Some people have asked me if I’m getting sick of Bali– I’m not.
What I had been craving, after months of relatively little travel, is the rhythm of life on the road. I like always knowing how many pairs of underwear I have available (2 dirty, 4 clean, 1 wet from pool), moving to a new place everyday, and logging into a budget airline’s website and letting their dodgy UI determine where I’ll go next.
I’m a toe-tapping, impulsive, restless guy. Getting back on the road feels like home.
Aside from my primary attraction to the Philippines– an amazing group of ambitious and like-minded friends (and a swarm of DCers!)– here’s a short list of the things I’ll miss until I return.
I admit I’m not that sophisticated. I’m hugely impressed by bars that float on the water. You can take a swim, dive off the roof, and tether your boat right up to the side of the damn thing. Could floating bars be a sensible solution to the DUI problems we have in America? Keep those drunks out in the ocean!
***Related business opportunities: A pirate themed floating bar complete with water pumps and hoses to gun down civilians getting too close to the bounty. Arrrr!
I read that the dish Filipinos miss the most when abroad is pork sisig. I can understand why. Crunchy and fatty pieces of pig face chopped and served on a sizzling plate with onions, chilies, raw egg– and if you are lucky– a little chicken liver. Masarap! Oh my gulay what a perfect dish to accompany a few beers.
Sisig was invented in 1974 when a local restauranteur noticed the kitchens from the American military bases using every part of the pig but the head. They decided to turn the wasted head o’pig into an unforgettable culinary experience.
***Related business opportunities: Take note of the Vietnamese sandwich phenomenon sweeping America– another niche food item composed of funky meats. I’d start serving this stuff in hipster neighborhoods ASAP.
No tourists, few touts, fewer scams.
In 2011, almost 20 million people visited Thailand. By contrast, only 3.9 million people visited the Philippines, and many believe those numbers are inflated by Filipinos returning home to visit relatives.
***Related business opportunities: Scams would go over well here in the Philippines as most tourists drop their guard after just a few short hours on the ground. When I got my first flat tire in the Philippines (a common time to run a scam in other countries) I hurriedly called my Filipino friend to ask him for the fair market price. Once I was confident I had the right figures, I walked back to the garage where the smiling mechanic asked 10 pesos less than the “market rate.” Provincial price break!
90 million friendly English speakers.
An almost universal opinion when tourists visit the Philippines– Filipinos are damn friendly people and they like to have a good time. Many of them speak better English that us westerners. That’ll come in handy when your bonka boat breaks down while island hopping, or when you want to make some friends in a remote province of the country.
***Related business opportunities: Teaching English has traditionally been one of the most viable ways for travelers to make money while in Asia, and…. well… not happening here in the Philippines. This morning I went to the ATM and my language options where “Taglish” (Taglog and English mixed) and “English.”
One of the best places in the world to hire for your business.
I used to write a whole blog about it! I’ve met successful people everywhere I’ve gone in Asia, but the Philippines is full of stories of folks who moved here with very little, or just doing okay, and massively improved their stake by providing jobs, products, and services to an economy that sorely needs them.
***Related business opportunities. Any business that needs heavy manual data processing or has developed, scalable, repeating processes that are labor intensive. Link building, phone support, data analysis, developing custom software widgets, building out websites, you name it…
The most luxurious visa in South East Asia.
It’s nice to know that you can come to the Philippines, relax, and not worry about your visa. You also won’t be subjected to inconsistent visa policies (hey Thailand!) or draconian overstay fees (I’m looking at you, Indonesia). Come hang out and stay for two years if you like. Just don’t forget your outbound ticket!
***Related business opportunities: After 2 years you are bound to come up with something!
I can’t imagine a better place to bum around for a couple weeks. My time here in the Philippines has been incredibly memorable. In particular, I enjoyed getting the chance to meet many of the readers of this blog.
To all my friends in the Philippines, I’m already looking forward to returning. Thanks for being great hosts.
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