Understanding Why It’s More Fun in The Philippines: 10 Reasons to Go This Season

10 Reasons Why It’s More Fun in The Philippines

The Philippines is not your typical Asian nation. It’s not big on epic buildings or temples and not that crazy about shopping. But what it lacks in structures, it makes up with natural wonders.  When traveling to the Philippines, one must look beyond cities and rather explore more open spaces, world-class beaches, and breathtaking peaks. Now that the country has welcomed the holiday season (which usually begins at the start of the BER months), there are more reasons to visit the Philippines. People here spend the holidays like no one in this world — it’s the longest and merriest Christmas you could ever experience.

Christmas in the Philippines
Christmas is More Fun in the Philippines – Photo credit: roger_alcantara

It is typical for Filipinos to count down 100 days leading to Christmas. In fact, you could hear Christmas tunes played on the radio as soon as September begins. Yes, there’s still Halloween in between but when it comes to the holiday season, nothing can be too early. So, if you are still trying to Google where to spend your holiday, maybe it is time to give this Pearl of the Orient a try and find out for yourself why locals and tourists often say that it’s more fun in the Philippines. Here are ten reasons to visit the Philippines this holiday season.

People are actually merry

The main reason why holidays in the Philippines are fun is clearly because of its people. You could go anywhere in the world but you won’t find people who just keeps on smiling. This is a nation that loves to laugh, loud and hard. If you are a tourist, you would really feel that they appreciate you being there.

Filipino Smile
Filipino Smile

The Filipino brand of hospitality is one for the books. And this holiday season, that friendliness and hospitality will reach an all-year high.

Holiday traditions will make you smile

Kids going around in their new clothes and kissing the hands of elders will definitely make you believe in love again. Of course, these kids and kids-at-heart want some gifts, but the nice thing is how elders are surprisingly very willing to play Santa during the holidays. It would also be nice to witness kids sing carols and even hear mass at dawn. Noche Buena, or the midnight meal to welcome Christmas, is the feast of feasts. Eat your heart out.

Celebrations never stop

There’s a party for everything during the holiday season. There’s a party with high school friends, college friends, co-workers, cousins, and family. This is also the time when loved ones who work and live abroad come home. Christmas is a time of get-togethers and reunions, and every one of them is epic. If you are traveling to the Philippines during the holidays, you should join one of these Christmas parties (even with random people at a bar) and see what honest merrymaking is all about.

Food is absolutely amazing

Prepare to add an inch or two on your waist. Filipinos save up for the holidays and practically all weekends of December are scheduled for parties and reunions. There’s the Anthony Bourdain-approved lechon or roast pig, ham, and Christmas favorites bibingka and puto bumbong, which are both  rice-based desserts.

Puto Bumbong
Puto Bumbong – Photo credit: Toni Girl / CC BY-NC-ND

Belt out a tune at a “videoke”

While you are in party mode, you should try belting out a tune at the videoke, which is one of the Filipinos’ favorite past times. It is basically karaoke with video or song lyrics. It is widely recommended that you drink beer while you’re at it.

Spend Christmas at the beach

Who says you can’t go to the beach during the holiday season? It can get chilly in the evening but given that the Philippines is a tropical country, sun is up during the rest of the day. There are a lot of beach resorts you can book — in Palawan, Cebu, Bicol, and of course, Boracay. Since this is the off-peak season so you can get discounts and good deals in your hotel reservations. In the world-famous Boracay, you can choose from affordable backpacker’s hotels to luxury hotels.

Christmas in Boracay
Christmas in Boracay

And the good news is, the waters are clear and the sand remains white and fine regardless of the season. The marine life doesn’t change too, so diving and snorkeling are still a must-try. And of course, you must not miss out on the legendary Boracay nightlife. So if you are wondering what to do in Boracay during the holidays, wonder no more because the island remains ever beautiful and full of life any time of the year.

Bazaars and shopping galore

People are typically more generous during the holiday season. Gift-giving is a tradition in the Philippines so visitors should expect bazaars, mall sales, and shopping extravaganzas everywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s just one long street, expect it to be filled with vendors and shoppers.

Christmas Shopping in the Philippines
Christmas Shopping in the Philippines Photo credit: brownpau / CC BY

Culture of exchanging gifts

The world has not lost the culture of giving; especially not in the Philippines during the holidays. Everyone is in the mood for gift-giving. In offices and homes, it is common to hear monito or monita or Kris Kringle.

Christmas Gift Giving
Christmas Gift Giving

It is the Filipino version of exchanging gifts. Kris Kringle is a holiday tradition that makes everyone even more excited for Christmas. Imagine getting gifts everyday in the weeks leading to Christmas! That should put everyone in an upbeat holiday spirit.

Also Read: Ideal Christmas Gifts for Travelers

It’s a Christmas wonderland

There’s no snow and you won’t see kids throwing snowballs at each other or forming a snowman. But during the holiday season, the Philippines is turned into a wonderland. Aside from Christmas attractions in theme parks, malls and major establishments are dressed in Christmas balls and garlands. Cities also create their own “Christmas towns.” Houses are adorned with bright Christmas lights.

Parol - Christmas Lantern in the Philippines
Parol – Christmas Lantern in the Philippines – Photo credit: magandafille / CC BY-NC

It’s your happy place

If you are looking for your happy place this Christmas, do yourself a favor and spend your holiday in the Philippines. As soon as you land, you will feel the difference. The place is all set and the people can’t wait. It’s indeed a merry Christmas in this part of the world. Simple and effortless but absolutely happy and amazing.

Anyone who thinks the holiday is just another day off from the office has not experienced Christmas in the Philippines. This tropical country may be famous for its beach during the summer, but it is equally as fun and amazing during the holidays. Book now and see for yourselves.

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