You know, if you travel to Mexico and drink the water there, a lot of times you will come down with an ailment known as “Montezuma’s Revenge”. The effect of Montezuma’s Revenge is that you will be spending a fair amount of time on the toilet with stomach problems, diarrhea and such. It’s not something that you want to get. Well, there’s no Montezuma’s Revenge in the Philippines, I guess it should be called “Lapu Lapu’s Revenge” here instead, or something of the nature. It is a fact, though, that if you drink the tap water in most places in the Philippines, you will be spending a lot of your day staying close to the bathroom!
Here in Davao, where I live, we are quite lucky, the tap water is safe to drink here, even for somebody who is just visiting for a short time. Davao City has water treatment facilities, and the water here is as good as the water in Washington State where I came from. But, I know of no other cities in the Philippines where that is true, and I’ve spent more than my fair share of times needing to stay near to the bathroom due to drinking the water. In General Santos, where I used to live, the water was not drinkable. There, they get their water from shallow wells, and it not only can’t be consumed, it even stinks much of the time!
So, what is the solution to this problem? Drink mineral water (bottled water). There are many brands of bottled water on the market, and it is inexpensive. For our home use of water, we have water delivered in big 5 gallon bottles, and placed in a dispenser in our house, which dispenses cold or hot water. This water costs only about $1 for 5 gallons. We just use this for cooking and drinking. A lot of people in Davao don’t use bottled water at all, since our water here is good. But, we just prefer to use the bottled water to avoid any problems. The company that we purchase water from delivers to our house once per week.
Of course, the longer you stay, the more you will be able to tolerate the tap water, as your body will grow accustomed to the germs that are present in the water. But, my advice would be to stick with bottled water, and be safe.