The Philippines come up with a wide range of sights and attractions for all travelers, from bustling city of Manila to nearly pristine beaches. Of the island country’s 7,000 isles, only around 800 are currently inhabited, supposing the fact that plenty of local showplaces remain pretty remote from each other. But, most important, upon visiting the country, though, it is quite important to get familiar with some of the local traditions and regulations. So, before you and your romantic partner arrive at the place, Romance Compass would like to inform you about at least some of them as all foreigners landing there become subjects to local laws.
Don’t bring prohibited items
When you’re about to enter the Philippines, you should not have particular things in your possession. The Customs Agency bans anyone entering the country carrying any kinds of explosives, firearms or blade weapons. Any sort of written or printed materials containing subversive, rebellious, or treasonous ideas against the Philippine government, or some other governmental authorities, are strictly prohibited. In addition, any texts or documents containing the direct threat of violence against other citizens of the Philippines are prohibited as well. So are the writings or images of any type of openly obscene nature. All kinds of electronic devices, drugs or other medicaments intended to produce an abortion are in the same way prohibited in the country.
Avoid disobeying the Philippine laws
Once you have stepped on the Philippine soil, it becomes your first responsibility to accept and follow the local regulations. This includes any of the laws that might vary from those set in your country. Of particular importance and consequence, the local laws regulating possession or use of drugs are notably stringent. In this way, possession of any narcotics can easily result in your expulsion, arrest or even imprisonment while trafficking drugs is very likely to result in continuous jail time.
Submit to the U.S. laws as well
While in the Philippines, the US citizen also becomes a subject to the local laws. Nonetheless, this individual is still answerable to American laws and, should any crime be committed on the territory of the Philippines, it might be prosecuted in accordance with the US laws. This specific mention can be traced to the fact of widespread prostitution, especially child prostitution, which can be commonly found in many parts of the country.
Do not insult the country or its people
First of all, it needs to go without saying that you should never be insulting your host country or its citizens, but the Philippines make a bit of a unique case. Filipinos are truly proud of anything and everything about their culture and country, so if you happen to incautiously drop anything that could possibly offend them or their country could lead to a huge blunder. Most locals tend to be protective of their home country and its people, so even the slightest criticism might be taken seriously enough. As a matter of fact, the government of the country has quite a growing list of famous people from whom the country either demanded a sincere apology or declared such individual persona non grata on its territory. For instance, an actress Claire Danes can make for a living proof that you’d better be treading lightly with your criticism.
Avoid confronting people and coming off way too strong
Local people are absolutely non-confrontational and most are rather timid when it comes to foreign people they have just met. So once a problem is about to arise, you’d better do your best not to lose the temper, remaining totally calm and pleasant. When meeting and interacting with locals, try to be friendly (people there are generally pretty friendly), but avoid appearing cocky or intrusive. What’s more, it is also important to note that people of the Philippines are quite indirect and might be avoiding giving an outright “no,” as they actually fear it could potentially come off too offensive.
This might come a little frustrating to a foreign tourist, but the traditional way of saying no in this country usually comes in the form of phrases like “We will see,” “I’m not sure,” or “We’ll try to make it happen, but…”.
Avoid bringing up religion
When having a casual talk, be sure to escape the need of getting into a dispute over religion. The natives are a significantly Catholic nation, and most of them, especially those representing older generations, are extremely pious. Moreover, in the Philippines divorce is considered illegal, and the use of sexual contraceptives is still frowned upon (one of many things younger generations are fighting to change). That’s why, in your attempt to not upset a local, it would be the best decision to reserve the atheistic statements for a better time.