It’s summertime again in the Philippines – a perfect time to bond with friends and loved ones. It’s also a time when we get hyped with all the expectations of summer that we tend to overlook the reality (that is, summer is not all bright and sunny). Here are some tips and tricks for a hassle-free trip this summer:
- Want clear skies? Go out in the morning.
Whether you want to see the perfect cone shape of Mayon or just witness clear blue skies, chances are you will get to see them in the morning. It feels great to wake up and start your day early anyway.
- Hate rains? Avoid afternoons.
The daily pattern of a Philippine weather in summer is a sunny morning and a cloudy or rainy afternoon. The last thing you want to bring in your getaway is an umbrella or a raincoat!
- Choose your time, choose your light.
Timing is everything, especially when taking pictures. Sunrise and sunset are said to produce the best lighting but it still depends on your mood or preference. Want shades of red or purple? Go for window hours, the times right before sunrise and after sunset. Prefer natural light? Stick to midday.
- Looking for sandbars? Check tides first.
This is perhaps the most overlooked tip since travellers would rather worry about rains or waves. Tide-forecast.com provides a week-long tide table from dozens of coastal areas in the Philippines. Endless stretches of sandbar? Look for low tides. Fancy swimming in shallow waters beneath the sandbar? High tides will do.
- Waterfalls transform in a day.
Waterfalls have some tricks of their own as well. If you’re up for calm but colder water, head out in the morning. However, if you want to see waterfalls come to life with stronger currents, set off in the afternoon. If the sun is right behind you, regardless of whether it rained or not, you may even see a rainbow.
- Spelunking? Take precaution when it’s raining!
Caving is best done when it’s dry and sunny – it may sound silly but it does make sense after all. When it’s raining outside, underground lakes and rivers tend to rise and the caves become colder, more humid, and tend to be more slippery. But above all, remember never to go in a cave alone!
- Strong wind equals strong wave.
Hate getting seasick? Sense the wind and the weather first. Swaying trees and nearby thunderstorms are some signs that you’re up for some big waves. Otherwise, it’s a great day to do some island hopping!
- Best time for snorkelling? There’s a formula.
Snorkelling is all about visibility: when you can’t see it, you’ll never enjoy it. The perfect time for snorkelling is at high tide, on a clear sky, and at noon. But any of those will do as well.