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Philippines

The Philippines is a dream vacation spot! With its beautiful white-sand beaches, diverse range of activities, and friendly people, it offers something for everyone. Home to over 7,000 islands, you'll find immense beauty in each one, from Volcano mountains to emerald-green rice paddies. Hang out on the palm-tree lined beaches of Boracay and relax in crystal-clear waters, or take a scenic drive in Palawan's lush rainforest and admire the view from the mountain peaks. The cities of Manila and Cebu offer art galleries, museums, and cultural centers to explore, as well as delicious local cuisine that will tantalize any palate. Take part in unique festivals and experience the vibrant life of the locals. No matter what your interests, you'll find something to do in the Philippines that will make your trip an unforgettable one. So come and make your dream of discovering the Philippines reality!

The History of Philippines

The Philippine Islands are a fascinating place to explore and uncover the history of a nation whose ancestry is a mix of the Spanish, Chinese and Malay backgrounds that span more than 500 years. To understand the rich history of the country, one must dive back into the pre-colonial era, when the early Filipinos were comprised of numerous different tribes and civilizations. Throughout time, the various cultures and civilizations have left their own unique mark on the history of the Philippines.

The earliest known inhabitants of the islands date as far back as the Neolithic Period, from around 30,000 BC to 2000 BC. During this time, the inhabitants began to raise crops, such as yam and taro, and began to carve or sculpture armor, fashion tools, and produce pottery. This was an indication of a highly developed civilization, and it laid the foundation for the later empires that appeared and eventually evolved into distinct, indigenous cultures that are still present in the Philippine Islands.

The next major wave of people to occupy the islands were the Austronesian people, who arrived sometime in the second millennium BC. This group of settlers interacted with the pre-existing population, and together they created unique social organizations, as well as distinct and influential political and cultural entities. The subsequent 1700s brought in another wave of settlers, this time the Spanish. During their 350 year colonial rule, the Spanish brought Catholicism and cultural unity to the islanders, and Spanish architecture, including Baroque churches, can still be seen today.

The Spanish period in the Philippines ended in 1898, when the Philippines declared their independence. This was followed by a period of American colonization from 1898 through 1946 and the introduction of language and literature, education, and democracy. During this time, the Philippine Islands experienced a period of economic development, enabled by advances in communication systems and transportation networks.

Overall, the Philippines has a long and diverse history with a deep ancestral past that is still visible today. For history buffs, the archipelagic nation is a great place to visit; the many museums, churches, and archaeological sites serve to provide an insight into the rich history of the nation. There is something for everyone, from the cobblestoned colonial plazas of Old Manila to the modern skyscrapers of Makati, the Philippines is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

The Culture of Philippines

Situated in the western Pacific Ocean and comprised of over 7,000 islands, the islands of the Philippines are steeped in culture and history and are an ideal destination for travelers interested in exploring Southeast Asian culture. With Spanish, Malay and Chinese influences, the people of the Philippines are a vibrant and diverse society with a wide variety of traditions and beliefs, ranging from the mystical and spiritual to the highly modern.

The language used throughout the Philippines is largely Filipino, though most natives are also proficient in English. Spanish and Chinese are also spoken in certain parts of the country. The influences of several cultures are seen in the Philippines' cuisine and music, making it a fascinating destination for travelers looking to experience both history and modern culture.

Art and painting are highly popular in the Philippines, where the nation's rich colonial past is reflected in the artwork that adorns the walls of galleries, museums and churches throughout the country. Philippine art often incorporates multiple cultural elements including Spanish and Chinese influences as well as local approaches. There are many festivals throughout the year dedicated to celebrating Filipino culture, ranging from spectacles of cultural performance and appreciation of local historical figures to markets overflowing with crafts, food and drinks.

When it comes to entertainment, the Philippines offers plenty of vibrant nightlife and festivals along with a variety of outdoor activities. Some of the more popular outdoor activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, whitewater rafting, trekking, and mountain biking. Shopping is also a popular activity as the Philippines has a wide array of malls, specialty stores, and markets that carry a variety of locally to internationally produced products.

The Philippines is an ideal destination for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in an eclectic mix of culture and history while experiencing the modern convenience of modern life. With its rich mix of cultures, art, food and vibrant nightlife, the Philippines is a destination that is sure to fulfill the desires of any traveler looking for an experience that combines culture and excitement.

The Food of Philippines

Philippines is a fascinating food destination with a wonderful array of culinary experiences to be found around the country. Visitors to this Southeast Asian destination can expect to find an array of flavorsome dishes and refreshing drinks that will tantalize their taste buds. From succulent seafood to a variety of spicy dishes and international cuisines, traveling to the Philippines for its culinary experience will not disappoint.

The traditional Filipino cuisine is predominantly influenced by the country's Malay, Chinese, Spanish and American heritage. Filipino dishes generally have a salty, sour and/or sweet flavor profile. The country's culinary specialty is Lechon, a roasted suckling pig that is served in any celebration. Other dish staples include adobo - a common marinated dish made with pork or chicken, sinigang - a tamarind-based soup, and kare-kare - a stew usually made with oxtail or slow-cooked beef.

If daring travellers want to try something a little different, they can experience balut - a specialty dish that is a partially developed duck embryo boiled and eaten in its shell. For those looking for a sweet tooth fix, Filipinos are renowned for their desserts and pastries. Sweet delicacies such as bibingka - sweet, sticky rice cakes and puto - steamed cake with a soft and spongy texture - are a must-try. Cold desserts, like halo-halo, made with soft served ice cream, beans and coconut are also popular.

Finally, all meals in the Philippines would not be complete without drinks. The country is known for its refreshing and light drinks such as tuba - fermented coconut sap, iced calamansi juice - a citrus blend, and sago't Gulaman which is a combination of sago and seaweed.

For those looking for an incredibly flavorful and unique culinary experience, the Philippines boasts an eclectic mix of flavors and dishes that should not be missed. Whether you are trying the traditional cuisines or tasting new and daring dishes, the delicious food in the Philippines will leave you wanting more.

What to See and Do in Philippines

  1. Swimming with Whale Sharks, Oslob, Philippines: Located in Cebu Province, Oslob is a popular tourist destination with Crystal clear waters and some of the friendliest whale sharks in the world. Head to Tumalog Falls - a stunning waterfall - and hop on a boat to go swimming with the whale sharks. Be sure to take in the breathtaking scenery around you as you swim alongside these gentle giants. For a truly unique experience, consider including a visit to the nearby historic village of Ginatilan.
  2. Take a Hike Through Mount Pulag, Benguet, Philippines: For those who love outdoor adventure, Mount Pulag is the perfect outcome. At 2,922-meters, it's the third highest peak in Luzon. It's also home to some of the most stunning views in the country. Experienced hikers can aim for the summit, but even a short hike through the forest and up to some of the nearby peaks will reward them with breathtaking views of the Cordillera mountain range and surrounding countryside.
  3. Drink Coconut Wine in Batangas, Philippines: This vibrant port city is home to some of the country's best nightlife. While there, be sure to head to the local tapang cafe and try some delicious coconut wine - a traditional Filipino beverage. Enjoy the refreshing beverage while catching up with some of the locals, who will gladly tell you more about the area and why it's so beloved.
  4. Ride the Highest Zipline in the World, Sagada, Mountain Province: Located in the northern mountain province of the Philippines, Sagada offers some of the most beautiful mountain scenery the country has to offer. Adventure-seekers should head to Echo Valley and experience the country's highest zipline, which spans 980 meters and offers some of the most spectacular views in the region.
  5. Have an Authentic Filipino Dinner at Kainan sa Lamesa, Batangas: Located just south of Manila, Batangas is packed with delicious and authentic Filipino restaurants. For a truly unique dining experience, head to Kainan sa Lamesa, one of the most popular eateries in the city. Here, you can try a range of traditional dishes such as sinigang (a sour soup), adobo (a type of marinated meat) and turon (a sweet banana fritter). The atmosphere at Kainan sa Lamesa is always lively, so be sure to bring your appetite - and a friend!
  6. Surf the Waves at Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte: Siargao Island is widely regarded as one of the top surfing destinations in the Philippines. Here, you'll find some of the best waves in the world - ranging from beginner-friendly to more advanced areas. For a truly unique surfing experience, make a detour to the nearby island of Suluan to ride its notorious "Cloud 9" wave. With great waves and beautiful beaches, Siargao is truly a paradise for surfers.
  7. Take the Tribal Lights Tour, Luzon: This unique tour takes visitors on an unforgettable journey through the remote mountain villages of the Cordillera mountain range. As well as seeing stunning mountain scenery, visitors will get a chance to meet and interact with some of the fascinating tribal people who live in the area. The tour also includes a spectacular light show - a must-see for photography enthusiasts.
  8. Trek Through Rice Fields, Banaue, Ifugao: Located in northern Luzon, the iconic Ifugao rice terraces are some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the Philippines. The area is home to numerous villages dotted with traditional huts, as well as fields of emerald-green rice paddies. Join a tour and trek through the famous terraces, learning about the unique and fascinating culture of the local people.
  9. Visit a Volcano, Taal, Batangas: Located in the picturesque Lake Taal, Taal volcano is an iconic sight in the Philippines. Take a trip to the lake and enjoy stunning views while you learn more about the area and its history. After some exploration, you can even go swimming inthe lake's mineral-rich springs, which are said to have healing properties.
  10. Explore Puerta Galera, Oriental Mindoro: Nestled among the mountains of Oriental Mindoro, Puerta Galera is a popular beach hideaway. Here you can explore powder-white beaches, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, and dive amongst the vibrant coral reefs. The beach is also home to numerous bars and restaurants, as well as some great souvenir shops for those looking for souvenirs to take home.

Why You Should Travel to Philippines

Travelers love to travel to the Philippines for many reasons, one of them being its diverse culture. The country is home to the largest population of Christians in Southeast Asia, along with a strong Catholic presence. Additionally, over 100 different languages and dialects are spoken, reflecting the many different ethnic groups that make up this tropical paradise. The cultural diversity can be experienced through unique festivals and celebrations that span throughout the year. From the colorful parades and processions of the famous Sinulog festival in Cebu to the more subdued moon-viewing events of the Kadayawan festival in Davao, travelers can take part in unforgettable cultural experiences.

A second reason why travelers love to visit the Philippines is the country's stunning natural beauty. The 7,000+ islands become lush with a wide variety of plants and animals, giving travelers the perfect opportunity to explore and discover the exotic wildlife. Whether it be the white sand beaches of Boracay or the magnificent Chocolate Hills of Bohol - no traveler will be left unsatisfied by the charming landscape. On top of this, the diverse topography of the Philippines also offers excellent locations for thrilling watersports, such as surfing and scuba diving.

Lastly, the hospitality of Filipinos is unrivaled. Travelers can delight in the warmth and generosity of the locals, experiencing traditional Filipino hospitality as a one-of-a-kind cultural immersion. From the friendly "Hi, Cómo estás" on the streets of Manila to the cheerful "Kumusta ka?" in the highlands of the Cordilleras, Filipinos will make sure they feel welcomed in their homeland.

The Philippine is an incredible destination that offers travelers an abundance of exciting experiences. Its diversity of cultures, stunning landscapes and friendly people create the perfect destination for an unforgettable holiday. So, come explore the Philippine and you will see why travelers love to visit this tropical paradise.

Tips & Tricks for Traveling in Philippines

  1. Leave a Copy of Your Itinerary: Before traveling in the Philippines, make sure you leave a copy of your itinerary with friends, family, or colleagues. It's a good idea to include information such as airports and transportation you'll be using, approximate dates, locations, and accommodations.
  2. Book in Advance: Make sure to research and book accommodations in advance as space can fill up quickly. If you're traveling during peak times, hotels are in high demand and prices will be more expensive.
  3. Research the Culture: Get to know the culture in the areas that you plan to visit. Do some research on cultural dos and don'ts, such as dressing respectfully. This will help you to be mindful of the culture during your stay.
  4. Prepare for the Weather: Before traveling, check the current weather and plan accordingly. In the Philippines, there's likely rain during the wet season from June-October. Be sure to bring an umbrella or raincoat and comfortable walking shoes for the possibility of rain and wet roads.
  5. Budget Accordingly: Have a budget in mind for what you want to spend during your stay. Know how much you're willing to spend daily and don't forget to factor in tips for services.
  6. Learn About Public Transport: Knowing the local transport in the Philippines can be helpful. Research fares and routes beforehand, especially if you're taking an overnight bus or Train to get around.
  7. Stay Safe: It's important to stay safe while traveling in the Philippines. Make sure you're aware of your surroundings and take extra precautions after dark.
  8. Eat Local Cuisine: Trying the local cuisine is a great way to experience the culture of the Philippines. There are lots of amazing dishes to try and you can find street food vendors all over.
  9. Learn Basic Tagalog: Knowing basic Tagalog phrases can go a long way when traveling in the Philippines. Learning the phrases for "hello", "thank you", and "where is the bathroom" are essential for travelers to be able to communicate effectively.
  10. Purchase a Local SIM Card: To stay connected, it's a good idea to purchase a local Filipino SIM card. This will give you access to local data and make it easier to stay connected with family and friends.

Other Places You Might Like

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant city filled with a mix of cuisines, cultures, and attractions. First-time visitors can experience its unique blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences, including shopping complexes, street markets, ornate temples, bustling nightlife, and a scenic rail network. Visit historic landmarks like The National Mosque and The Royal Palace, the iconic Petronas Towers, and the colorful old Chinatown. Sample Malaysian delicacies, from kopi to satay, at one of the many food streets or enjoy an afternoon in the Lake Gardens or Batu Caves.

Hanoi, Vietnam: Not to be missed, Hanoi is a historical gem located in the heart of Indochina. Steeped in Chinese and European influences, Hanoi's architecture, culture and cuisines are captivating. From the stunning Old Quarter to the pedestrian streets, Temple of Literature and Hoan Kiem Lake, visitors will be in awe of its many rich sights. Take a trip to the beautiful Bat Trang pottery village, and sample different and delicious local dishes like Bahn Mi and Bun Cha. There is something for everyone here, from boat cruises on the famous Ha Long Bay to unique markets and fine dining.

Koh Samui, Thailand: Combining tropical island living with modern amenities, Koh Samui is the perfect destination for a relaxed getaway. Enjoy pristine beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, and lush and diverse jungles. Explore the many nearby islands, take part in snorkeling, fishing or diving, or visit the many temples. Koh Samui has something for everyone, from five-star resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Sample local and international cuisines, go on a night Safari, or visit the island's famous Big Buddha. Shopping enthusiasts should not miss out on the opportunity to pick up unique and affordable souvenirs.

Singapore: An urban city that is a combination of modern and traditional, Singapore delivers old-world charm alongside contemporary cultural experiences. One of the safest and cleanest cities in the world, Singapore is home to attractions like the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Universal Studios and The Singapore Zoo. Shop in the world-famous shopping district of Orchard Road and sample modern and ethnic cuisines from all over the world. Explore Singapore's man-made islands, check out the many bars and clubs, and end your days with beautiful sunsets at the Singapore Flyer.

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