No place in this earth that you can find a perfect harmony of wonderful natural attractions, abundant magnificent white beaches, diverse marine life and pristine rainforest rich in floras and faunas. Philippines has it all! That’s why the country is established to be as one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. And this never ending gift from nature is preserved and taken care of its humble and joyous people. Filipinos is said to be as the happiest people on earth, and I’m one proud Filipino and making me 100% sure that every visitor, be it a local or foreigner will feel and see the big love, contiguous smile and the warm welcome. So when traveling here in Philippines, you must experience and connect with the locals!
Sometimes, when I travel, the first thing I do is to find a locals, may them be my seatmates on the bus or those random people I meet along the road. Strike up conversation with as many people as you can. Be friendly, get their attention, extend to them your enthusiasm to know their place, and tell them how beautiful their culture is. In that way, they will be more than willing to share with you the must things to do when visiting such place, where to eat and the likes. I may say that we Filipinos, is one of the most hospitable people on earth, and I myself is more than willing to help people who are fascinated with the beauty of our country.
Being with the locals to experience the culture are sometimes way better than seeing those dream tourist destinations. One of my most memorable experience with the locals is when I traveled solo in Sagada, upon bouncing off the bus I went straight to the tourism office to fix my itinerary for that day, next beside me was an old lady smiling at me, I started a conversation and told her that I’ll be there solo for the next few days and looking for a homestay, surprisingly, she owns a homestay and invited me a stay for free. Homestay in Sagada is pretty affordable for just 250Php ($5). I said yes to stay in their place but I insisted to pay for the rate, the old lady agreed, and made a deal that as a visitor I gonna have a real taste of their culture by dining with with her family for my entire stay. Such a touching experience, right? And in such a short stay, they were able to impart their values to me. They also shared some fun activities with me like spelunking in Lumiang - Sumaging Cave Connection and trekking to the falls. Such experience with the locals will be treasured memory forever.
|with the homestay owner and her kids.|
Local guiding me through the thrilling Lumiang - Sumaging Cave Connection.
What is Withlocals?
Withlocals is a peer-to-peer marketplace where local people offer experiences and their skills to travelers. Their mission is to connect people and cultures through food and unique experiences. Because they want to enable people to earn a sustainable income by doing something they’re passionate about.The experiences fall into three categories:
- Eat - Get a real taste of the local culture by dining with a family in their home.
- Tours - Experience your trip through the eyes of a local.
- Activities - Enjoy activities and learn new skills together with talented locals.
Everybody is good at somethingWithlocals believe that every person is good at something and that there’s no greater way to earn a living than by doing something you are passionate about. By starting Withlocals.com they hope to enable people, especially those in developing countries, to boost their income by offering their skills and knowledge to travelers.
And if you wish to become a host like me, you can SIGN UP HERE and follow the instructions.
Start by registration by providing your details, the activities you are offering and your home. You can also set your rate. Then Withlocals ambassador will contact you to arrange a visit to your place and will take photos to be utilized in the website. once all done, then prepare to welcome travelers in the Philippines.
Connect with Withlocals: