Have you guessed that EJ and I are both of Filipino descent?
I mean, most people can guess that I am... but no one ever believes that EJ is a quarter Filipino!
So naturally we both had a desire to visit this absolutely beautiful country!
Palawan VS Boracay:
These are two very common tourist cities to visit, if you are deciding between the two, it is pretty easy to choose as it depends on what you are looking to do and to see.
Palawan is great for nature lovers while Boracay is great for action and night life!
Regardless of which island you choose to go to, the Filipino people are very kind, happy and you'll notice that they are very hard workers. Feel free to tip them as they will do everything in their power to make sure you are happy - they will be forever grateful as a tip goes a long way here in the Philippines.
The Funny Lion (hotel)
As Palawan is more of a relaxing island, we decided on staying at a hotel over looking for an AirBNB. It is a
Like we’ve said before, when finding an AirBNB everything is about location. When looking for a place to stay in Boracay it is helpful to know that the tiny island is divided into three stations; Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3. To be honest, all three stations lead to the same thing, the beach and adventure. With that said, if you really want to be in the mix of everything, stay in Station 2 and enjoy your time.
The location for our AirBNB was actually at the “back” of the island in Station 2, meaning we did not stay on the white sand/main beach that everyone hangs out on which was nice because not only was our area a little more quiet and secluded but it was only a 5 minute walk to the white beach.
Philippine Peso (Piso)
A dollar (USD) goes a longggggg way here in the Philippines!
1 Philippine Piso (PHP) = 0.019 (USD)
With that said, if you want to ball on a budget, it is definitely possible here in the Philippines! In fact, I highly suggest it as tourism is much needed in this beautiful country!
Cash, cash, cash... aside from our hotel which we booked online... I don't believe that we used card at all on these islands. I really don't even believe that the restaurants here take cards. So, I highly recommend carrying enough cash to last your entire stay.
What to eat:
Dae to try Balut! (I say “dare to try” because honestly, I couldn’t do it. EJ was a champ and not only did he try it but he liked it and ate 3 more!
Street food… ask what it is or don’t (might be best not to ask) but if you really want to know what the Philippines is all about, you really do just have to try it all - as weird as it may be.
San Miguel Beer. Everyone in Philippines enjoys a nice, San Miguel beer with everything.
In all realness, half the time we didn’t even know what we were eating, we just ate it. Some things we liked and some we did not. Every though I was open to try anything, one thing I made sure not to try was dog. I refuse to ever try that.
Do's and Don'ts:
BE RESPECTFUL: Being respectful is always our number one rule everywhere we go. The Filipino people are such hard workers and are so helpful, friendly and extremely kind that there is truly no reason to be mean.
LEAVE A TIP: a tip really goes a long way in the Philippines, even if it is just a dollar or two. We traveled to the Philippines with our friend Jan, he had a friend and his cousin (both from the Philippines) meet us in either locations. After speaking with both of them, they had explained to me how little money people make per day. Literally just a few dollars a day. So by giving a $3 - $5 dollar tip, you are doubling their daily wage. This isn't something that you have to do by any means... but it sure will make someones day.
Mobile Apps Used:
Apple Maps: (I know, I know... Ej didn't like that I used this either, but it really does work pretty well for me in each country I go to, so...)
Side note about Apple Maps: I generally like to put in the destination location, I click on directions and I DO NOT hit go. If you have some sort of sense of direction, I have found that it is easier to follow as it still gives you enough information to follow the map as well as the train station stops, toward your destination.
Service is not the greatest in the Philippines unless you are at a restaurant, a cafe, or in your hotel/ AirBNB that provides free WIFI for you. That being said, there weren’t any apps that we downloaded to figure out where to go.
Palawan: we had our personal tour guide that picked us up and took us from island to island on our boat. And it was our hotel that provided us with this amazing tour guide it which we had hired for the remainder of our stay.
Boracay: is such a small island that you are able to walk around, get lost and be able to figure out where to go and what to do - as everything is provided along the white sand beach.
Get a pocket WIFI (if available)
Wear comfortable walking shoes/slippers
Have a coin purse
Bring an external battery
If going to Boracay or Palawan, since you will be mostly surrounded by water, I highly suggest bringing your GoPro instead of a camera. Something that is fully waterproof!
Basic Tagalog Phrases:
Most people here know enough English to help you out with whatever it is you need. However, here are a few key phrases to help you get by in the Philippines. Note that there are MANY Filipino dialects, however Tagalog is probably the most common.
Thank you: Salamat