Friday, March 23, 2007

CouchSurfing In Manila

While I've already mentioned pieces of my Couchsurfing experiences, I've never really expounded on what it was. It's an internet-based volunteer program that offers couches all over the world as accommodation. If you're ever travelling anywhere across the globe and you'd want to skip the whole tourist trap parade (complete with flags, lisping tour guides, and sticker IDs the size of China), then I'd surely recommend this one. You'd have to be a member of course, and but worry not, it's definitely free.

I've had successful surfings in Southeast Asia, and already pseudo-hosted in Manila. It's definitely a great experience, as you share stories of how different cultures vary around the world. A few days back, Phil, a nomadic ambassador dropped over and was warmly welcomed by Team CouchSurfing Manila. I'll just post a few pictures (click on My Flickr Gallery), and fast forward to the message, lest I risk being Society page fodder.

There was a book that was recently published about the 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country - and while some of them are extremely difficult (like respecting your politicians/public servants) or heartbreaking (paying your taxes), most are just downright simple (follow traffic rules, do not litter, vote). How does CouchSurfing come into the picture? Item #4 - Talk positively about our race and our country. Filipino hospitality is something we pride ourselves excessively with, and what a greater venue to showcase this when we host travellers from around the world.

Look at the joy on their faces!
Yes, the main what's-in-it-for-me is not shelling out precious euros while backpacking Spain, Italy and Germany, but while you're enjoying the chat and scenery, do share great things about country. Amid the airport paranoia, liquid ban in planes, a stranger is about to welcome you into their homes - it is time to channel the inner ironist in you, that despite rabid politicking and hellish traffic jams in our country, there is still a lot of things beautiful in our 7,107 islands.

4 talkbacks:

nina said...

Whoa there...there's a Manila group of Couchsurfers? I didn't know that.

I've been a member but haven't hosted or coachsurfed yet... hiya ako! Hahaha

monsterboy said...

Hey there! There is a Manila group of CSers, and you can find the link in my profile (use my blogspot URL name).

There's probably a meetup by 7 April =)

Christianne said...

Hi monsterboy! I had no idea something like this existed. It would be fun to sign up if only I didn't have a baby!

monsterboy said...

Hey there Tina! Yeah, I think it's a great idea too, there is hope for trust in this world, minus the airport paranoia of course, hahaha.