Why There Are No Backpackers in the Philippines? Good Question

UPDATE: More backpacking stories, updates, tips, and trips at my travel blog I called, Discount Travel Blogger! See more adventure stories and information there!

I keep surfing about backpackers in the Philippines, and I thought there should be one. I can’t believe I can’t find one! Although I’ve travel some places in the Philippines that could be a backpackers area, prices, and hang out. So then I thought, its not that Philippines doesn’t have backpackers area, its just that they are not advertised and labelled well on the net.Why there's no backpackers in the Philippines?

Most of the tourist places in the Philippines offers a quite dear of prices not fit into a backpacker’s budget. Wait! wait a minute! Let me tell you something, I didn’t even know what a backpacker means back then…all I know is the term travellers. Didn’t know that until I became a backpacker myself mid-year this year.

What is a Backpacker? Who are they?

Backpacking around Southeast Asia made me realize and see that most of the travellers travelling around the world are backpackers. Backpackers are budget travellers, that are much more willing to stay longer, spend more everyday for a reasonable price. They are the ones that travel a place to another. Therefore, backpackers will give great business to anywhere they will love to stay and visit.

Philippine Tourism should improvise the system by starting to cater to the world’s largest group of travellers, Backpackers. You see, backpackers love to know more about cultures, travel a lot, spend more by travelling more places. Just by accommodating them, you’ll never know how long they can stay, and how far they are willing to go, if its offered in good prices. Isn’t that a good help for the economy of the place?

Why Backpackers Skip Philippines?

Backpacking Southeast Asia, I met other backpackers from other countries and asked them why are they skipping Philippines? They all have the same answers…“It’s too expensive!”

Yet these backpackers were travelling more than a month, some of them 4, 6, 8 months, and some more than a year! Just backpacking from one place to another, a country after another, border crossing, and stuff that they do when they stay in one area (tours, dining, clubbing, souvenirs, etc.)… Backpackers are always the ones who travel a lot, and so encouraging them to come to the Philippines by giving them the good prices, they will start coming.

TIP: Word of mouth from backpackers are the best marketing! They tell one another, what’s good or bad, what to do and what’s not from the places they’ve been. They help out one another, even if they don’t know each other. They share tips on where to get the best deals, best priced areas, best places to go, and the best thing is…they will! and they will go according to what they have been told most of the time.

TIP: Satisfy one or two backpackers, and the next thing you know…Backpackers will flood your place/business whether its food, service, hotel, guesthouses…name it!

Lyndsay is the mind behind this fashion blog, she also blogs about her travels on Discount Travel Blogger giving tips on how to explore the world as cheap as possible. She has earned units in Masters in Psychology, designs websites and graphics, online marketer, YouTuberand a singer by heart.
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44 comments

  1. I’m lost as to what you define as a backpacker. To me, a backpacker is someone who walks everywhere they go. If these are who you are referring to, then maybe the fact that safety issues might be the main reason why backpackers avoid the Philippines. Certain areas are known to have high robbery and even kidnapping. Plus you have those terrorist groups hanging out in the southern islands. Please advise. Thanks.

  2. It was just a personal definition after my observation, I did wrote down that I didn’t know there’s a specific definition for certain travellers that are backpackers, until I became one.

    I must say, it is everywhere(I mean,danger)…That is just at the most bottom part of the Philippines that you don’t wanna go to, and as you said certain areas, therefore you should just avoid it. Bali is the same, yet there are beautiful beaches and places to go to…

    I myself, doesn’t even want to risk going to the bottom part of the Philippines. The most I want to get to visit is Boracay Island, don’t go any further south than that. Its Boracay Island to the top should be your route if you want to travel Philippines. Theft may be common for people who appear to be vulnerable at that, also don’t bring too much cash on you, there’s ATM everywhere don’t risk your safety having too much valueables with you, leave your passport with your hotel/guesthouse manager for safekeeping but always keep a photocopy with you in case of emergency.

    Flaunting your designer watches, cellphones, ipods, bulky pockets will tempt thieves to rob you. We are developing country and you should be aware that poverty is visible everywhere in Manila(except Makati business area), so flaunting your valueables are too tempting. That is just most common in Manila though.

    Other tourist areas in the Philippines is not theft hotspot(but still be aware). I suggest places worth visiting like Boracay Island, Palawan (Tubbataha Reefs here, Amazing!), Baguio, Sagada, Vigan, Hundred Islands, Pagsanjan Falls, and there are a lot more amazing places that are not considered a tourist place if you have friends from the Philippines, its a lot better. I hope this will encourage backpackers to go to the Philippines.

  3. Hi! I found your site from Blog Catalog and can’t help but to comment on this topic. =)
    Well, I’ve got Belgian friends who are backpackers mainly in Asia and one group has been to the Philippine islands from the north way down to Zamboanga way back in 1999. I was really amazed because they enjoyed it, they travelled for a month and have seen a lot of the Philippines which I admit I can be both proud and embarrassed. [Corruption, pickpocketers, theft, you name it frankly it’s everywhere in the world not just in the Philippines! My family and I have been to Barcelona last March and at Starbucks where we were having our afternoon coffee and American couple was just being mobbed without us noticing it! Well, these are professionals and again, they are everywhere in the world.] Nevertheless, they promised to go back to Philippines as it really is The Pearl of the Orient Seas! They stayed on budget hostels, rode tricycles, rode buses, rode bancas, ate and sang with local fishermen…I could go on and on. After all, Philippines is truly a paradise! The bottom line is, it wasn’t expensive, according to them. A backpacker just has to know the tricks of the trade, they say! Thanks to me, they could have gone to Thailand.

  4. What made them think the Philippines is too expensive for backpackers? Is it the food? Transpo? Accommodation?

  5. That’s great to hear stilettoed praline!…atleast, they appreciate Philippines. To Only in the Philippines, it is quite expensive than countries like Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand though because I am backpacking myself around Southeast Asia…Just from Thailand, I have stayed in a hotel(not guesthouse) with free breakfast, WIFI, cable tv, t & b, hot & cold shower, free 2 1000ml bottled water, roomservice, housekeeping, elevator for 330 Baht(under 450 pesos, 445.5 to be exact under 10 USD), at a Restaurant food spent 100 Baht (135 Pesos or under 2 USD) a day for three full meals(Either Fried Rice[it’s like your choice of meat, vegetables, and rice…unlike ours that is RICE with a little bits of meat and minced vegetables], Pad Thai, or Rice & Viand) with drinks and extra rice… πŸ˜› because I eat a lot! hehe…

    Laos is quite expensive though, like Philippines sometimes more, but Vietnam? Dang! It’s the cheapest of all three. A meal includes Grilled Steak & Fried Rice, served with Green Salads on top and Hot/Iced Tea for 27000 VND (75 Pesos or 1.5 USD) with free banana as dessert…:D Hotels from $6-10 USD with everything mentioned above. Even a condo rent in Thailand with a great view is 7000Baht(9450 Pesos or under 150 USD) a month, fully furnished, with cable, ADSL, including electric, ADSL and water bills for a month!

    It’s not easy to find good deals like that in the Philippines, but you can if you have people that knows real prices. You can even rent a motorbike a day from 3-7 USD, gas not included though…but geeeeeeezz!!! I think you will understand more when you get to be in contact with the situation, and you’ll start questioning why its quite a difference in general cost of living from countries like Thailand and Vietnam to our own? What is it that we can do to improve our situation? There’s something wrong with the our system, and we should act now because there’s a lot suffering from it. If we did succeed changing the bad system? You don’t understand, travellers will keep coming, and they are a boost, real boost to any country’s economy…

    Hope this helped you, only in the philippines!…Advance Happy Holidays!

  6. Hi, Lindsay! How do you do?
    Well, right now whenever I’m glued to Eurosport channel what comes during advertisement time is “Incredible India”….not too long ago it was Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and “truly Asia…Malaysia”. Fact is, it sucks! Nope, not their ads but how I wish Philippines’ Department of Tourism will sell our country more. As an ex-travel consultant, believe me, I do sell our country through the grapevine whenever and whereve I could…even whilst vacationning in Greece, I was selling Philippines and other tourists flocked to me like bees to honey!

  7. Hi again stilettoed praline, nice to have you back again in my blog forum!
    That’s cool to know that you’re in travel advertising industry, I keep seeing the India and Malaysia’s Ads and it’s cool, and I’m always waiting for the Philippines’. What’s amazing is that Filipino talents and hands are working on those ads, yet we don’t have our own?
    I think that if we start selling Philippines in public eye, travellers will start coming, not only yuppies but backpackers! My concern is with backpackers to flock to Philippines, there are only few of them compared to the other travellers like business travellers…and even though they are on a budget, they stay longer…and that would help the economy better, and for their point of view…learn more about the Philippines, their chance to know us better, our culture, tradition, food, people, and a lot more deeply about us…our way of living.

  8. Hi! I’d say one of the safest places in the Philippines is the Visayas. Try Bacolod City. I’ve been to different parts of the world and you’d be surprised that hassling is very bad in Bangkok & pickpockets are everywhere (even inside an elevator of a 5-star hotel!!!) in Paris! Surprise! Surprise! Aside from the pickpocketing experienced by one friend, ANOTHER friend’s mobile phone was snatched as we were walking to a restaurant in Paris a day before!

    Bacolod City has very good food, great people, good medical facilities, good roads, and low-priced hotels and foods. You will be surprised with the quality and price!

    Being from Manila & having young kids, my concerns would be cost of living, security, pollution, traffic, floods, education, medical facilities, nature, opportunities, among others.

    I’ve travelled around the country from far north to Mindanao; and chose Bacolod City to settle in.

    Email me if you want to know more about the place or some guidance.

    Nice blog you have here! Congrats!

  9. “I myself, doesn’t even want to risk going to the bottom part of the Philippines. The most I want to get to visit is Boracay Island, don’t go any further south than that. Its Boracay Island to the top should be your route if you want to travel Philippines. ”

    if you don’t want to go south of boracay, how will you know that it’s safe? you’re missing a lot. Backpackers? there are many of them in the Cordilleras and other areas that are not that touristy but not as many as those in the Asian mainland. Boracay? it’s one huge tourist trap and I would prefer other tranquil more inexpensive places to go to.

    As for dangers, it’s present anywhere in the world. The problem here in the country is the constant negative publicity being aired.

    As for ads, the Philippines had one before but because the tourism department’s budget is not as deep as India and Malaysia, we’ll just have to suffice on travel fairs where they can concentrate on specific markets.

  10. @ gr8lyf: I agree that danger is everywhere, when I was living in Milan, my old Nokia phone was stolen riding a bus…I don’t know what happened, it wasn’t even rush hour! I didn’t even know that they would bother to pinch it, that thieves back home won’t bother pinching that older than 3310 model…i forgot the exact model…haha!

    And yeah, but wait until you tried Vietnam, they never stopped, they hassle you at 15 minutes minimum!lol…I’m not kidding, even if you said NO, they keep insisting…but that’s just the way of life here, I got used to it since I’m staying here for 3 months now, this country is amazing! Actually, I am looking for a job now, wanting to stay longer.

    Thanks for offering, and sure, I will email you when I get the chance to visit Bacolod City, I want to try it sometime. I have friends that invited me to visit there back in College, but I don’t have enough means to get there then…but maybe, one day, I will and I’m gonna be needing your help. Thank again! and Thanks for Dropping by… πŸ˜€

  11. @ estan: Yeah, I know…but the thing is, I am just being a responsible writer, if I don’t think it is safe for myself, I wouldn’t recommend it, because I know for the fact that people are gonna be reading this and will be encouraged to get to places that you don’t want them to go to because it’s too risky. “Better Safe, Than Sorry”.

    I would like to try that too, maybe one day, and find out myself before writing it down and recommending it…There are tons of places that are inexpensive in Luzon though, I’d rather maintain my confidence traveling to more secured areas(meaning, less crime rates/incidences). To each, is their own. Some people are risk takers, some are not. We can just respect what they want, and probably, maybe, one day they’ll be one with the others, it doesn’t matter…it’s their own.

    Backpackers? Yeah, I know there are backpackers in the Philippines(this is just a link bait, if you know what I mean) but I am writing this as well to market the Philippines to backpackers out there, but responsible marketing…get it?

    Anyways, Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting… Ciao! πŸ˜€

  12. Expensive? Are we expensive? I don’t know. But I agree to those who said about safety reasons. It’s the terrorists and abu sayaff’s fault mindanao’s tourist spots are not so visited.

  13. I know some of us will ask that…is it expensive in the Philippines? and yeah, you don’t think so…’cause most of us are priviledged specially us, who are into blogging…and eventhough, you’ll never know until you get to travel places like Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam…the cost of living there are so affordable Thailand and Vietnam is the best, (although Vietnam is the winner for cost of living)…

    You’ll find out when you get to backpack to these places…evene Filipinos living here that I’ve met few weeks ago, said its a lot different back home…there are pros and cons anywhere, but here pros are more than cons… πŸ˜€

    Thanks for visiting anyway, Bryan!

  14. Hey…I just read your reply to my last comment. The info about backpackers…

    Thank you for the information, especially about Manila. I have been browsing some of the hotels on the web and remember seeing some in the business district of Makati. With your info, if I can manage to come visit I will now find a hotel in Makati where it’s safer. Awesome advice Lyndsay!!!!!!!!

  15. Lyndsay girl….you have given me a GREAT idea! Here is a local community site that I frequent often to chat with people in my area. Check it out. wral.com/golo/

    I think I am going to start a Group that will consist of people’s travel tips…people like you and the other that read this comment. I learned from your blogs the valuable information that locals can offer to visitors from abroad. That info is invaluable to them…like it is to me. Thank you and I will keep you posted as I construct the group. Anyone can join Golo. The site is a branch of WRAL-TV.com, our most popular news station in Raleigh.

    Take care of yourself as you travel around. Keep the Twitter post coming!

    Your friend in NC USA,
    Barry

  16. Hi Barry,

    That’s cool! I’m gonna check out your that site ASAP.
    and thanks for appreciating my writing, that;s my purpose…to help and entertain people with my posts, and I’m glad people like you are enjoying it!

    You are one of the frequent commenter on my blog, and I would like to express my gratitude for reading and leaving comments here…

    Thanks again.

  17. I must say my eyes become glued to your blogs and their comments everytime I come here! lol I am soooo fascinated about visiting the Philippines. I want to come there so badly. When I can afford to I will be visiting. The info in here is invaluable to me and to many. Thanks Lyndsay…you got a good page going here. I really enjoy reading your blogposts.

  18. HAPPY Valentines Day Lyndsay!!!! I hope you are treated like a queen today…and everyday…cause you are a lil QuEeN!

  19. Hey Lyndsay….I would be so thrilled if you were to visit my group blog….and even more thrilled if you were to join Golo and then join my group within Golo. It’s free, and with your writing skills and your knowledge of Asian travel spots….man ole man what you could add to my group! I would be SO VERY GRATEFUL if you did. And if you do join my group, I’ll give you full editorial rights and you can post your own blogs there yourself!!!! Here’s the link…

    wral.com/golo/profile/4441650/

    I want to put a link up in there to this page, but I’m gonna wait and see if you want to do that yourself! PLEASE consider….I want your writing skills input! lol

  20. Hey there again Barry!

    I didn’t notice those previous comments of yours, because you’re one of the frequent commenters I already set it to Auto-accept. πŸ˜€ Anyways, Thanks Barry! Yeah, absolutely I’m having a great time here! LOL @ Li’l Queen…

    By the way, I joined that network group, although I’m not sure if I’m gonna be able to update that with my posts. But my permission to link my posts to any related stuff… Thanks again, Barry!!!

    Happy Valentines Day to you too!

  21. Hi Lindsay!

    Your friends are right. . . it is just a matter of technique and gathering info . . .I am from the southern tip of Palawan (Sibaring, Bugsuk Island) referred to as the backdoor. . . For those travelling without script or for those who wants adventure you can get in touch with me and I will be your host . . . nice blog.

  22. Hello Reneprince,

    Thank you for the compliments, and it will be cool if you have introduced yourself well here, or atleast put up your own blog, as backpackers and travellers are in need of great and trustworthy host. πŸ™‚

  23. the philippines is a group of islands. the southern part (mindanao) is where all kidnappings are rampant. it is however not fair to stereotype the philippines as dangerous just because some parts are. after all it’s not fai to say you’ll get mauled or robbed in Utah just because it can most likely happen to a person in NY. just my opinion.

    by the way, I am a back packer and have recently enjoyed a holiday in palawan took the package tours and made my own itineraries as well. i think in this website they describe backpackers as budget travelers.

    1. Hello Kay, Thanks for sharing. Most people spread the experience they has specially backpackers as they travel a lot, and sad to say that it is another form of marketing, word of mouth, and I believe it’s the powerful form of marketing.

      We can’t blame what people say and think, one bad thing unfold after another. So developing good image will change their perception and experience. It is always not fair stereotyping I know, but people do, we can’t change and tell them what to do or think. All we can do is change our ways, image, so it will change what they want to share to others.

      By the way, that is what *backpacker means though, otherwise you’re not if you’re splurging. Usually, backpackers travel from one place to another, country to another country for indefinite time, no schedule, no itinerary. That is why they share information regarding where is the best place to go, affordable, and safe.

      *Backpacking is a term that has historically been used to denote a form of low-cost, independent international travel. Terms such as independent travel and/or budget travel are often used interchangeably with backpacking. The factors that traditionally differentiate backpacking from other forms of tourism include but are not limited to the following: use of public transport as a means of travel, preference of youth hostels to traditional hotels, length of the trip vs. conventional vacations, use of a backpack, an interest in meeting the locals as well as seeing the sights. (*Excerpt from Wikipedia)

      I wish this reply to Kay’s comment would enlighten people who are confused to what backpacker means. πŸ˜‰ And guys, no matter how long we whine about them talking about our country that way, it wouldn’t change a thing unless we do something to change it. We need to do something, and not get offended instead be open minded of what we can do to make us better. πŸ˜‰

  24. Hi Lyndsay! I’m a 62 year old backpacker looking for a place to relax for a few months after doing 8 countries in 10 months. I have found this place in Sinandigan Beach Village, Sabang, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. It is a eco-friendly fishing village 30 yards to beach. A beautiful place where i can relax ,write and enjoy the local people .It has a great ,cheap backpacker hostel called tunajoes (tunahos) where I am staying — Dave

    1. Hi Dave! Cool, good to know you chose Philippines to stay longer. Puerto Galera is great, it is not that touristy as Boracay Island but you can enjoy the natural beauty of Mindoro as well. Check out Puerto Princesa, Palawan and the famous Boracay Island. If you’re into different water sports like reef walking, and tourist feel, Boracay is the place! Outgoing, fun, and active place to stay in… Enjoy your stay in the Philippines!

  25. HI lyndsay -thanks for your reply .I certainly do recomend sinandigan beach village- puerto galera for people on a tight budget.TUNAJOE backpackers is only 99 peso a night for dormitory 200 peso for private room anybody heading for philipines come join me and you will enjoy dave

  26. hi, lyndsay! I’m an owner of a hostel which promotes backpacking in the Philippines. I share your frustrations on why our country is skipped by fellow backpackers when traveling across SE Asia, as you’ve mentioned on the front page of your blog. Anyway, my putting up the backpackers joint in Makat, which is the first in the surrounding area, is a move towards beating the odds. I hope you can help me promote our place.

    1. Hey Ronald, No worries…I would love to do it to help tourism for the Philippines, just send me all the neccessary details that backpackers would like to know such as rates, amenities, services included, location, etc…

  27. Hi, Syaloomm
    i am indonesian,i want to have vacation in your country,but i dont know about your country,can you to be my guide,if i go to caloocon city how the cost,caloocon city its safe for vacation or no? thx for the answer

  28. Hi Lyndsay . . . you are just two steps away from paradise. Vacation should not be expensive, go south and travel to the last frontier . . . hope to see you in PUNTA SEBARING (southernmost tip of southern Palawan). . . great camping site, perfect for backpackers. Just tell me if you want some photos of that place. . . . with of course the permission of Ms. Lindsay. Thanks and see you there.

  29. great site! lots of useful information… keep on travelling!

  30. hi! just saw your blog. i tell you i’ve been travelling around south east asia and my backpacker friends when asked on their route. they skip the philippines. mostly after thailand they do cambodia or laos then kuala lumpur, singapore and skip the philippines to go to indonesia then australia.

    the funny thing is i asked them about the philippines, and they don’t know anything about it. some know that’s in south east asia, my italian friend asked me if people still live in the mountains, a girl from london i met said isn’t the philippines part of the pacific islands… too many words, very dissapointing.

    basically, its the lack of information from tourists. they don’t know anything about the country, plus if they know somethings its the bad thing going on in the south with our muslim brothers. the only backpackers i know who came to the philippines were my three friends, one from new zealand, one from australia, and one from london because i convinced them too. so whenever i travel, its been my mission to as new friends to encourage and inform them to come to the philippines, been lucky so far..

    1. It is very true, it is dissapointing that Philippines is stereotyped with all these stuff which is nowhere near the truth. The problem is that there are no enough advertisement or information on the International media that is good about our country, which there our millions.

      Even my Australian boyfriend’s mom says she have never heard of Philippine tourism and she is an archeaologist which we expect will know more a lot about geographies, people, and countries…but she said, it is since the Marcos regime countries around the world has shut Philippines from the world because of the Martial Law. That is ages ago, since then nobody has ever tried to do something to make the Philippine tourism booms…

      I am trying my best to contribute though, I am planning to start a travel agency that will caters to the Filipino backpackers that will offer REAL prices and NOT the ripped off ones as we always thought and it happens because of that kind of thinking. Also, a website to promote Philippine Tourism and the wonders of our country that the world should know. Thanks for sharing Pinoy Boy, keep up the good work! We might have to put up our group to campaign for our tourism hey…Pinoy Tourism Patriots!!! lol

  31. Great article… Of real interest to me as I’ve been backpacking round asia for 3 years and love the philippines. I’d love to set up a simple backpackers place in the philippines…we’ll see! Whilst backpackers dont have much of a budget, once prices comparable to the rest of SE Asia are available (accomodation being the most important), lots and lots of them will arrive. The sheer numbers spending a little here and there should be much better than the few tourists (mainly the elderly male demographic) that currently visit.
    BTW, I hear that visa costs for stays of more than 21 days (i.e. 2 or 3 months) are also considered prohibitively expensive by most compared to other SE Asia destinations…and backpackers need to know they can afford to take the time to get to know the people, their culture and the natural wonderland that is the Phillipines!
    Best of luck in enticing backpackers…I for one would love to cater to this group, which i consider to be the most interesting, respectful and grateful amongst the travelling community!

    1. Thanks for sharing Mark! It’s really something when foreigners like you speaks out how beautiful Philippines and our people are as if it would come from me or from any Filipinos will sound a little bit biased. That would be nice for you to invest in the Philippines to accommodate backpackers and you truly know how there are few competition for this part. Also, about the visa, it is quite a price to extend… However, I have read that there are ways to get around it which I am researching if it is possible (as my Aussie boyfriend needs it too) in a cheaper way.

      I am studying and gathering ways to entice backpackers and tourists to visit Philippines. Traveling with them, talking with other backpackers has given me the view of why there are no backpackers in the Philippines. What makes them skip Philippines when choosing places to visit just like what you have mentioned, accommodation, visa, food, way of living, safety, etc…

      Also, it is not just that, even Filipinos are stereotyping that traveling is always expensive holding them back to travel and explore more of the country and the world. My goal is to help my fellow people to be aware of what it is outside the country, how it will be possible for them, that stereotype stories aren’t true, backpacking is possible for Filipinos, and to all backpackers from all over the world to discover Philippines and know more about us and our culture (Of course, in a budget way when my research is done). I will share it all to you to help and inform fellow travelers and first time travelers out there about what, where, how to get from one place to another in convenient and affordable ways.

  32. Itchie Dimacali

    Lyndsay,

    I’m a 18 wheeler truck driver here in the USA and I’ve seen all of the 48 contiguous States and some of Canada (Ontario & Quebec). I plan to retire in the Philippines and go backpacking. I’m arriving 28Jan2010 and will attend the Salibanda Festival in Paete Laguna 31Jan with a newly met internet buddy, Tutubi of backpackingphilippines.com. If you have some future backpacking trip sometime March, I’ll be most grateful if you will consider me joining.

    Itchie

    1. oh that’s cool to know! yeah, i heard of tutubi before…awesome! keep me posted hey….and bon voyage travelling Philippines!

  33. JODY VILLANUEVA

    I met several Russian backpackers in Jordan last year who told me of the wonderful diving opportunities thay had enjoyed in the Philippines. They mentioned this to me after I told them that I was of Filipino heritage. They then asked me if I had ever visited the Philippines. I ashamedly said that I have never been to the PI. I am seriously contemplating a backpacking journey to the PI this year. I am particularly interested in national fiestas and celebrations. Can you advise me of some “do not miss” fiestas, as well as other sites? I have seen pictures of the rice terraces on Luzon, which appeals to me.

    1. Oh really?! That’s cool that you’re of Filipino heritage which means you’ll be more interested knowing your roots, our culture and traditions. It is a great choice that you are interested with the festivals as they display most of the traditional style of the places. Most popular is the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City and the Sinulog Festival in the South. The afore mentioned is a flower festival because Baguio is the flower capital of the country it is cool up there too so it is more fun to do your traveling stuff(you’ll be spared with sweaty travels…lol).

      Sinulog Festival however, is the traditional Ati-Atihan Festival were the people in the parade are wearing the costumes of the early Filipino Aborigines and body paints. I haven’t been to one but I have seen performances in some parts of the Philippines although they are native in Cebu City.

  34. Hi Lindsay.

    you are right about there being not too many backpackers in the Philippines. I was there for a month of a backpacking trip and I loved every minute of it. I am a 53 year old Canadian woman who backpacks alone and at no time did I ever feel unsafe. The people were fantastic and nobody tried to rip me off. Not even once. I have been all over the world and this is my favorite place ever. The beaches make hawaii look like garbage and at a fraction of the cost. I am hopeing to get back for a couple of months at the end of this year. I don’t understand why people aren’t flocking to the islands. They must be crazy. But the good part about that is I get the beaches all to myself with the exception of a few locals who are very polite and respectful. Keep spreading the word because they all don’t know what they are missing.

    1. Thanks for sharing Mary! It’s nice to hear from a foreigner some good things about my country. I have been backpacking solo lately and meeting fellow backpackers from all over the world I am asked several times what’s good about my country and I am always lucky to have always been in a situation where another foreigner is on the boat with us that gladly tell beautiful stories about Philippines. I am thankful because I don’t want to sounds so biased as I am from there, also, I am ashamed to admit that I have travelled more places in other Southeast Asian countries than my own (but that would change now) that I share with everyone on my travel blog: DISCOUNT TRAVEL BLOGGER!

  35. Neville Duropan

    i always look for budget travel these days because it is not easy to earn money in these economic crisis times.:

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