London, Paris, New York, Tokyo. These destinations are probably ranked high in your travel bucket list. While there’s nothing wrong with dreaming of going to these places, you should also consider other destinations that may not be not so high profile as the ones listed above, but still deserve a spot in your go-and-see-the-world plans. For starters, why not set your sights on traveling in the Philippines, one of Asia’s not-so-secret treasures and a constant favorite among foreign travelers?
Many of them have fallen in love with the pearl of Southeast Asia, and a lot of these travelers have even made the Philippines their home after countless visits. Perhaps you’ve seen and heard of the now-famous slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines!” from the internet and fellow travelers. Just like other destinations, visiting the Philippines has its share of pros and cons. But have you ever wondered why more and more people are flocking to its shores despite the unpredictable weather and political circus, among other things? Get to know why it’s more fun in the Philippines and why it deserves to be in your top places to visit before you die.
We Have Colorful Festivals!
Photo Credit: cebutours.ph
If you’re located near Asia, there’s no need to go to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans for colorful festivities. Here in the Philippines, we have hundreds of festivals. The Masskara Festival in Bacolod City and the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City attract thousands of tourists locally and internationally. These festivals highlight the customs and traditions of the host provinces, filling the streets with street dances and eye-catching costumes. The famous Filipino hospitality is in full force here, because people are friendly and they can go from one house to another to sample the dish specialties that the province has to offer. Going to a Pinoy festival means numerous Instagram posts filled with smiles and color.
We Have Amazing Beaches!
Photo Credit: lhongchou’s photography via Flickr
The quality of our beaches is a major part of tourism in the Philippines. If you haven’t heard of Boracay or Palawan yet, you must be living under a rock. Boracay is often included in the list of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with its powdery white sand, crystal clear waters, and breathtaking sunsets. Indulge in exciting Boracay activities, from beach parties to lazy days resting in the more serene beach resorts of the island.
Meanwhile, Palawan boasts of an 8.2 kilometer subterranean river now hailed as one of the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World. We can definitely compete with those popular beaches in Bali, Phuket, and Maldives. No wonder many foreigners have bought real estate near these amazing beaches — imagine waking up everyday beholding such beauty!
We Have Mouthwatering Street Food!
Photo Credit: Bo Insogna via Flickr
Maybe you have already sampled some of the famous Filipino dishes: adobo, sinigang, and kare-kare. But your Pinoy food experience will never be complete without trying our infamous street fare. You can find them practically everywhere. Walk along the common streets in the city and you will find a barbecue stand loaded with different varieties of meat and fish offerings. If you’re fairly new and hesitant to try the innards that we are famous for, we suggest going for the chicken and pork first.
If you can work up your courage to try something exotic, we have the heart, intestine, liver, and even blood parts to take your taste buds to unfamiliar territory. Just make sure that the vendor cooks it really well (not to the point of burning) to avoid raw food diseases. If you surpass this experience, maybe you’ll take it to the next level and try our world-famous balut.
We Make Exquisite Handicrafts!
Photo Credit: lalaine22shoots via Flickr
Creativity, one of the many qualities that Pinoys are famous for, is very much evident in the handicrafts that we produce. Get your dollars or euros worth by buying local products that range from fashion accessories, handbags, decorations, and furniture. Forget about getting these at the air-conditioned shopping malls; roam the streets of Quiapo or Divisoria in Manila to get the cheapest prices and widest varieties possible.
We are Great English Speakers!
Photo Credit: Warren Smart via Flickr
Foreigners are constantly amazed at how they can stretch their currencies whenever they come to visit the Philippines. For them, everything seems to be so cheap, from food to hotel accommodations. It’s not surprising that a lot of them end up buying a house here and live as expats — with their money; they can afford to live like a king in these islands, with caring maids to boot.
We LOVE to Sing!
Videoke is BIG here in the Philippines. The common Pinoy may have a lot of problems, but he can still afford to smile and stay sane as long as there’s a microphone and several bottles of beer on the table. Pinoys are great singers, but hitting the right notes is not really the point here. It’s the ability to belt out and unleash their inner divas in just about any occasion they can think of is what matters to them. So go ahead and sing “I Will Survive” all you want — we will just cheer you on and encourage you with more alcohol.
We Have Awesome Hospitality
The Filipino hospitality is world-famous. Racism is not something you have to worry about; we welcome all types of people, regardless of skin and hair color. We serve great food, we make sure you’re comfortable, and we give you tips on how to stay safe during your stay. The way we treat guests is so good a lot of foreigners end up marrying Filipinas and residing here for good.
Believe me, there are more reasons why things are definitely more fun in this country, but don’t just take our word for it. Book your plane ticket, plot down your itinerary and get ready to experience the vacation of a lifetime. Who knows, you may end up becoming an honorary Pinoy in the near future.