AsiaBill's Ten Travel Tips for the Philippines!!
1.) Always carry small change in Pesos, Coins & 20, 50 &100 notes. That saves you the annoyance from the very common reply, "sorry
2.) Ask someone, a local Filipino or foreigner about taxi or jeepney, tricycle fares before you get in. Pay & walk away. NEVER ask "How much?" because the price goes up the more you talk. A moving taxi is too busy working so it tends to be a better, more honest
taxi versus parked taxis waiting for victims. Tip the taxi driver P10 to P20 reward him for not hassling you. Good Karma ALWAYS REWARDS you.
3. ) Never change money on the street nor inside a restaurant. You will ALWAYS lose and usually almost half your money. These money
change scam artists are very good and show that the hand is always quicker than the eye.
4. ) Never gamble with local Filipinos not pool, playing cards, chess or any game for money & not even for drinks. It's safer not to gamble. It's one example in life where when you win you lose & when you lose you lose. This also applies to Filipinos outside their own province, barrio without access to the support of their barkada(sp?).
5. ) Never raise your voice at a Filipino away from your own neighborhood. Never call a Filipino "STUPID". They are very sensitive
about it. If you do get angry & make the mistake. Please leave the place as soon as possible .Go Away Fast because you are in more DANGER than you realize. Filipinos are among the most peaceful easy going, "happy go lucky" people in the world so do not like to fight BUT "fair fights" are not the custom, "fight to kill" is.
6. ) Forget about the 2 words "WHY" & "SHOULD" or you get constant headache trying to understand why things happen like they do in places outside your own country, especially the Philippines. Acceptance is the preferable attitude. There are too many things for you to
question, so it's better for you not to start. So just relax & enjoy the positive aspects of living in the Philippines with a sense of humor.
7. ) Expect everything to be late and slow. Life stops at LUNCH. Schedules change & the weather is unpredictable. Telephones, electricity, cable TV, internet access and water - sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Such is life so use these "down times" to broaden your awareness of life around you without the modern conveniences s most of us take for granted.
8.) Never accept drinks, candy, or fruit from strangers, especially, younger women, most often appearing very straight, educated and sophisticated like Filipinas working in offices in Manila. In the past few years a few of our guests have been drugged, maybe one or two guests per year, using the above methods after being met in Rizal Park, shopping malls, the open markets & even on the bus. We have never heard about this happening in other parts of the Philippines.
9.) Always wear a cloth type money belt which is worn around your waist under your clothes instead of those leather or vinyl pouch waist bags with several zippered pockets because psychologically they appear as you are advertising your valuables. It may seem a bit awkward to reach under your pants to get your money or travelers checks at a bank but it's MUCH SAFER. Even when you drink too much your money is much safer closer to your - - - -.
10. ) DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY!!