Trip Report: Hanging in Tropical Philippines
Guest post by Warren Kuhn
The Philippines is a great camping destination. With 7,107 islands, it’s very diverse in natural destinations. You can go from the beach to a tropical forest or a mountaintop in a matter of minutes or few hours. However, my visits were mostly to the beaches.
Hammock camping is slowly gaining popularity in some islands. Siargao, an island in the southern Philippines, popular for its world class waves for surfing, even has spots for hammocks alone. Instead of providing bed space, they offer spots for hanging your hammocks.
While that is very convenient, it’s really not all that difficult to find spots for your hammock. You can find coconut trees along the beach where you can tie up your accommodation. Many campsites also have trees where you can set up your space.
In Cebu, an island in the central Philippines, I was able to go to “Kawasan Waterfalls.” Such a beautiful place with some accommodation nearby. I hung my hammock between the two trees at the third tier and got to relax after some swimming.
Cebu also has lots of beautiful public beaches. A lot of places allow tents and if you can find a spot, you can use a hammock as well. However, check around for facilities such as toilets and shower. If you are not ready to rough it, then you might want to reconsider your accommodation.
My favorite was probably camping in Palawan. It’s home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the underground river, and great diving sites. The sky is so clear and full of stars, with so many shooting stars passing by. Then in the morning, I was greeted by one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen.
I was very happy I camped on my hammocks. Creepy crawlers are everywhere so I felt so glad I was not on the ground. However, you also have to take note of bugs from trees.
During summer, “Til-as” or itchy worms fall often fall from trees. My hammock has a net cover so I was able to protect myself from that. I also put up my tarp on some occasions.
You might be able to hang around anywhere, but if you’re camping overnight, make sure to ask first. You also have to consider your safety. While the Philippines is a friendly country, keep in mind that some people might not be as kind as you expect them to be.
Before you go camping, first check out the facilities. Showers and toilets are not always easy to find, so unless you are ready to rough it, be ready to pay. Some days, I booked in a hotel or hostel just for the nice shower. Some places might also have camping grills to cook your meals for you or your group.
Tips for Hammocking in the Philippines:
- Have small bills and some coins in hand. Avoid carrying big bills, especially if far from the town or the city.
- Drink lots of water. It can get really hot and to avoid dehydration and heat stroke, you should drink plenty of water.
- Find a breezy spot to hang your hammock. Seriously, it’s hot.
- Have your tarp ready at all times. Sometimes, the weather gets so bipolar. It’s super sunny in the morning, then all of a sudden, there’s heavy rain in the afternoon. You should also pack your rain jacket. However, it also depends on what season you go. From June to November, it’s the rainy season. December to May is dry season, with warm temperatures from March to November.
- Pack cool, breezy clothing such as tank tops and shorts. You can also pack a rain jacket, and an extra layer, just in case. For shoes, opt for open sandals, flipflops and something light.
- Protect yourself from the sun. It can get quite harsh. Pack sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. In the Philippines you might also be traveling often on a tricycle or jeepneys. A scarf to cover your face from dust might be helpful.
- Use insect repellent for more protection. You should also get the recommended vaccinations. Better safe than sorry! Dengue and malaria are present in the Philippines.
- Bring a water bottle with you. There aren’t refill stations and you can’t really drink from the tap, but some places might have water dispensers. You might also be able to refill with just a drop of a peso coin. That way, you aren’t buying a plastic bottle each time.
- Bring some sort of entertainment, such as a book, for downtimes.
Hammocking in the Philippines has been quite an adventure. It’s gaining popularity among the local travelers. There are no formal rules or grounds yet for many places to be ready for an adventure. You’ll surely have a lot of it in this country.
Warren Kuhn is an outdoor and camping enthusiast, always out to seek for the thrill and adrenaline that only nature gives. He even took up survival training to prepare him for the worst-case scenarios while outdoors.
With his background, you can learn a lot from him so you can get the most out of your camping trip at TheCampingTrips.
I was just in the Philippines in December and loved using my Sawyer mini filter with a 16 or 32oz bag attached. I never had to worry about the water!