Things to Do
excitement of preparing to leave for a time of adventure and serenity
such as you will find on Bantayan Island, it is important to remember
to take care of a few items of importance.
Book your Airline tickets Early for the best price.
Apply for your Passport at least 2 months ahead of your desired
Bring enough cash to convert to Philippine Peso's, about 100 USD per
If possible, bring some Philippine Peso's with you as they may be
needed at the airport and for a taxi ride to the hotel.
Bring at least two different credit cards if possible, such as a Master
Card and a Visa
Make sure that your pin code is no more than 4 digits as any more that
this may not be accepted at the teller machine.
Don't forget your drivers licence if you plan to rent a car of scooter.
Check with your insurance company to see if you are covered while in
Bring all important prescription medications that will last for the
entirety of your trip.
Bring the toiletries that you are used to as they may not be found here
in the Philippines.
If you are used to taking over the counter medications such as Pepcid
AC, Tagament, Cold or Allergy medications, bring enough with you to
last your entire trip as these will most likely not be found in the
Pack in your carry on Dramamine or other generic motion sicknes
medications for the 15 hour or greater plane ride and future boat,
ferry or bus rides. If you are succeptible to motion sickness at all
this is a must to bring.
Bring a medication for diarhea, just in case you over indulge yourself
or drink some whater from a tap or that is unpurified.
Remember that you are coming to a sub tropical climate in which most of
the people wear T shirts, shorts, and flip flops everywhere.
You do not need allot of clothes to be happy in the Philippines. In
fact if you pack too many things you are going to be misserable trying
to lug all that heavy baggage around.
For a week long trip, just bring 5 shorts and 7 T shirts or blouses, a
bathing suit, sun tan lotion of SPF 30 and above, and 2 pairs of flip
All of these items can easily fit into a carry on bag saving you from
going throught the hassle of checking and retrieving baggage. Retrieval
of your checked bag at the International Airport in Manila takes close
to an hour sometimes. Remember you are in the Philippines and they run
on "Filipino Time" which is twice as slow as you are used to.
Travel Alerts from
the United States Department of State
For as long as I have been travleling back and forth to the Philippines
there has always been some sort of travel alert or advisory from the
Unites States Department of State.
They will either advise you to not travel to the Philippines at all or
to use extreme caution.
The best advice is to always use extreme caution when you travel to any
foreign country, but never allow a travel allert or advisory stop you
from experiencing the adventure of a lifetime.
Except for the extreme southern portion of the Philippines called
Mindanao, it is safe to travel just about anywhere in the Philippines.
If you look like a scared tourist when you travel you will always
attract attention. If you act courtiously, respectfully and humble when
you speak or are around those in the Philippines you will never have a
You may notice that Filipino's will stare at you when you arrive at the
airport and also when you go anywhere inside the Philippines. This is
because of their interest in you and the United States, not because
they hate Americans or despise you. Filipino's admire and respect
Americans, except for those who are loud, prideful, impatient or
arrogant. If this is your normal personality, please do not come to the
Philippines. These are kind hearted and gentle people who are humble,
cheerful and very nice. Don't ruin it for the rest of us who treat the
gentle people of the Philippies with respect and courtesty.
I was in the grocery store today at Geisano's and waiting for my wife
to gather some of the things she needed while standing by the shopping
cart. As Filipino children passed by they looked at me with such a
serious look on their faces. I turned to look at them, smiled and said
"Hi". Their immediate response was to light up their face, smile and
say "Hi" back at me.
Remember, you are bigger than most Filipino's, have a big nose, and
light skin and it may be that the person looking at you has never
spoken personally to an American or other foreigner before. The Bible
says that in order to have friends, you must be friendly. Be friendly
and smile allot in the Philippines and you will make many lifelong
After You Arrive in
Do not ever drink tap water or water that has been poured into a glass,
no matter what the waiter tells you. I trusted a waiter many years ago
and became very sick for over a week when I drank unpurified water.
Only drink bottled water or other beverages.
Airport Taxi in
At the airport in Manila, if you require a taxi from the airport to
your hotle room, do not allow a porter to book the taxi for you. Take
the initiative and go yourself to the curbside of the airport and talkt
to the taxi driver yourself. The fair rate for a taxi from Ninoy Aquino
Airport in Manila to Makati where most of the better hotels are located
is about 250-350 peso's.
If you allow the porter to bring you to a taxi, he will inflate the
price to about 650 Peso's or more to pay 50 peso's to the policeman at
the curb, and he weill receive 100-200 of your peso's from the taxi
driver as a comission.
As a general rule, never allow ANYONE to negotiate a fare for anything
for you. Be bold and go directly to the service you want to hire and
ask them for their rate. If you think that it is a little too high, do
not hessitate to say no and ask another taxi driver or passenger
service. You will find that the price of passenger services for taxi
and passenger vans is always negotiable.
The only fares that are fixed and not negotiable are Ceres bus fares,
Ferry rates that you pay at the port window and airplane fares.