Beautiful beaches, wonderful people, perfect climate and decent food, the Philippines is definitely one of the best travel destinations out there. Alas like anywhere there are things that you should and shouldn’t do to ingratiate yourselves with the locals.
Here’s our dos and fonts for traveling to the Philippines
Do’s in the Philippines
Do respect the religion
Despite the existence of girly bars and other forms of entertainment in parts of the country respect that it is still a very Catholic country, do not act like it is the last days of Rome. In the Islamic parts of the country similar rules apply.
Do dress appropriately
There is no topless sunbathing in the Philippines, and bikinis and swimwear should be kept the beach, or swimming pool. Particularly if you are visiting religious sites, or around town. Even with swimwear locals dress conservatively and a thong might not be appreciated in certain places.
Do make friends
Whilst you should not be naive and trust everyone, Filipinos are famously hospitable, so make friends and have fun, don’t be that person who only hangs out with expats!
Do learn about the money
100 peso and 1000 peso notes ($2 – $20) are the same color. Many a foreigner has been stung by this one. With tipping in the Philippines you generally round up the bill, and yes you should tip in the Philippines.
Don’ts in the Philippines
Do not trust people too easily
Theres a common Manila scam where you are shopping and guy will come up to you telling you he works at your hotel, offers to help you shop. Long story short helpful man doesn’t work at your hotel and you end up with a big bill.
Don’t disrespect the country
Filipinos are fiercely patriotic, they know that their country has problems, but they do not like these problems being pointed out to them. Be respectful, this is their business.
Don’t be rude to people
This should be a rule everywhere, but respect particularly for those older than you is a big thing. As a nice rule of thumb sir and madam go a long way.
Don’t be confrontational
Face is a thing in the Philippines and if you act aggressive, or confrontational things can go south very quickly, Keep in mind they also have guns here.
Don’t show off your wealth
The Philippines has serious problems with poverty. There is relatively little violent crime aimed at foreigners, but if you head out into dark alleys bandying your new camera and iPhone don’t be shocked if you get robbed.
But to summarize….
Enjoy yourself, embrace local culture and have a good time, the Philippines truly is an amazing place.