“It is more fun in the Philippines” seems to be the vocal tagline for luring travelers and tourists alike into this incredibly diverse country. And with various things to see, places to visit and activities to enjoy, it is most assuredly, more fun in the Philippines. A melting-pot of innumerable cultures with a rich historical heritage, there are so many reasons why the Philippines should make it to your bucket list. From the pristine white beaches you can enjoy in Visayas to the many historical landmarks in Luzon, there is a little something for all kinds of adventures to enjoy. Apart from the wide array of travel opportunities to choose from in this country, you would be surprised how your visit would be well-received by the friendly and warm locals. In fact, the Philippines has been known to be one of the countries with the friendliest and most hospitable people—making your stay worth the while. So, if the Philippines is slated as your next travel destination, immerse yourself in the local culture, befriend the locals, sample some of their exotic dishes and last but not the least, try to see some of these wonderful places which should definitely make it on your to-visit list if you are a first-timer.
“Tourists do not know where they have been and travelers do not know where they are going.” – Paul Theroux
Pampanga – Pampanga is known to be the gastronomic capital of the Philippines where every foodie is guaranteed to have a grand time sampling some of their best dishes (including their famous and delectable Sisig). Pampanga is also known to be a place rich in history and culture, so history buffs and enthusiasts will have a grand time visiting their churches and examining their antique and religious artifacts. Lastly, Pampanga plays host to innumerable adventure parks with various opportunities for all-kinds of activities from ATV riding in the Philippines to getting up close and personal with several animals in Zoocobia.
Bohol – Bohol may be small and unassuming, but it packs a punch when it comes to travel opportunities. It is considered as an all-in-one travel destination in the Philippines as it is complete with heritage sites, natural attractions, and beaches. Additionally, it is home to the world’s smallest primates, the Tarsier.
Cordilleras – True enough, the Philippines has been famed for its powdery white sand beaches. But, the country is also peppered with marvelous and breathtaking highland landscapes and a rich mountain culture as well. If you are into these natural sights, the Cordilleras should definitely make it to your list as it has the country’s most picturesque landscapes, mountain summits and waterfalls which invariably includes the Banaue Rice Terraces and the mountain of Sagada. Spelunkers will also have a lot to enjoy as there are many Sagada caves to explore and discover.
Bicol – Home to the famous Mayon Volcano, Bicol is the perfect backdrop to any photo subject. The artistic opportunities for photography are seemingly endless in Bicol and you can certainly add extraordinary photo souvenirs of nature to your vast collection of travel memories. Here you can find not only the world’s most perfect cone-shaped volcano, but you can enjoy the scenic beaches as well and go island hopping in Caramoan and Calaguas. Surfing connoisseurs will especially love Daet where many surfers local and travelers alike, converge to enjoy the waves. You can also experience the ATV riding challenge outside Mayon Volcano’s 8-kilometer danger zone.
Ilocos – Upon entering the city of Ilocos, you will immediately get the feeling that you have traveled back in time gone several years back. A quick jaunt in Vigan would give you that very same exhilarating sensation of being transported a hundred of years back where we were still a colony of Spain. The cobblestone roads have been well maintained and preserved and would likely give you the feeling of walking in the colonial era of the Philippines. Apart from the famous heritage sites, there are many captivating sights to behold such as their scenic beaches and historical churches.
Boracay – Known to be the summer capital of the Philippines, Boracay is a tourist destination that is beloved by locals and travelers alike. Beach bums will have a lot to enjoy with the island’s nightlife opportunities and various beach activities. Being on the island will give you an entirely different feel from the rest of the country as wherever you may go, it gives off that feeling of perpetual summer where people look like they are always ready for a swim. Undoubtedly, the island will offer you a whole lot of experiences to enjoy, just be sure to visit during the off-season (March-May) so as to avoid crowds.
Surigao – Considered as the surfer’s capital of the Philippines, Surigao has endless stretches of white-sand beaches as well as many nightlife opportunities. Surfers have been known to flock to Surigao as it plays host to Cloud 9, the country’s best surf spot. Apart from wild surfing opportunities, the island is home to one of the country’s more unique and unusual attractions such as the Bizarre Enchanted River.
Cebu – If there is a city in the Philippines that has it all, it would unquestioningly be Cebu. There is so much to do in this bustling city, and the activities are incredibly diverse. From island hopping, exploring the city life to visiting famous historical and cultural sites, it is no wonder that Metro Cebu is one of the Philippines tourist destinations. Cebu is also teeming with places of natural wonder such as the beautiful waterfalls of Kawasan and the bird sanctuary of Sta. Rosa.
Iloilo – Known to be the country’s city of love, there is a lot to see and enjoy in Iloilo. In fact, the city has a major cultural and heritage center which is famously known as Miagao Church—a UNESCO Heritage Site, the Calle Real, grand colonial houses and several heritage buildings which are all sights to behold. The enchanting beaches of Gigantes, Concepcion and Guimaras are just an hour or two-drive away from the city making Iloilo the point of entry for most travelers wishing to see Islas de Gigantes. It has been known to be one of the country’s most livable cities and is keen on preserving its natural and cultural heritage.
Palawan – The Philippines is known for its beautiful and picturesque beaches as well as its scenic natural heritage which you can enjoy and experience everywhere in the country. However, if you are pressed for time or just cannot afford to have more than one place to visit in your travel itinerary, then choose Palawan. This is especially true if you came for the white beaches and wondrous islands. You would know within moments that you are going to experience the best beach holiday in your life on this island.