Philippines Travel Wiki

About this site

This site intends to be a practical walk through guide to all destinations within Philippines.  Our coverage is in-depth and once you go through our reviews you don't need to read another and you can visit and enjoy the place 100%. Just try the site and You will like it. 

Great Country as a destination

As a group of 7,107 islands scattered off Asia’s mainland, the Philippines was dubbed as the Pearl of the Orient.  These group of islands once looked like jewels in the midst of the ocean by the Spanish fleet after long months of search of spices to the East.

Today, the Philippines is among the emerging economies in Southeast Asia and is making ways to preserve its inherited culture from its colonization era.

Aside from being blessed with tropical weather, rich marine ecosystem, and hospitable people, there are more that the country can offer.   Generally skipped by most tourists and backpackers, most of its tourist destinations may be considered off the beaten track.    

Brief History

Rizal Monument, Manila

A monument erected in commemoration of the heroism of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Philippines' national hero, it is located at the grounds of Rizal Park in Luneta, Manila which also is the exact location where Dr. Rizal was shot by firing squad.  Today, Rizal Park is the largest open grounds open to the public and is composed of pocket parks of different motiff like the Japanese and Chinese Gardens, an Orchidarium, the Grand Stand, a relief map, and the new Manila Ocean Park.
The Philippines was first discovered in the 16th Century by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, for the crown of Spain.  And 44 years after, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi officially colonized the group of islands and named it as Las Islas Filipinas in the name of King Philip II of mother Spain.  Manila was designated as the capital of the group of islands.  This started the 333 years of colonization of the islands and the conversion to Christianity.  Later in the 19th century, groups of scholars and common people staged out a revolution to oust the Spaniards due to the atrocities done by the Castillan officers and friars.  Dr. Jose Rizal led the people through his novels in fighting against the colonizers.

In 1898, with the help of the United States of America, the Philippines gained freedom from Spain.  But this was also the start of the American occupation.   During WWII, Japan successfully conquered Manila but was later liberated with the help of the American forces. 

In 1946, the USA officially granted freedom to the Philippines.  America remained a good ally of the country until today.

In the 1960’s, the Philippines became one of the wealthiest nations in Asia until the election of Ferdinand Marcos.  He became a dictator and have put the country into Martial Law which led to political killings, suppression of freedom, and plundering of the nation’s coffers.  He was later ousted by the peaceful EDSA People Power revolution in 1986.

Today, the Philippines has become one of the leading nations in the Business Process Outsourcing and Information Technology sector.  Also the nation has depended on the remittances from its biggest export to the world, its skilled workforce of overseas Filipino workers.    

What To See

Banaue Rice Terraces

Carved by the tribal Ifugaos for about 2000 years, mountainsides of Banaue are terraced with ricefields that rise from foot to mountaintops.  Banaue Rice Terraces are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with four sites that are of different character.   This rare site is less frequented by regular travellers due to its distance from Manila but one will be mesmerized by the majesty of these centuries old wonder.

There are a lot of different places and activities that a visitor may find in the different locations in the country.  Though most are scattered far from each major spots, it allows a tourist to experience and see the culture and the people.

The following are some of the must see locations.

Intramuros.  The old walled city in Manila that still feature some architecture from the Spanish period that survived the bombing of Manila during World War-II.  Fort Santiago is among its top destination.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.  The world’s longest underground river in the island of Palawan and is currently the country’s entry to the new 7 Wonders of the World for Nature.

Banaue Rice Terraces.   Terraced rice paddies that are carved by the Ifugao tribe on mountainsides of the uplands of Luzon island.

Chocolate Hills.  A group of hundreds of hills located in the island of Bohol that looked like chunks of chocolates scattered in the plains during summer.

Mayon Volcano.  An active volcano that claims to have the most perfect conical shape that rise in grandeur in the Bicol Peninsula.

Taal Volcano.  Among the most active volcanoes in the country that has a very unique topography for having a lake within the volcano that is within a bigger lake within an island.

Festivals.  Throughout the whole year festivals are held in different towns and cities with the height in the month of May.   Some of the major festival events are the Sinulog Festival of Cebu, Masskara Festival of Bacolod, Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo, Pahiyas Festival of Lucban and  Santacruzan.

What To Do

Chocolate Hills, Bohol

Located in the central region of the island of Bohol, a group of more than 100 hills are scattered almost next to each other forming a unique topography.  These hills are brownish during Summer where there are less vegetation which gave the hills the name as they looked like chunks of Chocolates. During wet periods the hill are greenish as grass flourish on this beautiful hills.
With so many islands there are so many activities that one may do while here.

White Beach.  There are so many beautiful beaches that one may choose from and the following are some:  Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, El Nido, Puerto Princesa, Caramoan, and Camiguin.

Diving.  With the country’s rich marine life and being located within the Coral Triangle, it is poised to have among the best dive spots in the world.   The following are some of the best dive spots:  Anilao, Puerto Galera, Busuanga, Tubbataha Reef, and Apo Island.
 
Hiking and Trekking.   A number of trails for trekkers and hikers may be experienced in Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Pulag, Mt. Apo, Taal Volcano.

Water sports.  One may experience white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro, surfing in Siargao, wakeboarding in CamSur, or other water sports in famous beach destinations.

Heritage Walks.  Remnants from the 333 year Spanish colonization that have survived World War-II may still be found in Manila, Cebu, and in Vigan which is very much preserved.  Also Corregidor is an island museum of the ruins from World War-II.

Shopping.  With relatively cheaper prices and great choices the Philippines may be heaven for a shop bug.

Medical and Relaxation.  Spas and relaxation facilities are available around the country and even in major beach resorts.   And with world-class medical facilities, it is a cheaper option for medication while enjoying the country. 

Climate

The Philippines has two seasons, wet and dry seasons.   The period between May until October are the wet months with July and August at the peak of the monsoon season.  During this period tropical typhoons frequent the country bringing in continuous rains and possibility of floods specially in the island of Luzon or the islands on the Pacific coast.    November to April are the dry season where March and April is the peak of summer when temperature go high while November to February are the colder months when the cold air caused by melting ice from Siberia comes down. 

People

Boracay

This island paradise is among the best island resorts in Asia and boasts of its sugary soft white beach front. Aside from its beautiful beach, the island is known to have the liveliest beach nightlife where bars keep party people alive while enjoying the night sea breeze. The island also is the top destination of choice of most tourists in the country.
Filipinos are mostly from the Malay-Polynesian race with influences of the Chinese, American, and Spanish bloods, mostly due to its colonial past.  About 80% of its 88 million population are Roman Catholics, around 5% are Muslims, and the remainder represent the other religions.   Its people is know for hospitality, its resilience, and skilled workforce. 

Language


With more than 100 different languages being spoken, Filipino and English are widely used.   The Philippines remains to be the largest English-speaking nation in Asia.  

Filipino language is the national language that is based on the Tagalog dialect that is widely spoken in the Luzon island group.   It also has influences of Spanish, English, and Chinese languages. 

Money


Philippine money is called the Philippine Peso.  It is composed of the P1000, P500, P200, P100, P50, and P20 notes and P10, P5, P1, 25 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents coins.    Each Philippine notes are in same sizes and is distinguishable by their color. 
 

Trivia


The Philippine Flag is a unique kind of flag that when the blue side is on top of the red indicates peacetime otherwise it indicates war.  

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