Q1) What are some of the most popular places to travel in the Philippines?
A: The most popular destination as of now for both local and foreign tourists alike is Boracay. The island offers a wide shore of blinding white sand, crystal clear water and fresh seafood and of course great parties at night.
Q2) Conversely, what are some under-rated places you think a traveller should consider when vacation in the Philippines?
A: Ugh, quite hard to tell which one as we have 7107 islands. But for the places I’ve been to, I guess Palawan. It’s getting popular now though, but a lot of Filipinos have not seen the beauty of this island yet. For me, this would probably be one of the Philippines best kept secret. The island is abundant with wildlife. The locals are very friendly. And the beaches and islands of Palawan are breathtaking.
Q3) Sometimes in the media, which tends to propagate fear, the Philippines has a reputation for being dangerous in certain areas. Do you feel this is justified? Given your experiences and first hand knowledge would you suggest avoiding any areas?
A: I think all places in the world can be dangerous. The bad rap about the Philippines is blown out of proportion by the media. There are quite some places though that are considered dangerous in the country such as the islands in the far south of the Philippines due to reported cases of violence. I’ve never been there though but I know a few travellers who travelled there and went home unscathed.
Q4) You have extensive travel experience in SE Asia. How does the Philippines compare to other countries in SE Asia in terms of affordability? What would you recommend as a daily or monthly budget for a backpacker?
A: The Philippines is teeming with gorgeous islands and awesome beaches. We still have a lot of unspoilt and pristine islands that nature lovers will definitely enjoy. We lack though modern infrastructures in those islands in comparison to Thailand. But I think it’s a blessing in disguise for us because it means that we could still enjoy the rawness of nature.
If you are planning a trip to the Philippines and need to find a hotel in Boracay or any other accommodation at a discount price, then you are better off searching online. There are many different options and search criteria you can use to find the best hotel for you. It’s also a good idea to budget for expenses to cost you from $10-$15 a day in addition to your hotel cost. There is the option of staying in hostels as well. Hostels though in mainland Southeast Asia are cheaper than what I’ve found in the Philippines. San Miguel Beer is definitely cheaper in the Philippines.
As long as you stay away from the city, you wouldn’t really spend that much.
Q5) You’ve recently released an ebook on the Philippines. How can one get a copy of this great resource?
Thanks for mentioning! The Ebook is my first collaboration with the Pinoy Travel Bloggers community. It has gorgeous (85) pictures of different places in the Philippines taken by 45 Travel Bloggers. It would be a great help for those who couldn’t decide on which place to visit in the Philippines. Check this link out to know how to get a free copy (http://flipnomad.com/2011/12/free-ebook-the-philippines-pearl-the-orient/ ).
Q6) I’ve noticed you’ve done some collaborative work with other bloggers based in the Philippines. Can you recommend a few of those blogs that would inspire others to travel there?
Sure! Here are five of them;
- http://JourneyingJames.com – He blogs about budget travelling in the Philippines. A great resource for those travelling with a tight budget.
- http://LakwatseradePrimera.com – She blogs about off the beaten paths in the Philippines including beautiful remote islands.
- http://Ironwulf.net – One of the pioneers in travel blogging in the Philippines. Awesome pictures about places and culture in different provinces in the country.
- http://EscapeIslands.com – Another great resource for travelling to some distant places in the Philippines
- http://Lakwatsero.com – A lot of helpful posts about diving and snorkelling in the Philippines
Q7) How has being away from your home country changed the way you view it? Is there anything you appreciate more now than you did before?
A: Travelling helped me see the similarities of people despite of our difference in race, color, religion etc. It also helped me see and appreciate whatever I have after being exposed to a variety of living conditions in other countries. There’re so many realizations and the list is almost endless.
Plus, travelling is also fun!!!! Way better than sitting in my old office.
Q8) What kind of travel and blogging plans/projects do you have for 2012?
A: For travel, it all depends with the cash flow. If I earn enough to fly me back to Nepal and India then I’ll go there, if not, I’ll probably go to some islands in Thailand or Indonesia. I’m also considering travelling back to China.
For travel blogging, I started http://bananaroti.com which will be my food blog. I wish I had started it though at the onset of the trip. I’m also working on some niche sites that could help me generate some funds for my travels.
Q9) In the past year do you have any particular favourite destination or country that you’ve visited?
A: I love India, it’s like an entirely different world. I’d love to go back someday. I also like France but I know it wouldn’t be possible for now to travel to Europe since I’m working on a small budget.
Q10) Can you give some more information about your blog. How can others follow along with your journeys?