Yesterday, by chance, in one of the reposts on Facebook, I found an article that gave three reasons why you should travel while you are young. The first of the reasons was that it makes your life more interesting, fills it with the spirit of adventurism and adventure. This is exactly how my trip to the Philippines began.
At the age of 21, with a thousand dollars in your wallet, to come to another country where you don’t know anyone or anything, having only a potential job and housing already paid for a month in advance. But first things first.
While still working in my city as a tourism manager, I was sent on a promotional tour to Egypt, namely to Hurghada, where I met a Belarusian guy from a Minsk travel company. As it turned out later, this company has a receiving office on about. Boracay, Philippines. After 2.5 years, I still sent my resume to this company, passed all the interviews and got a contract for 3 months. It is worth noting that at that time I had a good job in one of the largest Russian companies, which you just can’t get into. 8-hour working day, 5-day working week, official transport, white and rather big salary, good team. But I didn’t like what I was doing, but I loved tourism, so without hesitation, I exchanged it all for a job as a guide in Boracay with irregular working hours and no salary. Going for a season, for 6 months.
How to get to Boracay
The road to Boracay was very nervous. There are no direct flights from Russia to the Philippines, so it was necessary to fly first to Hong Kong, then to Manila, then to Caticlan, and from there by boat 15 minutes to the destination. In Hong Kong everything went smoothly, but in Manila the adventure began.
Buses between terminals
I had to move from one terminal to another, but I had a lot of time, so I didn’t really worry. Until I waited for the bus that runs between the terminals. I had to wait about 20 minutes for it, then another 10 minutes until it was filled with people. When we drove off, I calmed down, because it was necessary to go quite a bit. But, as it turned out, I calmed down early. The bus stopped at every corner, the driver chatted with everyone, we were always waiting for someone. Generally, the road from one terminal to another took about an hour!
In the airport
When I got to the terminal I needed, I saw an airline representative holding a sign with my flight number. I approached him. He, without explaining anything, took my ticket, went somewhere, and, returning a couple of minutes later, said that he had transferred me to another flight. I was very surprised to find that check-in for my new flight ends in 10 minutes, and given the queues of people who are right at the check-in desk, unpack their luggage and put things in hand luggage to avoid overweight, and the fact that I just did I still have to pay for the overweight, I obviously didn’t have time for this flight.
Trying to figure out what was the matter and what should I do, I found out that my scheduled flight was delayed, and the flight to which I was transferred was also delayed, but it would be earlier than the first, so they transferred me so that I would not wait. As a result, I still waited for my plane for about an hour. You can imagine my state at that moment. You do not understand what is happening at all, why you are transferred from flight to flight, where your baggage will get to, and no one can really explain to you what and why.
At the same time, Filipinos are never in a hurry. Never. It’s not their character trait at all. And they don’t get nervous. I stopped worrying too. After several flights with local airlines. But the first time for me was a real nightmare.
Fees, fees, fees
I also want to write about The Philippines is a country of various fees and charges. Often you may not even understand what you are actually paying for. But you need to pay. And when entering the Philippines, and when crossing to Boracay, and for all domestic flights, and when leaving. Is always.
Once on the plane, an hour later I was in Caticlan. My luggage too, which I was incredibly happy about. Then there was a transfer to the port and crossing to Boracay. There I took a tricycle (the most popular vehicle on the island in the form of a motorcycle with a sidecar) and drove to the place where I was met and taken to my new home.
Calm, only calm
Concluding the topic of transfer, I would like to draw your attention to the following. If you are a tourist and have pre-paid your transfer (from terminal to terminal in Manila, from Caticlan Airport to Boracay), you have all the necessary vouchers, do not be nervous and look for a company representative who will meet you. 99% of 100% that he is also looking for you.
From work experience I can tell you that tourists, finding themselves in such a turmoil, and even after all the flights, are simply lost and agree to be taken by the first Filipino they meet, who, of course, needs to be paid. Exhale, look around, and I am more than sure that you will find a person who is also looking for you. It also makes no sense for him to just dangle to the airport. In addition, if you are staying in Manila for a couple of days according to the program, he will be all the more interested in meeting you, because he can sell (or at least try) tours of Manila.
In a word, the road to Boracay (and to other islands of the Philippines) is hard and thorny, but this has its pluses. The range, complexity and high cost of flights act as a kind of filter Not everyone wants to fly. Look at Pattaya. What happened to her after the introduction of charters? Of course, from the point of view of a tourism worker, the more tourists, the better, because this is my salary. But from the point of view of the inhabitant of Boracay, who sincerely loves this island, I really do not want flights to be simplified and cheaper. Otherwise, the island will simply turn into a “Philippine Pattaya”, and believe me, there are prerequisites for this.
If you need help planning your trip to the Philippines, I will be happy to help you.