Easily the scariest part of a truly tense journey was waking up at 4:00am to find the Middle watchman laying flat on his back & fast asleep. I quickly started the port engine to charge the batteries and slipped the jet drive transmission into gear to ease the strain on the towline. Lucky I did this as moments later I sensed rather than saw something blacker than the ocean slide past the tow vessel on her port side. I immediately moved the throttles full ahead, the wheel to starboard and used to rescue boat to push the floating dock out of the path of the object. I could now see the black mass was a huge black rubber bumper, the kind used by large vessels when moored against a pier. It was wrapped in ropes, most likely moored there in the ocean as a fish trap. It certainly would have made a mess of the tow had it made impact with the rescue boat or floating dock. It slid down our port side, close enough to snag the fishing line we had rigged off the stern, broke the line and disappeared into the predawn darkness with our lure.
We were “tail-end Charlie” of an unlikely trio roped together on a voyage from Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines to Subic Bay. In the lead was the Isla, a party boat designed for drunken pleasure cruising within the protected confines of Subic Bay. Behind her she towed a 25 meter floating dock system piled two sections high and lastly, three of us on a decommissioned ocean going rescue boat named First Responder.
From the bow of Isla to the stern of First Responder was almost 100 meters of boats ropes and floating dock system. Our task was to get this unhappy configuration thru the unpredictable South China Sea and treacherous Calavite Pass to its new home in Subic Bay.
It was all my fault. Shell Oil had stationed the Rescue Boat near their Malampaya oil platform project for 12 years in case one of the helicopters ditched or the platform itself caught fire.. They had just decommissioned it and put both the boat and its floating dock up for auction. I told my buddy Brian, he bought her and I volunteered to ramrod the project of moving everything 300 kilometers from northern Palawan to Subic Bay, Luzon.
Hard work, adventure and a little bit of danger…just what I like After 4 days of hard work we had everything rigged to tow and set off into the darkness.
I mean it was so dark when we started the tow at 8:30 pm that we could only just see the lights of Isla, 100 meters ahead. It was eerie too as we could sense, but not see, the rocky shoreline sliding by on both sides.
What followed was 2 days of wind and big waves but only a couple of potential disasters. The floating dock got beat up pretty badly by the constant waves pounding it and we worried always about the inevitable fishing nets and traps in our path, especially in the dark.
However, despite the odds against us, 44 hours later we cruised successfully and happily into Subic Bay and, after 6 days of sobriety, a few cold beers
A lot of people wonder which country is better, Thailand or the Philippines. They want to know which country they should visit on their holiday, or even move to. As someone with experience in both places I wanted o share my thoughts and help some people decide for themselves.
Who am I? My name is Cody and I have lived in Thailand for roughly 3 years, and now in the Philippines for about 3 weeks. All of my time in Thailand was spent in Bangkok, aside from 4 months in Chiang Mai, and my 3 weeks in the Philippines has all been spent here in sunny Puerto Galera at BADLADZ Beach Resort.
I obviously have much more experience living in Thailand, but I’d still like to give my thoughts so far on the two countries and how they compare to one another.
So let’s get started.
If the staff at BADLADZ is any indicator of how friendly and fun Filipino people are, and so far they have been, this is a huge win for the Philippines. The staff at BADLADZ are about as fun and friendly as they could possibly be. It seems Filipino culture is much more open and playful than Thai culture.
Thai culture is very reserved, once you get away from the Red Light districts. They are very polite and shy, which is nice, but not always a lot of fun. Filipinos seem to have a much more western influenced personality and sense of humor, so you find the girls at BADLADZ always playing around, cracking jokes, and in true Filipina style dancing and singing 23.5 hours out of the day. This is something you just don’t get in Thailand and it’s probably my favorite thing so far about living here in Puerto Galera.
Chalk this round up as a huge win for the Philippines. Thailand hit the canvas on this one. Definitely a 10-8 round.
This is another one of the major differences. Depending on which source you read, the Philippines is either the 2nd or 3rd largest English speaking country in the world. They speak great English which makes it extremely easy to get around and ask important questions such as “What’s in this?”, “How do I get there?” and “are any other bars still open?”.
Inside of the tourist zones of Sukhumvit, Patong, Khao San Road, etc. in Thailand you will find the large majority of Thais speak reasonable English. However, you will still encounter lots of taxi drivers, food vendors and shop workers who do not speak English, or don’t speak enough to understand what you are asking about.
Your hotel receptionist will probably speak just fine, but trying to explain to your taxi driver how to get back to your hotel late at night may be a problem.
Another big round for the Philippines. 10-9.
Here is where Thailand comes out swinging. Thai food is internationally renowned, and for good reason. It’s great. I love Thai food, especially Isaan food. Luckily I’ve found plenty of grilled chicken here in Puerto Galera as well.
So far I have enjoyed Filipino food, especially Adobo and Tapsilog, but I haven’t eaten enough of it to really put it to the test against Thai food, which I’ve eaten a thousand times. I’m sure there are tons of different Filipino dishes, and especially regional dishes, that I’ve never even seen, so it’s a bit difficult to pass judgment here. I will say that Thai food is amazing and I can’t recommend it enough.
With that said, I’ve found the Western food here in Puerto Galera to be exponentially better than that in Bangkok, and way less expensive. I’ve always felt that Western food in Thailand was subpar. I don’t know exactly why that is, but it just isn’t very good, and it’s expensive.
Here in Puerto Galera I ate at an Italian restaurant named Lucas and not only was it great, it was cheap! A whole pizza, and I’m talking a giant sized pizza, cost about 240 pesos I believe it was, or about $6. The same sized pizza in Bangkok would have literally been $15-25, and it wouldn’t have been half as good. A friend had carbonara for about the same price and it was excellent. When Sean told me how good the food was at this Italian restaurant I have to say that I took his praise with a grain of salt, but he was right, it’s excellent.
Due to my limited experience with Filipino food I’m giving Thailand the round at 10-9, but the great Western food I’ve had here definitely made it a tough round to judge.
I can honestly say I’ve never felt threatened in either country. I’ve never had any type of confrontation or fight and I’ve never had anything to worry about in either place. I know the Philippines can be a dangerous place in areas, but here in Puerto Galera I feel perfectly safe, even when I’m riding on the back of a motorbike from Sabang to BADLADZ at 3AM after having a few too many Red Horses.
You’d think this would be an easy round for Thailand, but with the recent bombings in Bangkok, murders and rapes in Koh Tao (probably Thailand’s closest equivalent to Puerto Galera with the diving and beach life), mysterious deaths, beatings, ladyboy muggings and stabbings in Pattaya, Military Coup and everything else going on, I’m not so sure it is an easy win for Thailand.
I’ve never felt threatened in either place and I’d say to anyone thinking of traveling to either country, don’t worry about it. Of course use your head and trust your instincts, but 99.99% chance you are going to be just fine. If you’re afraid to come to South East Asia you may want to wrap yourself in bubble wrap the next time you get into your car because that’s probably the most dangerous place you’ll be all week.
I’m calling this round a draw. 10-10.
Visas and Ease of Staying
Both countries are extremely easy to come to for one month or less. You get a visa on arrival for 30 days and you are free to go on exploring. Where the major difference comes in is if you feel like staying for a couple of months or longer.
Thailand is constantly changing their visa rules. It’s ridiculous. For a country where tourism accounts for roughly 10% of its GDP, you’d think they’d stop jerking us around so much. If I wish to stay in Thailand for 6 months I have to get a double entry tourist visa before arriving, or leave Thailand and go to a neighboring country to apply there. Once I get it I will get 60 days upon arrival, and after that I have to go to immigration and pay 1,900 baht (plus about 300 baht round trip to get there and back), sit there for 2-6 hours, and get a 30 day stamp. After that 30 days is up I have to do a visa run which costs about 2,000 baht, and means I have to sit on a bus for about 10 hours to get to the border and get the stamp. Once I enter back into Thailand I get another 60 days and repeat the process. It’s a real pain in the ass.
Here in the Puerto Galera once my 30 days is up all I have to do is go down to a little office in the center of town and get another 30 days. I do have to pay something, but I’m not sure exactly how much that is yet. I don’t even have to go to a large city like I would have to do in Thailand, and I don’t have to leave the country at all. I’m no expert at visa laws here, but from what I understand I can continue to do this for 2-3 years without ever leaving the country.
BOOM! Another 10-9 for the Philippines, bordering on a 10-8 round. Thailand barely kept its glove off of the canvas.
I’d hate to sound like a complete Philippines fan boy after only 3 weeks here, but again, Puerto Galera has been much cheaper than Thailand. Staying here at BADLADZ is a great value, but even outside of the resort the food is really cheap. The street food here is about the same price as the street food in Thailand, but the Western food here is much cheaper, as I already said. I also know BADLADZ is getting ready to have a dozen or so apartments available to rent right next to the resort, and they are much nicer and less expensive than anything comparable in any of the beach cities in Thailand.
Alcohol here is ridiculously cheap. In Bangkok I can easily spend $100 on a night out. You’re looking at 100-280 baht ($3-$9) mixed drinks, depending on where you go, and nearly the same for beers. Here in Puerto Galera I spend 60-100 pesos ($1.50-$2.50) on a San Miguel Light in Sabang. You can even get a bottle of Ginebra, a local gin, for $2 at the grocery store, and from what I hear, just a dollar or so more at The Venue, the main nightclub here with a local band playing.
The price of Western food and alcohol here in Puerto Galera has brought my budget down considerably compared to living in Thailand. 10-9 Philippines.
Let’s go to the judges’ score cards!
After living in Thailand for a long time I obviously like it, but I’m really enjoying my time here in Puerto Galera at BADLADZ. The fun staff, ocean at my doorstep, cheap cost of living (and beer!) have made it a great place for me. So great in fact that I’m planning on moving to Manila after I leave here as opposed to moving back to Bangkok. I’m not done exploring the Philippines yet and I really want to see how Manila compares to Bangkok.
And for those of you looking for a quicker trip or holiday I’d definitely put Puerto Galera at the top of your list above any beach town that Thailand has to offer. I think it’s probably safer, it’s DEFINITELY cheaper, there’s great food, cheap beer (did I mention that already?), pretty girls and no snow. What else could you ask for?
The judges score it a Unanimous Decision victory for your new tourist destination champion of the woooooooooorld, The Philippines!
This is one of the most common businesses that a foreigner will jump into. Not a bad idea actually, people have to eat and drink!
If you really want to do this, keep in mind a few things. You, or someone you REALLY trust, MUST be there always. This is one of the easiest businesses to steal from and believe me, people WILL STEAL FROM YOU! Once you have the systems so buttoned down that they cannot take money from you, then they will steal from the tip jar, their co-workers, or customers.
Be prepared, staff are going to be an issue. Period. These are low-level positions with low pay and the turnover will be high. Many of us run employees on 5-month temporary contracts just so we have no legal labor obligations. Permanent employees require reporting commitments, withholding, submission of taxes, etc. Plus, you will need someone just to track all this.
If it is a bar then be prepared to drink ALL DAY. There is always someone on 2-week vacation that will want to have a couple of drinks with the boss regardless of the time of day. They only have to do this on vacation, you have to do it every day.
Only two things make a restaurant or bar work: great location or great food/cold beer. Both would be best. I can show you side-by-side bars with one packed and one empty. So even if you have a great location, you’ll still have to beat your competition.
So how to you do it legally inside Philippine Law?
- As a foreigner you can lease the premises/location in your own name legally. You control the location therefore you control the business.
- Put all the utilities like phone, water, electric, etc. in your name.
- When you purchase the equipment and furnishings for the bar, be sure to have the receipts clearly in your name.
- Get insurance on the contents and have that in your name as well. If things go really crazy and someone strips the place, you can always charge them with theft.
- If this is a serious bar/restaurant then you will probably have a Facebook page and website. Make sure you control these.
- Bank accounts can also be in your name. Have one ATM account for your trusted staff. As much as possible, try to run your accounts through online banking. This will allow you to track deposits and withdrawals. Payments for utilities can be set up with auto debit to be deducted automatically.
Also, set up a private account at the same bank in your name only so you can transfer funds online from the restaurant account to your private one, leaving only enough behind for operating expenses.
The business license, of course, must be in the name of a Filipino but that is the ONLY thing. Sometimes the “business owner” gets greedy and thinks they can take your business. You simply take the business license off the wall and hand it to them. That is all they own.
Here is where they get into trouble: they will have opened up under a sole proprietorship, which makes them personally liable for all federal and provincial tax obligations. They are also liable to the Department of Labor for all employee obligations. They will walk away with no job and big troubles!
To stay in business, you will need to find someone else, like an employee, to apply for a business permit and reopen the business under the new license. You do not even need to change the name on the business. Say, for example, you own “Joes Bar.” The new license says “Girlies Bar.” Simply write in small letters in the top corner of the existing sign, “Girlies Bar operating as:”
Back in Business
Cool idea, great lifestyle and REALLY FUN but you still need to look at the numbers first and have a plan.
Say you have 20 rooms, a nice little resort and you are charging P2,000 per night based on double occupancy. Just for the sake of discussion let’s say you average 50% occupancy year round. So 10 rooms every night @ P2,000. That’s P20,000 every night. WOW. Good money in a country where the minimum wage is P300/day.
The question is how to squeeze some more money out of it.
Open a restaurant of course. Two people eating twice a day will spend about P1,200 per day. Multiply this times 10 rooms and Bang, another P12,000 income. HOWEVER the reality is that maybe half the people will eat 2 meals there so cut this in half. P6,000 daily is still a nice number.
Now remember, you need some staff. A cook, a couple of waitresses and someone to wash the dishes so probably 4 staff FOR EACH SHIFT! Year round, 6am till 9 pm minimum is two shifts and the bar needs to be open later so at least 8 Staff. During Low season, no customers, and they are sitting on their cans, getting paid. Also, someone also has to go to the market every day with big shopping in the city every week just to keep up the stock levels. Be careful, too much stock and it goes bad, too little and customers are disappointed.
This restaurant takes up space however, a nice area in a prime location, well decorated, maybe 40 to 50 square meters total with the kitchen hidden out back. Cost of set up with tables, chairs, appliances, cutlery, stock etc. will be easily P500,000. Average sales, year round, will be about P6,000 gross per day minus the stock, gas, electric, wages etc. Your profit is about 25%. Return on your investment is about 1 year @ 50% occupancy.
Ok, now what happens if you set up a DIVE SHOP. Suddenly you have 2 people in a room that dive 3 times a day @ P1000/dive. That’s P6,000 EXTRA per day per ROOM! Ten rooms with two divers is P60,000 per day But again, let’s cut this in half for reality. That can still be P30,000 each day from diving.
Ok, let’s do the math on this. The floor space needed is about the same space as a restaurant but the dive shop can be tucked off to the side somewhere with a compressor room hidden out back. Now, staff this operation. The Resort reception staff can also act as Dive Shop secretary so no need to hire. Your regular maintenance staff can easily learn to run the compressor, drive the boat and maintain the gear. No pay for the Instructor as he is on commission. Dive Master, almost the same thing. Small salary, and paid per head per diver. So, no divers, no expenses. This is a good thing ☺
Start out with say 10 sets of gear, a big compressor so you can expand and a used fiberglass boat with NEW outboard motor. This stuff is not cheap but P1,500,000 will give you a great start.
In this case your profit is about 50% of income. With this kind of cash flow you will return your investment in a few of months!
Now you also have a boat for snorkeling trips and beach BBQ’s. More income potential!
Now all these numbers are hypothetical but you get my meaning. Diving is a HUGE potential income resource, so don’t pass it up.
Adding a dive shop is easier and cheaper than adding more rooms. The resort does not even need to be on the beach. As long as you have dive sites close by and a place to keep your boat then this will work.
Now it is time to market. Modify your website to attract divers. Offer to provide diving for neighboring resorts and you will make money and attract more customers for your resort. Go to the big dive shows in the US and Europe. The Philippines Department of Tourism has a great booth at all of these and you can join for cheap.
A resort by itself, a dive shop by itself, a restaurant by itself are weak but put them together and your success is only limited by your marketing.
Looking to move to the Philippines?
We can’t blame you. It’s a sunny, tropical paradise every month of the year. When your friends and family are freezing their butts off, you’re drinking a pina colada by the pool. Every night is a Friday night, and you’re on a perpetual vacation.
The only problem is figuring out a way to fund your dream life. But here, we’ve compiled 6 ways to live the tropical island lifestyle that we enjoy here in Puerto Galera in the Philippines.
1. Work at home part of the year, live in the Philippines the rest of the year
If you have a seasonal job, own your own business, or have a job that enables you to leave for part of the year, you are a prime candidate for living the life here in the Philippines for half the year or more. There are plenty of people who work in their home country doing a wide variety of different work, from landscaping to fighting forest fires. They do that for half the year, then spend the rest of their time in the Philippines.
2. Start a business in the Philippines
Let’s be real: most people don’t have jobs that let them say, “Adios! Be back in a few months!” That’s why there are 5 more things on this list! One of the most popular ways for foreigners to live the tropical island life here in the Philippines is by starting a business. While it’s not always easy, it can be done! That’s how Sean has been living in the Philippines and running businesses for 15 years.
If you’re interested in starting a business in the Philippines, you’re in the right place. Sean has made his knowledge available on his ResortRebel YouTube channel with more than 100 videos containing his top tips on running a business in the Philippines. Or you can check out all of the Badladz blog posts about business here.
3. Be a student
Recently, we published a blog about being a student in the Philippines. If there’s a college degree that you’ve always wanted to complete, doing so in the Philippines might be a good option for you. You’ll find no shortage of good universities here in the Philippines, particularly in Manila. You can spend your vacations scuba diving, snorkeling, or partying with us here at Badladz! Not a bad plan.
4. Live at Badladz for $1000/month
If you have a little bit of savings and some time to kill, we invite you to take advantage of the Badladz monthly package. For just $1,000 per month, you get:
- Accommodation with aircon, fan, queen bed, and cable TV.
- 3 meals a day in our international restaurant
- Free wifi access
- Laundry and room cleaning service whenever you want
This is one of the best deals around. Interested? Learn more here.
5. Be a digital nomad
A digital nomad is someone who freelances or has an online business that allows them to work from anywhere in the world. If you could go anywhere in the world, wouldn’t you want to live on the beach? Badladz is the obvious choice. We have free wifi and everything else you need to run your location independent business. At Badladz, you don’t have to choose between work and play: you can have both!
6. Retire here
Hundreds of expats have found the secret to making their retirement savings go further: moving to the Philippines. With the warm tropical climate that many retirees seek as well as an affordable luxury lifestyle, the Philippines is a retiree’s dream.
All it takes is a little creativity to live the life you’ve always dreamed of! Don’t put it off any longer. Start today!
White Beach’s reputation precedes itself. The legend of White Beach lives today such that thousands of tourists from all over the world flock there. But what exactly goes on at White Beach, and what makes it one of the top destinations on the island? In this post, we will fill you in with everything you need to know about White Beach and why you should consider making a detour to visit there on your next Philippines vacation.
White Beach is a quick 15-minute tricycle ride from Puerto Galera, making it a very accessible choice. Puerto Galera itself is only a 3-hour trip from Manila, making both Puerto Galera and White Beach a popular destination for tourists. Many of our guests love to go scuba diving all day at the Badladz Dive Resort or relax by the pool at the Badladz Beach Resort, then spend their evenings enjoying themselves at White Beach. Some of our guests like to spend the day at White Beach, then relax with a cold beer at the Badladz Beach Resort.
Not sure how to get to Puerto Galera? Check out our detailed page here.
What to Expect
The entrance to White Beach is slightly lackluster… but just follow the signs and the people to see where the true wonder of White Beach awaits. You’ll walk down a narrow path for a few minutes before coming out on the other side to a gorgeous beach buzzing with activity.
White Beach During the Day
White Beach during the day is filled with tons of beach activities including:
- Scuba diving
- Jet skis
- Banana boats
There are plenty of restaurants around providing whatever kind of food you’re in the mood for. Some of the best pizza spots in the Philippines are in White Beach. Relax under an umbrella, have a massage on the beach, or enjoy an ice cold beer, a rum and coke, or a mango smoothie.
White Beach by Night
White Beach at night is a whole different animal. Allow me to paint a picture for you.
All of the bars and clubs at White Beach sit all in a row right on the beach. Most of the seating at the bars and restaurants on White Beach is outdoors (although there are coverings for rainy days), so when you sit at the bar, you are literally on the beach with sand between your toes.
There are tons of bars and restaurants to choose from. The most popular foods available at White Beach are pizza, pasta, and burgers, but you’re sure to find something for everyone. If you’re on the beach to enjoy more than a drink or two, try getting a tower of the Philippines’ favorite beer, San Miguel, or a tower of the regional mix drink, the Mindoro Slinger, a fruity rum cocktail often enjoyed out of small shot glasses. Be careful though! It may seem innocent, but the Mindoro Slinger is lethal even in small doses.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Before you even order a drink, you will notice quite a few sights that make White Beach one of the most unique places you’ve experienced.
Almost all of the bars on White Beach have a stage complete with dancers in elaborate costumes and makeup. These women are very beautiful, but if you look closely you’ll see that they aren’t actually women at all: these dancers are the famous “lady boys” of Asia.
Some of the performances are meant to be sexy, but most of them can be considered “variety” performances: they are meant to be fun and funny. Each of the musical numbers tells a story: one number might have two women fighting over a man, while another might be making fun of the latest pop culture craze.
You can also take your drink to go and have a stroll along the beach, enjoying various shows, fire dancers, and the unique sights and sounds of White Beach.
White Beach is well known for fire dancer shows. On the canvas of the dark night and with the waves crashing on the beach in the background, the fire dancers exhibit their control over their burning rings of fire (literally!) in a way that you have to see to believe. Using buckets of kerosene to fuel the fire, the dancers swing balls of fire at the end of long chains. If you ask (and pay a few pesos), they’ll gladly swing their fire close enough to your face to singe your nose hairs so that you can document your near-death experience with a photo.
Hanging out in White Beach is very affordable fun. During the day, beach activities are typically around 2000 or 3000 pesos, (or around $50-$60 USD) for group activities of up to 10 people for an hour.
At night, there is no cover or price of admission to watch the shows. Just order a beer and enjoy the entertainment for as long as you want! A beer costs around 60 pesos, less than $1.50 USD.
White Beach is a safe place for tourists to go and have a good time. Just like anywhere with lots of travelers, you’ll no doubt experience petty theft if you leave valuable items like your purse, wallet, or phone lying on the table unattended. But confrontational crimes are extremely rare. Never leave your stuff lying out on the beach while you go about your activities. Otherwise, White Beach is a safe place to enjoy yourself and have some fun in the sun (or by the moonlight!)
There’s so much more to White Beach than we can cram into this article. We suggest seeing it for yourself to fully understand what makes White Beach such a popular tourist spot. And if you’re looking for the perfect launching pad to explore White Beach, consider a stay in the Badladz Beach Resort or the Badladz Dive Resort. Just a 15-minute ride away from all the excitement you could ask for, and a peaceful place from which to recover.
With over 2000 schools accredited by the Department of Immigration , the Philippines is fast becoming a major destination for foreign students. About 60,000 foreign students are studying here at any given time, and there are more every year. About 75% travel here from our Asian neighbors with the rest coming from further distant lands.
The fact that the Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world is certainly one of the prime reasons for this influx. Learning English is becoming more necessary as global interaction and commerce build through the world wide web. Asian countries now understand this and the children of their business and political leaders are being sent here to be on the crest of this global demand.
Since a large part of language learning comes from interaction outside the classroom, it is essential to conduct the training in a predominantly English-speaking environment. The Philippines is ideal for students to practice reading all the standard road signs, business signs, and newspapers. Students can also enrich their language skills by watching English entertainment and news on demand on television.
While not everyone in the Philippines speaks English, there are certainly enough English speakers for regular conversational practice. The Philippines has long been a major player in the global call center industry, so the universities here train their students to speak clear, English with as little accent as possible.
All laws and contracts here are written in English, and the judicial system is conducted in English. This means that most business is managed in English so company owners/operators will use this language.
Additionally, the price is right: the Philippines offers English language courses at a fraction of the cost of Western learning institutions. These are available in most universities, colleges, and private specialty institutions. The cost of living in the Philippines during the course will be half or less then you will experience in a major English-speaking city in North America, the UK, or in nearby Australia.
With both the maritime industry and civil aviation using the English language exclusively for communications throughout the world, the Philippines is well positioned to provide this training.
Many airlines train their pilots here for work worldwide at around 40 or so accredited aviation centers throughout the islands. The maritime industry also counts on the Philippines for training at approximately 130 accredited schools scattered around the country.
Medical training is another top subject for foreign students who study at nearly 50 accredited learning institutions countrywide. English has become the language of choice used at international conferences and most influential medical journals are written in English.
There is no shortage of instructors available here capable of teaching in this international language.
PLUS it can be FUN!
You can spend your weekends and semester breaks on incredible vacations at a great price. Head to Puerto Galera, only 3 hours from Manila, for activities ranging from scuba diving to karaoke. With over seven thousand islands in this South Pacific country, there are many more locations just like this that can be found near where you are living and your English language training can continue while you are on vacation!
This guest post is by Anna Wickham, who has been staying at Badladz for 3 months. You can read more about her time in the Philippines on her blog, The Worldly Blend.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to solo female travel. There are also a lot of misconceptions when it comes to travel in the Philippines. It’s widely believed that traveling alone is not a safe option for women, and many people think that the Philippines is not a safe destination.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Countless female travelers prove everyday that traveling alone is not only safe, but if you take the proper precautions, it can be even safer than your home country.
As for female solo travelers, many of the misconceptions are by people who do not have experience traveling themselves.
However, I have been living and traveling in the Philippines alone for 3 months, and I have found it to be a wonderful and safe experience that every traveler should try no matter what your gender.
The Philippines is an incredibly safe destination for solo female travelers and male travelers alike. While there are a lot of “crimes of opportunity” here, confrontational or violent crime is very uncommon. You are probably far more likely to be a victim of a violent crime in your home town than you are anywhere in the Philippines.
While safety precautions are necessary just like in any new location, people in the Philippines are extremely hospitable. Which brings me to my next point…
People are incredibly kind.
When I announced to friends and family that I was going to the Philippines, those who had been to the Philippines before couldn’t stop telling me how friendly and hospitable the locals are. I’ve heard this about a lot of different places that I’ve traveled, but I was blown away by how kind and helpful everyone is here in the Philippines.
Whether I’m in another city or bumming around the little town of Puerto Galera, no one hesitates to offer help if I ask for it. And often, I don’t even have to ask!
If you are a woman traveling alone, there are few places as perfect for travel as the Philippines. It is safe, the people are kind and hospitable, it is affordable, and there are tons of things to do.
When you take the proper precautions, the Philippines is a perfectly safe destination. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and come meet us in paradise!
Both our resorts were winners of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award in 2014.
When you’re planning on learning how to dive, the ideal location has some certain key elements: access to a suitable pool, access to gentle open ocean waters, and high-quality dive gear. By design, BADLADZ has all three elements!
BADLADZ Beach Resort is located in a quiet section of Puerto Galera called Small Tabinay Beach. It’s nicely removed from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas but close enough to get to them quickly. People who want to relax and enjoy the cool ocean breeze and friendly staff have been coming here for years. Now, because of our beachside pool, this place has become a mecca for aspiring divers.
PUERTO GALERA is located on the Verde Island Passage with world-class diving and is an absolute must-see. But when you’re learning to dive, you want to focus on DIVING SKILLS first, not the pretty fish and coral. That comes later. Skills like buoyancy control, equalizing your ears, and hand signals are things that must be mastered, not rushed through before moving to the next level.
Because of our relaxed atmosphere, our divers don’t feel pressured or crowded when they’re concentrating on learning vital skills. Student divers can take their time learning their diving basics in the pool. Then they can take a break and have a delicious lunch prepared in our International Restaurant.
Then swing in a hammock between classes and relax
Next , it is time for the real thing so the next classes will be conducted at BADLADZ Dive Resort, only 5 minutes away. It will take place at our Designated PADI Diving Center located on the tranquil waters of Puerto Galera Bay, winner of The Most Beautiful Bay in the world contest in 2005.
Badladz Dive Resort is also an Aqualung Partner Center, which means new top-end professional Aqualung and Apeks Scuba Diving equipment. With dozens of scuba tanks and a COLTRI air compressor on premises, we have every piece of gear necessary to outfit large groups of students. All the gear is new and from the best quality brands in the industry.
Now that you have had some training and are fully equipped, it is time to go see the awesome coral reef, clouds of fish, and friendly turtles while your PADI dive training is completed.
Another benefit to learning to dive at Badladz Beach Resort is that we have seen students achieve their certification much faster than normal, just because there’s no time wasted traveling between locations. So on a vacation you can learn how to dive in less time, then be out diving at some of the best dive sites in the Philippines sooner!
It’s all right here in one beautiful palm-tree wrapped package. Come join us for a relaxing vacation that can also turn you into a PADI-Certified Open Water Diver!
At the moment we are right in the middle of high season. High season spans from around mid-December until May. During this time, our resorts are packed with guests from all over the world.
But did you know that high season is not a busy travel time here because it is the best time to visit the Philippines? It is high season because that time that most people have time off from work to take a vacation.
December is vacation time in many places in the world. Then in February comes Chinese New Year, celebrated all over the world. Finally, Filipinos and other Catholic countries celebrate Holy Week in March or April and enjoy spending it here in Puerto Galera.
But if your vacation time is flexible, there are so many great reasons to consider traveling in the off season instead of during high season.
1. Beautiful Weather
Believe it or not, the weather is much better during the off season here in Puerto Galera. It’s nothing but sunny skies. The high season is actually during the rainy season! Our guests during high season still thoroughly enjoy their time here, but if you’re looking for a vacation in the tropical sun, you’re better off coming here after the month of May.
2. Cheaper Rooms and Plane Tickets
You can get cheaper accommodation and plane tickets in the off season. If you intend to stay for awhile, say a week or more, or you’re traveling on a budget, choosing to travel during the off season instead of during high season could potentially save you lots of money.
3. Warmer Water
With warmer weather comes warmer water, much more comfortable for diving. If you truly want to experience the best of diving in the Philippines, we highly recommend traveling during the off season.
4. Better Visibility
Speaking of diving, the best visibility is during the off season. Visibility is affected by runoff from the shore, as well as wind and rain. This is especially true for our dive sites around Puerto Galera, because many of them are close to the shore. If you want the best visibility for diving, it’s best to come during the off season.
5. Fewer Crowds
Fewer crowds during the off season means your choice of the best rooms, easier access to open water courses and dives, and more room to yourself at our dive sites. During the high season, you may sometimes need to start your scuba dive course later than you’d planned, or not be able to do your course at all. Additionally, if you want to get to know our instructors, dive masters, and staff, it’s easy to do during the off season. Come experience the Philippines much closer to living like a true local when you travel here during the off season.
The Philippines has so much to offer visitors year round. Visiting in the off season may sound counterintuitive, but in the Philippines, the off season is one of the best times to enjoy the sand and the sun!