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4 Incredibly Useful Travel Tips For Balikbayans Traveling To The Philippines

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Homecoming can either be thrilling or daunting. It brings with it a mixture of emotions, especially for those who’ve gotten used to the culture, people and climate in a foreign country. Those returning home after being away for a long time find that so many of their habits that were deeply ingrained in their personalities before they left are long gone, leaving them frightened and detached, even of the things they were once so close to.

For people who spend a lot of time flying in and out of the country, homecoming becomes a means for unwinding and finding time to be reunited with loved ones.

Regardless of the reason for travel, homecoming is undeniably a time to look forward to; whether it brings positive or negative or a whole range of emotions. And just as coming home is inevitable, so too is the preparation required to make each homecoming extraordinary (and by extraordinary I mean beyond the usual – something you can remember and be happy or laugh about each time).

You definitely want to spend more time with every person you haven’t seen in a long time, visit the places that gave you unforgettable memories, and taste the food you haven’t tasted in years. This, together with the thought you’re going to be back in a place where you belong and blend in, a place where you’re not a foreigner and can blend in, a place where you’re one with the land (even if for a short time), makes homecoming a beautiful experience.

Here are some top tips for balikbayans to make sure your homecoming is one you won’t forget:

1. Dress for the season or the people. I believe one of the best ways you can be in touch with and be acclimatized the people right away, is for you to dress in a way that the location and environment requires. Being able to move freely and easily will allow you to be in contact with more people once you have set foot on your hometown.

2. Pack light and take note of baggage allowances. Although you ought to be bringing every “pasalubong” you could think of just to show people closest to your heart that they are always remembered, you also need to consider the baggage allowances set by air companies.

3. Make a list. In relation to tip # 3, you need to make a list of people and your itinerary while in the country that you are visiting. Remember that itemizing everything you need for your short stay would give you extra time for people that matter more than the preparations that a homecoming requires.

4. Finally, if you are one of the many Filipino Overseas Workers who have populated most of the modern world, coming back home to the Philippines would be a thrilling time and, so, you want to make the most of your stay while in the country. A thing to be grateful about is a recent presidential ruling as stated in Presidential Proclamation No. 181 “Declaring the Years 2011 to 2016 as the Pinoy Homecoming Years” which was signed on June 3, 2011. This campaign reinforces Republic Act No. 6768, as modified, or the “Balikbayan Program.” Under the Balikbayan Program, overseas Filipinos (OFs) are provided exceptional benefits in appreciation of their contribution to the progress of the Philippine economy in terms of foreign exchange in flow as well as remittances.

“This is a campaign that recognizes three things: the invaluable contributions of Filipinos overseas, our urgent need to develop and promote Philippine tourism further and how much can be achieved when government agencies work together,” mentions DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez. “We also have to tap into the market of second and third generation Filipinos abroad and encourage them to discover their roots.”

To reach a broader audience for the campaign www.pinoyhomecoming.ph was launched. With this launch, Pinoys abroad can easily access Philippine news portals, tourism products as well as services, hands-on balikbayan tips, Philippine holidays, festival calendars, as well as a directory of industry partners and the contact details of DOT’s international offices.

As much as possible, you want homecoming to be convenient. Planning ahead and considering these top homecoming tips for balikbayans would definitely provide you the comfort you so desire to have once you have set foot on your native land.

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