German national Philipp Dukatz in El Nido.

There’s nothing wrong about wanting to see all of the world, but a foreigner has this advice for Filipinos setting their eyes abroad: Discover the Philippines first.

“The foreign always appears more exotic and intriguing than your own home country,” said Philipp Dukatz, a German who spent three months going around the Philippines.

“But the Philippines has so much to offer that it would be a shame to not explore it before venturing out into the world,” he told Yahoo Philippines.

In June, Dukatz made waves in the online Filipino community after he shared his adventures in a blog post titled, “Roundup Philippines: A country that has it all.”

The blog offered Filipinos a fresh look into local destinations that may have grown too familiar to them, this time through the eyes of an outsider.

From his account, it could be said that Dukatz has seen — and loved — it all: the white sand beaches of Boracay, the clear waters of Palawan, and the steep slopes of Sagada.

“Imagine that foreign tourists like myself pay a lot of money for an overseas flight to come and see the beauty of your country,” the German national added.

While traveling the Philippines, Dukatz was joined was by two backpackers from Belgium.

“You can have it for cheap and you don’t even need to take a long holiday,” he said.

Asked where Filipinos should start, Dukatz advised against looking too far.

“I would suggest looking at places that are around one’s hometown and take it from there.”

He said there are destinations for every personality in the country.

The beach bums may try Boracay while the adventurous may trek the Cordilleras or Mountain Province.

For foreigners staying only briefly, Palawan is a must-see, Dukatz told Yahoo Philippines, saying the island province “offers a good mix of almost everything.”

“Nice beaches, off-the-beaten-track places, as well as more developed ones, diving, hiking and much more. I think it combines a lot of the great things the Philippines offers tourists,” he said.

But Dukatz thinks the country’s main attraction is not any of its headlined spots.

“[T]he thing that really sets the Philippines apart is its people,” he said.

“The Filipinos’ unique kind of hospitality is really one of a kind. I found them to go out of their way to help and make you feel welcome,” he said.

He particularly cited his stay in Gubat, a small seaside town in the province of Sorsogon, where he said he made a lot of new friends among locals and tourists.

“We were invited for food and drinks, we had long nights at the beach sharing laughter and stories and in the end we all became friends,” he told Yahoo Philippines.

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