I finally was able to sit down and write up this mini travel guide! The month of May was so chaotic. This trip back to the Philippines was the best kind of R & R trip to take. My family and I used to go back to the Philippines every four years. The last time I went back was when five years ago, so time was definitely past due. There’s an expression, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!” And they were so right about that.
WHAT TO DO:
✮ Island hopping: My favorite part about the Philippines and what most tourists think what most of Philippines looks like. It’s not all sunshine and clear blue oceans but these days spent on the boats are the most amazing views. The most recent island hopping trip was in Coron, Palawan. It’s basically one of the most photogenic places that keep getting posted on Facebook. We stayed in Coron for a week and it was only a 45-minute flight from Cebu!
BEST ISLANDS TO VISIT:
✮ Swimming with the Whale Sharks: My dad is from Cebu and this was just 3 hours of a drive from his hometown. I’m going to be honest, I was a baby about this before I jumped in the water but was one of the coolest experiences ever. Unfortunately, the pictures and videos got deleted from the Go Pro we used but I definitely need to go back and do it again.
✮ Hiking: Mt. Pinatubo. This was a few hours of a drive from Manila. Wow, I remember doing this hike in 2014 and it was pretty brutal because of how sunburnt I got and I did most of the hike in flip flops because I didn’t want to get my Nike’s dirty (priorities).
✮ Shopping: Either in the markets (to bargain) or any of the SM malls. Our money is worth way more in the Philippines. Always leave room in your suitcase to pack stuff that you bought while you were away.
✮ Spa Day: Yes, you completely heard that correctly. I always feel treated like royalty when I visit. 😂 I spent $12 on a FULL SET of eyelash extensions that lasted me two weeks. A one hour massage was $8. YES. You are reading this correctly. You bet your butt I got about four of those during my 10 DAY stay. LOL. This is your VACATION, the best way to unwind and treat yourself.
✮ The Philippines is made up of 7,000+ islands
✮ There are 185 dialects — most people are familiar with Tagalog
✮ 80% of the Philippines are Roman Catholics
TIPS WHEN TRAVELING:
✮ Do your research ahead of time to plan out your island hopping. Take into account of flying to the islands, how to get picked up to get around the island, the boats you will be taking to go island hopping.
✮ Cash out your money: Most places don’t take card!
✮ Always take the white cab vs. the yellow cab when you are trying to get around. They charge less!
✮ The fastest way to get around is on a motorcycle.
✮ Always carry wipes, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer: believe it or not, most bathrooms don’t have access to this.
✮ Pack less makeup than usual: I was literally drenched in my own sweat practically every day. I fully regret wearing a full face of makeup one day, it was actually dripping down my face at the club. 😂
✮ If you’re coming from the states, DO NOT drink the tap water. The filtering system is different here, buy bottled water.
✮ Bring a Go Pro or any kind of waterproof camera. It is SO worth it if you love the water. There is so much beautiful ocean life that need to be seen!
✮ Carry your bag in front of you, pickpocketing is big here. (Obviously, be cautious of your belongings wherever you’re traveling in the world)!?
✮ If you’re staying at a hotel, the front desk usually has the best ideas on how to get around to go site seeing and island hopping.
Shoutout to my dad for the super fun and much-needed vacation. ❤️ I met some amazing people during my trip and I’m already counting down the days until I get to go back. Be back soon, Cebu. Thanks for the memories! Safe travels to anyone heading out to the Philippines, feel free to reach out for any recommendations!