I owe the origin of this blog to one word: embarrassment.
Many easily assume that the “poor” in The Poor Traveler refers to financial handicap, but it isn’t true. This blog was born after a series of face-meets-palm events that my blogging partner and I have encountered in the first few days of traveling together. Many are a product of just being noobs, failing to plan well before the journey. On our first trip, we found ourselves stranded for hours in a deserted, unfamiliar wharf. We also noticed that it would always rain whenever we would go on a trip. [ More about this blog’s history here. ]
But there are moments that are so embarrassing, you just can’t help but laugh it off. Others are concerning safety, they’re not funny at all.
Not too long ago, we asked our fans at PhilippineBeaches.org Facebook page for their most embarrassing experiences while on a trip and we received hundreds of responses. Some of them are so hilarious I just have to feature them on this blog. Here are seven of them.
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
7. Internal Issues
It may be a simple case of farting…
Marife: On a PR flight from Manila to Aklan, my little brother loudly accused me of not controlling the release of my fart, just when the plane was already taxiing, when in fact, he is the one who farted. I was 23 at the time, and he was like 7 or 8.
Or something more severe…
Ligaya: San Juanico Bridge. I can’t forget about it. That time, vehicles were prohibited from stopping in the middle of the bridge, but pedestrians were allowed. We decided to climb on foot instead and do picture taking. When we were finally in the middle, biglang nag-iba ang timpla ng tiyan ko. Ang haba kaya ng bridge. Talagang nawala poise ko sa kakalakad-takbo, pigil sa nag-aarburoto kong tiyan. Muntik na akong bumigay. Tawa lang nga tawa iba kung pinsan. Buti nalang may nagmagandang loob at pinayagan ako gumamit ng banyo nila. Tapos nun, balik ulit ako sa picture-taking. Wapak! O_o
Daniel: My friend had eaten a hotdog from street vendor at Clark airport, then we boarded the small Zest Air plane to Boracay. Half way en route, my friend felt the urge to poo, he very quickly got up and ran to the rear of the plane to use the toilet, but then realized there was no toilet on board, it was just cargo area, but he could not control himself and made a lot of mess in he’s underwear. The plane reeked of shit. Even the crew were covering their noses, and two women passengers had sick bags over their mouths. He has never eaten street food since!
6. Seatmate problems
When on a public utility vehicle and we fall asleep, you might not realize that sometimes, you unintentionally rest your head on your seatmate’s shoulder.
Verna: A by land trip from Davao to Tacloban. Sa sobrang pagod, ang sarap ng tulog ko sa balikat ng seatmate ko! Can’t remember kung tulo laway ba ako sa balikat nya.
Some have a louder problem.
Frank: Snoring so loudly on a plane. Snores were so loud that the person sitting beside me woke me up to tell me how bothersome it was.
Others get left behind.
Bongcales: This happened when I was in college, heading back to school from a vacation. I was deeply asleep on the bus. I didn’t notice that all the passengers already got off, and I was the only one left sleeping with saliva dripping off my mouth until the “driver” and the “conductor” woke me saying “Day, mata na ganiha rata ni abot.” I was so embarrassed that my face turned from red to purple.
And that moment when what you had for lunch and the people around you get acquainted.
Antonette: Sumuka ako nang sumuka tapos saktong katabi ko pa naman ay lalaki. Ayun, nasukahan ko sya.
5. Lost in Translation
There are words that may be used in both your and their languages but they do not share the same meaning. There are countless of them. In Cebuano alone, “libang,” “libog” and “langgam” have very different meanings from their Tagalog counterparts.
It’s also not advisable to assume that a person comes from a certain place just because he or she looks like it, as Danah here narrated.
Danah Mae: When i was in Dubai for vacation I thought the cashier was Filipino so I talked in Tagalog, and boom she was not! She was Thai.
It pays to learn a few words or phrases in the local language. It makes navigating a lot easier and it also shows goodwill. (Locals love it and tourists make an effort to speak their language.) It also minimizes untoward incidents!
4. Unmindful of Surroundings
When we’re traveling, we are easily overwhelmed by the beauty of the place especially when it’s our first time there. It is imperative that you know a little bit about the place — climate, language, customs, laws. But if you fail to do that, at least, make a brief inspection of your surroundings. Are the waves big? Is it safe to go night swimming? Can I stay here overnight?
Zie: One time in Boracay, picture taking sa sand castle. Humangin ng malakas, napuwing ako, na out of balance at natumba (guess where) sa castle. It was so humiliating kasi daming tao pa sana magpapa-picture. Napakamot lang ako sa batok ko sabay pa–simpleng walk out. Hahahahaha!
Peter: Nag Bataan kami ng mga officemates ko. ‘Yung isang officemate namin mahilig maghukay sa beach, para gumawa ng sand castle. One time we stopped, nag kulitan, yung mahilig maghukay nakahukay ng mabaho, malagkit. Nagtaka na s’ya: bakit daw amoy pupu ng dog. Nung hindi na matanggal sa kamay at sabay inamuy-amoy pa. Ayun pupu nga ng dog.
Cherry: I was in Boracay, enjoying the water when I saw a bunch of photographers capturing the scene. Since I’m one hell of a camwhore, I projected a pose on the sand when i didn’t realize there’s a huge wave coming towards me. I slipped and fell. I saw them laughing. I felt so humiliated but luckily they still took my pictures. LOL!
M Kris: I went to Cebu. Dahil sa sobrang pagod sa byahe, I entered a comfort room. May big mirror pagpasok mo. Dahil sa sobrang dami ng tao sa CR, humaba ung pila tapos nung palabas na ako, may humaharang sa daan ko. Same bag pa kami. If I will turn right, mag move din s’ya, so sa pagkabadtrip ko tinignan ko ung tao kung sino. AKO pala ‘yung tao sa mirror. Sobrang nakakahiya.
3. Wardrobe Malfunction
Lucky me, I have never experienced this. But I bet, it doesn’t feel good. Here are some accounts!
Rhoxi: Batangas. While playing in the water, suddenly a big wave took off my top! Good thing it wasn’t crowded that time.
Noel: Almost-transparent-when-wet trunks, which I had no idea were so… Need I say more?
Alvin: On the way home from boracay, wearing the thin pants I bought there. While waiting for the plane in Caticlan, pants got ripped apart from behind all the way, almost up to my crotch. My bags were already checked in. I couldn’t find a stall to purchase another so I had to borrow my cousin’s handbag and used it as cover up to Manila domestic.
Chu: While seeing the beautiful mountains from Baguio’s Mine’s View Park, we decided to step up on a table to take pictures. When it was my turn, I heard something. I looked down and found my shorts torn apart. Hahaha. Good thing I brought my jacket since it was cold in Baguio. Sooo embarrassed!
2. Breaking the Rules
As a tourist, there are things that you just can’t do. There are places where they don’t allow swimming, flash photography and others. And these rules are there for a reason, so we just have to respect them. It might be for your own safety. Sometimes, when we cross the line, we also get ourselves into a sticky situation.
Chris: It happened when me and my cousins went to Enchanted Kingdom and we decided to hop in at the ginormous Ferris Wheel. While we are at the top we lit up a ciggie and the next thing I heard is a fire alarm. The guy in charge immediately pulled us off and the people on the queue booed us! I will never forget that once in our life I was a ‘jackass.’ LMAO!
1. Flirting with Danger
Failing to do this not only brings humiliation, it also draws the line between life and death. You should know what you can and cannot do. Do you know how to swim? Do you need a life vest? Do you have some serious heart issues?
You don’t want to be the person who traumatized the children swimming with you when you almost drowned. But more than that, you don’t wanna be the dead tourist who drowned.
Hence: When I went to Sagada, due to excitement, I forgot that i didn’t know how to swim. I jumped right away into the 6-ft pool inside Sumaguing Cave. I was drowning already and my friends were just staring at me. I thought I was gonna die. I could see nothing but darkness. But I was saved. That was so nyahhaha. Funny, and my friends just kept on teasing me. Haha.
Amy: Sa ‘kin ‘nung nasa Boracay nag-snorkeling kami. Yabang ko pa nun. Eh first time ko pa mag-snorkel, di ko naman akalain mapapalayo ako. Nagpanic ako! Buti na lang nakita ako nung isang lalaki kasama namin, tinapunan ako ng salbabida! hahahahahaha
That’s it! The top 7 embarrassing things that could happen to you while traveling.
Thanks to all who shared their unfortunate and funny moments! You’re all awesome!