled to exotic islands throughout the Philippines for three weeks. This was one of the best experiences of my life, as I got to meet new people, learn a new culture and language, and try new food. I will never forget the people that made this trip so memorable and the incredible places we went. Here are some tips to ensure that you are prepared for this new adventure.

Tip #1: Be Aware of the Heat and Wear Light Clothes.

The extremely hot and humid weather is the first thing that I felt while arriving in Manila right after we left the airport. Humidity makes the air thicker, essentially making it hard to breathe. Sweat also takes longer to evaporate, which only adds to the heat. Bring light clothes that are loose.screen-shot-2018-01-07-at-8-17-02-pm.png

Tip #2: Know the Season.

The Philippines have two seasons: wet or dry. Know which season that your trip falls on. The dry season stretches from November to May and the rainy season is typically from June to October. The country also experiences typhoons, stay up to date on the weather reports prior to your trip. The Philippines is divided into 7,107 islands. The weather and languages spoken from island to island vary. Bring ponchos to keep yourself from getting wet, especially if you go during the wet season.

Fun Fact: There are an estimated 175 languages spoken. The Current Constitution names Filipino and English as joint official languagesScreen Shot 2018-01-07 at 8.16.53 PM.png

Tip #3: Ask About Local Public Transportation

Transportation in the Philippines is quite easy, as all filipinos have adapted the English language. I recommend taking Jeepney’s or Tricycles to experience how locals get around at economical prices. As I stated previously, the Philippines are made up of over 7,000 islands, so know where exactly you want to go, and book early bird tickets prior. We traveled throughout the Islands through ‘Cebu Pacific Air’. We also traveled from island to island in Bangkas, which is the jeepneys of the sea. They are small wooden boats made out of bamboo.

-Book your Flight with Cebu Pacific Air here! 

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IMG_8541Fun Fact: The Philippines is a country that has varied cultural influences due to the fact that the country was previously colonized by Spain from 1570 to 1898 and by the United States from 1903 to 1946.

Tip #4: Keep Change.

This will be useful for traveling to small islands where public transportation is cheaper. A tricycle will not have change for a thousand peso bill. Make sure you have 50PHP on hand. Also, tip your servers 10% to 15%. People in the Philippines generally only earn minimum wage. A little goes a long way. Don’t expect to pay anything with credit card. Many places only accept cash. Image result for Philippines money

Tip #5: Interact with the Locals.

I went to the Philippines with my ex boyfriend, Luke Tignall. Luke’s grandfather moved to America when he was in his twenty’s. Family from his entire mom’s side lives there still. All of his family were happy and hospitable people. They welcomed us with open arms. It was awesome to see each city from more than a bird’s eye view. I recommend getting to know locals and truly immerse yourself in the Filipino experience.21558915_10212082805478115_8721838086346627083_nIMG_9608 (1).jpg

Tip #6: Try the Food. 

Filipinos LOVE their food, and normally eat five meals per day. Listed are 5 traditional and popular meals in the Philippines.

  1. Filipinos cannot go a day without including rice in their meals, EVEN for breakfast! IMG_7023.jpg
  2. They are known for their coconut juice and mangosIMG_0156.jpgIMG_8951.jpgIMG_0326.jpgIMG_8489 (1).jpg
  3. Their FAVORITE food is called “Lechon” which is a suckling pig that has been roasted until the skin turns crusty.IMG_8483.jpg
  4. Popular street foods are a boild duck egg with an embryo called a “Balut.” I have never tried”Balut”, however my ex boyfriend did. Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 8.30.58 PM.png

Tip #7: Learn These Words in Tagalog.

There are an estimated 175 languages spoken. The Current Constitution names Filipino (Tagalog) and English as joint official languages. Here are 9 words to know in Tagalog. ** Ad po to words, phrases, and sentences when speaking to someone older to you **

  1. Salamat. Thank You.
  2. Kamusta? How are you?
  3. Oo. Yes.
  4. Hindi. No. Not.
  5. Ako. I, Me.
  6. Ikaw. You
  7. Sarap! Delicious
  8. Paumanhin. Sorry, Excuse me.
  9. Paalam. FarewellImage result for Filipino Languages

Tip #8: Learn about Filipino Music, Religion and their Traditions. 

Religion.

The Filipino people mainly practice the Christian religion. Did you know 80% of the Philippine population are Christian? This is due to the fact that Spain had a big impact upon the filipino people. 11% practice Islam and other beliefs and religions comprise the last 9% of the population.

philippine culture

Traditions.

As the culture was influenced by Spain and America, Christianity became a huge role in the Filipino culture. Christmas and New Years are traditions that they celebrate. Relatives join for “Noche Buena” a spanish term which means “Midnight Meal” on December 24th to greet Christmas Day. Families also gather for New Years Day and prepare round fruit signifying a prosperous new year.

Music.

Filipinos use various materials to create sound. They also sing vocally in groups for festival celebrations. Settlers from Spain introduced instruments such as the ukulele, trumpet, drums, and violin. Most music is contemporary, however they also write there own songs based on real life events.

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