The spectacular volcanoc lake of Taal as seen from the mountainous town of TagaytayThe Philippines is a bejeweled archipelago with over 7,107 sun-drenched islands, beautiful beaches, towering volcanic peaks, varied flora and fauna and magnificent landscape and it is regarded as an easygoing, friendly and English-speaking and tropical paradise. It is divided into three main geographical areas namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The country has several famous historical and cultural sites and buildings that reflect the Photo: Taal Volcanic Lake                in Barich culture and heritage of the Filipino people and traveling in a colorful painted jeepney is a popular mode of transportation here.


The famous rice terrace at the Ifugao province in the PhilippinesThe capital city and gateway, Manila, is a large sprawling city by the bay located in Luzon, the major northern island. It sets the rhythm of life in this archipelago and is a pulsating hub that blends the Oriental with the Occidental, the quaint with the modern and the mundane with the extraordinary. Tourist attractions in Manila include the 'city in walls' of Intramuros, the Malacanang Palace known as the official residence of the president Philippines, Rizal Park which is popularly known as Luneta, Cultural Centre of the Philippines, the Promenade, modern shopping malls and exuberant entertainment theatre, bars and restaurants while colorful fiestas organized by the country's dominant Catholic faith is also a major attraction here. Manila is regarded as the most famous attraction in the Philippines.                                             Photo: Rice terraces of Ifugao


Other places of interest in Luzon include the Taal Volcano in Batangas, Puerto Galera - blessed with one of the world's most beautiful natural harbors in Oriental Mindoro, the beautiful Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna, El Nido Marine Reserve in Palawan which boasts of diverse ecosystems such as rainforest, magroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs and limestone cliffs, Vigan Heritage Village which displays precious remnants of the splendid architectural legacy of the Spaniards in Ilocos Sur, the captivating view of Mayon Volcano in Albay, Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales, the famous rice terraces of Ifugao which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, limestone valley riddled with over sixty caves of Sagada in Mountain Province and the cool mountain retreat of Baguio City.


Chocolate Hills in BoholSome of the most beautiful beaches, resorts and diving sites in Southeast Asia can be found in the Visayas region especially those found in Boracay Island which is one of the best beaches in the world, Bohol where the famous Chocolate Hills lies and the tropical-island getaway of Mactan Island in Cebu. Mindanao Province offers incredible ecotourism attractions and exotic wilderness such as dense forests, mangrove swamps, high mountains and low valleys, swift flowing rivers, smooth lakes, Photo: Chocolate Hills                waterfalls, lowlands and marshlands. The Gardens of Masalag Ecotourism Village showcases the ecology and ethnic culture of Northern Mindanao with regards to its tribe, customs and other facets of its unique heritage.


Mount Apo, a dormant volcano and the highest mountain in the country, is the home of the Philippine Eagle, the largest in the world of its kind. Some of the country's rare birds such as flycatchers, fary blubirds, sunbirds and rocket-tailed parrots are also found in the region. Other attractions are Paradise Island Beach on Samal Island, Mount Hibok-Hibok, the best known and last erupted in 1951 in Camiguin Island, Zamboanga which acts as the gateway to the Sulu Archipelago and Siargao Island, a surfer's paradise.


Beaches at Borocay IslandOne can also enjoy the enthusiastic festivals of the country such as the Higantes Festival featuring ten-feet papier-mache puppets surrounded by a crowd of drenched water-fighting revelers in Angono, Rizal, the Pahiyas Festival which is an annual celebration to usher in a bountiful harvest in Quezon Province, the Parada Ng Lechon Festival in Batangas, the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City where boring everyday clothes are exchanged for 'Ati' warrior Photo: Beaches at Borocay       costumes and black body paints, the Ati-Atihan Festival which commemorates the 13th century land deal between ten migrating Bornean chieftains and the aboriginal Ati King Marikudo in Kalibo, the Maskarra Festival which features carnivals, fairs and mardi-gras style street dancing in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and the grand Lanzones Festival featuring amazing street dancing extravaganza in Camiguin.


Filipinos are warm, friendly, talented and gifted in singing and dancing. They are also known for their mouthwatering native food and delicacies. The blending of Chinese and Spanish delicacies with local flavors together with the abundance of fish and crustaceans from surrounding seas makes Filipino cuisine a unique dining experience.




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