When traveling or spending your vacation in the Philippines, a country of more than 7,000 islands, expect to board sea vessels more often than airplanes. Especially if you intend to go island-hopping.
Not all commercial boats in the Philippines are big and luxurious. Those kind of vessels only ply routes going to major cities. A lot of the smaller, off-the-beaten-track islands in the country are now getting more attention and interest from the turistas (thanks to local bloggers and the national tourism campaign).
But the sea transportation system in these areas has yet to catch up to accommodate the growing tourist traffic. The local ports in some of the small islands are, well, primitive at the very least.
The quickest way to hop from one island to another is either through the fast ferries or pump boats. They have more trips daily compared to air transportation. The ferries and pump boats are also the preferred transportation mode among the locals, since it’s cheaper compared to the bigger, overnight vessels.
With most of the local ports not yet fully developed (or modernized), expect a little roughness.
So please wear shoes that will make it easier for you to board these tiny sea vessels. Because sometimes, the ramp goes down instead of up.
It was painful for me watching the female tourist pictured above navigating the wooden ramp in her heeled boots. I’m sure it was more painful for her, judging from her expression.
I’m also positive that she was cursing – verbally or mentally – with each step she took.
Even though the Philippines is a third-world country, it’s really more fun here. We’re chock-full of pristine beaches, white sand, swaying coconut trees, fresh fruits, friendly people, fresh air, and perfectly warm weather.
You can’t enjoy all that if you wear heeled boots if you’re going around the islands. Just a friendly reminder.∗