One of Asia’s prides, the Philippines is one of the smallest countries in the southeast part of this region. Have you ever been to the Philippines? This small country does not only offer trades in root crops and spices, this country also offer a lot of beautiful tourist spots. This country’s tropical season adds up to the dream vacation you’ve always dreamt of. Another one to add up to the excitement is that the country is made up of big and small islands which means there are more beaches to visit. Some of these places are very well known in most parts of the world and are even recognized as a part of the 7 Wonders of Nature. Let me go ahead and introduce to you the top 10 places to go to in the Philippines. These are the known tourist spots that some of your friends might have already visited a number of them.
Tubbataha Reef also known as Tubbataha Natural Park is one of the Philippine’s well preserved natural scenery. It is located about 150 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa which is Palawan Island’s capital. Tourists visit the place to go diving and see the beauty of the reefs lying underneath. Many unique fish and underwater species can be found here as the coral reefs in this area are really one of a kind and can only be seen here. It is also recognized as one of the best dives by CNN Trips. If you enjoy underwater reefs and seeing colorful fishes, it’s best to do the dive within the Summer season in the Philippines which is from mid-March to mid-June, the time where the waves are most calm. You’ll get to spend more time being under water and don’t you ever forget to bring your waterproof cameras to capture some of the reefs and the beautiful scenes under water.
MAYON VOLCANO IN LEGAZPI
Popularly known for its perfect cone shape, Mayon Volcano (also known as Mount Mayon and Bulkang Mayon) is one of the best tourist spots in the Philippines. It is located in Legazpi, Albay Province in the Bicol region. Tourists always include this place on their itinerary as it is one of the best sceneries in the Philippines. It is an active volcano which people nowadays still identify as a beautiful tragedy as the eruptions or the glowing of the crater of the volcano adds a lot of beauty to it. Its most well known eruption, that destroyed most parts of Albay, happened in 1814. Before the eruption, the Cagsawa church is a very well known church that adds up to the beautiful scenery, but after the 1814 eruption, the church became covered with lahar and what’s left is it’s bell tower which is now part of the tourists destination on this place. The volcano’s most recent activity happened early in 2020. It is known to show a glow on its crater which officials say is from magma which is still present at the volcano’s crater. This alerted the Province’s government officials but then again, the volcano remained at rest and at Alert Level 2 out of 5. Tourists and even locals loves to visit this place and its heritage as it really looks like the photo on the postcards when in fact, you’re already there, looking at it right in front of your eyes.
Manila is well known for its historic ruins and establishments which are now known to hold most of the county’s historical events. This place is the best place to visit within the country’s National Capital Region. Manila is just a few minutes away from the country’s airport and well known hotels which makes it easier to visit especially for tourists who only have a few days to stay in the Philippines. I can assure you, a day in Manila is like years in the Philippines’ History. Most establishments hold a lot of the history of Philippines which includes schools that are still operating nowadays and historic bridges and post offices.
First is the Intramuros which is a walled area that holds many historic events and places. The word Intramuros means “within the walls” in Latin. In the pre-colonial times, the Filipino natives used the areas as a place to trade with other nearby Islands since the place has the best waterway well known nowadays as the Pasig River and the Manila Bay. This urged the Spaniards who colonized the Philippines to decide on putting a wall around the area to avoid both man-made and natural disasters to affect the place. Spaniards used these walls to protect not just the country’s trade but also the beautiful establishments they started to build. Nowadays, the well known establishments which were built during the Spanish period are still used and hold most of the Philippines’ History. One is the University of the Philippines which was built by the Spaniards and up to today, one of the best universities in the Philippines. The place is also a very picture perfect place and holds a vintage touch to every building. People in the Philippines choose this place to shoot their debut photos or even their pre-wedding photos. You can also ride “kalesas” to add up to the vintage effect on your photos and also to feel the historical ambiance of the trip down Intramuros.
Another place to visit within Manila is the Luneta Park which was before known as the “Bagumbayan” or new town during the Spanish period. The place holds the Philippine’s history for when it first had its freedom. The Philippine’s National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was locked in, accused and shot in the back while blindfolded on this exact place and which is nowadays known as the Rizal Shrine. Tourists visit this place to know more about the heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal. His heroism led to the Philippine’s freedom from the Spanish colonization. Nowadays, tourists can also bring a picnic basket and stay in this place as it has wide grassland where you can spend most afternoons reading a book or even playing Frisbee. Yes it is in the city, but the trees around the park save it from smoke so that you can enjoy an afternoon at the park. You can also see from this park the National Museum which is just blocks away. The National Museum of the Philippines is also located within Manila and just a few minutes away from both Intramuros and Luneta Park.
The National Museum holds all the symbolic paintings and artifacts that hold most of the country’s history. Just when you get inside the Museum, you’ll see the well known painting of Juan Luna which is called the Spolarium. It holds how the Spaniards treated the Filipino people during the Spanish Colonial Era. A day within the museum is already like a full trip back to the Philippines’ long history.
TAAL VOLCANO AND TAAL LAKE IN TAGAYTAY AND BATANGAS
Taal volcano is the closest tourist spot to the country’s capital, Manila. It is located at the South of Luzon which is only 50km from Manila. Taal Volcano is a large caldera filled by the Taal Lake. Tourists visit the place for it’s small cone showing out and mistakenly known as the volcano when it is really the outer land which is the mouth of the volcano. Visitors can also choose to create an itinerary to visit the places that surround the volcano. One place to take note of is the People’s Park in the Sky which is up north of the Volcano. You can see not just the Volcano when you’re already at the top but also the nearby places and bays. This is where most people go to have the best view of the volcano. People enjoy the cool breeze on places around the lake and also the coffee that the province best produces. Due to the volcano’s beauty, food establishments also started to grow just around the caldera. You can enjoy your favorite burger and fries from Mcdonald’s, or your favorite frappuccino from Starbucks while enjoying a very beautiful view of the volcano at the same time.
KAWASAN FALLS IN CEBU
Kawasan Falls is located at Badian, Cebu. This is a three layered falls with a very breathtaking view. The place offers Canyoning upstream of the falls where the Matutiano river flows to a secluded canyon. Most tourists visit the place just to have a dip right at the falls’ foot. But most of them try to dive from the top of the falls to the lowest layer of the falls just to enjoy the breathtaking experience. No worries regarding the tourist’s safety as professionals are there to provide helmets and lifeguards for those who want to experience the dive. You can choose which of the three layers to jump from and some offer a slide down the fall’s water.
BANAUE RICE TERRACES IN IFUGAO
The Banaue Rice Terraces is one of the Philippines’ pride. This is a terraces carved by the country’s indigenous people. One fun fact about this is that the people only used small rocks and equipments and also used their hands to carve the mountain in Banaue. They did this to help them with watering their crops during that time and also to make it easier to plant for their own food. People nowadays go to the mountains in Banaue to see this very beautiful view. And another fun fact, this place was also shown in Marvel’s “The Avengers: Endgame” in the last scene where Thanos already snapped his finger and half of the universe was already wiped. Yes, that is Banaue Rice Terraces. This scene made the Banaue Rice Terraces more known and Filipinos became more proud of it. The place looks exactly the same as it is in the movie and like Thanos, you’ll enjoy life after the battle there inside a nipa hut. This Rice Terraces is also included on the “Eight Wonders of the World”. The cold breeze up the mountains makes you want to have a cup of coffee and just stare at the terraces the whole day. Fogs in the area create a more relaxing view and vibe.
CHOCOLATE HILLS IN BOHOL
The Chocolate Hills is located in Bohol in the Philippines. The Hills are not man made and are geologically arranged as if it is intentionally to look like it’s a pile of chocolates. The Chocolate Hills are made up of around 1,260 hills. It was called the Chocolate hills because during the dry season or the summer season in the Philippines, the trees on the hills’ leaves turn brown. And since the trees are on the hills, this makes all the othet trees on the hills dried up and turns color brown. When far away, they really look like chocolates and that’s why they were named to be “Chocolate” Hills. During the wet season, these trees are green and tourists still visit the place because of the beautiful arrangement of the hills. These hills are known to hold one of the country’s protected animal species which is the Tarsier. Tourists can also request to see one of these cute little animals when visiting the Chocolate Hills.
CLOUD 9 IN SIARGAO
Siargao is well known for being the best surfing destination in the Philippines. Cloud 9 is the best among these destinations and here’s the reason why. It is called Cloud 9 because of it’s thick, hollow tube waves which are the best to surf on or ride with a surfboard. It is called Cloud 9 because as surfers and locals say, “the ride on the wave feels like cloud 9”. This surfing area was discovered by travelling surfers in the late 1980’s. These people then decided to ride their surfboards for the first time in this area and have enjoyed it so much. Surfing competitions, both local and international are also held in this place as the waves never failed any surfer. These competitions are acknowledged by Siargao’s municipal government and also honours those who win both International and local competitions. If you’re a big fan of surfing, and have never been to this place, this is a must visit! You’ll surely enjoy the feeling of being in Cloud 9.
PUERTO PRINCESA UNDERGROUND RIVER IN PALAWAN
The Puerto Princesa Underground River, also known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, is one of the protected areas in the Philippines. This place is found in the capital of Palawan Island, Puerto Princesa. Tourists love to have a boat ride going through the underground river as they say there is a specific spot on the underground river where a rock formation looks like an image of Mother Mary. The entrance to the underground river is a short hike or a boat ride from Sabang. On the boat ride, tourists will go through the underground river where tourists can see large bats, rock formations and more waterways going to deeper parts of the underground river. Guides say that these deeper parts of the river that are never explored due to the lack of oxygen deep inside the caves and waterways. The Puerto Princesa underground river is also known as one of the New 7 wonders of Nature which was declared back in November 11, 2011 and became official and confirmed on January 28, 2012.
WHITE BEACH IN BORACAY
The White Beach in Boracay is one of the very well known tourist spots in the Philippines. This place is very crowded with tourists from the month of March to mid June. This place was very well known for its beautiful sunset views matched by its pure white cottony sand. This place is really like a heaven here on earth. Tourists enjoy not just the sun, sand and the sea but also the food being sold and served in the restaurants and hotels near the beach. Imagine a sunset view with pure white sand on your feet and food that makes you forget all your problems in life. The food here are really good as it’s the country’s delicacy, a place where you can really enjoy and forget about life’s stress. The beach bay also has lots of hotels and resorts with indoor swimming pools and also a beautiful view of the beach. Expect them to be fully booked by both tourists and locals during the above mentioned months. You now have a glimpse of the Philippines’ beautiful places to visit.
This list is not the limit as the Philippines has more than 10 places you’ll surely enjoy and would want to see. What brings more to the country’s beautiful places is it’s tropical weather which most tourists enjoy, especially the summer season! This country has something to offer from up North down to the end Island down South. You can also go to these mentioned places just by having to drive to them which adds up to the vacation mode. Imagine a long drive with your friends and seeing very beautiful places after the drive. Something to look forward to, right?
Most places mentioned are in the Palawan Island which is just one short plane ride from the country’s capital which is Manila. When you are already in Palawan, these mentioned places are just so close to each other that you can schedule an itinerary with just the Palawan Island to visit in just 3 days. Book your flights to the Philippines and enjoy these places which are just so close to each other and will not make it difficult to go to all of these.