Saturday, October 09, 2010
read about this and i just want to share it all to you:
You’re not always going to stay at a five-star hotel or have first class accommodation at a highly rated resort. Sometimes, the best trips around the country are the ones off the beaten path. This is where your survival instincts should kick in. The best places are not necessarily the most expensive ones. Nor are they always the safest and most comfortable ones. There are things to consider when exploring the destinations that aren’t on the guidebooks.
1. Security, security, security.
The thing to remember the most is, you’re not in your comfort zone. So safety and security should be your utmost concern. Don’t bring important and valuable things just because. Pack only necessary stuff. Make sure people at home know where you’re going so just in case, they’ll know where to start looking for you. Before you leave, get the contact information of local authorities. Also, take your valuables with you when exploring and touring—don’t leave them in your hotel room.
2. Cash, please!
Your credit is good, but there are many establishments in the country, especially the most rural of areas, that don’t accept cards. You should have sufficient cash with you wherever you go. And have a little extra for emergencies, like being stranded and having to spend an extra night. You might also need to ask a local for favors, like running an errand for you or to help you with a flat tire or whatever. Tipping is recommended.
Don’t expect the rest of the country to be as cosmopolitan as the capital city. There are some really backward communities with traditions and customs we have to respect. When going to these places and mingling with locals, be courteous, respectful and always be self-aware. You never know if you’re already offending someone with words, actions or appearances. If you’re speaking in Tagalog, the usual “po” and “opo” should be used to address the elderly.
4. Very superstitious.
Some communities have superstitions that are outrageous. However, you’re going to their turf and that’s another thing you need to respect. Just because something doesn’t make sense to you, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make sense at all. In the provinces (and even some households in Metro Manila) believe in bad omens and whatnot. Don’t argue with their beliefs using scientific data or by proving them wrong. The same goes for religious beliefs.
5. One with Gaia.
In the countryside, it’s all about nature. Try your very best not to spoil it. When you’re at a secluded beach or trekking or simply out in the wild, don’t contribute to the pollution with your plastic bottles and cigarette butts. “Secret” places don’t usually have maintenance people to clean after you. Clean as you go.
6. Walk, fashion, baby!
Dress appropriately. It’s a tropical country so being in light fabrics is the best way to go. Wear sensible shoes. You’re not in a fashion show, so leave your couture for your Friday night outs in the city. Also, it’s very tempting to wear revealing clothes since it’s mostly hot and humid. But you have to cover up a little when entering conservative places like churches. And you really don’t want male bystanders whistling as you walk by, so don’t show too much skin.
7. “So dami naman the insekto!”
Another thing to leave at home is your colegiala accent. Not only is it irritating, it also gives the impression that you’re a high-maintenance person. In the countryside, that’s interpreted as a spoiled rich brat that can be taken advantage of. Speaking in your “you think it’s cute” affectation will make people charge you higher for services, like boat rentals. And if bad people are around, let’s just say your parents will have to come up with that multimillion peso ransom.
8. Driving ‘round the mountain.
When going on road trips, it’s important to be all gassed up. You don’t really know where the next gas station’s going to be and you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a bottle of water. Always be prepared.
9. I’m a survivor!
If you’re visiting exotic places and you really want to experience what the destination has to offer, rough it out and really experience it—even if it means you have to eat local delicacies that you normally wouldn't’t. It’s also a good way to conquer your fears by braving it all—worms for dinner, the rapids, heights, the list goes on. Also, if you’re going trekking, quit complaining about every steep climb or bump. It’s all part of it.. You’ll only really start having fun when you stop being such a big whiner. Just go with the flow and enjoy every minute of the trip.
10. Strike a pose.
The best thing about the countryside experience is the memory of it when you get back home. It’s best if you have remembrances of the trip like souvenirs that you can buy at the destination. And it’s even better if you have the pictures to prove that you were there. Every backdrop is a chance for a photo-op. The Philippines has a lot of magnificent scenery that you simply have to capture. Take lots and lots of pictures and show them all off on Facebook!
by Ed Biado