If expats were a gift from above, Philippines must be truly blessed. Not only are they coming from almost every direction the globe has to offer, they’re coming in by the hordes. Like the moth in Jose Rizal’s tale, these people seemto be drawn to the beacon of light that is the Philippines.Drawn but not burnt. At least that’s the idea.
There’s something about the Philippines. Named originally for a crown prince of the Spanish empire, Las Islas Filipinas has become a magnet of sorts. In fact, a little look in history will tell us: mighty nations fell prey to her beauty and powers of seduction. Eventually driven to possessing her islands and subjugating her people. The Spanish conquistadors coddled her for over 300 years. Then the Japanese dressed her up at the height of WWII. And of course, our Big Brother, the only superpower nation in the world: the Americans, put her on the map. Yet, today Philippines stands tall, proud as Pacquiao – its most well-known boxer. As thousands and thousands of men and women – from just about every race the Blue Planet has to offer– long for a piece of heaven in this so-called “Pearl of the Orient”.
Friends, Pinoys, countrymen, every Juan, drum roll please. Allow me to break a littlemonotony. Herewith are 10 of the reasons why the Philippines has become an expat’s paradise on Earth.
Reason #1: The People
Like a world-class hotel, Filipinos are the best concierge any expat can get. With its brand of hospitality, foreign visitors are treated with respect and kindness that’s going to give every hotelier a run for its money. Giving the extra mile in showing directions and giving a place to stay when necessary, for instance.
Truly, Filipinos are the friendliest, warmest, smiliest (if ever there was a word) people on Earth. You can see it everyday in how neighbors interact and meet each other. For the most part, you can go places without feeling like you’re a walking wallet.
So hospitable indeed that many of expats who have taken fancy in marryingFilipina wives have found them to be the best in the world: from cooking to taking care of business (humping and bumping). As they say: Heaven on Earth is when you have an American salary and a Filipina wife. Yeah right! I believe in heaven too, you know.
Reason #2: Endless Supply of Paradise Beaches
If you think Philippines is the other name of paradise on Earth, you could never have been so right. With all the beautiful beaches to choose from, you’d be lucky to spend all the days of a year to grace them all. And it’s no surprise. To date, unless Mother Nature decide to do an unscheduled redesign, the Philippines has one of longest beachline in the world – beating even China and Brazil in the Top Ten.
For the beach-crazed fanatic, the list is endless: Boracay, El Nido, Puerto Galeria, Panglao Island just to name a few. World-class. World-renowned. Fine-grained. White-sand beaches. Go surfing, scuba, skydiving. Certainly, it’s more Fun in the Philippines!
Reason #3: Nature and Its Amazing Flora and Fauna
Combine the forests of the Amazon and the deserts of Africa, that’s how diverse the flora and fauna the Philippines may offer. Ok, that was a pitch. Still, lions, giraffes, anaconda may not have made the islands home but the place is crawling with species you’d only come face to face if you visit the country. Classic examples: (1) the biggest, most venomous snake on Earth, King Cobra (2) monkey about the size of a thumb, tarsier (3) the biggest eagle in the world (length-wise) Philippine Eagle.
Add in the mix: 200 mammal species, 600 bird species, 300 reptiles and amphibian and a whopping 400 coral species and you’ve got yourself a whopping big bucket-list to explore. Whether, your cupof tea is underwater or inland, you’re going to find a feast of animals that’s going to satisfy your eyes and the best of your cameras. If only you have all the time.
Reason #4: All Year Round Fiestas and Celebrations
Filipinos are such a gregarious people fiestas and celebration litter the whole year from January to December. Thanks to the influx of Catholicism, every town down to every barangay, down to every sitio have etched itself a day in the calendar to celebrate. Now, that’s a lot with 42,000 barangays in the whole country.
And that’s not including the big celebrationsyet where millions of people troop every year. Classic examples are: Sinulog, Dinagyang, Pinagbenga. For the adventurous you, here’s some of the best.
Reason #5: Best Tropical Weather
For days when the sun seems to live forever visit the Philippines from November to May. Then, you can spend time plying the beaches, getting your best tan and drinking all the booze you can get. And if you want enjoy the rain – and doing all things you want under it – the rainy season from June to October should be your best shot. With an average yearly temperature of 26.6°C, Philippines is going to cater to your greatest tropical obsession all year round.
Reason #6: No Language Barrier
In the running as the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) capital of the world, you won’t have a hard time getting your message across as a foreign-visitor. Filipinos enjoy a high-literacy rate and -thanks to Uncle Sam – most speak the universal language of commerce, English, with ease. Certainly to your advantage, when you’re out looking for the love of your life – not to mention a quickie (if luck is on your side, brother).
Reason #7: Choice of Cheap Alcohol and Sumptuous Dishes
For starters, tropical Philippines offer fruits galore found only in this side of the planet – from bananas andrambutans to chicos and jackfruits. For needed antioxidants and for the health-conscious you. And yes, you can have your stomach’s fill without losing a shirt or two with all the food and drinks galore that’s on the cheap– from pinakbet and dinuguan toTanduay and Emperador light. Never mind the bread, enjoy rice and make sure you whip the cocktail and food combination that’s just right for you.
Yes, dive into a feast of new delight. With hundreds of dialects nationwide and a diverse culture,you’d find a thousand and one ways to cook beef, pork or chicken meat, for instance.All the more reason to explore. The most important part’s you get the amenity of a choice and get to wine and dine without leaving a large hole in your wallet.
Reason #8: Enjoy a Soothing Massage, Relax and Rejuvenate
From Swedish, to Shiatsu to all the other varieties of massage – from the naughty to nice – the traveling you is going to have your hands full as almost every major city in the country is offering a slew of these soothing services. Making sure you have ample time to relax and rejuvenate. Don’t get cocky though:Mind your wallet.
Reason #9: Never-ending Adventure Spots
To boot, Philippines is home to over 37 volcanoes which includes the world’s smallest volcano – Taal. Add to the mix underground caves, calm lakes and beautiful waterfalls and you’re looking at an adventure of a lifetime and beyond. And yes, lest I forget, World Heritage Sites to blow your mind away. Classic example: TheTubbataha Reefs Natural Park.
Meaning: Your list never runs out of new places of adventure to conquer and POI (Points of Interest) to make your journey complete. Whether you’re an adventurous backpacker, an ardentscuba enthusiast or an avid cameraphile. Or make that all of the above.
Reason #10: Best Christmas
Yes, I have to save the best for last. And it’s got to be Christmas. If you want to be happy don’t just listen to that Pharell Williams song, be with happy people (I’m not talking ‘bout them minions). Welcome to the longest, happiest, most glorious celebration in the world: Christmas in the Philippines.
You don’t believe me. Just see the streets and houses transform with all the lights and décor from September to December. With Christmas, Philippines becomes one magic land, with people giving gifts and children going around singing songs of hope and joy. Ask around. This is the time of year so enviable thinking of it alone makes most OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Worker) want to go back home.
All the joys in one package, book your flights and hotels today while they’re on the cheap. Call me if you need a hand. No kidding!
For all the right reasons it’s no wonder, many expats have made Philippines their permanent home of choice.
Imagine how much more joy and adventure you’d get when you multiply all of the above reasons 7,107 times. That’s Philippines to the power of 7,107 islands!
So there you have it folks. Hope that quickie give you enough jolt to make your day. Please don’t forget to drop me your 2 cents in the comments section below. I’m pretty sure – beautiful as our dearly beloved nation –there’s more than just 10 reasons to experience it.
Frankly, if it were up to me the list shouldgo on and be titled 1 001 reasons… Especially now that we are crowding the boat. With 100,000,000 of us full-pledged Filipinos. Yipee! More mouths to feed. Just kidding. No, don’t get me wrong. If we can get our act together, we’d be on our way to the top. And at the rate we’re humping and bumping, we’d overtake China as the most populous in no time.
Certainly, for the Filipino brand: The more, the merrier! Funny, how that brings the Minions of Despicable Me 2 to my mind.