Travel Notes | Experience Philippines, Travel with Locals

I am living in a beautiful country of amazing 7,107 islands. I am 100% Pinoy, and I am living in The Philippine Islands. 

Known as the Pearl of the Orient, the Philippines is a tropical country in the Pacific with beautiful people inside and out; diverse cultures and traditions; and FUNtastic natural resources. Our nature is full of surprises and adventures. Interesting? Get your backpack, walk, swim or dive, breath and feel the ocean breeze, open your eyes, eat and live with locals… 


I can still recall a conversation with a fellow blogger I met in Facebook. He is asking for some sort of advice about traveling - budget, planning, transportation, accommodation, solo trip, etc.,  I simply said, “... yep, budget is one of the most important but there's a lot of ways to travel cheaply. Guidebooks and travel sites/blogs are great help as references but please don't expect same experience...Draw and paint your own memories. If you want to spend less in traveling, create wonderful memories, experience the best trip, and appreciate why you are exploring, then live like the locals ”

I am on the road for more or less 9 years now. No, I am not a full time traveler! I am also an ordinary 15th and 30th day employee. I’m just enjoying travels on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, the nature of my job requires me to travel and incidentally explore PHL islands. The moment I accepted the challenge and inspiration of this job, I also accepted the challenge of being away from home for weeks or months. But I’m Happy!

Why am I enjoying this Job? Simply because I love to travel, meet people, and do sidetrips! Oh I almost forgot to mention, my job description simply means more or less 90% fieldwork. Yep, I am 100% familiar with rural and countryside communities. How I survived and keep on surviving? This is not simply a job, this is a commitment. I love the locals and I love the way they got inspired by what we are doing. Yes, I've learned a lot from that more or less 9 years of working and traveling. 

Trust and Ask the locals. They know where are the best beaches, mountains, and the top spots in their own place. Eat with them and they will treat you with their best dishes. Play with them. They know the best things to do in their own playground.


WithLocals is coming in PHL

Do you want to experience also traveling with locals? No worries, is now coming in PHL! Yes, it’s true; is coming to the Philippines. is an innovative website in the travel industry that aims to connect travelers from around the world with locals in different countries of Asia, which will surely offer unforgettable travel adventures, and unique home dining experiences. It is an interesting concept wherein travelers will get the chance to experience living like the locals.  

Launched in 2013, Withlocals is already a big hit in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Nepal.

Becoming a WithLocals Host

Are you interested in becoming a WithLocals host and earn extra money by doing the things you love? At WithLocals, you can find 3 host types: Eat WithLocals, Tour WithLocals, and Activities WithLocals. You can become a WithLocals partner in your place, offering any or all these for tourists to enjoy.

If you are a tourist looking for the best experience in your trip? Let WithLocals be your guide, connecting you with the locals.

Rancho Norte

Eat Withlocals

To truly enjoy the local culture and savor the local cuisines, dine with a local family in the comforts of their home. Remember, the locals are the ones who know the best delicacies in their area. Plus, home cooked meals are simply the best! You could even get extra helpings of already generous servings of the favorite local dishes.

Plus, if you are interested in trying the native delicacies when you get home, most of the locals wouldn't hesitate to share their recipes with you – something you’d rarely get from a restaurant, mind you.

WithLocals will connect you with these amazing people with whom you can share a meal with.

Tours Withlocals

Different places have different tourist spots and activities to offer. Yes, your guide books could provide you with ample information about the local spots but who knows more about these spots than the locals? With locals as your guide, you’ll get to enjoy the top spots more. Not only will you get to experience the place, the locals can give you more information about the history of the place and its rich culture.

Moreover, there might be areas known to the locals where you can truly have lots of fun but have not been promoted or developed as major tourist spots yet. That would give you the perfect opportunity to go off the beaten track to have a great time at a wonderful place where only few tourists have experienced.

What’s excellent about booking with WithLocals is that you can choose your tour guides, directly interacting with them. That should mean a better trip for you because you can choose the guides based on the activities they can offer. Many of these skilled people can even create custom vacations.


Activities WithLocals

The ultimate vacation is the one where you get to learn something new. A wonderful learning experience. All around the world, different communities have different cultures, different crafts, different activities, etc. The best people to teach you about these should be the people who do these as a way of living – the locals, of course!

Drawing on local talents and skills, this will be the chance for you to learn something new or something you’ve always wanted to know. What these activities or crafts might be will depend entirely on the places you visit and the local talents and crafts.

For example, if you want to learn how to drive a Tuk Tuk, then you can do that at areas where Tuk Tuks are aplenty. The list of things you can enjoy and learn is simply endless – you just have to find the place to best experience the things you want to learn.

Plus, you will be taught on a hands-on basis – you really get your hands on the material and learn how to use it, not just be given a guidebook of the steps that must be done.

Advantages of Being a WithLocals Host

Being a WithLocals host in your locality will not only provide you a tide income but also allows you to have fun while doing things that you love and are already an expert of. For example, if you create baskets for a living, why not teach some tourists how to do it? You’ll learn a bigger amount than just making and selling your baskets.

Also, if you love to cook but have no spot to create a restaurant, you can partner with WithLocals who will send tourists your way. You serve them your favorite dishes while they get to savor the local cuisine. Everyone is happy.

SIGN UP NOW. The process is very easy:


STEP 1: Fill in the host details
Provide the details of the tour, activity or home dining experience you are offering. You can set the dates when you can offer the activity, tour or home dining experience plus set your own price for these services.

STEP 2: Get visited by the ambassador
A WithLocals ambassador will contact you to arrange a site visit. The ambassador will provide you with more information about the program and your account. Pictures will be taken and posted on the website to serve as sample for the tourists to choose from.

STEP 3: Receive bookings
A profile will be created for you on the WithLocals website after the visit. You're ready to receive bookings.

For more information about WithLocals,
visit: Website:
Twitter: @WithLocals Instagram: @WithLocals 

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  1. this is a very good tips to remember i do hope to find this article in time of our travel back to the philippines.

  2. Oh Philippines... my homeland! The beaches there are definitely paradise! And the people's hospitality is unmatched! Everywhere I go, I am always proud to be a Filipino! Those photos make me miss my homeland even more....

  3. I miss that kind of friend fish, yung fresh na fresh pa kuing ipirito, yum!

  4. Sound tips bro. Just asking, when will you invite me sa mga tour mo.

    1. hahaha baka iba ang pasyalan natin Papaleng pag tayo magkasama :)

  5. great idea, with locals you get the authentic part of the town and can save money instead of paying tourist agencies

  6. I love the Camiguin and especially the White Island :-) My husband and I left wonderful and romantic moments in that island. I wish we could visit Camiguin someday :-)

  7. how awesome...made me miss the Philippines even more! Thanks for sharing this hidden treasure!

  8. Great travel tips! Now... I want that fish :-)

  9. Great idea! It not only makes you save more while you visit places, it makes your experience more realistic. I would really really love to see Batanes someday. I hope WithLocals has Batanes included. It is sad that I have traveled out of the country but never within the country.

  10. will visit this and just like Eileen home they include Batanes

  11. Travelling with locals can help you learn a lot. You can visit the site Minnesota Vacations where you can book luxurious resorts at an affordable price.


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