If Philippines is one of your planned travel destination, preparation is a must. A trip to a developing country is not as convenient as what you might experience in a developed country but it is an adventure you will never forget.
The Philippines has very unique food, attractions and people. If you go with an open mind you can learn a lot from the culture. The people there have a different standard of happiness. Traveling in my own country and other South East Asian countries has given me a wealth of memories and experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Here are few tips for going to the Philippines:
1. Restaurants. When eating in a restaurant giving 1 or 2 dollar tip is already more than enough for filipinos. They are thankful with that amount. The current exchange rate now is $1.00 = P 44.69. Average minimum wage for Manila is P466.00 and Cebu is P 310.00.
2. Blend in. To look normal, do not carry a backpack if you are going to the mall. That is just weird for filipinos. Plus in the cities, some malls may block you and thoroughly check your body and bags especially the guys to ensure that you are not carrying anything the might be seen as a weapons. Malls are guarded with cctv cameras. They are strict in inspecting people and people carrying backpacks because thieves usually carry backpacks to steal stuff from the store.
3. Pick Pockets. Always feel and watch your pants pockets because there are many pick pocketer there.
4. Dating. If you are going on a date with a filipina, always offer to pay and if she offers to contribute, refuse immediately. It's an automatic rejection when they have to pay a share. If she had to pay at all you should not expect a future in that date. A few girls might reconsider this but only if she is super into a guy.
5. Whitening products. If you are using a special soap, get some before travelling to the Philippines because 90% of the time, it will not be available there. Also, all lotions, face creams and soaps have whitening chemicals. Only Vaseline and baby products do not contain whitening.
6. Exotic food. While traveling in the Philippines, you will notice that filipino cuisines have so many exotic food that we do not classify as exotic and that may be gross to you. Do not try it if you are not ready. You can stick to American restaurants there, they have a few like TGI fridays, McDonalds, Shakeys and Pizza Hut.
7. Deadbeats. If you are walking alone and a filipino shows up trying to be nice and befriended you, be suspicious and ignore him/her if you can. They are not trying to be nice for free. They
want money from you.