By: Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan
As in any country, there are unwritten rules and customs that you have to go with when you are in the Republic of the Philippines. Below are a few do’s and don’ts that will help you to have great fun during your stay in the archipelago.
Do’s when in the Philippines:
1. Do follow designated pedestrian crossing and jeepney stops ( a jeepney is the most popular mode of transportation in the country and looks like the longer version of a jeep). There may be a lot of locals who dare violate those traffic and pedestrian rules but it will help you stay out of hassle if you abide by these rules.
2. Do tour around the place local style. Riding a jeepney or a bus will give you a more personal experience with regard to the place. As of press time, jeepney fare is at Php8. 00 (US$.19). You can also opt to ride in a taxi, the plug down rate is at Php40. 00 (US$.45), fare rate is subject to change at times, however. Transportation means are available almost all day, so one can while away time and choose to go around the place on one’s most preferred time.
3. Do eat the exotic foods sold in almost every corner of the place. The Philippines wouldn’t have earned its slot as one of the countries in Asia with the best street foods for nothing. So loosen up, try the kwek-kwek (hard-boiled egg wrapped with a crispy, orange coating) and other exotic foods that are readily available. The price won’t rip your pocket, and the Filipinos are particular with food preparation, so there is nothing much to worry about.
4. Do grab the microphone when it’s your turn to sing during a videoke party. Filipinos love to sing, and parties are no party without a videoke. Go with the flow and before you know it you’re singing your heart out without any inhibitions. This will not only give you good time, this will also help you to get to know better the jovial culture of the Filipino people.
5. Do tag along with Filipino friends, their hospitality are real and they are willing to extend help when you need them. They will also walk you through the dos and don’ts that will help you get by happily in the country.
Don’ts when in the Philippines
1. Don’t bring large amount of cash or wear expensive pieces of jewelry when commuting. This will keep you from being easy prey of cons that are out to deceive and victimize foreigners and locals alike.
2. Don’t refuse a meal that is being offered by your host during a home visit. Filipinos believe that it’s unlucky to turn away guests, which is why they see to it that guests feel comfortable and happy when visiting their homes. Most of the time, they will offer sweets, bread, or rice cakes that are easy on your palette so you don’t really have to worry about not liking their food.
3. Don’t miss out on the rural areas. The Philippines is known for its lush biodiversity, so be sure to book countryside travels that’s sure to catch you on different “aha!” moments.
4. Don’t skip on the beaches either! The beaches in the Philippines are rather underrated but truly breathtaking. In some areas, the resorts are underdeveloped which means that you can go on basking in its turquoise sea without the overrated infrastructures that otherwise destroy your awesome beach experience.
5. Don’t forget to travel light… at the same time; don’t forget to pack some party clothes. Filipinos are also night-out lovers and you will have the days of your life if you hit the road by the day and party hard by night.