Philippines has lots of ethnic groups and different cultures so it’s important to learn more about the country in order to have a safer and more fun vacation. Knowing about what to do and what to avoid will help you blend with the people and learn more about Filipinos’ cultures. Here are lists of the do’s and don’ts of traveling in the Philippines:
Speak and Act Modestly
Most Filipinos are conservative and sensitive. It’s okay to wear shorts or sleevelss; however, Filipinos still expect you to act modestly in the country. Almost all Filipinos are hospitable so just smile and be friendly.
Bring Light and Casual Clothings
Most of the time, Philippines has a hot weather so wearing light clothings will help you feel cool. Walking shorts, sleeveless, and cotton t-shirts are your best choices. It’s also advisable to bring sunglasses with UV Protection
Do the Health Check
Medical facilities are available throughout the country even in less-developed regions. However, it’s still better to check with your doctor and take necessary vaccinations especially if you plan to visit rural areas. This is especially advisable if you plan to go trekking in remote locations. Check with your physician so you’ll have peace of mind that you won’t catch common diseases.
Choose Bottled Water
In some areas, drinking tap water is safe. But this is not always the case so avoid the unecessary risk of drinking tap water especially if you have a senstive stomach. Anyway, bottled waters are affordable and available everywhere so you can easily purchase one. Just be careful when buying bottled waters from street vendors because sometimes, they just refill them with tap water and reseal them again.
Yes, it’s good to bring with you everything that you might need. But it’s a lot more comfortable to travel with only light baggage. So consider removing things that you can do without. Anyway, departments stores are widely availabe in the country so it’s easy to buy things that you might need during your stay here.
Do not Display Expensive Materials
Do not display your important and expensive belongings like cellphones, cameras, laptops, and the like especially in big cities where poverty forces people to commit crime. I had a teacher in college who went to Manila because he was headed to Singapore. He just hung his DSLR camera around his neck while walking and then he rode a jeepney. Thas was stupid of him so his camera was snatched from him.
If you don’t like to experience what he’s experienced, avoid doing the same thing. Even if you’re in a rural place, better be sure and keep your belongings safely. But if it comes to a point that you get robbed, remember that your life is more important than your gadget. So just surrender it instead of getting a whole in your stomach. Anyway, you can file a report in police stations.
Do not just Ask Directrions from Anyone
I know that most Filipinos are friendly and hospitable. But not all people are the same. So if you need to ask directions, do not ask from anyone you see. They might give you wrong directions for fun, or worse, for planning bad things to you. For your safety, only ask directions from security guards or jeepney and bus drivers.
Never Leave your Things Unattended
In some countries like in Dubai, you can just leave your things anywhere because no one will be interested. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the Philippines. It’s safer to leave your valuables in hotel rooms.
Beware of Con-Artists
Never let your guard down and don’t easily believe those people who claim that they have met you before. Most of them are just people who plan to scam you. When drinking in bars, never let your drinks unattended.