Between sprawling Metro Manila sprawling down to Boracay’s beautiful white sand beaches, the Philippines has enough adventure to keep the intrepid traveler hungry for more. I have been across Europe and China, but nothing says diverse quite like the Philippines. Travelers can find themselves taking a scenic 9-hour bus ride to the north to get a glimpse of the famous Banaue rice terraces or take a 1-hour flight to the endless possibilities found in the southern islands. I’ve broken down my thoughts on this exciting country into 5 reasons you should add a stamp from the Philippines to your passport.
If you haven’t already done so, get on YouTube and start searching beaches in the Philippines. You’re guaranteed to get an amazing look at 7,107 breathtaking islands that comprise the pacific nation. You can explore the exotic natural beauty of places like Palawan, Cebu, Boracay, and may more by island hopping. At these places feel free to dive with whale sharks, check out awe-inspiring fish and coral reefs.
“Being a foreigner can initially be a daunting experience. However, Filipinos are very welcoming”
Immense Business Opportunities
I was lucky enough to land an internship with one of the top companies on the planet, General Electric. While opportunities in the Philippines are competitive, the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Region is emerging with incredible growth and employment opportunities are increasing, especially for those finishing their Bachelor’s degree. In terms of business, the Philippines are a place you simply cannot ignore.
Friendly Culture and Awesome Food
Being a foreigner can initially be a daunting experience. However, Filipinos are very welcoming and pedestrians are more than willing to answer any questions you have if you’re willing to ask. While you should always familiarize yourself with the local language (Tagalog), the Philippines is a breeze for English speakers. The majority of people you come across will speak near perfect English accompanied by always calling you “Sir or Ma’am.”
On top of Filipinos hospitality, the food here is mouthwatering. While many people are familiar with Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese, Filipino food has its own unique history. Mixed in with cuisines from Spanish, Chinese, Indonesian, and Arabian, the Philippines provide any traveler with an improved pallet. Some of my favorites include:
Adobo-Tender meats, seafood, or vegetables marinated in soy and garlic sauce. Have a drink in hand because this Pinoy favorite gets a bit salty.
Sisig- Pork Marinated in lemon juice. This makes for a fantastic nighttime snack!
Turon- A desert-like banana, fried with coconut oil and perfect after any salty meal.
The great part about being located in the Philippines is the option to travel. Feel like visiting Singapore, Bali, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kuala Lumpur? Flights range from 1-4 hours away, all at very reasonable prices from about $100-$200. After all, there’s a reason why they say, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”
Favorable Exchange Rate
If you’re an American, from the UK, or Europe, you should have a favorable exchange rate around 50-70:1. With low-cost food, transport, and housing, saying, “I can’t afford to go,” just doesn’t cut it anymore. You can pick up a gourmet meal for around 300 Pesos or $6.