The Philippines is a beautiful country that boasts over 7000 tropical islands that are just begging to be explored! Other than the country’s city capital of Manila, the Philippines holds endless attractions, from the crystalline waters of Bacuit Bay and the glistening beaches of Boracay, to the enticing underwater cave of Palawan and the dramatic rice terraces of Banaue. The Philippines has got everything for everyone of all ages and walks of life! Whether you’re looking to go shopping, soak up the sun on the beach or pitch a tent in the great outdoors, the Philippines beckons you to come.
Population: 108.69 million
Capital City: Manila (13.69 million)
People: Malay, Chinese, Indigenous, Indian
Language: English, Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, Pangasinense and minority language.
Currency: Philippines Peso (PHP)
International Dialing Code: +63
People, History & Culture.
Originally, the various islands were populated by competing tribes, each with their own king or queen. Spanish rule brought Catholicism to the area, with missionaries establishing churches, schools, hospitals, universities and largely displacing the previously entrenched Hindu, Islamic and Buddhist faiths.
The culture of the Philippines comprises a blend of traditional Filipino and Spanish Catholic traditions, with influences from America and other parts of Asia. The Filipinos are family oriented and often religious with an appreciation for art, fashion, music and food.
Filipinos are also hospitable people who love to have a good time. This often includes getting together to sing, dance, and eat. The annual calendar is packed with festivals, many of which combine costumes and rituals from the nation’s pre-Christian past with the Catholic beliefs and ideology of present day.
Destinations, Tours & Hotels
The capital of the Philippines, Manila is a bayside city on the island of Luzon, which is densely populated and dotted with an amalgamation of Spanish colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers. Manila is famous for its eclectic shopping malls, such as the SM Mall of Asia, unique street food and the Fort City of Philippines, Intramuros — home of the baroque 16th century San Agustin Church and the Fort Santiago. Christmas time is one of the best times to visit Manila, as the shopping malls will be decked out in colourful Christmas decorations and offering great deals as early as in September!
Situated circa 315 kilometers south of Manila and 2 kilometers off the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas region, the small island of Boracay is world-famous for its breathtaking white sandy beaches that has received numerous accolades from travel agencies and publications worldwide! In fact, international travel magazine, Travel + Leisure named Boracay as the best island the world in 2012. Boracay consists of the areas (barangays) of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag and Yapak. Apart from its tantalizing stretch of tranquil beach, which makes the island the top beach destinations in the Philippines; Boracay is also starting to be known for its nightlife.
Palawan & El Nido
The island Province of Palawan is one of the Philippines’ best-kept secret and home to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, which is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Palawan was also voted as the World’s Best Island in 2013 and 2015 by Travel and Leisure magazine. Being the largest island in the Philippines, Palawan Island is half-occupied by a desert area that is still undeveloped. Therefore, in addition to the beaches, you can also satisfy your nature-lust by going jungle trekking and mountaineering. The main attractions in Palawan are Puerto Princesa, El Nido, San Vicente and Coron — all of which are beach bum havens!
Bohol & Panglao
Bohol is the tenth largest island in the Philippines. It comprises the mainland Bohol island and 75 smaller islands, with Panglao as one of the main tourist attractions. Panglao Island is located at the east of Cebu, which has a terrain ranging from plain, hilly to mountainous. Panglao is made of Maribojoc limestone, the youngest of the limestone units found in the western area of Bohol. One interesting geological attraction in Panglao is the Hinagdanan Cave, which is a cave with an underground water source. Like Boracay, Panglao is a popular beach holiday destination that caters for scuba divers, dolphin-watchers, kitesurfers, island-hoppers and deep-sea fishing enthusiasts. The island also comprises three smaller islands, namely Gak-ang, Pontod and Balicasag.
Take a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Philippines is blessed with beautiful sights and sounds, from the spellbinding Banaue Rice Terraces and the Chocolate Hills in Bohol to historic architectures, such as the Baroque-style San Agustin Church in Paoay and the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila.
Puerto Galera and Camiguin Island
The Philippines is home to the Island of Boracay, which has been voted as the one of the world’s best beach numerous times. There are also other beaches like El Nido, Puerto Galera and Camiguin Island that are worth a visit!
Tubbataha Reef and Corol
With the highest density of coral species in the world and some of the most biodiverse and marine-rich waters in the world, the Philippine seas are a diver’s paradise! For advanced divers, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tubbataha Reef and Coron have some of the best wreck diving sites in the world.
Capital City Tour
A night out in the Philippines is always a fun affair. Whether you’re looking for karaoke bars, pubs, cafes or restaurants, there plenty of places offering diverse entertainment and fun.
Philippines Food Tour
The Philippines offers a unique selection of food, ranging from the signature balut, which is a popular street food, to the Lechon (spit-roast whole pig served with liver sauce) and Adobo chicken.