As a half Filipina, it brings me immense joy to see and hear about the travels of tourists to the Philippines. It is true that the country boasts not one, a hundred but seven thousand islands across its archipelago with stretched waters, land and history that has surpassed the test of time.
It’s enlightening to hear that the gems of Pinas, once a mystery to the world, is finally being seen to its utmost capacity- and appreciated.
But there’s SO much more to it than its landscapes that the rest of the world needs to unravel and share. And if you’ve been thinking of going for a while, then you’re defo already on the right track.
1. First and foremost, the Filipino hospitality is unrivalled, even in their homeland
You hear and see the kindness of every Filipino, with a smile that never fails to last, regardless of any situation they’re in.
Whether that’s in Dubai or their hometown, nothing speaks more volumes than that of the Filipino hospitality. You walk into their home, and you’re immediately treated as their own, offering endless amounts of food or sometimes whatever can be scraped up.
There’s something so united about the Filipino people, one that has a contagious effect on whoever is around. So visiting the Philippines is a guaranteed good time, due to their fabulous company.
2. Parts of Manila still carry with it the beauty of old Philippines
Some of the WW2’s ruins remain in the oldest parts of its capital city. The Philippines were ruled, for the longest time, by Spanish settlers and some of this is still visible.
If you don’t fancy a stroll, biking is always another option.
Watch this vid for a glimpse of Manila’s peculiarly beautiful history.
3. Because there’s nothing like a karaoke sesh with the locals
Grab a music book, enjoy some draanks and live like there’s no tomorrow.
Rule of thumb= never LEAVE without belting it out to some Air Supply or Celine Dion on the karaoke. You got this.
4. Untapped islands make for a GREAT escape
Places like Marinduque, a mere hour and a half away by plane, or a short ship ride from Manila will SHOCK you.
Forget about Palawan, for a second, although beauts it’s usually packed.
Cebu, Surigao, and everywhere else- this will feel like it’s your getaway spot.
5. The variety of foodie options is second to none
You haven’t lived until you’ve woken up to the serene sounds of the taho guy every morning. Taho is made of silken tofu, sago pearl and all the goodies.
Chicken adobo, nilaga and sinigaring are local dishes that, no exaggeration, hit the very centre of ones’ soul.
6. The locals take genuine interest in getting to know tourists and letting you in their culture
…and you feel that genuine emotion.
7. The street food, ’nuff said
Merienda means an afternoon snack, usually post-lunch that differs in variation. Pinoys love to snack on sweets, salt chips and even Dunkin Donuts (y’all know the flavour I’m thinking.)
Street foods add to the vibe of the Philippines, more so when you’re chowing down on some siomai by the public market and taking in all the sounds of your surroundings.
Must-tries: kwek kwek, siomai, isaw, halo-halo.
8. Lively festivals vary from region to region but they’re ALL just as zestful
Pinoys are celebratory people and regular public parades during festivals like a region’s independence day and whatnot.
Annual fiestas in every different part of Pinas is sth to look forward to
Recommend: The Sinulog Festival is considered one of the best fiestas in the country
9. Because…bewitching hidden caves settle in far-off islands
10. The chocolate hills in Bohol are a sight for sore eyes
11. The nightlife is on an ENTIRE other level
Especially in Makati (or so we’ve heard) *wink wink*
12. Snorkeling and deep-sea diving under Philippines’ sea will put you in a Disney movie trance
13. The beaches are picturesque
From Palawan’s mainstream to quiet beaches, Marinduque’s hidden gems to Boracay being the number one beach destination many years back. It’s safe to say that the Philippines is bLessed with cerulean-coloured wonders.
SPF at the ready!
Nothing like it
14. The weather is never as bad (unless it’s monsoon season)
Pretty much expect almost summer weather all-year-long, tropics hunny.
15. It won’t cost as much as other mainstream island destinations
And it’s STILL worth it.
16. Lounging around and relaxing in a hot spring is the perfect solution to a stressful month
17. Don’t leave Manila without trying out the spas and massage
It costs less than it would back home, and the massage pressures can vary depending on your preference. Spas in Manila are so extra, and there’s an entire room-to-room process for detoxifying, exfoliation, moisturising AND all.
Live YO best life (and don’t forget to tip, it’s not much but it’ll be openly appreciated)
18. Perf spot to switch off: Internet connection won’t be as easy to obtain in some islands
19. The second you leave, you’ll want to come back immediately
After all, it is home.