Traveling to the Philippines? Here are interesting facts to start off your journey.
Traveling That’s Light on the Pocket
One of the best things about the Philippines is that it’s quite a cheap country to explore. In fact, it’s among the cheapest of Asian routes! In key cities you’ll find rooms as low as $10 a night, a sumptuous meal for $1, and transportation from one city to the next for only $0.20!
Interesting Bits About The Philippines
Once colonized by Spaniards and Americans with ancestors from various parts of Asia, the Philippine
s is a hodgepodge of exotic cultures. This lends into their religion (predominantly Catholic like Spain), their hospitality industry (largely Westernized including hotels, food chains and shopping centers), and their personal traits (respectful to elders and warm like most Asians).
While considered a third world country with a corruption-stricken government, the Philippines is also famous for their friendly, pleasant and hospitable disposition. In fact, the country ranks high up in the list of the most optimistic people in the globe.
The Philippines’ lush vegetation and picture-perfect environs made it a favorite Hollywood shooting location. Included in the list of Hollywood movies shot here are:
•Apocalypse Now (Baler, Aurora; Pagsanjan; Iba, Zambales) – 1979
•Platoon (Cavite, Pagsanjan) – 1986
•Hamburger Hill – 1987
•Born on the Fourth of July (Ilocos) – 1989
•Broke Down Palace (Manila) – 1999
•I Come With the Rain (Davao del Norte) – 2009
•Amigo (Bohol) – 2010
•The Bourne Legacy (Manila and El Nido) – 2012
While signs and alleys can get a bit confusing in the metro, roaming the country is fairly easy as transportation is widely available. The primary way of getting around is via jeepneys, which costs only 8 pesos or about $0.20. Pedicabs, taxis and car hire are also abundant especially in the city.
Traffic jams are an everyday sight par
ticularly in Manila and the surrounding provinces. Thus if you have limited budget, it’s advisable for you to refrain from hailing taxis and to take the jeepney instead.
A faster, traffic-free though usually overcrowded way of getting around the capital is via the LRTs and MRTs, which cost no more than $0.50 each way. Be forewarned though it can get quite hot and frisky inside the trains particularly during rush hour.
Almost every province has a commercial airport, if not a private charter one. The biggest international air hub, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, is found in Manila, which makes Manila a great jump-off point for explorations. From Manila, there are plenty of buses that can take you to any point in Luzon (there’s also a Ro-Ro service here that can take you to Boracay via buses and ferries). Accommodations, from small inns to boutique hotel chains abound in the city.
If you ever get lost, don’t fret. You can always ask locals for directions. They would be more than happy to offer help.
Another wonderful advantage of traveling to the Philippines is that while the primary language is Tagalog, English is spoken as a second language. Almost anyone, from the city to the farther provinces speak good English no matter the age. Business is conducted in English and majority of magazines, dailies and road signs are also written in English. This is one of the few Asian countries where 90 percent of the populace knows English, hence it’s not necessary to learn the local dialects, especially if your stay is limited.
Population: 96 million
Average temperature: 25 degrees
Currency: Philippine Peso (Php)
Electricity: 220V; most accommodations also have 110V sockets
Water: Water is readily available, but note that only a few hotels have potable tap water. It’s recommended that you buy bottled water from groceries instead.
10 Notable Places to Explore
1. Manila and Makati
What to see: The Manila Bay Boardwalk, Intramuros, Salcedo and Legazpi Parks, Makati Skyline
2. Angeles City
What to see: Deca Wakeboarding Park,Airforce City, duty-free shops
3. tagaytay City
What to see:Sonya’s Garden, Sky Ranch, Taal Volcano, People’s Park In The Sky, Antonio’s or any of the overlooking restaurant
s along the strip
What to see:Lourdes Grotto, Dominican Hill, Mines View Park, Tam-Awan Village, Café By the Ruins, Ben Cab Museum, Burnham Park, Wright Park, Good Shepherd Convent, SM Baguio
What to see:White Beach, Puka Beach, Ariel’s Point, Crystal Cave
What to see:Mt. Tapyas, Maquinit Hotspring, Coron town, Black Island, CYC, Kayangan Lake, Shipwrecks, Twin Lagoons, Calumbuyan Island, Malcapuya Island, Banana Island
What to see:Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro,Santander Beach, famous Cebu lechon, Camotes Island, Moalboal, Malapascua, Sumilon Island, Bantayan Island
What to see: Calle Crisologo, Paoay Church, La Paz Sand Dunes, Pagudpud Beach
9. Puerto Galera
What to see:Mt. Malasimbo, Tukuran Falls, White Beach, Talipanan Beach, Pebble Beach, Tamaraw Beach and Falls
What to see:Shipwrecks, Zoobic, Ocean Adventure, duty-free Shops, Treetop Adventure, mangrove forest
Need a hotel to stay in during your Philippine visit? Contact the gotophilippines.com team today to get exclusive discounted rates on prime locations!