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The Philippine archipelago is blessed with beautiful scenery, miles and miles of white sand beaches, a year round tropical weather, historical sights and structures to admire, underwater creatures and caves to explore, natural resources to treasure and wildlife to protect.
It is truly a country that has God’s wonders spread across its more than 7,000 islands.
Here are eight attractions you might want to see when vacationing in the Philippines.
Banaue Rice Terraces
The Ifugaos built the Banaue Rice Terraces more than 2,000 years ago. It is about 5,000 feet above sea level and covers about 400 square miles of mountainside. This beautiful engineering of mankind is very unique in every sense of the word. They believed that the Batad ancestors of Ifugao carved this “staircase to the sky” with minimal tools and mainly used their hands to put the walls up one stone at a time.
Chocolate Hills in Bohol
These perfectly cone-shaped hills are a subject of debate whether it is an act of God or if they are manmade. There are about 1,268 hills and they are very much uniformed.
During the rainy season, the hills are actually green. However, venture to them during the hot days of summer and they turn into a chocolate color—hence the name.
Intramuros in Metro Manila
Intramuros used to be the center of political, religious and military power during the Spanish era. This walled city in Manila was built on the ruins of a Malay settlement some 400 years ago. It was home for thousands of Spanish colonists and their families during those times.
The walls suffered a tremendous damage during WWII. The Philippine government restored and reconstructed Intramuros in 1980 and it’s now a major tourists attraction in Manila.
Some of the attractions within the walls and the vicinity of Intramuros you must see include: the Fort Santiago, the Manila Cathedral, the San Agustin Church, the walls of Intramuros/Puerta de Santa Lucia, and the Casa Manila.
Yapak Beach (Puka Shell Beach)
This is the second largest beach in Boracay, Aklan. It is less populated, since tourists and locals alike hang out at the white beach. It is not as remote as it used to be, but still more private than the white beach. It’s beautiful and the water is crystal clear. This is paradise.
Take a look at the picture!
The Philippines capital, Manila, is a center of all things in the country. It is known as the city by the bay. Although humid, busy and a very congested city, you can find almost anything in Manila. It has a lot of attractions to see and it’s a mecca for shoppers. They also have the biggest mall in Southeast Asia. The nightlife in Manila is like no other.
Filipinos love of music is evident in bars, pub, and restaurants where live bands are featured. It is also the center of cultural and entertainment industry. Sunset at Manila Bay is a sight to see. Many photographers from all over the world capture it. It is by far the best I’ve ever seen.
Only about an hour’s drive from Makati or Alabang Metro Manila is the province of Tagaytay, where you can breathe fresh air and the climate is cool just like Baguio City.
While there, take some time to view the smallest volcano. A lake surrounds it. The scenery is breathtaking. Tagaytay has a lot of attractions to offer besides the volcano. It’s a great place to hike too. You can either spend a night or two and explore the city or just spend the whole day relaxing and enjoy the beautiful sights around you.
This tadpole-shaped island is the place where the Americans and Filipinos fought side-by-side to save the country from falling to the hands of the Japanese during WWII. You can see remains of the barracks and the canyons used to fight the enemies. This is the island where General MacArthur left for Australia before it was attacked. It’s where he proclaimed his famous words, “ I shall return.”
The Rizal Park is located in the heart of Metro Manila. This 148-acre park was named after the Philippines National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal. It’s a place where people do their early morning walks and Tai Chi exercises before it gets too hot. Families take their children here to play and at night you’ll see plenty of lovers strolling along the park holding hands. This is also one of the few places left where you can ride the calesa (a horse drawn carriage made of wood). The Rizal Park has playgrounds, fountains, an open-air concert arena, and a Japanese and Chinese garden.
Whether you enjoy relaxing at the beach, soaking up nature, exploring historical spots, or strolling in the park, the Philippines is a wondrous place to do all of these things and more.
Photo credit: Tomas Tam
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