We’ll be learning more about traveling in the Philippines with Flip Nomad today!
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.
This interview is with top travel blogger Flip Nomad
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.
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?
Top 10 Places To Visit In The Philippines
- Palawan: Often referred to as the “last ecological frontier” of the Philippines, Palawan is a stunning province that boasts crystal-clear waters, limestone cliffs, and lush jungles. Visitors can explore the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, go island hopping, or simply relax on one of the many idyllic beaches.
- Boracay: Known for its white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, Boracay is a popular destination for travelers seeking a tropical paradise. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, from snorkeling and scuba diving to parasailing and kiteboarding.
- Siargao: Dubbed as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines,” Siargao is a must-visit destination for surfers and beach lovers alike. The island is home to some of the best surfing spots in the country, as well as picturesque lagoons and white sand beaches.
- Batanes: Located in the northernmost part of the Philippines, Batanes is a remote province that is famous for its rugged coastline, rolling hills, and traditional Ivatan villages. Visitors can explore the island’s unique landscape, sample the local cuisine, and learn about the province’s rich history and culture.
- Cebu: Known as the “Queen City of the South,” Cebu is a bustling metropolis that offers a perfect blend of urban and natural attractions. Visitors can explore historic landmarks, go island hopping, or dive in the crystal-clear waters off Mactan Island.
- Vigan: Located in the northern part of Luzon, Vigan is a well-preserved colonial town that boasts a unique blend of Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino architecture. Visitors can take a stroll along Calle Crisologo, a cobblestone street lined with heritage houses, or explore the city’s museums and churches.
- Davao: Known for its rich biodiversity and stunning natural attractions, Davao is a popular destination for eco-tourists and adventure seekers. Visitors can explore Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines, go whitewater rafting, or visit the Philippine Eagle Center.
- Tagaytay: Located just a short drive from Manila, Tagaytay is a popular weekend getaway destination that offers breathtaking views of Taal Lake and Volcano. Visitors can relax in one of the many spas and wellness centers, go horseback riding, or indulge in the local cuisine.
- Bohol: Known for its Chocolate Hills and unique tarsiers, Bohol is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Visitors can explore the island’s natural wonders, go dolphin watching, or simply relax on one of the many white sand beaches.
- Manila: The capital city of the Philippines, Manila is a vibrant metropolis that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and modernity. Visitors can explore the city’s historic landmarks, such as the walled city of Intramuros, or indulge in the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants and street food stalls.
Top 10 Underrated Places To Visit In The Philippines
The Philippines is a stunning archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, each with its own unique beauty and charm. While some popular destinations like Boracay and Palawan are well-known and heavily promoted in guidebooks, there are many hidden gems waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers. Here are the top 10 underrated places to visit in the Philippines that are not in the guidebook:
- Batanes Islands – Located in the northernmost part of the country, the Batanes Islands offer a unique cultural experience and breathtaking landscapes. Visitors can explore traditional Ivatan stone houses, hike up rolling hills and cliffs, and marvel at the pristine beaches and clear blue waters. The islands are also home to a number of endemic bird species, making it a popular spot for birdwatchers.
- Dumaguete City – Known as the “City of Gentle People”, Dumaguete is a charming university town in Negros Oriental that offers a rich history, lively markets, and access to some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the Philippines. Visitors can also take a ferry to nearby Apo Island, which is famous for its crystal-clear waters and abundance of sea turtles.
- Siargao Island – While it’s becoming more popular among surfers, Siargao still retains a laid-back, rustic vibe that sets it apart from other tourist hotspots. The island is dotted with secluded beaches, mangrove forests, and pristine lagoons, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers.
- Marinduque Island – This heart-shaped island is not just a pretty sight; it also boasts a rich history and culture. The annual Moriones Festival, which takes place during Holy Week, sees locals donning colorful masks and costumes as they reenact the story of the Roman soldier Longinus, who converted to Christianity after witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus.
- Siquijor Island – Known for its mysticism and folklore, Siquijor is a small island off the coast of Bohol that offers stunning beaches, lush forests, and a traditional Filipino charm. Visitors can explore the island’s many waterfalls, caves, and historic sites, or simply relax on one of its secluded beaches.
- Baler, Aurora – This coastal town in the province of Aurora is a surfer’s paradise, with consistent waves all year round. However, it also offers much more than just surfing. Visitors can explore the town’s rich history as a former Spanish garrison, hike up to waterfalls and hot springs, or simply relax on one of its quiet beaches.
- Biri Island, Samar – This small island in the Visayas region may not be well-known, but it offers some of the most spectacular rock formations in the Philippines. Visitors can hike along the rugged coastline to see the towering rock formations that have been shaped by millions of years of natural erosion and weathering.
- Lake Sebu, South Cotabato – This peaceful town in Mindanao is known for its tranquil lake, which is surrounded by lush forests and rice terraces. The lake is home to the T’boli tribe, who are known for their colorful costumes, intricate weaving, and traditional dances. Visitors can learn about the tribe’s rich cultural heritage and even try their hand at traditional crafts.
- Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte – This remote island paradise in the Bicol region offers powdery white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and a chance to disconnect from the outside world. The island is still relatively undeveloped, with no electricity or cellular signal, making it the perfect place to unwind and escape the stresses of modern life.
- Mount Pinatubo, Zambales – Mount Pinatubo is a well-known tourist destination located in Zambales, but it’s often overlooked by visitors who stick to more popular spots. However, the mountain offers a unique and unforgettable experience for adventurers. Visitors can take a 4×4 ride through lahar fields and hike up to the crater lake, which boasts stunning turquoise waters surrounded by dramatic cliffs. The trek can be challenging, but the views and sense of accomplishment make it all worth it. Plus, the area is rich in history and culture, as it was the site of a massive volcanic eruption in 1991 that changed the landscape and affected the lives of thousands of people.