As the travel requirements to the Philippines start to ease up, you may be planning to visit it in the near future, you might be feeling pretty excited about your upcoming trip. Travelling to the Philippines can be an unforgettable experience, filled with beautiful sights and plenty of adventure. However, it's important to remember that there are some things you need to do before you arrive in this beautiful country. If you want to ensure your trip goes smoothly and you have fun, pay close attention to these seven things you must do when travelling to the Philippines.
7 things you must do when travelling to the Philippines
1) Come with an open mind
The Philippines is a country with a rich culture and history. There are many things to see and do, and it can be overwhelming at first. But if you come with an open mind, you'll surely have a great time.
2) Respect local customs
One of the most important things to do when travelling to any new country is to respect local customs. This is especially important in the Philippines, where many people are very religious. You should dress modestly, avoid swearing, and be aware of your body language. If you are unsure about something, ask a local. They will be more than happy to help you out.
3) Learn a few words of Tagalog
Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines, so learning a few words will go a long way in your travels. Plus, it's a fun language to learn. Moreover, while most people can communicate pretty well in English, the locals really appreciate the effort you are making to talk in their language, helping you connect with them more during your trip.
4) Get off the beaten path
There are plenty of beautiful places to see in the Philippines, but if you really want to experience the country, you need to get off the beaten path. Rent a motorbike, take a tricycle, or hire a guide and explore some of the more remote areas. You won't regret it.
Smiling is an important part of Filipino culture and is considered a way of showing respect. When you smile at someone, they will often smile back, even if they don't know you. Make sure you also look people in the eye while speaking with them. A strong eye contact is a sign of sincerity and honesty in many Asian cultures and can be crucial for good communication in your business dealings with Filipinos. If you meet someone for the first time, it's customary to shake their hand firmly but not too hard or too long.
6) Save your cash for shopping in Intramuros, Manila's old city
When in Intramuros, make sure to haggle for the best prices at the many vendors selling a wide variety of goods, from clothes to souvenirs. Also, be on the lookout for fake products. To avoid getting ripped off, only buy from reputable stores. For an authentic experience, try bargaining with the store owner in Tagalog, the Philippines' national language. You might be surprised at how much you can save.
7) Explore Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao
The Banaue Rice Terraces are a sight to behold. These 2,000-year-old terraces were carved into the mountainside by the Ifugao people and are still in use today. A visit here is a must when travelling to the Philippines. You can hike through the terraces, learn about the rice-farming process, and even stay overnight in one of the traditional Ifugao houses. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.