Travel Guide to the Philippines

March 16, 2013 | Travel

Sunset at Boracay (Photo: Honey Diaz)

Filipinos are generally optimistic about their future. It’s what keeps them going in times of hardships. Their indomitable search for greener pastures eventually paid off when the economy started to grow from remittances sent home by overseas workers and outsourced jobs – an impressive average of 6.6% GDP growth in 2012, surpassing the estimated  3.5% by the IMF. This makes the country a gold mine in terms of human resources and labor workforce.

Coupled with the rapid increase in foreign remittances is the country’s intensified tourism campaign as the government strives even further to attract visitors and foreign investors. The slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines” is becoming a buzzword not just in country but in the social media worldwide. Listed below are five of the 7,101 reasons why the Philippines has been a major tourist hot spot around the world.

Places to see in Philippines

1.    Manila – The capital city of the Manila is the center of commerce, industry, and the seat of government in the entire archipelago. It’s the busiest place in the country. Business establishments, shopping malls, amusement centers and high-rise buildings occupy every block while every now and then you’ll find historic places such as the execution site of the National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal in Luneta Park, the Fort Santiago in Intramuros where Spaniards held their last stand against the U.S. fleet, and the National Museum which houses the country’s most treasured artifacts and national heritage.

2.    Bohol – Famed for its unique landscape of more than 1,700 hills, known to every tourist and locals as the “Chocolate Hills.” Aside from this iconic landmark, the place is also glittering with white sand beaches scattered around the province. It’s crystalline blue waters and pristine environment is a vacation paradise for tourists – a Philippine counterpart of the Caribbean islands aside from the world-famous Boracay Island in Aklan.

3.   Palawan – The largest province in the Philippines is made popular by its famous Underground River. Dense forests and vast stretch of grassland constitute more than 50% of the island, which serve as the habitat for more than 200 species of birds, 600 species of butterflies and other endemic species uniquely found in the Philippines. Some call it the Galapagos Island of the Philippines due to its huge diversity of flora and fauna. It ranks as one of the top 20 most beautiful island in the world.

4.    Cebu – The “Queen City of the South” is the second most highly urbanized city in the Philippines. It is the first settlement built by the Spanish conquistadors way back 1521. Cebu’s landscape is very much organized and structured like the Capital City of Manila. Historical sites are also a commonplace including the all-familiar Magellan’s Cross situated at the heart of the city. Alongside modernity is the city’s exquisite beaches, falls, nature parks, dive sites, and impressive vista of the city skyline.

5.   Boracay – An island with an international status as the most-visited tourist destination in the Philippines. Boracay’s fine white sand beaches, dive sites, world-class amenities, restaurants, and night life has attracted millions of tourist around the world. It never runs out of fun activities – from diving, parasailing, snorkeling, and island-hopping at daylight, to nightlife activities, food tripping, drinking, and partying all night at sundown.

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