Monday, February 6, 2012

Vacation Rentals - Philippine Destinations

I'm an American living in the Philippines and when I was asked to write an article on Vacation Rentals, I thought I might be able to lend a different perspective on the subject. I've lived here just over 9 months now (in Mindanao) and I've traveled around some as well.

There is no doubt that the Philippines is an excellent choice for a vacation. These are some of the most beautiful islands in the world. I would compare the Philippines favorably with Hawaii in terms of climate and geography. The Hawaiian Islands and the islands, which form the Philippine Archipelago, both arose from volcanic activity. As a result, they share most of the geographical features one associates with volcanic activity.

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They also share similar climates, similar flora and a marvelous, friendly native population. The similarities largely end there. The Philippines is part of the developing world. We formerly called nations like this, third world countries, but I think that has become politically incorrect. I certainly mean nothing disrespectful by using the term. I just want to make it clear the Philippines is a poor country. It is not similar to Hawaii, in economic terms.

Vacation Rentals - Philippine Destinations

Getting here from the USA is not prohibitively expensive. A good travel agent can get you a round-trip ticket for between 00 and 00 depending on when you travel. Don't try to come here around Christmas! The flights are booked up with Filipino OFW's (Overseas Foreign Workers) returning for their most important holiday! January through May or September through November, are good and defined as the 'dry' season. The balance of the year is the 'wet or rainy' season. Be prepared for a long flight. It's never direct. You're going to Japan or Korea (13 Hours) then onward to Manila (4 Hours) more or less. You will also have time to kill in Korea or Japan waiting for your connecting flight.

Well, to get back on point, I checked a few sites on vacation rentals here in the Islands and there are several in Metro Manila. I zeroed in on four in Makati, Manila, all of which looked great and they ranged in price from .00 to .00 per night. The .00 rental sleeps three and the remaining rentals sleep four. At current exchange rates, that is from 2,040 pesos to 3,080 pesos per night. Sounds cheap, but when you consider that the average Filipino earns around 250 pesos per day, its only a bargain from an outsider's paradigm. When I travel here, I can find a decent room for 1200 to 1500 pesos per night. If I don't need a lot of space, I can get clean, comfortable lodgings with air-conditioning and cable TV for 500 pesos a night. You can't bring your family to a room like that; it's the size of a jail cell.

Manila is a fascinating, sprawling, historic and fun city, but it isn't my "cup of tea". I would encourage you to spend at least half your stay visiting elsewhere in the Islands.

I would highly recommend Bohol and Panglao, in particular. Panglao Island has the most gorgeous white sand beaches and tons of touristy things to do. Bohol is the home of the world famous chocolate hills and the trip is worth it just to see these amazing geological formations. Bohol also has some of the oldest Spanish churches anywhere in the Philippines and they are magnificent examples of 16th and 17th century Spanish architecture. Enjoy a riverboat cruise, which includes lunch and a display of local folk dances and music. Visit the tarsier refuge and hold the tiniest monkey in the world in the palm of your hand! Stop by the Blood Compact monument commemorating the peace treaty between the Spaniard Legazpi and the Bohol Chieftain Sikatuna in 1565.

Now remember, Panglao is a resort, so cheap is not on the radar. I located a vacation rental for 2800 pesos per night for four persons. The same property is 2000 pesos per night for two persons on Panglao Island. That's .00 (USD) and .00 (USD). That's comparable to what you might pay in Manila and it is a very nice property.

Do visit the Philippines! It is a fantastic vacation spot and English speakers are everywhere.

Vacation Rentals - Philippine Destinations

David K. Bradley is a writer for Indovillas Bali which specializes in Bali Villa Rental and villa rental seminyak as well as tour and activity arrangements. They offer an assortment of holiday packages and property deals on the island of Bali.


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