The Island of the Philippines is made up of 7,641 islands (only 2000 are inhabited). Each one offering a rich biodiversity ranging from tropical rainforests, mangroves, and coral reefs to mountain ranges, wonderful beaches, beautiful islands and a diverse range of flora and fauna.
The Philippines is an amazing country full of friendly people, but there are a few simple things you should understand before travel to this beautiful island nation.
The popular movie “the beach” was actually inspired by the islands of El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, but filmed in Thailand. It makes you wonder if the director was trying to keep the islands in the Philippines a secret. Either way, the secret is out now, the Philippines is home to some of the most stunning islands in the world.
The local dialect is Visayans or Ilongo and some others in remote areas. The national language is Tagalog but the language of commerce and tourism is English. Most Filipinos have fair English & you can expect to communicate fully in English with almost everyone during your stay.
Locals are warm & welcoming & generally very informal. Filipinos may often seem quite liberal in nature, but they do maintain a cultural conservatism. Filipinos are generally deferential to older senior members of society & this can include tourists. The Asian concept of “saving face” also applies in the Philippines so its best to try & resolve disputes in mutually respectful manner, especially if they have a public dimension.
The Philippines has a tradition with alcohol which is very in line with Western countries. Local beers and spirits are widely consumed & socializing over beer or rum is al part of local culture. Filipino food is somewhat the victim of its colonial past. Fried chicken sits easily alongside fresh coconut curry as a national favourite. Fast food is everywhere to find but fried food is even more popular. The Philippines is a world leader in rice production & no Filipino meal is complete without it.
The name of the Philippines (Filipino: Philippians, Filipinas) is a truncated form of The Philippine Islands. King Philip II of Spain named it in the 16th century. More information can be found in many historical books.