When new in a locality in the Philippines, the first travel challenge is how to go around the place without getting lost. Most neighborhoods in the country have seemingly endless and odd routes For new comers they’re sure formulas for getting lost. How do we overcome this first-timers’ travel pitfall?
To get familiar with a place, it always pays to roam around the vicinity on weekends, especially on the first day of arrival. Consider it one’s first schedule for leisure travel. After locking all doors in the house (and bringing the key along), walk around the block. Then walk around several blocks, then around the district. Don’t use a car. Walk and ride public vehicles. Getting lost may be good here.
Use every public vehicle seen around—travel on buses, jeepneys, tricycles, pedicabs. Study all routes going north, east, west, and south from one’s location. Enter every road, street, or alley that seems safe. Ask around where certain paths lead to. Study how to get there from one’s place, and vice versa, not getting lost.
Very important route studies are the following: travel route from home to food stores, home to drugstores, home to the nearest clinic and hospitals, home to the nearest police station and barangay outpost, home to the nearest fire station, and home to one’s work place—all without getting lost.
How far should one go with these travel route studies? The best thing is to go as far as where the work place is. From home to work place, study vicinity routes. Get a map. Draw a circle using one’s home as the center and the work place as starting point of the perimeter. That circle is one’s targeted route study. Do it per area. One area this weekend, another next weekend, and so on, without getting lost.
What if a work place is two cities away from home? That’s a big circle to draw, and a huge area to target for travel route study. The remedy here is to choose an apartment near the work place. That limits route study and getting lost. But if there’s no choice, then by all means, get that huge route study started—even if it covers 6 cities. Do it an area at a time. Think of it as a short weekend excursion.
It’s very important to get familiar with a place for travel convenience. After all, getting lost is a most unwelcome experience when one’s new in the neighborhood.