The Philippines isn’t called the “Pearl of the Orient” for nothing. The perfect beaches, the highly delectable food, the renowned hospitable people – these are the primary reasons why the nation has been universally dubbed as a one of a kind jewel of South east Asia. Although I am Filipino, I am not claiming this with a bias point of view. Every hard core traveller that I have spoken to in my life, the Philippines usually tops their list for best global destinations. To further justify their opinion, here are ten reasons why the country should be part of your bucket list!
1. Hospitable People
Upon entering the country, you will immediately be welcomed by the friendliest local people. Drivers of whatever vehicle you are riding to commute will converse with you. Anywhere you go, filipinos will try to make friends with you and even invite you to family gatherings, parties, or any massive local celebrations. Just make sure you have a big to go bag for all the food they will pack for you to take home.
2. Beaches and Islands
It is undeniable that the country’s beaches and islands are one of the best. They get featured on world’s leading travel guides and are major go to spots by big time celebrities around the world. Powder sands, crystal blue-green waters, and abundant coral life are more than sufficient to describe such places as paradise. Palawan, Boracay Island, Cebu, Puerto Galera, and Panglao Island are just few of the best spots that every tourist ventures to.
3. Landforms, Flora, and Fauna
If you are a true nature lover, then the Philippines should be one of your primary destinations. The biodiversity of the country is high and incomparable. Home to nearly 200 mammal species, 600 species of birds, 300 species of reptiles and amphibians and at least 400 coral species, life literally thrives everywhere. The country is also abundant with plant life, as well as world famous landforms including the perfect cone shaped volcano Mt. Mayon, the Banaue Rice Terraces, and Palawan’s underground river cave.
4. Weather and Climate
As an equatorial country, the Philippines only has two seasons – summer and rainy season. Summer can typically get very hot but this gives you the ultimate excuse to go to the beach! During the rainy season, the best thing to do is indulge on food or go shopping! Either way, there is always a reason to go out and enjoy what the country has to offer.
They say that when you travel to the Philippines, it’s almost guaranteed that you will gain weight. It’s true! When you are surrounded by BBQ’ed skewers, stir fried dishes, and sweet tropical fruits, the temptation is unbearable. Make sure that you have a diet routine prepared when you leave the country because surely, you will be binging all day, everyday!
6. No Language Barrier
Compared to other Asian countries, the Philippines leads as an English-speaking nation. The language is communicated in government bodies, institutions, and businesses. Publications and newspapers generally contain English as well.
As mentioned above, shopping is one of the major activities you can do while you are on vacation in the Philippines. Malls, gallerias, and plazas can be found everywhere in the country including one of the biggest malls in the world, Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Another reason to go shopping is affordability. From food to fashion, there is no reason for you not to get souvenirs.
8. Rich in Historical sites
As a country that was colonized by Spain and the United States, the Philippines is very rich in history. Intramuros or the Walled City in Manila as well as Vigan in Ilocos Sur are two of the biggest remnants of the Spanish Colonial Period. Corregidor Island consists the harbour defense of Manila which were built during the American Colonial Period.
The rich culture of the Philippines is justifiable by its endless number of festivals and celebrations. If you are a major history and geography buff, going to one of the country’s biggest festivals is enough to learn significant facts about the country. Parades, theatrical plays, rituals, trade fairs, exhibits, games, and contests are commonly part of such expansive events.
10. Entertainment and Party life
Filipinos in general love to party. Apart from the festivals and other cultural celebrations, the major cities of the Philippines contain the best clubs, bars, and music lounges that will please any tourist. Metro Manila is home to the country’s most in demand night clubs including Valkyrie, Revel, and House Manila.