With over 7,000 islands in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines has bountiful waters and a seemingly endless shoreline. Three centuries under Spain and 50 years under the United States haven’t fazed the 90 million karaoke-singing, basketball-playing people of this country often skipped—undeservedly—on journeys to Southeast Asia. Come get a glimpse of the Philippines through the lenses of Travel 3Sixty readers.
Compiled by Abby Yao
Named after a Spanish king, the world’s second largest archipelago still has the remains of centuries of colonial rule. But its character is a heady mix of cultures adopted and indigenous, and its spirit is resilient and fun-loving. Take a look at the wonders of the Philippines, with these amazing moments captured and posted on the Travel 3Sixty Photoblog.
It’s a sight that has graced countless postcards—an unexplained natural wonder that amazes even the most jaded travellers. In the summer, when the Chocolate Hills of Bohol turn brown, there is no arguing that these little peaks live up to their name.
Who can resist Boracay’s shallow waters and powdery white sands? This tiny island is only 7 kilometres long but already world-famous for its gorgeous views and lively nightlife. Hail a paraw, the outrigger boat with triangular sails, and cruise right into the sunset.
You haven’t been to the Philippines until you’ve stepped inside a centuries-old church. As the only predominantly Christian country in Asia and right smack in the earthquake belt, some Philippine stone churches were built in the massive tremor-resistant “Earthquake Baroque” style, including four that are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Less tourist-y than its regional counterparts, the Philippines welcomes wanderers who wish to get lost…on purpose! There, you’ll stumble upon magnificent sights and best-kept secrets of the locals as you traverse the Philippines’ wondrous and ever-changing landscapes. When it’s time to head back to civilisation, there’s sure to be an English-speaking local around the corner to help you find your way back to the busy cities.
A day’s journey from the capital will take you to Vigan, a heritage town with houses dating back to the Spanish era. When it gets too hot, hail a tricycle—the Pinoy version of the tuk tuk—to take you to your next stop.
Palm-fringed beaches and clear waters are not only catered to the ultra-rich. Off the main island of Cebu are islands where fisherfolk do as their ancestors did. They’d be happy to take you around and serve you seafood – the freshest you’ll ever have!
Don’t be surprised if the Philippines’ most famous peaks are volcanic, or once were. Active volcanoes are popular with climbers. Mt Apo, the country’s tallest peak and home to the critically endangered Philippine Eagle, is considered potentially active although the date of its last eruption is unknown.
The “island of giants” is named such because of the unusually long coffins found in its caves. In this interestingly angled photo, there’s no Photoshopping required to look like a giant next to the people on the sandbar.
The 2,000-year-old rice terraces in the Philippine Cordilleras are said to be the 8th Wonder of the World for the stunning examples of man’s agricultural know-how. The Ifugao, the indigenous people of the region, continue to plant rice on the terraces, the only pre-colonial structures left intact in the country.
Further down south, Mindanao is rich in culture and resources. Despite conflicts in certain areas, much of the vast island is peaceful and the people are happy to show you their colourful customs and traditions.
Whale sharks, gentle giants of the sea, are frequent visitors to the waters off Oslob as well as in Donsol, Sorsogon. Close encounters with the largest fish on earth? Priceless.
Think limestone islands where you can swim, snorkel and kayak the clear waters in peace without running into hordes of tourists. With 100 white sand beaches, El Nido is one such place to find beauty in the midst of tranquillity.
Want to show more of the Philippines? Share with us your best photos of the Philippines at the Travel 3Sixty Photoblog.
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