This large country archipelago calls for many beautiful island retreats and hiking havens. Ironically though, I have yet to explore it thoroughly due to the lack of foreign information on local tourism. Getting around by public transport also appears tedious when I didn’t know the local behaviours. The best way to travel is to have a local guide, or to be daring enough to venture beyond what is found on the internet. It can get exhausting, but the rewards of out-of-the-world scenery are guaranteed to be worth it.
Despite the lack of modern appearance, I will never sell this country short. I sure saw why once I took the time to venture beyond the city and into the natural state. Besides that, by smiling at every local I met, I quickly found that they are the friendliest people one will ever know.
Expenses in the Philippines can be very cheap. Other than finding a decent hotel for my stay, I was pleased with how cheap it is to navigate the city on ride-hailing app like Grab. Even better if you learn how to take the public transport or the occasional motorbike taxis. It’s all about negotiation and not getting caught in the tourist scams.
The Philippines is relatively safe for all travellers. However, as with any city, it is important to keep your wits about in case of pickpockets. Scams may be more rampant in famous tourist spots, so always follow your guide if any as well as not to accept anything unsolicited.
Philippines is all about sun and rain. As long as you avoid the hurricane season, you should be sure to pack only what you need for any activity you plan to be doing. Of course, if you’re going for water activities like diving etc., reef-safe sunscreen is an absolute must.
As of April 2022, fully vaccinated travellers do not have to be quarantined upon arrival. But a travel insurance of minimum USD 35,000 coverage, and a negative RT-PCR test within 48 hours, or a negative laboratory-based antigen test within 24 hours, prior to departure from country of origin are required. Most local restrictions have been lifted, but proof of vaccination and masks are still required. For more information, I use Safety Wing's Borderless.