Thinking of visiting the Philippines soon? Take it from a Filipina, there are simply some essentials that you need when you go over or if you’re going back home. You could have been born overseas and it’s your first time visiting or it may have been a while since the last time.
Or you’re one of the super homesick ones who go home every year.
You may know of these things anyway, but let me explain why they are completely necessary. In Australia, especially Victoria you will probably never need this stuff.
1. Food Cover
Flies are one of the biggest annoyances in the Philippines, seriously. They get big and irritating and as if them harassing you isn’t enough, they will try to get their grubby feet on your food too. So if you’re ever staying anywhere in the Philippines and having a meal inside a house or a hotel, get something to cover your food if you’re planning to leave the area. The ideal cover is a proper food cover but you can at least use a saucer or bowl as well.
2. Kulambo (Mosquito space net) or Mosquito Repellent
If you’re staying at a backpacker’s or in the home of someone you know, don’t fall asleep straight away on your bed in the evening. Because the next thing you know, you’ll be waking up with a host of new white spots. Itchy spots that happen to be mosquito bites. To prevent this, use a mosquito repellent on your body or set up a mosquito space net. They are specifically made to surround your bed when hung up and create an effective barrier against problematic mozzies (in Australia, we call mosquitoes mozzies). Unless you are willing to spend time chasing out all the little buggers completely before bedtime.
This goes double for people who are more comfortable with cold weather and easily affected by the heat. The Philippines is a tropical country so of course, duh, it will be hot. A lot of the time. For many out there, you may want a pretty accessory such as the traditional unfolding fan to keep yourself cool. They look quite nice with various designs such as flowers or sceneries, and with a simple flicking of your wrist you can create a refreshingly cool air. Or if you’re the lazy type, just carry a mini electric fan around.
Filipinos are a tech savvy people, I can definitely say. Most of them may not always have the latest gadgets, but they love using their phones, tablets and anything else, especially social media. But if you are planning to not use a rental car and take public transport out and about, you will need cash. Most taxis don’t take cash. The colourful jeepneys and funky tricycles don’t have card readers. Opt for cash, but of course, always keep in mind tips on how to carry cash safely. In Australia of course you need cash for some places, but most will have a card reader, including transport booths.
5. Bottled Water
This cannot be stressed enough. Do. Not. Drink. Tap/Faucet. Water. In. The. Philippines. Do not drink any liquid poured into a glass outside of a fancy restaurant or a hotel, unless you know it is coming from a water purifier source or a sealed bottle/can. Don’t be tricked when you see regular Filipinos drinking that water- their stomachs are used to that quality of water. But the purity of the water and the chloride content will definitely upset anyone’s stomach if they aren’t local. If you don’t want to end up in a Philippine hospital and an insurance claim, stick to bottled water and drinks. Or water straight from a purifier. Same goes for ice. Ask about the water/ice and where they get it, even if it seems awkward. It’s worth it.
So there it is. Don’t forget to be geared up with these essentials when you travel to the Philippines! Then you can just enjoy the sights, interact with the people and have a great time in the Pearl Of The Orient.
What are your essentials for a Philippine trip? Let me know!