Top 15 Reasons Why You Should Not Travel with Your Friends: Philippine Travel Stories

People travel for different reasons, which, in turn, determine the number of pax in the group. Those who seek to reflect and relax may want to travel alone. Those who want to have a lovely time may want to travel in pairs. Then there are those who, God knows what their reason for travel may be, want to spend the time on the road with the barkada. Bad idea. We’re going to tell you the reasons why, and convince you that, you should NOT travel with your barkada.

1. They Cause Traffic

Traffic is a huge problem in the metro. The careers of so many traffic czars rose and fall because of traffic. The economy loses billions of pesos per day — BILLIONS per DAY. The magnitude of the problem is self-evident. And it’s getting worse each day.

Now, with your barkada around, we bet you guys are going to hold up the traffic at the Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud, Ilocos. Nope, we don’t want to hear excuses (we should know because we’re guilty of the same thing). To prove our point, here’s a fun barkada photo courtesy of Rap Rap (check his Instagram account, @lakbaydiwaph, for more photos):

And we mean traffic everywhere. It can be at the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal, while helping in the conservation effort, as we can see in this photo courtesy of ASTOUNDED APRIL (check her Instagram account, @lakwatsera_pinay, for more photos):

Or even at Mount Pulag National Park, in this photo by Ted Rellie Macatangay (check his Instagram account, @ted_randomphotography, for more photos):

2. Friends Block the View

Some sights are lovely in themselves, but friends, for some reason, cover the view.

Here are the Spanish senoritas at the Naked Island in Siargao Island, Surigao, photo courtesy of Lara Ontiveros (check her Instagram account, @ginger.shots, for more photos):

There’s a caption that goes with that photo, but we’re really uncomfortable reproducing that here because, well, let’s just say friends can say anything between themselves, right?

3. They Bring You to Crowded Places

Who knows what danger lurks in crowded places. Calorie-loaded food and similarly-minded people who’ll fight you for a spot on that food line. For instance, when you go spend the night with friends at the Sugbo Mercado, found at the IT Park in Lahug and Cebu Business Park in Ayala Center, both in the heart of Cebu City, you’ll encounter lots of food choices that will give you a splitting headache from indecision.

And, no, Keisha Elezze C. Batalon (check her Instagram account, @keishaelezze, for more photos), you can’t make it up by lovingly saying that “seldom do we see each other but I know she’ll always be there as much as I’m always here for her.” Awww. Sweet, but not enough to convince us that it’s a bad idea to go gallivanting with your friends. Good try, though.

Even better, er, to make it worse, these friends take pleasure in bringing you to these crowded places, like no experience is complete with it. Just listen to Miss DJ de Leon (check her Instagram account, @heymissdjdl, for more photos), who says that “a visit to Baguio is not complete without going to the Baguio public market.”

Sure, you can buy strawberries, fresh vegetables, crinkles, strawberry and ube jam, choco flakes, peanut brittles, kulangot ng intsik, the must-have walis-tambo, and a whole lot more. It’s a fun search for these pasalubong, used to entice the unsuspecting friends to go and visit the Baguio Public Market.

4. Friends Make You Sleep Outside

It’s good to sleep in the comfort of your home. Soft bed, softer pillows. Simply step out of the room and into the kitchen for midnight snack. Head on to the comfort room to pee in the middle of the night, or to shower when you wake up. That’s how the normal universe should work.

Your friends, however, would want you make you sleep outside the house, under the stars with nothing to protect you from the wind, rain and cold but a tent. A small sleeping tent. It’s like minimalist sleepover outside the house, in fact, far away in some secluded mountain. When you pee, you have to ask the anitos to move out of the intended target spot. When you take a shower, well, you don’t take a shower. You cook using a small, portable stove, carrying the load on your back.

Never mind that you’re sleeping under the stars, at the country’s most beautiful summit, Mt. Pulag.

That photo of a star-lit night in Mount Pulag is courtesy of this Rai Sean dude (check his Instagram account, @rhyjoe, for more photos). This dude arranges travels in these nice places. You should contact him if you wish to spend a portion of your life outside of the ordinary and drag your friends outside their comfort zones, too.

There’s something weird about friendship, you know. The closer you are to your friends, the worse they get when it comes to pranks and being brutally honest. They tell you things like, “eww, girl, you have a pimple!!,” in full shriek, when casual acquaintances politely stay quite about it. Or, having lured you to spend the night outside under the cold, star-lit night, they leave you behind to wake up on your royal bed, a bed of rocks, like this:

That’s @dealwithdavid, at Mascap, Montalban, Rizal, dreaming of a song which goes: “If I lay here. If I just lay here, Would lie with me and just forget the world?” No, David, you’re friends will intentionally forget about you. That’s the whole point of a prank. Terrible friends. We promise our friends that we’d never to that. Then again, friends habitually break casual promises.

5. Friends Will Leave You Hanging

Literally. Friends also do this on a regular basis. Think harder and you’ll find a treasure trove of memories when friends left you hanging. Come to think of it, that’s probably the origin of the word “hang out.” Next time your friends call and tell you to “hang out,” be careful. We don’t want you complaining later on that your friends left you hanging, like what Mags Dizon discovered. Here, look:

Adding salt to injury, as what close friends do, they took a photo of Mags (check her Instagram account, @magsdizon, for more photos), hanging for dear life at the Sugba Lagoon in Siargao Island.

Still not convinced that it’s a bad idea to travel with your friends?

6. Friends Bring You to Dangerous Places

If you’re still not convinced, here’s one that should do it. This is a variant of the “Friends Bring You to Crowded Places” reason, but this is something worse — friends bring you to dangerous places and events.

See that photo by Hannah Bianca?

That’s the Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. What do you think headhunters with bows and arrows will do to you? We’ll let Hannah (check her Instagram account, @hoyhana, for more photos) describe this festival:

“Kaamulan” is from the Binukid word “amul” which means “to gather”. It is a gathering of Bukidnon tribespeople for a purpose. It can mean a datuship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during harvest time, a peace pact, or all of these put together.”

“As an ethnic festival, the Kaamulan celebrates the customs and traditions of the seven tribal groups that originally inhabited the Bukidnon region. Several tribal folks representing the seven hill tribes of Bukidnon gather in unity with the local dwellers in town, wearing their intricately woven costumes studded with trinkets, anklets, earrings, necklaces, leglets, headdresses and amulets. They dance together, chant, perform ancient rituals, and compete in indigenous sports.”

Fun and historical, yes, but dangerous stuff. There are many similar festivals in the Philippines, from Ati-Atihan to Sinulog. In fact, we brought our friends to some of these festivals, hoping to scare them, yet they seemed to enjoy it. Weird friends (but birds of the same feather flock together, right?).

7. Friends Rock Your World

We’re not using that phrase in a good way. Remember the time when you had a rocky relationship? That’s the kind of “rocky” we’re talking about, only much worse. We say “rock your world” in both its figurative and literal sense. Here, look:

The “borderless boulder,” Romeo O. Luzano, Jr. said in a casual tone (check his Instagram account, @romeoluzanojr, for more photos). How he can say that in a casual manner, escapes us. Those are boulders, dear Romeo. Borderless boulders, you said. Huge slabs of rocks located in the tallest mountain AND volcano in the Philippines, Mt. Apo. Dangerous, dude.

If you think that’s all boulders, without any people (so there’s no danger, right?), here’s another vantage point, with the group in bright colors (in case of emergency, rescuers will see you better) at the same location, Mt. Apo. This photo is courtesy of Nurse Yam (check her Instagram account, @itsyamsy, for more photos).

A true friend will be very concerned for you, and they will probably ask you not to go. But Nurse Yam is not going to say that. Instead, she’s going to challenge you by saying that “you need mountains . . . long staircases doesn’t make you a good hiker.” Whoah! We NEED mountains? And boulders? My gulay, Yam. Good thing Nurse Yam is, well, a nurse. Good day to get injured.

Now, if you think sitting on boulders in bright-colored shirts is not enough reason for you not to go with your friends, here’s one that will make you change your mind.

“Would you dare to go rock climbing with me just like this?” That’s what Rasty Sanchez (check his Instagram account, @rastyismyname, for more photos) asked, cliffhanging at Mt. Binacayan.

No, Rasty, we’re not going with you, but we’re sure your friends did, and will still do.  The surprising thing is, if you ask his friends how was it, they’ll probably flash a hand sign that goes with the “rock on!!” scream. They’ll probably do it all over again. Hard-headed friends (or shall we say, “rock-headed” friends).

8. Friends Invite Sunburn

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures,” said Sarah Orsajes (check her Instagram account, @sarahcalilung, for more photos) in this photo with her friends, Team Byaheros, she calls the group, soaking the sun at the Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan.

Looks fun, yes, but we’ll explain why you should not be traveling with these friends. This looks like the dock going to Kayangan Lake, but that hardly matters. Whether outside or inside Kayangan Lake, the view is simply amazing, the waters clear, although we’re straying from the point — friends make you enjoy the place too much, you’ll forget you have no sunscreen on, or your sunscreen needs retouching.

We’re going to bet our bottom dollar that no one will go remind you to mind your sunscreen. Que horror! To top it all, this Team Byahero will not only get toasted, they will most probably wear their sunburn as a badge of adventure.

See how happy they are? “Happy pill,” that what Divine Start (check her Instagram account, @dstartee, for more photos) calls it. Same location. Same sunburn invitation. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

9. Friends Make You Wait

It is said that friendship stands the test of time. We know. We also that in a group of friends, there is always someone who will test the group by making them wait for some time. Look at your group. If your friends are always on time, we’re sure you’re the one who’s always late.

“Where u na?” This line sounds familiar? And is the reply familiar, too? “On my way.” On my way, our foot. When the agreed time is 9:00 a.m., and you just finished taking a bath at 8:45, “on my way” means stepping out of your house to start the 1-hour trip to where your friends are waiting. Some friends, in fact, are so oblivious of the time, your group will end waiting for him/her forever.

Just ask the group of Gen. Douglas McArthur and President Carlos P. Romulo, frozen in time at the McArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo, Leyte, in that photo courtesy of Itchat (check her Instagram account, @borjie.borj, for more photos).

10. Friends Feed You to the Lions

True friends always come to each other’s rescue. Minsan napapahamak, but the funny thing is, friends don’t mind. This brings us to one of our greatest fears, the ocean. We can ride ships and bancas across bodies of water, but swim in the middle of the sea? Those darn shark movies made us fear the water. We do, at times, only in the company of friends. We’re going to tell you why.

If a friend is with you in the water, and some carnivorous predator shows up, you have a 50-50 chance of survival. Who knows the predator will go after your friend? “Feed to the lions” is an old phrase, so let’s have a modern one — throw to the sharks, illustrated in this photo by Elijah Hernandez (check his Instagram account, @elijah815, for more photos).

We’re sure no one, human or sharks, were harmed in that photo. Those are gentle giants of the sea, whale sharks or butanding, which you’ll find in Sorsogon and Oslob, Cebu. Still, you can give your friends a good scare with a huge whale shark up close.

11. Friends Turn You Into Monkeys

Friends not only feed you to lions, or sharks in the modern era, they also work hard to turn you into monkeys. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with being a monkey. For starters, they’re our closest relative in the animal world. More importantly, monkeys have no pimples, probably the reason why friends suggest that we eat bananas for clear, glowing, blemish-free skin.

At the Masungi GeoReserve in Montalban, Rizal, as we can see from the photo of Porkyy (check her Instagram account, @chupergail, for more photos) above, your friends will ostracize you if you don’t clamber up the rope ladder, across treetops.

Or do some tightrope act, like in this photo by Leon Laguerta (check her Instagram account, @leonlaguerta, for more photos):

Imagine the sweat and the danger. Some friends, huh? It will be fun, though.

12. Friends Push You Off a Cliff

As if the boulders, the sunburn, the lions, and the sharks are not enough, friends have this penchant of pushing you off a cliff. Ok, wait, they’re more sinister than that. You see, friends are part-Dr. Xavier of the X-Men, they need not push you off a cliff, they will make you want to jump off on your own.

Terrible, right? It is. But they’ll label it differently, so it sounds fun. They’ll call it “diving.” Diving is really the same as falling, except that it’s falling with style. “Diving; the first time you are nervous but it is still the best thing you ever tried,” says Jeneka C. Binueza (check her Instagram account, @wanderjeneka, for more photos) at Salagdoong, Siquijor Island. Nope, dear Jeneka, diving is not the best thing we’ve ever tried. We’ve tried chili ice cream; that’s one of the best things we’ve tried.

As usual, the unsuspecting friend looks forward to the experience. Just look how happy Poppy Gee is, with that model pose at the cliff-jumping site in Boracay, Ariel’s Point (check his Instagram account, @poppy_gee_travels, for more photos)

These friends not only think they have the power to read your mind, they also believe they can freeze time. Jump and pause, says JesTravel (check his Instagram account, @carinobrutal07, for more photos) in Claveria, Cagayan.

Jump and pause, like crash and burn.

13. Friends Make You Crash and Burn

Ok, not burn, just crash. Did you ever wonder why a lot of outdoor activities require you and your friends to wear helmets (and sign a waiver)? Yep, they’re dangerous. From ziplines to whitewater rafting, like what we see in this photo by Shelly (check her Instagram account, @shelligot, for more photos), doing the whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro City.

Looks fun. And dangerous. In whitewater rafting, your navigator will have to expertly steer the raft though rocks and boulders. Masarap ang bawal, masaya ang mapanganib. Ewan. We did it. Three times. We’re going back for more. Ewan talaga.

14. Friends Make You Work Hard

Look at this photo. What do you see?

Yes, lovely colors of the water, aquamarine, says A Realism Trail. Yes, this is in Coron, Palawan, so we don’t need to say it’s a wonderful place. Yes, the warm sun will give you a beautiful tan. But we’re not referring to any of those.

Look closer. Who’s doing all the paddling? Correct, that’s A Realism Trail (check his Instagram account, @iyail, for more photos) doing all the grunt work, while his companion is happily doing a Rose-pose a-la Titanic. Friends share the burden, although there will be times when you’ll end up holding the bag, so to speak, and begin to wonder why on earth you’re doing that. Still, if she’s the girlfriend, forget what we said. We feel you, bro.

15. Friends Will Make You Do it All Over Again

Finally, we get to the top reason why you should not travel with your friends.

We could have used another caption for this entry, like “friends call you names,” as Reese Peanutbuttercup (check her Instagram account, @travelista84, for more photos) captioned this photo “tatlong bugok in the wilderness.” It’s really funny how close friends have a wider leeway in calling you names; try that to a casual acquaintance and you’ll be in deep trouble.

But that’s not the point of this photo, at the scenic Kaparkan Falls in Tineg, Abra. The portion of the photo caption we’re interested in is the fact that Abra is the “41st of 81 PH Provinces” visited by these three bugoks (uhm, feeling close, so don’t be offended, dear Reese). This illustrates how you guys will most likely disregard what we said about not traveling with friends. Friends will drag you to the end of the earth and you’ll probably go. Again, and again. That’s what friends are for, right? Right.

Safe travels!

[Photos reproduced with permission (thanks). Tag your Philippine travel photos with #visitpinas so we can track it down. Photos will be featured in this blog’s photo of the day and in instagram/VisitPinas, facebook/VisitPinas, twitter/VisitPinas.]

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