The Philippines, Places to See, and Things to Do

Audio translations for useful Tagalog and Ilocano vocabularies can be found below. Hovering underlined texts gives you Tagalog and Ilocano translations.

Brief Introduction About the Philippines

The best time to visit the Philippines is November to May to avoid the worst of the typhoon season.  The Philippines sit across the typhoon belt, making dangerous storms from July through October.   The Philippines is a democratic and republican State.  Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates them.  Manila known as “Maynila” for Filipinos is the capital city.  The Philippines claims to be the only Christian nation in Asia.  More than 86 percent are Roman Catholic.  It is a home for the Ms. Universe 2016 pageant.  The Philippines ranks 4th among all other countries that have won the most titles for the Ms. Universe.   On technology, The Philippines is an emerging tech tiger where there is a fast-growing middle class with money to spend,  a large population that speaks English and addicted to social media.  Currency type is PHPpeso.

Best Places to See in the Philippines

         More details about Palawan: Province of Palawan, Wikipedia, National Geographic,   Photos and Maps

         How to get there from Manila:  Take a plane from MNL- Manila Ninoy Aquino to PPS-Puerto Princesa for 1h 20mins.


Boracay – Photo by Maribelle Marshall

      • Boracay – It is a small island in the Philippines located approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Leisure activities available on or near Boracay include island hopping, horseback riding, scuba diving, diving helmet, snorkeling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, cliff diving,  parasailing  (paraw sailing – sailing old school),  fly fish, standup paddling, zorb and zip line, ATV ride, mermaid swimming,  island  and beach relaxation, food trip, sunset watching, fire dancers and clubs.

         Language: Ilonggo, Tagalog

         More details  about Boracay: Boracay Island Organization, Wikipedia, Boracay – It’s More Fun in the Philippines, Photos, and Maps

         For official calendar of activities:   Province of Aklan – Boracay, Photos, and Maps

         How to get there from Manila: Take a plane from MNL-Manila Ninoy Aquino to MPH-Caticlan Malay for 1hr

Banaue RIce Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces – Photo by Eric Basilio

      • Banaue Rice Terraces – It is commonly known as “Eighth Wonder of the World” and is known as “Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan ng Banawe” in Tagalog.  It is 218 miles from Manila.  The 2000-year-old terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand.  It is fun to see its uniqueness and exciting to trek.  It is a wide area to discover that’s why you have to remember to bring foods and drinks and most of all, your camera.  Other things to see in the place are the Tappiya falls, Guihob Natural Pool,  Tam-an Village, Banaue Reggae Garden.  Other rice terraces nearby are Batad, Hapao, Bacung Spider Web.

         Language:  Ifugao, Ilocano, Tagalog

         More details about Rice Terraces: WHC UNESCO, Wikipedia, Photos, and Maps

         How to get there from Manila: While it is only 218 miles from Manila, a drive takes about 9hrs because you have to take a 2-lane highway with many switchbacks in the mountains.

         Other Means of Transportation: Ohayami Trans, Wikitravel

Chocolate Hills, Bohol

Chocolate Hills, Bohol – Photo by Lynn Ignacio Sears

      • Chocolate Hills – The Chocolate Hills known as “Mga Tsokolateng Burol” in Tagalog are geological formations in Bohol. There are at least 1,260 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometers.  During the dry season, the grass-covered hills dry up and turn chocolate-colored hills? which its name derived from.  Other things to see in the area are the Chocolate Hills Complex and Chocolate Hills monument.

         Language: Cebuano, Boholano, Tagalog

         More details about Chocolate Hills: Wikipedia, Photos, and Maps

         How to get there from Manila: plane-taxi  (Take a plane from MNL-Manila to TAG-Tagbilaran for 1hr 25mins)  and take a taxi that takes you there for 30mins

Mayon Volcano, Albay

Mayon Volcano, Albay – Photo by Joey Salceda

      • Mayon Volcano – The volcano is also known as Mt. Mayon and approximately 344 miles from Manila. It is an active stratovolcano in the Province of Albay. It was reclassified a Natural Park and renamed Mayon Volcano Natural Park.  It was named after the legendary princess-heroine Daragang Marayon.  Recorded deadly eruptions are July 20-24, 1766 – Pyroclastic and lava flows destroyed the town of Malinao killing 39 people;  July 7, 1853 – Eruption of ash fall, lava, pyroclastic flows that caused harm to 34 people; June 4 – July 23 – It had killed 350 people; February 2 – April 4, 1992 – It had killed 77 people and injured a few people; May 6, 2013 – It had killed 5 and hurt 7 hikers.  The best time to visit the volcano is between the months of  March and May. Other months can be more dangerous because of unpredictable weather.

         Language: Bicolano, Tagalog

         More details about Mayon Volcano: Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, Photos, and Maps

         How to get there from Manila: Take a plane from MNL-Manila Ninoy Aquino to LGP-Legazpi City for 1hr 10mins and another 1hr 15 mins bus ride to Mt. Mayon.  Other options are bus, car – about 11hrs

Botanical Garden, Baguio City

Botanical Garden, Baguio City – Photo by Bart Mapps

         Language: Ilocano, Tagalog

         More details about Baguio City: Baguio City Official Website, Wikipedia

         How to get there from Manila: Take a bus ride for approximately 6-7 hours (Victory Liner, Book Online)

Hundred Islands, Pangasinan

Hundred Islands, Pangasinan – Photo by Bart Mapps

      • Hundred Islands: The Hundred Islands is a well-known National Park in the Philippines and is located in Alaminos, Pangasinan. The park covers an area of 6.47 sq. miles. The islands, totaling 124 at low tide and 123 at high tide.  There are boats available for tourists for a trip and hike to some of its safe islands.  Other fun activities to do in the area are hiking, diving, boating, kayaking, caving, camping, zip lining, ATV riding.

         Language: Pangasinan, Ilocano, Tagalog

         More details about Pangasinan: Wikipedia, Tourist Attractions

         How to get there from Manila: Take a bus for approximately 4-5 hours (Book Online)

Burgos, Ilocos Norte

Burgos, Ilocos Norte – Photo by Bart Mapps

         Language: Ilocano, Tagalog

         More details about Ilocos Norte: Wikipedia, Ilocos Norte Tourism

         How to get there from Manila: Take a plane from MLA-Manila Ninoy Aquino to LAO Laoag City for 1hr

         Other Means of Transportation: Bus (Farinas, Maria de Leon, Partas)

Camp Marina, Cebu City

Camp Marina, Cebu City – Photo by Venus Hortizano

      • Cebu City – It is the second most populous area in the Philippines. It is close to Bohol where you can see the beautiful Chocolate hills.  It is a very historic place.  It is where Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer had landed in 1521 and became warfare among the kingdoms.  Cebu City is close to Mactan, a coral island that offers some of the best diving, snorkeling, island hopping, jet ski, sailing and cultural activities of any island in the Philippines.

         Language: Cebuano, Tagalog

         More details about Pangasinan: Wikipedia, Cebu City Official Website

         How to get there from Manila: Take a plane from MLA-Manila Ninoy Aquino to CEB-Cebu for 1hr 20mins

Best Places to See in Metro Manila

Venice Grand CanalYour chance to get a glimpse of Venice, Italy in Manila.

Manila Ocean ParkThe first marine-themed park in the country.

MakatiThe financial hub of the Philippines.  It is the selfie capital of the world (where the most selfies are taken) according to Time Magazine.

Fort SantiagoThe Philippines’ National hero, Jose Rizal was executed in this place.  It is one of the most important historical sites in Manila.

Rizal ParkIt is also known as Luneta Park and it is one of the largest urban parks in Asia.

Binondo China TownIt is the oldest Chinatown in the world, established in 1594.

Manila BayIt is the natural harbor located around Manila and it facilitated commerce between the Philippines and its neighboring countries. The bay was used to showcase the strength of the United States’ Naval in 1898.

Places to See Close to Manila

Taal VolcanoIt is the second most active volcano in the Philippines with 33 historical eruptions.

WWII and Corregidor IslandIt is called by Filipinos, “Isla ng Corregidor” and is located entrance of Manila Bay.  It served as a harbor defense and a military airfield during the American Liberation.

Subic Bay The base was 262 square miles and was the largest overseas military installation of the United States Armed Forces.

Pagsanjan FallsA famous waterfall in Laguna.

Villa EscuderoSince 1981, the plantation has opened its doors as a resort offering village tour, museum tour, food, and accommodations.

Mt. PinatuboThe volcano’s  eruption on June 15, 1991, produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century after the 1912 eruption of Novarupta in the Alaska Peninsula.[6

Las Casas Filipinas de AzucarIt takes you back to the 18th century.

Hidden Valley Springs –  Hundred of centuries ago, a crater more than 300 hundred feet deep formed during a fiery volcanic eruption.

Anilao DivingThe best experience you can be proud of.

Top Things to Do
      • Ride in a jeepney, the over decorated public transportation system
      • Ride in a kalesa, one mode of transportation in the Philippines that was introduced by the Spaniards
      • Dive into the creepy graveyard of WWII shipwrecks at Coron and Busuanga
      • Survive a night out in Manila (Asia’s most notorious metropolis)
      • Meet the wildlife (Wildlife Sanctuary in the Philippines)
      • Ride a dirt bike across rugged Palawan
      • Dive and swim into Boracay’s pristine waters
      • Explore the beaches
      • Paragliding
Don’t forget to visit the Shopping Malls:  

SM City North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia are among the top 10 largest Malls in the World.

Well Known Festivals:

Ati-atihan Festival – Kalibo, Aklan – Third Sunday of January

Dinagyang Festival – Iloilo City – Fourth Sunday of January

Feast of the Black Nazarene – Quiapo, Manila –  It is celebrated 3 times a year – January 9th, Good Friday, December 31st

Higantes Festival – Angono, Rizal – November 23rd

Kadayawan Festival – Davao City – Third week of August

Pahiyas Festival – Lucban, Quezon – May 15th

Pamulinawen Festival – Laoag City – February 10th

Panagbenga Festival or Flower Festival – Baguio City – All month of February

Moriones Festival –  Marinduque – Holy Week

Masskara Festival – Bacolod City – Third week of October

Sinulog Festival – Cebu City – 3rd Sunday of January

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