When you travel, you will most likely meet some interesting people along the way. He could be that cute guy right in front of you in the long queue or that fashionably dressed socialite sitting beside you in the plane.
In the eye of an observant fellow traveller, there are some colourful characters that are truly worth remembering. You may have bumped into them at the airport, stood behind them at the check-in queue or shared accommodations for a day or two; and you have noted how weird, funny or annoying they are. When you travel around the Philippines, here are 15 distinct travel personalities you will probably encounter. Consider yourself briefed.
1. The Annoying Conyo
English is the second language of the country. Everywhere you go, from tourist guides to drivers, everyone knows how to converse in English. But there are some people who are absolutely annoying when they speak; they are called Conyos. “Like punta na tayo there, now na!” They talk in Filipino and English at the same time (they cannot decide which language to use) using a high-pitch voice—channeling an annoying version of Cher Horowitz of Clueless.
2. The Balikbayan Tourist
Tanned skin with necks and wrists decorated with gold bling, talking with a bit of European or American twang they picked up from staying far too long outside the Philippines, these Balikbayan Tourists are mostly seen travelling in packs, usually accompanied with screaming nephews, overfriendly titas and FOMO nieces. They visit various tourist spots in the hopes of reconnecting with their motherland.
3. The Freeloader
Filipinos are a thrifty bunch. If presented the opportunity to get freebies, they will pack as many as they can like extra tissue napkins, sugar and cream packets and those hotel-issued mini bottles of toiletries. I’m pretty sure you get the picture.
4. The Shoestring Traveller
Also known as the budget traveller. You would definitely want to travel with this type if you want to stick to your budget. Flight tickets are booked in advance (thanks to seat sale!) and accommodations are preferably couch-surfing or room that comes with free breakfast. Cash is placed in separate envelopes with labels “accommodations”, “transportation” and “food”.
5. The Nega-tron
Bright ideas? You can depend on Nega-trons to shoot down every idea presented. Don’t be too shocked if you get an endless streams of NO’s.
6. The Selfie Addict
Selfie to the left, right and centre with numerous backgrounds—from the plane to the comfort room. If you want to immortalise your trip with selfie photos, stick with the Selfie Addicts with high hopes to be part of their #groufie.
7. The Shutterbug
Not to be confused with Selfie Addicts, Shutterbugs travel with humongous baggage filled with camera accessories; or when travelling light, they lug around a camera bag as a carry-on. If you want to get amazing profile Facebook-worthy shots, you know who to go with.
8. The Fashionista
Fashionistas take pretty photos complete with cute outfits with #OOTD hashtags. They pack lots of stuff in their bags, organise their clothes and accessories with imaginary label as to what and when to wear per day. Not to mention emergency outfits for special occasions. And let’s not get started on the shoes and matching purses.
9. The Planner
Meticulous planning equals successful vacation. Pair the Planner with the Shoestring Traveller and you’ll get a dream team. Travel dates, accommodations, itinerary and DIY tours are all plotted in Excel format with bullet points. Oh, and a Plan A, B, and C are carefully planned in case there is an Itinerary Destroyer in the group. Pre-travel meetings are scheduled in case there are things they missed out.
10. The Itinerary Destroyer
Every Planner’s nemesis and the devil’s advocate, Itinerary Destroyers are not necessarily the bad guys. They just see reason and loopholes in the plans, and always smug because they know that Planners will have to work around their suggestions with a prepared Plan B, C, D, or E.
11. The Soul Searcher
Heartbroken or experiencing a midlife crisis, Soul Searchers usually travel solo, exploring new and unfamiliar places to pick up the pieces and find themselves again. These renegade travellers prefer their own company versus being slowed down by a travelling companion. The downside of this is that they have to do things on their own without the help of other people. In case they need to go to the johns, they have to lug around their suitcase—which kind of sucks.
12. The Lovebirds
They can be a fun pair if they don’t do PDA or fight in front of you. When you’re strapped with Love Birds in a group, be prepared for sulking moments and couple fights over small things. Travelling with these two can be a bit stressful but you can count on them as tie-breaker in times of important decision making like where to eat lunch.
13. The Bargain Hunter
After Google-ing blogs and reviews, Bargain Hunters will come up with a list of stores where everyone can buy a pasalubong and souvenir back home. You can rely on them to find gorgeous fashion finds, unique souvenirs and delicious delicacies to bring back to your loved ones.
14. The Digital Nomad
Digital Nomads mix business with leisure. It’s fun but tiring at the same time. They bring their work anywhere as far as the cold mountains down to the sunny beaches. They are equipped with pocket Wi-Fi and extra power banks. Their career is squeezed inside their backpacks and electricity is the bane of their existence.
15. The YOLO-ist
YOLO-ists prefer adrenaline-pumping activities, not limited to white river rafting, mountain climbing, camping under the stars without proper plumbing facilities, skydiving or bungee jumping. These risk-takers probably have a death wish and a life insurance to try every heart-stopping activity in the area.
There you have it, 15 different types of travellers you will meet in the Philippines. Now, the question is — are you one of them?
This article originally appeared in Tripzilla Magazine on February 22, 2016.