What to expect from your Philippines Homestay Experience………
We encourage you to eat with your homestay family for a more authentic experience. Food is big in the Philippines, as it is in most countries, and home cooked Filipino food is the best some of the Filipino favorites are Pork and Chicken Adobo, sweet an sour fish Kare Kare, and many others. At Flip Flop our dish of choice is Kinilaw – a raw fish dish with vinegar dressing. MASARAP (delicious). Of course rice is the norm to compliment any meal but white bread is also readily available. Please inform your host family if you are vegetarian so they can accommodate you. Meals with your host family will cost you 50p for breakfast and 100p for dinner and lunch. Feel free to get a lesson from whoever is cooking your meal.
Accommodation is basic, or as described by one of our test-run volunteers ‘rustic yet very comfortable’. You will find that all the houses are kept clean by the families, and despite the fact that the accommodation is basic you will realize how living simply doesn’t feel so bad after all! We aim to be open about what to expect at your homestay but encourage you not to be put off by the lack of luxury. We offer you a rating system and explanation of each homestay facilities. Often the homestay bathroom will have a bucket shower (you will shower inside with a bucket of water and a small pail to tip over your head). This is common in the Philippines and surprisingly refreshing in the hot climate. These places are real and you will live in the shoes of a Filipino family. Isn’t this why we travel in the fist place? To understand different cultures, and to experience. If you travel simply for a holiday we do not recommend our homestays for you – however it is our wish that everyone coming into the Philippines will experience staying with a family at some point on their travels. This will help you understand Philippines culture, and will be an uplifting experience which will show you the heart and soul of the Philippines!
We have been working and traveling in the Philippines since 2008 and have never had an unfavorable experience on our travels. We have found open friendly people willing to help out anyway they can. For each of our homestays we have talked to local barangay captains (community leader), and respected locals about whether this a suitable area. They provide us information on safety in the area and they have all confirmed that each area is peaceful. When you arrive you will receive a book with numbers to contact in emergencies, nearest hospital, and the number of the barangay captain. While we do not expect that you will have to use this the resource is there if you need. A Flip Flop representative has also stayed in each of the areas where we operate homestays to make sure that our clients memories are only good ones. The families we work with are genuine and friendly. We encourage you to take care of your possessions (like you would traveling anywhere) and be aware of your safety (as you would anywhere) but you should also acknowledge that we trust all of our homestay owners immensely.
You won’t regret staying in one of our many great homestay locations. The options are varied, beachside, admidst rice paddies, near to tourist areas, far from tourist areas. Each homestay will be unique, and we have faith in our Filipno hosts that they will make your stay amazing. If you read anything about Philippines culture you will find that they are extremely accommodating people – this is incredibly true of all of our hosts.
It will be up to you how you get involved with your homestay family. You may choose to treat it as a base as you explore the area returning to the family just for dinner and bed. You may choose to spend the day with the family while they show you the area, to cook with the family, and to immerse yourselves in their lifestyle. In the majority of our homestays you will be able to rent a bike from someone in the neighborhood, which will be a lot cheaper than the normal tourist price. It is our hope that you will feel part of the community and live like a Filipino would for a couple of days.