Why Foreign Travel Bloggers Visit the Philippines

#ItsMoreFuninthePhilippines do not have a little less than 4 million tagged posts on Instagram (as of this writing) alone for nothing. Agree or Disagree? Ruins, museums, pristine beaches, heritage sites, hiking trails leading to breathtaking views- it is safe to say that we definitely have them all. Not to mention the extraordinary cuisine and hospitable locals. The Philippines also has the liveliest and most colorful Fiestas in the world when roads close, and every table in every home is abundant in fine delicacies homecooked with love. So, if anyone says that the Philippines is a real paradise- I am definite that no one would try to object.      

The rising number of travelers in the Philippines says a lot about what our country can offer to its guests. Everyone is amazed by the natural beauty of the country so it would not be a surprise to know that a lot of foreign travel bloggers also find themselves held captive at least once- and a lot of them keep coming back, mind you. While many Filipinos take advantage of cheap airfare costs not just to local destinations but foreign countries as well; many tourists, expatriates, and foreign travel bloggers are making their ways to discover the allure of the Philippines- the Pearl of the Orient Seas.

Canadian Christian LeBlanc from Lost LeBlanc, a foreign travel blogger, and vlogger, recently posted an updated video of his Top 10 Islands in the Philippines. I must say that it put me to shame as I, born and raised in the Philippines, have not visited at least half of the islands on his list. To tell you frankly, some of the beaches are even new to my ears! 

Kyle Jennerman, also a Canadian and lovingly known as Kulas by many Filipinos, even have his blog and vlog entitled Becoming Filipino. He even speaks more Filipino dialects than me! I mean, with all these people having no traces of Filipino blood but still falling in love with the Philippines and showing it to the whole world- how much prouder could that make someone like me feel?

Although it is a given fact that almost everyone who set foot in this country enjoys their trip , I am curious why foreigners make their ways from halfway across the world just to see our little country. Fortunately, I had the chance to hear the thoughts of five travel bloggers (four foreigners and one Filipino raised in the United States) and I took the opportunity to ask why and how they found themselves traveling to the Philippines the first time they visited. The exchange of views would not be complete if I did not make them tell me about the highlights of their trip, too, of course! 

EMILY EGNER

American

Up and at Em

1. How did the Philippines get on your travel list? 

Before traveling to the Philippines, it was number one on my travel list for a few years because I came across photos like nothing I had ever seen before. I knew I mostly wanted to go to El Nido because it is home to some of the bluest waters and most noteworthy lagoons and islands. My significant other is from the Philippines, so I wanted to learn more about his culture and gain a new understanding of this beautiful country.

2. What is the best thing about your Philippine Tour?

The best thing I did while in the Philippines was hiking to Taraw Peak in El Nido, Palawan. It was a bit of a strenuous hike (and dangerous), but the views were absolutely breathtaking, and it was worth it. Taraw Peak Hike forced me to step out of my comfort zone and push myself, but it was worth the beautiful view as a reward. 

Emily got more stories to tell about her trip to the Philippines here and here!

LINDSAY DAVIES

Canadian

I’ve Been Bit

1. How did the Philippines get on your travel list?  

To be honest, The Philippines wasn't on my radar until I met the love of my life. While you'd never guess it, he was born in Manila and would tell me all about growing up there. As I was born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, the stories he told me seemed so crazy and foreign. One night over a few drinks, just four months after we started dating, he jokingly said we should go visit so I could see where he grew up. One month later we had flights booked! 

2. What is the best thing about your Philippine Tour?

The best part of The Philippines? That’s tough to say! There are so many perks - the breathtaking beaches, stellar food, but I think my favorite part was the sunsets. After conquering Mt Pinatubo, surviving a hangover in Boracay, or watching the planes fly overhead in his family’s backyard, a beautiful Filipino sunset was the perfect way to end the day!

You can find more of Lindsay’s Philippine escapade here!

PINELOPI KYRIAZI

Greek

Maninio

1) How did the Philippines get on your travel list?  

While I was working in Qatar, during 2008, I had a colleague from the Philippines. She invited me to visit her country, so I did. Back then, I had no idea how beautiful the Philippines is! We traveled around Cebu area, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan city, Camiguin Island and White Island which is nearby Camiguin.

2) What is the best thing about your Philippines tour?

From all my Asian Travels, in the Philippines, you can find the most friendly, welcoming, kind and respectful people you will ever meet! Oh Yes! I Love Philippines!

People love to sing, to dance and to have fun all the time! During my working years in Qatar, I have worked with a lot of them, and I can say that the majority of them are as I already mentioned. If you love sandy beaches, clear water, and fresh fruits, this is the country for you.  

Except the above, my favorite visit was in Camiguin, which is a heavenly, picturesque island in the Philippines located in the Bohol sea, about 10 km off the northern coast of Mindanao. The island was formed by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, a significant landmark named Sunken Cemetery, now marked with a huge cross.   

As soon as you arrive on the island, you can see a green scenery with small and canteen restaurants. We stayed in Paras Resort, a very well attractive place with polite staff and great scenery to the white island. From we visited the White Island which it was just 15 minutes by boat from our resort.  

Approaching the island and I am speechless! The crystal-clear waters and the white sand put a spell on me; we are literally in the middle of the sea! LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!  There are no tree s or shelter, and it is composed solely of white sands, so you have to bring your own umbrella and your supplies if you wish to stay for a long time. 

During our visit time, we are the only tourists on the Island! Lying down, hearing the sea sound and start dreaming, I am in Paradise.

After 2 hours we had to go, as the high tide approaches we should leave the place. Slowly, slowly the island starts to disappear. One last dive and the last photos and we are ready to go.

Note to self: I have to go back to that place and in the Philippines. Happy travels in the amazing Philippines! 

Can you feel the emotions? I did! If you cannot get enough of Pinelopi’s words about the Philippines, you can continue reading here!

JESSICA SOLOMATENKO

Canadian

Family in Faraway Places

1) How did the Philippines get on your travel list?  

If I am being completely honest, before I met my husband I had never heard of the Philippines! In 2008 though we got married in Sagay, Negros Occidental and since then we’ve taken trips to different locations in the Philippines together six times. Even though he is Filipino, my husband also hadn't had many chances to travel around the country, so it' s nice to discover these places together.

2) What is the best thing about your Philippines tour?

I think the best thing about the Philippines has been discovering all the different kinds of fruit that I had never even seen before. Until we visited, I had only ever ha d two different kinds of bananas. I had no idea there were so many different kinds! Now I’ve had more than 10. It sounds silly, but I had never thought about how the pineapple grows either. Nothing tastes better than going right to the farm and eating it freshly picked!

Jessica has written a few posts about the Philippines here, as well!

JUSTINE ALONZO

Filipino (U.S. Based)

The Iridescent Wings

1) How did the Philippines get on your travel list?   

The Philippines is the motherland for me. I was born and raised in the United States but my parents are both originally from the Philippines, and we like to visit family as often as we can.  Without the biased, the Philippines has beautiful clear, blue water and white, sand beach and a beach bum like myself would have to put this paradise on her list.

2) What is the best thing about your Philippine Tour?

As a traveler, my favorite part is the hospitality Filipino people have for foreigners. They are always welcoming and friendly to visitors. The Philippines has mastered speaking English, even though it's not the native language, making it easy for a tourist to communicate with Filipinos.

Of course, Justine has written about our home country on her blog, too!  Awesome!

Filipinos are found almost in every part of the world, and I think that it is one of the many reasons why the Philippine Tourism is continuously growing. Just like many travelers, meeting friendly Filipinos before visiting the Philippines seem to be a common denominator for these travel bloggers who have intentionally booked their flights to experience the authenticity of Filipino hospitality and exquisiteness in all its glory. But to make things simple, a quick Google search about the Philippines would finalize and expedite any thoughts on booking a flight to any Philippine Island for sure. The white sand and blue waters- can things get any better than that? When the holiday passes and the travelers go back home, the tan will be gone, but the unforgettable memories and tons of photos will remain. 

It feels great to know that fellow travel bloggers, even the foreigners, had remarkable experiences during their trips that they took their precious time and wrote about their takeaways on their respective blogs. Although I have not visited all the destinations they have reached, reading how invested and appreciative of my home country they have become makes my heart swell with pride. After all the countries that I have visited and read about, it is still different when the topic is about the Philippines. There are inexplicable emotions and sense of wistfulness. It is a feeling that I do not want to miss.    

Connecting with foreign travel bloggers has become a wake-up call for me to tour more within the Philippines. It is hard to be a foreigner in your own land, after all. I must admit that I feel ashamed or sometimes even a little jealous whenever I have a conversation with foreign travelers who have been to a specific place in my own country- a place that I have never been to yet. Because let us just be true to ourselves, there are a lot of stunning sceneries and crazy adventures to experience in the Philippines so exploring the thousands of islands and 81 provinces would not be a waste of time. Getting bored will be hard!    

Although I have visited Baguio, Cebu, and Boracay aside from my hometown Occidental Mindoro, the destinations these ladies talked about got me so interested in visiting towns and islands which are not even as touristy as the others. So yes, I think I am going to have to pledge to travel to at least one new local destination every year!

How is that for a peace offering for my beloved country for not exploring soon?

PHILIPPINE TRAVEL TIPS:

1. You can score affordable activities and services in the Philippines via KKDayPH by clicking this link

2. Can't decide where to stay? Check Agoda as they have thousands of room waiting for you!

Disclaimer: I will be earning a little amount from each of your booking but no additional cost will be charged to you.

 
 
 

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