Escapology About me

Are you wandering as well? Great, let’s embark on an adventure together!


But first, let me introduce myself properly. I’m Philipp Dukatz also known as Pipoy, my recently adopted Filipino nickname. I’m an adventurer, writer, photographer, and a dreamer. With a passion for Asia, I am exploring this beautiful world bit by bit, thoroughly and slowly and I want you to be part of it.


Welcome to ESCapology!

ESCapology is about adventure, independent travel and finding new inspiration in faraway places. It’s about meeting interesting people from diverse cultures and backgrounds and the exploration of extraordinary places. It’s about the moments in these places that make you feel free, happy and in balance with the world. My goal is to take all of you along and be a part of this adventure.

ESCapology is for travelers, adventurers, dreamers and for all those who are dreaming of exploring new places, searching for fresh inspiration and an ESCape from the everyday constraints of modern life.

ESCapology is to inspire and empower people to take the leap, embark on their own ESCapes and adventures. It is too take you on a journey and provide a little bit of distraction and a worthwhile ESCape from the daily constraints of our busy modern lives. Come and join the tribe, come and say hello to adventure – Welcome to ESCapology.

Children Sulawesi

A warm welcome from me and my friends! | Sulawesi, Indonesia


About me

// Since I was young I have been struggling with a serious case of wanderlust. It all started with family trips to other European countries when coming back to my small hometown filled my heart with a sense of melancholy. Since then I’ve lived in the United States, studied in Malta, did 6 months of backpacking in Australia and several shorter trips to Asia. It’s always been something I really loved – exploring new countries, meeting interesting people and the adrenaline of adventure. Given the usual time and money constraints, I tried to go travelling as often as possible but soon I felt that the regular three week holidays were not doing it anymore. Especially in Asia, where there is so much to explore, those rather short trips only allowed for a mere scratch of the surface. In the meantime my wanderlust’s demanded for a cure with a force.

// And then the big leap. After six years in the marketing and advertising industry, I’ve decided to fulfill a long-lived dream of mine and travel Southeast Asia for an entire year. Giving up the security of a comfortable position at Germany’s largest telecommunications company was quite a tough decision. After a lot of thinking and weighing up the pros and cons, I finally decided to be brave, take the risk and go for the adventure. At this stage of my life it was a now or never decision. With a one way ticket to Bangkok in my pocket, I left the country and set out for adventure. I traveled all of Southeast Asia, always in search of new adventures and unique experiences and what I found was even more than that.

// I started the blog shortly before the big trip, mainly to keep friends and family up to date and to have a platform for showcasing my travel photography. It soon became a much larger project where until now I share my experiences, thoughts about traveling and life in general and provide helpful tips and reviews. Since these beginnings, this blog has become my very own sanctuary. It had been growing and flowing for two years now and an incredible community had sprouted around me. I am utterly grateful for that and now you are here as well. Have a look around and let me know what you think.

Travel Photography Melaca

Photography – One of my favorite pastimes while traveling. | Melaca, Malaysia


 Why ESCapology?

Being at a slightly “advanced age”, I found myself faced with certain social expectations and norms. At the same time I felt the urge to break out of these norms, out of my own routines and the daily treadmill I was in. ESCapology is to symbolize just that: breaking out of the norms, routines and expectations of society, a quest for personal growth and the search for fresh inspiration.
By sharing my stories, thoughts and photographs, I also want to open a window for your very own small ESCape from the office, the cubicle or the study desk. Let’s ESCape, let’s embark on an adventure.


My traveling style

As I like to say, “low and slow” is the way to go. You will usually find me taking ground transport whenever possible and trying to travel as the locals do. I think, even though it often isn’t the most comfortable means of transportation, it’s the best to thoroughly explore and experience a country. And that’s what I am after. I hate being in a rush and just marking places off a list. Instead I love getting a real feel for a place and immerse myself in its culture. Off the beaten track travel, preferably sitting on a motorbike, is a great way to achieve that. Along the way you will find me indulging in my passions scuba diving, surfing, trekking and photography.

Mae Hong Song Loop Thailand

Motorbike Travel, the best way to explore. | Somewhere around Mae Hong Song, Thailand


A few more random nuggets

  1. My zodiac sign is cancer and surprisingly many of the cancer’s traits actually apply to me
  2. I used to be a decent basketball player. Sometimes you can still find me shooting hoops on back alley streetball courts
  3. I was featured on the websites of the two biggest TV stations of the Philippines
  4. I like working out and regard finding gyms while traveling as a personal quest
  5. I received the Filipino nickname “Pipoy” by popular vote on my Facebook Page


My favorite blog posts

  1. Roundup Philippines. Three months in the country that has it all
  2. Getting lost. Why it isn’t all that bad
  3. Thoughts on traveling solo
  4. My top 5 beaches in Southeast Asia
  5. Motorbike Travel. Why you should give it a try
  6. One year backpacking Southeast Asia. A Retrospective

I’m so happy you are here. Thanks for stopping by!

Come and join the ESCapology tribe

You can also connect via Twitter | Google+ | YouTube | Instagram | Flickr | LinkedIn

255 Responses to About

  1. Jessi

    You have a really nice Blog and I love the way you write! Have fun at Southeast Asia!

    Take care,

    • Phil D.

      Hey Jessi,
      thanks for the comment. I’m glad you mentioned the writing since it’s not my mother tongue. I really wasn’t sure about it. Even if it’s not the best and most sophisticated English, this way more people can follow me around SOA. I wanted to check out your blog as well, unfortunately it didn’t work. Thanks again for your reply. Maybe we’ll meet up on the road somewhere 😉

      • Jessi

        Your english is perfect! I guess people with english as their mother tongue can connive if there any mistakes in your writing 🙂

        My Blog is working now – for luck, don’t know what the matter was :S

        Yes maybe we’ll meet up! Where are you going to start?

  2. Phil D.

    Hey Jess,
    your blog looks really nice. I like it a lot – your posts reflect just what I have been doing lately.

    Seems like you will be starting a bit ahead of me. I’ll start in BKK, will stay there for like 3 days or so and then head towards Northern Thailand. I’ve already been to the South. I wanna do the Mae Ho Song loop by scooter and then cross the boarder into Laos. SOA is small, let’s keep in touch and maybe we’ll meet up for a nice Chang or Beer Lao on the way. Would be great 😉

  3. Fabrizia Arioli

    Hi Phil!
    great job with your blog! I’ll follow you in your adventure (would like to follow you in the reality, but on internet will be ok for now… ahhaa!)
    Please, bring my regards to Bali when you will be there again. That waves are just kidnapping! I’m envying you! I still dream Balangan some night.
    I’m starting to plan my next trip in africa, camping across Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sudafrica. But I have to wait until Easter Holidays…. uff! In the meanwhile, I’ll be entertained by the photos you will make in Southeast Asia, so do a lot of pics please!

    A hug,

  4. Phil D.

    Hi Fabrizia,
    good to hear from you. I’ll say hello to the Balinese waves once I am there. No problem. They will probably remember you!

    Your trip around Southern Africa sounds awesome. Especially that you want to go camping. That’s probably the best accomodation there. The nightsky and stars must be stunning there. So you will go around Easter next year then? Sounds great. Beware of sharks if you go surfing though.

    I’ll make sure to keep those pictures coming. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned 😉


  5. claudine

    Hey Phil!
    I’m glad that we got in touch again through Facebook. Looking forward to follow this exciting adventure you’re about to live ;o) … Until maybe I found myself the courage to do the same.
    Have fun!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Claudine!
      Great to hear from you after such a long time. Feel free to follow me here and comment on the articles and pictures. I hope I can post on a fairly regular basis. And don’t worry, if you really want to break out, there will be the right time to do so. You will know. How is life in Paris anyhow? I definately need to go back there sometime 😉

  6. fabliss

    absolutely in love with your beautiful photos of thailand! i look forward to more of your travel pictures! happy blogging!

    • Phil D.

      Thanks for the compliment. I love taking pictures and getting a good one now and then is so rewarding. Where did you like it best in Thailand?

  7. puresketch

    So, er, would you come to China?

    • Phil D.

      Hey Tony,
      so far China isn’t on my itinerary. But I hear more and more good stories about it so I might change my plans. Not sure yet. The problem is, that I absolutely did no research on China yet and wouldn’t know where to start and where to go. I’d probably have to do some serious reading on it before going. Do you have any recommendations or tips? Best regards, Philipp

      • puresketch

        Hi Philipp!

        China is really a great place to visit. You will find it rewarding if you travel here!

        For natural scenery I recommend you got to Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan Province.South West China.

        For cultural landscape, my suggestion is Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum and the Great Wall.Northern part of China.

        By the way, I live in Nanjing, also a good place to visit.

        Maybe, I can select some articles for you if you wish. Love your blog!

        Have a nice day!

      • Maria Sherry Lacson Tan

        Hi Phil China is also one of the best in nature artistry like the great wall, the stone forest and so on although I have not been there yet but it is one of my dream scape.I love your adventures and I guess this will be my retirement agenda.God willing.Take care<3

        • Phil D.

          Hi Maria, yeah I really wanna go there as well. Actually a good friend of mine is there right..also n Tibet. It must be magnificent. I hope I can go there…hopefully before my retirement hehe. Take care, Philipp

  8. samokan

    Have fun in SE Asia. Hopefully you can drop by Philippines too 🙂

    • Phil D.

      Hi Mikaela,
      Philippines are on my itinerary and I will DEFINATELY go. The problem is however, that I am already behind schedule. I planned to be there by mid April so I can avoid the Monsoon / Typhoon season. Do you reckon it will be bad to arrive a little later and stay until mid June or so? I am a little unsure about it since the monsoon can get bad over there. Also, if you have recommendations for the Philippines, please let me know. I am thankful for every tip. Do you live there, by the way?

      • samokan

        March to early June is the best time to go there, although prices of hotels might go up since its the time when tourist flock the country. Flight fare also doubles :(. It is very rare to have typhoons at this time, starting late June the weather slowly change. Be prepared for the humidity 🙂

        Yes I am from Philippines but it’s embarrassing to say, I am a foreigner in my own country. I have only been to a few island mostly around Cebu province.

        Recently, traveling around the archipelago is much faster and cheaper than before with the arrival of cheap airline like Cebu Pacific and Air philippines, but the most common way to go from one island to another , is by boat/ship which usually leaves at night and arrives the next day.

        I would recommend leylander’s blog for information on Cebu and some neighboring islands : http://leylander.wordpress.com/

        I also just found out that there is a river called “Enchanted River” in Surigao City. It seems that no diver has ever reached the bottom of this river yet.

        oppps getting long

        • Phil D.

          Hey Mikaela,

          wow, thank you so much for your advice and tips. That is so helpful. I am a little more relaxed now in terms of the rainy season. Oh, by the way, I feel like a foreigner in my own country sometimes as well. Seems like most travelers who stop in Germany see more of my own country during their vacation than I during my whole life. Guess that’s just normal.

          I am really excited to come to the Philippines I have to say. Here everybody seems to do the similar route but no one actually mentions to visit the Philippines. So my hope is to really get off the tourist trek there. Cebu is definitely on my list and Palawan and some other places. So where in the Philippines do you live? If you like, we could meet up and have some food or a drink together? I think that would be great. If you want to, you can drop me a message at facebook. The link is here on the blog on the left sidebar.

          Thanks again for your effort and giving me advice on the Philippines. I really appreciate that.

          Greetings from Laos, Philipp.

      • Maria Sherry Lacson Tan

        Dumaguete City where Siliman University is an International School is located.Dumaguete City is only 50 mins by barge or boat to Cebu City second biggest city of the Philippines.
        My province looks like a shape of a sock ,the Southern Part is Negros Occidental and the Northern Part is Negros Oriental you can travel by land.The beaches, scuba diving and the beautiful coral reef along Bantayan Island and Siquihor are amazingly breath taking..The City where I grew up is called Bacolod City “The City of Smile”.From Cebu City to Negros Island you will find mostly about Spanish Historical sites.But you will; also see a lot of natures beauty like the chocolate hills in Bohol…Thank you very much for taking me with you on your travels and adventures through this FB page and blogs.Good luck onh your Journey and God Bless you always.

        • Phil D.

          Hi Maria, thanks a lot for your comment and letting me know about these places. I have been to some of them, like Siquijor for example, but most of them would be still new to me. I think Cebu and Negros have a lot to offer and I would love to go exploring there. Thanks again and all the best. Phil

  9. marga

    Good job and good travels too. Welcome to the SEA!

  10. Jessica

    Super cool. Good for you for taking the risk and traveling! I just returned to the United States after living in Taiwan and Hong Kong for three years. During that time, I was able to visit Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Japan, and a number of other places. These were some of the most educational, eye-opening experiences of my life. I *really* want to go back and am always looking for blogs where people are talking about these places! (I’m really glad you decided to write in English, btw. I’m not so good at German.) Haha.

    Anyway, good luck and congrats on your trip. Be safe and have fun. I hope your experiences there are as life-changing as mine.

    • Phil D.

      Hi Jess,
      thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences. You are lucky that you got to live in Asia and to see so many exotic places. You are so right, for me as well traveling to other countries were always the most eye opening experiences. It just broadens your horizon so much and every time you come home you seem to have improved or moved forward as a person. When I was still working 9 to 5 I felt that I wasn’t going anywhere and that I was wasting my time in a way. There is so much out there and I think it is better to explore now than later.

      Hey can you maybe give some tips for the Philippines? I am excited to go there and have a rough outline already but I am thankful for every recommendation.

      Thanks again for your feedback Jess. Have a great week and stop by again. Philipp

      • Jessica

        It’s so true. We get into a rut of doing the same thing day-in and day-out. We’re paying the bills, but are we really living??? I want a life that is more than just routine. Glad to find someone who thinks the same way!!

        Ahhh, I wish I could give more tips about the Philippines. I only went once for a short weekend. I have friends who have been many times and to many different locations in the Phillipines, though. This is part of why I want to live abroad again (and soon!)—there is so much more to see. The only thing I’d say is really watch your camera in Manila. The crime rate is high and theft is common, so it’s best to be safe.

        Good luck with everything. I’ll be back to see how things are going! 🙂

        • Phil D.

          Couldn’t agree more with you Jess. I was thinking just the same before I decided to do this trip. I think there are a lot of people who think this way. It is just so hard to break out of these routines nowadays. Society and our norms keep most people from breaking out. And I can’t even blame them – even for me it was a hard decision and I had to struggle quiet a bit before deciding to do the trip.

          Thanks for your advice on Manila. I will definitely have a close eye on my cam. Hoping to get out of Manila as quick as possible.

          Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Feel free to stop by anytime and leave a comment. Greetings from the mighty Mekong river,

          • Jessica

            I love the Mekong! I visited it at the delta, near My Tho and Ben Tre. Enjoy!

          • Phil D.

            Hey Jess,
            that is what I plan to do. Cross the border from Cambodia into Vietnam and go via the Delta to Saigon. I think My Tho is on the way. How did you travel? By boat or bus? Do you have any tips for that part of my journey? Thanks a lot, Philipp

          • Jessica

            I flew from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh. From there, we took a bus to the Delta. Our tour included a boat trip on the Mekong, and we visited both My Tho and Ben Tre. Honestly, it’s been a while since I was there. I found the people to be very friendly, though, on the whole. I’m sure you won’t have any problems. 🙂

            Good luck!

          • Phil D.

            Hey Jess, thanks for your tip. I will be coming from the other side, entering VN via Cambodia. So I will have to see what I can arrange from there. The Delta seems like one of the many highlights though. I am excited already. When did you go? Any plans to go back to Asia afterall? Greetings from Laos…. Philipp

  11. NaEun Park

    I grew up in Southeast Asia! I’m leaving the U.S. and quitting my job to go to Germany and few other countries in Europe for 3 months actually! Looking forward to following your travels. I leave next month and I’m super excited. Let me know if you have any questions on Cambodia – I grew up there!

    • Phil D.

      Hi NaEun,

      thanks for stopping by. So funny, I will be in Cambodia soon and you will go to Germany soon. Seems like people nowadays are constantly on the move, which is great. Travelling to foreign places is just so rewarding and opens your eyes. Europe will be interesting. So many different countries and the distance are not great. Hope it won’t be too expensive for you. Oh yeah, and if you need some local advice on Germany, just let me know.

      Cambodia, can you give me some tips? So far I only hear about Diem Reap (Angkor), Phnom Phen and the souther Coast (Sihanoukville etc.). If you know any other places worth visiting, please let me know. I’d like to see something different.

      So, thanks again for stopping by. Have fun on your Euro Trip! Philipp

  12. samokan

    Hello Philipp,

    I was born and raised in the south part of the country ( Mindanao) but I moved to Cebu when I was in college and have lived there since but currently I am living in Japan.

    I am planning a trip home though this coming Spring ( end of April to early May ). I hope our schedule will meet up during your visit there. I will look for you in FB 🙂

    • Phil D.

      Hey, sounds great. I think I will be there during that timeframe. Would be so cool to meet up. Let’s try to keep in touch. Have a great day,


  13. Nin

    Good for you Phil to write in English. Being a traveler, you bound to have more international friends/readers, which is similar reason that I blog in English as well, only I end up having a bilingual blog, and confused my reader…. 😛

    Anyway, congrats for being Freshly Pressed.

    • Phil D.

      Hey Nin,
      thanks for your feedback. Yeah, I think writing in English was a good decision. I don’t think that I wouldhave been freshly pressed writing in German. The feedback since then is just amazing. Would have never imagined that. Also puts a little pressure on me to keep things going on a regular basis. I still have to find a good balance, I reckon. How are your travels going then? Best regards, Phil.

  14. palomino72

    Awesome ! I did the South East Asia thang a few years back for a year and it was fantastic. I adored Luang Prabang, Laos. Looking at your blog makes me sad haha. ENJOY 🙂

    • Phil D.

      Hi Palomino,
      thanks for your feedback and glad you like the articles. I will be in LP very soon. I will see how it is. Heard it has become fairly expensive and full…. Laos is great so far. A lot different than Thailand and also a lot poorer. Loving the landscape and people. Tomorrow I will try to get up North. I hope the road to Phongsaly will be OK….. Have a great day, Philipp

      • palomino72

        Oh no ! I was there several years ago and just fell in love with it. Hopefully it hasn’t been ruined by us all 🙁 Enjoy the trip North I suspect it will be a bumpy and long road 😉

        • Phil D.

          Hi Palomino,
          thanks for your feedback. That is the thing, by going to all these beautiful places you also make them more popular. It’s just the way tourism works these days. I think travelling responsibly can help. Oh and talking about bumpy, I took a 9 hour bus ride to Phongsaly yesterday. Bumpy is more of an euphemism – it was crazy. And some people even had to sit on plastic stools in the aisle or even stand. The views were nice though and the lunch break in the middle of the road were worth the ride. Have you been around North Laos too? Greetings, Philipp

          • palomino72

            No I only managed L.P and Vientiane in Laos then I chose to *fly*, (I know not very intrepid but I needed a glam break) to Hanoi. I met a number of people who spoke about the horrendous roads and long journeys though so I chose not to go that route. I was so relaxed there at the night I didn’t want to upset my ‘zen-ness’ 🙂

  15. Karen

    I wish you luck in your adventure. 🙂 I want to quit my job and see the world someday too.

    Find time to visit the Philippines. It’s a very beautiful country with lots of beautiful beaches perfect for any water activity – from snorkeling to surfing to diving. There’s also a lot of mountains to be climbed and trails to be trekked.

    Don’t miss Palawan for the beach and Batad in Ifugao for the rice terraces or Baler or Siargao for surfing.

    Enjoy your trip!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Karen, I will definitely go to visit the Philippines. Most of the places are on the rough itinerary I have at the moment. I like to surf but I am not sure if I will make it to Siargao. It#s a little bit out of the way. I am a little bit afraid though, that I might get into the stormy season. I am hoping to arrive in the Philippines by the middle / end of April and stay for at least 6 weeks. I will see.

      About quitting your job.. do it, if that’s what you want. I had a strong desire to break for a while and see the world. It was stronger than my fears of not getting a job again and the insecurity involved in leaving everything behind. It was still a tough decision. You can read some of my first articles which are about inspiration and the motivation to go traveling.

      OK, thanks for your comment and your interest. I really appreciate that. Best regards,


  16. kirstylskilton

    I just stumbled across your blog and I am definitely going to carry on reading about your Asian adventure! I can’t wait to set off on mine, hopefully not too long after I graduate university. Wow it looks amazing!!!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Kirsty,
      thanks for stopping by and for your nice feedback. It’s great that you plan to ravel after graduation. I also did that and traveled Australia and part of the Fiji Islands. I wouldn’t want to miss that experience. How long before you graduate then? Better start to save some money 😉
      Greetings from Luang Prabang in Laos, Philipp.

      • kirstylskilton

        I’ve thought about it some more since I first commented and I would definitely like to head over to Aus/NZ/Fiji while I’m in that neck of the woods.
        I finish university in May 2014, so I have just over a year to start saving. Hopefully I’ll be able to start travelling around October 2014.
        I can’t wait to start planning everything!

  17. sleepwalkingintokyo

    Hi. I randomly found your blog through wordpress travel tag. I love traveling & photography too. I wish I could travel the world some day too. Wish you all the best in your adventure and I’ll be following your travel stories!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Sleepwalker,
      thanks for your feedback. Travelling and photography go together so well. I wish I would have started to learn about photography earlier though. I have done some nice trips but didn’t know too much about taking good pictures and neither didn’t have a proper camera. I think you can also travel the world if you really want to. Sometimes it seems to get hard out but then, once you do it, it appears to be easier than expected. I hope you can realize your dream. Thanks for following my stories, I will be trying to update regularly. Greetings from Laos, Philipp

  18. Lamia Rhymee

    Hey I really like your blog posts. Pretty adventurous! Travelling the world is truly the best activity!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Lamia,
      thanks for your great feedback and glad you like the blog. And you are right, it is the best activity. I’d rather spend my money on an interesting journey, exploring new places than for example an expensive car or some luxury items. Do you have any plans to go travelling soon? Greetings from laos, Phil

      • Lamia Rhymee

        Hi Phil, yes I think the same way when it comes to spending money. My family is actually making plans for some travelling. I think we will go to United States this summer. By the way Laos seems amazing!

        • Philipp Dukatz

          Hi Lamia, traveling the US can be very nice. It really depends on what you do and where you go. My last saty there was in NYC which was absolutely amazing. Do you think you will stop there as well? Laos by the way is very nice but I have to say, that the people in Thailand were much friendlier. I liked that better to be honest.

          Greetings, Philipp

          • Lamia Rhymee

            Hey Phil, yes I have been to New York before, this will be the second time around in US. Actually we are pretty much done with the east coast now we target the west. I loved Washington DC the most honestly. Have you been to any other states?

    • Phil D.

      Hi Lamia, the West will be great. I have been to a few places in the US and also visited the Westcoast. I haven’t been to the national parks which must be great though. I bet you will have lots of fun. I definitely have to go back to the states one day.

  19. Jibu Tom Jose

    Hey Phil,
    You should consider visiting India as well…
    I’ve been travelling around India for years and I’m so obsessed with this place… 🙂

    Best wishes… 🙂


    • Phil D.

      Hey Tom,
      I met a lot of people here in SEA who also traveled India and basically said they didn’t like it at all. Not sure what to think about it. Maybe one day I have just to see for myself. Before that there are other countries on my last though. For example Burma and Nepal and maybe South America. But thanks for your input. I always appreciate good tips and travel advice. Greetings from Laos, Philipp

      • Jibu Tom Jose

        Didn’t like India?? Wow… It’s the 1st time I’m hearing that…
        India is a land of different cultures and its a vibrant and dynamic land… U should experience it first hand… N I’d urge you not to be prejudiced…


        • Philipp Dukatz

          Hey Jibu, it’s really strange, I know. I am actually traveling with a guy who had been to India for 2 months before and he said he’d never go back. But you are right and I will try not to become prejudiced. I usually want to find out about places myself. Thanks again for your advice. Greetings, Philipp!

  20. Anika

    Hallo! Great blog! Es freut mich, dass die Philippinen dir gefällt. 🙂 I was in Germany for six months, until March this year and I loved it there, too. Have loads of fun on the rest of your SEA adventure. Alles Gute!

    • Phil D.

      Hey Anika, sorry for the late reply. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback. I really appreciate that. Whereabouts in Germany did you go and what did u do there and how did you like it? I am really loving the Philippines. It is honestly the best country I have visited so far. Where in the Phils do you live?

  21. Anika

    That’s so good to hear, Philipp. Thanks. I’m sure the whole Philippines enjoy having you around. We chatted on Facebook, remember? I live in Legazpi City, in Bicol. I stayed in Sachsen, near Chemnitz to complete a scholarship from Goethe Institut-Manila and Saxony International School. I studied German and at the same worked at a kindergarten. So far, it IS the best six months of my life. I like Deutschland a lot. The order, the technology, the temperature, nature… We are so blessed to experience the best of both worlds. The Philippines and Germany — you can’t ask for anything more if you’ve been to both!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Anika, of course I remember. Great to hear that you had the best six months of your life. I think being a traveler going to foreign countries, you always tend to see the positive sides of the country. Having lived in Germany for all my life I tend to focus more of the bad sides and take the good things for granted which of course is not right. I kind of a differentiated picture of my country. I know a lot of systemic things things like the politics, the health care, the order etc. are good but I also realize that the mentality of a lot of people nowadays, the striving for more and more and the focus on material things is not right. It seems like you have to sacrifice one things for the other..not sure. But it is great to hear about your impressions in my country…..

  22. autumn leaves

    Cheers to free-spirited people you and me. I found your blog through James, another backpacker/surfer whom you met in the Philippines. I really enjoy your entries. Very soon, I might be able to finish organizing my thoughts and memories with my own backpacking adventures. (I’m still quite busy making more unforgettable travel memories!)

    • Phil D.

      Ahh, you know James as well then. The world is truly small. Whereabouts are you traveling now then? In the Philippines or some other countries abroad? We have been surfing in Catanduanes those last 4 days. It is awesome there just a little bit of a hassle to get there …

  23. sunrise4uk

    Well done Phillip – gor for it and greetings from Germany 🙂

    • sunrise4uk

      oops its Philipp – sorry 🙂

    • Phil D.

      Hi Anja, thanks a lot for your feedback, I really appreciate it. Especially from new readers like you. I take it you are from Germany as well?! Wo wohnst du zur Zeit? Ich habe zuletzt in Bonn gewohnt. Wo ich landen werde wenn ich wieder da bin weiss ich noch nicht. Mal schauen…. Viele Grüße in die Heimat! Philipp

      • sunrise4uk

        Hallo Phillip, ich wohne im Schwarzwald 🙂 Viel Spaß bei deinem Abenteuer und Grüße in die große weite Welt 😉

        • Philipp Dukatz

          Hallo Anja, vielen Dank. Ich hoffe, ihr habt mitterweile frühlingsaftes Wetter Viele Grüße, Philipp

  24. Jude Zander Quiroz

    So brave of you to quit job and travel Asia. I’ve always wanted to do just that. And I’m close to it. Need more encouragement, good thing found your blog. It’s amazing.

    • Phil D.

      Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog and your feedback. I really appreciate it. Just go for it….it is actually easier than you think I had a hard time deciding but I wonder why. I should have done it earlier… Save up some money and go explore. There is a lot of adventures out there and great people waiting to get to know you!

  25. claus

    Hi Phil. For fortune I found your blog. Like it very much! Easy, true, charming. Congratulations that you quit your job. I did it twenty years ago, it was worth the price and changed everything. No I will be on the road for a sabbatical, before I get too old to do so. I will be traveling Indonesia starting on Dec 1 (or 2, or even 3) to spend three months in Sulawesi, then Maluku, then Papua or Kalimantan, then … depends on weather and transportation and coincidence. Any suggestions about Sulawesi and further east? I like to travel slowly, off the beaten track (but not as some kind of Indiana Jones), in touch with people. Wish you all the best.

    • Phil D.

      Claus, that sounds pretty awesome. I wish I would have had the chance of taking a proper Sabbatical. Would make a lot of things easier. It is great that you have this opportunity. I can only tell you about Sulawesi and I went all the way from the North (Manado and Bunaken) to the South (Makassar and Pantai Bira). For you it might be n option to go from South up North and the take a ferry over to Maluku. If you wanna trvael slowly, then the ferry could be an option. You can also get a ferry from Sulawesi to Kalimantan or vice versa. In any case, my recommendation is to book a cabin. As charming as “traveling like the locals” is, you don’t wanna be on an overnight ferry without a proper bed in Indo. If you make it to Papua you have to let me know. It is a dream of mine to go there but people told me it is so unbelievable expensive that I didn’t pursue this idea any further. Apparently they have the world’s best diving over there in Raja Ampat. OK Claus, have fun with planning your trip and if you like, send me an update every now and then. Your trip sounds very interesting! Philipp

  26. Phoenix


  27. Ulli Pippart-Heptner

    Hi Philipp,
    Your trip sounded so interesting. Rudi and I are very curious to hear from you when you get back. I hope you’ll have the time to visit us then.

    • Phil D.

      Hi Uli, wir koennen ruhig Deutsch schreiben. Hier sind nur die meisten Leser mittlerweile englischsprachig…. schon witzig. Wie schauts bei euch? Ich hoffe es ist alles gut. Natuerlich komme ich bei euch vorbei wenn ich wieder da bin….. Ich hoffe es gibt Kuchen :). Also, machts erst mal gut und viele Gruesse aus Vietnam, Philipp

  28. Ulli Pippart-Heptner

    Hi Philipp,
    English is no problem for me. You may chose any kind of cake that you want. Diner also, if you like.
    Just tell us what and when.

  29. Famri

    What’s Your Acoount Facebook’s name ?

    • Phil D.

      Hi Famri, you can find a link on the left side of my blog. Just click on the Facebook symbol and you will find me. Hope that helps. Cheers

  30. Famri

    You know when I came back to palu last time. I met some tourists on my bus. they’re from Nederland, Italy, and England. They went to Tentena. And Im sure You do the same like them. I love travelling too. I wanna visit my dreaming country . Its Japan :d

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Sounds good, Japan is also on my list. Unfortunately it is supposed to be super expensive. Maybe one day…… Take care, Philipp

  31. t.on.air

    I can totally understand you. Do what you love and have fun.

    • Phil D.

      Yeah, guess I did. I am back since a few days and I find it very hard to re-adapt. Hope it will get better. Where are you from? Any plans for extended travel soon? Cheers, Philipp

  32. Ahmed

    Brave decision and very nice blog! I am trying to take such decision, but I still fear the risk of losing the job, not being able to find another one, in addition to the financial security. How did you come over this?

    • Phil D.

      Hi my friend and thanks for stopping by. I can understand what you are thinking since it was not easy for me to let go either. Especially in a country like Germany where security is valued a lot taking a step like this is not easy. But is well worth it and I will never regret it. I think, if you are only half way qualified you can always find another job and in the end, being away from all the strut for one year is not even that much considering that we all have to work 30-40 years and more. I meta lot of people like me on my trip and I think the fear you have before is irrational. It’s all not such a big and overwhelming as it first appears to be. My main motivation was that I just wanted to get out and see all these places while I can still do it. I did not want to regret not having it as an old man. In the end, life is all about the great experiences you had and the good stories you can tell when you are old. Not so much about about having that big pension and what not. It’s hard but I hope you will take the right decision. Keep me updated what you are plans. I always love to hear from like minded people who are or have been in the same position. Thanks a lot for stopping by again, Philipp

      • Ahmed

        Dear Philipp, thank you so much for your detailed sincere reply. How enlightening! I have been thinking all the time since I got your reply, I even started to publicize the idea with friends. I have started to break the chains of thought regarding the job and still working out that financial security issue. I can feel the amount of amusement you passed through taking that bold decision, and now I am more convinced that it is worth the action. I will keep you posted when all chains are broken, I would also like to know your future plans and destinations who knows we might meet one day. Many thanks again and good luck.

    • Phil D.

      Hi Ahmed, good luck with the path you have chosen. I know it is not an easy decision but it is well worth it. Like I said, I would be happy to keep in touch. One last note, talking to friends and family about your thoughts is a great thing and can help lots sorting out your thoughts. But careful, it is a question about personal values and everyone is different, especially when it comes to security. Do talk but stay objective. In the end it will be your own and very personal decision. After my return home I got so much positive feedback from others, that I was sure to have done the right thing. Good luck, Philipp

  33. Roberto Bortolotto

    Greetings and compliments from northern Italy. Great blog with detailed information. Amazing images. Of course, you are welcome in my area, just south of Venice, so thanks for consider my blog, at http://www.visititalyforfree.blogspot.com

  34. Aya

    BRAVE DECISION! i love your blog… and i hope you already visit Philippines, there’s a lot to explore here… happy travelling and blogging… will follow your blogs…

    • Phil D.

      Hello, thanks for checking out my blog and stopping by. I have visited the Philippines and I stayed there for three month. The longest stay in a country of my entire trip. I loved it there and it is probably my favorite country. Me and my friends explored a lot but there is still so much to do and see. I really wanna go back soon and hope, that it’s not gonna be for too long. Where abouts in the Philippines are you from then? I might have passed your place… Cheers, Philipp

      • Aya

        You’re welcome… yeaah, i saw your blogs about your travel here.. look you had sooo much fun, and given that you stayed for three months, perfect! I’m from Manila, not the best place to explore isnce it’s the main city.. i saw your blog when you visited Palawan, nice photos.. i wish i can visit that place too soon… you might wanna try hiking the highest peak that we have here in Luzon, it’s Mt. Pulag, I’ve been there last February, the experience is priceless… well, goodluck on your future travel.. will be following your blogs and stalk your whereabouts.. lol… joke! thank you for responding.. takecare! enjoy!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Aya, so you live in Manila, like so many people in the Philippines. We passed through the city about three times. Unfortunately we missed Mt. Pulag which I really regret. Some Pinoy friends just went there and the pictures looked amazing. So high above the clouds and everything. Very nice, next time I will definitely go there. Thanks again for stopping by … Cheers, Philipp

  35. ade

    Nice blog…

  36. Minh Thuong

    smart choice. too wonderful Phil. one day you will can visit all countries :D.and remember bring me go with you ? :
    D :P. i like your blog

    • Phil D.

      Hi Minh, thanks a lot. One day I will visit the rest of Asia as well. So much to see. And despite the fact that I got my camera stolen in HCMC / Saigon, I still like Vietnam and would love to go back some day. Where in VN do you live then?

  37. Judith

    I was recently planning on an El Nido vacation and came across your blog. After a few minutes, I bookmarked ESCapology and I’m hooked. Love everything about this, your awesome photography, lovely writing and interesting perspective. I wish I could hire you to be my vacation photographer because I’m quite sucker for photos and posing. Keep it up and I’ll continue my stalking…I mean browsing.

    • Phil D.

      Hi Judith, thanks for stopping by, bookmarking my page and commenting. I really appreciate it. El Nido is super nice and I am sure u will have a great time there as well as in the Philippines in general. I will post a comprehensive roundup on my Philippines trip which I have missed writing so far. Maybe it will contain some interesting info for you… When will you go and where else are you planning to go? Oh yeah, being your vacation photographer would be nice… I can’t wait to go traveling again. Maybe it is a new business idea, being the vacation photographer for really, really rich people ….. Keep on stalking my blog and feel free to get in toch if you need some info on the Philippines or some travel related issues. Thanks again and cheers, Philipp

      • Judith

        heyy Phil, totally looking forward to your comprehensive roundup of Philippines trip. I am planning to spend 5D4N at El Nido and Puerto Princesca in mid July. I’ve heard the weather is pretty fickle over there and I’m pretty stressed out about it because I’m going for the sake of photos and the weather can’t ruin it haha Do you actually have a compilation of your photography work somewhere?

    • Phil D.

      Hi Judith, July can be tricky since it is already start of rainy season as far as I remember. But yeah, I think you should be alright and the big advantage about traveling off season is the smaller amount of tourists. Concerning my pictures… I am actually uploading select pictures of each country I visited on Flickr right now. It takes some time selecting the pictures, assigning tags and all that but it should be complete sometime in the next weeks. Thailand i online already and Laos will follow pretty soon. You can check here and maybe follow me on Flickr in order to get regular updates: https://www.flickr.com/photos/88968336@N05/
      Where are you from anyhow, Judith? What do you do? In any case, hope you will have a great time in Palawan!!! Phil

  38. Charm

    hi! Phil…..ill be in El Nido on June02 to 05. I was looking at big lagoon pics when I stumble upon ur photo and directed me to ur blog. You have a great post here. Im planning to travel my country – one payslip at a time 🙂 …….cant wait….Im so excited!!!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Charm, thanks for stopping and droppinga comment. Really appreciate it. June 2nd, that is so soon … god for you. I am sure you will have a great time and I hope you will have nice weather. Traveling your country one payslip at a time sounds like a good plan. Honestly, the Philippines have so much to offer, it is just incredible. I mean I traveled there for 2 months straight and still just saw bits and pieces. I so have to come back ….. For you living there, you don’t even need to go abroad, you have everything right at your doorstep. That’s a really nice thing. I noticed that a lot of Filipinos travel their country more and more…. that’s really great. OK my friend, enjoy El Nido and Palawan and let me know how you liked it. Cheers, Phil

      • Femi

        Femi A.
        Hi Phil D.i read your blog about my beautiful country philippines wow! i can believed you visit all those beautiful places even do you still have seen the other beautiful places and exciting etnic cultures but at least you visit all those popular tourist spots and i amazed of all this pictures you posting your trully adventurer guy,i wish i can go roundup my country next time i go home for vacations,

  39. grace

    your blog about the Philippines is great! but there is so much more you need to discover here, much much more.. yes, you should come back! or better yet stay here.. i promised myself, that before i explore other countries, i need to explore first my own country.. hope to bump with you with one of your travel escapades here! cheers! 🙂

  40. Mariel

    hello Phil! i really like your blog especially the one you wrote when you travel here in the Philippines.
    thank you for justifying things like safety and how good Philippines and the people as well because we, Filipinos are always being mistaken and Good luck on your tour and come again here in the Philippines! 🙂

  41. Riza

    Nice Blog.

  42. Emma Lacson

    Great job! Thank you for your blunt comments about the Philippines, I especially like the one about our food. I agree our food has an acquired taste and like our country, only the bravest, brightest and the fittest can survive it. ( hence the few tourist ). Congratulations Phil D, you did it! If ever you need a place to stay in Marikina, the shoe capital of the Philippines, I may have a humble place for you to stay in for free. Unfortunately, there are no beaches nearby. But, I probably could have someone, if not me, cook up some Filipino food that may be more tolerable if not more challenging to eat. Stay awesome!


  43. Lin

    there are hundred places you have missed in the Philippines.
    In Visayas alone, there are so many beautiful places you can travel.
    here are some list of places:
    white beaches and sugar beach of Sipalay City
    Punta bulata
    Mag aso fallas of kabankalan city
    mabinay spring
    isla de gigantis(island of Giants)
    enchanted river of surigao
    Apo island sanctuary
    bais city whale watching
    guimaras city beaches
    bantayan island
    so many places 🙂

  44. alex augusto

    Awesome blog! Thank you … Good for you that you have visited Palawan and Cebu. Im from Cebu. Keep visiting the Philippines!

  45. shelly

    Hi! thanks for considering philippines as one of your adventure locations. philippines have a lots of beautiful places and have a lots of tourist spots for adventurous like you. enjoy exploring philippines, as i did! thanks and have a safe trip.

  46. Noli Sta Isabel

    Hi Phil, your blog is very interesting ! I left the Philippines when I was 23 and following your blog brings me to places that I’ve never been to….keep it up ! Cheers.

  47. Cyrus Ayahao

    I am a filipino and a wanderlust too… Only my dream of being a doctor is stopping me from doing all those things. Anyway, I’ve been to a lot of places here in the Philippines and the only 3 remaining spots that’s left for me to visit in the near future are Batanes, El nido, and Surigao. After visiting them all, that’s the only time i go international (tho i’ve been to some asian countries already lol). I have met a lot of tourists from around the globe during my visits to Sagada, banaue, Coron, Bicol, Donsol, etc. and they spend 3 months here in the philippines just to explore all the islands. If you happen to come back again, you can ask me about some more places to visit. I have a lot of pictures too but i can’t upload them all because im busy reading medical books @@… might as well graduate and start earning so i can retire early…in that way, i can travel the world! i might bump into you when i climb Mt. kinabalu or somewhere else… LOL nice photos tho!

  48. Faye Hipe

    Hi Phil! I just came accross your blog today when a friend shared your post on FB re: your trip to the Philippines =) I like the way you write, it is simple and makes me imagine your voice saying every word you typed =) Continue to travel and share it with us!

  49. Floyd Philippines

    Thanks for the compliment

  50. rayan

    thanks for the wonderful feedback and photos of our country.

  51. Gretchen

    Hello Phil,

    I really love on how you love and appreciated Philippines. Btw, nice blog. More fun on your next trips.


  52. Kevin G.

    Escapology-a study of great escapades. Awesome article Phil!

  53. Jana

    Hey finds ur super das dir philippinen so gut gefallen hat. Als ich deine fotos gesehen habe hatte ich auch lust mal wieder hinzufliegen 🙂 vorallem zur familie.

  54. Anonyma

    Englisch is auch nicht meine Muttersprach and thanks God we learned it in school from our early age…now, i am learning German..naja, Ich kann auch schon etwas lesen, sprechen and verstehen..hehe! i wish i can have a perfect German but not really..the most important thing is, i can already basically understand it..i am only saddened after reading your post about your travels in the Philippines. Honestly, you had explored many places that I am, when in fact I am from there..I prefer to travel in Europe and other parts of the globe..Having been to over 30 countries worldwide, I wish to visit more..and hopefully when the time comes to stay for good in the Philippines, I will surely explore it more..cheers and have a safe and happy travels.

    Best regards from Bavaria,

  55. empower network mlm

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  56. Fred Jr Santos

    Hi Phil, I wanted to give you a hug (yes I’m a hugger) as an appreciation for you’re write up on my great country Philippines. As a Filipino who have worked and lived in different countries (USA, Singapore and now London, UK), I am always proud of my heritage, its culture and people. It’s still different for us Filipinos if a foreigner tells something great about your country, personally it doesn’t matter whom the praise is coming from but maybe it’s just a subconscious thought of being colonised by Spanish and Americans…

    Yes, I couldn’t agree more that Palawan is one of the most majestic place on Earth. I had even blogged my Tao Philippines Expedition 2 years ago (http://thecoconutfred.com/2012/11/26/tao-expedition-let-travel-unravel-itself/) but now I’m too much occupied with my desk job…

    Thanks for bringing smile and a piece of home with your blog “Roundup Philippines: A country that has it all”….

    Let me know if you’re planning to visit London or even Philippines (on Christmas/New Year holidays), so I can treat you for some beer or coffee or Filipino friends cooked by Pinoy friends in UK.

  57. Lourdes Palanca-Pishva

    Hello Phiipp, I’m from Philippines but I live in Japan. Thank you for writing a very nice article about Philippines. Your name is Philipp, shortcut for Philippines (joke only). Lulu

  58. MD

    I think it’s very timely that I reach your blog. I also have a serious case of wanderlust (if that’s how you would put it) but also have “the usual time and money constraints.” Though I have only been working for 2 years, I’m considering doing this before I hit 30. Thanks for the inspiration and I really admire your bravery for pursuing what you’re passionate about.

  59. annie

    Read some of your blogs and I love your roundup blog with your stay in the Phil. It just validated my love to travel in my home country – adventure is never ending! Though, my parents are from Bicol, i have not bee. To Gubat. But i will surwly visit it. 🙂

    Ohn btw, i like it that you always find time responding to all who posted comments here. 😉

  60. dmae76

    I love your adventures in the Philippines, and as a Filipino I really appreciate taking your time to visit our country. Have you gone to Davao City? It may be a city but trekking outside the city is a real adventure. Try Samal Island. =)

    That’s the beauty of the Philippines.

  61. mikhel


    Thank You for the nice blog and feedbck reagrding our country. I feel proud and happy that you coming from a country with luxury would be giving a positive reaction. I am Filipino and I live for a year now in Switzerland. I am missing the beach, diving, anorkwling and other stuff qhich i can do only there, of course with less expense compared here. Now, i feel double the excitement since i will be having a 3-week vacation. Thank you once and for all. Einen schönen Tag wünsche ich dir vom Herzen.

    Liebe Grüsse

  62. Tanya

    Thanks for visiting my country the Philippines ……

  63. Gracielle

    Hi Philipp!

    I am from the Philippines, I am a Filipina and I absolutely loved your blog specially that one about our country. It has been a time since I’ve traveled in our country (Since I am now in UAE to work) and I miss it. By reading your blog, I felt very nostalgic and at the same time hopeful to go back and travel someday. My dream is to go to El Nido and Coron. Glad you liked it there and I hope I could also travel sometime in my life. Keep it up, Philipp, be more inspired!

  64. Albie Yohanon ♔ (@RoyalAlbie)

    Hi, Phil! I just read your roundup about Philippines. And I think, I’m going to read more of your travel stories. You are inspiring! I really want to travel. I hope I can do it like you. I’m glad that you have enjoyed your stay in our country. You are really meant to go here in Philippines, Phil. Continue seeing places and keep on sharing it in your amazing blog. Have fun and God bless!
    Ps. I don’t like balut too. 🙂

  65. villanueva

    Hi Philipp,ich komme aus den Philippinen und lebe seit meiner Geburt in Deutschland.Ich bin von deinem Blog begeistert,schade das du Batangas nicht besucht hast;)mach weiter so,vielleicht sieht man sich ja irgendwo.

    • Phil D.

      Hi Villanueva, ja schön dich hier begrüßen zu bedürfen. Freut mich, dass dir mein Blog gefällt. Ja, leider war ich nicht in Batangas…aber was nicht ist kann ja noch werden. Muss auf jeden Fall wieder hin … dann werde ich auch dort vorbei schauen …. Viele Grüße…. Philipp

  66. Alex

    Hi Philipp,

    I just can’t help writing a comment after reading “being slightly of ‘advanced age.’ Mmmm. I’m more advanced in age than you, and met a couple of tourists slightly more advanced than me midway in Batad. One of them, with his son, had a heart operation 5 years before. (I had to discourage his son not to take his dad down the gorge because of the hike back up.) There was a sort of elderly Belgian couple I met in Tappia Falls, who hiked back up quicker than I did. I did Batad on a day hike from the Saddle to the Falls, and back up. All I can say is it’s the heart that can tell you if you’re in the advance stage. And the legs! After Batad, my legs got so stiff, I developed a phobia for stairs or anything that’s up hill in Sagada.

    Your blog reminds me of something I read by Paul Theroux, the American writer. Rephrasing it: Discovering something in himself (paddling a canoe across Nantucket sound in very difficult conditions) is the essence of travel. It is a state of mind, nothing to do with distance or exotic. That trip on his canoe had given him heart. Nice one huh?

    As for the PH, well, I just hope they don’t pave over everything or try to “disneyfy” the country, make it easier for mainstream tourists to come. If and when you go back, Batanes should be on your list – beautiful land and seascape, plus some real history (the Austronesian ancestors of Filipinos landed there first before they conquered the Pacific and Indian Ocean). The other ones I thought I’d recommend Baler and Siargao both for surfing and life in the slow lane. I don’t surf btw. I’m reading some of your posts, hope you enjoy the rest of your time traveling SEA.


    • Phil D.

      Hi Alex, thanks for your great post here. Very inspiring I have to say. I really like the quote by Theroux as I like his writing in general. Traveling across SEA can sometimes make you feel old…especially if you stick to the backpacker trail. But fortunately I was able to venture off that track often enough.
      I do share your hopes for the future development of the country. Tourism can improve peoples lives as it brings them more opportunities to generate a proper income. At the same time it should be done in a sustainable way. There are other bad examples in SEA which the Philippine government shouldn’t ignore. I have seen the bad side of mass tourism and I hope that this can be avoided in your country. I really do as it would change the whole experience of exploring this beautiful place.

      As far as your recommendations go.. I will for sure stop in Siargao next time. It was on my itinerary but in the end I didn’t have the time. And Batanes must be the highlight in the Philippines. So many people have now recommended me to go there. It seems to be a very special and magical place. I can’t wait to set my feet on the islands one day.

      Alex, thanks again for your kind words. I really appreciate you stopping by. All the best to you.


  67. parvez

    Philipp -Thanks for your inspiring blog Your determination has put to lot of travelling.Pictures taken by you are very good.Hope you can visit India, I am new to biog.Shall be reading this post regularly.Luck

    • Phil D.

      Parvez, thanks a lot for your kind feedback brother. That’s great. Hope you stop by more often!

  68. Alex

    Hi Philipp,

    The heat and humidity in the tropics can make one feel old quickly. As for Batanes, I won’t say it is the highlight of a trip to the Philippines, but special and unique – the place, the people, the way of life. It feels like you’re in another country, even in another part of the world, a different vibe from the rest of SEA. It all depends on what ticks the traveler’s fancy. You can read my post in my blog here, and hope you get the drift: http://sandwindstars.blogspot.ca/search/label/Batanes Something to put in the back of your mind, if you come to the PH.


    • Phil D.

      Oh definitely… as I said I would love to see it one day..just because it is so different from everything else around. It’s crazy, if I would look at the pics without knowing where they were taken, I would never guess it is the Philippines. Rather somewhere in Europe ….

  69. ian316

    AWESOME blog you have! Its so nice to read comments about your nation, iam glad that you enjoyed your stay here in our country, next time though i suggest that you visit place in our country that offers good food like, Cebu City, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bicol, and some parts of northern Luzon these parts can actually serve you more than the great food but also great experience. But its such a wonderful feeling knowing that somebody appreciates our country… Thank you for this nice round up… I will surely be a follower of your blog and will recommend it to other friends too…

    • Phil D.

      Hi Ian, thanks for stopping and I am happy you liked my article about the Philippines. It was all true and my pleasure tow rite and post it. I have been to some of the places you mentioned and I actually have sampled good foods there. I was in Cebu City where I ate the best Lechon Kawali at a place called Zubuchon I think. Also lots of nice little side dishes. In Bicol I had good home made Bicol Express which was one of the best dishes I had in the Phils. I really like the spicy taste of it….. Thanks again my friend. Cheers, Philipp

  70. Kristine

    Hi.. I stumbled upon your blog and I love reading it. Btw, I’m from the Philippines and its nice to see a foreigner enjoying our country 🙂 I felt a bit jealous since you’ve been to places here in my own country more than I do. I also love traveling and exploring but time isn’t always on my side. I do go out to travel but we’re always bounded by time 🙁 Anyway, hoping you can go back here and discover more! I’ll be following your next adventure! More power!


    • Phil D.

      Hi Kristine, thanks a lot. Don’t feel jelous, you still have enough time to visit the nice places in the Philippines. Just do it one step at a time. Time is an issue for most people…even for me again these days. It can suck times, for sure but we have to find ways to deal with it and make the best of the situation…. All the best and thanks again for stopping by …

  71. Kenneth

    Hi Philipp! I saw your blog featured in choosephilippines. I usually don’t do feedbacks and comments about blogs but I can’t help doing it. I guess this will be the first! I was hesitant at first about reading your blog because I thought that it might be another usual travel blog about Philippines. But I changed my mind and I am amazed about it. You’ve got great pictures and the way you describe my country is so inspiring, it encourages me to do traveling again. I love traveling and exploring new places. I’ve been to different places here in Mindanao and some parts of Visayas. I haven’t explored much of Luzon though. My friends keep encouraging me to travel abroad and visit other countries but there is still so much more to visit here in the Philippines! I’m from Mindanao and yet I haven’t toured the entire of it. Anyway, if you plan to visit Philippines again try visiting Mindanao. There are lots of beautiful places here. You can start in Davao. Its the safest city here in the Philippines. You can visit Eden Nature Park, look for the Philippine Eagle, go visit beautiful beaches in Samal, or go climbing Mt. Apo. Then you can either proceed to Bukidnon’s Dahilayan Forest Park and Cagayan de Oro’s white water rafting or go to Surigao for their Enchanted River and surfing in Siargao. Btw, each place in the Philippines has its own native delicacy. Try asking for it. Thanks for visiting Philippines and I’m glad you enjoyed your visit!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Ken,
      thanks for reaching out and your kind feedback. I really appreciate it since it is coming from someone usually being rather sceptical about commenting and travel blogs in general. That really means a lot to me my friend. You are right, the Philippines have so much to offer, that there is not even a reall need to travel overseas. I myself haven’t been to Mindanao yet (well yeah, to Camiguin) but only because I didn’t have enough time left in the end. It is a shame and next time I really wanna see it. All the places you mentioned sound just so intriguing. I’d really like to climb Mt- Apo and surf Cloud 9 in Sirgao. Hopefully one day. Thanks again Kenneth for getting in touch…. I hope you will bear with me here, despite not looking too much at travel blogs. Cheers my friend and all the best! Philipp

      • Kenneth

        Well, I do look at travel blogs but I usually do not give feedbacks. Yours is the first, and I’m following your blog now… You’ve got nice pictures! It makes me wanna go there too! Keep it up and cheers!

    • Phil D.

      Will do so Kenneth, for sure. Glad you like the pictures..that’s good feedback for me. All the best to you my friend! Philipp

  72. Craig

    Hi Phil. Great blog with loads of detail and fantastic pictures. I would love to know a rough estimate of what this trip cost you overall? Looking to do a similar thing myself but unsure on what kind of a budget i would need to save.

    • Phil D.

      For a first glimpse you could check my article about my three months in the Philippines which I posted recently. That will already give you a good impression …

  73. Kendra Lim

    Hey Phil. Totally agree with you that Philipine is a superb nice place to stay. I experienced that when I was travelled by myself to Boracay Island and home stayed with local residents. Overall the people are warm, friendly and happily welcoming us.

    By reading your awesome blogs trigger my impulsive to go Palawan next year. Great blogs and shall see you soon.

    • Phil D.

      Hi Kendra, good to hear you have made the same experiences. I think traveling to Palawan will be really nice. Keep me updated on how it goes. Happy traveling.. Phil

  74. Karl Ace

    Stumbled upon your blog from the Facebook account of Puraran Surf. Great blog!

    • Phil D.

      Thanks Karl, I appreciate that you stopped by and took your time to read some of my articles. Have you been to Puraran?

  75. via

    i must agree with all the guys comments here..you indeed write well…impressive…write more, cos many are wanting to travel the places youve been and to some (like me) reading takes me there already..

    • Phil D.

      Hi Via,
      thanks so much for stopping by and your kind feedback. I am happy you liked my writing and it encourages me to keep going. All the best to you … Phil

  76. Nicojames

    Wow! Amazing! thank you for loving my and exploring our country! I hope you visit Davao City, Davao Oriental’ PUSAN POINT(the easternmost tip of the Philippines) the century old bell and the San Salvador Church (built by Spanish Jesuits). Mabuhay ka!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Nico, thanks for stopping by. It was my pleasure to write about your nice country. A lot of people have recommended Davao already and I will make sure to check out next time… Hope to come back in December … Cheers Nico!

  77. Cess

    Hi Phil…its been great to read your article..your BLOG are so great and AMAZING:-)..I do really love to read articles about travels….differents places, spots , just like you do .

    • Phil D.

      Hi Cess, I am happy you liked reading my posts. That is great feedback. I will make sure to keep good content coming … Cheers, Philipp

  78. gerick

    from the people of siquijor. thank you for visiting us! You have a really nice Blog…hope u can visit philippines again!

    • Phil D.

      Hi Gerick, thanks for the kind words. I had a really great time in Siquijor …. It is a great place and more people should check it out. All the best to you and thanks again for stopping by. Philipp

  79. Anna Victoria

    Hi Phil,
    A lot of blogs popping in my newsfeed,but yours caught mt eyes..Its a nice feeling that somebody is loving our Philippines more than any other filipinos.Like you,Im looking forward to travel the whole nation before I reached my 30’s..and hoping others would see and experience how precious the Philippines is..and starting today,I’ll follow your blogs…maybe one day,we bump each other on streets..(wink;-) just kidding..Godbless to your future travels..

    • Phil D.

      HI Anna, thanks for reaching out. I am happy that my blog caught your attention. Your plan of traveling the country sound really good and I hope you will make it come true. The world is small so maybe we will bump into each other … I wouldnt be surprised… Will be back in Pinas maybe in December 😉

  80. eugenio

    Hallo Phil, i am glad to hear from you . I am also Filipino and now i am in Germany. I hope when can see each other when im Home. My Province is in Bohol. What is your contact Phil.

    • Phil D.

      Hi Eugenio, I was in your country and now you are in mine. That is funny … Where u live now and what do you do here? Cheers, Philipp

  81. lekym20

    Hello All! Its nice to see this blog and share each other’s experience. Btw, we’ll be going to Cebu this December and it will be our first time to go there. Any suggestions for our iterinary? I think we’ll be there for about 4 to 5 days. Thanks!

    • Phil D.

      I think Cebu has man great attraction, unfortunately I have been there only for a couple of days. Maybe some others can help you out here. Cheers!

  82. J.Gi Federizo

    You most probably don’t have the time to do this or check, but anyway,…

    I have nominated YOU for the Liebster Award. As said there, “I am nominating people with whom I have had very insightful and educational discussions with, who care about their followers and whose sites I really enjoy visiting…if you’ve done this already and do not wish to participate anymore, kindly give us a link to your Liebster Award page — I really do want to read your answers! If you can’t answer because it does not follow your blog’s strict format, or you simply just don’t want to, no biggies, we understand.”

    I just want you to know I appreciate you and your blog. You can find your award here: Rock, Liebster!

  83. Rodskie

    Hello Phi 🙂

    Have fun in Philippines…hope you can drop by there in Bicol especially in Burias Island Masbate 😉

    • Phil D.

      Hi Rodel, thanks for stopping by… I really appreciate it….. I have spent a good amount of time in Bicol.. I really like it there.. havent been to Burias tho

  84. eve sugpatan

    Hi phil:)
    Nice blog yea, hope to visit you again in Philippines, thanks take care

  85. josephine masong

    thank you for visiting our country Philippines. have a safe travel. and your very welcome to come again.


  86. Jhong

    great adventures!
    ive read everything here and even your other articles.
    good English and im happy of your decision to write in English and not in German. you’ve achieved your goal to reach as many people as u can.

    hope you can visit Philippines again and this time make it a point to visit our place, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte

    • Phil D.

      Hi Jhong, thanks a lot for stopping by and taking the time to read my articles. I really appreciate it. Thanks for you tip, I hope I can come to Misamis one day …. and also Lanao … it sure sounds nice. All the best to you and best regards, Philipp


    Dear Philipp,
    A salute to a foreigner who appreciate the beauty of the Philippines and it’s people. A German race with Pinoy heart ❤. You make us proud in your simple ways. Just a bit disappointed that it’s just today that I discovered your blog. Anyway, late is better than never. Thanks Bro Pipoy.

    • Phil D.

      Ho Ohnel, thanks for stopping by and your kind words. You know, better late than never. Welcome and all the best!

  88. Hitch-Hikers Handbook

    Great blog, Phil! Really glad to have connected with you on Twitter! Keep it up and travel safe!

  89. Jesse

    I will look into your great travelling tips and experience (no doubt). Thank you for sharing good stuff.

  90. Jesse

    I will look into your great travelling tips and experience (no doubt). Thank you for sharing good stuff.


  91. Jhey Montante Bojos

    hi. Nice Blog man. I really admire your passion and dedication to your dreams. I love scrolling at your posts about nature tripping at its finest. God bless you more. More pictures and adventures to come 🙂

    • Phil D.

      Hi Jhey, thanks a lot man and I am happy you like the blog. That is good to hear. I hope there will be more adventures as well. Cheers and all the best. Phil

  92. Angie

    It’s so amazing how you captured your moments from the places where you’ve been. Your passion of exploring the wonders of the Earth and photography blended perfectly . Good job brother! Mmmore fun trips to come 🙂

    • Phil D.

      Hi Angie,
      thanks for stopping by and your kind feedback. It’s good to hear that you liked my stories and photos. All the best to you and a happy New Year

  93. Milyn

    nice blog, very informative and good shots..are you a professional photographer or it is just your hobby? just wondering 🙂

    • Phil D.

      HI Milyn, thanks for your kind feedback. Glad you like my photos. I am not a professional photographer..way not good enough for that. It’s a hobby, a passion and one of my pastimes. I enjoy it a lot….

  94. Anna

    Hey Phil!
    I ve seen that i ve been to El nidi in phillipines , now i am thinking to go there or not i have 7-8 days , as a proficient person there can u recommend where is worth to go?)

    • Phil D.

      Hi Anna,

      thanks for inquiry and your trust for asking me about your stay in the PI. 7-8 days is not so much sp my basic recommendation would be to pic 1 or maximum 2 destinations. And then it will depend on what you are after, is it off the beaten track, calm and quaint locations, or are you looking for a bit more action with nightlife and other amenities. What activities are you in and how intrepid are you when it comes to traveling around by yourself.

      Generally El Nido is not a bad destination to start with. It has quite a few attractions, it is fairly straight forward to reach but it is more on the touristy side. Still not too overcrowded ….

      If you give me more info, I can probably give a more educated reply based on your preferences.

      • Anna

        hey again)
        Thx for your quickly reply!
        Finally yesterday I booked my tickets to manila!
        I am going to travel with my parents. So we are keen on nice beaches where we can relax on the white sand and also we love snorkeling and in the evening to go to the party. I think it is better to choose 1 destinations but i am still confused where to go exactly. also i like exploring so island must be not so small cause u know 8 days we need smth to do)
        I try to describe in details, do u have any variants to advise? To tell you the truth we are also thinking about tagbilaran. Have u been there?

      • Phil D.

        OK Anna, I will post it today. You will have to Like my page https://www.facebook.com/escapologyblog and then you can see for yourself and comment. Hope it’ll help. I would probably opt for El Nido, but let’s see what the others have to say ….

    • Phil D.

      Hi Anna, the things you describe all apply to El Nido. You can easily do these things there: Island hopping tours, diving and snorkeling and nice restaurants and some party in the evening. So it would be a good fit I reckon.
      I have been to Tagbilaran but only for a very short stopover before catching another ferry. So I can’t really say much about it.

      What I could do is ask on my Facebook Page since there are quite a lot of Filipinos follwoing me. What do you think?

      • Anna

        oh I will really appreciate it if its not such a difficulty for u , can u ask one of the Filipinos about Tagbilaran?) Now i have just a choice between El Nido and Tagbilaran!
        I am amped for an answer!have a good day! Btw I ve read a lot of useful info in your blog it was so interesting to read! So keep going what u are doing cause u are doing it really awesome !!

        • Phil D.

          Hi Anna, have you checked my FB Page..I have posted your question there and it seems the majority wants you to go to El Nido, which would have also been my tip….. cheers

      • Anna

        Yep I’ve checked just now! Thx a lot for the help!!!

  95. shikha gautam

    Great to connect with you via Twitter. Very engaging blog here. And bravo for taking the leap, I did the same after 8 years of work and couldn’t be happier. Backpacking across India for a year now and it’s a great experience. Might bump into you on some highway somewhere.

    Happy travelling to you.

    • Phil D.

      Hi Shikha, thanks for your message and also for connecting on Twitter. Glad you like the blog and congratulatins for taking the leap as well. That is good to hear. What kind of work did you do before and what are your plans now. How is India? That is one of my dream destinations for the future … I would love to see the North and then head to the East into the 7 sister states. Hopefully some day. Thanks again and all the best. Philipp

  96. shikha gautam

    You’re welcome Phil. I started with Journalism and moved to do Content Writing and Social Media assignments for various companies. For now, I’m doing some volunteering with the Tibetan community in exile and have started with guided group tours across India. It’s an amazing country, so much to discover. You might find the crowd huge though. North of India is great, specially Himachal Pradesh if you wish to stay away from crowds and get closer to nature. And the seven sister states are absolutely unlike any place I’ve been to. Great people and places there.

    Do come, for any help here & feel free to get in touch with me. Will be glad to help.

    • Phil D.

      Wow, that is a great offer which I will sure come back to know. Nothing beats local advice, especially if it is from seasoned travelers like you. Where are you doing the volunteer with the Tibetan community? That sounds really interesting and something I could imagine doing myself as well.
      I am not too much into crowds so Himachal Pradesh sounds like a perfect place to be. Do you have any specific recommendations about nice places up there?
      Oh and one more thing…Do you still do content writing and social meda work? I would think that is something you could also do from on the road. If you like, you can also write via my emanila dress pdukatz at gmail dot com …..

  97. shikha gautam

    Anytime Phil 🙂 I’m volunteering with LHA in Mcleodganj, which some people also refer to as Dharamsala. It’s a tiny town in Himachal, where the Dalai Lama usually stays in India. There’s a lot of stuff to do there including teaching languages, science, photography, maths and more.

    Himachal is huge and I would suggest you to explore the Himalayan regions of Kinnaur, Spiti, Chamba other than Dharamsala. These are very blissful places to me, lots of lakes and quaint towns high up in the Himalayas.

    And yes, I’m still into content writing and social media work. Quite easy to do even with all the travelling. Do let me know if you have some related projects. My email Id is shikha@nomadscribblings.com

  98. Ernest

    You made a nice travel website, indeed… I live now 8 years in Asia, mainly in the philippines. But i never wrote my experiences down in the internet. Why ? You described your days in Chiang Mai. Since the first time in 1987 in Thailand all changed dramatically. I was shocked, when i was there in 2012. Nothing was left of the old ancient and authentic Thailand. Backpackers and high level tourists everywhere. Foreign money was buying out the city and made it to a simple sight seeing spot. One of the reasons is the fast growing internet. Enthusiastic travel reports attract millions of people. The same happens now in the philippines. Palawan WAS a paradise like Camiguin. In some years it will be the new Koh Samui…. Ok, nobody can stop the time. When i am yearly one time in Frankfurt and people ask me about places and experiences, i tell them about people and their life here. But never about places. All here gets every year more overcrowded. Mindanao is still more natural then the rest of the phils. Davao is a jewel. But i keep my experiences about all that by myself. I dont want hundreds of backpackers there, running for their next travel kicks…. I love travelling, but i am still after 8 years a guest here…. so i shut my mouth…haha… Sorry if i sound too critical, but i have my reasons.. 🙂

    • Phil D.

      Hi Ernest, thank you very much for your sharing your thoughts and honest opinion. I really appreciate that. I am actually aware of this conflict that the more write about places, the quicker they become spoilt by mass tourism. I myself enjoy the less touristy and more authentic by far the most. So am I contributing to this development. In a way I probably am. Would it happen without me, probably as well. It is a really difficult issue which I actually just lately have been thinking about a lot. Some people argue that the touristic development of places might be an unwanted phenomenon for us travelers, but for the locals it can be a blessing because it helps to generate income opportunities. But then, there is the endanger of losing their identity, getting corrupted by the money and what not. I guess there is no right or wrong here… at least it is hard to draw a clear line. I think keeping the secret spots for yourself is a good approach and I will also start thinking about what to share here and what not. But eventually, as you pointed out, we can’t stop the time.
      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I really enjoy posts like that. By the way…you mentioned going back to FRA once a year. Are you also from Germany? If so, we could also write / speak in German hehe …. Philipp

  99. Ernest

    Hallo Philipp,
    ok ich sehe du nimmst die Dinge, die du tust ernst. Schoen, denn es ist wichtig.Ich sehe mich immer als Gast in einem Land und das heisst Respekt gegenueber deren Kultur und deren Wurzeln. Reisen ist wichtig, sonst haette es niemals Magellan und Humboldt gegeben. Aber die hatten einen Vorteil. Sie kamen nicht mit einem Jet wie wir, sondern langwierig ueber See und teilweise unter lebensgefaehrlichen Bedingungen. Magellan hat es in the Phils mit seinem Leben bezahlt. Das tun wir natuerlich nicht.

    Aber unser Geld und unser westlicher Lebensstil veraendert natuerlich vieles hier.
    Nach Jahren des Reisens interessieren mich auch immer weniger die Orte, die ich mir anschauen koennte. Es sind die Menschen und ihr Leben, was ein Land ausmacht.
    Gerade die Philippinen sind ein gutes Beispiel dafuer. Filipinos sind Familien und Gruppenmenschen, die ticken voellig anders wie wir. Ich habe Jahre gebraucht, um das mehr und mehr zu verstehen. Manches ihrer Lebenskultur ist echt gut, anderes total krass.

    Und Philippinos haben wieder wenig mit Thais gemeinsam. Die Denke ist voellig anders…. Christentum zu Buddhismus ist ein Aspekt. Im Moment ist der Papst in Manila. Wenn man sich die Leute hier in ihrer Ergebenheit anschaut, Wahnsinn. Der liebe Gott ist zu Besuch, abgefahren das ganze….. Es zeigt vieles auf, was die Filipinos sind. Ihr Ertragen bitterer Armut, aber auch Gottesglaube, zusammen mit Schlitzaeugigkeit, Lug und Trug im taeglichen Leben.
    Sie sind wie erwachsene Kinder aber auch voellig inkompatibel zu deinem oder meinem deutschen Leben.

    Das ist es auch, was ich Freunden und Interessierten in Deutschland erzaehle. Aber oft kapieren sie es nicht, weil die Leute hier so ganz anders ticken als in D. Puh, jetzt habe ich mal wieder Oberlehrer gespielt, sorry…hehehe….
    Aber es ist so, es sind nicht die Orte, sondern die dort leben.. jedenfalls fuer mich…. und wichtig ist eines… Reisen heisst auch lernen… anderes zu sehen und mit den Augen anderer zu sehen… nicht leicht… ich habe selbst oft Probleme damit. Und man kann nur lernen, was man selbst erfaehrt, aber das weisst du selbst am besten…. 🙂

    • Phil D.

      Hallo Ernest,

      vielen Dank für deine Nachricht. Ich sehe das genauso wie du. Es kommt tatsächlich auf die Menschen und die Begegnungen mit diesen an, nicht so sehr auf den Ort. Ich war an teilweise unspektakulären Orten aber hatte dort einmalige Erlebnisse mit den Einheimischen, ob nun auf den Philippinen, in Vietnam oder Indonesien. Und genau diese Erlebnisse bleiben auch in Erinnerung. Viel mehr als andere. Klar ist es nett mal einen schönen Strand zu sehen oder wandern zu gehen, aber beim waren Reisen geht es doch darum seinen Horizont zu erweitern, Kulturen und Menschen kennen zulernen und wie du gesagt hast, zu lernen. Von daher halte ich mich auch immer mehr von den touristischen Zentren fern, denn dort kannst du so etwas nicht bekommen.

      Du meinst du erzählst Leuten in Deutschland davon und dass die es nicht verstehen weil die Menschen so anders sind. Meine Erfahrung ist, dass viele es auch gar nicht verstehen wollen. Der Horizont ist einfach zu beschränkt und die Bereitschaft mit sich so etwas zu befassen auch gar nicht da. Von daher erzähle ich eigentlich gar nicht so viel von meinen Reisen. Ich schreibe es lieber auf hier und dann kann derjenige den es interessiert es lesen oder eben auch genauso gut lassen.

      Du schreibst Reisen heißt lernen, Dinge mit anderen zu sehen. Da stimme ich dir voll und ganz zu und das ist auch ganz wichtig. Nur wenn man anderes sieht und erlebt kann man auch sein eigens Leben und seine eigene Umwelt mit anderen Augen sehen. Deshalb würde ich auch jedem Menschen empfehlen zu reisen…ich sehe viele Menschen die noch nie woanders waren und dementsprechend auch eher eindimensionale Ansichten und Einstellungen haben. Aber gut, jetzt bin ich hier der Oberlehrer, da habe ich auch keine Lust drauf ;).

      Sag mal, lebst du aktuell auf den Philippinen? Hört sich so an als ob du schon jahrelange Erfahrung in Asien hast. Finde ich sehr spannend. Kannst ja mal berichten, einfacher vielleicht per E-Mail: pdukatz at gmail.com ….

      Also gut, ich wünsche einen schönen Abend (oder guten Morgen) und bis dahin,


  100. Ernest

    Danke fuer deine Antwort. Ich schreibe die Antwort hier, da ich hoffe, dass es vielleicht einige Leser gibt, die auch solche Insider Infos moegen

    Ja, du liegst da ganz auf der Wahrheitslinie. Die Deutschen sind zwar Reiseweltmeister aber auch Meister der Ignoranz. Teilweise ist es auch Arroganz, da viele Deutsche sich selbst als Superior ansehen und entsprechend Neues ignorieren. Ich lebe seit 8 Jahren in den Philippinen, auf der Insel Cebu in den Visayas.

    Es gibt hier ne Menge Auslaender, fuer meinen Geschmack schon viele zu viele. Die Deutschen hier sind eher von der erzkonservativen Sorte. Leute mit einem Bildungsstand den ich fast eher als low Level bezeichnen wuerde. Und dementsprechend ist es dann auch die Unfaehigkeit, die richtige Sichtweise auf die hiesige Kultur zu entwickeln. Es ist immer wieder amuesant zu sehen, wie viele Auslaender hier ueber die Kulturlosigkeit der Filipinos herziehen, aber sie tragen selbst keine innere
    Kultur in sich, hehehe.

    Du hattest ja das interessante Erlebnis mit Moenchen in Chiang Mai. Ich habe das auch gesehen. Und diese Offenheit der buddhistischen Moenche ist echt erstaunlich. Ich habe dies bei einer katholischen Kirche noch nie erlebt, oder ? Ich bin eh ein Bewunderer des Buddhismus, weil es einfach keine andere pazifistische Religion wie den Buddhismus gibt. Ich weiss nicht wie es dir geht wenn du in einen buddhistischen Tempel gehst. Ich habe immer das Gefuehl die spirituelle Mcht dieser Religion leibhaft zu spueren. Sie lebt auch in der Gegenwart UND hat Antworten auf die gegenwaertigen Probleme der Welt. Nuetzt aber nix, wenn keiner zuhoert. Touristen knippsen alles ab mit 20Mbit
    verstehen aber 0Bit von dem was dort eigentlich gelehrt wird.

    Das Leben in Asien und den Phils hat mir viel Abstand zu unserer deutschen Kultur gebracht. Ich sehe heute D viel anders. Nicht negativ, ohne die gute deutsche UNI Ausbildung und meine guten Jobs haette ich nie das Geld gehabt, in der Weltgeschichte rumzureisen. Ein Filipino kann sich noch so sehr anstrengen, er kann nicht das gleiche wie wir tun. Fuer die ist Reisen nahezu unmoeglich.
    Daher bin ich D dankbar. Aber das permanente Leben im Ausland bringt mir ganz andere Einsichten zu dem was Leben und Erfahren heisst.

    Ich will auf keinen Fall ueber andere meckern, habe ich kein Recht dazu. Aber wenn ich Traveller, speziell junge Rucksacker treffe und wir ueber die Erlebnisse von denen sprechen, merke ich immer, dass die meisten keine Ahnung von dem Land haben in dem sie gerade herumreisen. Ja, sie kennen
    ihren Lonely Planet Fuehrer auswendig, und es ist ihre Reisebibel. Aber vor lauter Reisen und der Suche nach neuen Erlebniskicks verpassn sie oft das Wichtigste. Zum Beispiel wie die Leute hier leben und DENKEN. Das Leben der Menschen spielt sich bei denen im Dorf/Stadt ab und nicht in einem schoenen Ressort oder traumhaftem Wasserfall oder gar in den Korallen unter Wasser.

    Ich habe in den 8 Jahren mit mehreren Filipinas zusammengelebt und daher und mit ihren Kindern die taeglichen Probleme der Filipinos hautnah miterlebt. Speziell deren Denke und Art und Weise wie sie mit dem Leben und den Problemen in der Familie aber auch dem eigenen Land umgehen. Es ist bei naeherem Hinschauen einfach eine ganz andere Welt, absolut inkompatibel zu unserer Welt in D.
    Das alleine ist ein Booster fuer die eigene Persoenlichkeitsentwicklung, weil du einfach keine andere Wahl hast als zu verstehen und dich anzupassen, ohne die eigene Indentitaet aufzugeben.

    Daher ist das Lernen Pflicht und ist auch spannend. Es gibt da unendlich viel darueber zu erzaehlen, geht hier nicht, hahaha. Ich erzaehle hier eh viel zu viel….grins…
    Aber mir gefaellt deine Art mit deinen Erlebnissen umzugehen und selbstkritisch Dinge zu hinterfragen. Und deine Neugier auf wirklich Neues ist spuerbar. Das hebt dich aus der Masse der Traveller heraus und gibt dir wohl eine Menge neue Einsichten, sehr gut….. 😉

    • Phil D.

      Hi Ernest,
      da spricht die geballte Reise- und Lebenserfahrung. Finde ich gut, dass du deine Gedanken hier teilst, zumal ich diese auch auf jeden Fall sehr gut nachvollziehen kann. Deine letzten Posts habe ich zum Anlass genommen meinen nächsten Artikel auch zum Thema Tourismus als quasi zweischneidiges Schwert zu schreiben. Das Ganze kommt heute im Laufe des Tages, also Cebu-Zeit, auf den Blog. Ich habe dich auch darin zitiert und hoffe, das ist in Ordnung. Falls nicht, sende mir einfach rasch eine Nachricht.

      Was du über den Buddhismus schreibst sehe ich genauso. Ich fühle mich in buddhistisch geprägten Ländern sehr wohl und mag einfach die ausgeglichene, zuvorkommende und friedvolle Mentalität. Wenn man mal mit den Mönchen ins Gespräch kommt ist das oft sehr interessant und eigentlich hatte ich auch mal vor, mich mit dem Thema auch einmal etwas intensiver auseinanderzusetzen. Mal schauen ob ich noch dazu komme. In Thailand kann man ja für eine gewisse Zeit, auch als Ausländer, in ein Kloster und dort an Meditation und Lehre teilnehmen. Das würde ich gern einmal erleben.

      Naja, in Manila war ja wohl heute was Religion betrifft auch viel los. 6 Mio. bei der Messe des Papstes und Facebook ist einfach nur voll davon. Das ist echt erstaunlich. Auch das ist ein riesen Unterschied zu Deutschland wo ja die Religion schon längst aus dem Alltag der meisten Menschen verschwunden ist.

      Wie kommt es eigentlich, dass du schon so lange auf den Philippinen wohnst? Bist du Pensionär oder hast du dich dort geschäftlich niedergelassen? Finde das sehr spannend weil ich mir auch sehr gut vorstellen könnte dort zu leben. Ich hatte schon einmal daran gedacht dort etwas zu investieren oder selbst ein kleines Business aufzumachen. Aber bisher hatte ich noch nicht die richtige Idee. So wie ich es jetzt von mehreren gehört habe, ist das aber als Ausländer gar nicht so einfach und mit vielen Hürden versehen. Aber ich denke mir immer, wo ein Wille da ein Weg. Wie siehst du das? Kannst du diesbezüglich berichten?

      Das du in Cebu wohnst finde ich ehrlich gesagt nicht erstaunlich. Habe wirklich schon einige kennengelernt die sich dort niedergelassen haben. Scheint ja eine richtige Community zus ein und ein German Haus gibt es dort ja wohl auch. Schon irgendwie witzig.

      Nun gut, ich werde mal wieder. Machs erst mal gut und wie gesagt, wenn du etwas privater schreiben willst, meine e-Mail Adresse findest du oben.

      Viele Grüße. Philipp

  101. Ernest

    Hallo Philipp,

    dieser Dialog mit dir wird ja immer interessanter. Kein hurra und Reiseblabla…. 😉 , sondern vernuenftige Gedanken.

    Wie kommt es dass ich auf den Philippinen lebe ? Wow, das waere eine lange Geschichte. Ich mach es kurz. Wie du war ich lange Jahre ein guter Angestellter. Industrie Software Ingenieur. Irgendwann ging mir das Angestelltendasein auf den Wecker und ich wurde selbstaendig. Nach einiger Zeit wurde ich sogar sehr erfolgreich. Meine Kunden waren die Zulieferindustrie von Daimler, Porsche und BMW. Die bezahlen vernuenftig, wenn du bereit bist fuer 24 Stunden, 7 Tage. Ok, kann man steuern… 😉 Aber der erfolgreiche Job frisst dich auch auf. Mit Anfang 50 war ich zwar voll etabliert, man rannte mir die Tuere ein, aber der Erfolg hat einen Preis. Keine Zeit mehr fuer das eigene Leben. Und was bleibt dann ? Erstmal kontrollierte Flucht… 3 Monate Auszeit in Asien…. Endlich Zeit zum Denken… Jetzt bin ICH dran…. Da habe ich erst gesehen, was da alles an mir vorbei laeuft im Leben. Was nuetzt das ganze Scheissgeld, wenn du lebst wie in einer grossen Maschine ??? Also war ich mal wieder sehr konsequent und habe meinen Ausstieg geplant. Alles verkauft oder verschenkt. 100 qm krempel auf einen Koffer reduziert.

    Alle haben natuerlich den Kopf geschuettelt… Was ist nur in den gefahren ? Hat der sie nicht mehr alle ? Hach, wart ab. Der ist bald wieder da. Wenn das jeder so machen wuerde, also nein. Krass der Typ….. haha Tja, Ich mochte die Phils eigentlich gar nicht so sehr. Amerikanische Subkultur. Kirchen und Jollibee….. Aber das war die Herausforderung. Was sind die Phils ???

    Manila ? Nee… Cebu, the dirty pearl of the South… ? Mhhhh. Aber eigentlich war Cebu strategisch am guenstigsten. Big Port, Airport, grosse Malls. Guter Ausgangspunkt fuer nationale und internationale Trips. Dann englische Sprache und jede Menge Expats. Also pack mers…
    Davao waere eigentlich der beste Ort, aber reistetechnisch sehr schwierig.

    Endlich hatte ich Zeit, massenhaft, was ein Luxus…. 9 Monate bin ich auf der Insel Cebu, 3 Monate bin ich unterwegs…. Guter Kompromiss… fuer mich.

    Ein Business in den Phils ? Besser nicht. 90% scheitern und verlieren viel Geld. Es gibt ein schoenes Sprichwort hier. Wenn du hier 1 Million Pesos besitzen willst… dann bring 2 Millionen mit… 🙂 Geld diffundiert hier sehr schnell und Langnasen die enthusiatisch und voller Elan sind, werden von den Filipinos geliebt und gemolken… Wir Foreigners hier sind like walking ATM machines….. wenn wir es zulassen…. Und vielen passiert das hier. Wenn du Geld hast ist every Filipino your BEST friend… 😉

    Also ganz spannend. Mein Leben eben. Und leben kann man billig, wenn man sich auskennt.

    So, 8 Jahre extrem verkuerzt… 😉

    (Natuerlich kannst du alle meine Texte fuer Artikel verwenden, dazu sind sie ja oeffentlich gepostet)

  102. Phil D.

    Hallo Ernest,
    das ist ja eine sehr interessante Geschichte und du hast glaube ich viel richtig gemacht. Kann man nur beglückwünschen. 8 Jahre auf den Philippinen sind schon eine lange Zeit, da weißt du auf jeden Fall wie der Hase läuft würde ich behaupten. Es scheint ja, dass du gut von deinen Ersparnissen dort leben kannst was natürlich sehr angenehm ist. In sofern hat sich die harte Arbeit, die du beschrieben hast, und eventuell auch die damit verbundenen Opfer dann doch irgendwie ausgezahlt. Wer kann das schon heutzutage machen? Die meisten müssen ja eher bis ins hohe Alter arbeiten, mich eingeschlossen so wie ich es jetzt sehe.

    Interessant finde ich auch deinen Entwurf 9 Monate Phils und 3 Monate reisen? Bist du da hauptsächlich in Asien unterwegs oder was machst du dann genau? Das wäre echt ein Traum für mich muss ich sagen. Naja, ich muss noch etwas arbeiten und mich irgendwie etablieren. Vielleicht schaffe ich es dann auch.

    Das man aber nach einer solch lange Zeit irgendwie den Bezug zu Deutschland verliert bzw. eine andere Einstellung entwickelt ist ja ganz normal. Wäre ja auch schlimm wenn es nicht so wäre.

    Das mit dem Business als Foreigner auf den Philippinen hört sich sehr extrem an. Hast du da schon selber mitbekommen die so gelaufen sind? Ich glaube man muss da sehr aufpassen und einen wirklich guten Plan haben. Und einen Partner, ohne den es ja nun nicht geht, auf den man sich hundert Pro verlassen kann. Ich kenne da jemanden, dem ich zumindest vertrauen würde. Kommt aus gutem Hause, guter Businesssinn und sehr ehrlich. Das wäre aber auch die einzige PErson mit der ich so etwas wagen würde. Naja, mal schauen – im Moment ist zumindest noch nichts geplant.

    Also Ernest, machs gut und viele Grüße nach Cebu ins Expat-Paradies.


  103. Ernest

    Hallo Philipp,

    also es gibt schon Wege, um mehr reisen zu koennen. Ich habe einige Leute aus der Schweiz, D ,Oesterreich und den USA kennengelernt, die ein Arbeitsmodell gefunden haben, um jedes Jahr so 3 bis 4 Monate in die Phils oder andere Laender reisen zu koennen.

    Der Schluessel hierzu heisst wie bei mir auch Selbstaendigkeit. Da hast du die Moeglichkeit, deine Projekte selbst zu planen oder Kunden zu finden, die dich flexibel in ihre eigenen Projekte einbinden koennen. Softwareentwickler, Designer, Architekten, aber auch dokumentierende Berufe, wie Fotografen, Schriftsteller (technische oder Arbeitsbezogene Literatur). Einen habe ich kennengelernt,
    der hat ein ganzes Softwarehandbuch waehrend seiner Australienreise geschrieben. Waere so was im Marketing nicht auch moeglich. Per Skype bist du ja ueberall erreichbar….

    So kannst du 3-4 Monate im Ausland verbringen und den Rest in D, ohne jedes Mal deinen Job kuendigen zu muessen.

    Es gibt ausserdem so ein paar kleine Moeglichkeiten, etwas Geld zu verdienen. Wenn du ein guter Fotograf bist, warum laesst du deine besten Bilder nicht in Oel malen ? Thai Maler sind hervorragend. Ich habe das selbst schon ausprobiert. Ich habe denen eine Fotografie gegeben und die haben 3 Tage gebraucht um das in einem grossen Format 90*60 cm zu malen. Kosten 3000 Baht. Das ganze dann in D verkaufen. Oelbilder kosten in D ja ein Schweinegeld… 500-1000 Euro das Stueck, wenns reicht. Du kannst aber auch moderne Kunstbilder aufkaufen und in D verkaufen. Gerade vor Weihnachten sind das Super Geschenke…. Bilderleinwaende kann man zusammenrollen und ein Bild wiegt etwa 200 Gramm. Grossen Koffer mitnehmen und im eigenen Gepaeck transportieren.

    Was es auch nirgends gibt ist ein guter High Quality Fotokalender mit philp. Motiven. Das was es zu kaufen gibt, ist billiger Schrott. Wolltest du nicht mehr fotografieren ?

    Es gibt schon einige Sachen, die man machen kann, aber die Kunden muessen Europaer sein, die haben Geld… Filipinos sind sehr eifersuechtig, besonders wenn du Erfolg hast. Fuer die gibt es eine ganze reihe Tricks, dein Geschaeft kaputt zu machen… oder sie kopieren dich gnadenlos, bis du nix mehr verdienst. Solange du kein Tagalog oder Bisaya sprichst, weisst du nie, was die dir vormachen. Ich habe da so meine eigenen Erfahrungen gemacht.

    Ok, das sind so einige Ideen fuer dich, falls es dich interessiert… 😉

    • Phil D.

      Hi Ernest,

      danke für deine Tips. Die Freelance-Schiene ist schon gut aber das geht tatsächlich eher in Branchen in denen man etwas liefert oder produziert. In meinem Bereich ist das etwas anderes..da bist du Ansprechpartner, musst erreichbar sein, Sachen managen, oft mit anderen zusammen und das geht aus der Ferne aus meiner Sicht doch eher schwer. Als Designer oder Entwickler hat man da natürlich viel bessere Karten. Naja, ich muss mal schauen.

      Das mit den Bildern finde ich erst mal eine gute Idee. Nur muss man bei so etwas aber auch sicher sein, dass es sich verkauft. Hatte mal aus Bangkok so 10 Handtaschen mitgenommen die ich auf dem Chatuchak gekauft hatte. Wollte Sie dann bei ebay verscherbeln aber das hat überhaupt nicht geklappt. Kein Interesse und bereits zu viel Angebot. Und das ist mittlerweile, so wie ich es gehört habe, bei vielen Sachen so. Zum Beispiel asiatische Möbel….da ist der Markt hier schon völlig gesättigt.

      Was ich halt attraktiv an einem Business in Asien finde ist, dass a) das Invest nicht so groß ist, b) die Märkte nicht so gesättigt sind und es deshalb mehr Möglichkeiten gibt und c) die Nachfrage stetig steigt. Aber du hast Recht, dafür hat man auf der anderen Seite mit andere Widrigkeiten zu kämpfen. Wenn man übers Ohr gehauen wird, ist das auch nicht gerade witzig. Vor allem aber wenn dein Geschäft kaputt gemacht wird nur weil andere neidisch auf den Erfolg sind. Das stelle ich mir sehr, sehr frustrierend vor.

      Was waren denn deine negativen Erfahrungen die du gemacht hast?

      • Ernest

        Hallo Philipp,

        zu deiner Frage zu meinen Erfahrungen. Also ich war ja in D ein Businessmensch und denke ich kenne die Regeln des deutschen Geschaeftslebens ausreichend.

        Ich habe festgestellt, dass in Asien alles anders funktioniert. Beziehungen sind hier
        alles. Und eine Familie im Hintergrund, die dir bei den Geschaeften den Ruecken staerkt.
        Dann muss man die gleiche Denke haben wie die Locals und damit auch eine kompatible Mentalitaet. Locals misstrauen Foreigners und haben auch ziemlich abstrusse Vorstellungen von uns.

        Wenn Asiaten die Wahl eines Geschaeftes haben zwischen einem Foreign Business und einem einheimischen Business, waehlen sie aus Solidaritaet meistens das einheimische. Alles ist durch Bindungen (Utang) bestimmt.

        75% aller Foreign Businesses haben Foreigner als Kunden. Ob Holiday Resorts, BPOs oder Export von Waren…

        Dazu kommt, dass Einheimische eine niedere Kaufkraft haben. Und die meisten einheimischen Businesses sind Essensverkauf oder Franchisebetriebe.
        Fremden Ideen steht man nicht gerade offen gegenueber. Es fehlt eine Unternehmerkultur. Die einzigen Zentren fuer Business sind Manila und mit grossem Abstand Cebu. Um einen lokalen Bankkredit zu bekommen, braucht man als Buergen wohlhabende Verwandte oder Sicherheiten durch lokalen Real Estate.

        Das naechste Problem sind eine ausufernde Buerokratie. Es ist noch komplizierter und langwieriger als in D. Man darf fast fuer alle Genehmigungen eine sogenannte “Expressgebuehr ” bezahlen (Korruption).

        Es gilt die 40/60 Regelung. Ein Foreigner kann nur 40% eines Business besitzen, 60% muss lokal bleiben. Das gleiche gilt fuer Grundbesitz. Mit anderen Worten, du darfst zwar bezahlen, aber zu sagen hast du nix. Im Streitfall riskierst du den Totalverlust. Einheimische bekommen vor Gericht fast immer Recht. (Wie in Italien und Spanien).

        Ein weiteres Problem ist die Unehrlichkeit. Luegen ist ein Sport hier. Leihe niemals Geld. Du bekommst es in 90% aller Faelle nicht zurueck. Oft wird es als ein Geschenk betrachtet… Freundschaften haben hier einen anderen Stellenwert. Und sind auch schnell wieder verflogen.

        Philipp, alles was ich hier sage horet sich negativ an, ich weiss. Fuer Filipinos ist es halt die normale Welt, die sie kennen. Sie sind Enttaeuschungen gewohnt und gehen anders damit um. Bahala NA eben…..
        Warum sind wir im Westen wohlhabend und haben eine grosse Mittelschicht ?
        Und warum sind hier 70 % arm und es gibt nur eine kleine Mittelschicht ?

        Es gibt ueber dieses Thema noch so viel zu erzaehlen, aber ich will hier kein Buch schreiben, hahaha…..

        Daher habe ich alle Bemuehungen auf ein Business eingestellt. Kostet mich daher keine Nerven und ich kann mein Leben besser geniessen….

        • Philipp Dukatz

          Hallo Ernest,

          vielen Dank für deine ausführliche Einschätzung und die Schilderung deiner Erfahrungen. Ist halt wohl doch etwas anderes wenn man jahrelang schon im Land lebt.

          Das Ganze hört sich dann doch relativ abschreckend an muss ich sagen. Schade ist auch zu hören, dass Freundschaften wohl nicht so viel gelten. Ich bin jemand, dem so etwas sehr wichtig ist und auch immer versucht Freundschaften zu erhalten. Wenn das dann beim Gegenüber nicht so ist, ist das immer schade finde ich.

          Zu den Business-Angelegenheiten. Ja, ich habe jetzt auch schon von mehreren Leuten mitbekommen, dass die Bürokratie wohl ziemlich nervenaufreibend sein kann. Ich habe bis jetzt immer eher die Chancen dort gesehen. Wie gesagt, steigende Nachfrage, steigende Kaufkraft und mehr Möglichkeiten weil der Markt noch nicht so gesättigt ist. Tja, aber anscheinend gibt es dann bei der Umsetzung doch größere Hürden als gedacht.

          Ich glaub du machst das vor dem Hintergrund schon ganz richtig dich aus diesem Thema herauszuhalten. Wenn man jetzt eh nicht so auf ein Einkommen vor Ort angewiesen ist, dann ist das ja auch völlig in Ordnung. Was soll man sich noch solchen zusätzlichen Stress aufbürden.

          Aber trotz deiner Schilderung scheint es dir ja auf den Philippinen zu gefallen. Sonst wärst du ja nicht schon so lange vor Ort. Du hattest geschrieben, dass du auch viel In Asien reist. Was sind denn deine Eindrücke von den anderen Ländern im Vergleich? Hast du noch einen anderen Favoriten?

          Mir persönlich hat Myanmar unglaublich gut gefallen. Ist wirklich das mit Abstand spirituellste Land in ganz Südostasien und “noch” sehr authentisch. Aber auch das wird, wie ich fürchte, bald vorbei sein. In jedem Fall ist es ein Land, in das ich noch einmal zurück muss.

          Viele Grüße,


          • Ernest

            Hallo Phillip,

            sorry fuer meine Negativities ueber das “Paradies” Philippinen. Aber es ist immer eine voellig andere Sache als Tourist in Asien zu reisen ODER als Resident dort zu leben. Als Tourist gelten andere Regeln wie im taeglichen Leben. Das ist auf der ganzen Welt so, denke ich.

            Ich habe auch lange Suedamerica bereist und bin wirklich verbunden mit den Laendern dort. Meine erste Frau habe ich auf einer Reise in Chile kennengelernt und vor lauter Begeisterung geheiratet. Ich wollte mit ihr sogar dort leben. Aber Arbeiten und Leben ist auch dort eine ganz andere Erfahrung. Ganz andere Lebens und Arbeitsregeln. Daher sind wir nach D uebergesiedelt.

            Bevor ich mich fuer Asien als Wohnort entschieden hatte, war ich echt am Ueberlegen, ob Suedamerica nicht besser waere. Aber Suedamerica ist je nach Land auch weitaus gefaehrlicher als Asien.

            Philippinen hat den Vorteil der christlichen bekannten Werte und der Sprache Englisch. Und wenn man die hiesigen Regeln respektiert und sich aus allen Konflikten raushaelt, lebt sichs problemlos.

            Vietnam ist zwar auch ein faszinierendes Land aber nur wenige sprechen Englisch und man sollte dann besser Vietnamesisch lernen. Sonst lebt man dort zu isoliert und auf Expats bezogen. Aber gerade Saigon ist eine faszinierende Stadt mit etwa den gleichen Lebenshaltungskosten wie Cebu City. Auch das Essen ist weit besser als hier in den Phils. Vietnamesen sind rank und schlank, waehrend die Filipinos immer mehr verfetten….;-)

            Thailand ist sehr touristisch, hat aber eine Super Infrastruktur. Aber auch hier gilt, Sprache lernen. Ich halte es dort gut eine Weile aus, aber man muss dort asiatisches Denken lernen, sonst kann man sich nicht wirklich einleben. Die Familie ist noch mehr als in den Phils alles….
            Wenn du mit einer Thai liiert bist, stehst du trotzdem an hinterer Stelle. Erst kommt die ganze Familie, dann enge Freunde, dann hoffentlich du. Hoert sich schraeg an, aber viele Expats koennen ein Lied davon singen.

            Myanmar ist eine Perle… Noch.. Es gibt die Oeffnung des Landes ja nur kurze Zeit und vieles ist noch unverfaelscht. Das Land ist reich an lebendiger Kultur. Die leben dort was sie sind. Es ist wie ein Blick in eine lange Vergangenheit. Religion , Lebensregeln und Familienbindungen. Hoffentlich noch recht lange.
            Fuer jemand der mit offenen Augen und(im buddhistischen Sinne) offenem Herzen durch das Land reist ist es eine wunderbare Erfahrung.

            Noch eines, was ganz Wichtig in Asien ist. FACE…. oder die Angst vor Gesichtsverlust. Das bestimmt das Verhalten und die Lebensweise fast aller Menschen hier. Wenn man da tiefer graebt, kommt man aus dem Staunen nicht mehr heraus. Ich denke, dass das auch die Ursache aller Korruption ist. Die Asiaten haben eine grosse Angst vor Gesichtsverlust und tun alles, um das zu vermeiden. Und verheimlichen auch innere Problematiken, fressen vieles in sich hinein. Das offene Gespraech wie bei uns ist sehr selten. Man hat immer Angst, dass die eigene Schwaeche ausgenutzt wird. Daher wird alles hinter einem strahlenden Laecheln verborgen, damit niemand die Probleme erkennen kann.

            Wir Westerner koennen das nicht. Unsere Gefuehle spiegeln sich in unserem Verhalten wieder. Gesichtsverlust ist uns eher fremd.
            Diese Verschiedenheit produziert endlose Probleme zwischen Western People und Locals. Meist unausgesprochene…. Man braucht lange Zeit um hinter die
            Fassaden schauen zu koennen. Aber es gibt keine Alternativen dazu, wenn man
            in Harmonie in Asien leben will.

            Und wie schon gesagt, Freundschaften sind selten wirklich tief. Asiaten schliessen Freundschaften nur mit Leuten, die sie sehr gut kennen und denen sie absolut vertrauen. Jeder sagt, i am your best friend…. ob nach einer Stunde, einem Tag oder Wochen…. wenn es dann zum Konflikt kommt, hat man dann alles wieder vergessen. Nur Familienbeziehungen zaehlen… hier in den Phils.. UTANG genannt.

            Alles was ich hier sage, ist das was ich so mit der Zeit begriffen habe und natuerlich persoenlich gefaerbt. Andere machen andere Erfahrungen… wir alle sind verschieden…. 🙂
            Es ist die Lebensherausforderung, mein KARMA, das mich hierher gebracht hat, denke ich… und da ich an Wiedergeburt glaube… ein Teil einer vielleicht viel groesseren Erfahrung….who knows…;)

  104. Pio M. Sian

    Thank you for your kind words about my old country. I was born in Manila and spent first 25 years and studied Medicine. My wife Hirfa and I moved to the US almost 50 years ago and at present in Navajo Indian Reservation taking care of the native population. I too, is ein Wanderlust, fortunate enough to stay some time in Bavaria – Passau, Poking, most towns around Bodensee, walked the Alps and chance to visit my friends in Rheinau, Switzerland, Missed the Oberammergau by a few days. Also missed the best drink in the world, Bavarian beer., we have to alert., but had “Schinken” many different kinds of sausages. “Prima”. Planning to get to Sud Europa in Mar-April , Spain, Portugal and Italy. Enjoy your trips and “Gluck”

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Pio,
      thanks for stopping by. Working with native Indians sounds like a very interesting job. I would like to hear more about it. So by now, you are probably more an American than a Filipini I suppose. 50 years is a long time. Good for you that you got to see my home country as well. And you are right, Bavarian beer is sure a treat. Thanks again Pio. All the best, Philipp

  105. Belle Pagangpang

    First blog i followed…
    love it!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Belle, I feel honored that it is the first blog you follow. Thanks so much for that …. feel free to browse around and check some of my stories …. All the best and thanks again .. Philipp

  106. Hannah


    Your pictures are beautiful! What camera do you use to shoot with? Looking to invest in something new before I move to Hanoi in March 🙂


    • Philipp Dukatz

      HI Hannah,
      thanks for getting in touch and I am happy you like my photos. All of the photos on the blog have been taken with the EOS 600D by Canon. However, Canon has introduced new models of that series, the 700D and I think they just recently introduced the 750D. I was happy with the camera but it of course depends on the lens(es) you use. Let me know if you need further input.
      May I ask what you will be doing in Hanoi?
      Cheers, Philipp

  107. Joyce Santos

    Hello Pipoy!

    I’m from the Philippines and I am very happy while reading your blog. It brought a big smile on my face while looking at your pictures, I am proud of my country and it’s nice to come across a person that appreciates it as well.

    I’m looking forward to travel more this year. BTW, I love your Sagada blog entry, been there and yes, it was amazing!

    More power and may God bless you more!



    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Joyce, thanks for stopping by and your kind message. I am happy you liked the story an my pictures. It’s awesome that you’ve also been to Sagada. It’s a nice place isn’t it? More power to you as well and all the best, Pipoy

  108. Annemijn

    Hi Philipp, We want to travel to South-East Asia after our study for a year. We love your blog to read and make plans for our trip. We have a few questions: We want to see the real Asia and we love pure nature. Which countries we have to visit and which places? We both have our driverslicense , but do we need to have a motorlicense for the roadtrips you did? How did you packed your camera, we also want to take our Nikon with us, but we have no idea what the best way to pack it.

    We will keep following your blog. We both love it!

    Thank you,
    Dutchies Annemijn&Jeroen

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Annemijm, your question about destination is a bit hard to answer since it is a very individual thing. It will also depend on how much time you want to spend in Southeast Asia. Every country has its very own highlights. I would suggest you give me your timeframe and also some more info about your interests. I would then see if can recommend a few places.
      The the driver’s license for motorbikes. This has become a critical issue, at least for Thailand. I personally don’t have a proper motorbike license and I also never had any troubles. Recently I heard of reports that it gets controlled in Thailand now and that they want to see a proper license. I have no idea how serious this has become, I reckon you can still go without taking your chances. But it is sort of a grea zone and you have to decide. In all the other countries you should be fine without a motorbike license.
      Carrying you camera: Again, I need more info here. Nikon is great as it depends on the size of the body. Also, how many lenses will you be carrying and which ones. Generally I found the Lowepro Nova AW bags quite handy. I actually just bought one myself. They are practical and have a raincover like backpacks have them. Maybe you can check those out first.
      OK, just give me some more info on the other things and I’d be happy to help you out. Cheers and have great time planning your trip

      • Annemijn

        Hi Phillipp,

        We intend to stay away for a year, just as you have done. We love beautiful mountainous terrain. We would like to go into the jungle. Waterfalls we also find impressive to see. With architecture we would love the beautiful Buddhist temples.

        Besides the tourist attractions, we would also like to see what life is really in Asia. We are in doubt between Myanmar and Indonesia (Kalimantan and Sulawesi). Would you recommend Myanmar with our interests.

        Your blog about the Philippines has ensured that we would go there. We would like to learn to surf, because that seems to us very much. We also love to snorkel and want we take a diving course.

        Thank you very much,
        Annemijn & Jeroen

        • Philipp Dukatz

          Hi Annemijn,
          sounds like a nice trip you are planning there. Myanmar is one of my favorite countries in SEA, enjoyed it a lot there. The highlights are definitely more about culture but it’s amazing. I can recommend anyone interested in that to go there. Especially since it is changing quickly. Sulawesi is also nice but you need to expect long transportation days there. Getting around is a bit more difficult than in other parts I would say. I can’t say much about Kalimantan as I haven’t been there… But it should be nice as wel. I think you can’t go wrong with any of these places. Maybe you can do them all if you have a year time …

  109. Ralph

    Hi Phil

    You’re Blog is such amazing. Great sharing of stories and experiences about your travel life and I’m really inspired with it. You’re really an inspiration for me as I am dreaming to be like you. To explore new things, doing adventure, seeking and learning different culture and of course by taking shots of great moments of our lives. Thanks for sharing all og those. And hope to escape different edge of the world too. As I am dreaming, I am really thankful for some people who motivate people like me. Thanks for all Phil. (Hope I could have some autograph from you) eventhough it’s quite impossible but I believe that everything could be Possible. You don’t know how you changed my Life now.

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Ralph, thanks a lot for your kind words. I am happy you enjoyed the blog and found some inspiration in my articles. That is awesome and I am honored. I hope you will be able to make all of your dreams come true. Take care, Philipp

  110. Can Julianto

    It is hard to believe I found an inspiring blog while searching for a cottage in Bunaken Island, what a wonderful incident!
    Hi Phil, I believe your stories are inspiring million people and one of them is me. I really wish that I were you, have the courage and gut to leave the job and see the world. Tell you a truth, I felt a twinge of envy, but I do not have the gut to leave my comfortable zone. However, I still hunger and love adventures.
    I am living in Manado now, let me know if you visit Manado. I’ll bring you go around Sulawesi Utara.

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Can, nice to hear from you my friend and thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate it.You know, it is also ok to stay in your comfort zone..it doesn’t make sense to just force yourself out and then be unhappy afterwards. If this is what you wanna do and what you are confortable with, stick to it by all means. You can still have adventures and see places. I mean you live in Manado, beautiful places are all around you. Bunaken, the rest of Sulawesi… see those and get out there. No need to leave your job…. just make the best of it.. That would be my advice …. And yes, if I will be back in Manado, I will hit u up and you can show me around. That would be sweet …

      • Can Julianto

        Hi Phil,
        Thanks for the reply. I wish u can always have wonderful adventures and keep update and sharing your journey with us. I have bookmark your blog!
        If you visit Sulawesi again, I recommend you Tumbak Marines Park and Togean Island.

  111. vina

    your works are impressive…they are worth reading. i guess i dont need to travel to see those places u’ve been through cos u already take me there by just reading them. your photos are amazing, always taken from the right angle coupled with a good writing style. i can read your heart while reading them…very nice!!!….keep writing.

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Wow, what a nice comment. That is really good to hear. Feedback like that keeps me going and motivated …. That really means a lot to me, honestly. I am very happy that you enjoy my writing and photos as I am never really sure if people really dig it. Thanks so much 🙂

  112. Kim

    Hello Philipp. They’ve all said it; your posts are incredibly fascinating. I love the details of your photos. This is probably one of the best sites I’ve seen that covers the region. I’m Pinoy and a bit of a wanderer myself, and it will be my first time in your homeland this coming weeks! I’ve also started blogging as a hobby because there’s just so much in this world to share. It’s called moonlightingdoctor@blogspot.com. Planning a trip to Mandalay and Bagan for July, and hoping it will be great. Or maybe Lampang, Phrae and Sukhothai. It’s still a debate. Hahaha. Where are you off to, next? Safe travels! Kim.

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Kim thanks so much for stopping by and your kind words about my blog and mypictures. I really appreciate it, especially coming from someone from the region. Keep me updated about your plans, both ideas sound exciting …. I hope I will be back in Pinas soon …

      • Kim

        Hey Philipp. I just came back from an amazing trip from Germany and I cannot stop raving about it. Ive been delaying Germany because it’s such a huge country but the locals were friendly and helpful and it was such a sweet surprise. This is probably not the venue to rave about your hometown hahaha. But I wanna go back soon! If you can drop by Pinas in the future; that would be great. And just go ahead and ask anything; you have my mail. It would be nice to repay the kindness of some of the Germans that we met on that trip. I just read (again) about your Mandalay recommendations because I’m still halfway in and out the door on Mandalay, versus Sukhothai. Cheers and safe travels! Kim.

        • Philipp Dukatz

          Hi Kim, great to hear that you had a good time in my homecountry. Where did you go and what did you like best. Especially thrilled to hear that my fellow countrymen and women were helpful and kind. That’s always good. So yeah, we will see when I can go back to Pinas again. I will definitely be in touch…. Let me know what u end up deciding …. Philipp

          • Kim

            Hi Philipp. We just went ten days in the Frankfurt Rhine area and Berlin/Potsdam/Spree. Just like you we love to travel very slowly just to absorb everything. I havent read where exactly you’re from, by the way. At the Rhine area, we stayed up in the hill in the town of Oberwesel and when we didn’t know that it was difficult to find a taxi, a friendly stranger and her mom invited to just take us up to the hotel! It was a bit embarrassing because you know how we Asians pack and we don’t pack very lightly and they have just a small car! We loved the Spreewald the best. We walked from town to town and took a punt and it was just sooo tranquil. Where are you off to next? Cheers! Kim

          • Philipp Dukatz

            Hi Kim, wow your journey sounds good. You have already seen parts of Germany which I haven’tbeen to. For example the Spreewald which is actually not even too far from where I was born – Potsdam. Good on ya for going and I am happy to hear you had a good time. Where are you off to next?

            Cheers, Philipp

  113. Alex

    What a nice blog! hope you enjoy Asia! 🙂

  114. Gail

    Hey Phil,

    Why in the world did I just came across your blog today?! I didn’t know I was living under a rock. Hahaha! As I read our post, I can only note 3 words – happy, proud and humble.

    I am happy (as I always am whenever I read travel stories). I am a Filipina, a traveler like you, and some of the places you’ve been here in my country I’ve never visited yet. You mentioned on the comments trail English is not your first tounge, but hey, you’re able to bring me to those places with your photos and words. I believe when you love what you do and when you write what comes from your heart, it would easily reach your readers and they would find themselves smitten by your words.

    I am proud. I am proud of my country. I have been around the South East Asia and everytime I travel I can’t help but compare — the beaches, the mountainsides, the culture, the government and the people, but though I enjoyed each of my journeys in these countries..still, Philippines would forever be my number 1. I am proud of my fellow Filipinos who you’ve met and took care of you and were never selfish in sharing their smiles and assisting you, being hospitable with you in our country. You would meet more of them around.

    It is humbling to see you write and sell my country’s tourism in your blog. It is humbling to see foreign people enjoying their stay here and eventually falling in love with the place.

    It is a pleasure reading/following your blog. Keep sharing your wonderful adventures. I hope to bump in with you or chat with you soon.

    Safe travels!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Gail, thanks for your thorough and nice feedback. I really appreciate it a lot. I had an amazing time in your country and writing about it was just my pleasure. So need to thank me for it. I am happy to hear that you like my writing and photography, that’s always encouraging. I honestlycan’t wait to be back again and explore some more. Hopefully soon… Take care and thanks again for stopping by … Philipp

  115. Dan

    Hi Philipp,
    Love your site!
    I have just come back from Boracay for a wedding and loved it, however, it was only for a week and would like to go back.
    I have a few questions for you, how do you stay fit on your holiday? Do you do go to a gym or do resistance work. Also, I am 36 and would like to start holidaying like you do. I chose to work and not travel in my younger days which I regret do you think this age is too old?
    Many thanks and keep up the great work!

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Dan, thanks for the comment. I am happy to hear you had a great time on Boracay, a place I have never visited. So concerning your questions: When I travel, I every now and then try to look up local gyms and squeeze in a workout. But it is definitely not regularly. First of all it is not my priority and second they are sometimes hard to come by. So I often go weeks without a workout. But yeah, backpacking keeps you slim – lots of walking, moving around. Good stuff. Your age – I would say go for it if you want to. I am a bit older myself, not the typical backpacker I’d say but that’s okay. Traveling and seeing places is just the best, no mater what age. So yeah, there is never a too old – it is just conventions and social norms that keep us tied to what we think is appropriate. Try to follow yourheart and if you don’t like it, go back to what u did before. That door is usually never shut. Let me know how it goes and take care, Phil

  116. Ashley


    Well done on the blog… I am working on creating my very own (which is not yet live) and am super impressed with all that you have accomplished. I’m planning a trip to Thailand in May and looking for some beautiful nature/waterfalls in the north. Any recommendations?


    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Ash,
      thanks a lot for your message and I am happy to hear that you enjoy my blog. I am wishing you all the best for your own blog …. Thailand is for sure a nice place and good for getting started. Have you made an itinerary yet? Best regards,


  117. berns

    Hi Phil!!hahah its been awhile, hmm how come you dont post anymore??busy much?

  118. winny

    Hi PHIL, its really glad to know you from ur blog,
    anyway where is ur next trip?

  119. Mati

    Hey Philipp,

    So I am considering doing a motorbike trip through Morocco. I am very excited but have very little experience with these types of bikes. I was wondering if you have ever had trouble with people taking it (do you lock it up when you are away), how many miles per gallon does a bike (125cc) use and if there are sufficient gas stops (do you carry fuel with you).

    Thank you much, your adventures are inspiring

    • Philipp Dukatz

      Hi Mati, I never traveled in Morocco so I cannot say much about the theft issue there. While I was traveling Asia I never locked my bike up. All good and never had problems. And yeah, it is usually always advisable to carry some extra fuel with ya. A liter bottle will suffice. Although in Asia you can buy fuel at every corner even in the most remote locations. Have a great trip my friend.

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