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Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared When Traveling to The Philippines


Hills of the Philippines taken by Sophia Nicole

Via Sophia Nicole

Why People Have Fears 

In April 2016 the United States issued a travel warning on some parts of the Philippines. Former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte began a war on drugs that led to a long span of violence and attacks were at an all time high as there were additional warnings issued by the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines stating:

“Extremists have targeted sporting events, theaters, markets, mass transportation systems – including airlines, and other public venues where large crowds gather. Crowded nightclubs, shopping malls, buses and popular restaurants have also been targets.”

These warnings put the country as a whole in a negative context and it was labeled as a dangerous place to go which deterred many people from traveling there. Dating back to 2019, there are still accounts of lawless violence, kidnappings, and attacks on foreigners. Diseases and viruses can occur all year round and these are all things that have been warned to anyone planning to travel to the country.

Your Fears Should Stay Home

Everywhere you go in the world has its own share of dangerous and safe areas and the Philippines is no exception however, it is unfair to label the whole country as dangerous for events going on in some areas. Some countries experience organized crime and crooked government while others experience unlawful crimes and even racism. This should NOT dissuade you from traveling to any of those places; it simply warns you to exercise caution which you should be doing anyway regardless of where you are domestically or internationally. The Philippines regardless of its past is a beautiful place filled with vast breathtaking lands that beg to be explored. This article will give you a travel guide on the places you should visit to make the most out of your hopeful next trip to the Philippines.

Places to Stay

Sipaway Island- Located in San Carlos City, this island has multiple resorts you can choose to stay in including hotels and guest houses owned by locals. This island is one of the lesser-known tourist places so it is good for a quiet vacation and good for relaxing.

Siargao Island- This relatively small island in the southeast of the Philippines is one of the top tourist locations. The island itself has an area of 168.7 square miles and is shaped like a teardrop. It is also considered the country’s surfing capital as well so if you like adventure, this is the place to go.

Places to Visit

Palawan Island- This large island is one of the most famous tourist spots in the Philippines, and for good reason! It is the largest province in the country with an area of 5,656.29 square miles (14,649.73 square kilometers). If you are staying on the mainland then the way to get to the island would require a plane ride due to the distance between the mainland and the island.

Chocolate Hills- Fair warning this place can be difficult to get to however, the trip could be worth it to see these naturally formed hills that look straight out of a movie scene. There are at least 1,260 hills spread over a wide area and are covered with grass. You can get to the chocolate hills by plane, land vehicle, or boat.

Beach of the Philippines taken by Sophia Nicole

Via Sophia Nicole

Foods To Eat

Please keep in mind that all these dishes WILL BE served with rice as that is a staple of Filipino cooking in its own right.

Lechon- This is a must whenever there is a special occasion going on. Lechon is basically an entire pig with herbs and spices stuffed into it, and is roasted whole. It becomes golden red, crispy outside but juicy inside with a lot of flavors from the spices. It is served as a whole usually in a buffet and you are able to grab your piece.

Sinigang- This dish is the locals' go to meal because of its freshness and its sour flavor. You start with water and throw in tamarind which gives it that sour flavor and continue to add the meat of your choice. It is possible to boil the meat first but it is not a requirement. Veggies are then added to the mixture and the soup is done. It is added to a bowl of rice and you’ll fall in love.

Adobo Chicken- This dish right here is a classic. Its chicken is marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and other flavors that combine to make a delicious chicken. If sinigang is the locals go to, then Adobo chicken is the locals' favorite served with, you guessed it, a nice side of fluffy rice. You can add chilis to the marinade to give the chicken a nice spicy flavor as well.

Proper Etiquette 

The locals are fairly nice and hospitable people when it comes to tourists. This means it is up to us as tourists to be friendly and approachable to the locals. Greeting the people around you with a good morning or good evening is a good idea. It is also very important to respect the elders. There is an act called “pagmamano” in which you allow an “elder’s” hand to touch your forehead which is a sign of respect to them and is a common practice for the locals and they would appreciate it if the tourists did it as well. 

Basically What We’re Saying Is

Going to the Philippines will be an easy and relaxing trip to go on this summer and there are many different places to explore. Just remember that the Philippines is a series of islands combined to make a country so plane and boat are the go to ways to traverse the country however, if you plan to stay where you are a bus or bike would be the way to go. The locals are nice as long as you are and there really isn’t much that should stop you from taking a trip to these beautiful islands this summer!

Trees of the Philippines taken by Sophia Nicole

Via Sophia Nicole

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Sophia Nicole


Department of Foreign Affairs

Two Wandering Soles

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