The Philippines is one of my favorite travel destinations. There are picturesque white sand beaches, thick jungles, fantastic snorkeling, friendly people, inexpensive transport and lodging, and great food.
This is just a quick list of some of my favorite things about traveling in the Philippines.
1.The people. Most people are incredibly friendly and will go out of their way to help you out and make you feel welcome to their country. It’s easy to make new friends in the Philippines. Also, a huge bonus is that nearly everyone speaks English, which makes traveling less stressful.
2.The 7,000+ islands! Obviously, I haven’t gone to all 7,000 islands (and many of these are uninhabited), but the fact that there are so many options is almost overwhelming. There is something for everyone- any kind of traveler will be able to find their oasis, whether that be hiking up a volcano, club-hopping, lounging on the beach in front of a fancy hotel, staying with a local family in a secluded jungle hut, going on a slum tour, volunteer work, shopping at the largest mall in Asia, and much more.
3.The food. I have found many Filipino foods that I love.
Sinigang is a sour/salty soup with tamarind-based broth. It is usually made with a meat or fish and a variety of vegetables. Fresh grilled fish. The tropical fruit (mango, durian, marang, mangosteen). Tapas, which is sweet marinated beef cut into thin strips. Grilled chicken and rice..(I love Inasol restaurant chain)…green mango salad…yum!!
4. The inexpensive cost of transport. Hop on a jeepney and get across town for around 15 cents. The jeepney is the public transport in the metro areas of the Philippines. Jeepneys are converted from US army jeeps, which were left there after WW2. Tricycles are the main public transport in smaller towns, and are also incredibly inexpensive. Metered taxis are inexpensive as well, compared to prices in the U.S.A., but more expensive than jeepneys/tricycles/public buses. Public buses are dirt cheap as well.
Tip: You will end up paying about 10,000x more if you use private taxis from the MNL airport vs the ones at the metered taxi stand. If you’re on a budget, wait in the metered taxi line.
5. The language. Okay, I know there are tons of languages in the Philippines besides Tagalog, but I love Tagalog. I love how it feels coming out of my mouth and how it sounds coming out of other people’s mouths. :). I only know a tiny bit of Tagalog, just basic phrases and such, but it’s still fun to surprise taxi drivers with it.
6. Palawan. There’s a reason Palawan has made several lists as being the most beautiful island in the world. It is pretty freaking beautiful! You can book multiple- week long island hopping tours, camp on deserted islands, experience some of the best snorkeling, visit the famous underground river, enjoy the views of massive limestone cliffs. I recommend taking a private tour with Midnight Sun Tours in El Nido, run by my friend Ildefonso and his family.
7. Shopping. While shopping isn’t something I really care about, I love shopping in Manila at the Divisoria market. It is a huge, HUGE, market which has everything you can think of for very cheap prices. I got these gray converse shoes here for only $6 USD.
These are just some of the reasons why I love the Philippines. After two trips to the Philippines, I still have much more exploring to do! To any Filipinos reading this, I love your country!