5 Tips to Survive in The Philippines


tricycle
Taking the Pedicab in The Philippines

I have an 8-hour layover in Korea, so of course, I had to write a blog post.

My vacation in the Philippines went by entirely too fast, and I honestly wish we could stay just another week. There is so much to post from all the things I did with my family, what I’ve learned and so on, but for now, I want to give you some survival tips for the Philippines.

Survival Tip #1 Do not pull your phone out in public unless absolutely necessary. There are a lot of people out there who will mug you, and have no problem doing so. While we were stuck in traffic, one guy was just walking behind the line of tricycles (one of the ways of transportation there), snatched this girls Galaxy and ran off. No one tried to stop him.

Survival Tip #2 – Bring toilet paper everywhere you go. This is more so for the ladies, and sometimes applies to the guys when you have to take a shit. Not all public places in the Philippines have toilet paper, so you have to bring or buy your own. My last trip here, there was no toilet paper at all, but this time I noticed some of the bathrooms have toilet paper dispensers by the sink, versus in the actual stall.

Survival Tip #3 – Carry small change. A lot of the places don’t carry change, so you have to carry small amounts or else you’re stuck not getting what you wanted to purchase, having to get change or paying more.

Survival Tip #4 – Say words with a Filipino accent. Chris and I walked up and down this street looking for 6 Gatorades. When we got to one vendor, Chris asked for “gatorade” three times, and the vendor got pissed because he couldn’t understand him. When Chris said it with a Filipino accent behind it (gay-toh-raaaaaid), he knew exactly what he wanted.

Survival Tip #5 – There are no rules for driving. If a lane is open, it’s your lane. I could never drive in the Philippines because no one cares. It made me realize that when people think Asian drivers are “bad drivers” in the U.S. – it’s really not true, because they’re driving in the way they know how in their country.  It’s crazy here! I thought we were going to get into so many different accidents because of how close we were to other cars – or even people for that matter. One time we were driving on a main road, and we hit a guy’s elbow, and it was like nothing to him. Bottom line, what I’ve learned is if you can drive in the Philippines, you can literally drive anywhere.

I could go on and on about more tips, but unfortunately, my laptop is about to die and I wanted to post something before this 12.5 hour flight =/ This was overall such an amazing trip, so be sure to come back for my other posts. To my family, we miss you already and can’t wait to come back.

See you soon, Chicago!

[RELATED: 11 Philippine Superstitions]

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