The Philippines is among the countries where the sun shines beautifully and brightly all year long. That means, days are mostly made of wispy clouds, blue skies, turquoise beaches, and white sands. It’s no wonder foreigners from cold countries fall in love with the Philippines, many of them deciding to actually pack up and live here.
But the weather can be unpredictable. You may be out exploring the city on a burning sunny morning. Then out of the blue, dark clouds converge and open up, bathing the earth with a steady downpour. It’s not really fun if you get painfully sunburnt and miserably drenched.
Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself so you can enjoy your outdoor sojourns in tropical weather.
When the Sun Shines Brightly
1. Dry-fit shirts and rashies are your best friends in upper wear.
Their thin material allows air to easily pass through, which cools your skin. Their high-tech fabric wicks sweat to the outside of the material where moisture evaporates.
Both the permeating and wicking actions help you keep cool, dry, and comfortable. Most importantly, the material covers a lot of your skin, protecting them from harmful UV rays.
2. Avoid wearing denim pants or shirts; they’re too thick and hot for outdoor wear.
Furthermore, they get really heavy when wet. Rather, wear cargoes, bermuda shorts, board shorts, and trekking pants; they are made of lighter and airier materials. If you indulge or expect to join physically demanding activities such as rock climbing, hiking, or beach volleyball, wear cycling shorts, dolphin shorts, or bun huggers.
Flowing skirts made of thin material are cool and comfortable lower wear for ladies. They are perfect for quiet strolls.
3. Ward yourself from the sun’s intense heat and glare by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
If you need more cover but do not want to hinder cool air, cover your head with a dark-colored shawl.
When It Starts Pouring
1. Pack a rain jacket in your bag.
Being caught in the rain is very likely in tropical countries. Unfortunately, you can never predict when the rain will pour.
A rain jacket, usually worn by mountaineers, is a waterproof and lightweight outerwear. It can be quite costly, so opt for a poncho or raincoat if you think your wallet is a bit thin.
2. Protect your personal items using a large plastic bag.
No backpack, not even those advertised as waterproof or water resistant, can keep the contents from getting soaked in case of heavy rain. If your pack falls in a canal, river, or any body of water, say goodbye to your dry clothes and expensive electronic gadgets.
However, you can easily protect your items by putting them first in a large garbage bag. Alternatively, you can put your stuff in ziplock bags. Tie up the openings then put them inside your pack. The garbage bag or plastic bags acts as an effective waterproof liner.
3. Buy a raincover to protect your backpack from mud and rain.
Raincovers are available in outdoor gear shops, and some backpacks have integral rain covers.
Stopping the Shivers
1. Have a wool or felt sweater handy.
While the Philippines is a tropical country, it can get really chilly at night, especially in the highlands. Button-up wool or felt sweaters are the way to go to warm you up. Button-ups are preferable warmers since you can easily and quickly take them off in case you feel uncomfortably warm.
Shawl, while thin, can also be used as a blanket or a cape to protect yourself from the cold. Experienced travelers consider the shawl as an indispensable all-around gear.
2. Layer up!
In really cold areas such as Baguio, the Cordilleras, and similar places, the temperatures can drop to icy and dangerous levels. In fact, there have been cases of people suffering from hypothermia due to the lack of cold protection.
The most effective way to protect yourself is to wear by layers; this technique is aptly called layering. Begin by putting on a thin shirt or tank top then wear a warm sheet over it. Then cover it with a sweater. This combination helps keep body heat from escaping. Finally, shield yourself from wind chill by wearing a lightweight windbreaker or jacket.
Now you know how to be virtually weatherproof! There’s no stopping you from exploring the beautiful country of the Philippines anywhere, any time, and in any weather condition.