The Philippines is a great country. The people are well-known for being hospitable and kind. There are so many things you can do in the Philippines, and I have known a lot of people who went there for the first time and had lots of fun that they want to come back again. Now this article won’t be about the spots you can visit in the Philippines. Instead, this one is about how you can make the most out of your vacation in the Philippines. This a a list of things you should definitely know about the Philippines, and what to expect when you get there.
1. Just Speak English
Yes. English is one of our major subjects in our curriculum from the first grade up to college so if you’re an American, British, or of a different nationality but can speak English, then you’re in luck. You can approach someone if you need help and you can be sure that the person will understand what you are saying and will reply to you in English and most will be more than willing to help you out.
2. Don’t Act Like an Ass
Anyways, like I said, most of us are very friendly to foreigners and we are more than willing to help you out, just don’t act like a jerk. I mean talk with respect, and don’t sound too demanding when asking for some help. We are very friendly but we don’t take jerks and assholes lightly. Just treat everyone like how you want to be treated. If you want to be treated with respect, then show respect. If you wanna be treated nice, then be nice. That’s all there is to it, and I think that is universally applicable.
3. Everything is Cheaper, So You Don’t Have to Bring Too Much Money
Now our Peso-Dollar exchange rate is quite high and everything is relatively cheaper in the Philippines than in your home country. I remember my cousins going for a vacation with their friends(Americans). When they came back, they were so happy because they had so much fun for so less. They spent about less than a thousand dollars each for their entire two-week stay and had all the fine dining, adventure, and souvenirs they can get. Also, hotels there are relatively cheaper. You can get a good hotel room starting at about $50 per day, and five-star rooms are only about $100-$200 per day.
4. Don’t Leave Valuables Unattended
Now I know there have been a few incidents in the past where foreign tourists were hurt but that is highly unlikely. The only real threat is to your possessions. Just don’t leave your stuff unattended and don’t bring out your cellphones in public unless necessary. Also stay alert on the stuff in your pockets. Because of poverty there are some who have chosen the path of being thieves and pickpockets but there is no real threat to your life. But then again, it’s also universally applicable whichever country you choose to visit.
5. We are Very Hospitable, and We Take Care of Our Own so Just Relax
Now this applies mostly to tourists who have come to the Philippines with Filipino friends or family. Like I said, we are very hospitable. The family of the person you came with is guaranteed to treat you with utmost hospitality and will ensure your safety for your entire stay, so there should be very little cause to worry. If you came to the Philippines knowing no one, just refer to number 2 and you’ll be fine.
6. Most Transactions Are Cash By the Way
I have noticed that most Americans don’t carry cash anymore. Most just use their debit or credit cards, while some come in with their checks. I’m sorry to tell you this but you have to carry some real cash on you in the Philippines. While most hotels and restaurants accept cards, checks aren’t an option. And, if you enjoy buying stuff, then you really have to carry cash. This shouldn’t be a real problem because there are ATM’s in every mall and bank where you can withdraw cash using your Visa or MasterCard. Just get used to that extra bulk in your wallet for the time being.
7. The Food is Good and Items are a Steal So Just Go Wild
I know I already said that everything is cheaper but I thought I should elaborate more. Anyways our native dishes are really good. While some can look really gross, you might like how they taste if you just go beyond appearances. There are also a lot of bars and clubs and drinks are much cheaper! Also, clothes and souvenirs are really cheap so you can always get something for friends and family when you get back home and they will never know how cheap you got them for.
I hope this article helps you plan your vacation to the Philippines. If you haven’t been there, then I suggest you give the Philippines a try. I’m Jonel Fernando, co-author of this blog. Thank You for visiting PaanoPinoy.com!