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Questions About The Phillipines?

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:06 pm
by KLMA330
Hi all,

So this is my question, and forgive me if i sound ignorant.

My better half is filipino. he and I have been together for 3 years. We are planning a trip down to the Phillipines this coming spring. He's from a place called Batangas, so we'll be landing in Manila and then I believe it's a 3 hr car ride to his town. Apparantely his parents own a nice house and have a mango plantation, so they do OK. (can't stand mangos btw lol)

I'm a bit freaked, I have to say. What's it like there? Just to clarify, I'm Canadian, born and raised. Although i've travelled a fair bit, it's only been within the US and Western Europe. Can't say i've encountered poverty before, or ever been to a developing country. And I can't stand the heat. In other words, for better or worse, I'm a princess. LOL

how will I fair there? is there reason to be concerned? Will I see shocking things? Is it as hot as my partner says it is? Some of this anxiety is coming from him. He feels I'll be ready to come home after 2 hours. Doesn't give me much credit.. haha...

From anyone who's been, any pics, any stories, would love to hear them.

Thank you so much,
Billy  Smile

RE: Questions About The Phillipines?

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:12 pm
by BR076
You will be fine, just eat tons of balut  yuck 

RE: Questions About The Phillipines?

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:18 pm
by JAL
I have been there as my wife is from there too.

It is a nice place a bit hot but very nice!

I have some pics that I can give you if you want.

RE: Questions About The Phillipines?

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:47 pm
by aznmadsci
Expect it to be crowded! Expect it to be hot and humid! And expect it to be FUN!!!!! Granted I'm 1st Gen Filipino-American, I go back as often as I can! Yes, it is shocking where many places around the Philippines don't have basic plumbing or even hot water! But what makes the hardships bearable are the happy nature of the Filipinos!

Feel free to PM or send me a msg if you've got any specific questions.

RE: Questions About The Phillipines?

Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:22 am
by LurveBus
If you find Batangas to be a little too rural for your taste, always remember that you're three hours away from the nearest Hermes botique.

The Philippines is a place of extremes. Yes, there are places where the poverty is evident, but there are also places where you'll forget that you're in a developing country.

Batangas is known for its rich grainy chocolate drink and its special strong coffee.

Honestly, I'd be more freaked out about meeting your guy's family than the surroundings Big grin It's pretty easy (and cheap) to be treated like a princess in my country :p

RE: Questions About The Phillipines?

Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:07 am
by MD11Engineer
I´m planning to travel to the Philippines myself this autumn, to meet my girlfriend´s relatives (the only one I have met before is one of her sisters, who is living in Ireland as well), especially her mom, for the first time.
She (and her family) are worried, because her home is in Mindenao, just about 50 km away from the Muslim provinces, which are a hotbed for political terrorism and banditry.

But I´ve got to say that I´m looking forward to the trip, the last time I´ve been in the Philippines, though in a different, rural, province, was 25 years ago.

Jan

RE: Questions About The Phillipines?

Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:02 am
by flood
It sounds like you may be in for a little shock when you exit the terminal as it tends to be rather crowded, noisy and chaotic. Then the heat hits you. Yes, it's hot... not to mention humid. The kind of humid where you take a shower and start sweating just from drying yourself off. Plenty of traffic too with a LOT of pollution and smog, a lot of poverty, etc... I'm sad to say I kind of see Manila as a rather grey and lifeless (environmentally) concrete jungle. Not all parts, of course, but the bulk of it. There are of course quite a few posh or upscale neighborhoods/areas which are clean, greener and better maintained.

I remember when we were in highschool... back around '88-'89, we would drive to the perimiter of the airport, walk through a gate, past a guard house, and go sit on the end of the runway. Not sure that's do-able anymore, lol... but what a blast. Quite literally. Got chased away by terminal security a number of times.

I've been through Batangas quite often as we would take a large banca (the local boats) from there to the various beaches in Mindoro - around a 1.5-2 hr boat-ride. Mindoro is a beautiful area with plenty of beautiful, often empty beaches. Haven't been back for 8 years or so though. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem staying around the Batangas area. Definitely (!) different to what you're used to, but I think it'll be a great experience and an eye-opener. Filipinos are typically very friendly, easy-going, welcoming, fun, and hospitable. San Miguel beer is pretty damn good too (not to mention cheap) and I enjoy the cuisine as well. Just don't let them trick you into trying Balut, heh. And if the local cuisine isn't for you, then stop by McD's for some spaghetti  Smile

Enjoy and I hope to see some pics when you get back!

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):
She (and her family) are worried, because her home is in Mindenao

I'm German and grew up in Manila - we moved there in 1972 when I was 2. I ended up moving back to Germany and am now in the US, but spent a good 16 years or so in the Philippines. Back then we visited Mindanao as well, but these days I'm not so sure I'd feel safe there. Not alone, not even with a local guide, etc. I'm a photographer and would absolutely love to go back and explore the Philippines - to take a trip from the northern tip of Luzon all the way down south. Unfortunately, this is an increasingly messed up little world we live in.

Now, if even her family is worried - and they're the ones living there and are able to best assess the situation - I think that should be cause for concern. No doubt you'll stick out like a sore thumb down there.

RE: Questions About The Phillipines?

Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:52 pm
by MD11Engineer


Quoting Flood (Reply 6):
Now, if even her family is worried - and they're the ones living there and are able to best assess the situation - I think that should be cause for concern. No doubt you'll stick out like a sore thumb down there.

That´s exactly the problem. My girlfriend usually flies through CEB and gets picked up there by some of her family, including her younger brother, who is a police officer with the PNP, so, while she still looks like "I just came from abroad and therefore I´m rich. Pls. rob me!" with her luggage and European style clothes, she has an armed bodyguard. Later, at home, once she has dumped all her luggage and changed, she´ll just blend in. Myself on the other hand, I´ll always stick out, my face looks different and not the least, I´m about a head taller than the average Filipino.
From what I understand Iligan City, her hometown, should be safe if we take certain precautions, like avoiding public places and crowds during their fiesta (we plan to travel there in September, which just happens to be the fiesta season) due to terrorists liking to blow up bombs during such occasions and we are defintely not going to travel further south e.g. to Lake Marawi, even though the landscape there is supposed to be very beautiful.
I also had to promise that I would stick with the famil.y and don´t make any trips on my own.

Jan