How to have fun visiting the Philippines' 7,107 islands.
How to have fun visiting the Philippines' 7,107 islands? The islands offer a long list of great travel destinations. with unique offering and enchanting charm. Enjoy warmth of Philippine hospitality.
In these provinces, you will find great and breath-taking hideaways like white sand beaches, serene nature, cultural and historic sites.
The Philippines, located in the heart of Southeast Asia, is the second largest archipelago in the world with 7,107 islands. It has over 100 ethno-cultural groups and a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Spanish and American influences.
The Philippines is a tropical country with dry and wet seasons. It's also the world's third largest English-speaking nation. Majority of the 72 million Filipinos are Christian, with significant numbers of Muslims and indigenous people. Being a predominantly Christian nation, one will find a lot of historical and beautiful churches.
The country is divided into three geographical island groupings: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Luzon is the largest island, with 55% of the country's population residing there. It's home to the Cordillera, Sierra Madre, and Caraballo mountain ranges, volcanoes such as Mayon, Taal and Pinatubo, and the country's largest lake, Laguna de Bay.
Northern Luzon is where you can find some of the crown jewels of Philippines tourism. The picturesque island province of Batanes, lies almost halfway between the Luzon mainland and Taiwan. Batanes with its rolling, emerald green, quilt-like landscape dotted with typhoon-proof white stone houses with meter-thick adobe walls, amazes first-timers no end.
After flying back to the Luzon mainland, you can laze under the sun in the fine, ivory sand beach of Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte. Of course, you wouldn't miss the centuries-old ancestral homes along the cobblestone streets of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and the Town's high cholesterol but delectable longganiza (native sausage) and bagnet (a chunk of deep-fried pork). From there, you can surf in San Juan, La Union, the only surf camp in the country's western seaboard.
After getting an adrenaline fix on a surfboard, you can drive up to the country's premier summer capital of Baguio to savor what's left of the original American hill station ambiance at Camp John Hay. From the City if Pines,?you can take a seven-hour exhilarating bus ride across Benguet the ?salad bowl?of the Philippines, to nippy Sagada, a popular destination among foreign and local backpackers who want to get a natural high and learn about its unique highland culture. Three-and-a-half hours south of this lofty mountain resort town in the Mountain Province is Banaue, where you can find the world-famous, 2,000-year-old rice terraces lacing its vast mountainsides like giant ?stairways to heaven?that change color from gold to emerald, depending on the season.
Metro Manila is the seat of government and the premier international gateway embracing the capital of Manila and several cities and municipalities. It's the heart of the country's social, economic, and cultural life.
Comprising eight Tagalog provinces south of Metro Manila that stretches as far away as Palawan, the Southern Tagalog Region has a wide array of places for a fun holiday. Swimming in hidden beaches and diving in the ancient resort town of Puerto Galera, canoeing inside the dark St. Paul Subterranean River and admiring the unique flora and fauna of Palawan, staying in an all marble house in Romblon, joining in the subdued revelry of the Mariones Festival during the Holy Week in Marinduque and the rowdy agawan of pabitin of the merry harvest festivals of Quezon during Maytime, and savoring the latter's coconut milk based cuisine are but some of the attractions of this vast region. Jump-off point in Luzon for land travellers bound for Western Mindanao is Batangas City, also the starting point of the 919-kilometer Western Nautical Highway (Manila to Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte) that links Batangas to Oriental Mindoro, Panay and Negros to Mindanao.
The Visayan islands is characterized by natural and cultural diversity. The
The Central Philippine islands that span from the boundless Pacific Ocean in the Country's rarely traversed eastern seaboard to the South China Sea in the western fringes of the country are noted not only for their varied natural beauty but frothier rich cultural heritage as well. Apart from the raucous revelry of Aklan's Ati-Atihan festival to the joyful Dinagyang festival in Iloilo to the colourful Sinulog festival in Cebu to the vibrant Pintados-kasadyaan festival of Leyte to the relatively unkwon Pahoy-pahoy scarecrow festival of Calbiga in western Samar, the region also boasts of its unique geological wonders like the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, its sugary beaches (including a pink one in Northern Samar) and major historical places that matter in our history.
Aptly called the ?Land of Promise? by early Christian settlers who sailed to this typhoon-free place to till its fertile valleys and cut timber in its green mountains, Mindanao, especially its eastern half, had a thriving gold industry hundred of years before the Spanish colonizers set foot on the islands in the 16th century. Fine gold jewellery, which where accidentally dug up during an earthmoving operation in Agusan more than 20 years ago, showed intricate jewellery designs that were comparable, if not better, than the 21st century gold adornments sold in plush jewellery shops along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. The Mindanao adage ?just throw a seed on the ground and it would grow?is true. That's why the world's biggest pineapple plantation is in Bukidnon, while Cavendish bananas thrive in vast tracts of land in Misamis Oriental and Davao ?as far as the eye could see?.
Mindanao's western half is mostly populated by five Muslim tribes, whose Islamic faith reached its south westernmost shores in the 15th century, while the eastern half is inhabited mostly by non-Muslim hill tribes. Now, Christian settlers from all over the archipelago, who brought progress and education to the island, dominate the non-Muslim provinces.
The fiesta is an important part of the fun-loving Filipino culture. Each Philippine city and barrio celebrates at least one local fiesta or festival, usually as a thanksgiving celebration on the feast day of its patron saint. There is always a fiesta going on somewhere in the country, celebrated with all the pomp and pageantry the town people can manage.
The Philippines, as the oldest Catholic country in Asia, is home to numerous beautiful and historic churches. Its Baroque churches are cited on the World Heritage List because of their unusual interpretation of a major artistic style. Baroque architecture, which was the dominant western style in the 16th and 17th century reflects a life dominated by the desire to impress through exuberance and extravagance.
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