To get the most out of it, find someone from there to kinda play host and show you around. Also, get the hell out of Manila. There are some nice touristy parts, but it's mostly heartbreaking poverty, trash piled up 5 feet on the side of the road and a lot of street crime. I've spent the most time in Ilocos, which is the norther half of the West Coast of the main island. Every little region will have it's own language and specialized food, but if you pick up some key words and phrases in Tagalog you should be able to get by anywhere on the bigger islands. And assuming you're white, get ready to be the center of attention wherever you go. Not just having people cut their eyes and do double takes. Full blown yelling at you in the street and taking pictures with cell phones. .