Top Things to do in Philippines. Philippines is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia, situated in the western Pacific Ocean consists of about 7,640 islands, (you can buy an island there if you want, some are selling at USD2 million) The islands are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The Philippines has three seasons namely hot dry season (summer), rainy season and cool dry season. Hot season: March to May, Rainy season: June to November, Cool season: December to February. Peak season for tourists is usually from March to May during the summer time. This is usually the most expensive time to visit. The Philippines is within the typhoon belt so the country experiences around nineteen typhoons every year. It is best to avoid traveling in the Philippines from July to October when torrential rains and thunderstorms.
The Philippines covers an area of 300,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi) slightly smaller than Malaysia (330,803 km2) but, as of 2020, had a population of around 109 million people, (more than 3 times Malaysia) making it the world’s 12th most populous country. As of 2019 was Manila was the world’s most densely populated city. Their currency 10 PHP (Peso) is equivalent to Rm0.80 or USD 0.20. Boracay and Palawan island are beautiful island you can’t afford to miss. Philippine is one of the best budget travel destinations in the world
I went to Philippines in 2008 with few buddy, touch down at Manila, Ninoy Aquino International airport and change to domestic Cebu Pacific local flight which take another 1 1/2 hour to Tacloban, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. The city is autonomous from the province of Leyte, although it serves as its provincial capital. According to the 2020 census, Tacloban has a population of 251,881, located 360 miles (580 km) southeast from Manila. Watch their many colorful home made Jeepney at Manila here below
We went island hoping on a boat and manage to go 8 island in a day. Malapascua is one them that I can remember, it is a Philippine island situated in the Visayan Sea, 6.8 kilometres (4.2 mi) across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of Cebu Island. Administratively, it is part of the peninsular barangay of Logon, Daanbantayan, Cebu. Malapascua is a small island, only about 2.5 by 1 kilometre (1.55 by 0.62 mi), and has eight hamlets. There are also some islands that have been sink beneath the sea, one have to scuba dive down to explore the island where there are still building structures. There is one I can see from our boat, just look below, maybe like 5-6 meters beneath.
Activities attraction at Philippines
Since there are over 7,600 islands in Philippines, the best activities to do here are
- Island hopping – Some great places to go island hopping are the Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan, Cebu, Iloilo, Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Camigiun, Palaui and Siargao. Palawan and Boracay are the top 2 visited island here where almost 50% of tourist go.
- Scuba diving – the best scuba diving spots within the “Coral Triangle”. best scuba diving spots are Apo Island in Negros Oriental, Monad Shoal in Cebu, Manta Bowl in Masbate, Panglao Island in Bohol, Mactan in Cebu, Verde Island in Batangas, Anilao in Batangas, Tubbataha Reefs in Palawan, and Puerto Galera in Mindoro. There are also WWII sunken ships wreck diving sites at Sangat Island in Coron for both deep water scuba and shallow water snorkeling as they have varied depths. Many of the shipwrecks are result from an attack on the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1944.
- Explore the beach – Don’t miss the chance to see the beaches of Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Siargao, and Bohol. Plenty of hammock and chairs where you can relax and enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of waves. You will find many activities like swimming, sunbathing or take banana boat ride or a experience the glass-bottom boat and other water sports.
- Manila Historical Sightseeing Tour – a thriving metropolis and a vibrant city together with centuries old churches and a colonial history. You can take a guided sightseeing tour of the oldest city, Intramuros (walled city) where some of the significant tourist attraction and important monuments is. San Agustin Church is one of the famous one besides monuments at Rizal Park and Fort Santiago, each have an influence recommend by a guide
Other Amazing Itinerary
- Mayon Volcano, Albay – is an active stratovolcano at an elevation of more than 2,400 meters located in the Albay province on Luzon Island is a must-see in the Philippines. The Mayon volcano has a perfect cone peak. Extreme hikers can apply for a permit to climb the volcano, but it is a difficult trek through forest, and dangerous gases are emitted near the peak.
- Underground River Tour, Puerto Princesa – this underground river on Palawan Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are boat tours for you to explore the 5 mile river that runs below ground through intricate caves system surrounded by stalactite and stalagmite formation.
- Historic Tour of Corregidor Island – for history enthusiast this is a must-see as here was the location of World War II and several battles. The relics left behind from these battles include secret bunkers and tunnels used as hideout during war.
- Pagsanjan Falls, Laguna – one of most notable waterfalls where you will be able to swim in natural pools and pass through caves. The falls can be reached by a river trip on dugout canoe, known locally as Shooting the rapids, originating from the municipality of Pagsanjan.
5. Donsol island was famous for Butanding (the whale shark) growing up to 12 meters long where scuba divers come from all over the world to swim with it near the shore. Swimming with the gentle giants is really an unforgettable experience from November to May for locals and foreigners alike.
6. Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Cordillera region mountain ranges. These terraces cover almost 4,000 miles and its length is roughly half of the Earth’s circumference – approximately 12,500 miles. Ancestors of the Ifugao tribe carved thousands of these step-like terraces in the mountains with their bare hands without any tools – thus, creating a beautiful sight that people often refer to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”
Banwa Private Island
Although is cheap to travel here but the most expensive island in the world, Banwa Private Island is located here, a new resort costs $100,000 a night. It spans 15 acres, only reachable by helicopter/seaplane (extra cost) with unlimited food, spa treatment and water activities like scuba, snorkeling, sailing and more. It has 6 beachfront villas plus 12 garden rooms and a top-level suite which can accommodate up to 48 guests. Round trip helicopter for 5 persons at $11,580 and 9 pax seaplane at $990 one way. Perhaps the multi millionaire or billionaires can have their wedding/birthday here.
If you want to try Philippines local food, here are some recommendation
Sinigang – A popular Filipino sour stew that is made with pork, shrimp or fish, tamarind, onions, tomatoes and other spices.
Chicken Adoba – This is probably the best known and most popular dish of the Philippines, made from chicken or pork meat stewed in vinegar and soy sauce with garlic and spices, sometimes served with rice. , Lechon roast pork and Halo halo dessert a mix of ice shaving
Kare-Kare – A popular dish for special occasions, it is prepared in thick peanut sauce, with a meat of choice (beef, pork, oxtail) that is left to simmer for hours and then completed with banana blossoms.
Roasted Pork Belly or Lechon Liempo – art of roasting Lechon starts with marinating the pig in salt, pepper, soy sauce, or coconut water for a few days before stuffing it with aromatics such as lemongrass, garlic, tamarind, onions, or chives. It is then roasted on a large bamboo spit over an open fire for hours.
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