Friendlyworld Blog - Friendly world

Feb 10, 2023

A short guide to the Philippines. Part 1

The guide is based on monitoring a bunch of information and personal experience of being in the country right now (and until mid-February). Resource

How to get to
There are cheap tickets to the Philippine capital, Manila from Kuala Lumpur ($80), and many people race here for a vizaran from Bali ($125), Vietnam and Thailand ($136). The way to Boracay, for example, looks like this: Manila-Caticlan plane ticket (from $25), tuk-tuk from airport to pier ($1), payment of taxes on stay + boat ticket ($10) to Boracay, tuk-tuk from pier to hotel ($5).

At entry, you need to fill out a form (scan the QR code at the airport), where you enter the details of your vaccination certificate, no one else checks anything, masks are canceled. It is important to have a return or ticket to a third country.
General rules of entry here.

Local vibe
A sedate life, chickens, dogs and kids running around, roosters howling at all hours of the day and night - in short, a village, with fancy “barber shop” signs at the entrance to the dilapidated garage. Locals live pretty poor, lottery tickets are sold everywhere as a chance to win a better life, main religion is Catholicism (Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia).

Unfortunately, various disasters are not uncommon for this region - typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes. Literally every year, the Philippines finds itself almost underwater as a result of hurricanes. Last year, a storm hit Boracay, and many buildings are still in ruins, the owners clearly have no intention to rebuild them, and their appearance is often “decorated” by many coastal areas, whole complexes of buildings are in complete disrepair. About the robberies and other horrors - everything is very quiet here, at least on Boracay. No one is trying to cheat you, and the thefts are very rare on the island, which is only 7 km long.

My husband is into windsurfing (by the way, that’s the real reason we flew to Boracay!), so catch the bonus track: how the wind, surf stations and instructors are here. The main windy spot is Bulabog beach, there are kite schools right next to the beach that rent all the necessary gear and dudes who give private kite and windsurfing lessons. The wind can be pretty brutal (up to 20 m/sec!), so it’s hard for beginners. Surfers hang out from all over the world, mostly kiteboarders who, when they hear they’re here to do windsurfing, reply with a smile: “Nobody is perfect.” This place is considered as one of the most beautiful in the world - the water is clear, the sand is white and the wind is stable.

For those who do not skate - do not worry, when one side of it all flies, on the other - the calm and smooth, quietly, you can swim and sunbathe without sand in the face. And they say that the love of the Philippines starts with diving, I really want to try it here!

The island from a helicopter flight - Boracay Helicopter Adventures(11 thousand pesos or 14000 rub for two for 15 min)

The most accessible of the neighboring islands for excursions are Panay,
Tablas, Carabao.
As far as Coron and El Nido you can get there from Caticlan, tickets must be bought in advance, they sell out fast, best in the port, online tickets are rare, but you can check on 12goasia or rome2rio. The rest of the beauty is only available by plane from Caticlan or Manila.

My noted spots in the Philippines that I will definitely get to one day are
Taal Volcano,
Puerto Princesa,
Mayon Volcano,
Mount Canlaon,
Mount Apo,

More about the places on Boracay itself in the next episode!

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