Travelling is one of the best ways to experience the world around us and allows us a better understanding of the various people and cultures that make the world such a fascinating place. Many of us have chosen holiday destination based on what we have heard or believe about that particular location or country. Sometimes these word-of-mouth reviews are very good; other times ideas which are “common knowledge” are actually myths.
In this post, the TransferGo blog explores some of the myths about The Philippines.
- The Philippines is a Small Island in the Pacific.
Actually the Philippines is an archipelago that consists of more than 7,000 islands. Only 2,000 of the islands are inhabited. Scattered among this vast group of islands you will find some of the best beaches in the world, volcanoes including one inside a lake which has a lake in its crater and that lake has another island in it, and some of the most breath-taking scenery in Southeast Asia.
- The Weather is Terrible.
Basically there are two seasons in the Philippines, wet and dry. The rainy season is indeed very wet and flooding does occur, especially in the large cities such as Manila, which suffers from inadequate infrastructure and poor sewage systems. Otherwise the archipelago is very much like other island nations that have rainy seasons. The rain is often short-lived and temperatures aren’t extreme. The best time to visit is between November and May.
- There are a lot of Natural Disasters.
Earthquakes do happen frequently, but in all honesty not to a greater degree than in other earthquake-prone areas. The Philippines has a lot of volcanoes, however major eruptions are rare. One of the reasons the area has a bit of a reputation for having a lot of natural disasters is due to some of the country’s infrastructure problems. Major volcanic eruptions and earthquakes tend to make headlines due to their intensity, but they are rare.
- The Food is Odd.
One of the problems with Philippines food is one of familiarity as there are few “Filipino” restaurants outside of the islands themselves. Dishes such as:
– Balut (a fertilized duck egg with a partly developed duck embryo inside) receive far more attention than some of the island’s more common dishes such as Calamansi (citrus) juice.
– Halo-Halo, a desert with milk fruit, kidney beans and ice cream.
– Adobo, a chicken or pork dish, often made with coconut vinegar.
– The Philippines has an overabundance of bananas, so you will find a lot of banana dishes, including banana ketchup.
- There is a Lot of Crime.
President Duterte’s recent hard-line vigilante-like approach to the nation’s drug problem has done little to alleviate this myth. The country also has an admitted human trafficking problem. For the most part, however, crime is fairly low throughout the island. You should exercise the same amount of caution that you would use in any major urban city. The “crime” you are most likely to be victim of is being overcharged for a service or product simply due to your tourist status.
- The Country is Very Conservative.
The Philippines is a very religious country. About 80% of the country’s population is Catholic. Islam is the second largest religion. However, the country is very open and accepting of gay, lesbian and transgender citizens and tourists.
- Language Will Be a Problem.
Tagalog is the official language of the country, and there are more than 180 languages and dialects spoken in the country. However English is also an official language of the country and most of the people speak English.
- Shopping is Fairly Limited.
By many standards of measure, the Philippines is a poor country, especially in the more rural areas. You will find a number of markets with farmers selling their products and handcrafted items. You will also find lots of internet cafes, electronic stores, boutiques, and three of the top ten shopping centres in Southeast Asia.