Indie Tip #3 | Travel to Philippines: How to Fit In

Travel to Philippines [Part 2]: How to Fit In

So you made it through the long haul flight and passed the customs unscathed. It's time to get around and see what Philippines has to offer.


A smile can win you friends and make your travel to Philippines a success. Common courtesy is something you should always bring with you. Apart from that, here are some other practical tips you must know.

  1. Dollar bills (or your own currency). Don't go willy nilly on exchanging all your money to Philippine Pesos. Keep dollar/euro bills for tips. Greens are always welcome and appreciated, especially as tips.
  2. Buy a local SIM card. Forget about using your home country's service provider. Local SIM cards are cheap and easy to find. Phone call and text rates are unbelievably cheap as well (even for international calls)!
  3. Rent a car with chaffeur. If you want to have your own transportation, don't forget to hire a chaffeur. You don't want to drive here - seriously. Offensive drivers are everywhere and you will most likely get lost as street signs are either confusing or nonexistent.
  4. Haggle. Bargain shops or bazaars are the best places to buy cheap items. Think places like Divisoria in Manila or Colon in Cebu. Practice your haggling skills when buying in the market or a souvenir shop.
  5. Topload. Public transportation in remote provincial areas are scarce. Tourists, locals and foreigner alike, should consider taking the next bus or riding on topload (riding al fresco above the jeepney, pictured here/bus/truck) to minimize the impact on the daily lives of the locals.

Whether you land in Manila, Cebu or Davao, Filipinos will all be the same - warm and friendly - despite the differences in ethnicity. Foreign visitors of any shape and color are always well-received. So, where do you want to go? Let me know.

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