What to say about the Philippines? I have been thinking about that for a couple of days now. It is one of these comfortable situations where it feels a little bit like coming home. Although, I have to admit, at first I was taken aback by the chaos and poverty. How i got over it ?
As has become my typical approach lately, I arrived in the philippines basically without knowing anything that I would want to do it here. I spent the first two days at the hostel just talking to people and relaxing in a bustling city on the island of Cebu. I should have left much sooner, but still jet lagged and somewhat unmotivated I hung out at the hostel and absorbed the stories of others.
Just listening to people’s descriptions of destinations is not the worst approach though to plan a trip. I see that you usually don’t have the time to do so if you are no holiday, but when traveling i figure it’s who cares? Now I have a pretty good overview of what people search in the philippines and why they come here.
For me it became familiar as soon as I left the city, as it is in southeast Asia after all. Although I must admit that at first I was a little bit shocked by the feeling of latin america and spain that it naturally has as a former colony. It is a bit as if the chaotic and slightly noisy spanish culture has mixed with the noisy southeast asian culture to produce something that exceeds my natural tolerance for noise and chaos. but once you get used to that it’s just as lovely as basically any southeast asian country I have been to.
I wonder why these places are so easy to travel in . It may be the environment that forces people to take it easy in the heat of the day live and wake up at night. but while you also have that in other places in the world, which is perfect for a night owls, like me, there is very little crime in most southeast asian places.
That being said, I heard a lot about crime in the philippines. and while that seems to be true for some places in the south, where you basically should not go as a tourist, it is not true for the rest of the country, it seems to me. it is of course easy to find accommodation, transport and anything else a backpackers requires to feel comfortable.
The food may not be on my top 10 list of southeast asian countries but at the same time you get everything you need for the reasonable prices.
Three weeks of beaches, waterfalls, and some diving. You will not see me complaining. Sadly, there is not much else to say about it. It’s perfectly lovely and feels like paradise.
P.S. just in case you were wondering. The volcano eruption did not affect us at all. I am far in the south from Manila so we did not even notice anything, except the constant talk about it.