The Philippines, one of the gems in Southeast Asia, is becoming a very popular tourist destination. The Philippines has 7,107 islands and so many provinces scattered across the western Pacific Ocean – and each has its own culture. But where to start your travel planning?
The Philippines: 100 Travel Tips is an insider’s guide to exploring the best of the Philippines. Co-authored by Rissa Gatdula-Lumontad, a Filipina who has worked in the Philippines travel industry for over 15 years and Dr. Jessie Voigts, a world traveler (and yours truly!), this book covers all you need to know to visit the Philippines.
This insider’s guide covers when to visit, what you need to enter, how to get there, what you can and should bring, cultural reminders, language, what to wear, getting around, accommodations, dining, health and safety, family travel, shopping, must-see attractions, top sports activities, locals favorites and recommendations, and more. The book is filled with beautiful photos by professional Filipino photographers – showcasing the magic and wonder of these islands in Paradise.
Here are just some of the topics covered:
- The best months to vist the Philippines and which dates you should avoid
- Money Saving Tips
- Depending upon where you are traveling in the Philippines you may choose renting a car, taking the taxi, the bus, or the train. You will know the righ form of transporation to choose based on where you’re going, the cost, and level of comfort
- Traveling between the islands? Know when to take the plane Vs. a boat or ferry
- When it makes sense to book your stay with a condo or an apartment vs. a hotel
- Other forms of accomodations you may not have heard of…if you are looking for a more adventurous stay
- Traditional, delicious Filipino dishes you should request when you dine
- Shots and vaccinations you should have if you are traveling to certain areas of the Philippines
- A list of the things you should Never Do in the Philippines
- Tips for traveling with your children
- Best places to shop
- A detailed list of the places you Must See
- With 7,107 islands it’s hard to decide what to see and do. You will discover the top attractions, along with off the beaten path things not to miss. From extreme sports to luxurious spas, there are so many things the Philippines has to offer you may want to make it an annual destination
We had a chance to catch up with Rissa, and ask her about writing the book, researching the book, having fun in the Philippines, and more (like dancing (above) and whitewater rafting (below)!). Here’s what she had to say…
Please tell us about The Philippines: 100 Travel Tips…
I consider the book only a “gist” of what I want to tell the world about the Philippines. We have so much to offer, and the book intends to be a sort of introduction. We have something for everyone. And, if you plan your trip well, you can get much more for less. Why, even our “balikbayans,” those Filipinos based abroad, are pleasantly surprised with our tourist sites when they come for a vacation.
How did you come up with 100 tips? Or was it difficult to narrow it down?
Oh yeah, definitely, it was difficult to narrow down… we can probably come up with tips as many as our islands! LOL!
Is there anything we’d be surprised by?
Most travel guides to our country are written by foreigners. As I am a Filipino, and as I wrote in the book, have lived here all my life, the book was obviously written from a different perspective. Seriously, if you are foreign to a place, you rely on what the locals will tell you, right? What if the local tells you something that means another thing… then you go home with the belief that the something is anything close to what it really is! To illustrate, there was one guide (am not saying where or when, but remember I have been to different places in the world) who was asked by a tourist what the name of a tree she saw on the way was. Since the guide did not know, and did not want to appear ignorant, he gave a made-up name in the local language which had a funny connotation. As I sensed he just made it up, I asked him why he did that. He said she will not know it was not so anyway, and even if she did, she will realize a joke was played on her. Well, that is, if she had a sense of humor.
Aside from that this is more personal, as you can see in the photos. The intention is to make it light and easy, and hopefully, fun to read! Besides, if I have not experienced these things myself, what right do I have to recommend to others? (I do admit I have not done the rough, strenuous, or high-risk sports stuff such as mountaineering, cycling, diving or the like, but I do have friends who have shared their experiences with me. Am not one to find joy in straining myself physically, you know. So, you bet if it is something I have done, like the white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro, then it is something anyone can do!)
Most of all, I can consider the book a collaboration of Filipinos who have a deep love for our country, because of the many who contributed their photos for use in the book. We are all proud of the Philippines and we want to show the world that the Philippines is a MUST visit!
Also, readers may be surprised to find some Off the beaten path tours that they may not have heard of before.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I got involved in the tourism industry rather late in my life. Nevertheless, I feel blessed that I am in the industry, because it gave me the opportunity to see my country in a different light. I believe that the beauty of a destination is more often than not more appreciated by outsiders, because those who live in the area are so used to the things around them that they fail to appreciate what they have. That’s natural… human… Unless… they get to travel and have some point of comparison.
I have been to other countries, yet I still believe the Philippines is one of the most beautiful places to visit, not only for its natural wonders, which admittedly other countries may have, too (if not the same, similar, except for the heritage sites of course), but more so for its people. The Filipinos are who make “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”
It is my hope that the book will give the world a better impression of our country and our people, and make them come and experience the Philippines and Filipino-style fun!
Thanks so much, Rissa, for working together on this book, and creating such an incredible read – and teaching us so much about the Philippines!
Head to Amazon to get this Kindle book. Now, if you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry! There are free e-readers for all types of computers and smartphones.
Dr. Jessie Voigts is a mom who loves sharing the world with her daughter. She has a PhD in International Education, and is constantly looking for ways to increase intercultural understanding, especially with kids (it’s never too young to start!). She has lived and worked in Japan and London, and traveled around the world. Jessie is the publisher of Wandering Educators, a travel library for people curious about the world. She founded the Family Travel Bloggers Association, and the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program. She’s published two books about travel and intercultural learning, with several more on Moving to Southeast Asia on the way. You can usually find her family by water – anywhere in the world.