Before setting forth on your journey to the Philippines, it's equally important to research the places you want to go as it is to get there. One of the best parts about travelling in the Philippines is that it is incredibly affordable for foreigners especially when it comes to air travel. The Philippines enjoys the highest concentration of low cost airlines in the entire world with more than 80% of the flights operated by low cost airlines. The challenge for foreigners is that low cost airlines are not available through traditional channels and often you must go directly to their website. Without knowing the names of the airlines, that can be difficult. Philippine Flight Network is an excellent source to read up on all of the different Philippine carriers, read reviews, and learn about routes and destinations.  

Once you a ready to pick your destinations, there are a number of excellent books that capture the best the Philippines has to offer. For anyone planning a trip to the Philippines, here's a highly recommended book: Das Original Philippinen Reise-Handbuch, Jens Peters, Jens Peters Publikationen, email KnopVA@aol.com, tel. + 49 421 451743. It has VERY DETAILED information and maps on virtually all the islands you may want to visit including useful info on wildlife, accommodation, how to travel between the islands and so on. The only snag is it is in German. A real find!

 FOR THOSE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND FILIPINOS AND FILIPINO CULTURE  (useful when talkign to Filipinos) - 

Here is a list of books and websites that are easy to read, and very revealing. They will help a visitor understnad WHY sometimes Filipinos do the things they do... (for example : why do they smile when they make a mistake?)

  • Philippine History - Halili (avalable at National Book Store)
  • The Battling Ba****rds of Bataan (free online edition here)
  • 115 ways to tell you are a Filipino (this personal blog list has now ended up being a book sold at National book store -and is quiet revealing about things that are accepted "normal" amongst Filipinos )

 

 LITERATURE SET IN THE PHILIPPINES: (author's name in alphabetical order)

  • 1) When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
  • 2) Magdalena (a novel) by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
  • 3) The Last Time Saw Mother by Arlene Chai
  • 4) The Tesseract by Alex Garland
  • 5) Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn
  • 6) Dusk by F. Sionil Jose
  • 7) Don Vicente by F. Sionil Jose
  • 8) Ghosts of Manila by James Hamilton Patterson
  • 9) Noli Mi Tangere by Jose Rizal
  • 10) Awaiting Trespass by Linda Ty-Casper
  • 11) Wings of Stone by Linda Ty-Casper
  • 12) A Small Party in the Garden by Linda Ty-Casper

SHOPPING

This April 2010 article from 'The Age' (Melbourne, Australia) gives a good summary of the bargains to be had in Manila for clothing and footwear.

Travel Pictorial - Country or Natural Wonder

Always browse any or all Travel Pictorial books about a country, region or a natural wonder of the world . You will find excellent photography to view at leisure. Check out any bookstore or library ( lending or reference ).

Travel Guide(s) - Country, Region or City

Always glance through any Travel Guide for the region you are planning to visit. You will always find some nuggat of useful information. The layout and content will always vary with the publisher. Every traveller should make it a priority to browse one or all of the guides listed below. It will be a great education to browse the layout and view the excellent photography. You decide which of the travel guide(s)  you like the best.

  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide(s)
  • Insight / Discovery Channel Travel Guide(s)
  • Lonely Planet Guide(s)are the worst guides of all. Some of the information is  way out of date even on current edition.
  • AA Explorer, AA Key or AA Spiral Guide(s)
  • Far better guides can be purchased at lower cost in the Philippines in either National Book Store, Fully Booked or Powerbooks.
  • Note: You will find about thirteen other publishing companies'  travel guides in Filipino bookstores.  

Travel Books - Children or Junior

Browse the children's or junior section of your local library for travel and geography guides. You will find a variety of guides to countries, regions or natural wonders of the world. The majority of these guides will be less than fifty pages in length. They will contain an excellent overview of a country etc. They are an excellent introduction to travel for a novice traveller.

Travel DVD or Video Viewing

  • These are a few ideas for finding Travel DVDs in your local area:
  • Local Video Rental Store
  • Local Library - Travel Video or DVD
  • Any large music store will have a range of travel DVD's or  Video's on sale.
  • Travel Video Store has an excellent internet site.
  • BBC Video series website section
  • Pilot Travel Guide series 
  • National  Geographic Travel DVD or Video Series
  • Escorted Tour Companies  DVD or Videos  e.g. Rick Steves' 
  • National Tourist Bureaus MAY have a introduction Video or DVD on offer  or Photo Gallery on their Internet site, such as www.philippinetourism.com.au