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    18 Common Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting The Philippines

    Mabuhay! Please take your shoes off before entering.

    1. Booking a flight to Manila and STAYING there the whole time.

    gabohalili (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: untilblack

    Sure, Manila might be your typical point of entry to the Philippines, but if you really want to enjoy this tropical country, you gotta step out of its capital! The Philippines has 17 regions, so it wouldn't really be accurate to assume that it's the representative of the entire archipelago. Each one of its regions has something unique to offer — from paradise beaches to breathtaking mountain ranges to insanely good food to unique culture — so it's best to take in as much as you can during your stay!

    2. Traveling around only by taxicabs.

    Matthias Kihr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Via Flickr: mkihr

    Traffic in the Philippines is generally bad, but probably the worst way to get around is to get into a cab. While it should be more convenient, metered taxis tend to be more expensive, and some taxi drivers would take advantage of the fact that tourists might not be aware of this. Booking an Uber or Grab is a much better idea.

    3. Going on tours that’ll probably take you to crowded touristy beaches.

    Ted Barrera (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: tedbarrera

    Don't get me wrong, these touristy bits have their own charm too — that's why they became so popular. But there are plenty more underrated beaches the Philippines has been hiding! Your best bet would be to do a bit of research about hidden beaches (ask the locals!), hire a private boat, and enjoy the rest of your day in your own (almost) private tropical island away from the crowd.

    4. Expecting everything to be dirt cheap.

    Takao Chiba (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: souyou, Fotograzio (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: fotograzio / Creative Commons

    Yes, the cost of living sure is cheaper than most western countries, but it still depends on where you go and how you want to spend your time while you're there. Like in most countries, you get what you pay for in the Philippines.

    5. Buying into the fear and assuming everyone is out to scam you.

    Leland (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: lel4nd

    The Philippines may not have the best reputation in the media when it comes to safety, but there's still a very high chance you'd enjoy your visit without encountering any problems. Filipinos are very friendly, accommodating people. We love having visitors, even in our own private houses, and would go to great lengths to make you feel comfortable.

    6. Not mingling with the locals because of the language barrier.

    Brain Evans (CC BY-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: beegee49 / Creative Commons

    As mentioned before, Filipinos are very hospitable, and we know how to speak English, thank you very much! And if you actually speak with the locals, you'll be able to find out stuff you wouldn't otherwise, like where to get the best and cheapest local delicacy or what the easiest way to get somewhere is. Best part? You'll get to experience the colorful and interesting authentic Filipino culture firsthand.

    7. Not researching the Philippines’ customs and culture.

    denAsuncioner (CC BY-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: asimulator

    Filipinos aren't known to be easily offended in general, but there are some things that push our buttons, and it could change depending on which region you're visiting. It's best to know these things beforehand than regret it later.

    8. Like not taking your shoes off when entering someone else’s house.

    Brooke Raymond (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: brooke

    It's considered kind of rude in most households. The funny thing is, most people will tell you to keep your shoes on out of sheer bashfulness, but it's almost always preferred that you insist on taking them off. Don't worry, most households have extra slippers just for visitors to use.

    9. Going around with just a credit card and no cash.

    Ray in Manila (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: rayinmanila

    Most local stores only take cash as a mode of payment, so you'd better have it ready with you unless you want to risk missing an opportunity to try a local snack or snag a memorable souvenir!

    10. Assuming it’s going to be sunny all the time.

    Eugene Jay Leung (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: rayinmanila

    Rainy season in the Philippines usually lasts from June until October, but there are also occasional typhoons throughout the year. Don't ruin your plans to visit some of the world's most amazing beaches by not checking the weather before planning your trip.

    11. Not learning a few phrases from the dialect.

    Isabelle Laureta

    Simple words and phrases like "salamat" ("thank you") and "Kumusta?" ("How are you?") wouldn't hurt, plus they'll get you closer to the locals!

    12. Smoking while walking in public.

    Arnaud Matar (Public Domain) / Via Flickr: arnaudmatar / Creative Commons

    Recently, a smoking ban was implemented in some of the major cities in the Philippines, and you could get fined if you get caught. Look for a designated smoking area if you find yourself having to have a puff.

    13. Getting scared of bag checks when entering stores.

    Daniel Y. Go (CC BY-NC 2.0) / Via Flickr: danielygo

    It's pretty typical for stores in the Philippines to have security guards right outside of them. Some (especially in malls) would even do a bag check. This is normal, so don't freak out!

    14. Not eating like how the locals do.

    Trevor Claringbold (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: kudosmedia

    While there's an abundance of international cuisine restaurants in the Philippines where you could find food that's familiar to your palate, it's always a great experience to learn about our culture by eating the way we do. Dining is a huge part of the Filipino culture not only because of all the amazing local food but mostly because of how we treat everyone else we're eating with — like family.

    15. And assuming the food is weird.

    Nathan Winter (CC BY-NC 2.0) / Via Flickr: industriarts

    It's true, we eat balut (fertilized duck egg), and Fear Factor made sure you knew that, but not all our foods are "weird" and unconventional. Having a rich history of colonization made the Philippines a melting pot of different cuisines. Being creative people, we put our own spin on it and developed our own flavor. Wait until you get a bite of adobo (chicken or pork cooked in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic), lechon (roasted suckling pig), pansit (fried noodles), and lumpia (spring rolls) at a Filipino party.

    16. Trying to visit all the nice beaches in a very limited time.

    Trevor Claringbold (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: kudosmedia / Creative Commons

    Let's be real: You can't. There are more than 7,000 Philippine islands, and I'm pretty sure most of them would have at least one amazing hidden beach, so it would be quite impossible to visit even a fraction of them on a two-week vacay. That's OK, though, because it only means there are reasons to come back!

    17. Only going to the beaches and overlooking the mountains.

    Mer S (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: merappletree

    Just because the Philippines is known for its beaches doesn't mean we don't have breathtaking mountains too! Some of the most famous ones can be found in the northern parts of the country, like Sagada, Baguio, Banaue, and Davao.

    18. Getting bothered by the stares.

    Billy D. Lopue (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: 21905294@N03 / Creative Commons

    While not all Filipinos share the same level of fascination for foreigners, it would still be pretty typical to get one too many stares, especially if you're out in public. Don't give too much thought to it, though, because people usually mean no harm! Just enjoy your vacation as you would in a tropical paradise like the Philippines.

    Don't forget to check out Bring Me! for all of BuzzFeed's best travel tips and hacks, vacation inspiration, and more!

    Jay Fleckenstein / BuzzFeed