Nationality: German. Born and raised.
Occupation/Location: I am currently back in Germany and I work as market communications manager for a large industrial company.
How did you find about the Philippines?
I was traveling Indonesia when I met two Dutch sisters in Ubud, Bali who had recently returned from a backpacking trip across the Philippines. They had stayed for two months and were totally enthusiastic about their trip. They were raving about a yet in most part undiscovered country, not struck by the effects of mass tourism, a true backpacker destination and with some of the friendliest people they had met. I couldn’t get their stories out of mind and so I decided to come and see for myself. I have to say, that I had high expectations before I came but all of them were exceeded by far. I had the best time in the Philippines.
What Philippine locations have you visited?
Since I stayed for three months, I visited a lot of destinations. Maybe too many to name here. My highlights were Gubat in Sorsogon, the Ifugao rice terraces in Banaue and especially Batad, the islands of Camiguin and Siquijor and Biri Island in Northern Samar. I also liked El Nido in Palawan.
What are your opinions on the following things about the Philippines?
There is something for everybody. No matter what you are after – beach bumming, diving, surfing, hiking, mountain climbing, surfing, the Philippines has it all. That’s what makes it so great to explore.
I traveled all cross Southeast Asia during my year-long escapade. Whereas Thailand probably features the best food in the region, I liked the food in the Philippines. My favorite dishes were Bicol Express, Tapsilog, Lechon and crispy pata. Oh and I also loved Halo Halo…my mission was to try Halo Halo in every place I stopped. And I also tried Balut..twice..and it was quite an overcoming for me. But I just had to try.
The culture is unique in all of South East Asia. It’s this mix of Asian and Western influences which makes it interesting. I like that the Filipinos are open, friendly and always willing to help. They have this perseverance that makes always see the good things even if the circumstances are not very promising. That was very inspiring to see.
What can I say? I made true friends in the Philippines and I am so thankful for that. I was taken into people’s homes, I was offered food and drinks and I was allowed to get an intimate impression of the Filipino way of life. They are among the most hospitable and friendly I ever met and that is what made my travel experience so unique and so much more worthwhile.
What do you dislike about the Philippines?
I didn’t dislike anything I have to say. I had the best time there. The only thing which was strange, that certain food are more on the sweet side, like pasta sometimes or tocino. It’s not that I don’t like it, it is just very different for my European type of taste.
What do you like about the Philippines?
I like the friendly people, their openness and willingness to help. I like that you can easily get in touch with the locals due their good command of English. I like the many adventure possibilities and all the beautiful places this country offers.
Your favorite place/s in the Philippines.