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Discovering Philippines – Falling in Love and Living in a New Culture

Discovering Philippines – The beginning of everything in Europe

Today, I’ll share to you one story we feel like we have already talked about a lot, but maybe not in a way we have wanted to.

I (Ruben) am a Spanish guy, self employed in Spain, and in 2012 decided to sell my house (my first big ownership apart from my car) back when I was 29.

In Europe, that’s the right age to start thinking about owning your own properties. You should be settled in your career, or getting ready to take yet another leap, maybe getting engaged or at least thinking of your future a lot.

However, I decided there was something more than the life of working and going home late at night, enjoying a home outside the city.

Don’t get me wrong, this life could have been a perfect little setup for someone ready to settle down. For some of us, once you feel the itch to leave, you have to grab it.

And I did.

Sold my home and settled all my mortgages and it’s like being free. Then I bought a one way ticket to South America.

Little did I know that someone’s life is also shaping in Asia.

9 months of South America and I went home back in Spain, but now with a full on travel bug. Ha!

After South America, I traveled to Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe.

In Asia, I traveled for over a year, hitchhiking, Couchsurfing, and really just a lot of time discovering new culture every day.

Finding love in the Philippines

Asia is definitely very different from Europe. I find myself learning a lot, and re-learning many things daily. When I traveled to Philippines, I thought it would be the same routine. Travel, discover a new culture, and leave for a new adventure. I left Philippines knowing I will come back.

This is the beginning of me discovering Philippines, and gaining a new perspective.

I met Rachel in Angeles City. In a city popular for it’s red light district amongst foreigners, Angeles is still a rare beauty that people has yet to discover.

There’s so much history during the Spanish era still preserved in the city. Locals look mestiza, especially if they are coming from a pure blood Kapampangan family line.

Then there’s Rachel. We met thru Couchsurfing, and that meet up has changed our lives forever.

Together, we traveled to Puerto Galera, a beautiful island in South Luzon popular for it’s diving activities. I went to Australia after a few weeks with her, but I knew I would come back.

To this day, Philippines is still a big puzzle for me to learn. I’ve learned to incorporate the culture into my daily life. We work in the blog and in our social media agency daily, and yes, we work with Filipinos. It’s such a different cultural shift. I’ve learned so much about Filipino familial relationships, how people think, what makes them tick, what makes them work harder (or less harder), what makes them happy, what makes them sad.

It’s quite different, but I did fall in love. It may be challenging to be in a new country, but Rachel became a ground for me in this new soil. I came to love the country for its beauty (but really, who’s not in love with the Philippine’s beauty) and for it’s many different things that I have come to discovering Philippines.

Places I’ve discovered in the Philippines

This part needs to be visual because it’s just hard to describe Philippine’s beauty with just words.

Traveling together as Gamintraveler, Rachel and I have discovered much beauty in this country.

Here are our favorite travel escapades in the country:





Puerto Galera


Discovering Philippines has opened my eyes to a new life and new perspectives.

There’s so much more we need to see to be honest. That’s why we won’t stop writing and traveling in the Philippines.

Getting accustomed to the Philippine daily life, discovering Philippines and gaining a new perspective.

Now that we spend most of our time in the Philippines, although we travel a lot through out the year, I came to love the thousand different things in this country.

It may be considered poor, but there’s just so much beauty in it, that I really suggest people to visit it.

This article was made in partnerships with Discovering Routes. Happy to introduce to you a show that will reveal to us various parts of the Philippines, discovering the country and opening your eyes to a new perspective.

I can relate so much to the show, and hungry to see more of the Philippine beauty that we have not discovered yet.

I suggest to stay tuned and follow them.

Keep in touch and stay tuned for more Philippine Stories.

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!