I absolutely adore the Philippines. It has so much to offer. Beautiful beaches, world-class diving, incredible landscapes, volcanos, rivers, lakes and great trekking, rich culture….and that little touch of Spanish influence that makes the people dance, sing, and among the friendliest in Asia. Add to that the fact that it is still very much off-the-beaten-track for many tourists (with the exception of places like Boracay of course), it is one of the last places left that can offer true adventure. The following list is based on my personal travels and experiences there only….but I know there are hundreds of other amazing places waiting to be explored! If there are any places you recommend I visit, please post your suggestions 🙂
1. The people.
The people in the Philippines are a friendly, warm, beautiful people, with a sweet sing-song accent (especially in the Visayas) and ready, genuine smiles…from the young to the old, from the well-off to the in-need,they are a welcoming, wonderful people….smiles are free, so be sure to smile back!
2. The sunsets
Sunsets in the Philippines are just stunning, and very often a sailing boat will drift in front of the sun just to give that perspective, that moment of graceful solitude in a lonely sea touched by the last rays of a sun about to surrender to the moon. It’s magical.
3. The beaches and the seas…
Beautiful beaches abound in the Philippines. White sands, crystal clear turquiose ocean. I’ve been to a lot of beaches around the world – but one sticks in my mind more than any other – Boracay. 4 km of pure white sandy beach lapped by a gentle beautiful sea. Bliss
Intramuros is like stepping back in time to the days of the conquistadors. The cobbled streets, the horses and carriages trundling around in this walled, peaceful city within the choas of Manila….it’s the Cartagena of Asia.
5. The Landscapes
From the stunning volcanic lake of Mt Pinatabu, to the Chocolate Hills of Bohol….the Philippines boasts some extraordinary natural beauty.
Ahhh….the jeepney. Communal, noisy, fun. You’re guaranteed smiles from fellow passengers, conversation, sudden friendships. The real locals way of getting around. Tap your 5 peso coin on the ceiling of the jeepney to signal where you want to get off.
7 Tarsier Monkeys.
Small, a combination of cute and creepy. They’ll make you coo in delight, then give you nightmares when you think of those huge, imploring eyes that narrow into evil slits. Weird!
Tropical fruits abound in the Philippines. Fresh pineapples, watermelons, coconuts….take your pic. Delicious!
9 The Scuba-diving is magnificent
Really. Some of the best diving in the world is just off the shore at places like Apo Island, Panglao, Boracay. Honestly, having dived in many places around the world, the Philippines trumps places like the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. So get your tank on and off you go!
10. San Miguel.
Sunset. San Miguel. There really is no more to say.