Challenges of Travel in Philippines

Challenges of Travel in Philippines
Living in the Philippines is great, traveling in the Philippines is a war story full of ungodly challenges. This is country that is 1 percent extremely modern, surrounded by 99 primitive situations.

Travel can be a challenge, while a vacation should be relaxing, re-creative, restorative, and re-energizing. The prime directive of travel is to enjoy yourself.

Sadly when readers discover this travel journal, they do not find a guidebook, there are NOT endless stories about beautiful locations for vacations. Instead they find a traveler, who has daily challenges, and who is not on vacation, who is exploring the world and has adventures, and almost refused to explain the cliche world of travel.
(Note, I came to the Philippines ONLY for Vacation.)

Let me think, let me empathized, an overstressed person starts searching on the Internet for vacation trips. They stumble up this travel journal, they see it the top this, the top that, the 10 best, the 10 that, so they subscribe. Oops, they goofed up, they wanted a no-challenge vacation, not real life, they want fantasy, they want a reprieve from real life, nothing serious.

Bauang - Paringao - San Fernando, Philippines
La Union Province
Southeast Asia
Monday, September 14, 2009
Buy the Same Gear as Andy uses… At three times the price, sorry.


I suppose I have goofed up also, I have not warned them, I am just not sure of the one-liner motto that will make them bounce faster. A vacation should not be a challenge, I think the word vacation means to stop.

1. break from work: a period of time devoted to rest, travel, or recreation

2. fixed holiday period: a scheduled period during which the activities of courts, schools, or other regular businesses are suspended .

In this definition you can see, there is nothing talking about a challenge, it should be rest, and I want you to only have a challenge in a premeditated way.

I just came from East Africa, I think traveling in the Philippines is more challenging. Living in the Philippine is a lot easier than East Africa, however traveling in the Philippines is torture, you do not see me moving much do you, it is difficult.

What are the challenges of travel in Philippines?

1. Money - Expensive, incredibly expensive compared to other countries that give me the same level of quality of life. This place is crowded, it should be one-third the price for what I get, value is terrible.

2. Travel Time - A bus travels in the Philippine about 30-40 kilometers per hour, the normal bus on planet earth in poor countries goes about 50-60 kilometers per hour. This is half as fast, travel is double.

3. Noise - Finding a quiet room in the Philippine is annoyingly difficult, I have to jump three budget grades to find a quiet room here. The trikes, the jeepneys, the karaoke, the bars, the etc. While in Thailand I can find quiet for 5-10 dollars, I have to jump to 20-30 in the Philippines or stay in one location and not move.

4. Expats do not Travel they Live - The advice for travel in the Philippines comes from people who do not travel, they are not tourist, they are living in the Philippines with their small wife they often rented with an option to buy.

5. No City Separation - The cities in the Philippines never end, the density of human population is about 310.8 and rated number 26.

The USA is 33.2 people per square kilometer and rated 141 out of a 192 countries listed. This makes the world angry, they know we have a lot of space, and I believe crowds make people crazy.

Key in on this human density, it is the factor that makes the Philippines an extreme challenge for MOVING. Staying in one location like the majority of Expats is easy, the slower you move, the cheaper travel is, if you read about my 5-7 trips to the Philippines, you will notice I do not move much. This trip had Baguio, Vigan, Laoag, Pagudpud, Bauang, Manila, Angeles City and San Fernando in the Hopper, that is about double the normal person around me right now. They do not stray far from the base, and here this means military base.

Challenges of Travel
Wayfinding Maps

Planning for Population Density, - Population Density of Burkina Faso, - Population Density Map

Challenges of Travel in Philippines


By clicking on the "Subscribe to Comments" you will receive an email when members post new comments on this page

I have to agree with you on this one Andy. Although the new electric Jeepneys in Manila recently won an award from the Science Channel as the transportation with the most bang for the buck (peso?) it is strictly local transportation.

Getting somewhere in the country is a hassle, at least to westerners.The locals seem to roll with it easier.

I know Filipinos who have traveled the world more than they have their own country.

On the other hand air and ferry travel between the islands is pretty inexpensive.

Everything is relative! Traveling in the Philippines is 10 times easier now than it was 10 years ago with the "RoRo" system aka Nautical Highway coordinating overland bus routes with inter island ferries and the competitive airlines and airfare prices like Cebu Pacific Airlines. Also widely understood and spoken English by the majority of the Filipino population with English road signs and telephone book yellow pages in English is another factor which makes traveling in the Philippines easier. There are negative factors also as you say like the widespread inability of most Filipinos to give simple directions or instructions on how to get to places ( I swear 90 of the time they say "LEFT" they mean "RIGHT" ), the lack of any unified travel hubs as Manila has dozens of bus stations and 4 airport terminals and the absence of daily air transportation to many provincial locations like Siargao for example.

Generally speaking the average first time arriving traveler in the Philippines has been to Thailand 3 or 4 times and other S.E. Asian countries so tend to judge the Philippines, its people, its costs of living, and its travel costs in comparison. There are endless adventure trips all over the Philippines for anyone who has simple needs and can live like the locals but as you say don't expect Tea Houses every hour like most of the treks in Nepal and guest houses open to budget travelers. In regards to travelers and travel related expenses I often say " it's either triple to ten times the going price or it's FREE" and for whatever reason that's how the Filipino people are accept it or not. I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES and no matter how many countries I've traveled and will travel in the future the Philippines and the Filipino people will ALWAYS feel like HOME.

A friend of mine from Cebu is currently traveling from the southern tip of Mindanao to Pugudpud at the northern tip of Luzon BY KAYAK.

Buzzy and his Singaporean companion are currently in week 2 of their adventure, battling the Pacific Coast of Mindanao..

My Account