Travelling with Filipinos can be the best thing that will happen to you, or the worst. Sure, there might be arguments about failed travel photos or deciding which attractions to go to. On the other hand, you and your Filipino travel buddy (or buddies) could realise both of your strong points in planning an itinerary and how well you complement each other. But like everything else about travel, these experiences will leave you with lessons that will ultimately make you a better and wiser traveller.
Travelling with Filipinos: The good
To always be careful with your money
We, as well as actual studies, have said it many times before: Filipinos are some of the thriftiest travellers there are. Travelling with Filipinos teaches us that any amount of money, big or small, should be handled with extra care. After all, we’re already faced with a multitude of other challenges just by carrying our passport, we can’t let the stress of mishandled budget add to the pile.
To make the most of your time while away
Unless we’re blessed with our own business or a job that lets us be flexible with our time, travelling locally or overseas can be pretty restricting. Those paid vacation leaves mean the world to us, so we know better than to waste it on empty itineraries when all we want is to experience as many things as we can in a single trip, because who knows when it can happen again.
To find the beauty in places (for photo ops too, obviously)
Filipinos are generally optimistic people, so it’s not unusual for us to see the bright side of things wherever we go. It goes without saying, it also means knowing how to find the perfect backdrop for our travel photos with our travel buddy, even if it’s as simple as the back alley of an urban village.
To be extra cautious of your belongings
I got it from my mama, and I’m sure many of you did, too. A few years ago, and even until now, we see fellow Filipinos carrying meticulously wrapped luggage at the airport, hoping they won’t be the next victim of the notorious laglag-bala scam. We also learn to distribute our cash in different compartments inside our bag, and to always write our names on several of our possessions.
To think about your loved ones a lot, especially when shopping
Some of us might detest the idea of pasalubongs. But let’s face it, buying souvenirs is already ingrained in us, or at least that’s what travelling with a fellow Filipino reminds us. We come across shirts, shoes and coats at a random shopping street and think “Bagay kaya ‘to kay (insert a random family member)?”.
Travelling with Filipinos: The not-so-good
To never be contented with your bookings
For budget-conscious Filipinos, the first thing about travelling is to never stop searching until we find the cheapest possible airfare, even if it means compromising all other aspects of our trip. We book what we think is an affordable flight to Siargao or Taiwan, only to get the reply “But it’s not cheap enough” from our Pinoy travel buddy. While it does teach us about patience, encounters like this also tell us to never be satisfied with what we have. Eventually, we stress out when we should just be having a good time in the first place.
To always be wary about what other people say
“Pwede na kaya ‘tong OOTD ko? Marami kayang magla-like kapag dito ako nag-picture? Mas okay kaya if sundin ko na lang ‘yung tip ni ganito?” The lot of us may not admit it, but at a certain point during a trip, we’re probably guilty of letting other people’s opinions dictate whether or not we should do a certain thing or travel a certain way. It reaches to a point wherein we do an entire trip no longer for ourselves, but our potential travel shamers.
To feel entitled to everything
Taking from Filipinos’ culture of entitlement, we are and will never be wrong in our own eyes. It’s almost always the airline personnel or hotel receptionist who should be held liable for things like us getting late for a flight on our own or not checking the room’s amenities before booking it. What’s worse, we enjoy publicly humiliating these people, not to help “spread the word”, but to gain empathy from our circle of followers when we’re the ones to blame.
To only think about your gadgets
It’s been proven: Filipinos are the top social media users in the world. Many of us also travel for the ‘gram, and that’s totally fine. That is, until we start to think of nothing else but our gadgets and the apps we’ve downloaded onto them — ignoring our companions, our tour guides, the locals, and even ourselves and our safety!
To be disrespectful of others
I’m sure we can enumerate a few instances when travelling with Filipinos has shown us that we’re better off staying indoors. You know, rather than going around disrespecting local customs and even the environment — from throwing starfish in the air for the sole purpose of having viral-worthy photos, to the typical Pinoy galawan of always letting others wait on us.
Do you agree with these lessons from travelling with Filipinos? Better yet, have you had any notable experiences of your own while exploring the world with a Kababayan as your travel buddy? Tell us about them.