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Last updated : Nov 2009
Land of Enchanted People
Rating :

Jun 03 '00

Pros: Inexpensive, great people
Cons: food, inter-country travel is difficult

I had the privilege of living in the Philippine Islands for almost 2 years. The country offers diverse activities from lush beach resorts to lavish mountain-top getaways. Beauty and culture surround you while traveling through this tropical island grouping, just north of the equator. The most fascinating feature of this country, however, is its people. The Philippine Islands is populated with a melting pot of people, originating primarily from the neighboring Asian countries. Prevalently, Japanese, Malaysian, Korean, Chinese, and American (particularly due to the American presence from WWII until 1992). This melting pot has created a beautiful and enchanting people, full of grace and yet ambitious. I found them to be extremely creative, with use of their resources as well as their artful talents.

I would caution any visitor to become familiar with the weather seasons before planning their trip. Late spring and early summer are otherwise known as the "rainy season" and it's not unusual for it to rain for days on end. Conversely, our winter time is their "dry season" which can be swelteringly hot and dry.

The economy in the Philippines is much more affordable than ours here, so plan on shopping in one or several of the vast open markets, and hone up on your bargaining skills. The merchants will respect you and appreciate your bargaining for their goods; it's the way they do business. I found I got the best bargains when I stayed tough, but smiled a lot.

Another one of the benefits is the availability of personal services for great prices! Professional massages, manicures and pedicures, among others, are a fraction of what you'd pay in most other destinations, or here in the U.S., so treat yourself. Mabuhay!

Recommended: Yes