One of the pleasures of operating a site like this is that I get to have a lot of communication with people who read the site. I get to meet many new people both through e-mail and also in person when they are visiting here. On an average day, I can get dozens or even hundreds of e-mails from readers of this site. When I can help, I am happy to do so. Often times, though, I am sort of at a loss for what I can do to help the person who is asking me to assist them.
Almost every day, I get at least a couple of e-mails that say something similar to this:
Hi Bob, I am coming to the Philippines in May to meet my girlfriend and to check out the place. Can you give me any tips for my trip?
Well, gee… I could honestly write 10,000 pages on that question. But, what is the person really asking me for?
Does he want to know how to shop for the best flight? Is he asking what kinds of medications or shots he might need for the trip? Is he asking what kind of gifts he should bring for his girlfriend’s family? Maybe he wants to know what hotel is the best? The truth is, there is no way to know what he specifically wants!
Sometimes I struggle, trying to figure out what I should say to such a person in response. Other times, I choose to reply to him with a very general note telling him that if he has specific questions I would be happy to answer. But, the truth is, if he would just write me the first time with a list of questions on his mind, I could get an answer out to him in the minimum time, and save a lot of grief. I often feel like when I write back and ask “what information are you looking for?” the people often feel offended, or that I am not answering them, but the truth is, I don’t know what information they are asking of me.
Really, the best answer I could offer for such a general question is to “read LiP”. I mean this website has nearly 3,000 articles all about life in the Philippines, and almost any question that might be on the traveler’s mind is probably already answered on this site. But, I feel pretty certain that if I sent an answer that just said “read LiP” the writer would likely feel offended by that, even though it is probably the best answer that could be given.
So, my request to you is that if you want to write and ask for my help or advice on some topic, please let me know what it is that you are seeking advice on, I mean, what is your topic of interest? Looking for a hotel, say so! Looking to find out what beaches are recommended, just let me know. If you just write and say, I want information about visiting the Philippines… well, that’s way to general for me to answer. I hope you understand.
Whatever your questions, if you are traveling to the Philippines, I hope you enjoy your trip, and I am happy to answer a few questions to make your journey more enjoyable. Just use the contact form to get in touch with me.