The Philippines: 100 Travel Tips
I am SO very pleased to share with our Wandering Educators a new book we've written! It's called The Philippines: 100 Travel Tips, and was written by Rissa Gatdula-Lumontad and edited by yours truly. When we first came up with the idea for the book, Rissa was the ONLY author we'd consider. She's a Filipina, and has worked in the travel industry in the Philippines. SHE KNOWS.
On top of that, she's a great writer (read it at your own peril - you will soon be making travel plans to the Philippines) and photographer. In fact, the photos in this book are taken by great photographers IN the Philippines! Talk about a local effort to showcase the best of the Philippines. It's one of the reasons we are proud to publish this book under the Wandering Educators Press imprint - and share it with our readers!
We had a chance to catch up with Rissa, and ask her about writing the book, researching the book, having fun in the Philippines, and more (like dancing (above) and whitewater rafting (below)!). Here's what she had to say...
WE: Please tell us about The Philippines: 100 Travel Tips...
RGL: I consider the book only a "gist" of what I want to tell the world about the Philippines. We have so much to offer, and the book intends to be a sort of introduction. We have something for everyone. And, if you plan your trip well, you can get much more for less. Why, even our "balikbayans," those Filipinos based abroad, are pleasantly surprised with our tourist sites when they come for a vacation.
WE: How did you come up with 100 tips? Or was it difficult to narrow it down?
RGL: Oh yeah, definitely, it was difficult to narrow down... we can probably come up with tips as many as our islands! LOL!
WE: Was researching this book fun?
RGL: Oh yes, absolutely! I love discovering new places and things and although I've been to all of the places mentioned in the book, it was a true joy to learn about new developments. I take it to mean we ARE pushing forward with our tourism industry. Which is good!!!
I hope though that we get good promotions so that more people will know about the Philippines, be enticed to come and then discover its fascinating attractions. There are true gems to uncover here people! You'll just need to come to find and enjoy them!
WE: What would readers be surprised to find, in your book?
RGL: There are no hidden advertisements! LOL!
No, really, even those establishments and destinations mentioned were not aware they are in the book! Which reminds me, I should advise them so they will get their own copies and recommend the book!
Also, most cheap travel guides to our country are written by foreigners. As I am a Filipino, and as I wrote in the book, have lived here all my life, the book was obviously written from a different perspective. Seriously, if you are foreign to a place, you rely on what the locals will tell you, right? What if the local tells you something that means another thing... then you go home with the belief that the something is anything close to what it really is! To illustrate, there was one guide (am not saying where or when, but remember I have been to different places in the world) who was asked by a tourist what the name of a tree she saw on the way was. Since the guide did not know, and did not want to appear ignorant, he gave a made-up name in the local language which had a funny connotation. As I sensed he just made it up, I asked him why he did that. He said she will not know it was not so anyway, and even if she did, she will realize a joke was played on her. Well, that is, if she had a sense of humor.
Aside from that this is more personal, as you can see in the photos. The intention is to make it light and easy, and hopefully, fun to read! Besides, if I have not experienced these things myself, what right do I have to recommend to others? (I do admit I have not done the rough, strenuous, or high-risk sports stuff such as mountaineering, cycling, diving or the like, but I do have friends who have shared their experiences with me. Am not one to find joy in straining myself physically, you know. So, you bet if it is something I have done, like the white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro, then it is something anyone can do!)
Most of all, I can consider the book a collaboration of Filipinos who have a deep love for our country, because of the many who contributed their photos for use in the book. We are all proud of the Philippines and we want to show the world that the Philippines is a MUST visit!
Also, readers may be surprised to find some Off the beaten path tours that they may not have heard of before.
WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
RGL: I got involved in the tourism industry rather late in my life. Nevertheless, I feel blessed that I am in the industry, because it gave me the opportunity to see my country in a different light. I believe that the beauty of a destination is more often than not more appreciated by outsiders, because those who live in the area are so used to the things around them that they fail to appreciate what they have. That's natural... human... Unless... they get to travel and have some point of comparison.
I have been to other countries, yet I still believe the Philippines is one of the most beautiful places to visit, not only for its natural wonders, which admittedly other countries may have, too (if not the same, similar, except for the heritage sites of course), but more so for its people. The Filipinos are who make "It's more fun in the Philippines!"
It is my hope that the book will give the world a better impression of our country and our people, and make them come and experience the Philippines and Filipino-style fun!
WE: Thanks so much, Rissa, for working together on this book, and creating such an incredible read - and teaching us so much about the Philippines!
Head to Amazon to get this Kindle book. Now, if you don't have a Kindle, don't worry! There are readers for all types of computers and smartphones.
All photos from our wonderful book!