Like I said the other day, I’m trying to keep things real here and that includes telling you the things I don’t like about places.  This isn’t the first time.  Leon, The Grand Canyon, Tikal, you get the idea.  I don’t love everything and I share it with you.  This may not be the most helpful, but I still want to share it.

Never having change for more than 20 Pesos

This was mostly annoying because ATMs gave you 100 pesos.  You would have to sit around and wait for change, especially if it was early.  Obviously things could be worse, but after a few weeks, you just want your money back in a reasonable time.

No reliable transportation information

Have I written about that time where we took a ferry then a tricycle to a bus to another ferry and I can’t even remember how much else because sometimes I try to block it out to a ferry that wasn’t happening?  Oh yeah, I did.  If you’re trying to navigate without flying, make sure you can find reliable information on transportation.  We ended up buying a flight the day before we left instead of waiting around four more days for something that might not even exist.

No, I don’t want pearls

These guys kept trying to sell pearls to us on the beach of Bantayan.  Even if we were sitting there all day.  Same guys.  Same pearls.  Same answer.  No.  No pearls.

Ordering anything

No we don’t have that.  It’s only for dinner.  Oh you ordered that?  let me bring it somewhere else.  Sorry, were out.  I would just get stared at with no response a lot and it kind of freaked me out in the beginning then I either got used to it or stared back.  To be fair, this happens other places, it just happened a lot here.

Food

I didn’t like the food.  It was rice, which I enjoy, and fatty meat, which I don’t.  There were these pot restaurants, I’m not sure what they’re called, but the food would sit out for who knows how long.  I couldn’t tell what anything was.  It was never really warm.  And once I think I had spaghetti with ketchup instead of sauce.

Being a pedestrian in El Nido

I’m surprised I didn’t get run over here.  The tricycles and scooters get so close to you, they don’t follow the honking rule of warning you when they’re two blocks away.  Be cautious walking here.

I really don’t want pearls

No, I still don’t want pearls.

No sidewalks, but if they are there, they are for parking

You will be walking in the streets, even if there are sidewalks, because, duh, that’s where tricycles park.  What else would they be for?  Now, refer back two points.

How to enjoy the Philippines:

  • Surrender to the Philippines.
  • Take things as they come.
  • Be willing to accept changes in plans.
  • Don’t have tons of expectations, refer to the first three points.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no to the kids with shells or the men with pearls.
  • Visit as many beaches as you can.
  • Drink all the mango juice.
  • Collect too many shells.

how-to why

Have you been to the Philippines?  What did you think of it?  Do you want to go?