May 30, 2017
By Kristine Agustin
Phillippines: There’s no place like home
There’s no other reason how travel has changed my life except for the simple reason that I fell in love with my home country.
I am born and raised in a third world country. I wasn’t born to travel, I was one of those yuppies today that were made to follow their parents dream and move to the corporate world. I found out that I wasn’t for an 8 to 5 job. When I was into a multinational sales company, my horizon widen for travelling since I was sent to different cities and provinces in the Philippines. I was sent to Zamboanga, Cebu, Bicol and I was already counting where to go next. From then on, I promised myself that I would explore my country first before I try to move or see to another country. So here are the 40 things I learned while exploring Philippines.
1. Love your home country. I am a proud Filipino.
2. Have at least 1 local friend or acquaintance to keep in touch to in every destination. You’ll never know you when might you see them again.
3. There’s a difference between Visayan dialect in the Visayas and in Mindanao.
4. I understand quite a bit the different dialects around the country but I’m having a hard time understanding Bicolano.
5. I started travelling at a very young age, mostly in Laguna-Quezon and Tarlac, my mother and father’s hometown.
6. I’d been to Boracay for the nth time and I still love the place. It’s my heaven.
7. My favourite province is Cebu. Cebu will always be my number 1. Well, there’s so much to see – beaches, waterfalls and heritage sites and most especially the food and the people.
8. My first white sand beach is in Bantayan Island in Cebu. I became a beach bum after seeing the island.
9. Out of the different places I haven’t seen, I’m saving El Nido for a special someone. I refused every invitation to go there even if my itchy feet want to see the place.
10. I’d love to meet hacienderos in Bacolod and the rest of Negros. This is one is funny, but it’s true.
11. Visit a church.
12. My first out of town trip with friends was in The Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan. There goes my fascination with old churches.
13. There are only few old Spanish churches in Mindanao. The rest are found in Luzon and Visayas.
14. We are rich in history. Don’t forget to visit a heritage site or a museum.
15. Try local food or delicacies of different provinces
16. Must try the different longganisa around the country.
17. Curacha is very delicious.
18. I grew up learning how to make a kiping (rice crispy) for the Pahiyas Festival.
19. Most of the time, I cry when I’m in Baguio. Don’t ask me why.
20. Riding on top of a Jeepney is fun.
21. Try swimming in a river. There are still clean rivers.
22. Try swimming in hot spring, mineral spring even soda spring.
23. Bath at the cascading water of the falls. It’s a good massage for the back.
24. Your first caught fish is a rewarding experience.
25. Riding a horse without a saddle is scary.
26. Reaching the mountain summit is one of the best experienced after a long trek.
27. The harder to reach your destination, the beautiful the place when you get there, you’ll appreciate the place even more.
28. You might end up having tragic experiences but don’t make it an obstruction while travelling.
29. Box jelly fish stings. Boy, it hurts. Be careful most especially in the coast line of Quezon.
30. On summer there’s still rain. On rainy season, sometimes it’s hot. Just pray that you have a good weather during your travel.
31. Train to be a mountain climber. Learn the basics, the do’s and don’ts in climbing.
32. Try transient houses. Locals are good hosts and tour guides.
33. I’m picky when it comes to toilet. But yeah, I’ve tried toilets under the bushes at the back of the house. Well, learn not to breathe for 5 minutes.
34. Try camping. It’s always good to see the stars and the moon at night.
35. Sleep in a hammock near the shore. I love the breeze of the air and the sound of the waves.
36. I had to take antimalarial drug while I was going to Brooke’s Point, Palawan for precautionary measures.
37. I felt guilty swimming with the whale shark.
38. Dolphins are adorable.
39. Respect culture and religion.
40. Follow the golden rule of travelling: TAKE NOTHING BUT PICTURES, LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS.
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About the Author
I am freelance writer; a scientist; a bacon addict; a beach bum; loves the moon, the stars, catching sunrise and chasing sunset. I’d been travelling since 2000 exploring Philippines and eventually in 2009 I started exploring Asian countries. I am between a backpacker and a flashpacker. I am the travel writer of our website A Journey With Me (https://ajourneywith.me). Currently into sales and travelling.