It is definitely time to wrap up the Philippines series and to start writing about our latest big trip. Nevertheless, there are some P.S. things I would like to tell those who thinks of visiting this beautifully diverse country.
1.Take with you (or buy there) a waterproof bag. It will save the life of your camera, mobile phone multiple times if you go kayaking or take a boat trip (believe me, you will – otherwise there is no point visiting the islands). If you are on Philippines during the rainy season, take two;)
2.Think about an adaptor for the power plug. More info here: http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/philippines/
3.In the big cities always count in the traffic jams which will extend your way to the airport. In Cebu we were more than 1 hour on the road (the drive cost us only 300 PHP).
4.From our own experience: spray deodorants can be considered “inflammable objects not allowed on the plane” and confiscated at the security check at the airport. Think about the roll-ons instead.
5.In the big cities, mind your step: much water from rain and air-conditioning flows directly to the streets and it can get slippery.
6.Mind your head when you jump in and out of a tricycle: the cabin behind is extremely low (“Filipino size”)
7.Try local spirits – they are tasty and extremely cheap: 55 PHP for 0,3 l local rum Tanduay and 75 PHP for 0,3 l of local brandy. Crazy, right?
8.Inform yourself in advance if you go to remote islands where you can find an accessible ATM. We were warned that there are no ATMs in El Nido (not true). However, El Nido became pretty touristy in the last years which brought multiple ATMs to the village. You can’t say the same about all (more than 2000 inhabited) islands in Philippines.
9.Same story with the electricity. We read in some blogs that in El Nido we have access to electric light only several hours a day (not true) and took a power bank with us. Cannot tell anything distinct about less popular islands. Better be prepared and charge all your electronics timely.
10.Last piece of advice: smile often and be open. Filipinos are extremely friendly, frank people and they are glad to get to know you and to make new friends. However, on the touristic beaches the street sellers can be very annoying – but tell me the country where they are not.
P.S.: Leave all shells and corals on the beaches where they belong. Exporting them is (unfortunately) illegal.