WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A TRAVELLER FROM THE PHILIPPINES

The two most common questions I encounter when I travel are; “You’re from the Philippines? Why is your English so good?” and “You’re from the Philippines? Must be hard to get visas to other countries, eh?” Trust me, it’s a struggle.

I started travelling overseas without my family when I was 16. It’s hard to get past the immigration because they had a feeling I’d do illegal works, which was super funny because I’m not. I’m just a teensy tiny lass who wants to see more of the world.

At 18, I backpacked across Southeast Asia alone. That trip made me discover a whole lot of things about myself, about what it’s like to be independent, and what it’s like to live a life full of adventures and friendships from all around the world.

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A photo of me and (R-L) Maik, Hong, Jack and Elise from our trip to Vietnam last June 2015.

I actually got off the wrong foot with travelling. I thought the immigration officer in Manila wouldn’t let me through because I actually had a one way ticket to Bangkok, Thailand last 2015. I mean, nobody could really tell me what it was like to go out alone because let’s be honest, not much people from the Philippines travel–let alone backpack in a different country alone. I’m not saying there’s none, all I’m saying is there’s not much…not people that I know personally, at least. I had no one to turn to for my travel questions except blogs that I’ve fancied and articles that I’ve read. So a one way ticket to another country isn’t the best option, I know that now. Also, I didn’t pre-book a hostel so I ended up homeless on the streets of Bangkok at 2AM. Which was a pretty scary thing for an 18 year old girl all alone. Though now that I think of it, I feel pretty bad ass about it.

“Why is your English so good?” is one of the most common questions I get asked often. I honestly don’t know how to answer this question. Should I go, “Uhm, maybe because our education system is in English?” or “Because most my family is in New York?” I don’t know. It’s a tough one, but I do get past it. It’s just funny and annoying at the same time how people think that because I’m from the Philippines, I wouldn’t know how to speak in English fluently. But I do get them, not much people know that Filipinos travel. So I want to make a mark and an impact in the travel blogging world and prove to them that Filipinos can do it too!

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A photo of my Philippine Passport from my trip from Frankfurt, Germany to New York, USA last June 2016.

“Filipinos must have a really hard time getting visas?” It’s true, but I’d like to think of it as a challenge. To be honest, my Canadian Visa Application got denied last summer. I just wanted to visit my boyfriend in Quebec, but since Filipinos have a very unstable reputation of illegally staying in other countries, other nice Filipinos who just want to travel, also suffer. I think that’s one of the struggles I’ve had since I own a Filipino Passport. I was so keen on going hiking in Canada and visiting Quebec City and Montreal but in the end, I got disappointed because of the bad reputation of my other countrymen.

It has its ups and downs, it’s true. But this passport has been to a lot of places and have shared a lot of memories with me, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I’m actually thinking of travelling to Australia + New Zealand next year. Backpacking, of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Also, I’m re-applying for a Canadian Visa, since my boyfriend is there and I’d love to visit him and his family.

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A photo of me and my boyfriend from our trip to Boston, Massachusetts last July 2016.

Having a Philippine Passport has its struggles, yes. The visa applications are crazy! Proving the consuls and the embassy officials of each country is such a nerve wrecking experience because you have to prove to them that you’ll come back to the Philippines. I mean, I don’t have much money since I’m only 20, but I do have a stable job, and my parents sometimes sponsor me, so I hope that they see that I just want to travel. Ha! But seriously though, being a Filipina in the travel world is quite scary. It makes me anxious sometimes. But of course, I’m taking it as a challenge and I’m not backing out.

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A photo from my trip to Olongapo City last May 2016.

My passport has the same colour as my skin, and I think that’s beautiful. I’ll carry them both loud and proud, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

Luke 22:41-42 KJV

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9 thoughts on “WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A TRAVELLER FROM THE PHILIPPINES

    1. That’s true! Actually, foreigner are quite fond of us and they like us as travel companions (well, at least in my case) since we’re innate generous and maasikaso. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So Pinoy hospitality goes beyond the four corners of our homes. At times, we may think that their (the foreigners) comments are racist. I believe it’s just come from their lack of knowledge of our culture. But they mean nothing and are just genuinely surprised when they realize things about Pinoys.

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    1. Thank you so much, Choy! I’m glad you find this blog post inspiring. Don’t give up on your dreams and go see the world, it’s yours! Drop by anytime!

      Liked by 1 person

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