Philippines, the fifth largest island state in the world, is located in the western part of the Pacific Ocean and is considered to be a part of the Indonesian archipelago.
When thinking of the Philippines, heavenly beaches along the countless islands, mysterious lagoons and vast coral reefs instantly come to mind. For all lovers of water sports and underwater world the Philippines are literally a paradise on earth.
Republic of the Philippines, its official name, was named after the former ruler, the Spanish king Philip II. This island state consists of seven thousand tropical islands and covers an area of 300,076 km ², with population of more than 86 million inhabitants.
Philippine Islands is separated from Vietnam in the west with South China Sea, and in the south of Indonesia with Celebes Sea. After Indonesia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, and Japan, Philippines are the fifth largest island state in the world and due to its geographical position is considered to be part of the Indonesian archipelago.
The capital of the Philippines is Manila which is also one of the world’s most exciting metropolises with over a million and half inhabitants where life runs literally 24 hours a day. Here you will feel spirits of the past of the Spanish rulers, and old part of town where wealthy Filipinos and Spaniards once lived is particularly interesting. Today, Manila is full of curious travelers who arrive here searching for unusual experiences.
Outside the capital, which among other things is crowded with huge shopping malls, you will find a great selection of unusual places to visit. One of them is the Banaue where there are famous rice terraces and it is situated in the middle of a mountain in northern Luzon in the province Cordiliera. Here you will find members of the tribe Ifuago who, in the last two thousand years, built the rice terraces with perfect irrigation system which allows them permanent crops to feed the family.
For a deeper research go to the Coron islands, which are famous because a Japanese fleet from the World War II was sunk there, and additional interesting attraction represent freshwater lake within the island.
If you ever go to Donsol you might meet the rulers of the Gulf, sharks looking like whales. But do not worry, they are completely harmless for humans and they eat only planktons.
Tourist attractions in the Philippines:
El Nido in the Gulf Bacuit
The beautiful islands in the Gulf Bacuit surrounded by crystal clear sea form the province which is known all over the world for its beautiful rock formations in the sea. Here you will find paradise sandy beaches, vast coral reefs and hidden lagoons, where you’d want to stay forever.
If you want peace and quiet, Sagada is the perfect place for you. There is no noise or any crowd. The village is situated amidst green pine forests, for those who like to hike. A great system of underground caves and trenches is near which can be explored with local guides. In the valley below Sagada you can see the coffin hanging which represents an interesting custom of burial.
Seemingly very peaceful and idyllic town of Legaspi hides one of the greatest sights and surprises of the Philippines. The bay is full of “huge shark”, or sharks, which at first glance look like whales. But the beauty is that they are completely harmless for humans and eat only plankton.
Official languages: Filipino (Pilipino) and English
Religion: Roman Catholic (83 percent), members of the Philippine Independent Church (6 percent), Sunni Muslims (5 percent), Protestant (4 percent)
Currency: 1 Philippine peso; 1 PHP = 100 cents
How to travel: by plane is the simplest way, airport Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, located 7 kilometers south of the capital Manila.
When to travel: A best for traveling is in the winter months, January and February, when the climate is pleasant and there is minimum of moisture in the air. The warmest month is May, when the temperature climbs above 38 degrees C.
Disease and prevention: No mandatory preventive vaccination needed.
Accommodation: Among the better hotels in Manila at your disposal are: Manila Hotel Rizal Park (four stars), Dusit Thani Manila Philippines in the Makati district (four stars), The Garden Plaza Hotel & Suites near Paco Park (three stars) and many others. Price range are between 80 and 110 euros for a night. In Manila you will find numerous hostels whose price ranges go from five euros for the night.
Restaurants in Manila: You can choose one of the local restaurants, and among the more popular are: Aristocrat, Cafe Adriatico and Gerry’s Grill, which offers authentic Filipino cuisine, or even North Park Noodles with Chinese cuisine.
Drink only bottled water.