"The Philippines" maryann722001's Profile

Summer Adventure

My friends and relatives have been writing me about some updates in the Philippines, and I stumbled on VT! I decided to write many things and updates about the Philippines, and just ask them to visit this homepage.

Some relatives and friends who goes around the globe will find VT really interesting because the advice are authentic and from real travelers.

I can't help it, but I am so happy to discover VT!

NICE SPOTS IN THE PHILIPPINES

The Philippines has a lot to offer in terms of interesting, scenic and picturesque places. Let us name some, in Luzon, the historical spots in Manila like Fort Santiago, Intramuros and Luneta, Tagaytay City, the beaches of Batangas , Quezon, La Union and Ilocos Provinces, Baguio City, Camarines Sur Water Sports complex, Mayon and Bulusan Volcanoes and Donsol in Sorsogon, to name a few.

In the Visayas, Cebu City, Bohol Province, Negros and Panay Islands and the world-famous Boracay Island; in Mindanao, Davao, Zamboanga, Dapitan and Cagayan de Oro Cities and the surfing beaches of Siargao. Be aware though that there more tourist spots which are not mentioned here, not because they are less interesting or scenic , but rather due to the limited space.

What should you do then start your journey? First, go to the Philippine Embassy or Consular Office to inquire about what travel documents are needed for you to visit the Philippines. A visa is needed for citizens of specified countries depending on the length of stay.

GENERAL IDEAS ON HOW TO GET A TRANSPORTATION

Next is to look for the other Philippine tourist spots and their descriptions or write-ups so you can decide what particular places you would want to visit aside from your parents’ hometown. Having done that, book your round-trip ticket early to avail of the bigger promotion discounts offered by the airlines.

If possible, contact a relative in the Philippines to assist you in arranging for your stay with hometown relatives and affordable lodging houses in the places you plan to visit. Find out if you can stay with friends or relatives in those places, so you save on lodging house expenses. Another way is to find assistance using your Facebook account or other social network sites, chances are some altruistic souls out there will gladly extend the needed help.

SUMMER MONTHS IS THE BEST MONTH TO VISIT MY COUNTRY!

Since the Philippine summer months are March, April and May, you have a lot of time to prepare for what you should bring or have for your trip to the Philippines. Will this be your very first vacation without your parents? Do you know how to speak Filipino? If not, don’t worry because English is widely spoken and understood in the country, but learning a few words, phrases and expressions will come a long way.

TOURIST TRAPS IN GENERAL

A few more useful tips: don’t be too gullible, so you will get hoodwinked, always be aware that this world has people who want to earn a fast buck; bring your adventurous and daring spirit, (like eating balut!), be patient if some unexpected event occurs and when addressing older people always say “po” when speaking in Filipino and “sir” or “ma’am” when speaking in English. A respectful young person is well appreciated and impoliteness frowned upon, it is also said that the actuations of young persons are a reflection of how well their parents brought them up or reared them.

Welcome to the Philippines and have a pleasant and memorable sojourn!

A. Traveling as An Exchange Student

This is definitely an exciting phase of a student’s life. Going to a foreign country like the Philippines will not only be a feather on one’s cap but a learning experience as well. Getting and winning the privilege of being an exchange student was never offered in a silver platter, it was really an uphill climb. What should be done to maximize the learning experience? If the grant will be for at least a year, one has to do the following:

1. The school year in the Philippines starts in June, which is also the onset of the rainy season, so be sure to bring along your rain gear, sweat shirt, waterproof jacket, rain boots (in case of floods), raincoat, a sturdy umbrella, medicines and vitamins, sunblock like coppertone or any of your favorite sunscreen, as long as it is spf 45, sunshades... This is important during summer.

2. However, a more practical way to have the needed gears and stuff is to buy them locally to avoid having to carry a heavy luggage throughout your trip, just bring sufficient funds to buy all of them.

3. The clothes and toiletries could also be just the bare necessities to travel light and again buy the balance later. Anyway, most of the consumer products in Europe and the United States are available locally.

4. Since you will be away for at least a year, you have to keep your clothes and personal stuff that will be left behind. Put them in sturdy plastic bags, vacuum pack them to occupy less closet space and leave them in your parent’s or relative’s house to save on paying for warehousing expenses.

5. Lastly, sell, to generate additional funds, or donate to your favorite charity, whatever personal stuff which you feel will not be needed or be out of fashion when you come back.

Young Professionals

The young urban professionals, (more popularly known as “yuppies”), travel basically for two reasons, either as a business trip or for pleasure or vacation. For whatever reason, it is suggested to do the following:

1. For a business trip, prepare a checklist of what business tools have to be with you, e.g. laptop, blueberry, etc.

2. Bring with you the appropriate business clothes for all the functions you need to attend, once again an option is to buy your stuff locally, like the beach wear or casual clothes, to travel light.

3. Be sure to inform your family and close friends your whereabouts and if possible ask one of them to temporarily stay in your house.

4. If it is a pleasure and vacation trip, be sure to bring the proper clothes for the places planned to be visited, e.g. a beach, a mountain, etc.

5. The travel documents should be in a proper place in the luggage for easy access when needed, better still, keep them separately in a tote or belt bag.

6. Identify a place to use as your base and tell your family, close friends and business associates the exact address of the hotel or pension house you intend to stay, so they can reach you, in case of an emergency, other than the usual email, blueberry or cell phone, if available, give them the landline number of the facility.

7. Have with you any prescription medicines and vitamins at all times.

Traveling with Your Family

Depending on how well the trip is planned and executed, your trip could either be a pleasant one or it could turn out to be an unforgettable experience or even a nightmare. This may happen if there is no itinerary and things are left to chance or are done in a free-wheeling manner. To increase the odds of making it a pleasure trip, it is suggested that the following be done:

1. Agree among the adult members of the family what place to use as base, inform relatives or other family members who will be left behind, the address of the hotel or temporary residence.

2. Other members of the family might have in mind places to visit aside from what you like, thus, all should be agreeable to the itinerary to be followed.

3. It should also be agreed that any changes in the itinerary must be arrived at through a consensus, and not a decision of one or two members only.

4. Any duty or responsibility that has to be done by a family member should be specific to avoid any misunderstanding or conflict.

5. Each adult family member must be responsible for packing and bringing his/her personal items like medicines and vitamins, toiletries, travel documents, etc. The travel documents of the minor family members shall be the responsibility of the parents.

6. Arrange for another family member or relative to temporarily stay in your house to take care of whatever has to be done like paying utility bills, having the lawn mowed, or overseeing any repair job.

7. If there are children on the family vacation, they are primarily the responsibility of their parents and the other adult family members may be secondarily responsible.

8. Finally, the offices of the family members going on vacation must be properly informed of the important details of the trip like the address and telephone number of the hotel or temporary residence.

Transportation

Your travel agent is a very good source of information as to the efficient, effective and economical means of transportation to use when going around the Philippines. The internet is another possible source, a word of caution though, be aware that not everything found in the web should be taken a gospel truth. VT is reliable.

After deciding on what specific kind of transportation to use, whenever possible, book in advance, through the travel agency, the identified means of transportation. Doing this will not only avoid any future conflict in schedules but also assure you that you will surely visit whatever is in the itinerary. Here are some suggestions to ensure your safety, convenience and relaxing journeys while in the Philippines:

1. Inform the travel agency to book your transportation needs only with vehicles accredited by the hotel or pension house where you will stay.

2. Depending on the size of the group, a full size bus, a mini bus, a van or a car can be used to go around Metro Manila to see the tourist spots and places of interest.

3. A limousine service is even available if you wish to avail of that kind of vehicle.

4. Arrange with the travel agency to provide a reliable tourist guide to accompany the group.

5. While on your sightseeing tours, each family member should try to look out for the other members, especially the children to avoid getting separated from the rest of the group.

6. Just like what our parents used to tell us when we were young, avoid talking to strangers who might be out to pull a fast one, refer persistent peddlers and hawkers to the tourist guide.

7. However, since Filipinos are known to be friendly and hospitable, chances are you will meet some who just want to do some small talk to make your stay pleasant.

8. Lastly, there are numerous unlisted interesting places in the Philippines, so if there is a consensus, the family can always add or delete items in the agreed itinerary.

Important Documents

Upon completion of all travel arrangements, it is always best to have them photo copied. A complete set should be left with the family member left behind, a relative or a trusted neighbor for safekeeping while you are away. Another complete set should be kept in a bank’s safety deposit box. As a reminder here is a checklist of items to be left with a relative /family member left behind and bank safety deposit box:

1. Birth certificate
2. Passport and visa
3. Credit card documents
4. Marriage contract
5. Bank deposit certificates and other financial instruments
6. Life, car and house insurance policies
7. Land titles
8. Other pertinent documents.

The following documents should be with you all the time, placed in a tote or belt bag:

1. Passport
2. Visa
3. Recent pictures, passport size
4. Plane tickets
5. Contact number of your country’s embassy in the Philippines
6. English-Filipino dictionary, if not familiar with the Filipino language (although generally, English is spoken and understood by most Filipinos)
7. Your international driver’s license
8. The name and address of the counterpart travel agency in the Philippines
9. Sufficient amount of Philippine pesos
10. Names, addresses and telephone numbers of relatives or friends in the Philippines

The foregoing should not be construed as the end all and be all, rather consider them as the starting point and outline of what should be done and have, to increase your chances of having a pleasant and enjoyable travel to the Philippines. Items may be added or deleted depending on your specific needs and wants.

VISITING THE 7,107 ISLANDS

Almost every Filipino knows that the Philippines is an archipelago, but do you know how many islands are there? Do you know that some islands disappear when there is a high tide? Are you familiar with the tourist spots? Can you name at least five (5) of them? The country is composed of about 7,107 islands, some of them, especially those located in the Hundred Islands located in the province of Pangasinan, disappear in the high tide.

Some of the places of interest in the Philippines are: Quezon City, Manila, Baguio, Subic, the Hundred Islands, Batanes Province, Camarines Sur Water Sports Complex, Donsol, Sorsogon, Cebu City, Bohol Province, Negros & Panay Islands, Boracay, El Nido in Palawan, Davao City, Zamboanga City, Marawi City and a lot more! You will note that wherever you may be residing right now, (anywhere in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao), there will surely be places of interest or tourist spots which you can visit to relax, de-stress, re-invigorate and of course learn about the country you live in so you will not be a stranger in your country.

What are some of the travel tips you may find handy? First, decide on what particular places to visit, when you will visit and for how long, name at least three (3), rank them in order of preference. Next determine the budget available so that you can change the place to visit to a more affordable one just in case your budget comes out to be inadequate for your top priority.

Next, if available, buy a travel map of the place so you can familiarize yourself with the place, note the specific spots you like to visit. Find out what are the available means of transportation from where you live to the place you want to go and decide on what particular means you want to use; it may not be the cheapest but it should be the most convenient. Then, go the office of the transportation company to book your trip.

It would be to your advantage if you could book way ahead of your actual trip since some companies offer big discounts to travelers who do so. (Like some airlines that offer promo fares for flights booked at least 15 days before the actual flight.) Lastly, do an advance booking for the place you intend to stay. An option is to arrange with a friend or relative who lives there to do the booking for you; or if possible, stay in their place so you can save the money you are supposed to spend for accommodations for some other expenses!

What should you bring along, aside from a travel companion? Sufficient funds for the trip, enough and suitable clothes for the duration of the vacation, (you would have to buy a one piece swim suit if you have none! The beaches
are awesome, but the jelly fish can be nasty, so its important to have a one
piece swimsuit to protect yourself from the bites. You must be ready with
a anti-allergy tabs. The sting can be immediately remedied, but it is wise to buy a one piece, when visiting the beaches in the different islands.

Bring your medicines and vitamins, digital camera or video cam, an adventurous spirit and some patience, which should come in handy just in case you meet some unexpected events.

Caveat...

A word of caution though, don’t be too trusting, always exercise due diligence so that you don’t get swindled or taken for a ride!

Always travel with a trusted companion or a tourist guide if you are new in the Philippines, just to avoid getting hoodwinked.

Enjoy your vacation! I will be writing more about tips and more pictures coming up.

  • Intro Updated Mar 4, 2010
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Comments (6)

  • cyndymc's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Hi, Mary Ann. Thanks for inviting me to be a friend @ VT. hope to meet you someday ;)

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2011 at 4:51 AM

    Thanks for the birthday greetings!!

  • pedroswift's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    Hi Maryanne, thanks for visiting my pages. I'm impressed with the insights offered in your own homepage. Well done. regards, peter

  • zanzooni's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    I probably won't write tips at this point. I am way to busy right now with work, planning a VT meet, grandchildren and life. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. ~

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2010 at 2:59 AM

    Hiya Mary Ann. Thanks for visiting my homepage :o) You should get in contact with the PH vt'ers. They are a wonderful croud! :o) Cheers, Ann.

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Thanks for visiting my home page. I will be back later to have a look at your work Marg

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