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My time in the Philippines had its ups and downs. Today I’m going to share the ups with you, or the things I really enjoyed, and next,like always, I’ll keep it real and share the things I didn’t like. Just know, the things I liked, I really liked.
I loved Bantayan. I’m not actually sure what got it on my radar before I left, but I knew I wanted to go. Nothing was official until I got there and after a week on Malapascua, I decided to go. I mean, why not? How often was I really going to be in or near the Philippines? Plus, it was an adventure getting from there to Palawan without flying. SPOILER: we ended up having to fly, but you can read how that happened here.
- There are some good budget accommodation options here. Casa Isabel was where I stayed and I liked it.
- There isn’t an abundance of activities here, but the beaches alone are worth the trip. It’s not very busy which is even better.
- If you want to go skydiving, you can do that here!
I love the boats in the Philippines. I’m not sure what it is about them, maybe the colors or the things on the sides. What are those things even? Whatever. They’re fun to be on and just as fun to look at.
- Get a dry bag for boat trips. They can be rough and rainy. The boat from Maya Port to Malapascua went even though it looked stormy. It was dry when we left, then was down pouring in the middle, and finally nice and sunny when we got there. Weather can change fast, be prepared and don’t let your electronics get ruined in the rain!
I wasn’t a huge fan of food in the Philippines. Yes, people will argue that, but I know I’m not the only one that didn’t like it. I also think I just didn’t see the right places to eat really great Philipino food, which didn’t help. I ate a lot of pizza while I was there. It wasn’t all great, but it was a much-needed break from Asian food. And I love pizza. I also didn’t know what to really try there and most places I ended up were pretty tourist-oriented. Next time I would definitely try more local and exotic foods, for sure.
I’m not sure if I like Malapascua or Bantayan more. The beach on Bantayan is much better, less busy, a lot bigger, surprisingly clean, and had tons of shells. BUT Malapascua has really easily accessible beaches all around the island. Because the island is so small, you can walk around it and hang out at all kinds of them in one day, and maybe eve have them to yourself. It’s just a really fun island to be on and I ended up staying for a whole week.
- If you want to stay at Villa Sandra, pretty much the only hostel, book ahead, at least during the busy season.
- I would recommend booking any accommodation ahead there because it would be annoying walking around, hoping to find something, and ending up having to pay a lot. There are a lot of resorts so it could get a little pricey just showing up and hoping for the best.
- Walk to the lighthouse for sunset. It’s super pretty and you get to see how people live on the walk there.
It actually took me a long time (like a week and a half) before I finally tried one of these. Everyone raved about them and I finally caved and they were so delicious! The peanut butter flavor and cookies and cream were my favorites. I brought some home, but they’re not as good here. I would definitely recommend at least trying them. (Update 2020: I’ve been craving these. Someone send Choco Muchos!)
Ugh. Yum. I drank so much mango juice. Sometimes I would have like three or four to avoid finding food. I know, that’s not good and I wouldn’t really recommend it, but I’m real here and that’s what happened. It was also just delicious and perfect in the heat on the beach. (Update 2020: I saw mango gelato or ice cream or something today and it made me want mango juice again. Maybe someone just send me back here so I can get some and Choco Muchos.)
These were some of the best beaches I’ve seen, for sure. Little Corn Island was probably my favorite, but these are close. No matter where you are, there will be a stunning beach within an hour or two. They really are some of the most famous beaches. Boracay ring a bell? (Update 2020: We went to Cape San Blas, Florida and that beach was pretty great, too, and I’d say almost as good as here, but with a lot more houses.)
- Bring a towel to lay on, the sand gets extremely hot.
- Bring a water bottle, insulated would be perfect here because it’s so hot, have hotels fill up for you (if possible.) Stay hydrated. This heat doesn’t joke round.
- Wear sunscreen. I cannot stress this enough. I got the worst sunburn of my life on Malapascua, and I’ve had some pretty bad ones. My back and the back of my legs were so red after just 20 minutes in the sun. It hurt to sit, lay down, carry my backpack. Then it felt like I had a turtle shell on my back and it makes me want to throw up a little bit just typing this. Disgusting.
I mean, just look at this water. How could you not love that?
I only rode in a couple of these, but they’re fun to look at. They’re like the chicken buses of the Philippines. They’re incredibly cheap, make getting around easy, and in cities go pretty much everywhere. You may have to take a series of them to get somewhere, but they can be fun and an adventure in themselves.
Have you been to the Philippines? Do you want to go? What did you like about it?
44 thoughts on “Awesome Things About the Philippines”
Great pix and recap of your Philippines visit! Very organized and easy to read!
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Been only to Manila, but would love to visit beaches and emerald waters. Good article! 🙂
There are sooo many to choose from, it’s a little intimidating! Totally worth the whole decision process though
Those beaches look stunning! And mango juice…oh, I could live off of mango juice for days! I think it would be a great diet for me, hehe.
Haha, that’s how I felt when I was there. A few days I would have like three and only have dinner or something haha
I can imagine! When I was in Thailand, I couldn´t eat almost anything because everything was so insanely spicy! I´d be eating, my stomach burning and tears in my eyes, hahaha. I think I´m more used to spicy food by now, but back then it was pretty tough 😀 No idea how is the food in Philippines though…
The beaches in the Philippines look just gorgeous!!! And I love that you ate pizza the whole time. Sounds like me haha
I really want to go to the Philippines, mainly because of the beautiful beaches. I plan on doing some boat rides too. Thanks for the tips.
Love your photos, and your tips are really helpful! Hopefully I’ll get to the Philippines one day!
Thank you! It can be a challenge getting around but worth it!
Lots of nice pics you’ve got! Haven’t been to the Philippines yet but I’d definitely have Malapascua on my list based on what you’ve shared.
Thank you! Yes! Malapascua was amazing! I’d love to go back
I absolutely love this. I haven’t been to the Philippines, but in our RTW trip in a couple of years we want to spend a month there. Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing!
Definitely! There’s sooo much to see there, it’s hard to decide what to do!
I’ve been wanting to do Phillipines for sometime now. Your post and photos are truly making me want to pack and up 🙂🙃🙂🙃🙂
Yes! It can be challenging getting around, but it’s totally worth it!
Did you collect any shells on Malapascua beach? Or it’s not allowed?
I probably got a couple, but there weren’t very many or they were all broken.
This is making me want to go even more than before!! Amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂
of course, I’m glad you enjoyed!
I’m actually from the Philippines! Haha! So thanks for those! It’s kinda funny how you love our boats for their colours. Some of the bigger ones you’ll see in other provinces are more colorful and have cartoon characters hahahaha
haha that sounds awesome! I’m just picturing a water Jeepney now haha
Heard so much about the beautiful beaches in the Philippines but never managed to get around to any of them even though I’m so near! Great tips and will keep them in mind 🙂
They’re definitely worth a trip! So many beaches to choose from, it can be tough haha
Haha I’m here now…getting used to things. And I’m eating and drinking mango everything. LOL
Ugh, I miss the mango juice the most I think! I saw a fresh mango shake somewhere in Utah last year and got SO excited, I got it and it was not good. It was just a regular ice cream shake with mango chunks. very weird.
Awesome pictures–I love the color of the water there! And the boats look so cool too. Will definitely follow your advice and get a dry bag when I go out on them
Yes! I went kayaking on an island hopping tour and, thank the Lord, had my camera and phone closed in my dry bag because someone tipped us over. Safe to say, I was freaking out because I couldn’t remember if I closed it and I thought it was all sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Good news: it was closed and all worked out well, plus the water felt wonderfully refreshing haha
Cant wait to go to the Philippines, it looks amazzing! Great tips, especially about the dry bag! I would have never thought of that!
Yes! It saved my camera and phone on an island hopping tour! I brought them kayaking and got tipped over, thankfully they were in the closed bag!
Very nice photos. I bet everything in Phillippines is very photogenic! 🙂
Definitely! I took soooo many pictures there
How beautiful! Gorgeous beaches. Although I have to say, I’m more keen to read what you don’t like haha.
Haha, I think most of that was more annoyances, but it’s definitely worth going, just research transportation if you’re going by land! haha
The mangoes are just one of the reasons to go to the Philippines. The beaches and people are two others. It’s one of my favorite Asian countries.
Yes! I had soooo much mango stuff there, it was crazy haha
These beaches and boats surely look wonderful! I’ve never been in the Philippines but I also heard from other people that the food wasn’t amazing. I love mango juice though, I could also have several a day!
Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of the food, but it isn’t enough to keep me from going back!