My Beginner’s Travel Guide in The Philippines

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People have always been fascinated with other places thanks to the power of internet. People traveling to tourist spots of other countries share not just their photos but also their experiences with various people and their culture. The more people share their travel experiences, the more other people become curious and plan to such places. I heard from my friends that traveling to other countries, such as France, UK, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand, would be a great experience. Well, I definitely agree since we get to learn several things that we couldn’t learn in our own country but great beginner’s travel guide would be to explore one’s neighboring region first before going abroad.

Mati Oriental in the Philippines

Other than it really takes time and money to travel to distant places, we still need to question if we really understand our own country, whether its ethnic groups, local cultures or history. A great beginner’s travel guide is to start within your country to gather information from different local regions as it saves time and money while simultaneously enjoying and understanding the culture of various neighboring areas by conversing with the local people and the foreigners staying in that region.

Let’s take a simple example here in the Philippines – a very diverse country. My dad grew up in Manila while my mom in Davao city but we, the children, mostly adopted our dad’s culture. We have been staying in Davao city for as long as I could remember. When I was a child, I was very fond of going to my neighbors’ house (just a few meters away) and play with the kids. I was not only enjoying my time with them, but I also learn their interests and behaviors as if I was learning their culture. It was my beginner’s travel guide.

davao city
View from the Plane of Davao city 2017

Then as I we became closer friends, I got the opportunity to get know other neighbors who lived about 50 meters away, without feeling intimidated. Then I started to gradually keep up with their behaviors, which are a bit different from my neighbors who lived a few meters away. The kids on the other side of our fence were playful but reserved while those who lived a few blocks away were also playful but quite boisterous.

Somehow, these two groups of kids were adjusting their approaches with each other for the sake of friendship, but of course, there were times that I got to see some of them fight over an outdoor game. I guess this is what makes us come into compromise – having to play outdoor games that we enjoy. It was the culture of the kids those days in Davao City. Every weekend, it seemed like it was part of our schedule to play, at least an hour or two for the day, outdoor games like hide-and-seek, tag, dodgeball or kickball. However, it was different when we went to Metro Manila.

Our family traveled by land going to Manila (thousands of kilometers away) in order to visit a deceased relative on my father side. We had a few stop overs in some regions in the Philippines only for a while so we really never got to explore the cultures of the places we passed by. Since we stayed longer in Manila, we had a chance to get a glimpse of their culture, specifically the kids’ culture. My cousins were not fond of outdoor games so they stayed most of their time playing board games or computer games. For us who lived in Davao city, it was a surprising culture and it was quite intimidating. Later, I found out that my younger sister and one of our cousins fought over decisions on what to play. In addition, having different dialects, Tagalog and Visayan, would make both sides reserved in speech whether they are children or adults but as they say, “When in Rome, do what the Romans do.”

The idea here is that if going to a distant place with different cultures would make one intimidated and form unpleasant relationships, it’s a best beginner’s travel guide to start wandering within your country from your nearest locality to the farthest regions in your country before going to foreign countries in order to lessen culture shock. Although we were taught to study the places, people and culture of other countries, it’s very different when we experience them first-hand, especially if the target area has a unique culture.

 

davao city
my friends in Davao city

.. He met people from different ethnicities and gathered information about the neighboring localities bit by bit. Slowly traveling farther and farther every year gave him courage to start traveling abroad alone and met various individuals without feeling intimidated because he already had second-hand information on the country he planned to traveled to. From Philippines, he went to Hong Kong, the next year to Macau, the year after next to Singapore, then China, Thailand and its neighboring countries, and lastly to India but this time, with new friends who also like to travel. What’s advantageous about taking small steps traveling distant places is that you get to meet tourists who have been to several countries and naturally collect information.

Tourist Spots that are close to your region is a nice place start exploring for a beginner’s travel guide. They do not only have breathtaking surroundings but also have various people who lived in or traveled from other local areas or from foreign countries in which the travel guide to start within your country would make it seem like you’re traveling abroad. Conversing with foreigners is the good way to start gathering information about other countries. First, guide them about what you know within your country, whether about the places, people or your culture. It’s also a way of building trust.

After giving them enough information and established at least a handful of trust, the next step is to start asking questions about the countries they know or they are familiar with. How many foreign countries have you been to? What’s your country like? What’s the most attractive or the best place to hang out in your country? What are your native delicacies that you would recommend for foreigners to eat? What can you say about the people in your country? What’s interesting about your culture? These are just some of the questions to start the discussions about the country they came from. Assisting foreigners in your country creates a give-and-take relationship, which also serves as a beginner’s travel guide. As you delve deeper into obtaining information, you will have the opportunity to at least understand a bit of the place, people and their culture.

. It’s a Japanese school located at the north of Davao city. When I studied there for one and a half years, I was able to meet Japanese descendants who have been going in and out of Japan. Other than acquiring information from Japanese professors, those descendants also shared facts, their ideas and opinions about Japan and their people, although books and internet also helped me a lot in information acquisition.

 

 

They talked about how different their culture is compared to the Philippines, especially when it comes to discipline. Whether it’s the government or the citizens, everyone there works hard to build a better society not only because they strictly follow the laws but also because it’s already their habit since childhood. I was informed on how Japan’s school system practically and meticulously trained primary school kids about manners and discipline before they proceed to High School. Even though those were just second-hand information, I was still refreshing to hear what it’s like to be in that country and with the help of imagination, it’s as if I was residing in that developed country.

Currently, when people I know talk about the places they have been to, I simply smile and nod because I already understood what it’s like to be in that certain country they were discussing. However, I do not disclose second-hand information easily because it’s not like I was really there and those second-hand information I obtained might not be entirely true, although I share information from the books I have read and state my source. There are times that second-hand information are not well elaborated, so the next step in a beginner’s travel guide after gathering data is to experience what you have heard from those foreigners, that is, if you have the time and money to finally travel distant places. Then follow the same travel guide – gather information from various people who have been to the neighboring areas or countries, and travel to the nearest local region if you have the time and money.

I have been traveling only to my neighboring local areas, and had witnessed the similarities and differences among those regions while I collected information from people about the neighboring areas in Davao city and some ideas about foreign countries. For me, I still need understand my own country because of its diversity, which is why I ask questions from people who have been to several places if I have the opportunity, while saving time and money simultaneously. And when I went to places I’m interested in, it was not that surprising to encounter such people and experience their culture. I was able to blend in naturally. It is a great beginner’s travel guide to start within your country in obtaining information to avoid, or at least mitigate, culture shock.

 

It is not easy to adjust one’s attitudes and behaviors when staying in a country that has a completely dissimilar culture which is why the best beginner’s travel guide without much intimidation is to understand your locality and gather information from visiting foreigners, then slowly taking steps from your local region to the neighboring places until you have visited all the regions in your country. Traveling to neighboring regions one at a time could help in gradually familiarizing a unique set of habits from different ethnicity and in obtaining ideas about what the visiting foreigners shared about their country.

IDEAS ABOUT TURKISH AIRLINES

Here what you can do if you only have little time in Istanbul..

From 2 weeks adventure in Kilimanjaro we were heading home back to Singapore with Turkish Airlines.

Before I continue with out stop over in Istanbul….

Turkish Airlines, fly from Singapore to any parts of the world. I notice that Turkish Airlines has a very reasonable rates comparing with other big airlines.

The flights from Singapore to Istanbul were very much comfortable.

Before we proceed our trip to Kilimanjaro from Singapore, we head back home to my husband home town in Volarberg Austria.  Just next to the border of Lichtenstein (Switzerland Border)

We were very please with the service on board Turkish Airline, both long and short flights. Hot super delicious meals were serve as well as fine drinks.

What’s more, you can earn miles too with Turkish Airlines.

We had a 12 hour stop over in Istanbul…

before we could proceed our flight to Singapore.  We plan it this way so that I could at least visit the city of Istanbul in Turkey.

We had landed at the airport about 11 am  at Ataturk  International Airlport (Turkish Time ) from Kilimanjaro.

What you do with you hand laggage?

We had our boarding pass already.. However, we decided to inform the airlines that we will be going to the city.



Inside Ataturk International Airlport, you will find a place to change currency as well as to leave your heavy hand luggage (specially when they are on rollers).

It is safe to leave your luggage and other things you do not want to carry around with you when you go for a city day tour trip in Istanbul.

You would pay about 25 Turkish currency which is very much reasonable. They lock your deposits and hand you over the key with a number tag.

From the airport…

We took a train, it was free a ride from the airport to the city. When we arrive at the central station, we had change our train and head down to the strait market, food street, famous bazaar etc. With the city train, you need to buy the train ticket at the small kiosk or machine along the railway which is pretty much organize.

However, you can just walk within the city center.  There are tourist busses (double decker) along the street looking out for customers. Be careful of the people right in-front of the bus tour, they give you a very high price. Best is to buy your ticket at the main station or ask for the driver.

When we arrived, it was lunch time. We were very hungry and we dive in food stall along the street.

Food in Istanbul city center are everywhere. See my video below
Food in Istanbul city center are everywhere. See my video below

After lunch, we walk towards Grand Bazaar- here I lost my $100 bill hidden inside my pocket. Amazing… People can be so good at pick pocketing. In anywhere in the world, with a super busy place, you are in danger of pickpockets.

Grand Bazaar market, you can buy all sorts of stuff, from gold to a antique turkish desigb plate, art, carpet, rugs, linens and a lot of things you can find here.
Grand Bazaar market, you can buy all sorts of stuff, from gold to a antique Turkish design plate, art, carpet, rugs, linens and a lot of things you can find here.

From grand bazaar, we walk down to where you can see the Europe and the Asia side right by the water of Istanbul city.

brigde link to Europe and Asia. What a small world?
Brigde link to Europe and Asia. What a small world? Bhosporus Bridge

You can rent or ride a boat and it was very reasonable and comforble ride. Inside the ferry boat, we were drinking Turkish tea.  You must try Turkish Tea when you are in Turkey.

The ride took about 2 hours, as it cruises along the river under the bridge of Bhosporus.

It was fascinating to see so many of the houses, restuarants and some other boats by the river as we were cruising around.

It’s like a movie… a real movie.. real life.

After the ride, it was dark, it’s time to have some nice turkish food once again.

My video is below for you to see it live…

If you like what I wrote here.. Please support by sharing and liking my blog and sharing my videos.

 

About

 My Ambitions in life makes me wander around the world.

Born in Davao Philippines. This is the south part of Philippines . Davao is where the home of President Rodrigo Duterte.

People that fly to Davao will be able to get a flight directly from Singapore or most flight have a stop over  to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila where the capital city of Philippines.

I was an ambitious person back then in middle of 1990’s. Not knowing what may happen. I was afraid to get out of the country as hearing rumours that young women were battered in Japan  by Yakusa or rape in Saudi Arabia and get hang and caned in Singapore. Due to to poverty  was happening at that time in the Philippines, after I have studied, I needed to find work to support for myself  and then to my family which is a very common brain of thinking to many Filipinos. (get out of the country and find work and get rich), which the fact is not really.

Had a hard time back then in Paranque Manila Philippines.

Sharing a room with a friend, we work at the Pubs in Paranque, my friend was beautiful and I was so dark so I was put in the kitchen and my friend have to entertain the customers. Fat and Ugly Old man coming to a small bars along the side of Paranque near Gatchalian Subdivision as far as I can remember.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore
This is Marina Bay Sands, when I came here in Singapore, the Swiss Hotel was the highest building and today, there are numerous tall building in Singapore. I has change so much.

I was a tourist back  in Singapore, looking for an opportunity.

In such an expensive country? You maybe wondering how I made it a success in Singapore?

As I always will share and mention, our attitude towards how we look at others, we respect while we can and we fight and argue for our rights. We focus on things we love to do in life.
FOCUS is the key to become a successful person, no matter what you may want to do. Without focus and an attitude  of getting what you want to achieve in life, you are nothing at the end of the day.

My childhood experience

photos for sale
my self portrait shot with my staff at Novena Studio here in Singapore.
My parents  died  when me and my other siblings were at the very young age, and you may have an idea of what it looks like growing up without a proper guidance of an adult. My other siblings were separated, they are somewhere in my relatives and I was in my grandparents as I was the youngest one.

As far I can remember, I grow up with rice fields, vegetables and bananas. I went to school with no shoes,  but a rotten fit flops, I kept my shoes for going to church.

When I was in high school age, I decided to go out from the farm, I stayed with some friends home or to my teachers, in return I will clean their homes, babysitting, laundry by my hands. (not like now, we have a washing machines and dyers).

So, I wonder why today the kids are very much spoiled, they have latest model phones, do drugs, being bad to their parents.

I wish for myself today, that my parents are with me, I will shower them  with all my love and will never ever go hunger ever again.

You are reading about me and I want to motivate you here in my blog, by sharing what I can in my travel, adventures and me being in a successful photography business that leads me to retired young and have travelled the half of the world.

Pursue what you want to achieve in life!

You want to create an Income out of your Passion?
You do not have TIME to waste?
You just want to start a business?
I have an   Ebook  for you!
A step by step on how you can start a
SUCCESSFUL PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
THAT REALY GIVES YOU AN
INCOME!
I have 11 years of running my own Photography Portrait Business.Mange to buy a few properties and send many of my relatives to school because of my strategy!