“A traveler sees what he sees,” says a famous writer and philosopher, “a tourist sees what he has come to see,” he added. Are you a traveler? Or a regular tourist? Beyond the beautiful islands, stunning beaches, golden sunshine, lofty lush of greens, and verdant forests of the Philippines, are some stories that are ought only for the travelers – the ones that wander not only the landscapes but also the anecdote of a place.
To love a country is to love its culture, language, and history. This post features an infographic created by Wander Share. This talks about some of the basic truths you need to know about the Philippines.
- To travel the Philippines, you will need a passport. No Visa is required. There are several international airports in the country. That includes the Clark International Airport in Clark, Pampanga, Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu Island, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or commonly known as the NAIA in Metro Manila to name a few.
- The common diseases in the country are Typhoid Fever, Malaria, and the Japanese Encephalitis. Prevent yourself from these lethal diseases by regularly washing your hands before and after eating. Also, make sure your food is cleanly prepared. Avoid drinking water from the faucet or container reservoirs. Purified water and distilled water are mostly available in metros and in other urban provinces. When visiting an isolated island, make sure to bring your bottle of water.
- Tagalog and English are the most common language spoken in the country. The primary language in the country is Filipino. Filipinos copied the culture of the Americans, and that’s probably the reason why Filipinos love almost anything about the Americans.
- The currency in the country is Philippine Peso (₱; Php). The exchange rate from Philippine Peso to Dollar is roughly ₱48 to ₱51 per $1; One EUR is equivalent to ₱53; One British Pound is equal to ₱
Where to Go
The archipelago of the Philippines is consisting of 7,107 islands! Hence, there are 7000 islands that you can visit in the country. Some of the famous destinations in the country are the following:
- Boracay is a paradise of fine white sand, golden beaches, groovy pubs, and gorgeous orange horizon.
- Ilocos Region is a mecca of vintage houses and archetypical streets.
- Bohol is the home of the ever awe-inspiring Chocolate Hills and the endemic Tarsier Monkey.
- Davao is the haven of the Philippine Eagle and the majestic Mt. Apo.
- Laguna is where you will locate the stunning, regal waterfall of the Pagsanjan Falls.
The country is also blessed with wildlife and marine biota. Stunning landscapes and rock formation are also some of the highlights of the country. The Philippines also treasure several infrastructures that embed the history of the country.
More Things You Should Know
When is the best time to visit the Philippines?
The archipelago of the Philippines survives in two seasons only: the dry season that starts from March to May and the wet season that starts from June to December. The country is dry and cold between the months of January and February. If you want to go to the beaches to achieve a golden tan skin, March to May is the perfect moment! Places in the country that have mild temperature includes Tagaytay and Baguio City.
How much should I tip a waiter?
Sometimes, a genuine smile and a sincere thank you can lift the mood of a server or any customer service provider. But if you are generous enough, you can give a tip in a reasonable amount. If you eat in a fine dining restaurant or any deluxe hotels alike, you can tip the server or waiter 10% of your bill unless there’s a service charge included in the receipt, you don’t have to give extra incentives then. You can give ₱20 per bag to the porters that help you carry your carriages.
What do my gestures tell?
Placing your hands on your hips may indicate that you are angry or frustrated. If you are not, then avoid making this gesture. Crossing your arms can denote that you are superior or in most cases, can mean that you do not want to be approached.
Table Manners in the Philippines
- Wash your hands before and after eating. Being hygienic is very vital to avoid diseases.
- When passing a platter, pass it with your right hand. Passing a food or plate should always be counterclockwise.
- Filipinos, depending on their meal, may eat using their hands. In some occasions, they use chopsticks especially when the dish is Asian oriented. The common utensils used by Filipinos are spoon and fork. If you do not know how to eat with your hands, don’t hesitate to ask for utensils.
Foods to Try in the Philippines
Pork Adobo is a traditional Filipino stew. It is pork (or chicken) boiled in soy sauce, vinegar, and other spices. This favorite dish is best partnered with steamed rice and is perfect for any time of the day.
Laing is made from dried taro (Gabi) leaves and is simmered in gata (coconut milk). Laing originated from the province of Bicol.
Kwek Kwek is a famous Filipino street food snack. It is a deep fried egg or quail egg coated with batter. It is usually dipped in a sweet sauce or vinegar.
Lambanog is a coconut wine made from the coconut sap. It is loved by the Filipinos and is typically available on special occasions and holidays.
Halo Halo is a Filipino dessert food made from shaved ice mixed with several ingredients. Evaporated milk is added to make the dessert creamy.
Saying Hello to the Philippines
The formal way of greeting someone is by gently shaking hands. This should apply for business meetings or when meeting someone formally. However, men should wait for the woman to stretch its hand.
Avoid speaking too loud. Speak gently and politely using the poand opo (yes) when speaking with an elderly or someone in authority. Ladies should ignore street catcalls.
Here are some basic Filipino words you must learn:
|How are you?||Kamustaka?||Kah-mus-tahkah?|
Prove yourself not only as a tourist who sees what he only wants to see, but as a traveler who ought to explore the country as a whole: the culture, the language, and the story.
Articles That You Might Be Interested
- Traveling to the Philippines: Learning the Culture, Language, and Etiquette
- Asian Dining Etiquette: When Dining with a Filipino Family
- All You Need to Know About Cebu: Highlights of the City – Part 1
- Know Where Else to Eat in Cebu, Philippines – Part 2
- How to Plan a Trip to Boracay, Philippines – Things You Need to Know