You’re going to the Philippines: A fabulous vacation destination. No matter what time of the year you go, you’re bound to find wonderful sights and amazing things to do.Why do people love it so much?
1. The Water.
The Philippines comprises many islands–7,107, to be exact.
Do you like to sunbathe by the water? Do you like to swim in the water? The Pacific Ocean is to the northeast. The China Sea and the Sulu Sea border the islands on the west. The Celebes Sea lies to the south of Davao, just above Malaysia and Indonesia.
Some of the most pristine sands in the world are found along the beaches of the Philippines. Many of them are filled to the edges with fine, white sand that you can curl your toes in. The beaches are kissed by gently lapping turquoise waters, a colour so unbelievable that photographs don’t do it justice.
This country offers so many beaches that the list of available activities just goes on and on! The social metrosexual types will find cosmopolitan beach communities where they can bask in the warm sun, shaded by gentle palm trees that are accented by jewel-toned flowers, amidst restaurants that offer the best cuisine and shops that provide every heart’s desire.
Hotels offer a wide variety of accommodations, and shopping is at your doorstep.
Yet other beaches are remote—alone but alive, awash with colour and light, but affording you with solitude, the perfect place to get away from it all.
2. The Culture.
When you visit the Philippines, you’ll find yourself amidst amazing blends of cultural influence.
The people come from a mixture of Malaysian and Polynesian cultures, and the settling of the Spanish in this country centuries ago wielded a dramatic influence over time. Trade partners like China, Japan, India, the Middle East, and more have all left their touch on the Filipino culture.
Check the calendar to see what festival might be taking place when you visit the Philippines.
For the entire month of August, the Kadayawan Festival in Davao celebrates thanks for a plentiful harvest with a flurry of colour, music, and dance—as well as great events like racing and even a traditional bazaar. The Sinukwan Festival in San Fernando takes place for a week in December with a plethora of cultural celebrations that showcase the people’s art and culture.
Examples of Filipino art date back as far as 6,000 B.C. Primitive paintings were done with red clay mixed with water and drawn onto pottery. Just a few centuries back, a European influence came along with the Spanish.
Music evolved from the art of the native people as they were influenced over the centuries by Islamic and Asian cultures. The Singkil native ceremony depicts the love between a princess and a prince, dancing in the forest, just one example of many.
Food may be part of a country’s culture, but in the Philippines food is a gusty mix of delicious sauces and spice rubs, diverse dining sensations that will leave your palate watering for more.
The Filipinos believe in eating throughout the day—with breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as three additional petite meals or snacks per day.
Dishes reflect the interplaying influences of both Spain and Asia. You’ll find chicken and fish along with rice to be the staples of the Filipino diet, but the ways they prepare it and the cultural touches you’ll find will rival any table set anywhere in the world.
If you celebrate Christmas in the Philippines—more than 80 per cent of the people are Roman Catholic—you may find the table set with over a dozen different dishes.
Crispy pata made from pork leg—rubbed with seasoning and then deep fried—may be your culinary dream, or maybe it will be the caldereta, a beef stew simmered with vinegar and soy, or the adobo, chicken marinated and sautéed, and then served with a luscious sauce with rice.
Don’t forget room for dessert—the Filipinos excel at creating rich, delectable pastries, such as biscuits made from coconut and oatmeal or the bibingka, a tantalizing cake made from rice flour and coconut with a special flavour from baking it in a clay pot lined with banana peels.
There’s one last reason that makes the Philippines an awesome travel destination—the people!
You’ll find the Filipinos to be gracious and courteous.
People who have visited there often suspect the Filipinos of ulterior motives or think that tourists are only treated well because they spend money. However, the Filipinos pride themselves on their friendliness, and they value a concept called pakikisama, which comes from the words with and companion.
Come to the Philippines and experience it for yourself!