Philippine cities are all bustling with various beehive activities. They all offer good tourism and gear up as best they can to keep a rush of steady inflow of tourists the whole year round. So what more can we ask of Philippine cities? Nothing much. But what’s really needed to truly enjoy them is our careful preparation.
Philippine cities from photos and promotions look perfect enough for any visitor. But just like any other cities in the world, there are some things we need to understand particularly how things work in the streets. If we understand rules and street culture in a Philippine city, we get about 60 to 80 percent assurance of pleasurable trips in them.
First is never be too obvious with how one looks. Tourists, especially foreigners, and first-timers in a city, ought to dress up casually like any other person on routine city travel. Don’t attract attention wearing shorts and shirts with tourism hypes written all over them in Philippine city streets.
Don’t show off expensive dark sun glasses, mobile phones, jewelry, dollar bills, and the like—and careful with that foreign accent, too. Relax with these things in malls, or luxury hotels and restaurants, but not in city streets—or even “just outside” a secure establishment. We don’t want to figure in any city crime scene, much more as a victim. This scenario will demolish all expectations of enjoying Philippine cities.
If foreign accent cannot be disguised, be sure to travel with a local in any Philippine city. Talk as less as possible but always smile. There are many simple Filipino words and phrases easy to learn. It is advisable to learn them a month or so before stepping in a Philippine city. Words like, “Magkano?” (How much?), “Salamat” (Thanks), “Saan?” (Where?), “Para po!” (Please stop the cab or bus or jeepney, I want to get off here), and “Anong oras na?” (What time is it?).
Always use city sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and overpasses for people. Obey all city traffic rules. They’re often the root of city street corruption. Take public rides only at designated locations. Get off on the same. If in a private car, park only in designated parking spaces or lots. Some Philippine city ordinances are fond of car towing.
A sure way of enjoying a Philippine city is knowing city traveling rules and city street culture that applies. Keep out of city street troubles and it will always be smooth sailing trips in Philippine cities.