Before traveling to a new country, it is important to know the things to do or not do to avoid hassles and unwanted circumstances. Being knowledgeable about a country will definitely make your trip smooth sailing and will save you a lot of time. The more you understand the country, the more you would have a harmonious and enjoyable trip.
Luckily in the Philippines, there are just a few things to remember. It’s a perfect country to relax your mind, body, and soul.
Here are the things you should keep in mind when you’re planning to visit the Philippines.
DO explore the country as much as you can
Having plans is a good thing and surely will help you a lot but when in the Philippines, don’t just settle in your itinerary. Because the Philippines has so much more than you think, make sure to explore the unexplored and make the most of your stay after completing your itinerary or if you still have more free time. Exploring the Philippines’ beaches is a must. And if you are looking for a more thrilling adventure, perhaps you could hike or dive to the country’s best spots.
Nationals from countries listed by the Department of Foreign Affairs here are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days. That amount of time is enough to enjoy what the Philippines has to offer.
DO have a chat with the locals
Filipinos are very hospitable that they will genuinely help you with your journey. Even without asking, they will suggest more places to check out. Aside from that, they are open to talk about their lives and there might be times that they will give you a deeper realization on how to take life in a humble way or appreciate life even on the simple things. This can be soul-enriching!
DO get familiarized with some Filipino words
Even if this is an English-speaking country, it would be nice to know some words to call Filipinos in a warm manner and this will be helpful too once you travel to rural areas where there may be less to no English speakers. Here are some Filipino words that can help you along the way:
Ate is used to address an older sister but also used to call women in a respectful way
Kuya is used to address an older brother but also used to call men in a respectful way
Tita means “aunt” and mostly used to address older women to be polite in the city
Tito means “uncle” and mostly used to address older men to be polite in the city
Nanay means “mom” but sometimes used to address older women too, mostly in rural areas
Tatay means “dad” but sometimes used to address older men too, mostly in rural areas
Salamat means “thank you”
Magkano po ito? means “how much?”
Saan po ito? means “where is this?”
Kumusta ka? means “how are you?”
Magandang umaga means “good morning”
Magandang hapon means “good afternoon”
Magandang gabi means “good evening”
DO extend your patience
If you’re coming from a more advanced country, you might find the Philippines a bit slower when it comes to queues and the traffic in Manila, especially in rush hour, is really bad. So we highly recommend you to extend your patience the longest you can. The trick here is to be wise about finding solutions in a friendly manner. But don’t worry, this does not happen in all parts of the Philippines.
DON’T show much of your valuable things in public
The Philippines is a good country to travel to and the locals are really nice but in some parts of the country like in Manila, snatchers and pickpockets are mostly everywhere. To avoid them, don’t wear too many flashy things to keep you out of the snatcher’s eyes. Don’t use gadgets on the side streets. Always secure your personal belongings such as your bags, wallets, phones and other personal items when visiting tourist spots, walking around, and riding public transportation.
DON’T give beggars some money
You have to remember that giving alms to beggars is against the Anti-Mendicancy Law. And once you start giving money, beggars might call their friends and ask more from you.
DON’T be shy to try the videoke
Filipinos love to sing whether singing loves them or not. When you are being offered to sing, don’t hesitate and just grab the mic and sing your heart out! Don’t worry, no one will judge your voice because what’s more important for Filipinos is you try to connect with them and you’re having fun.
DON’T forget to have fun
Filipinos’ sense of humor is very light. They love to laugh even at small things. Sometimes, they can be witty playing with different meanings of words that they can associate with. They always find ways to enjoy life. Laughter is the best medicine, anyway.
There aren’t strict cultural rules in the Philippines that you need to follow. Filipinos are open-minded, understanding, very forgiving and take things in a positive way to the point that they still try to have fun even on hard times.
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