After 6 years of relationship with my Filipino wife, we finally decided to visit her country & family. Here is my observation:
The Myth of Cheap Vacation!
Our 40 days trip cost us around $28,000! It sounds ridiculous, but painfully true. Let me explain what happened:
In the Philippines, a beer cost you approximately 50 cents in store and around $2 in a bar. However, when you wanna drink one, you end up buying a case, because you basically have to pay for every family member around you! Everyone wants to hang out with you, because for them is free. And remember, even I don’t know who your wife is, but I assure you as a fact that she has a countless army of brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, cousins, uncles, aunties & etc.
They throw me a big party, and invited that many so called “relatives” that I couldn’t even imagine. The funny thing was I didn’t know I am the one should pay for that at last 🙂
You go to restaurant with relatives, to bar or club or anywhere else, you get taxi, you book hotel, … everyone expect you to pay!
The Myth of the Best Beaches in the World!
We travelled to Boracay for few days. Boracay is basically a line on the beach with three linked sections: Section A with better quality hotels, section B for partying and section C is the cheaper one. We stayed in section B. The island was extremely commercialized and crowded. The quality of the service was lower than average. You order a beer, it takes 10 minutes to arrive! I did it in different places and got the same result. For nightlife, they have some bars for dancing, nothing more than this! There is two or three bars in Section A for picking up prostitutes, filled with drunk foreigners. As far as I researched, the prices were two to three times more expensive than Thailand; it’s fun to see though!
The city itself has not much to offer. The massage places are tight and filthy with no massage table! So, you have to lay down on the floor. The quality & cost of the massage were reasonable though.
Although you see freelancers and hookers are roaming almost everywhere, but the parlours are completely legit! This is an ironic scene in the Filipino scociety.
As a person who travelled to both places, I tell you this is joke! Boracay gets 4 out of ten at best, compare to Turks and Caicos.
The type of tourists you deal with are 50% Pinoys living in abroad, 20% Pinoys from other part of the Philippines and 30% foreigners, mostly from eastern Asian countries mainly Korean & Chinese, also numbers of Aussies and European; few from US and Canada though. The funny thing you right away mention is the way abroad Pinoy treating their own people over there. The most humiliation you imagine! Also, I was just wondering why they mostly speak English instead of Tagalog!!
The hospitality of local people was great everywhere.
After Boracay, we travelled to Palawan in Puerto Princesa. I’ll wright about it next time…