The Perks of A Filipino Traveling Around Southeast Asia

You must be wondering why an Asian would like to explore Asia, Southeast Asia in particular, why not go to Europe or America? The easy answer is because it's way cheaper to travel in Southeast Asia, rather than lock myself up in my room reading cliched traveling quotes on Facebook, might as well go on an adventure.


The Perks of Traveling as a Filipino in Southeast Asia

I don't get bothered as much when walking in tourist areas.

As a Filipino, this is one of the best things about traveling in Southeast Asia. Since I practically look like everyone else, I don't get the same: Mistah! Mistah! You buy fom me, I giv goo price, I giv discount, dis only found <insert name of country here>, bet you read that with an accent didn't ya? It seems like all their attention is directed at the Caucasian tourists that come visit their countries.

I don't have to worry about random Asian people who want to take a picture with me.

As much as I want to be mistaken as a celebrity, this does not happen while traveling around Asia. I've always wanted to have my picture placed at some random person's Facebook account, I'm disappointed <insert sarcasm here>.

I don't have to worry about random Asian people coming up to me to practice their English.

I can enjoy my food, drink, time alone, book, or anything I do at some cafe, restaurant, hotel, stores, etc. without people coming up to me to try their hand at English. I'm no snob, I'd love the attention but not when I'm trying to save the world and end world hunger.

I can pretend to understand or speak their language.

What I like about traveling around Asia is that I can pretend to understand what they're saying by nodding my head, I can get the local price without asking for it.

There is little to no culture shock.

As a Filipino, there are a lot of things in common with our neighboring countries. Despite the differences in language and religion, I always see food stalls, so-called exotic food, crowded buses, Chinatown, markets, street food, and the like back home. I'm not giddy nor surprised by the sight of a coconut tree or food cart on the road. I feel the sudden urge to take a picture of a food cart and post it on Instagram right now.

I can try new things that aren't found back home. 

Same, same but different. After visiting some countries in Southeast Asia, I began to see that the Philippines is the same but different from its neighbors. Here are some of the things I discovered: we are not predominantly Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist, I see very few Indian tourists, I have yet to see a squat toilet, there are no large and ancient monuments dedicated to ancestors or gods, and the food is not as spicy as in most parts of Southeast Asia.

I don't have to travel to Africa to discover the meaning of life.

I see poverty, corruption, pollution, red tape, and other stuff that Westerners see when they travel to Asia. I find all these things just outside my house.  

These are a few of the perks I noticed while I was traveling around Southeast Asia, feel free to add more.

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