Why Filipinos Make the Best Travel Buddies by Ruth Mesa

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor April 22nd, 2015 Posted in Inspiration and Love Stories, Travel Blog 8 Comments

I have read articles and write-ups that have laid out reasons as to how I can maximise the experience of travelling. Among the many strong points I’ve stumbled upon, one of my favourite factors would be making sure I choose the correct company to have with me.

As I reflect on this, one thing pops up in my mind… you’d never go wrong with having a fun, quirky, and funny Filipino by your side. Allow me to shed some light as to why Filipinos are, in my opinion, the best travel buddies to have with you.

Why Filipinos Make the Best Travel Buddies

Why Filipinos Make the Best Travel Buddies

Thriftiness Runs in Our Blood

Have you ever been to a Filipino’s home or kitchen to be specific? If you have, I’m sure you were able to spot those jars that used to contain jam or peanut butter now serving their purpose as household glasses for beverages. Did you open the refrigerator? I’m sure there would be one or two old wine bottles filled with water stored somewhere in there. Now, don’t laugh! We’re genetically programmed to be thrifty (a characteristic I am never ashamed of.)
Filipino families know that they shouldn’t put things to waste, whether it’s food, money, or material items. We actively see and count our blessings and understand how much more fortunate we are than other families regardless of what we have on our plate. We have this embedded in our minds and hearts, making it possible to live every day without putting things to waste. This is true even when we travel. Our value and respect for a laid out budget are easily observed in how we work our way through a limited pool of resources.

Another added skill to being thrifty is our God given talent to haggle! Trust me on this when I say Filipinos will not be tricked into paying for anything they believe to be worth less than its actual price. This comes in handy when you’re travelling on a tight budget and need to conserve your moola for other expenses. Anyone who has walked the streets of Divisoria and has survived to tell the story can haggle his or her way through any tight budget!

Why Filipinos Make the Best Travel BuddiesWe are all over the globe – Filipino Volunteer in Rwanda, Africa

Filipinos Are Everywhere

Philippines is known for having the most talent distributed all over the globe (OFWs we call it.) You’ll see us in hospitals, malls, hotels, ships, planes, markets, and so on so forth. This can be true to other nationalities, but somehow Filipinos love helping other Filipinos out.

The Middle East? We’re there. Europe? We’re there. Spain? We’re there. America? Yup, you guessed that right, we’re there. Filipinos are basically scattered all over the world, the best part of this is we’re always happy to see another Filipino all the time! Kabayan, we like to say. This is our little way of greeting another Filipino in foreign land. It’s a verbal way of saying “Hi fellow countryman, I’m happy to see you here in ___insert country__ and would like to help you if you need my assistance.”

Wouldn’t you like being with a friend who in return has other friends all over the globe?

Filipinos smile their way out of a bad day

Filipinos are known for our resiliency. We can recover from tragedy and we do so with a smile. Due to the geographic placement of our country, our nation has been a constant target of natural calamities. The Philippines has received countless blows of destruction caused by storms. Last 2013, Philippines was hit by one of the strongest typhoons recorded. The small province of Tacloban was devastated by destruction and death. During this time, CNN released a statement regarding our nation’s resilience:

Photo credit: sentimentalfreak.wordpress.com

Photo credit: sentimentalfreak.wordpress.com

It is in our blood to take blows with a smile. This is true not only to calamities but hardships as well. The Filipino Spirit is not only waterproof but also shatterproof. It is always good to know you are traveling with someone who will be able to smile and laugh during less fortunate days and will stand by you until the storm has passed, the sun is back out, and days are better.

Wouldn’t you want a travel buddy that is encouraging during tough times?

Everyone Loves Manny Pacquiao

Come on? Don’t tell me you don’t know him? I’m pretty sure you’ve occasionally enjoyed his wit, humility, and Karaoke singing! I have always believed that the world’s love for our pound for pound champ isn’t limited to his success in the field of boxing. Sure, the numerous belts he has earned through his years of fighting are without a doubt a solid reason to admire this man, but this fact has never made me question my hunch as to why he not only charms sports fans but everyone and anyone else who has heard or met him.Jonathan and Kach with Manny Pacquiao

I have always believed that the magnetism people feel towards liking him comes from the undeniable fact that this feeling of “liking” is linked to his roots as a Filipino. Let’s put it this way, A home grown Filipino is traditionally raised by his or her “mama” and “papa” to be courteous, respectful, strong, kind, humble, and down to earth. Filipino roots reveal that our past struggles as a Nation has resulted into molding people who know how to get along with every race through this very simple Filipino characteristic I love so much:

Pakikisama- Ang Pinoy marunong makisama.

Word/phrase that may be absent in the English language but is very much present in every Filipino you meet. This characteristic is evident in Filipinos, indeed. It is often observed in the simple way of how Filipinos enjoy sharing their food with everyone. You’d often see a Filipino enjoying a meal (it won’t even matter if this could be the only meal he or she can afford for the day) offer you whatever they’re eating by saying “Tara, kain!” (Come join me, let’s eat!) while gesturing you to try whatever it is on his or her plate. We (Filipinos) grew up knowing that you should always consider the people around you and not yourself alone. Filipinos enjoy putting their wants aside in order to provide comfort for others by being sensitive to the needs of who they are with. This could be one of the characteristics I, being a Filipino, is most proud of.

I’m sure you can think of more than enough situations these characteristics will come in handy during your adventures, but the bottom-line to all this is, if you’re reading this and you’re not a Filipino, you should definitely travel with one!


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8 thoughts on “Why Filipinos Make the Best Travel Buddies by Ruth Mesa

  1. This has been essayed many times and you can say you have read it already (many times over) but the sequencing made it an easy read. Parang sa FM radio. Easy listening. Great sentence construction, no fancy words. I wish I can do one a good one. Keep on writing Ruth.

  2. Spot on And by far the most original and authentic read, i’d have for a long time. Witty too. Great job monkeys, you have a gem here! x

    1. Oh my. Thank you for your kind words, Maria. Believe me when I say I feel privileged to be writing for these two monkeys. Thank you for your encouraging words. It means a lot to me!

    1. Thank you for thinking so! Also, YES! It’s just our nature to be completely fine to be down with anything even if it means getting down and dirty – I mean, if we don’t have problems eating with our hands and on banana leaves… we’re pretty much good! haha! 🙂

  3. Thank you to the two beautiful monkey’s for putting this out there <3

    So much love and appreciation right here. 😉

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