As a travel writer, I normally receive random messages from readers. And one of them is from Matej – a traveler from Slovakia. He shared how he enjoyed his 2-week travel in the Philippines, with his wife Jana. The couple loves going to new places, doing something fun and adventurous and meeting new people. So far, they have been to the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and few other countries in South East Asia. I used the opportunity to interview Matej about their trip in the country because as a traveler myself, I like to see the Philippines through the eyes of foreign travelers.
What made you choose the Philippines?
We were drawn to the Philippines because I had seen so many beautiful pictures of the landscape and we did some reading about this country so we were really excited and decided to visit the Philippines as our next destination.
If you’re going to promote one place in the Philippines, which one is it? And why?
The Philippines offers a wonderful mix of pristine white-sand beaches, beautiful landscapes etc and for us isn’t easy to say which island is the best because we spent there only 2 weeks.
But for everyone who wants to visit the Philippines, visit Palawan. An absolute highlight is El Nido. El Nido is not just a tropical beach paradise, it’s a place like no other. With breathtaking views of nature and friendly outgoing locals.
Your travel tips for foreigners who would like to visit the Philippines.
In our opinion, the Philippines is a relatively undiscovered travel destination. There are too many places to see but it’s impossible to do in 14 days. We have visited Palawan, Boracay, Bohol and Panglao.
We had only one “negative” experience during our trip. Public transport and flight schedules are notoriously unreliable. They changed our flight time 3 times. Friendliest people we’ve met during our travels across Asia were in the Philippines. They are very friendly, extremely welcoming and over 90% of Filipinos speak English. So establishing contact with locals is the best way, how to stay on budget while on a trip to the Philippines.
What were your expectations before you came here (Philippines)?
We didn’t think a lot and we didn’t expect anything. We wanted to wait to be surprised, and see what would happen, and take it as it is.
And where do you think the Philippines can improve more when it comes to attracting more foreign visitors?
The places in the Southern part of the Philippines has peace and order problem so it’s one of them.
I see that you travel with your partner/ wife, what do you think is the best thing about traveling with a partner?
It’s simple. Some people prefer traveling alone because they want more freedom but if you travel with partner/friend there is always someone to talk to. Happiness is doubled when is shared.
Your video is absolutely amazing, what is your favorite part while doing/ taking videos? And any challenges?
I like everything from filming to editing. I’d classify myself as an amateur film-maker. I just bought my first camera last year so I still must learn a lot how to do.
Capturing photos and videos can be a great way of keeping the memories of your travels intact and a great way to tell your story.
As a traveler, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while traveling in the Philippines?
Traveling gives you a new perspective that’s different from just reading about it.
We met a lot of poor people with a smile on their face even when their life isn’t easy. It may sound cliche but the purpose of life is to live in joy and through love.
Everything else is just a means to that end.
If you want to see more from Matej and Jana’s trip, watch their awesome video below or check out their vimeo channel here!