Planning on exploring a new place? How about considering these ones:
1. Never romanticize on the place where you intend to visit. No matter what other people have said about the place or no matter what reviews have come out on blogs or TV programs, remember that their experience may not be the same with you and their views on things could be far different from yours. Just keep an open mind at all times and expect the unexpected, that's how it is to go for an adventure.
2. Do your research before going to that place. A lot of it. Do not rely on one or two sources. Luckily nowadays, we've got tons of bloggers who document every single thing they do on their journeys and the Tri-media work well in scouting for unexplored areas so information comes easy to us. Again, focus only on the information you need and forego for now the reviews and comments.
3. Bring loose change. This is not for using the payphone but it's a real hassle to be looking for a commercial place that would be willing to change your bills, more so if it's a remote area.
4. Always tip the staff or anyone who has served you. Be generous. And for those who have kept you safe in risky situations like the "mamang bangkero", if you're not a good swimmer and the weather isn't really good for boating, say your thank yous and give a really good tip.
5. Haggle. Some tourist areas have become so commercialized that even rates, fare and prices have jacked up. Believe me, it's ok to haggle and you'll be surprised if they give in to the price you're asking.
6. Bring only the basics. The thrill of backpacking is to survive with what you've got.
7. Be understanding. If you ask a question and the locals would pass on the question to another local and they start talking in the vernacular, don't frown, make faces or show any signs of irritation. Remember not all Pinoys can speak Filipino efficiently. Ask politely. They'll try their best to tell you what they know.
7. Smile a lot. It really transgresses boundaries.
8. I need to add this,for those who have a typical Pinoy nose like me, make sure to put tons of sunblock on it or use a wide brimmed hat to cover it. Don't just use sunnies. Your nose would be very shiny soon and you wouldn't like it. LOL