Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Mabuhay! Welcome to the Philippines ~ Is it really more fun?


Mabuhay! 

This is the customary greetings you will hear and encounter at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as soon as you set foot on the Philippine soil.  It is the Tagalog translation for 'Welcome'.

Local passenger jeepney plying in the city of Pasay
I welcome you to the Philippines.  

If you know where to go and you know what to explore, it will definitely be a memorable adventure for you. Now, if you are ready to reach the heights, swim in the beautiful beaches, explore the sights, and tour the busy streets, then, come and discover what this southeast Asian country has to offer.

Yes, the Philippines has a lot in store for you.  It is now clear to me why the Philippine government, and tourism in particular, did not stop having fun from the time they introduced the project "It's More Fun in the Philippines". I believe them. They are true to their words because I was there very recently.  I see the big difference, the improvement, the effort of the Filipinos to attract more and more tourists to their country.  

Live starfish in the city of Puerto Princesa in Palawan

Baguio, Batangas, Bohol, Boracay, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Laguna, Manila, Palawan, Quezon Province, Tagaytay and Zambales are some of the beautiful places that I don't want you to miss when visiting the Philippines.

There are many more. You will be surprised when you get there.  These are amazing places to visit...and they are well worth it. I am giving you some of the tourist attractions you may want to consider.

Baguio 
The summer capital of the Philippines.

The city remains the favourite of the locals and tourists alike. Perhaps, because of its cool climate, the famous peanut brittle and fresh strawberries. Tourist Spots: Burnham Park ~ Wright Park Horseback Riding ~ Strawberry Farm ~ The Mansion ~ Lourdes Grotto ~ Minesview Park ~ Bell Church ~ Baguio Cathedral ~ Philippine Military Academy ~ Botanical Garden.

A View of Taal Lake in Tagaytay City

Batangas
The city known as the Industrial Port City of CALABARZON. 

If you are into festivals, beaches and mountains, Batangas is the place for you.
Tourist Spots: Anilao Diving Spot ~ Mount Batulao in Nasugbu ~ Mount Malarayat in Lipa ~ Lago de Oro in Calatagan ~ Fantasy World in Lemery ~ Taal Lake in Taal ~ Taal Volcano in Taal ~ Festivals All-Year-Round in towns and cities.


The durian capital of the Philippines. 

Durian, the famous king of fruits has made Davao popular due to its abundance in the city. Fly direct from Manila to Davao.  It is a little more than an hour and a half flight from Manila's domestic airport.
Tourist Spots:  Mount Apo ~ Philippine Eagle Nature Centre ~ Davao Crocodile Park ~ Eden Nature Park and Resort ~ Malagos Garden Resort ~ Museo Dabawenyo ~ People's Park ~ Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague ~ San Pedro Cathedral ~ GAP Farm

Tagaytay
The second summer capital of the Philippines.

This is another cool place which is a perfect first stop to spend your holiday. The serene environment provides the spectacular view of Taal Volcano. Tourist Spots: Tagaytay Ridge Zipline ~ Casino Filipino ~ View of Taal Lake & Taal Volcano ~ Picnic Grove ~ Horseback Riding ~ Josephine's Resto ~ Palace in the Sky ~ Taal Vista Lodge

Before you do anything to start your tour, let me give you a bit of information about the Philippines. It will help you familiarize with the country so that you know what to expect.

In Bohol Philippines

  • The capital of the Philippines is Manila
  • The two languages widely used are Filipino and English
  • Religion is predominantly Roman Catholic.  Certain percentage of Protestant, Muslims and Buddhist
  • Currency is Philippine peso (Php)
  • Climate from March to May is hot and dry.  June to October is rainy season. November to February is cool season
Most Filipinos speak English, quite a few don't. If a local person belongs to the latter, at least he can understand what you are talking about and could possibly help you in any way he can.  He may use his fingers, lips or head (yes, the Filipino way!) to point to a direction. It may be funny, but you've got to fit in.

Sampaloc Lake in the city of San Pablo 
I will give you useful phrases that is important to learn before coming to the Philippines. You may need this if you happen to meet local people especially the older ones in the countryside. Keep it handy.

Good Morning! : Magandang umaga (po)!
Good Afternoon! : Magandang hapon (po)!
Good Evening! : Magandang gabi (po)!
How are you? : Kumusta (po) kayo?
Fine, and you? : Mabuti naman (po). Kayo?
Thank you. : Maraming salamat (po).
You are welcome. : Walang anuman.
Please : Paki
Do you speak English? : Nagsasalita (po) ba kayo ng Inglis?
How much is this? : Magkano (po) ito?
I am going to the.... : Pupunta (po) ako sa....
How do I get to the.... : Paano (po) pumunta sa....?
Where is the bathroom? : Nasaan (po) ang banyo?
I am hungry. : Gutom na (po) ako.
I want to eat. : Gusto ko na (po) kumain
I don't understand : Hindi ko (po) maintindihan

You may pronounce the tagalog words as they are spelled. The word "po" is used only if you are speaking to an older person.  Otherwise, this can be omitted.

The Philippine Flag
Now, are you ready to go?  

Let me know if you need more information about the Philippines. 

I know that this country is heading to the right direction. I am sure. Philippines is where I was born.

Mabuhay!


From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send a message @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail(dot)com.