We travel across the lands exploring the best of what the place has to offer us. The scenic landscapes, historical marvels, and adrenaline rushing activities beckon us to travel far and wide to satiate our passion for travel. The Philippines is one such destination which has no dearth of wonderful tourist destinations. There is always more to islands and natural wonders that the country has to offer us.
A great way to explore a country is like a local. And immersing ourselves into the local culture and learning their lifestyle is completely a new experience in itself. Hitting a cultural high will make a trip worth it and memorable in a true sense. If you plan to take a vacation to the Philippine islands, you can add the activities below to your itinerary to turn your journey into a priceless memory.
Indulge in local street food
Local Filipino street food is not only about the hotdogs or burgers sold at stalls on the side of the streets.
Filipino is known for a wide variety of bizarre street food like barbecued innards of chicken and pork like “isaw” or intestine, “betamax” or cubed pork blood, “adidas” or chicken feet. There are also “kwek-kwek” or deep-fried breaded hard-boiled quail eggs and “tokneneng” which is basically the same except the egg is either chicken or duck. You may even have heard of “balut” or underdeveloped duck embryo. If you find these fascinating there’s much more to choose from likewise shown by When in Manila.
Play bingo the Filipino way
Playing bingo brings out some of the fondest memories of childhood. And it’s amazing that bingo turns out to be one of the favorite Filipino pastimes. The popularity of Bingo in the Philippines is huge as one can find that it’s played in most part of the country’s streets and towns. It’s so popular that Inquirer reported that politicians even tried to use it as a tool for an electoral campaign, which is illegal of course.
That being said, bingo in the Philippines is unlike anywhere else given that the locals have a distinct style of playing. The most curious are the humorous way the dealer declares each drawn number. Most of the numbers have their own word or phrase which correspond to their value. For example, when the dealer shouts “Highway!”, it means the drawn number is 54 due to the fact that Highway 54 is the old name of EDSA, the country’s most famous road. Another is “Merry Christmas!” which means 25, as the date for the occasion is December 25. It’ll be a lot of fun figuring out what each name means, and even some locals don’t initially understand every hilarious branding. Now that’s some real brain tickling fun.
Due to bingo’s huge appeal, digital variants of the game have also gained traction over the years, both locally and globally. Providers like the local Leisure and Resorts World even plan to expand, according to Business World. Or for an alternative twist, there’s the bingo-slots combination Slingo that became popular in its own right in Manila. Through gaming portals such as Pocketfruity, which has several titles of the game including themed versions and tie-ups, Slingo is also spreading fun and excitement around the world. Nevertheless, there’s nothing quite like the classic, and playing it the Filipino way: hearing the ‘shaking’ sound of the basket, the funny pet names for numbers, and marking it on your bingo card.
Attend a festival
The Philippines, being a predominantly Catholic nation, has numerous festivals celebrated almost all year round. It only depends on the date and place you’re visiting. There’s Panagbenga or Flower Festival in Baguio, a month-long celebration from February to March; Masskara or Festival of Masks in the City of Smiles, Bacolod held every third weekend of October and; Sinulog Festival or Feast of Sr. Sto. Additionally, there’s Niño in Cebu every third Sunday of January. The last is the grandest festival in the country, as listed by The Top Tens.
The colors of festivities of the country will rejuvenate and make for a memorable trip to cherish for a lifetime. Local cuisines to customs and festivities to the sights, everything is jolly, colorful and lively. Philippine festivals are the epitomes of the country’s rich culture.
More importantly, though, while the celebrations are Catholic observances, everyone is very much welcome regardless of religious background and ethnicity. After all, everyone is there just to be happy and grateful.
Have you been to the Philippines and experienced the varied culture they offer? What’s your favorite part of the Philippines visit?